Ryan Coogler & Ava Duvernay Ryan Coogler & Ava Duvernay
attends the after party for the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Hollywood Blvd on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
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Ryan Coogler & Ava DuVernay To Hold Flint Benefit On Night Of Oscars

Blackout for Human Rights founders Ryan Coogler and Ava Duvernay are using their star power to bring awareness to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. 

While many celebrities of color planned to boycott The Academy Awards this weekend, it looks like Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay and a large group of Black Hollywood are lending their star power to Flint, Michigan for a special benefit which happens to take place on the same day.

Blackout for Human Rights, a group composed of celebrities against racial inequality and human rights violations, announced Tuesday (Feb. 23) #JUSTICEFORFLINT, a free concert devoted to supporting the people of Flint during the city's disturbing water crisis. The event will be hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress with performances and appearances from Janelle Monae, Andra Day, Empire'sJussie Smollett, Robert Glasper, Vic Mensa, Jon Conner and many more.

In addition to the performances, residents of Flint will also share their stories on how the water crisis has affected them and their families.

"The primary goal and mission behind Blackout is to utilize the collective voice and influence of our members to raise awareness and bring an end to the state-sponsored human rights violations happening across the country,” Creed director Coogler said. “With the #JusticeForFlint benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing. Through the livestream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint's youth."

Flint's water crisis began in 2014 but became a national emergency this year after the city's governor Rick Snyder announced children tested positive for high amounts of lead in their bloodstreams due to a change in water sources. The man-made disaster has affected African-Americans the most since they make up over 50 percent of the city's population.

#JUSTICEFORFLINT will take place at the Whiting Auditorium (1241 E. Kearsley St.) on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET. Revolt TV is also taking part in the event, where it will be live streamed. Viewers will also be able to donate to programs supporting residents throughout the show.

A number of celebrities have since donated to the cause like Big Sean, Cher, Meek Mill and Puff Daddy. DuVernay spoke about the need to speak out on events that often go unnoticed in lower-income communities.

"As artists and activists with a public platform, we at Blackout strive to shed light on issues of justice and dignity related to disenfranchised, underrepresented and marginalized communities," the Selma director said. "The poisoning that is happening in Flint is one of the most egregious human rights violations in American history. Blackout for Human Rights stands with all those affected by the water crisis, and is committed to supporting efforts on the ground to find sustainable, long-term solutions and, most importantly, achieve justice for the people of Flint."

Supporters are also able to send in donations to Flint victims by texting "justice" to 83224, courtesy of Revolution Message.

 

The event is open to the public. Find out more about #JUSTICEFORFLINT, here.

 

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Sevyn Streeter And Justine Skye Cover "The Boy Is Mine"

Originally delivered by Monica and Brandy, "The Boy Is Mine" shook up the late '90s with a powerful duet between two women fighting for one man, now over 20 years since the electric debut, the single has received the millennial treatment.

Performing at the 2019 Trumpet Awards in Atlanta on Saturday (Jan. 19), Justine Syke and Sevyn Streeter recreated the work of Darkchild producer, Rodney Jerkins, who created the track 21-years-ago. Streeter dominated Brandy's portion of the single, while Skye released her inner Monica.

Jerkins, who is credited for working with the likes of Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Destiny's Child and more, was honored with the Music Excellence Award during Saturday’s ceremony. The award ceremony will air Feb. 11 on Bounce TV. T.I., MC Lyte, and Dapper Dan are among other powerful figures in music to be honored during this celebration.

Check out the clip of Sevyn Streeter and Justine Skye below.

Justine Skye And Sevyn covered the boy is mine live pic.twitter.com/3rFQopm61s

— Lethal Homo ❄️ (@LordeCali) January 21, 2019

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J. Cole performs during the From Dust To Gold preview party at the Apex Social Club at Palms Casino Resort on May 17, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Palms Casino Resort

J. Cole Rests Instagram, Possibly Teases New Music

Fans have been watching J.Cole's every move since his infamous Dreamville-Revengers recording sessions in Atlanta last week. Now that the bars are laid down, the creative is talking his sh*t on social media. Well, almost.

It appears the "ATM" rapper wiped his barely-used Instagram account clean and posted a graphic with the words, "I'm counting my bullets." While Cole doesn't engage on the platform, he was seen in the form of in-studio photographs by his team and over 100 collaborators who were in attendance of the Dreamville-Revengers recording sessions.

But as quickly as it appeared on Monday (Jan. 20), it was also deleted from his account.

Cole confirmed the conclusion of the sessions last week that included elite peers like T.I., Ludacris and Akon in addition to the game's most promising acts like Childish Major, Dreezy, Smino and R&B/jazz maestro  Masego. Dreamville members like Ari Lennox, J.I.D., Bas and EarthGang were also in attendance.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I went to #ROTD3 and all I got was these really cool ass photos ! 😂@preme.xyz #prememagazine #prememag

A post shared by Anthony Supreme (@anthony_supreme) on Jan 17, 2019 at 5:23pm PST

The Revengers sessions are done thank you to every artist and producer that came through. I love y’all, that shit was beautiful. Next step, finish the songs and let the 🌎 feel em.

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) January 17, 2019

J. Cole's manager and Dreamville Records president Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad teased new music from the rapper last week and promised that new music was coming sooner than later.

YOOOOOOO @KingOfQueenz y’all need to drop this shit already man #ROTD3 @JColeNC pic.twitter.com/AgOh1yfLyc

— Lionel🧸 (@Elite_Lionel) January 18, 2019

I got you when it’s finished 🙏🏿 I’m tryna put it together #Revenge https://t.co/NXrpUVv7Tq

— Ibrahim H. (@KingOfQueenz) January 18, 2019

This is sure to be another banner year for a Cole as his breakout mixtape The Warm Up, turns ten this year.

Seems like all we can do now is sit and wait.

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Chicago Man Has Wrongful Murder Conviction Overturned After Serving 17 Years

A Chicago man who accused a retired cop of framing him for a murder he didn't commit has finally had the conviction overturned after spending 17 years in prison.

According to Buzzfeed News, Geraldo Iglesias was released from prison in 2010 for the 1993 murder of Monica Roman, who was shot and killed while sitting inside her car in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. However, Iglesias spent the last nine years fighting to have the conviction removed from his record because it prohibited his ability to get a job or find housing.

Iglesias is the 10th man to have a conviction overturned after being investigated by Reynaldo Guevara. Buzzfeed invested the former detective and found 50 men accused him of framing them for murders they allege they didn't commit.

At Iglesias' 1995 sentencing, he spoke directly to the victim's family and expressed his condolences while maintaining his innocence.

"I would like to say that I apologize and I’m sorry for what happened to the young lady and I send my condolences to the family but I would like to say I had nothing to do with it and the Lord knows I had nothing to do with it.”

Iglesias' conviction was sealed on the testimony of a jailhouse informant Francisco Vicente who alleged Islesias confessed to him about killing Roman. Vicente said Iglesias said, "I shot the bitch in the head.”

In the past Guevara and his partner, Ernest Halvorsen have used the 5th Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination. Buzzfeed reports at least 17 defendants who allege Guevara framed them are still behind bars.

 

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