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Black Yale Student Says White Student Who Called Police Should Be Disciplined

After Lolade Siyonbola opened her dorm room, the cops continued to ask her for her ID, though she believed that getting a key and opening her door would be proof enough.

Last Tuesday morning (May 8), a black Yale University student, Lolade Siyonbola, shared a recorded encounter with a white student, solely identified as Sarah. The 34-year-old graduate scholar posted a video of four cops interrogating her after Sarah alerted university police to her sleeping in a common area, which she’d done while she was writing a paper, ABC News reports. Apparently, Sarah was worried that Soyinbola may not have belonged there.

The footage shows four cops requesting proof of her attendance. After Soyinbola opened her dorm room, the cops continued to ask her for her ID, though she believed that getting a key and opening her door would be proof enough. “I pay tuition like everybody else," Siyonbola, an African Studies graduate student, said. "I’m not going to justify my existence here.”

Siyonbola got on ABC News’ Good Morning America to share her thoughts on what transpired. “I posted the video just for my safety,” she said. In the same video, she told the officers that Sarah also called the police on her classmate about three months prior to the event because he was “sitting in the stairwell” after “getting lost in the building,” she said.

Grad student Reneson Jean-Louis recalled that Sarah told him “I don’t feel safe around you,” "You’re making me uncomfortable,” and “You’re an intruder,” amongst other statements.

Police reportedly reprimanded Sarah but Soyinbola doesn’t think that’s enough. “If there are punitive measures I think someone like Sarah will think twice about calling the police,” she said. “Whether that's expulsion [or] some other form of disciplinary action, there needs to be some punitive measures for people who act out of racially motivated bias.”

Siyonbola later updated her Facebook page to identify “Sarah” as Philosophy student Sarah Braasch. Police were able to deem Siyonbola as equally entitled to be in any common spaces as Braasch was.

The dean of Yale’s graduate school of arts and sciences, Lynn Cooley, sent an email out in support of Siyonbola later that day. “Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” she began. “I am committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment.”

The Yale Daily News reported that the school's president, Peter Salovey, sent out an email on Thursday night (May 10), saying, “Universities are not utopias, and people of color experience racism on our campus as they do elsewhere in our country. This fact angers and disappoints me. Each of us has the power to fight against prejudice and fear. I hope you will join me in doing so.”

Siyonbola’s videos have garnered over 1.5 million views. And she wrote on Facebook that “Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of [her].”

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Freeway Reveals Death Of 20-Year-Old Son, Jihad

Freeway is mourning the death of his beloved son, Jihad Pridgen.

The Philly native shared the devastating news on Instagram on Thursday (Oct. 29). “God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt,” he captioned a graduation photo of his son. “Please cherish your time and your [loved] ones because we’re not [promised] the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise.”

The Muslim rapper did not go into detail about how his son passed away. In closing, he asked fans to make dua (an Islamic invocation) for his son and family. Jihad, 20, was following in his father’s footsteps in becoming a rapper. He went by the stage name “Snowhadd.”

 

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God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt. Please cherish your time and your love ones because we’re not promise the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all Of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise. Ameen 😢 Please make dua for him & my family.

A post shared by Freeway (@phillyfreeway) on Oct 29, 2020 at 3:28am PDT

New’s of Jihad’s death follows the death of the son of fellow State Property member and former Roc-A-Fella rapper, Oschino Vasquez.  “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Devastation at its finest,” the grieving father wrote on Instagram revealing that Freeway attended his son’s funeral last week. “Then I got that bad news. What [are] the chances that [we] both lose our sons. F*ck rap beef that’s fake sh*t. This is real life. I’ve never been depressed before but I [am] now.”

The cause of death is unclear, but according to varying reports, Oschino’s son and his son's pregnant girlfriend may have passed away in a car accident.

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Kenya Barris To Make Directorial Debut With Richard Pryor Biopic

Kenya Barris has signed on to write and direct a forthcoming biopic on Richard Pryor for MGM. The movie studio acquired the film in a heated bidding war, Deadline reports.

The biopic will mark Barris’ directorial debut. In addition to directing and penning the script, the Black-Ish creator will also produce the film through his company, Khalabo Ink Society. Additional producers include Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, through her Tarnished Angel imprint, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films.

“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability – that was the power and impact of his work,” Barris said in a statement. “Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”

There have been several attempts to bring Pryor’s story to the big screen, including in 2016 when The Weinstein Company teamed with Jennifer and Lee Daniels on a script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon. Mike Epps was slated to start as the comic legend, and Oprah Winfrey was going to play his grandmother, Eddie Murphy as his father, and Kate Hudson at Jennifer.

Pryor began his comedy career in the early 1960s playing local clubs around New York. By the following decade, Pryor rose up the ranks to become one of the most popular Black comedians in the genre appearing in films like Lady Sings the Blues, The Mack, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Harlem Nights, and The Wiz. Pryor was also a talented writer and producer (he wrote his stand-up comedy specials as well as other shows such as Sanford & Son, The Richard Pryor Show).

The 65-year-old comedian passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2005.

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Beenie Man Speaks Out After Fainting At Mother’s Funeral

Beenie Man broke his silence amid rumors that he was hospitalized after fainting at his mother’s funeral. Footage of the dancehall icon passing out in front of his mother's casket began circulating the web last weekend.

In a heartfelt message posted on social media on Wednesday (Oct. 27), the dancehall star thanked well-wishers, and poured out his grief. “One Sunday, October 25th I laid my Mom to rest. It was by far and still is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do,” he explained. “Leading up to the day of the funeral I was [physically] involved in every aspect of the planning an execution.”

Beenie’s mother, Lilieth Sewell, suffered a stroke in July. Her health began declining after she was released from the hospital.  She passed away in September at age 63.

“I kept telling myself, maybe if it remained active I will be able to function,” Beenie said. “Unfortunately, when it came down to that very last moment, it hit me and hit very hards. This would be the last time I would see my mom. Despite the noise, the singing, the mourning, all I could hear was silence while watching my mom’s body being lowered into the tomb.

“My heart broke and I blacked out for a few minutes,” he continues. “When I revived, I saw my closet friends and family were around me.”

The Grammy winner added that he was not “hospitalized,” but was comforted by friends and family. “Please continue to pray for us as we heal and moved forward.”

Read his full statement below.

pic.twitter.com/frzvivfDse

— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) October 27, 2020

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