Amiri Baraka recites poetry at Howard University

N.J. Poet Laureate And Author, Amiri Baraka, Dead At Age 79

After being placed in Beth Israel Medical Center’s ICU in December, activist Amiri Baraka died today (Jan. 9) from complications following a surgery, NJ.com reports.

Luis Quintana, Mayor of Newark, said he went to visit the “Blues People” author in the hospital two weeks ago. "He was more than poet he was a leader in his own right. He's going to be missed and our condolences go out to his family today."

The literary figure is known for his controversial passages such as “Somebody Blew Up America,” “The Lullabye of Avon Avenue,” and his 1964 poetic book, “Dead Lecturer.” Baraka was also co-founder of the pivotal Black Arts movement, dating back to the 1960s.

Photo Credit: Stacy-Ann Ellis

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Jean states he signed an agreement with the sisters' father, Leonard Francois, in March 2012 after the latter reportedly swapped out unaffordable coaching payments for a contract that would put the aforementioned percentage of money as it pertains to tennis into Jean's account indefinitely.

In a statement on the matter, Osaka's attorney Alex Spiro claims this lawsuit holds no weight. "While it comes as no surprise that Naomi's meteoric rise as an international icon and inspiration would lead to some false claim, this silly, imaginary contract that Naomi never saw or signed—which purports to give away part of herself at the age of 14—is particularly absurd," Spiro said as noted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Sun-Sentinel's coverage of the occurrence also outlines past instances where Osaka's father had allegedly questionable agreements with past coaches. Money seemed to be a central factor. After Osaka won the Australian Open earlier this year, she parted ways with coach Sascha Bajin and hired Jermaine Jenkins, who used to work with Venus Williams.

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R. Kelly Sends Birthday Video To Daughter Through Instagram

During his viral interview with Gayle King earlier this month, R. Kelly tearfully revealed that he has no relationship with his three children. But possibly in an attempt to reestablish that connection with at least one of them, the R&B singer sent an Instagram video message wishing his daughter a happy birthday on Wednesday (Mar. 20).

In the video, Kelly cheerfully sang a soulful rendition of "The Happy Birthday Song," followed by a special message to his daughter. "Happy Birthday, baby. Daddy loves you. I love you. No matter what, I love you so much," he said.

Ordinarily, there wouldn't be anything newsworthy about a father sending love to his daughter on her birthday, but the video comes at a very unique time. Kelly recently spent several days in jail for an outstanding balance in back child support. The court determined that he owed his ex-wife Drea Kelly nearly $200,000 in child support payments that covered the kids' education, health and living expenses.

Additionally, the video message arrives nearly three months after Joann – also known as Buku Abi – released a lengthy statement in response to her father's ongoing sexual abuse case. She referred to her father as a "monster" and alluded to unpleasant interactions with him when she was a child. "I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt," she wrote in the Jan. 2019 message. "The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for peace of mind."

Watch R. Kelly's video message below.

 

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Family for life 🎹🎤🙏🏽 🎂

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on Mar 19, 2019 at 9:12pm PDT

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Jay-z's 'Blueprint' Album To Be Inducted Into The Library Of Congress

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The new honor comes nearly two years after Jigga was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2017. The Brooklyn native will be joining an elite bunch who were previously inducted into the Library of Congress, including the Jackson 5, John Coltrane, and David Bowie.

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