Rally Protesting UNC's Confederate Era Monument "Silent Sam" Held On Campus
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Memphis Shifts Momentum With Removal Of Confederate Statues

“It’s worth remembering that this is another step in a years-long journey…”

“It’s worth remembering that this is another step in a years-long journey…” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland stated after announcing that the city has removed two Confederate monuments, ABC News reports.

The statues of Confederate General/Klansman, Nathan Bedford Forrest, (Health and Sciences Park) and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, (Memphis Park) were removed Wednesday (Dec. 20), to much relief as their expulsion turned into somewhat of a dramatic series.

Support for their removal first began to rise following the events of Charlottesville, Virginia – a deadly, white supremacist rally that stemmed from the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue – yet due to the state’s Confederate history, Tennessee denied the city’s bid to remove the statues, which forced Wednesday’s verdict.

In order to rid Memphis of the monuments, the city had to sell the parks that contained them. This resulted in the city council voting unanimously to sell the two parks to Memphis Greenspace, Inc. for just $1,000 each, and the private entity promptly removed the controversial monuments.

However, this democratic landslide is not indicative of the city’s collective feelings. Despite Strickland tweeting his gratitude surrounding yesterday’s events, certain organizations such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans saw the removal as illegal.

In an interview with Memphis’ WREG, a member of the group, Lee Millar, expressed his displeasure with the city government’s actions describing the sale as, “a deliberate attempt to avoid the state law and the city is breaking the law.”

Yet, despite sentiments similar to Millar’s, the removing of the Confederate statues can be seen as a promotion of progress for a city with a controversial racial history. A projection that Strickland seems to be using the dismantling of these monuments to embrace.

“History is being made in Memphis now," he stated during a press conference Wednesday night. “These statues no longer represent who we are as a modern diverse city with momentum.”

If this “momentum” is continued with acts similar to Wednesday's, Memphis can shift its image in the eye of black America. No longer will it be seen for its injustices, like the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., rather viewed as an inviting metropolis. And as a city with one of the largest African-American populations, this should be a change that Memphis is eager to make.

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Watch Viola Davis And Chadwick Boseman In Trailer For ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The two-minute clip released on Monday (Oct. 19), gives viewers a sneak peek at Chadwick Boseman’s final film role. The 43-year-old actor portrays the ambitious and outspoken trumpet player, Levee.

Viola Davis transforms into Ma Rainey in the Denzel Washington-produced film, centered around a 1927 Chicago recording sessions of “Mother of the Blues.”

Speaking during Monday’s press preview, Davis praised Boseman’s passion and commitment to his art. “Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby. Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was… he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch,” said Davis.

“We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready,” she added. “ They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He [Boseman] loved it. He demanded it. He demanded it in every single way.”

The film, Davis said, gives a window into “what Black life was like” in the '20s and ”how it was informing our relationships.”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.Check above for the trailer.

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Rihanna, Big Sean, Jidenna And More Speak Out Against Violence In Nigeria

Rihanna, Big Sean, Jidenna and more recording artists are using their social media platforms to speak out against the ongoing violence in Nigeria in wake of the #EndSARS movement.

“I can’t bare to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planets! It’s such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by,” Rihanna wrote on Tuesday (Oct. 20). “My heart is broken for Nigeria man!!! It is unbearable to watch! I’m so proud of your strength and not letting up on the fight for what’s rights!”

#ENDSARS 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/59lrs8JnDA

— Rihanna (@rihanna) October 20, 2020

Several demonstrators were killed protesting against police brutality, while others were left injured after soldiers opened fire at a protest site in the Lekki district of Lagos on Tuesday (Oct. 20). One witness said that soldiers “started firing ammunition toward the crowd.”

Thousands of demonstrators, many of them young people, have taken to the streets of Lagos and surrounding areas to call for an end to the Special Anti-Robber Squad (SARS). The squad was disbanded in early October but the violence against demonstrators and other innocent victims has continued. The civilian death tole is believed to be in the thousands.

A 24-hour curfew is being put in place for Lagos, the BBC reports. Nigeria’s most populous city is home to approximately 20 million residents.

Read more reactions to the massacre below.

Nigeria!!! Y’all on my heart! It’s horrific over there! So many people being murdered for peaceful protesting about being murdered! #EndSARS

— Sean Don (@BigSean) October 21, 2020

THEYRE KILLING OUR PEOPLEEEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/1iGmoTIllf

— Davido (@davido) October 20, 2020

THEY ARE KILLING OUR PEOPLE. OUR HEARTS ARE HEAVY. #EndSARS

— SANTAN (@Santandave1) October 21, 2020

I’ll be making calls, sending texts, and praying for everyone affected by the #LekkiMassacre #EndSARS These clips are horrific and terrifying to watch. Bless everyone on the ground. I can only imagine what you feel rn.

— Jidenna (@Jidenna) October 21, 2020

people are loosing their lives man, this violence is evil and extremely corrupt #EndSARS

— Aminé (@heyamine) October 21, 2020

#EndSARS is global now, the world is watching, the leaders must listen before it's too late

— Malik Ofori (@malikofori) October 21, 2020

There is a massacre happening in Lekki. Firing squads mass murdering young people in Nigeria. The world needs to engage #endSARS

— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) October 20, 2020

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Chadwick Boseman Died Without Will, Wife Files To Become Administrator Of His Estate

Chadwick Boseman died without having a will in place. On Thursday (Oct. 15), Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, filed probate documents in a Los Angeles Superior Court to become administrator of his estate, which is reportedly valued at $939,000 in personal property and assets.

Boseman, a resident of California but a native of South Carolina, is survived by Ledward and his parents, who were listed on the documents along with his wife. Per California law, the spouse inherits community property and splits any separate property with the parents of the deceased. Boseman likely had additional assets in a separate trust.

The 43-year-old actor passed away in August, following a four-year battle with colon cancer, which he kept secret from mostly everyone around him with the exception of a few people in his circle. Boseman and Ledward were first linked in 2015, and tied the knot sometime this year.

The Black Panther star thanked Ledward during his acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild last year. “Simone, you're with me every day,” he said at the time. “I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you.”

 

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