Stories for May 2015

Friday, May 29

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Jordan or James debate continues after Cavs rout Hawks

The comparisons are becoming more intense and plausible now.

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Steve Kerr could have coached the Knicks

He could have been living in the New York metropolitan area, pondering his first year as the New York Knicks’ head coach.

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Brooklyn native, 6-foot-11 Dakari Johnson preparing for NBA draft

With the NBA combine finished, Brooklyn native Dakari Johnson is gearing up for the NBA draft. Johnson, a McDonald’s All-American and former Kentucky Wildcat center...

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Wiggins feels sense of purpose with Liberty

Having spent most of her life on the West Coast and all of her WNBA career playing in the Western Conference, veteran guard Candice Wiggins is excited to be playing with the New York Liberty in 2015.

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Guitar legend’s daughters allege dad was poisoned

Two of B.B. King’s daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, are alleging that two of the late musician’s closest aides sped up his death by poisoning him, according to a report from the Associated Press May 25.

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Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note president, dies at 79

Bruce Lundvall, the distinguished president of Blue Note Records, who played a major role in the world of jazz, died May 19 in Ridgewood, N.J.

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DanceAfrica 2015 honors founder Baba Chuck Davis

DanceAfrica, the cultural cornucopia conceived and nurtured by Artistic Director Chuck Davis, has filled the Brooklyn Academy of Music with an exuberant explosion of dance, music, film, food, fashion and more on Memorial Day weekend for the past 38 years.

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‘The Glass Menagerie’ shines

The Masterworks Theater Company is proving that classic plays are truly timeless.

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Mariah in concert conquers the Vegas Strip

Grammy Award-winning artist and power vocalist Mariah Carey soared through several octaves in her “1 to Infinity” concert at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Sunday night.

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Mattel celebrates director Ava DuVernay with ‘Sheroe’ doll

Groundbreaking film director Ava DuVernay has been honored by Mattel’s “Sheroes” doll series with the creation of an Ava DuVernay doll to commemorate her influence and unique accomplishments.

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Viola Davis to exec produce Harriet Tubman HBO movie

It has been reported that Tony Award winner and “How to Get Away with Murder” star Viola Davis has taken on an executive producer role with a new HBO film highlighting the life of Harriet Tubman.

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Community Calendar 5/28 - 6/3

Imhotep Gary Byrd tells you what's happening around town.

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Talking SCHOP! Harlem EatUp! firsts, Part II

The inaugural Harlem EatUp! festival felt as if it whizzed by in a poof of smoke made of food, drink, art and culture. Harlem and New York City turned out for a celebration long overdue.

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Much to see, do and eat in Cabo San Lucas

In our two previous sojourns, we delved into the history of beautiful Los Cabos and its fraternal twin cities San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.

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Baltic amber earrings are beautiful

Treasure Hut Jewelry introduces a new “Amber From the Baltic Sea Jewelry” collection.

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Popular eco-friendly hand-knits

For fall 2015, chunky knits, bright, bold colors and oversized coats take the lead.

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Peace and blessings to the Brothers Johnson

Don’t quite remember the year, but everything else is clear as a whistle. School was done until September, so I could spend the night at my cousin’s crib on a weeknight.

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Assemblywoman Annette Robinson sponsors mental health forum

Thursday May 2, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson (56th A.D., Brooklyn) held a community forum to discuss mental health in the community at Restoration Plaza.

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New York Society for Ethical Culture Champions of Change Public Service Forum

The New York Society for Ethical Culture and United Social Services, discussed the future impact of public service policy recently at the inaugural 2015 Champions of Change Public Service Forum.

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McDonald’s workers march to corporate headquarters

Last week, 5,000 McDonald’s workers made their way to the company’s headquarters in the largest ever protest at the annual shareholder meeting.

LA wants to raise minimum wage, NY workers continue push for same

As New York workers continue to push the state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage, they can look to the city of Los Angeles for inspiration.

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We need better pay for all low-wage workers

We are pleased that a state wage board has been called by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to examine the impact of low pay in the fast-food industry.

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Military heroes shine during Fleet Week

Thousands of military personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Marines are taking a bite of the Big Apple during the 27th annual Fleet Week.

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Bob Belden, arranger, musician, dies at 58

Bob Belden, the multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, writer and A&R man who consistently extended the boundaries of jazz, died May 20 at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital.

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Community shows support at Elombe Brath Brooklyn fundraiser

Grassroots activists and lifelong comrades of a legendary Pan-Africanist and community stalwart filed into Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza, 1368 Harriet Tubman Blvd., Saturday, May 16 to honor the legacy Elombe Brath, who devoted his entire life to liberating his people.

Alzheimer’s Association, AKAs join forces against disease

The Alzheimer’s Association is proud to announce a nationwide partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to help raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and increase education, care and support resources in the African-American community.

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Famed educator Ollie McClean passes away

After battling an illness, wonderful educator Ollie McClean passed away May 26.

New study presents how NY high schools serve Black and Latino males

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools released a new study detailing how the Expanded Success Initiative has worked in its second year of existence.

