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Tarana Burke, #MeToo Campaign Creator, To Lead Times Square's NYE Ball Drop

It's definitely a #BlackGirlMagic New Year 

Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo campaign which helps victims and allies stand up against sexual violence, has been selected to kick-off the 60-second countdown to bring in the New Year in Times Square on Dec. 31, reports Blavity.

Throughout the year, #MeToo's social media campaign gained notoriety due to numerous sexual assault scandals that have inundated Hollywood.

It’s worth noting Burke started the initiative over a decade ago in efforts to raise awareness for women of color and their grapple with sexual assault. Initially, the campaign regained notoriety this year because of actress Alyssa Milano who invited Twitter users to share their stories of sexual assault including the phrase, “me too.”

Still, this unknowingly excluded Burke from the conversation. Despite the potential snub, Milano gave Burke credit for starting the campaign on Good Morning America earlier this fall.

“Initially I panicked,” Burke told The New York Times. “I felt a sense of dread, because something that was part of my life’s work was going to be co-opted and taken from me and used for a purpose that I hadn’t originally intended.”

Thankfully, the Harlem based activist is getting the recognition she deserves. "I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion," Burke said via press release. "I think it's fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won't stop anytime soon."

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Waka Flocka Flame Say He’s Dedicating His Life To Suicide Prevention And Mental Health Awareness

With the month of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Waka Flocka Flame shared a major announcement with fans. The rapper and reality star is dedicating his life to suicide prevention and mental health awareness, he shared on Monday (May 25).

“I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness! Ya’ll not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with ya’ll now,” he tweeted.

Waka’s younger brother, Coades “Kayo Redd” Scott, died by suicide in 2013. In a follow-up tweet, Waka revealed that he’s slowly learning to accept his brother’s passing.

“You have no idea how it feel[s] to wanna [take] your own life man…my little brother took his own life man…and I deal with this fact every birthday because his birthday [is] the day after mines [sic] June 1st. This year I’m officially accepting the fact that he’s in a better place.”

The 33-year-old recording artist, whose other brother was killed in 2000, opened up about losing his younger brother in a 2017 episode of The Therapist, where he revealed that Kao tried to get in contact with him prior to committing suicide.

“Before my little brother died, I ain’t pick up the phone and I seen him call. I was like, ‘f**k lemme call Kayo back, as soon as this s**t lover.’ And I called him back, no answer.”

“What if I would’ve picked that call up? What the f**k is my little brother going through that made my little brother kill himself?”

 

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2 Chainz’s Atlanta Restaurant Shut Down Over Social Distancing Violations

Less than a month after reopening, 2 Chainz’s Escobar Restaurant & Tapas has been temporarily shut down for violating the state’s social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Public Health and Safety cited the eatery on Sunday (May 24), after receiving complaints about the number of customers inside the restaurant and bar. Georgia guidelines limits occupancy to 10 patrons per 300 square feet.

“When I entered the establishment, the entire facility was full of patrons, shoulder to shoulder, and was unable to enter safely,” a DPS officer wrote in an incident reports according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV. The DPS officer also observed the “same violations” that caused DPS to issue an initial warning to the facility.

The manager on duty had security clear out the room but State Police ordered Escobar to close on Monday (May 25) after the violations were not fixed. Various videos posted to Escobar’s Instagram Story prove that the venue was indeed packed with customers.

In April, Georgia’s governor announced that restaurants, hair salons, and other businesses could reopen for in-person service despite the state's rising cases of COVID-19. Escobar, which had been serving takeout orders only, faced backlash after revealing plans to reopen for dine-in service following the governor’s announcement. The restaurant decided to remain closed for a little while longer and fed several of Atlanta’s homeless before fully reopening in early May.

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Doja Cat Speaks Out After Being Accused Of Joining White Supremacist Chat Rooms

After trending online for the entire Memorial Day Weekend, Doja Cat publicly addressed allegations of racism and engaging in white supremacist chat rooms on Tiny Chat.

On Sunday (May 24), the “Say So” rapper posted a lengthy Instagram statement in response to numerous tweets exposing her alleged online activity, including saying “n**ger” in a predominately white video chat room and recording a song named after a racial slur.

“I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child. I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations,” Doja explained in the statement. “I’m sorry to everyone that I offended.”

“I’m a black woman,” she added. “Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very prude of where I came from.”

 

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A post shared by Doja Cat (@dojacat) on May 24, 2020 at 8:10pm PDT

A day later, Doja took to Instagram Live to further explain herself and deny allegations of self-hate, fetishizing white men, and race play.

Later in the video, Doja denied rumors that she recorded the song, “Dindu Nothin,” to make fun of police brutality. According to Doja, the song was an attempt at reclaiming the little-known slur, though she did admit that the song was a terrible idea.

Watched the full apology below.

 

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