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Royce Reed Of 'Basketball Wives': 'I'm Not The Groupie Or The Gold Digger'

Royce Reed feels misunderstood. But instead of focusing on her reputation she's working toward becoming a positive role model for her two-year-old son with Dwight Howard. The breakout black sheep from VH1’s Basketball Wives and former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat dancer hasn’t yet been able to live down the infamous incident where she got low at a Terrell Owens pool party for a pair of Clippers tickets. Despite that indiscretion, she's hoping to put the scandal behind her.

“I know I took it too far at the pool party but people base their opinion of me off of what they’ve read or based on an isolated incident and that’s not me,” Reed tells VIBE. “I’m going to teach Braylon [my son] to look up to athletes and role models as stars. Admire their craft and if you want to be that successful then look at that, but realize that you don’t know them personally. You don’t know what they do behind closed doors [because] it’s not always that person that you see with that big huge smile?that’s not how they really are in a lot of cases.”

Reed also plans to teach her son how to be self-sufficient. The theater enthusiast was once a biology pre-med major at Florida A&M University, but she followed her passion and pursued a major in theater education. The recent Lisa Maile Acting School grad is not auditioning for major roles just yet because she's focusing on her entrepreneurial venture with Fantashique, an urban burlesque dance troupe that is classically trained in every form of dance.

“We do a lot of urban based hip-hop but we also do weddings and a lady just hired us to dance at her Church," says Reed. "We do it all?ballet, jazz, lyrical?everything."

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Reed’s reputation makes her seem like the last woman who would enter a Church but so far she's been one of the ladies on the show with the least on-camera drama. However, Reed maintains that while she isn’t involved in most of the cattyness, one smack-talker will come close to being laid out.

“It takes a lot for me to go off but if you really cross me you will feel my wrath so that’s going play out. But I’m not involved in the drink throwing,” says Reed of the forthcoming episode that involves boxing gloves. “I don’t throw drinks. I take it back to the old school and handle it like you’re supposed to handle it. If you think you’re that big and bad, then be that big and bad."

Reed is also still fighting metaphorically to shake people’s negative perceptions about her, but the person who’s opinion matters most is that of her son whose father isn’t mentioned on the show because of an injunction she signed willingly.

“I wasn’t forced to sign anything contrary to popular belief. I want people to realize that I’m not the groupie or the gold digger. He approached me,” says Reed of Howard. "I definitely don’t fill that stereotype of a woman that sits on her behind all day and has babies and her life is set, and I don’t want Braylon to think that I do that. I actually have a job and I want him to be proud of me. I want him and my family to realize that even though when I had him I wasn’t married, I’m not going to sit and do nothing for 18 years.

"I’m going to pursue that career, I’m going to have that job because I want him to be proud of that and I want to be proud of myself," Reed continues. "I’m still going to be a free spirit. I probably won’t be dancing everywhere and dropping it like it’s hot. But I’m just Royce and this is who I am everyday. You live and you learn and you can’t fight everybody. Someone’s always going to have something to say. They talk about Jesus so what makes you think they won't talk about you.” ?Starrene Rhett

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Kentucky Catholic School Faces Backlash After Students Berate Indigenous Peoples March Protesters

Representatives from Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School have confirmed plans to look into their student body after several of their students appeared in a viral video harassing and mocking protesters at an Indigenous Peoples March.

The viral video above spread around the web Saturday (Jan. 19) a day after the protest that took place in Washington, D.C. Teens in the video were rocking "Make America Great Again" to support President Donald Trump and the anti-abortion March for Life demonstration that was also taking place on Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports  Laura Keener, the communications director with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, released a statement about the video: "We are just now learning about this incident and regret it took place. We are looking into it."

In the video below, Indigenous elder Nathan Phillips of the Omaha tribe was reportedly performing a song meant to calm down the crowd when the large group of teens surrounded him, with one eye to eye as he and another elder chanted.

https://twitter.com/2020fight/status/1086476619877765120

In tears, Phillips recalled the incident, calling for an apology and that the teens would "put that energy into making this country really great." The teens also got their messages mixed up when they also screamed "build that wall" toward him.

"I heard them saying 'build the wall, build that wall,'" he said.  "This is indigenous land. We’re not supposed to have walls here. Before anyone came here there were no walls, we never even had prisons. We always took care of our elders, we took care of our children. We taught them right from wrong."

 

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#ipmdc #ipmdc19 #indigenousunited #indigenouspeoplesmarch #indigenouspeoplesmarch2019

A post shared by KC🇬🇺🌴🌴 (@ka_ya11) on Jan 18, 2019 at 4:42pm PST

Speaking to The Enquirer Vincent Schilling shared how Phillips has been attacked in the past for standing up for indigenous peoples. Schilling, who is a member of the Mohawk tribe, said Phillips was pelted with trash just a few years ago by Eastern Michigan University students who hosted a Native American-themed party.

"As a Native American journalist, I find this to be one of the most egregious displays of naïve – I can’t even say naïve. It’s racism. It’s blatant racism," Schilling said.

"The guy has just been through a lot. To see Mr. Phillips treated this way is an incalculable amount of disrespect, and it's absolutely unacceptable in Native culture. As a Native man, I’ve got it countless times myself I’ve been mocked, I’ve been teased, my culture has been ridiculed. This is just another brick in the wall. I wanted so bad to walk up to those kids and say, 'You know this is a Vietnam veteran, right?'"

Director Ava DuVernay slammed the teens for their behavior as well as a number of indigenous social justice figures.

Thank you to @VinceSchilling of @IndianCountry and many others who identified the proud Native man who is being harassed. He is Mr. Nathan Phillips. I’m reposting this video from “ka_ya11” on IG. This man’s words pierce my heart. The grace. The wisdom. The hope. pic.twitter.com/BKOA40SVq5

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 19, 2019

Thank you for the kind shout-out @Ava

Nathan Phillips and I have shared in a sacred pipe ceremony to honor Native American veterans.

He is a Vietnam veteran, such behavior is terrible.

Again, thank you for your support. https://t.co/RRaQeEJFku

— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) January 19, 2019

The teens in the video haven't been identified.

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Man Exonerated After Serving 45 Years Forced To Sell Prison Artwork For Money

A Detroit man who served 45 years behind bars for a crime that he didn’t commit, is forced to sell his personal collection of artwork that he made in prison. Richard Phillips, 72, doesn’t have steady income at the moment, and his lawyer is currently battling the state of Michigan to get him compensated for the wrongful conviction that stole his freedom.

"I don't have an income right now," said Phillips while showing off his paintings to Fox 2 Detroit. "This is my income."

In the early 1970s, Phillips was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Gregory Harris. He was sentenced to life in prison but always maintained his innocence. “I would rather died in prison than admit to a crime I didn’t do,” Philips said.

Phillips was convicted through an eyewitness account implicating him and a second man, Richard Palombo. In 2010, Palombo admitted that Phillips had no involvement in the murder and that he didn’t even know him. A new investigation was launched in 2014, nearly 20 years later Phillips appealed his murder conviction.

Last March, Wayne County Prosecutors Kym Worthy dropped all charges against Phillips, officially freeing him from prison. “There’s nothing that I can say to bring back 40 years of his life. The system failed him. There’s no question about it,” Worthy said at the time. “This is a true exoneration. Justice is indeed being done today, but there’s nothing that we can do ... to bring back those years of his life.”

Art played a big part in helping maintain his sanity through the sentence. Though he remained optimistic, Phillips admitted that he never truly believed he would be released. To pass the time, he began painting. He pulled inspiration from everywhere: his favorite artists, photos and even tapped into some of the loneliness that he felt in prison. "It was created in a harsh environment. But it goes to show you that beauty can come from something ugly."

Last year, Detroit's Demond Ricks was awarded $1 million for spending 25 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. As it stands, Phillips is the longest-serving wrongfully convicted former prisoner in U.S. history.

Phillips' artwork will be on display at Michigan's Ferndale's Level One gallery beginning Jan. 18.

See more on his artwork in the video below.

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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl Amid Criticism

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing  the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been on the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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