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H. Naylor Fitzhugh, the ‘dean of Black business’

While traveling with a delegation to Martinique recently, I met with one of the members, Greg Campbell, president and CEO of Rainmaker, a Dallas-based investment and advisory firm he founded.

TV network to honor Rep. Barbara Lee

One Caribbean Television will host a reception in the nation’s capital to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which is observed in June.

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The other immigrant swing voters

Time and again, when we hear of immigrant voters or the swing voting bloc it is always assumed they are Hispanic. But often ignored in the mix is the Asian voting bloc, which, like the Caribbean bloc, gets overlooked and taken for granted almost all the time.

Former dictator wins Suriname’s elections

A former army sergeant who overthrew the elected government in Suriname in 1980 and ran the country as a military strongman for years won the country’s general elections for the second time Monday as a civilian, though he will have to team up with other local parties to be elected president.

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Investing in American competitiveness

I am devastated by the recent Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia. Such loss of life and injury to people just going about their routine hit close to home for me because that is my weekly route from Washington, D.C., back to my congressional district in New York City

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The enduring crisis of public housing

Some of us old enough to remember when public housing, a brand-spanking-new, two-bedroom residence in the projects, was considered “upward mobility” not only are nostalgic about the past but also sympathize with those currently in desperate straits for decent housing.

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Public school students walk out in Newark

Thousands of students in Newark N.J., walked out of school last Friday afternoon in protest of the policies in the school district.

DOJ to investigate Cleveland Division of Police

In the wake of the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer who shot two unarmed Black people, the U.S. Department of Justice is now stepping in to take a hard look at the Cleveland police force.

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Wife visits Mumia Abu-Jamal

Reports revealed that political prisoner of war Mumia Abu-Jamal was handcuffed and shackled to his bed in the prison’s infirmary for almost a week as he recovered from his debilitating ailments.

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We need better transportation infrastructure

I ride the subway almost every day of the year. The people’s taxi is one of the most efficient means of transportation available and it is also “green.”

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Dismantle, not reinforce school-to-prison pipeline in our New York City schools

Schools should be places where children are treated as students and given the tools to learn, but too often, our school discipline system treats them as criminals instead.

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Falling short of greatness

When African-Americans marched on Washington to hear the historic “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, they were pressing for a society that looked very much like that in which they already lived—a society built on freedom, a society that protected life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness among its citizens.

Thursday, May 28

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On the “A” w/Souleo

Rain Pryor’s world premiere of reimagined show, Fried Chicken & Latkes. Harlem restauranteur plans a comeback via crowdfunding campaign.

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Dr. Stephanie Desgrottes: Helping children in Haiti and Harlem

Dr. Stephanie Desgrottes is a pediatrician at Columbia Doctors, but her work with children and the community at large does not stop once she leaves her tiny patients for the day.

Metro Briefs

A summary of the news in the greater metro area compiled by Cyril Josh Barker.

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Brooklyn warrior Sonny Abubadika Carson lives

This Saturday afternoon, the African Brotherhood 4 Self Determination and the December 12th Movement will sponsor a Black Power physical day commemoration.

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Twelve years later, a mother seeks justice for her son after wrongful police killing

May 1, 2003, was the afternoon 19-year-old Carlos Lopez was shot by NYPD Detective Alfred Robinson across the street from 658 Gates Ave.

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African-American Pinkster Committee of NY celebrates Memorial Day ‘Decoration Day’

African-American Pinkster Committee of NY held its Memorial Day “Decoration Day” at Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park, and celebrated the 150th anniversary of the “colored” troops of New York, who valiantly fought in the Civil War to end slavery from 1861 to 1865.

Cosmopolitan Review 5/28 - 6/03

May 19 marked the birthday anniversary of Malcolm X. Much of what he prophesied would happen if we, as a culture, as a society, collectively as human beings, didn’t take heed and listen, has occurred.

International News

Singer, Akon, reveals new solar campaign in Africa. South African voters worry about corruption and unemployment.

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Zyed and Bouna: The unheard 10-year cry against police violence in France

The French Court of Rennes acquits two police officers who had been accused of causing the deaths of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore, two teenagers in 2005.

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June 2015 dance calendar

What's happening in dance for the month of June?

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The many layers of Marjani Forte-Saunders’ ‘being Here…/this time’

Marjani Forte-Saunders thinks big and dares us to ask questions.

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Activists react to Bratton’s ‘offensive’ comments

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton used a recent event to remind the public that they’re just as responsible for the current situation between them and cops.

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SHOOTING SEASON?

According to the NYPD, from Friday, May 22, to Monday, May 25, 16 shootings occurred, with 23 victims. During the same period last year, 17 shootings occurred, with 22 victims

Tuesday, May 26

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PHOTOS: LAHHNY stars Yandy Smith and Mendeecees Harris host brunch before taking vows

"Love & Hip Hop" star Yandy Smith tied the knot with Mendeecees Harris held a brunch before taking vows on live television on Sunday.

Monday, May 25

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Memorial Day: A remembrance of sacrifice, and the promise of summer

Everyone looks forward to Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer.

