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When Black Isn’t Beautiful Enough

I feel like there is a deep sickness within Hip-Hop culture that needs to be addressed and it is one of self-hatred. Have Black and Latino women and men become so ingrained into believing that we are not beautiful that we eagerly promote and consume anything that seems “different” “exotic?” Why is it then that in most rap songs the lyrics contains phrases like “long haired thick redbone” or “foreign” in reference to woman?

I know that Hip-Hop and rap in particular are not cure-alls to societal ills, but one has to step back and imagine the damage the artists are doing to the psyches of those who consume their music and literally buy into their images. If I were a young Black or Latino woman and all I heard growing up listening to and operating within Hip-Hop culture was that you had to be “foreign” or a “long haired thick redbone” and I didn’t fit the bill, I would carry around unnecessary emotional baggage because I’m participating in a culture that doesn’t value or place emphasis on my beauty.

What Murdered Black Boys Mean for the Renisha McBride Trial

On November 2, 2013, 19-year-old McBride stumbled onto Wafer’s porch in Dearborn Heights, Michigan at 2:30 a.m. after suffering a car accident a town or so away two hours earlier. It is not known where she went between crashing her car and arriving on Wafer’s doorstep. When McBride knocked on Wafer’s screen door, her family says she was looking for help and access to a phone. Wafer opened his front door and fatally shot her in the head through his screen door. He did not call 911 until after he’d fired, telling dispatchers, “I just shot somebody on my front porch with a shotgun, banging on my door.” His attorneys say he was fearful for his life.

After the incident, Wafer was not arrested. Instead he turned himself in nearly two weeks later on November 15, the day of his arraignment when he was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a felony firearm.

From her family’s perspective McBride’s murder was racially charged; a black women asked for assistance and was instead seen as a threat by a white man and killed. On the other hand, Wafer’s defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter highlighted that McBride’s blood alcohol level at the time of her death was twice the legal limit and she had marijuana in her system. Carpenter said that Wafer was afraid so he shot McBride in self defense.

He went to MIT at the age of 14, and now he’s changing the world

David Van Valen has a life that is built for legend. The young scientist and his family set trends years ago when he was accepted to MIT at the age of 13. While other kids his age were mastering videogames and hip-hop lyrics, David was preparing to dominate the future, taking a whopping 25 college courses while he was in high school, which he started at the “wise old age” of 10.

Halfway through the sixth grade, the work was just too easy. So, David’s mother petitioned to have him sent directly to high school. When the school said no, she simply did what any good parent would do: Worked around the system. She and her husband had David and his brother Joseph homeschooled for two years, giving them a far better education than the one they would have received in any public (or even private) school system.

Store regrets shoplift shame

Cherisse Martin, mother of Rikki Cooper, said her daughter rang her in tears after a female staff member at Countdown Dinsdale, in Hamilton, used the store’s intercom system to track her movements.

Cooper went to the Countdown on Thursday for her weekly grocery shopping when over the speakers she and other shoppers could hear a female staff member describe her as a “Maori girl” who needed to be watched.

The incident has sparked outrage across New Zealand and a Facebook account has been set up to boycott the Countdown supermarket on Whatawhata Rd.

Bronx firefighter becomes first woman featured in FDNY Calendar of Heroes

She has been one of the city’s few female firefighters for more than a decade and now she’s Miss March — the first woman featured in the FDNY Calendar of Heroes.

Danae Mines, an 11-year veteran, said she’s always wanted to be one of the 13 smoke-eaters featured in the yearly pictorial, but was told the honor was reserved for men only.

“I was told that it was all guys,” Mines, who is assigned to Engine Co. 60 in the South Bronx, told the Daily News.

“They said if I made it in the calendar, I would look like a pinup girl.”