U.S. Senate Apologizes For Failure To Enact Anti-Lynching Legislation
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Google Launches Interactive Map Of U.S. Lynchings

"We want to change how we think about this era in America."

The racial justice group that published Lynchings in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror two years ago today collaborates with Google to bring us an interactive digital platform that fuses comprehensive data and varied personal stories – visually and orally – so that people can explore our nation's dark history of lynching.

According to USA Today, the goal is to spark a national dialogue about a subject that is too rarely discussed yet is crucial to understanding racism today, says Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of best-selling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

He later adds: "We want to change how we think about this era in America."

The website centers a map of 4,300 lynchings in 20 states and the voices of people who have been affected by lynching. The hub is complete with a series of oral histories, a documentary and call for the dismantling of the prison industrial complex through the Equal Justice Initiative.

For more information, visit here.

 

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Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels' and a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, speaks to the media after being arrested for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million on March 25, 2019 in New York City. The counts against Avenatti are to include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more. Avenatti is expected to answer to the charges later Monday.(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Michael Avenatti's Extortion Scandal Might Help R. Kelly Avoid Criminal Case

R. Kelly might evade another sexual misconduct trial again thanks to Michael Avenatti's extortion case.

The prosecutor, who has claimed to have multiple tapes of the singer engaging in sexual acts with underage girls, was indicted Monday (March 25) on a wire fraud scheme against Nike. The 48-year-old reportedly threatened to expose the company for paying college basketball players and their families. Avenatti tried to convince Nike to hire him to launch an internal investigation for $15 to $25 million. Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was also named as a co-conspirator.

The very messy case has allowed R. Kelly's legal team to question how Avenatti retrieved the tapes for his case against the singer. Speaking to TMZ Tuesday (March 26), Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg believes Avenatti's credibility is shot. The unidentified man who was handed the tape over to Avenatti reportedly had a history with Kelly–he recently shared with prosecutors how he was paid upwards of a million dollars by Kelly's camp to keep the tape from the public.

Greenberg believes Avenatti might've used unlawful practices to get his hands on the tape. This might mean the troublesome case could be thrown out thanks to Avenatti's behavior.

This hasn't stopped the prosecutor from his battle against Nike. After he was released from police custody Monday, Avenatti took to Twitter to drop names in the alleged Nike funneling scandal and claimed the company orchestrated his arrest as a distraction. “We never attempted to extort Nike & when the evidence is disclosed, the public will learn the truth about Nike’s crime & coverup,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Nike said in a statement they have been cooperated with officials in the NCAA investigation for over a year.

Either way, the rights and justices for black girls have been overshadowed by greed and corruption.

This hasn't affected Geragos' latest client Jussie Smollett. It was reported this morning that all charges against the Empire actor in relation to his alleged staged attack have been dropped.

See Twitter reactions from Avenatti's case below.

https://twitter.com/KayCTee/status/1110242132646903808

So uhhh, y'all couldn't tell/didn't realize #MichaelAvenatti was an "ain't sh**" mofo? pic.twitter.com/YsZDptDDYQ

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

And to think--some folks ACTUALLY thought #MichaelAvenatti cared about the young women attached to the R. Kelly case... pic.twitter.com/Q6H2NWxU4x

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

https://twitter.com/Kamino89/status/1110257324449562625

Mark Garagos is scum. He represented Michael Jackson, wife killer Scott Peterson and Cameron Brown, who was accused of killing his 4 y/o daughter by throwing her off a cliff. https://t.co/xUYLU1Pasc

— Nasty Woman (@HandToForehead) March 25, 2019

OPPSCNN - Having a really bad dayAvenatti - Having a REALLY bad day

Now, Jussie Smollett is having a really bad day.Mark Garagos co-conspirator w/Michael Avenatti.

Garagos works for CNN AND Jussie Smollett.

Celebs are awfully quiet today.Trump - Having a great day as POTUS https://t.co/s7paMnUFpj

— Charlene Worley (@cworley2007) March 25, 2019

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Barbados' 2019 Reggae Festival To Feature Buju Banton, Barrington Levy And More

On the heels of its 15th installment, Barbados is gearing up for the return of its Reggae Festival from April 27-30. The concert will be attended by Splash Band, Judy Boucher, Barrington Levy, plus more prominent voices in the genre.

To kick-off the festivities, Buju Banton will hit the stage on April 27 at Kensington Oval. According to a press release, the last time the "Hills And Valleys" artist performed in Barbados was at the country's 2006 edition of the same festival. Artists set to perform as well include Spragga Benz, Wayne Wonder and more.

On day two (April 28), Pirates Cove will serve as a temporary performing space for another iconic musician, Sizzla. Busy Signal will also rock the mic ahead of the festival's finale at Kensington Oval. The location will be home to the Vintage Reggae Show and Dance (April 30), that'll host performances by Admiral Tibet, George Nooks, and the pioneering Barrington Levy.

Tickets for the event are available here.

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All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Have Been Dropped

All of the charges against Jussie Smollett, who claims that he was attacked by two Trump supporters for being black and gay, have been dropped. A statement from the Empire star's attorneys confirms the news.

"Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him," Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said. "Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion."

Smollett was arrested in February for allegations that he falsified a police report, causing many to believe that he made the entire thing up. The Chicago Police stood by their belief, and Smollett pleaded not guilty to the 16 felony counts against him. Two men connected to Smollett said they were allegedly paid by the actor to pretend they were attacking him, and that the actor orchestrated the scene.

"Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career," the statement continues.

A statement from Smollett's family says "This morning truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared). The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time."

The Chicago Police Department has not commented on the reports.

BREAKING: Charges to be dropped and record wiped clean in the case involving embattled “Empire” actor Jussie Smollet, Jussie Smollett’s attorneys confirm. https://t.co/FKZXOYi35O pic.twitter.com/6iVeCkrIy8

— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 26, 2019

😉 see y’all Wednesday. #empire #empirefox pic.twitter.com/jQUtsHcQBF

— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) March 26, 2019

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