Sunday, May 24

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Herman Ferguson saluted in Brooklyn

Saturday, May 16, the late educator and activist Herman Ferguson was celebrated at a memorial tribute hosted by the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee at the Rev. Herbert Daughtry’s historic House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn.

Friday, May 22

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Remembering Dr. Derrick Griffith

“I never told him this, but he’s . . . everything I wanted to be,” said Dr. Derrick Griffith’s son, Darryus, as tears streamed down his face during a recent press conference. “My dad was everything to me. My dad was a great person. He was everything I’m not.

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Commissioner Ethel Griffin, New York City public administrator, dies

Ethel J. Griffin ESQ was the first African-American and longest serving public administrator of the county of New York City since being appointed to this position in 1988.

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Clinical Depression: A Treatable Illness

It is not uncommon during the winter months, when there is less daylight and we are often stuck indoors, to experience a case of the “blues.” As a result, we look forward to spring’s arrival.

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Dr. Cornel West demand medical treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Pam Africa, the noted activist and fervent advocate for the freedom of the ailing political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Schomburg Center receives National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Not only did Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the director of the Schomburg Center, respond insightfully to questions from...

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Trailblazing African-American newsman Max Robinson

This week we look at the legacy of broadcast pioneed Max Robinson

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Codeblack and conversations on diversity in Hollywood

The issues swirling around the lack of diversity in Hollywood is still a hot-button topic despite the fact that corporations have concluded that inclusion—across the board—is excellent for the bottom line. 

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Binge Watching: ‘Sense8’

It’s perfectly acceptable to admit to being a “binge watcher,” and I openly blame Netflix, or applaud Netflix, depending on which side of the coin you wish to view this new global obsession.

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Here’s another reason why the GOP will lose big in 2016

Insanity is defined as “extreme foolishness” or “irrationality” as well as “idiocy, stupidity or lunacy.” These are just some synonyms that can be used to define the actions of Republicans in the fight for the White House come 2016.

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Dennis Walcott to give commencement address

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott will give the commencement address as Kingsborough Community College celebrates its 50th Commencement Exercises Tuesday, June 16 in Brooklyn.

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Who is next to go in the Caribbean?

May 25, voters in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean trade bloc nation of Suriname will go to the polls to elect a new government.

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Obama talks community policing in Camden

President Barack Obama spoke in Camden, N.J., at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Monday, highlighting steps taken by the city that has struggled with one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates to create economic opportunity, help police do their jobs more safely and reduce crime.

Outrage over cops killing handcuffed Black man with stun gun

Local protests have continued in Albany, N.Y., since Donald “Dontay” Ivy died in police custody April 2 after having a Taser used on him when he was stopped as he walked home from a nearby corner store.

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Tamir Rice investigation wrapping up, maybe

Tamir Rice’s body still hasn’t been buried. His mother has moved into a homeless shelter because she can’t bear to be near the park where he was shot by police, and six months after the events occurred, police say they still need more time to investigate Rice’s death.

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Mariah Carey cancels Vegas show

Mariah Carey blamed bronchitis for forcing her to cancel her May 13 show in Las Vegas, but the trouble goes beyond her lungs, according to sources. The 46-year-old diva allegedly hadn’t adequately prepared before opening her two-month Caesars Palace gig, called “Mariah#To Infinity,” May 6.

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DanceAfrica 2015

The nation’s largest festival dedicated to African dance returns for its 38th year May 22 to 25, bringing together performance, art, film and an array of community events for an exhilarating celebration of culture from Africa and the Diaspora.

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‘It Shoulda Been You’ a bridal hoot

Have you ever gone to a musical and as it starts you sense this amazing energy in the theater?

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‘Something Rotten!’ is something wonderful!

“Something Rotten!” is one of the most original, creative musical comedies to hit Broadway in a long time! It makes the Renaissance hip and new! And it rejuvenates one’s love and appreciation for the brilliance of William Shakespeare’s work.

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Fearon is fearless in Stephen Petronio Company

To coincide with Stephen Petronio Company’s 30th anniversary season at the Joyce Theater (April 7 to 12), Petronio presented the second and final part of his two-part work “Locomotor/Non Locomotor.”

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It’s Mint Condition and Tony! Toni! Tone! at Lehman Center

I had the pleasure to speak with the leads in two R&B groups, bass guitarist Rick Kinchen of the talented Minneapolis R&B band Mint Condition, and D’Wayne Wiggins, one of the original members of Tony! Toni! Tone.

Thursday, May 21

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Join the AmNewsFOOD Team

I am excited to announce that I have been promoted to food editor for the Amsterdam News.

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Community Calendar 5/21 - 5/27

Community Calendar 5/21 - 5/27

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Talking SCHOP! Harlem EatUp! Firsts, Part I

It’s done! Fini! Finito! Terminado! The inaugural Harlem EatUp! festival has come to a close. Though the weather was a little touch-and-go at times over the weekend, the show went on and the people showed up.

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Mexican love at the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort

In the first part of our Mexico getaway, we had just begun to explore beautiful Los Cabos, situated approximately 1,030 miles south of San Diego at the southern tip of Baja Mexico (sometimes called Baja California), hugging the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) to the east.

