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The First Lady Is Right--The White House Was Built By Slaves

The owners of African-American slaves were reportedly paid for the work. 

First Lady Michelle Obama brought the house down and inspired plenty of Instagram quotes during her speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. One moment, in particular, caught the attention of many when Mrs. Obama stated the painful reality of living in the White House.

"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves," she said Monday evening (July 26). "And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States. So, don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on Earth."

The moment was a reminder of America's bittersweet history, but some critics believed the statement was political filler. Because history is important, here are some deets on the creation of the White House. In 1792, the White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban. Hoban's work in South Carolina was inspiring to President George Washington, who asked him to take part in a design competition for the project.

Construction began on October 13, 1792. After plans for workers from Europe to build the building fell through, free and enslaved African-Americans cut stone in Aquia, Va. for it, the New York Times reports. Slaves also made the main residence and the foundations for the White House. The government didn't own slaves, but a payroll has been discovered showing payments to slave owners.

In addition to free and enslaved African-Americans building the country's most beloved building, Scottish immigrants and artisans from Virgina also worked on the White House. The information might not be in the history books, but it was shared on the now defunct White House Historical Association’s website. The story was also told in Jesse J. Holland's 2014 book, The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House. In an interview with The Smithsonian, the Associated Press writer shared some other the things he found during his research.

"One of the things that surprised me is how much information was written about these slaves without calling them slaves," he explained. "They were called servants, they were staff— but they were slaves. Andrew Jackson’s horse racing operation included slave jockeys. There have been things written about Andrew Jackson and horses and jockeys, but not one mentioned the word “slaves.” They were called employees in all the records. So, it’s there, once you know the words to look for. I was also surprised with how much time the presidents spent talking about their slaves in those same code words. When you start reading memoirs, ledgers, these people show up again and again and again, but they are never actually called slaves."

This is also wasn't the first time the First Lady shared the painful truth. Back in June during her commencement address at the City College of New York, Obama used the same line.

Of course, there were a few who still doubt the First Lady. A few of her biggest supporters and even a few critics backed her up.

You can check out FLOTUS' speech, in full, below.

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J. Cole Reveals Details For 2nd Annual Dreamville Festival

It’s going to be a “legendary” 2020 for Dreamville fans. J. Cole’s second annual Dreamville Festival will return to Raleigh, North Carolina next year, the Grammy-nominated rapper announced on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec. 10).

The 2020 Dreamville Festival goes down on April 4, at Dix Park. The lineup, which features Dreamville artists and more, will be revealed at a later date.

Last year’s Dreamville Festival welcomed 40,000 people, according to The News & Observer. Performers included Ari Lennox, Bas, Earth Gang, SZA, Big Sean, Rapsody, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and 6LACK.

The Dreamville Festival will benefit Cole’s Dreamville Foundation and Dix Park Conservancy. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (Dec. 11) at 12 p.m. EST via dreamville.com.

Besides the festival announcement, Cole celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Forrest Hills Drive album on Monday (Dec. 9). “A day late but. Forest Hills Drive just turnt [sic] 5 years old,” he tweeted. “I feel big big gratitude for the year spent making it and for all the love shown to it. S**t crazy thank you God.”

 

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Joyner Lucas Blames Juice WRLD’s Death On Rappers Who Glorify Drug Use

Joyner Lucas blames Juice WRLD’s death on fellow rappers who glorify drug use. Lucas tweeted his thoughts about Juice WRLD's passing on Monday (Dec. 9) writing in part, “He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool.”

Lucas added, “[I’m] blaming [ya’ll] n**gaz for this s**t. All that lean and pills n**gaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now? RIP @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon.”

Juice wrld was 21. He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool. Im blaming Yal niggaz for this shit. 🤦🏽‍♂️ all that lean and pills niggaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now?Rip @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 9, 2019

Lucas also shared a Juice WRLD interview where the Chicago native shares how Future’s music inspired him to start using drugs at 12 years old.

Rip young legend... To my generation, we gotta be accountable for the shit we glorify. Difference between juice & other niggaz is juice wasn’t proud of it. he talked about being ashamed of using. That’s art. I’m not mad at it. I’m mad hip hop for steering him in that direction. pic.twitter.com/MzYCAsCg7a

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 10, 2019

Juice WRLD, whose birth name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure upon at Chicago’s Midway airport last Sunday (Dec. 8.). The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer was headed back home to Chicago after working over the Thanksgiving holiday, and celebrating one of the “best birthdays” ever last week.

Although an initial autopsy on the rapper’s body came back inconclusive, Juice WRLD reportedly swallowed several prescription pills as federal agents were confiscating drugs and weapons from the suitcases on the private plane that he was on, along with his entourage and girlfriend. According to the Chicago Tribune, Juice WRLD began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest at the airport. His girlfriend told authorities that he had a “drug problem” and had taken the painkiller Percocet. He was given a Narcam shot, which is administered in the case of an overdose, but pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities found dozens of vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition in the bags on the plane. Two of Juice WRLD’s bodyguards were arrested at the scene for misdemeanor weapons and drug possession.

Juice WRLD was open about his battle with addiction to prescription pills and codeine, both in his music and beyond. Over the summer, he promised to get help for his drug habit in a tweet to his girlfriend. In addition to battling his sobriety, the recording artist was mourning the loss of his father who died earlier in the year.

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Lauren London Pays Homage To Nipsey Hussle In "Forever Stronger" PUMA Campaign

Lauren London is teaming with PUMA as she steps into next chapter in her journey.  London debuted “Forever Stronger” on Tuesday (Dec. 10), a visual campaign paying homage to her late boyfriend, Nipsey Hussle, and his indelible love for Los Angeles.

The 35-year-old actress created the emotional piece, which is described as a “creative vision Lauren wanted to bring to life to signify the continuation of her marathon alongside PUMA.”

Set around the streets of Los Angeles, London narrates the visual with a poem by Samantha Smith. “We are flowing, we are growing, we are open like the red sea,” reads one passage of the poem. “We walk through with confident uncertainty. We kneel here. We heal here. We open our hearts to the heavens. We use our tears to cleanse our canvas. The fear floods us, the love is electric.”

“Pain is the light,” the poem continues. “Pain is insight. The body hurts, but the spirit grows. The flesh is starving, while wisdom overflows. I got a question only Lord knows: does life break us twice?”

The campaign was directed by Danny Williams (Top Shelf Junior), edited by Matt Tolkin and produced by AJR Films. The musical score comes courtesy of Rance of 1500 or Nothin.'

PUMA previously collaborated with Hussle on capsule collection that was posthumously released in September. The collection sold out within 24 hours.

Watch London’s “Forever Stronger” campaign below.

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