Oprah isn't her magazine's cover image for the first time ever, Breonna Taylor is

Hitting newsstands August 11 is the first Oprah-less O magazine cover. Oprah Winfrey gave up her cover spot for the first time in the magazine's 20-year history to honor Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old who was killed this past March by Louisville police officers.

Here is part of her explanation on why she put an illustration of the young murder victim on the cover:

Breonna Taylor was 26 years old. Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend. Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it. Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs. Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along. Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties. Breonna Taylor was a force in the life of her 20-year-old sister. Breonna Taylor felt meaning and purpose in her work as an emergency room technician. Breonna Taylor was saving to buy a house. Breonna Taylor had plans. Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future.

I think about Breonna Taylor often. She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities.

Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner.

Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping.

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Boston Red Sox put up 'Black Lives Matter' billboard next to Mass Pike

The Boston Red Sox have placed a new billboard on Fenway Park, facing the Mass Pike highway. It reads "Black Lives Matter" and uses the baseball team's familiar font and "red socks" logo.


The billboard appeared to have been recently installed.

Earlier this year, the Red Sox showed their support for the movement by spelling out Black Lives Matter on the scoreboard on the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

"Our anger and grief must translate to action,” the team wrote on its official Twitter account. “We have a responsibility to use our platform to amplify messages of truth and justice."

screengrab via CBS Boston/YouTube Read the rest

The Philly cop who brutally pepper sprayed peaceful protestors turned himself in

Philadelphia SWAT officer Richard P. Nicoletti was filmed last month pulling masks off peacefully kneeling protestors and blasting them with pepper spray. He turned himself in today and will likely face charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment, official oppression, and possession of an instrument of crime.

From The Inquirer:

On June 1, as demonstrators gathered on the highway, Nicoletti could be seen on video dousing three of them with pepper spray as they knelt in the middle of the road.

Video showed Nicoletti pulling down the mask of the first woman he sprayed in the face, dousing a second woman at point blank range, then spraying a man in the face several times while also shoving him to the ground.

Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney described Nicoletti’s actions as unacceptable, and Outlaw said she was “disgusted.”

John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said that protesters had created a dangerous situation by entering the highway, and that the union would defend Nicoletti as the department’s disciplinary process played out.

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DJ Joey Negro, who is white, decides to change his stage name

A white musician in the UK who performs as "DJ Joey Negro" has decided to drop the name, reports the BBC.

In truth I’ve not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older. I’ve stopped using it a few times but establishing a new name as an artist isn’t easy and I’ve ended up going back to it. I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name. I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020 - and I agree. From now on I’m dropping Joey Negro as a pseudonym, and all those future releases that weren’t already in production will carry the name Dave Lee. I’m sorry to have caused any offence. My whole life has been about music but particularly black music, I love soul, funk, disco, jazz in a way that’s impossible for me to articulate in words and I have tried to champion it with the best intentions. Please be aware the changes are not instant everywhere, Best Dave Lee

Game over for blackface and the like, as put out there by clued-in but boneheaded white entertainers who thought they were being ironic, respectful or clever.

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Amazon-owned Whole Foods cracked down on staff wearing 'Black Lives Matter' apparel, class-action lawsuit claims

More than 12 workers at Whole Foods stores in 4 different U.S. states claim in a class-action lawsuit that the Amazon-owned retailer retaliated against them for wearing apparel associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Read the rest

Watch "Karens Gone Wild!"

If my copy doesn't arrive soon, I'm going to talk to their manager. Yeah! Video tote me all day long!

(The Radical Left)

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"Promissory Note" marries MLK's moving words with music and imagery

Filmmaker Jazeel Gayle took a key passage from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and transformed it into a powerful short film about Black Lives Matter. Read the rest

SUV plows into BLM protest in NYC's Times Square, similar potentially deadly attacks happening around U.S.

“#BreakingNews an SUV just plowed through protesters on 42nd street in #manhattan Still assessing injuries if any. More on ⁦@NY1⁩ #blacklivesmatter #nycprotest more on ⁦@NY1⁩,” tweeted NY1 news reporter Ruschell Boone [@RuschellBoone] at 10:19pm New York Time. Read the rest

It's not ok to use the term "slave," and the "B" in Black should be capitalized

On this Juneteenth, I thought I'd share two things I've just learned:

1. It's not ok to use the word "slave." It's dehumanizing. We should use "enslaved" instead. Watch the video with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Oprah to understand why better.

2. It's time we start using a capital B for Black:

...Temple University journalism professor Lori L. Tharps had this to say: “When speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized. Black with a capital B refers to people of the African diaspora. Lowercase black is simply a color.”

Tharps’s argument highlights the fact that Black people have a common cultural identity of history, art, community, and shared experiences. Most Black Americans lack a specific geographic identity, as they are unable to conclusively trace roots back to a specific country of origin due to enslavement. That lack of shared geography is actually part of what binds Black people together. And while “African American” is a fine terminology choice, it is sometimes considered inadequately representative by Black Americans with recent Caribbean or British lineage, for example, or those who have recently emigrated to the United States from Africa.

Thanks, A! Read the rest

Dave Chappelle's '8:46'

Amazingly powerful. Read the rest

The BLM's Burning Man environmental impact statement is terrible, calls for drug searches, dumpsters, and a 19,000,000lb concrete wall

The Burning Man event is seeking a renewal of its 10-year permit to use the federally owned Black Rock Desert site managed by the Bureau of Land Management; the BLM has responded with a bizarre, overreaching Environmental Impact Statement that ignores the lavishly documented record of Burning Man's excellent safety and stewardship record. Read the rest

El Cajon police say unarmed black man pointed vape at officer before he was shot to death

Alfred Okwera Olango, who was black, was fatally shot by police in El Cajon, California on Tuesday. Police in the San Diego suburb city say the 38 year old Ugandan immigrant pointed a vape pen or e-cigarette device at them, before police shot the man to death.

Officers were responding to a call of a man behaving erratically, and walking in traffic. Olango's friends and supporters say court records show that he suffered from mental illness, and may have been experiencing a seizure before his death. An El Cajon police officer is believed to have shot Olango within as little as one or two minutes after arriving at the scene. Read the rest

At Starbucks, some customers give 'Black Lives Matter' as name so baristas will shout the phrase

“When ordering at Starbucks, people have changed their name to “Black Lives Matter” so that, when their order is up, the baristas have to yell out their new moniker,” reports Taryn Finley at Huffington Post Black Voices. Read the rest

Drinking milk at school while black: Student arrested for larceny over 65-cent milk and racism

Virginia authorities handcuffed a middle school student and charged him with larceny for "stealing" a milk carton from the school cafeteria earlier this year. The child has also been suspended from school. Read the rest

Second Baltimore cop cleared of all charges in Freddie Gray death

A second Baltimore police officer involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray was acquitted Monday. Gray, who was black, died in police custody one year ago, in Maryland. Read the rest

'She out! She out!' Video shows high school official choking 15 year old girl unconscious

An assistant principal at a South Carolina high school is under investigation after police say the man restrained a 15-year-old student in a chokehold, and kept her in a chokehold until she passed out. The Kingstree, SC police department is reported to be seeking assault and battery charges against the man. Read the rest

As jury deliberates in Freddie Gray death trial, Baltimore schools warn students not to protest

Jurors in Baltimore, Maryland are now deliberating whether a police officer is guilty of manslaughter and assault in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from a spinal cord injury that took place while he was in police custody last April. We know about Gray's death in part because someone took video of his arrest. His family says the police killed him, and it's hard to imagine they're wrong. Read the rest

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