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Hair color news: ‘A granny trend’

Are older women coloring their hair more? In the hair industry, “granny trend” and “co-washing” are the new buzzwords.

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Hats are marvelous for fall ’15

During the recent Mercedes-Benz Istanbul Fall/Winter Fashion Week, young milliner Merve Bayindir offered a heads-up with her outstanding collection of hats

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Educators, activists denounce Cuomo’s Education Investment Tax Credit proposal

Last week, educators and educational activists called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ax plans for an Education Investment Tax Credit, which they call a “scheme” to divert money from public education.

Unions strike for right to organize

Earlier this month, Environmental Service Systems employees walked off the job, demanding that their employer respect their right to be represented by their union, Local 32BJ.

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Cooperation, not conflict, will help reduce crime

All New Yorkers must be concerned with fighting crime, but it is the city government’s mandate to focus on keeping all New Yorkers and visitors safe.

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B.B. King—the best of the best, and a king indeed

Whether it’s history (“When I first got the blues, They brought me over on a ship.

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Malcolm X legacy honored on his 90th birthday

he celebration of what would have been the 90th birthday of slain international activist Malcolm X began with hundreds making the pilgrimage to the Ardsley gravesite, where the man also known as El-Haj Malik El-Shabazz is interred with his wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz.

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United Way of New York City honors Giants, Jets at 22nd annual Gridiron Gala

United Way of New York City, the New York Giants and the New York Jets reteamed last week for the 22nd annual Gridiron Gala in support of New York City’s youth.

Cosmopolitan Review 5/21 - 5/27

Are you ready to roll out the lazy, hazy days of summer? The days of potato salad, watermelon and beer?

Do black lives matter in Israel? Ethiopian Jews protest racism and police brutality

Just as African-American activists have taken to the streets in recent months, decrying anti-Black brutalities by the police, their African-Israeli counterparts have launched a parallel protest in recent days, calling for an end to racial discrimination in the Holy Land.

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Michelle Obama: A Life

Somebody, somewhere close is talking about whether first lady Michelle Obama will ever run for office. Even as Hillary Clinton is primed for the run, eyes and opinions are looking further into the future.

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Keep it current

As the weather finally begins to change, I am inspired by the phrase “Keep it current.” It may seem like a simple or even abstract phrase to some, but it is quickly becoming a guiding principle for me in all facets of my life.

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Michelle Obama tells the truth at Tuskegee’s graduation

The reality of being Black in America is not understood by white people, and many prefer to treat us as if we don’t exist or will eventually disappear.

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Reconstructing the Black family

For a select few in the know, the election and re-election of President Barack Obama and the passage of his signature Affordable Care Act mark not the pinnacle (as is widely assumed) but rather the end of a golden era of racial progress and progressive social policy in America

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The murdering of Black men!

Black men know why we are murdered. We talk about it.

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E pluribus racism

If we need any further evidence that we are years if not decades away from a post-racial society—and that point has been made repeatedly with the rash of fatal assaults on unarmed Black men by white police officers—check the recent racist emails, comments and responses from law-enforcement officers in Miami, a school principal in Georgia and a professor at Duke University.

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Albany Should Scrap Giveaway to Developers

First conceived in 1971, the 421-a tax exemption was billed as a stimulant for a lagging private residential market with a strong affordability mission built in.

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Eric Adams warns teens about prom night dangers

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams recently held a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall alongside teens dressed in their prom attire to offer important safety tips for parents and students this prom season.

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Manhattan BP opens storefront on 125th Street

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer opened the doors to her storefront location at 431 West 125th Street.

Anti-violence groups and local celebrities collaborate after violence weekend

In response to recent incidents of violence, which has claimed the lives of multiple people in New York’s most vulnerable communities, anti-violence organizations are coming together to intervene.

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Housing stop-and-frisk case settled

The NAACP recently settled the five-year-old class action lawsuit Davis v. City of New York regarding unlawful stops and arrests in a “racially discriminatory manner and without sufficient evidence of wrongdoing” on public housing properties, a version of the NYPD’s infamous stop-and-frisk practices

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Malcolm X’s legacy influences today’s youth: Education is key

Five school buses, one charter bus and a dozen or so vehicles trekked from the Harlem State Office Building up to Ferncliff Cemetery this past Tuesday morning for the 50th annual pilgrimage to Malcolm X’s and Betty Shabazz’s burial site.

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The legacy of B. B. King

B.B. King, the anointed “King of the Blues,” who took the blues from the Mississippi cotton fields to mainstream America and the world stage, died May 14. He was 89.

Wednesday, May 20

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7 photos that prove Malcolm X's spirit is felt today

Every year on May 19, Malcolm X's birthday, marchers' make their way down 125th Street in Harlem to ensure that businesses close from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in honor of the beloved leader.

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Community celebrates Malcolm X's 90th birthday

The Shabazz Family and X Legacy are hosting a birthday celebration for the late el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, known as Malcolm X.

