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JAY-Z Hopes Viewers Analyze Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law After Trayvon Martin Doc

"This law, we have to get people to understand what it says." 

On Monday evening (July 30), viewers get to learn the intimate and chilling details of Trayvon Martin's life and death in Paramount Network and Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter's new six-part series, Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. To prepare future onlookers for Carter's latest foray into social justice programming, the Roc Nation leader spoke with The New York Times on his hopes for the program's impact and why Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law is evidently faulty.

"This law, we have to get people to understand what it says," he said. "Of course, he will not be found guilty. It's very difficult to be found guilty with this law as it stands today." Behind the Stand Your Ground law, which gives a person who feels they are under duress to use their firearm to potentially kill another civilian, George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, who was 17 at the time, in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman claimed Martin looked suspicious in the Twin Lakes neighborhood and pursued him despite the police's plea to not follow the teenager. Once Zimmerman confronted Martin, a scuffle ensued and Zimmerman shot Martin in his chest.

At an earlier point in the conversation, Carter also said the docu-series should not only change the minds of those who say Martin "had a hoodie on," but also those who "hide behind the idea of, 'No way that happened. Something had to be going on.'"

Additionally, Carter said he doesn't subscribe to the idea that celebrities, specifically black celebrities, are obligated to be vocal on social issues. "I think the way that people view celebrity is unfair," Carter explained. "Everyone should be filling in and doing their part because it isn't about money. It's not."

Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story airs on Monday night (July 30) at 10 p.m. on BET and Paramount Network.

READ MORE: Black Thought Pays Homage To Trayvon Martin On “Rest In Power”

READ MORE: Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin Talk 'Rest In Power' And Trayvon's Legacy'

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YNW Melly Wants “Restricted Release” From Jail After Testing Positive For COVID-19

YNW Melly tested positive for coronavirus while being locked up in Broward County Florida, and plans to file a motion for “restricted release” as he awaits trial for double murder, the rapper’s team announced on his Instagram account on Thursday (April 2).

“Melly has tested positive for COVID-19 today while awaiting his trial in Broward County Jail. He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus,” reads the post, which also ask for fans to send Melly “positive energy.”

 

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Melly has tested positive for COVID-19 today while awaiting his trial in Broward County Jail. He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus. He hopes for your support and to recover soon #prayformelly send positive energy to him please

A post shared by Free Melly & Melvin (@ynwmelly) on Apr 2, 2020 at 5:13pm PDT

The 20-year-old rapper, born Jamell Demons, stands accused of murdering two of his friends, 21-year-old Anthony Williams, and 19-year-old Chistopher Thomas Jr., in 2018. Melly pleaded not guilty to the double-murder charges and is also suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in 2017.

His coronavirus announcement comes as activists continue to call for the release of nonviolent offenders amid the global pandemic.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that two inmates tested positive for the viral disease. One of the inmates was arrested last month and was screened upon being housed at BSO’s North Bureau, but showed no symptoms. A second inmate was sent to a hospital on Tuesday (March 31) for an unrelated issue and was tested for COVID-19. The results came back positive the following day. “The housing units where he has been were placed in quarantine as a precaution,” the BSO said in a statement.

The state of Florida has so far confirmed 9,000 coronavirus cases and 141 deaths. Many of the cases have been concentrated in Miami-Dade County, which has 2,886 cases and 20 deaths, followed by Broward County with at least 1,481 confirmed cases and 17 deaths.

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TC Carson Reveals He Was Fired From ‘Living Single’ For Voicing Frustrations

T.C. Carson sat down with Comedy Hype for an extensive interview where he revealed that he was fired from Living Single for speaking out on behalf of the cast, and subsequently “blackballed” from Hollywood.

According to Carson, the cast had “various” issues with the show -- from the way that they were treated, to the script, and others things that occurred during the five-season run.

“There were times when we had issues on the show and we would come to them as a cast but I would be the spokesperson for it,” Carson recalled. “That last season before I left, they called me in and they basically said 'All these problems that we’ve been having they [the cast] listen to you…so if you said something else, then they would do that.’

“I said, ‘Well first of all, we’re dealing with five grown people and they have their own minds and their own ideas about what we’re doing,” Carson continued. “Everything we come to you with is a group decision, but if you think I have that much power then I need to have a different job,’ and I don’t think they liked that.”

At the start of the final season, Carson’s character (Kyle Barker) was shipped off to London, raising his suspicions about potentially getting fired, but he was assured that he wouldn’t be let from the show. After the episode aired, Carson says he got a call from his lawyer telling him that he was fired from the show. “It wasn’t that I got fired, it was the way it was done.”

Carson also mentioned the treatment that the cast endured compared to the cast of Friends, which debuted after Living Single and used the same concept, except with white actors. Both sitcoms were filmed on the same lot at Warner Bros.

After getting fired, Carson went on an audition where he learned from a Black casting director that his former Living Single bosses spread false rumors about him. “He said, ‘I heard you were difficult, that you came to work unprepared, and I said ‘You know what? This interview is over. Thank you so much for your time,’ and I got up and walked out because I’m not going to let a Black man berate me in front of these white people.”

The 61-year-old actor described the experience as “devastating,” but despite troubles behind the scenes, he has fond memories of working with Queen Latifah, Erica Alexander, and the rest of the Living Single cast.

Watch clips of his interview below.

 

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Oprah Winfrey Announces $10 Million Donation To COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million to aid in relief efforts to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, the billionaire announced on Thursday (April 2). The donation will help residents in cities around the country, including areas where Winfrey grew up.

In addition to her donation, Winfrey directed fans to a free Apple TV+ episode of Oprah Talks discussing how we can “mindfully move through a crisis while holding onto ourselves and our humanity.”

“I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up,” Winfrey tweeted.

I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up. For more on this Fund and how everyone can be of service, watch this free AppleTV+ conversation here: https://t.co/n7L6drnpcV

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) April 2, 2020

One million dollars of the donation will go to America’s Food Fund, which is a GoFundMe campaign launched by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs in connection with Feeding America. The campaign aides the most vulnerable communities around the country.

In additional tweets, Winfrey added that America’s Food Fund will be “a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors.”

“I hope you all will join me, I know everybody can’t donate a million dollars but I feel like this is the central place to go if you really want to do something,” Winfrey said in a video call with Chef Jose Andres and Feeding America CEO Calir Babineaux-Fonenot.

The campaign has so far raised more than $12 million of its $15 million goal.

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