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A Question of Loyalty: Becoming A Ride-or-Die Chick Is Easier Than You Think

Urban culture has made "Ride-or-Die" chicks the equivalent of the ultimate trophy wives, but just how far will you go for your man? Does gaining honor from your man mean doing everything from lying to stealing to keep him protected? 

It all started with a phone call. Between the background noise, commotion, and my boyfriend’s frantic tone, it was hard to make out what exactly was going on, but I could sense that he was in serious trouble. In our brief conversation he told me that he had to “lick shots” and asked me to throw some clothes together for him. He was obviously bugging. Instead of asking questions, however, I anxiously threw a change of clothes in a backpack, and waited for him to call me back. In that instance I had been transformed. I went from being a straight-laced graduate student to a ride-or-die chick in less than a minute.

Ride-or-die chicks have been heralded in hip-hop since it’s inception. From Ice Cube and YoYo’s “Bonnie & Clyde Theme” to Jay-Z’s “Me and My Girlfriend,” women who hold their partners down, no questions asked, have been revered by a culture that demands loyalty above all else (see hip-hop’s embrace of the Stop Snitching Campaign if you have doubts). Recently, the conversation surrounding ride-or-die chicks flared up again when T.I. and his wife, Tiny Harris, were busted for drug charges.

After the newlyweds were arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly possessing methamphetamines and marijuana, some hinted that Tiny should claim responsibility for the drugs to protect T.I. from violating his federal parole, and possibly being sent back to prison. 50 Cent even took to Twitter and encouraged Tiny to swallow the charge for her man. “Man TI and tiny done got picked up again for methamphetmines and ecstacy dam manTiny gotta take that charge. Say it was yoursBaby.”

The fact that many were even suggesting that Tiny claim responsibility for the drugs simply to protect her husband was extremely problematic for a few reasons. Those arguing that Tiny cop to the charges weren’t doing so because they were concerned about T.I. potentially facing years in prison–they wanted her to admit guilt so that T.I could be free to continue making music, thus satisfying their interests, not Tiny’s. Furthermore, even suggesting that Tiny cop to the drugs shows a lack of concern for her children, largely because she has been their primary caretaker. Once again, many were asking a woman to “hold down her man” with a blatant disregard for how it would effect her.

Being a ride-or-die chick comes at a steep price. A few hours after my boyfriend’s hysterical phone call, six NYPD detectives showed up at my door asking to search my apartment. Although I had a vague idea of where he was, an overwhelming sense of loyalty prevented me from being completely honest with the officers. The cops tried their best to pressure me to share any information that would lead to my boyfriend’s location, but I didn’t budge. Luckily, I didn’t end up in handcuffs, charged as an accessory (although they threatened this), however, for many unintentional ride-or-die chicks, it doesn’t always end up this way.

Read the rest of the story at Clutch Magazine...

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John Boyega Delivers Powerful Speech At Black Lives Matter Rally In London

John Boyega delivered a powerful and moving speech during a Black Lives Matter rally in London on Wednesday (June 3).

“I wanna’ thank every single one of you for coming out this is very important, this is very vital. Black lives have always mattered,” the 28-year-old Star Wars actor said to a cheering crowd. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless, and now is the time. I ain’t waiting.

Boyega called out detractors for trying to derail the peaceful protest before sharing his feelings on the recent incidents of police brutality and white supremacist violence that have fueled recent uprisings. “I need you guys to understand how painful this s**t is! How painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing, [but] that isn’t that case anymore. We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland, for Trayvon Martin, for Steven Lawrence, for Mark Dugan.”

In another emotional moment, Boyega addressed Black men. “We need to take care of our Black women. They are our hearts,” he said through tears. “They are our future. We cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, [that] have a better rate of becoming better human beings and that’s what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you.”

Watch the full speech below.

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Ferguson Elects Ella Jones As City’s First Black Mayor

Ella Jones became Ferguson’s first Black mayor following Tuesday’s (June 2) election. Winning 59.9% percent of the vote, Jones beat out opponent and fellow Ferguson City Councilwoman Heather Robinett. The victory also makes Jones the city’s first female mayor.

“It’s just our time,” Jones, 65, said in a post-election interview with the St. Louis Dispatch. “It’s just my time to do right by the people.”

Ferguson gained worldwide attention in 2014 after Ferguson police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, and the fight for justice hasn't stopped. Most recently, residents took to the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic to protest the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other police brutality victims.

“In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, our restaurants, our businesses were closed, and now they were trying to open up and we have the protests, so it set a lot of businesses back,” she told the St. Louis American. “So, I am just reaching out to various partners to see how we can best help these businesses recover from the protests and open. We don’t want to lose any of our businesses, because they are the cornerstone of our community, and when we lose one, it just hurts all. My goal is to work, talk to anyone that will listen, to help stabilize these businesses in Ferguson.”

Jones previously ran for mayor in 2017 but lost to incumbent James Knowles III, who served as mayor for three terms.

The former pastor has called Ferguson home for more than 40 years. A graduate from the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a degree in chemistry, Jones obtained a certification a high pressure liquid chromatographer and completed training as a pharmacy technician. Jones' background includes working in Washington University School of Medicine's biochemistry molecular bio-physics department, and as an analytical chemist for KV Pharmaceutical Company, as well as a Mary Kay, where she was a sales director for 30 years before quitting to work in the community full time.

Jones is also the founder and chairperson of the nonprofit community development organization, Community Forward, Inc., and a member of the Boards of the Emerson Family YMCA, and the St. Louis MetroMarket, the latter of which is a decommissioned bus that was retrofitted as a mobile farmers’ market that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities.

Hear more from Jones in the video below.

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Barack Obama Discusses Racism And Police Reform During Virtual Town Hall

Former President Barack Obama joined local and national leaders for a digital town hall on Wednesday (June 3). The 90-minute event put on by the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Alliance was centered around “reimagining policing in the wake of continued violence.”

“Let me start by just acknowledging that we have seen, in the last few months, the kinds of epic changes and events in our country that are as profound as anything that I’ve seen in my life,” said Obama. “Although all of us have been feeling pain and certain disruption, some folks have been feeling it more than others. Most of all the pain that’s been experienced by the families [of] George [Floyd], Breonna [Taylor], Ahmaud [Arbury], Tony [McDade], Sean [Reade], and too many others to mention.”

To the families directly affected by racial violence and police brutality Obama added, “Please know that Michelle and I, and the nation grieve with you, hold you in our prayers. We're committed to the fight of creating a more just nation in the memory of your sons and daughters.”

The ex-commander in chief went on to speak about institutional racism, and what he believes to be the bright side to the recent tragedies, namely in that young people have been galvanized and mobilized into taking action. “Historically so much of the progress that we’ve made in our society [have] been because of young people. Dr. King was a young man, Ceasar Chavez was a young man, Malcolm X was a young man. The leaders of the feminist movement, union movements, the environmentalist movements, and the movement to make sure that the LGBTQ community had a voice, were young people.”

Obama also addressed the “young men and women of color” around the country, who have witnessed too much violence and death. “I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter. That your dreams matter.”

Other town hall participants included, activist and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham, former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Playon Patrick, Ohio State University student and MBK Youth leader for the city of Columbus.

Additional town hall participants included, activist and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham, former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Playon Patrick, Ohio State University student and MBK Youth leader for the city of Columbus.

Watch the full event below.

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