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Cleveland Kidnapper, Rapist Ariel Castro Found Dead In Prison Cell [VIDEO]

September 4, 2013 - Ariel Castro, 53, the former Cleveland bus driver convicted of raping and kidnapping Amanda Berry, 27, Gina Dejesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, was found hanging in his prison cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. His death is being reported as a suicide. Read more at

Category: General


Charlotte pastor: "Only white people" at front door of church

September 3, 2013 - Controversy has sparked at a north Charlotte church after a pastor sent an email asking that "only white people" stand at the front door to greet the congregation.

A viewer contacted WBTV after getting an email from Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, an African-American woman, at Freedom House Church along Salome Church Road.  Read more at

Category: General


Evelyn Lozada: Chad Hit Me When I Told Him I Didn’t Want Kids

September 3, 2013 - During last night’s airing of “Basketball Wives Miami,” Evelyn Lozada told her therapist what set off the chain of events that lead up to Chad Johnson assaulting her last year.

Lozada said she and Johnson always had their issues, so when they were arguing about their marriage back in August of 2012, it was nothing new. At some point during their argument, Lozada said she “would never bring kids into this (marriage).” It was these words that enraged him, Lozada claims. “It was like he blacked,” she told the therapist. Lozada went on to say that he hit her in the face while inside of a vehicle.  Read more at

Category: General


Lamar Odom Hires O.J.’s Lawyer Robert Shapiro To Assist In DUI Case

September 3, 2013 - NBA veteran player Lamar Odom (pictured left), who’s had a heap of troubles recently from alleged drug use to a DUI arrest to alleged marriage problems, has reportedly sought the legal services of big gun Robert Shapiro (pictured) who initially led the infamous 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, according to TMZ.


Odom recently got cuffed last Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  A San Fernando Valley highway patrolman pulled the 6’10″ baller over for allegedly driving erratically in a “serpentine manner.”  Odom reportedly continued to drive even after several attempts to pull him over to the side were made by law enforcement.  When Odom reportedly did stop the car, a California highway patrol report stated that Odom showed ”objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests as explained and demonstrated.”  Read more at

Category: General


Dunkin’ Donuts Apologizes For ‘Racist’ Blackface Ad

Popular donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts recently came under fire for an advertisement that was released in Thailand, featuring a woman in blackface makeup sporting bright pink lips, a beehive hairdo, and holding a half eaten chocolate donut. Dunkin’ Donuts, which touted its latest charcoal donut line, was harshly criticized for its “bizarre and racist” campaign by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.  Read more at

Category: General


Tyler Perry Lays Hands On T.D. Jakes

September 3, 2013 - Tyler Perry has never been one to hide his religious convictions underneath his sleeves, so no one was really surprised when he caught the Spirit as he stood before T.D. Jakes‘ congregation at Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas this past Sunday.

Evoking the cadence of a Baptist preacher, Perry began his testimony discussing the power of favor. He then went on to share how he was unaware of a youth center project Jake’s church was spearheading. Read more at

Category: General


Sheryl Underwood Slams 'Nappy' 'Afro' Hair

September 2, 2013 - On an "encore presentation" of her CBS show The Talk that aired Aug. 30, Underwood railed against "nappy" "Afro" hair during a discussion about Heidi Klum saving her children's hair after it had been cut. Klum's children with ex-husband Seal have "huge Afros," as she described them.

Upon hearing that Klum saves their hair, Underwood responded, "Why would you save Afro hair?" She went on to imply that nobody wants that type of hair, saying that you never hear of a woman in a hair shop asking for that "curly, nappy, beady" hair.  Read more at

Category: General

KKK, NAACP Leaders In Wyoming Have Historic Meeting

September 3, 2013 - Leaders from branches of the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP had a historic meeting in Casper, Wyoming on Saturday to discuss recent acts of violence against black men and the distribution of KKK pamphlets in the area.

Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper branch of the NAACP, had reached out to John Abarr of the United Klans of America about meeting in June, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The two didn't meet until several ground rules were established, including an agreement to meet under heavy security.  Read more at

Category: General


Barack Obama Arrives In Stockholm For 3 Days Of Meetings With Swedish Leaders (VIDEO)

September 4, 2013 - President Barack Obama is opening a three-day overseas trip with a stop in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Air Force One touched down Wednesday morning after an overnight flight from Washington.  Read more at

Category: General


Sharpton Rips GOP Furor Over Obama's Foot on Desk

September 4, 2013 - MSNBC's Al Sharpton mocked the GOP for complaints about an image of President Obama with his foot on the desk in the Oval Office, apparently while discussing the crisis in Syria. Sharpton described it as eagerness on the part of Republican leaders to find fault with the president at every turn.  Read more at

Category: General

Griot Drum Scholarship contest, tickets and sponsorships

The Griot Drum contest and banquet help fund thousands of dollars in scholarships to student journalists of color with a connection to the Tampa Bay area. This year’s applications must be postmarked by Sept. 16, 2013. For eligibility requirements, entry forms and other details, visit or contact Dalia Colon, TBABJ’s Scholarship Coordinator, at 813-419-2490 or via email at

Scholarship recipients will be honored during the 2013 Griot Drum Awards & Scholarship Banquet, which gathers 250 of the area’s most important journalists, business leaders, educators and media figures – the most influential audience in town.

