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Oscar Grant's Murderer, Johannes Mehserle, Given 2-Year Prison Sentence

t has been 674 days since 22-year-old Oscar Grant III was murdered on a subway platform in Oakland, Calif., by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle. On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry decided that Grant's life was worth 24 months as he sentenced Mehserle to a blink behind bars. Mehserle will also receive 292 days credit for time already served behind bars.

"Where is the accountability?" asked Cat Brooks, co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, prior to the sentencing. "The verdict was unjust so the sentence will be unjust. And we are angry about it. We are tired of burying our children and we are tired of the open season on black men in this country by police who are then returned to their families with a slap on the wrist."

His pre-emptive anger was clearly justified. Experts said Judge Perry probably already knew what sentence he would impose, but the pleas made by both sides would not go unnoticed. Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, cried as she gave a victim impact statement during the sentencing. 

"Those statements can be very persuasive and my sense is you will see some very emotional testimony from both sides in that courtroom," said Steven Clark, a San Francisco Bay area defense attorney and former prosecutor who has followed the case.

Read the rest of the story at Black Voices... 

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Talib Kweli Says New Black Star Album Is Almost Done

Talib Kweli made a major announcement about the forthcoming Black Star album with Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def) during Wednesday’s (June 3) episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Kweli appeared on the late night talks show to discuss social justice topics such as activism, racism, reparations, and police brutality.

In between discussing current events and his solo album, the Brooklyn native dropped a few details about the progress of the Black Star project.

“A lot of people have been hitting me up like 'We need that Black Star album, we need that Black Star album.' Me and Mos Def are in the final stages of the Black Star album,” he revealed. “It's produced completely by Madlib, so shoutout to Madlib and everybody at Oxnard. The new Black Star album is dealing with a lot of this subject matter. I'm working hard to get it out to the people."

The album will be the long-awaited follow-up to the hip-hop duo’s critically acclaimed 1998 debut LP, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.  This isn't the first time that Black Star has made mention of the album. In 2018, Yasiin announced that the album was “coming soon.”

Watch Talib’s full interview below.

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Kanye West Attends Protest For George Floyd Following $2 Million Donation

Kanye West popped up at a “Justice for George Floyd” rally in Chicago, hours after his $2 million donation to the families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery was announced. West was spotted marching alongside demonstrators on the city’s South Side on Thursday (June 4).

The Chicago native contacted organizers with GoodKids MadCity to participate in the march, USA Today reports.

Yeezy didn’t stay for very long but he attempted to remain lowkey in a black mask and hoodie. According to reports, the peaceful march became somewhat chaotic as the press swarmed his black SUV.

In addition to showing support for the protest and donating money to cover legal bills and other expenses for Taylor, Arbery's and Floyd's families, the Grammy-winning rapper created a college fund for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter.

See photos and video of West below.

pic.twitter.com/X6paTKsAZe

— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) June 6, 2020

Not only did Kanye West donate $2 million, he also joined protests today in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/bTeFPFNAGz

— Talking Rap ✊🏾 (@talking_rap) June 5, 2020

Kanye West joins Protest in Chicago pic.twitter.com/174MwBuN8h

— Kollege Kidd (@KollegeKidd) June 5, 2020

“I am one with the people.” pic.twitter.com/1h2deUAov2

— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) June 5, 2020

Kanye at a protest on the South Side of Chicago tonight. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/8qZVOumvPa

— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) June 5, 2020

 

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BET Invites Donald Trump And Joe Biden To Appear In Juneteenth Special

BET wants Donald Trump and Joe Biden to participate in an upcoming forum set to air on Juneteenth, the network announced on Tuesday (June 2). The POTUS and presidential hopeful are invited to appear on an episode of, Justice Now: A BET News Special, where they will “directly address the concerns of Black America” and share their plans to move the country forward.

Trump and Biden would be interviewed separately for the “Presidential Forum.” They will be asked to “address a range of critical issues, including the institutional racism that has led to disparities” in housing, health, income, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system.

“We stand in steadfast solidarity with George Floyd’s family, the many victims of racist brutality, and those who are using their voices and platforms to challenge it,” said President of BET, Scott Mills. “There are no easy solutions for these systemic issues of racism, injustice, and trauma. BET is leveraging every platform and resource at our disposal to support and inform our community and help identify strategies and viable solutions in this time of crisis.”

Hosted by Marc Lamont Hill, the first installment of Justice Now, debuted on Tuesday night and featured conversations with George Floyd’s family, former NBA player Stephen Jackson (who was friends with Floyd), John Legend, T.I, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, activist Tamika Mallory, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Senator Cory Booker and more.

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