Following the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner—both at the hands of the police—law enforcement officials and their practices for policing black communities have been under scrutiny. When the topic of police brutality was pushed to the forefront of the national conversation, there was clearly no data as to how many people have been killed by the police. A new bill, which was proposed by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), aims to require the Department of Justice to track how many people have died in result of police violence. “Before we can truly address the problem of excessive force used by law enforcement, we have to understand the nature of the problem and that begins with accurate data,” said Cohen in a statement. Read more.
Beyoncé Sued For Copyright Infringement
Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” was one of the hottest songs this year. Now months after the single was released, Hungarian singer Monika Juhasz Miczura, who is known as Mitsou, is suing Beyoncé claiming that the opening vocals to the hit song are hers. Miczura claims that she never agreed to have her vocals sampled on the song. “Mitsou never gave permission or consent, and never granted any of the Defendants permission to use her voice for any purpose,” read the court document. “Mitsou’s incredible voice is widely considered unique and ethereal, and since the 1990s, she has been in high demand for countless international collaborations as a featured guest singer.” The suit claims that the vocals were taken from her song “Bajba, Bajba Pélem” that came out in 1995. Miczura filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan Supreme Court last week. She is asking for unspecified damages and she wants Beyoncé to stop the distribution of the song. Read more.
Black Critics Rave About ‘Selma’
2014 has been a huge year for Black Hollywood. This year Selma, which is the first Hollywood studio film about a part of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., is a top contender amongst critics in the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA). The film received several accolades from the association including Best Actor for David Oyelowo’s character, Best Director for Ava DuVernay‘s work, and Best Song for the film’s theme song that featured Common and John Legend. “Our members found the output of cinema released this year to be a truly insightful mix of titles that reflect the world we live in. The members of AAFCA were especially pleased with this range of storytelling supported by the studios that gave voice to the many sides of the experience of black people in America and around the world,” said AAFCA president Gil Robertson in a statement. Read more.