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Tennessee Legislators Target "Natural Hair Stylists" With Fines

A Tennessee resident, Fatou Diouf, is being charged with a steep fee of $16,000 in fines for hiring unlicensed workers at a shop for which she’s licensed. And she’s only one of many Tennessee residents to be hit with these outrageous fees. The argument is that these braiders must all become licensed, whether for natural hair styling or braiding; working professionally as a hair stylist requires a license. Diouf told Forbes, “I never did any other job but hair braiding my whole life. I cannot recall a time when I did not know how.”

As Diouf has, many braiders have come from a part of Africa—Senegal in her case—already having known how to braid and already having established a name or career for themselves by doing so. A license is not necessary. Tennessee requires “natural hair stylists” to complete at least 300 hours of coursework, an amount of time that they can’t sacrifice or spare alongside the $1,500 to $5,000 of tuition.

Hair braiding is cultural “back home.” It’s a skill possessed by many. Fatou recalled that years of experience made her road to a license feel like a “waste of time."

“We don’t need 300 hours to know how to wash a clip or a comb,” she said. In almost half of the country (23 states), hair braiders can work with a license, according to the Institute for Justice.

In partnership with the Institute for Justice and the Beacon Center, Fatou is working to get a bill passed that would get rid of the state’s requirement for natural hair stylists to be licensed if they already have the skill. According to a testimony by deputy commissioner Brian McCormack, there have only been two health and safety complaints against natural hair stylists since 2010. “The department has opened more than 200 administrative complaints for unlicensed activity where we have seen no sanitation violations,” he said.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance alongside state lawmakers are already standing behind the bill. The House Business and Utilities Subcommittee, for which McCormack works, described the policy as “burdensome.” And hopefully, legislators will follow. Fatou, who owns a shop with a license, believes that she was targeted as her shop has no offenses. With fines, she’s currently paying $830 a month to the state, Forbes reports.

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John Singleton In Coma After Suffering From A Stroke

John Singleton is reportedly in a coma after suffering from a major stroke, TMZ reports.

The Boyz N the Hood filmmaker has reportedly been in the ICU since last weekend. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Singleton's mother, Sheila Ward, is asking a judge to appoint her temporary conservator of his work because he is "unable to properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter." Singleton was reportedly working on several projects and preparing to sign a lucrative settlement agreement at the time of his stroke, according to Ward.

As previously reported, Singleton suffered a stroke on April 17, after returning from Costa Rica. After experiencing problems with his legs, he reportedly checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he suffered a stroke in his hospital room.

This story is developing.


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Goodbye Costa Rica... one of my new favorite places in the world.... so much to see so little time...

A post shared by JOHN SINGLETON (@johnsingleton) on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:07pm PST

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Bun B's Lawyer Provides Update On Attempted Armed Robbery Aftermath

On Tuesday (April 24), Bun B confronted an armed robber, who was later identified as 20-year-old DeMonte Jackson. The latter attempted to rob the legendary rapper's home but acted swiftly with his own registered firearm. When Bun B's wife, Angela "Queenie" Walls answered a knock on the door, a masked Freeman entered with his weapon but was later met with the Trill rapper's fire and was detained at a hospital while being treated for his wounds.

In a statement provided to XXL, lawyer Charles Adams said he doesn't expect charges to be filed against the Texas native. "In Texas, you can defend your home. And if an armed home invader breaks into your home and puts a gun at your wife's head, you can shoot the guy if he's still in your home," Adams said. "Honestly, this might sound cheesy, thank God that Bun had a gun. Thank God that he was courageous enough to defend his home and his wife [Queenie]. And thank God Queenie was courageous enough to not let the man go upstairs."

As Queenie led Jackson to the garage, Bun B, born Bernard Freeman, became aware of the incident from another part of the house and opened fire on Jackson. The latter was charged with one count of burglary plus two levies of aggravated robbery.

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Former Felons May Have To Pay Court Fines Before Voting In Florida

Florida made history when it passed Amendment 4 restoring voting rights to the state's nearly one million former felons.

However, on Wednesday (April 24) the GOP-House passed a bill that would require former felons to pay court fees, fine,s and restitution prior to voting. The Senate bill requires that just restitution be paid. If this measure is passed it could prohibit thousands of ex-cons from being able to vote.

The state reportedly also doesn't have a method to properly tally restitution and to create a system could cost millions. On Wednesday, the House considered a proposal by the Senate that would allot $2 million to hire more workers at the Florida Commission on Offender Review to review the applications of former felons.

That commission would then report their findings to local supervisors of elections.

“Obviously, the individual is responsible for determining whether they’ve completed all the terms of their own sentence,” Sen. Jeff Brandes “If they have questions, they should go to local supervisors of elections.”

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