The murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown has left the city of Ferguson forever changed. As we approach the day in which the grand jury will decide whether to indict the police officer who killed Brown, President Obama is preparing federal agencies for unrest in the city following the verdict. During a recent meeting following the midterm elections, Obama spoke with a group of civil rights leaders in an effort to encourage them to help keep the Ferguson protests peaceful. He also reportedly spoke with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to let him know that the federal government will be there to support the state of Missouri. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services recently hosted a training session that united members of the local community and St. Louis Metropolitan and Ferguson police departments to learn about fair and impartial policing. “Everyone is hopeful that the efforts, discussion and training provided to the local police and the community will help produce the best outcome,” said an administration official. Read more.
White House Releases Report about Women and Girls of Color
Following the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative designed to help young men of color succeed, the White House received a lot of criticism because women of color were left out of the equation. In efforts to show women that they are also important, the White House recently released a report that illustrates where women of color stand in education, health, employment, domestic violence, and criminal justice. The report, Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity, was released by the White House Council on Women and Girls chaired by Valerie Jarrett. “Women and girls of color still face higher rates of poverty and receive lower wages for their work than their white peers, and they are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system,” said Jarrett and White House Council on Women and Girls executive director Christina Tchen. “And when women are the primary or sole breadwinners for nearly half of all households of color, these disparities do not just affect them, but their families and communities as well.” The Council is also working on creating a committee called Working Group on Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls of Color. Read more.
Movie Directed by LisaRaye McCoy Tackles Colorism in the Black Community
Colorism has long been an issue within the African American community. Actress LisaRaye McCoy will tackle the matter in her directorial debut. The film, titled “Skinned,” is centered on a young woman named Joile who feels insecure about her skin tone and battles with a misconception about beauty. She even goes as far as bleaching her skin to find love. “Skinned” is a very important project for LisaRaye, not only because she is entering up a new phase in her career, but also because she is “determined to speak on behalf of this epidemic with hopes to change lives on a global scale,” said a release from the production company. “Young girls that are thinking about bleaching and those that follow the trends of known celebrities who have bleached, [McCoy] hopes to steer in a different direction.” Read more.
Lifetime to Air Movie About En Vogue
Looks like Lifetime is continuing its homage to hot musicians of the 90s. On the heels of this weekend’s premiere of the controversial biopic about the late R&B songstress Aaliyah, another one of their projects will be centered on the girl group En Vogue. The film, titled “An En Vogue Christmas,” will follow the group as they reunite after years of being broken up. The movie, which is scripted and fictional, features them performing at a benefit concert to save a club that helped them on their journey to fame. The film stars three of the original group members including Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Rhona Bennett, and also features David Alan Grier, who plays their manager. Read more.
Report: Blacks Exonerated At a Slower Rate Than Other Races
According to data on wrongful convictions, African Americans who are exonerated after being convicted for crimes that they didn’t commit have served 12.68 years on average, compared to whites who serve 9.4 years and Latinos who serve 7.87. The report shows that African Americans are exonerated slower than any other race. Pamela Perez, professor of biostatistics at Loma Linda University conducted the research for Safer-America.com, a consumer research group. According to Perez there isn’t enough information to explain the racial differences. “All we can do is infer,” she said. “You can’t prove a darn thing.” Read more.
Smithsonian Exhibit Features Art from The Cosby’s Collection
A new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art features pieces provided by Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby. This seems to be a temporary reprieve for America’s favorite dad, who has lately been in the news and skewered on social media for rape allegations. The exhibit titled “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” features African artwork that the two acquired over the course of their 50-year-marriage. The exhibit includes paintings, mixed-media pieces and sculptures that fall under the categories of modern and contemporary art. “I just want people to not only think about these pieces, I want them to feel these pieces. I want them to feel the periods, the time when the artist did the works. I want them to feel the beauty, I want them to feel maybe the obstacles that these artists encountered, whether they were racial, or whether they were gender obstacles, or whatever the obstacles were, but I also just want them to feel the integrity of the work,” said Camille Cosby. “I want them to feel the victory of the work despite it all…each and every piece.” Read more.