Tuesday, May 19

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Fleet Week welcomes American heroes to city

Hundreds of military personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Marines are taking a bite of the Big Apple during the 27th Annual Fleet Week

Monday, May 18

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Medgar Evers College comes together to remember Dr. Derrick Griffith

Students, faculty and the community came together to remember Medgar Evers College dean Dr. Darrick Griffith at a candlelight vigil on the campus

Saturday, May 16

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Street artists shine at art show

More than 30 New York City street artists showcased their work this weekend in the "Love It or Hate It" art show.

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The Thrill is Gone, and so is B.B. King

“The blues people have been treated like the Blacks have been—unfairly, and for me it was almost like being black twice,” B.B. King once lamented.

Friday, May 15

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Lady Law: Are Black women in leadership under attack?

As Black America continues to hail Marilyn J. Mosby as a hero for charging six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, the predicted backlash has begun.

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Legendary blues singer B. B. King dies at 89

Best known for his down-home style and recognizable guitar skills, blues legend B.B. KIng has died.

Thursday, May 14

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Broadcasting pioneer Dianne White Clatto

On several occasions, the Classroom doesn’t have to dig into the distant past for remarkable, pioneering Black Americans. To be sure, there are thousands of pathfinders still among us or only recently departed, such as Dianne White Clatto.

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Cop/inner-city conflict and the need for a mental revolution

The riot in Baltimore was a terrible incident and proof that racism is still very much alive in the world. Police brutality is something that primarily happens in the Black community, whether it’s a Black male walking down the street unarmed or a Black female exhibiting so-called “suspicious activity.”

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Legendary Pan-Africanist Elombe Brath to be honored

When Elombe Brath, a noted freedom fighter and native of Harlem, joined the ancestors last May 19, it was an unforgettable date because it also marked the 89th birthday of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz).

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Educator Herman Ferguson to be honored in Brooklyn

Overflowing tears and deeply felt emotions, wrapped in a red, black and green banner, will be on full display Saturday, May 16, when the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee will host a “special people’s memorial appreciating the life, legacy, sacrifice and commitment of the late Herman Ferguson, our legendary founding chair.”

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Singer Johnny Kemp memorialized at St. Philip’s

A capacity crowd of 600 filled St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Monday afternoon for hours to memorialize Harlem resident and famed recording artist Johnny Kemp.

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‘The Wire’ actor Gbenga Akinnagbe: ‘Why do American cops keep killing unarmed Black men?’

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Dante Parker, Ezell Ford, Kajieme Powell, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Noel Polanco, Jersey Green, Barrington Williams, Kyam Livingston, Clinton Allen, Aaron Brown, Derek Williams, David Raya, Manuel Diaz, Richard “Pedie” Perez, Ramiro James Villegas, Darien Hunt, Darren Rainey, Amadou Diallo. These are just some of the unarmed Black males killed by law enforcement in the United States between 1999 and 2014.

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Enough is enough!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is noted for getting budgets in on time, and his timing in the call for the passage of a tough law on campus sexual assault is equally propitious, with the alleged and debunked rape charge at the University of Virginia back in the news.

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Teen shot at Mother’s Day bike event in Newark

"Mother’s Day will never be the same for my sisters and I,” said Tanika Zigler, the aunt of 15-year-old Al-Shakeen Woodson, during a recent news radio interview. “Never.”

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Mumia re-admitted to hospital

Reports released the morning of May 13—coincidently, the 30th anniversary of the horrific MOVE bombing in Philadelphia—revealed that political prisoner of war, Mumia Abu-Jamal had been re-admitted the previous day to the infirmary at SCI Mahoney in Pennsylvania.

TPP: ‘The People’s Puzzle’?

Don’t feel like an ignoramus if you are baffled by all the rancor surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

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African Film Festival blooms in New York

The opening night of the 22nd New York African Film Festival was presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and African Film Festival, organized under the banner of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)

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Queen Latifah stars in HBO’s ‘Bessie’

Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (“Chicago”) stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama “Bessie,” directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees (“Pariah”) from a screenplay by Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland and Bettina Gilois.

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Def Dance Jam Community celebrates spring

ziza, founder and artistic director of Def Dance Jam Workshop, an intergenerational dance company of artists with and without different abilities, celebrates 20 years of service in the Harlem community with the spring season premier, “Touch…to feel your words” Sunday, May 17. In 2014, they transitioned to the new branding title “Def Dance Jam Community” or DDJC

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Amber Rose blooms on the silver screen

Everyone raved about the dresses that Beyonce, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez wore to May 4’s Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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Wayne Shorter Fest, ‘Essentially Ellington’ at 20

Wayne Shorter is an accomplished composer and superb saxophonist always in transition. Many of his compositions, such as “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum,” “Infant Eyes” and “E.S.P.,” have become jazz standards.

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Grace Jones to be honored at NBTF with Living Legend Award

If you are not familiar with the New York not-for-profit organization that supports Black theater by making sure to let audiences know about the shows and recognizing productions with the VIV Award, then you need to know about the AUDELCO Awards, which stands for Audience Development Committee.

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Edifying Haitian identity through film

Filmmaker explores cultural hatred, love and pride

There was a time when being Haitian wasn’t cool, but somewhere in between Wyclef Jean’s emergence and the Black consciousness movement in New York, Haiti became a beacon of freedom and pride.

