Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP president in Spokane, Washington, who resigned after it was revealed she was passing for Black for years, will speak at a Martin Luther King Day celebration in Cary, North Carolina. The annual MLK Dreamfest is scheduled to take place on January 14-16. “We chose a person like Rachel Dolezal that has been depicted as a major villain through media because of her preference of racial identity,” Al Cohen, an event organizer, told the Raleigh News & Observer. “She only had an affinity for a group of people, and she served her community well,” he continued. Controversy mounted last year when Dolezal’s parents revealed their daughter was living a lie. Dolezal defiantly responded, saying identifying as Black speaks to her truth. Read more.
Supreme Court To Re-examine Race In Duane Buck Case
The Supreme Court could take a second look at the case of a Texas inmate whose lawyers claims he was sentenced to death because he is Black. Duane Buck and his lawyer hope to prove that a defense expert witness told jurors Buck would likely be more dangerous in the future because of his race. Buck is also fighting to obtain a letter from a previous judge to support his case. Justices must decide between throwing out the original sentence, which would trigger a new hearing, or sending the case back to a lower court. Buck’s trial is one of six cases former Texas Attorney General John Cornyn said should be re-examined due to racially charged statements made by Dr. Walter Quijano. Read more.
Georgia Deputy Fired For Racist, Sexist Facebook Posts
Brant Gaither, a former Georgia McIntosh County Deputy Sheriff, was terminated for racist posts he initiated and participated in on Facebook. Jeremy Owens, a colleague and Darien police officer, resigned for his involvement. In the posts, Gaither and Owens joked and laughed, sometimes referring to African-Americans as “n——,” and “colored people.” “I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals,” Gaither posted, referencing MLK’s historic speech. “Lol. That’ll never happen,” Owens responded. Gaither was officially terminated on July 25 after another colleague discovered the posts while using Gaither’s old computer. Sheriff Stephen D. Jessup said he promptly took action. “I do not tolerate that in my department,” Jessup said. Read more.
Rod Temperton, Legendary “Thriller” Songwriter, Dies At 66
Rod Temperton, the English songwriter hailed as the creative genius behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Rock With You,” and “Off The Wall,” died of cancer last week at the age of 66, his family said. Temperton, along with music icon Quincy Jones, worked side by side to formulate Jackson’s groundbreaking sound. He began his musical journey in the disco band Heatwave. Temperton’s song writing credits are lengthy and notable; he’s penned hits for Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Donna Summer, and Aretha Franklin. He also worked in film and received an Oscar nod as a co-writer of “Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister),” from The Color Purple soundtrack and contributed several songs to Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines’ comedy Running Scared. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty