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Teenager Bresha Meadows Detained For Reportedly Murdering Her Allegedly Abusive Father

Are black women and girls allowed to defend themselves?

14-year-old Bresha Meadows is in the fight of her life.

The teen, who previously had experience with troubling grades, only later to run away from home twice, reportedly telling her relatives that she feared for her life, due to an abusive father. Meadows told them that he was beating her mother, walked around with a gun in the house to intimidate her and her siblings, and threatened to kill the family. Two months later, Bresha shot her father, Jonathan Meadows, in the head with his gun.

According to the Huffington Post, family members have confessed that Jonathan was indeed a "physically and verbally abusive man who terrorized his family and controlled his wife's every move."

Brandi Meadows, Bresha's mother, filed a civil domestic violence protection order against him, writing, "In the 17 years of our marriage, he has cut me, broken my ribs, fingers, the blood vessels in my hand, my mouth, blackened my eyes. If he finds me, I am 100 percent sure he will kill me and the children."

The protection order was dismissed at her request and the couple stayed together.

While Jonathan's family had denied claims of abuse, Bresha's mother calls her a hero, thankful for the sacrifice she made to end the violence in the family. "She is my hero. I wasn't strong enough to get out and she helped us all."

The Bresha Meadows Freedom Campaign began a petition to raise awareness of her case, which has garnered 6,000 signatures.

"The criminal punishment system does not view black children as children. In 2006, black youth represented 43 percent of all youth detained in the US juvenile system. Black youth are disproportionately arrested and face a 40 percent higher chance of pre-trial detention than white youth," the petition states."White youth are 50 percent more likely than black youth to be offered alternatives to incarceration. Black youth are disproportionately transferred to the adult system where they also face aggressive prosecution. In 2002, black youth were sent to adult prison at nine times the rate of white youth."

"If Bresha is tried as a youth, she risks rampant abuses in the juvenile system, including a high chance of isolation in solitary confinement. If Bresha is tried as an adult, she risks direct transfer to an adult prison in Ohio," the petition continues. "Young people incarcerated in adult prisons face horrifying rates of sexual and physical violence. If convicted as an adult, she faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison. Even if Bresha is acquitted of all charges, once she’s prosecuted as an adult, any future charges will track her into the adult system."

The case of Bresha Meadows echoes the cases of other black women who have fought back against physical violence and promptly punished for it. Black transgender woman CeCe McDonald was sentenced to 41 months in prison after she stabbed a man for hurling racist, homophobic, and transphobic epithets to her and her friends. Renata Hill, a black queer woman, was convicted after stabbing a street attacker with a kitchen knife. Perhaps the most recent until Meadow's case was that of Marissa Alexander, a black woman living in Florida sentenced to prison after firing warning shots at a man who abused her.

"Girls and women incarcerated for actions taken in self-defense are disproportionately black," the campaign argues. "84 percent of girls incarcerated in the US experience family-based violence prior to being criminalized. Three women are killed per day in the US by a current or former partner, and 75 percent of these women are killed within hours, days or weeks after attempting to escape the abuse."

Since word of Bresha's case has hit social media, a firestorm of support has been cast towards the teen and attention towards black women and the criminal justice system.

"[Support] has been coming literally from across the globe," her lawyer, Ian Friedman, tells Democracy Now. "My office has just been flooded with mail and emails and calls from people, you know, that want her to know that she’s being supported and prayed for. Gifts are being sent. Even a group of women sent a big box of painted rocks to my office, which was very nice, you know, with little sayings of encouragement. The petition that we received yesterday, now over 7,000 people who are calling for Bresha’s release. So, it really is incredible."

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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