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Food Tube: ‘Consumed’

Do you want to open a restaurant but don’t know exactly how to do it?

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Scent Trunk collaborates with Estevia Parfum

Intimacy and fragrance go hand and hand. Sweet scented floral notes influence thoughts of youth and modernity whereas musk and vanilla notes evoke a sense of power and maturity.

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Chinese imagery at the Met

When you first enter the Costume Institute’s opening gallery that’s exhibiting “China: Through the Looking Glass,” you see the Mao suit, created after Mao Zedong.

Unions express concerns during ‘Evalpalooza’

Last Thursday in Albany, educators and legislators voiced displeasure with the teacher evaluation process and suggested a change of pace in its implementation.

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HOT 97 Summer Jam ’bout to kick off the outdoor live music season

Consistent mild weather aside, a clear indication that summer is upon us is the energy of the music.

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10th annual Harambee Breakfast held by NCNW’s Greater Elizabeth Area Section

Alexis Herman never forgot the lessons her grandmother taught her as she was growing up in the segregated South.

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Delta Day hosted at United Nations

Recently, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hosted its 12th annual Delta Day at the United Nations with a “Special Briefing on Empowerment and Opportunities for Women and Girls.”

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Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o celebrated at CUNY

The “Legacy Series” for the legendary writer China Achebe at City College, hosted by the Black Studies Program, closed with an equally celebrated African author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o of Kenya. 

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Northside Center Gala celebrates impactful honorees

The good thing about spring cleaning is you find things you’d forgotten you had, which can mean a new wardrobe, new shoes or new pots and pans. It also leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment.

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To be young, gifted, Black and poor

The events that have occurred over the past year in Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Baltimore and so many other cities and towns across the country have shown many people in this country that we have an epidemic on our hands.

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Dr. Yosef A. A. ben-Jochannan: Transitioning to immortality

It has been known throughout the long continuum of the African(a) experience that when an elder dies, it is as if a library burns.

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We shouldn’t need deadlines to make Iran a priority

In our effort to halt the Iranian progress toward nuclear weapons capability, timing is critical.

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Max Tapper is ‘The Fit New Yorker’

At 6-foot-5 and a chiseled 230 pounds, Max Tapper’s own body is perhaps the best advertisement for his personal training business.

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Attorney Gloria Brown-Marshall, broadcaster Eddie Ellis among honorees for Malcolm X awards

Kawaida Organizations, in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival, will host its 46th annual Malcolm X Awards Program.

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Housing advocates and faith leaders rally for "fair zoning"

Hundreds of people from all over the city took to the streets of East New York Tuesday to demand equitable rezoning, which includes real affordability, good union jobs for the local residents and anti-displacement policies that protect the residents of the 15 neighborhoods set to be rezoned.

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December 12th Movement celebrates Malcolm X's 90th birthday

Tuesday, May 19 at 12 p.m., the Black Power Rally will assemble at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in front of the Harlem State Office Building.

Marker commemorating the work of slaves planned

Two weeks ago, the City Council did something that has been in the works, so to speak, for years: a monument or marker will be placed in the Wall Street area in tribute to the slaves’ role in the founding and the economy of the city.

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Cuomo earns praise for minimum wage

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to impanel a board to examine minimum wage in the fast-food industry.

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Malcolm X’s physical day declared an international holiday

“Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world,” Malcolm X once said.

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It’s time to ‘EatUp!’ Harlem

After a full year of planning and preparing, today kicks off the first official day of the inaugural Harlem EatUp! (@HarlemEatUp), a celebration of food, culture and spirit brought to Harlem by friends and colleagues Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster, Ginny’s, Streetbird) and Herb Karlitz (Karlitz & Company)

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Violence against Black women ignored

Somebody’s property

On July 4, 2014, California Highway Patrolman Daniel Andrew was caught via cellphone camera straddling and beating 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock on a Los Angeles freeway in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, May 13

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VIDEO: Hammer-wielding suspect gunned down by police in Midtown

Reports indicate that the man wanted by police for several random hammer attacks was gunned down by officers in Midtown.

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City Comptroller Scott Stringer and AARP launch ID theft prevention tour

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel kicked off the 2015 Shred Day event series in front of the Union Settlement Association in East Harlem on Monday.

Tuesday, May 12

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Officer not charged in Tony Robinson shooting

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Monday that the white officer who shot biracial, 19-year-old Tony Robinson Jr. in Madison, WI in March will not face charges.

Monday, May 11

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Black man found hanging from tree in Georgia

Reports indicate that police are investigating after a Black man was found hanging from a tree in Greensboro, Ga. on Monday.

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Alhambra Ballroom hosts bridal expo

The Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem is hosting a bridal expo and fashion show on Sunday, May 17 from 3pm to 7pm.

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Common takes the stage in Harlem

Rapper and actor Common recently performed in Harlem with two exclusive performances of UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH COMMON at Madiba Harlem at MIST.