Gala tickets cost $30 for TBABJ members, $35 for non-members or $300 for a table of eight. Make your purchases at

If you or your organization would like to make a tax-deductible sponsorship donation, please visit for details. Contact Camille C. Spencer at 813-230-4967 or via email at with questions.

Category: General


FAMU's Marching 100 Band Back At Football Game After Suspension

September 1, 2013 - Nearly two years after a drum major's hazing death silenced the music at Florida A&M football games, the famed Marching 100 band returned to the field Sunday with its familiar booms, drum rattles and other tones for the school's season-opener.

It was the band's first game appearance since a season-long suspension. The scrutiny following Robert Champion's 2011 death thrust the school into the national spotlight and led to more than a dozen arrests and the resignation of top officials. Read more at

Category: General


Dennis Rodman in North Korea to visit his ‘friend’ Kim Jong Un

September 3, 2013 - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman landed Tuesday in North Korea and said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps — but not be a diplomat.

Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang’s airport by Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of North Korea’s Olympic Committee, just days after Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring home Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed there. The North abruptly called off the official visit because it said the U.S. had ruined the atmosphere for talks by holding a drill over South Korea with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.  Read more at

Category: General


Prince not joking with Dave Chappelle ‘Breakfast Can Wait’ cover

September 3, 2013 - The artwork may have made people laugh, but Prince’s new song is no joke.

The mercurial superstar announced Tuesday that he’s released “Breakfast Can Wait.” It caused a stir when Prince released the cover art for the song — a photo of Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince — on YouTube.  Read more at

Category: General


The colorful life of James Vann

Artist James Vann’s unique paintings have appeared on canvases, murals, neck ties and even a mystery novel cover, but it all started out rather simply for him: with a finger-painting done in kindergarten.
That was the New York native’s first work of art, and seeing the colors blend together was so amazing to him that he’s had a pencil or paintbrush in his hand ever since.  Read more at

Category: General


BTAG celebrates 10 years

Not only do students benefit academically from the Bridging the Achievement Gap (BTAG) program, the retired educators who participate get a chance to flex their mental muscles. As if that is not enough reasons why this program is so successful, it also provides opportunities for businesses and other individuals to support this effort to increase academic enhancement in an attempt to eliminate the achievement gap that exists between students in the Pinellas County School District.
In spite of heavy evening rain showers, hundreds came out last Thurs., Aug. 22, to the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 13255 118th Ave. N., Largo, to celebrate BTAG's 10th anniversary and raise funds to keep it going.  Read more at

Category: General


Money will be key in St. Petersburg mayor's race

August 31, 2013 - Bill Foster raised three times more than Kathleen Ford in the 2009 mayor's race. He also captured the lion's share of endorsements.

But he didn't bulldoze his way to victory. He won by only 2,350 votes, or 6 percent.  Read more at

Category: General


Lamar Odom Arrested For DUI, Refuses Chemical Testing

August 30, 2013 - NBA player Lamar Odom (pictured) was reportedly arrested Friday morning and charged with a DUI for either drugs or alcohol, according to TMZ.

Friday morning, Odom was reportedly driving along a freeway in a late-model white Mercedes-Benz in the San Fernando Valley, Calif., area, when he was allegedly spotted by a highway patrol vehicle. A highway patrolman contends that the 6’10″ free agent had been driving too slow and his vehicle was traveling in an erratic ”serpentine manner.” Read more at

Category: General


Cornel West: “Sharpton Is The Bonafide House Negro Of The Obama Plantation” [OPINION]

August 31, 2013 - Dr. Cornel West once again called Rev. Al. Sharpton a “house negro,” and accused him and President Barack Obama of “sanitizing” the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 50th anniversary of the March of Washington, reports

“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.  Read more at

Category: General


Obama Phone Call Leads Judge To Release Father Of 1963 Ala. Church Bombing Victim

August 31, 2013 - A former Alabama politician whose daughter died in a racist church bombing in 1963 was released from a prison medical facility Thursday after a judge sided with an Obama administration call to free him.

Chris McNair was released from prison hours after U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith issued her ruling, said Peggy Sanford, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in Birmingham.  Read more at

Category: General

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