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Sean Bell's Fiancée Writes Open Letter to Trayvon Martin's Parents

Read Sean Bell fiancée's open letter to Trayvon Martin's parents below.

At the outset, I would like to stress that writing this letter has been a tedious and tasteless challenge for me. Yet again an innocent black man has been killed, in Trayvon's case, "walking while being black". I've constantly and consistently had to stop composing the letter because it brought back the horrific events that took place on the early morning of the day that was supposed to be the "happiest day of my life" my wedding day.

Dear Sybrina and Tracy:

As the great Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, "Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever -- the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history."

I must believe the above paragraph, it is what gets me through the day, especially when I look down at my two little girls. One of which doesn't know her father personally, although; when his picture comes on the television she yells out "Daddy". It is truly a living nightmare to see another innocent young man's life senselessly taken away over his demeanor. It leads me to one question only, how far have we really come since Dr. King's speech, on the steps of the Lincoln memorial in 1963?

This injustice continues to plague our country almost 5 decades later, but it must stop now. The question you might want to ask yourselves is how can I help to diminish these tragedies? The answer is you have already begun. Your voices are being heard all across this nation as peacemakers. People are standing up for Trayvon because they feel your pain, and understand that this could easily have been their son, husband, father, brother, cousin or nephew and we are out right tired of it. Please don't give up the fight for the pursuit of justice.

Over the past five and a half years, what I have learned throughout protest after protest, rallies, a criminal trial, the independent investigation of the federal Department of Justice, along with civil proceedings and the departmental charges hearing almost six years later of the police officers who killed my husband-to-be back in 2006, faith and endurance are the keys to everything. God will not forsake you, and through his grace and mercy you will find the strength to continue please remember this.

Trayvon's death is not in vain, and yes, I know these words may find you a bit too soon in your mourning process to clearly grasp my intentions.

Then again, five and a half years from now, we must not let anyone forget the terrible night your lives changed forever. And in the end, God will have his way. I pray for your strength and well being during this unyielding time.

Internalized Racism

I would hear all the time "the men who killed Sean weren't white", I'm sure you've been hearing the same thing re: George Zimmerman, I believe this is the exact definition of internalized racism. We along with other minorities are conditioned to believe that it's OK to kill us. This has been the primary means by which we have been forced to perpetuate and "agree" to our own oppression. It has been a major factor preventing us, as black people, from realizing and putting into action the tremendous intelligence and power which in reality we possess.

Sincerely your sister at heart,

Nicole Paultre Bell

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Jhene Aiko Taps Big Sean,Ty Dolla $ign, Ab-Soul And More For ‘Chilombo’ Album

After announcing the release date for Chilombo, Jhené Aiko unveiled the album's track list on Wednesday (Feb. 26). The project features appearances from Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign, Nas, John Legend, Ab-Soul and Aiko’s father, Dr. Chill.

Last month, Aiko released the track “P*$$ Fairy (OTW),” which will be featured on the LP. The album's other interesting song titles include, “Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E),” “Tryna Smoke,” “Born Tired,” “LOVE,” “Mourning Doves,” and the Sean-assisted, “None of Your Concern.”

 

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March 6th ✨ #CHILOMBO 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:17am PST

In a new interview with Essence, Aiko spoke on the “healing” properties of her music and discussed how she maintains privacy in the age of social media -- especially with all the chatter surrounding her relationship with Sean after the two seemingly broke up and got back together.

“The internet has made everyone aware of their opinion,” she said. “As many people as there are in the world, that’s how many opinions there are. If you let that many opinions affect your own opinion, and your own way of looking at things, you’re going to be so confused. I just love the feeling of taking that away from people; their need to have to say something or have to give their opinion because I personally have never been that way—well maybe when I was younger, or high or drunk.

“Whether it be something with me and Sean, or me and my daughter,” continued Aiko. “I share about one percent of my whole being with the internet. Even in my songs, that’s literally one moment that I’m talking about or when I felt that way. There’s so much more to my relationship with my [late] brother [Miyagi], or with my daughter, or with Sean. People hear a song like ‘Triggered’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, do we hate him now?’ In the grand scheme of things that was like a moment.”

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Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Spending 23 Years In Prison

A Kansas man, who spent more than half of his life in prison for a wrongful conviction, was awarded a $1.5 million settlement on Monday (Feb. 24). Lamonte McIntyre sued the state last year under a newly-implemented wrongful conviction statute.

“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man. That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried,” McIntyre’s lawyer, Cheryl A. Pilate, told CNN on Monday.

The settlement includes counseling, access to state-funded healthcare benefits for 2020 and 2021, and a tuition waiver to cover his post-secondary education up to 130 credit hours.

McIntyre was wrongly convicted in the 1994 murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He was just 17 years old at the time and served 8,583 days in prison before being released in 2017 at age 41.

“We are committed to faithfully administering the state’s mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings. We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.”

McIntyre is the third wrongfully convicted man in Kansas to be awarded a settlement after suing the state under the wrongful conviction law, which was enacted in 2018. Three additional lawsuits remain pending in “various stages of litigation.”

Since his release, the McIntyre has completed barber school and founded Miracle of Innocence, a non-profit organization helping the wrongfully convicted. McIntyre attends Penn Valley Metropolitan Community College where he is pursuing a business degree.

“I feel like a new person, I feel like I’m actually starting my life now,” he told ABC news affiliate KMBC.

See more on McIntyre’s story in the video above.

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Snoop Dogg Addresses Gayle King Comments On ‘Red Table Talk’

Snoop Dogg visited Red Table Talk to address his comments against Gayle King. In the episode, which aired on Wednesday (Feb. 26), the Doggfather explained his social media fury against King for bringing up Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations in an interview days after the his death.

“I let my emotions get the best of me,” Snoop confessed to hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I was frustrated on top of just venting.”

“I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe, but be respectful of Vanessa [Bryant] and those kids. That’s what the whole intent was, to protect that woman and them babies over there because they are still grieving. Let’s give them some respect.”

Tyler Perry, Diddy, and Van Jones reached out to Uncle Snoop after he posted the blistering video calling King out of her name. “They didn’t bash me, they was just like ‘brother, we got your back if you need ‘anything’, but we think that you shouldn’t have said it.”

Snoop also received a phone call from his mother who checked him for his words about King. After the talk, he reached out to King privately before recording a public apology. Red Table Talk also reached out to King to invite her to appear on the show.

Nothing but love 🙏🏾🌹✨ tune in to @RedTableTalk today https://t.co/Ev7XsZQu7f pic.twitter.com/myEUwMLIO1

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) February 26, 2020

Elsewhere in the interview, Snoop discussed the grief that he endured leading up to the deaths of Kobe and his daughter, Gigi, including the murder of Nipsey Hussle and the sudden death of his newborn grandson.

Click here to watch the full episode of Red Table Talk.

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