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Reports: George Zimmerman involved in shooting in Florida

Reports indicate George Zimmerman was involved in a shooting in the Lake Mary, Fla. near Orlando on Monday.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo cracks down on nail salons

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the launch of a multi-agency Enforcement Task Force that will move immediately to prevent unlawful practices and unsafe working conditions in the nail salon industry.

Friday, May 8

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Justice Department opens investigation into the Baltimore Police Department

A week after six police officers in Baltimore are arrested on charges including from murder and manslaughter for the death of Freddie Gray, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the launching of an investigation of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

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10 things to see during the Apollo Theater's 2015-2016 season

Harlem's crowned jewel, the Apollo Theater, announced its programming for the 2015-2016 season.

Thursday, May 7

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On the “A” w/Souleo: South African photographer captures the pain and beauty of LGBT life

South Africa is celebrated for having one of the most advanced constitutions in the world, often cited for its inclusion of protections on the basis of sexual orientation.

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Imhotep's Guide to Black Events 5/7 - 5/13

Check out this week's events going on around town!

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Police relations in 2015

I am sure I am not the only person who feels this way, but my spirit aches each time I read a story about a young Black boy or girl dying at the hands of the police.

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Sambisa Forest, a forest of shame

The Nigerian elections have come and gone, and everything old is new again. Some of the new from the old is even more confusing and traumatic as time goes by.

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Fear, loathing and moral decay in the streets of Baltimore

Let’s face it. Baltimore has been a riot for decades.

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Newark Police Department takes 160 guns off the street in buyback

Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council, Police Director Eugene Venable, Police Chief Anthony Campos and the Newark Police Department announced that the city of Newark’s gun buyback, held Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at the Fourth Precinct located in Newark’s West Ward, was a success.

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Activists petition U.S. Justice Department to get involved in Jerame Reid case

Activists in South Jersey are petitioning for U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice to get involved in the investigation into the police killing of Jerame Reid.

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Ebony LaDelle uses coloring books to highlight authors of color

In terms of diversity, book publishing in the United States lags well behind other industries.

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Can Obama ensure justice in Baltimore?

“Justice needs to be served,” says President Barack Obama. “What I think people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That’s what people around the country expect.”

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Famed soul singer and composer Ben E. King dies at 76

With the recent reports of B.B. King being in hospice at home, some have already placed him with the ancestors.

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Toni Morrison says ‘racism not over until a cop shoots a white unarmed teenager in the back’

In an interview published last Sunday, award-winning author Toni Morrison shared her sincere assessment of race relations in allegedly post-racial America.

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Keynote targets Harlem’s tech scene

Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the Digital.NYC Five-Borough Tour with the goal of introducing New Yorkers to the hub of the city’s tech ecosystem known as Digital.NYC.

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New York elected officials should take note from Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby

The announcement of the indictment of the six Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby has shown us that the tenets of justice can work.

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It’s about all of us!

“Each man’s death diminishes me,” the great poet John Donne wrote, and we are all the more diminished and saddened when that death results from a senseless act of violence.

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Black women’s lives matter, too

Alexia Christian. Rekia Boyd. Yvette Smith. Shereese Francis. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Most of those names are probably unfamiliar to you

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AG Lynch meets with Freddie Gray’s relatives

A week or so after being sworn in as the new U.S. attorney general, Loretta Lynch gave some indication of the direction her tenure in office will be moving.

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AmNewsFOOD winner(s)

Thank you to all who submitted dishes to represent the Amsterdam News and AmNewsFOOD at the first ever Harlem Eat Up (@HarlemEatUp) festival taking place in just one week! Harlem restaurants, cooks and food makers showed what they can do, with some delicious dishes and more.

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Talking SCHOP! A ‘Night Out’ for kids

Last week, more than 1,350 charity-minded New Yorkers gathered at 23 Wall St. for the city’s premier culinary event for a cause, Night Out for No Kid Hungry.

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Vacation rentals increasingly replacing hotel stays

When I was growing up, vacation accommodations encompassed a handful of options: a hotel or motel, camping or staying at a friend or relative’s house

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Beware of fish tanks: They can harbor salmonella

Although they appear to be harmless, beware of fish tanks and the small pet fish that swim inside them. They may be more hazardous to your health than large barking dogs and persnickety cats.

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Emotional triggers

Emotional: Definition: Abandonment, forsaken, destitute, depleted, drained, exhausted, empty-headed.

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Women of Influence honorees and Robin Quivers raise money for cancer research

The T.J. Martell Foundation honored seven distinguished women at the Women of Influence Awards and Luncheon, held in New York Friday, May 1.

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FIT’s Future of Fashion ’15 show

Oh, what a show! FIT’s Future of Fashion show, held last Thursday evening at the John E. Reeves Great Hall on the FIT campus, was absolutely spectacular

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Multiple causes unite under May Day banner

Given the current socially, politically and racially charged climate, it shouldn’t have surprised a soul that this year’s May Day rally in Manhattan took on more of an edge.

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Freddie Gray and the Baltimore time bomb

Langston Hughes opens his powerful poem “Harlem” with the question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” He ends with another question, “Or does it explode?”

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Mayweather—love him or don’t—he’s still the winner

As the judges’ score cards were passed to the announcer, an ominous cloud loomed for real fans of the sweet science.

