raheem

Raheem DeVaughn Speaks On Being Arrested At 'Occupy DC'

The "Occupy" movement that has taken place over the past month continues to garner the support of citizens and celebrities alike, creating moments of history within public areas throughout the country. 

This past Sunday, R&B singer/radio show host Raheem DeVaughn and political activist Dr. Cornel West along with 19 protestors were arrested and held overnight for demonstrating against social and economic inequality on the steps of the Supreme Court House building in Washington D.C. The demonstration coincided with the dedication ceremony of the Dr. Martin Luther King memorial held on the National Mall.

"It was humbling, rewarding, historic," DeVaughn told VIBE about participating in Sunday's protests. The R&B artist and Dr. West had conducted a peaceful protest after the activist had given a speech on Freedom Plaza. The two met in 2007 at the BET Honors event during a tribute to West.  West was holding a sign that read "Poverty Is The Greatest Violence Of All" which was considered illegal on the Supreme Court steps. 

The inmates that DeVaughn met while being held overnight said they were thankful to the protestors and artists rallying on their behalf. He feels that music gives him the responsibility to use his art as a public platform for change.

"I think Sunday solidified that once again, you cant just talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk," DeVaughn said. "It ain't always about the red carpet look 'cause trust me there's nothing red carpet about being locked up."

The Grammy-award nominated artist is no stranger to social involvement, having his music speak on current events, such as his Grammy-award nominatedThe Love and War MasterPeace album from 2010. The soul singer has always been aware of current events and expressing them in his music.

"I always been inspired and aspire to inspire through the music, I feel like I've always made the soundtrack to a movement," DeVaughn said. "There are times I question, you know, is anybody even listening, does anybody even care?"

Radio has been another outlet for the singer to speak out about social issues. On his show The Raheem DeVaughn Internet Radio Show that broadcasts on Blis.fm, DeVaughn weighs in on a variety of topics from civil rights to health issues.

He is also working on a project in collaboration with Kenny Dope along with his fourth album A Place Called Loveland that will primarily deal with love and relationships.

When asked about the transition from socially conscious artist to soul singer, DeVaughn said it's not difficult. "I'm a lover by nature, a lover by heart, so I embrace the balance of both."

DeVaughn hopes that his involvement in the protests and his music inspires his peers, "brothers and sisters" to become more aware of the events occurring not just at home, but worldwide. 

"If I'm not representing the people with my music, for the goodwill of the Creator," said DeVaughn. "It's all in vain at the end of the day." —Adelle Platon 

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Amber Guyger Appeals Murder Conviction In Botham Jean Case

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has appealed her murder conviction this week in an effort to receive a shorter sentence, the Star-Telegram reported on Friday (Aug. 7). Guyger is currently serving a 10-year-sentence for fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his apartment in 2018.

Attorneys for Guyger claim that there was insufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The legal documents reportedly want the murder conviction tossed, or changed to criminally negligent homicide.

“I feel like she received a slap on the wrist for taking my brother’s life,” Botham Jean’s sister Allis Findley. “This tells me that she feels like she didn’t do anything wrong. She did not step on my brother’s toe. She took his life.”

Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1. She maintains that she entered Jean’s apartment believing that it was her own. Guyger testified that she shot Jean believing that he was an intruder.

“She should have received life, so she should take her 10 years in prison and shut up,” added Findley. “If the court was to do this it would prove that, yes, there is systematic racism and white privilege does prevail over Black life. I’m hoping this appeal gets thrown out and her conviction holds. I’m hoping they overturn the 10 years and give her life instead.”

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Oprah Winfrey Puts Up 26 Billboards Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

Oprah Winfrey and the team at O, The Oprah Magazine, erected 26 billboards demanding the arrest of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. The billboards went up all around Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday (Aug. 6).

“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested an charged,” the billboards reads. The billboard encourages people to visit UntilFreedom.com (the organization co-founded by Tamika D. Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angela Pintom and Linda Sarsoir) and includes a quote from Oprah, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”

🚨Billboard Alert🚨

26 billboards - for every year of life of #BreonnaTaylor erected in Louisville, KY.

Kentucky will not forget her name. We will get justice for Breonna. pic.twitter.com/rOM2bhVdAy

— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) August 6, 2020

A drawing of Taylor also covers the Sept. 2020 edition of O Magazine, marking the first time that Winfrey wasn’t the publication’s covergirl. Winfrey decided to use the magazine’s 20th anniversary cover to amplify Taylor’s story.

On March 13, Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot to death by former and current Louisville police officers Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. None of them have been charged in her murder.

“She was just like me. She was just like you,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often.

“The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”

See the cover below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:32am PDT

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Watch The Moment T.I. Learns He’s Going To Be A Grandfather

Congratulations are in order for T.I.’s stepdaughter, Zonnique. The singer is expecting her first child with boyfriend and rapper, Bandhunta Izzy (a.k.a Isreal James).

Zonnique, who will be welcoming a daughter with Izzy, surprised Tip with the baby news during an episode of her Fox Soul show The Mix on Wednesday (Aug. 6).

Needless to say, Tip was shocked. So much so, that it took him a minute to actually process the announcement, even after his wife, Tiny, confirmed that they weren’t pranking him.

Zonnique broke the pregnancy news to PEOPLE earlier in the week, and opened up about the drawbacks of being pregnant during a pandemic.  “It really sucks being pregnant during the coronavirus,” she admitted. “At first, I'm like, 'This is the perfect time, like everybody is locked in. I don't have to worry about going out. So if I want to hide it for however long, I can hide.'

“But when it comes to going to doctor's appointments, I go to all of them by myself. I ask every single time, 'Can I bring my boyfriend?' And they're like, 'No, only you can come.' That's been the worst part," she added.

“I'm hoping by the time I'm ready to have the baby it will be over with. But I'm sure it won't be, so I'll be in there with one person, most likely. I'm just trying not to get my hopes too high anymore.”

Peep the video below to see Tip's hilarious reaction to learning that he's going to be a grandfather.

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