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White Artist Slammed Over Emmett Till "Open Casket" Painting

“I feel like she doesn’t have the privilege to speak for black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family.”

A painting of Emmett Till caught attention for all the wrong reasons at the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In "Open Casket," Brooklyn-based artist Dana Schutz depicts the aftermath of the African-American teen's death at the hands of two white lynchers after he was falsely accused of harassing a white woman in Mississippi back in 1955.

Schutz – a white woman herself – has since been accused of exploiting and profiting off of black suffering. According to The Huffington Post, a group of protesters blocked the image of Till's mutilated face from public view on the Biennial's opening day (March 17), including African-American artist Parker Bright whose shirt bore the words "Black Death Spectacle."

“I feel like she doesn’t have the privilege to speak for black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family,” he said on Facebook Live.

British-born black artist and writer Hannah Black has also taken issue with the artwork. “The subject matter is not Schutz’s,” she wrote in an open letter. “White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.”

According to The New York Times, Schutz has no intention of selling the piece. “I don’t know what it is like to be black in America but I do know what it is like to be a mother. Emmett was Mamie Till’s only son. The thought of anything happening to your child is beyond comprehension. Their pain is your pain. My engagement with this image was through empathy with his mother,” she said

She added, “Art can be a space for empathy, a vehicle for connection. I don’t believe that people can ever really know what it is like to be someone else (I will never know the fear that black parents may have) but neither are we all completely unknowable.”

In a statement to Artnet News, Whitney Biennial curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks insist they wanted to highlight "the importance of this extremely consequential and solemn image in American and African American history and the history of race relations in this country," but that hasn't assuaged the damage already done.

hey, heads up - the black community can express it's own history, plight and injustice with out the disservice of non black artists who falsify purpose and lack message. #danaschultz expressing her white shame by using emmett till as subject matter, using the sacrifice of a black child murdered on a false claim is dana re enacting the same white privilege that essentially murdered emmett. this shows a disregard for the community and a self serving expression with no true root or purpose in subject matter. we have abundant talent, purpose, perspective, voice and a light that shines in the darkest of days. black pain and injustice is not a subject non black "artists" have privilege to dabble in whatsoever. shame on #danaschutz and #thewhitney for showing problematic work. boycott museums that hire lame curators. brilliant letter by #hannahblack , kudos to all artists who co signed and protestors doing work. destroy the painting, thanks.

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Erykah Badu Denies Producers Contacted Her For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

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It all started when a fan pointed out that Badu and R. Kelly worked with one another years ago, which is why she allegedly chose not to be apart of the docuseries. Erykah rejected that comment, stating that she had never worked with him on music or declined to appear in the documentary.

Hampton stepped in by claiming that a producer attempted to contact Badu, but did not receive a response. "I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, 'No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly' & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards," dream tweeted.

Badu quickly responded: No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple."

Badu and hampton's latest back and forth comes only days after the neo-soul artist was criticized for seemingly defending R. Kelly amid his sexual abuse allegations at a concert in Chicago. She later clarified her remarks about the disgraced singer, saying that she did not approve of his actions, but believed he was deserving of love and assistance.

Check out Badu and hampton's exchange below.

I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, "No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly" & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards. https://t.co/yYBvP8bBIj

— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 22, 2019

No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple. https://t.co/cgBcpPePMI

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 23, 2019

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Judge Removes Tekashi 6ix9ine's Lawyer From Racketeering Case

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The presiding Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled that the 6ix9ine's lawyer, Lance Lazarro, would have to be removed from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. Lazarro reportedly represented Tekashi's co-defendants, Faheem "Crippy" Walter and Kifano "Shotti" Jordan before representing 6ix9ine in his racketeering case.

During the conference, Engelmayer stated that he was upset that Lazarro had not disclosed his relationship with the co-defendants previously. Lazarro reportedly represented Walter for a gang assault charge in Oct. 2018 and Jordan for numerous charges in 2009 and 2015. He explained that he didn't think the matter was important to mention.  Judge Engelmayer responded by noting that it wasn't the attorney's place to determine whether his previous work was significant.

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As previously reported, the "Stoopid" artist, Walter, and Jordan are awaiting trial for a racketeering case. Tekashi pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in Nov. 2018. If convicted, he could face a life sentence in prison. His trial date is slated to begin on Sept. 4.

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Drake And Odell Backham Jr. Sued For Orchestrating Violent Attack On Man

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When the victim entered the bathroom, he was attack by Benjima and Drake and Beckham's friends. The whole fight was caught on video, showing Benjima throwing the first punch at Sipes. Drake and OBJ are also seen on camera watching from a distance.

Sipes reportedly filed a police report following the incident, but dropped it shortly after. He is suing OBJ, Drake, Delilah and others other for an undisclosed amount.

Check out footage from the attack below.

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