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Northside Center hosts 2015 child development gala

The Northside Center for Child Development held its annual Celebrate Northside Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

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Bed-Stuy’s Paul J. Cooper Center holds Walk-A-Thon

May is National Mental Awareness month. The drug and mental-health issues that have plagued the Bedford-Stuyvesant community have also caused an escalation of violence in some cases.

Cosmopolitan Review 5/7 - 5/13

News flash! Jacob Soul Food Restaurant, located on the corner of 129th Street and Lenox Avenue, now has outdoor seating.

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Alabama State University New York-Metro alumni chapter celebrates 50 years

The New York Metro Alumni Chapter of Alabama State University recently celebrated celebrated its 50th anniversary with a luncheon at Antun’s in Queens.

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Schumer calls for immigration protection for Nepalese nationals in the US

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer called for the Department of Homeland Security to grant Temporary Protected Status for Nepalese nationals currently residing in the United States.

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Malcolm X Committee to honor Herman Ferguson

Saturday, May 16, the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee is hosting a special memorial appreciating the life and legacy the late Herman Ferguson, their legendary founding chair.

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Family members of New Yorkers killed by police meet with Cuomo

The surviving family of New Yorkers slain by members of the New York Police Department met with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week. Family members have called on the governor to implement police reform and re-established their opposition to an “independent monitor.”

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Another NYPD officer slain

After a crazed Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos last December in Brooklyn, it came at a time when protesters were still outraged over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island. Now the media had a different story to nurse.

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Where there was smoke, there was Wesley Williams

It has taken Ginger Adams Otis nearly a decade to complete her book “Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest” (PalgraveMacmillan, 2015).

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‘The Heidi Chronicles’: One woman’s journey to self-worth

What is success? What gives one fulfillment in life? If you have a great career in which you do something that you’re passionate about and that pays you well, is that success?

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‘Gigi’ flops on Broadway

“Gigi” is one of the most gigantic flops I’ve seen on Broadway in a while!

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Choreographer Dianne McIntyre’s revealing ‘Selfie Session’

Dianne McIntyre has been called a “groundbreaking artistic pioneer,” a “choreographic genius” and “one of modern dance’s reigning divas”—praise showered on her since 1972 and the birth of Sounds in Motion, her now-defunct dance company, and throughout a four-decade long career.

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Seven dance artists receive $1.9 million in Doris Duke Artist Awards

Last month, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation named the 2015 class of Doris Duke Artists. Individually, recipients will receive $275,000 in “flexible, multi-year funding as an investment in and celebration of their ongoing contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, theater and jazz,” notes the release.

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Suge says ‘Not guilty’

erizon recently hosted an event in New York City with NFL player William Gay and “Orange Is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba to support their HopeLine from Verizon and announce the goal of 1 million phone donations by the end of 2015 to support victims of domestic violence

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Percy Sledge, ‘the Soul Man,’ dies at 74

Percy Sledge, the blues and soul singer who had both men and women unconsciously committed to singing the lyrics to his hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died in Baton Rouge, La., April 14.

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Denzel’s daughter talks upcoming role in ‘The Glass Menagerie’

ennessee Williams’ classic drama “The Glass Menagerie” will be performed at the 47th Street Theatre, located at 304 W. 47th St., May 8 to May 30.

Omo Misha Jewelry comes out for Mother’s Day and all of May

Just in time for Mother’s Day, designer and curator Omo Misha, of Omo Misha Jewelry, is bringing out some of her vintage pieces as part of “Harlem Days Harlem Nights” at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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Black art and the white gaze at the Brooklyn Museum

Patrons who appreciate art by and about Black people should make a bee-line to the top three floors of the Brooklyn Museum. Artwork from right now, the recent past and ancient history are on display via three sizable exhibitions.

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Donovan heads to DC, Richardson to Albany

Tuesday night was “special” for both Democrats and Republicans in New York City.

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President Obama launches MBK Alliance at Lehman College

President Barack Obama delivered remarks at an event launching the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at Lehman College in the Bronx Monday.

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Mighty Marilyn!

Black America's new superhero

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Friday that all six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray are being charged. The charges include manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

Tuesday, May 5

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Urban Agenda: Baltimore and Fair Access

Before six Baltimore police officers were indicted last week in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in the custody of police, sections of this city mired in economic stagnation and beset by social disparities were the scenes of mass rioting reminiscent of Newark in 1967.

Friday, May 1

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May Day rally takes on new meaning

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in downtown Manhattan on Friday to participate in the annual May Day rally.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Get to know Marilyn J. Mosby

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby was thrust into the spotlight since the police death of Freddie Gray.

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‘Stand By Me’ singer Ben E. King dead at 76

Best known for the 1961 his song “Stand By Me, soul and R&B singer-songwriter Ben E. King has died. He was 76.

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Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Friday that all six officers involved in the the death of Freddie Gray are being charged.

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VIDEO: NUL President and CEO Marc Morial on Baltimore and Freddie Gray

In a recent interview with the AmNews, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial talks with us about what's happening in Baltimore and the next steps.