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Tamir Rice’s Mother Building a Youth Center in Cleveland to Honor Her Son

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Samaria Rice

Samaria Rice

*Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, has announced plans to convert an empty two-story brick building in her Cleveland neighborhood to a new youth center in honor of her son.

The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center, to be built at 6117 St. Clair Ave., will serve as a gathering place where children can be mentored and nurtured and taught how to dissect and participate in political systems, something Rice said she never learned in school but was forced to learn 3 1/2 years ago to speak up for 12-year-old Tamir after he was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in the recreation center park where he played daily.

Rice is launching the center as a gift to Tamir, and an assurance that his death would not be in vain.

photographer:Lisa DeJong

Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center

Via Cleveland.com:

Rice said some people have discouraged her from opening the center, or questioned her ability to pull it off.

The 41-year-old mother may have only an 8th grade education, but she brushes off those naysayers just like she did the annoyance last week of someone putting superglue in every one of the locks on the center’s newly purchased building.

“I don’t pay no attention to them,” Rice said bluntly. “They can’t beat me for the simple fact that their child wasn’t killed by the state. I’m going to do it through the grace of God and I’m going to do it because the city of Cleveland gave me no choice but to do it as far as building my son’s legacy and keeping his legacy alive.”

The mother of Tamir Rice envisions a warm and energetic space filled with children. They are painting and drawing with pastels. They are beating on African drums and bowing violins. They are performing plays they created in an intimate theater.

photographer:Lisa DeJong

Samaria Rice inside the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center, honoring her son

Next month, Rice is throwing a “Sweet Sixteen” party for the milestone her son can’t celebrate. She’s invited the public to help her honor Tamir with musical and spoken word performances, and to help raise $21,000 to renovate the more than 3,500-square-foot building purchased in March by the Tamir Rice Foundation.

Built in 1920, the building has good bones but needs some new windows, drywall and a stage for performances. She hopes to complete work and open the center in 2019.

Tickets for a June 14th fundraiser at the Cleveland Museum of Art are $55 and contributions to the renovation are also being collected online here.

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Maryland Man Narrates Viral Video of his Own Violent Arrest (Watch)

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Antoine Lee Wedington

*A video posted to social media shows several Anne Arundel County, MD police officers forcibly removing a Black man during a traffic stop as he narrates the incident.

Officers are shown asking 23-year-old Antoine Lee Wedington of Brooklyn Park, MD to get out of the car, saying they have warrants for his arrest. Wedington, in the passenger seat, explains to the camera that the driver was stopped for speeding, and expresses confusion over the reason for his record being searched. After refusing to comply with officers demands to exit the vehicle, they try to remove him forcibly.

During the struggle, he asks the officers to let him leave the vehicle himself. When pressed against an SUV, he shouts at the driver, Heather Janney, to continue filming.

Wedington was eventually charged with resisting arrest. The videos, which Janney posted to her TikTok account @heatherjanney, have been viewed more than 22.5 million times, prompting pickups from TMZ and other outlets across the country.

The videos end with Janney crying and what appears to be a baby in the backseat. Wedington told police during the arrest he was saying goodbye to his family who were in the vehicle with him. Wedington kissed Janney as he was pulled out of the vehicle.

Watch the videos below:

@heatherjanneyEarlier in the video :/

♬ original sound – Heather Janney

 

@heatherjanneyThe last part.♬ original sound – Heather Janney

In a news release Saturday, police said that Wedington was identified during a traffic stop when the female driver was pulled over for speeding around 3:20 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Shady Side and Deale Churchton roads in Deale. Officers asked the driver and Wedington for identification, and Wedington refused, police said. Wedington said in the videos he didn’t think it was legal for police to identify him.

“He wasn’t arrested because he didn’t produce his ID,” said police spokesman Lt. AJ Gardiner. “He was arrested because he was (identified as) Antoine and he didn’t comply.”

Officers identified Wedington with a database and discovered he had two active warrants issued in Anne Arundel County, at least one for failure to appear in court, Sgt. Kam Cooke said in an interview. Cooke said he did not know the nature of the other warrant.

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EUR Review: Javon Johnson’s ‘STILL’ – A Captivating Lesson in Blackness

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Javon Johnson
Javon Johnson

Javon Johnson – Photo by Jeff Lorch

*This past week I had the pleasure of watching “Still,” a spoken-word piece starring Javon Johnson and filmed by Playhouse Live.

Still can best be described as a novella brought to life as Javon elegantly shares a number of personal stories from his perspective as a Black man with topics ranging from manhood, toxic masculinity, the American justice system, gentrification, hope and despair, and so on.

Standing in the middle of a stage looking out upon empty auditorium seats, Javon undauntedly showcases his raw talent; effortlessly bringing the same emotion and energy that is desired from a performer if surrounded by a full audience. Javon is truly captivating in his cadence and narrative topics.

If asked to choose which topics stood out most to me, I would be hard-pressed to do so. The sequence “cuz he’s black, a lesson in proper sentence construction, and on healthy masculinity” really resonated.  The latter of which was especially enthralling as Javon poetically explained how the world forces Black men to be a in constant state of war and peace.

As a Black man, I could relate to this and his descriptions of the many conflicts he faced in his adolescent years. Here is a truly engaging storyteller.  Javon paints a picture that brings to mind many of my own experiences when individuals would attempt to test me. It is encouraging to hear someone else share their experiences and struggles with balancing blackness in masculinity.

Still is a fascinating piece of art well worth taking the time to watch it. Javon Johnson’s “Still” performance can be rented through PlayhouseLive for $19.99 and is available through November 1, 2020.  After the initial purchase, Stillcan be watched on any of the PlayhouseLive apps including Apple OS, Android OS, Roku, FireTV and more. Closed captioning will be available in both English and Spanish. 

MORE NEWS: The Pulse of Entertainment: Sought After Singer Charles Martin Goes Solo Again with Single ‘Truth’

Javon Johnson

Javon Johnson – Photo by Jeff Lorch

About PlayhouseLive
PlayhouseLive is a first-of-its-kind digital streaming platform for nonprofit theaters. Powered by Pasadena Playhouse, PlayhouseLive’s “theater on demand” hosts fully realized cinema-quality productions filmed in high definition on stage specifically for the digital platform. It takes online theatrical performances beyond Zoom readings and interpretations to full scale productions for viewers around the world to enjoy. Distribution channels include a standalone website, iPhone and Android apps, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Chromecast, and AirPlay, among others.

In addition to theater on demand, PlayhouseLive programming will include staged readings, and cabarets, as well as original series, documentaries, and theater classes. It is a home for a wide array of theatrical voices through new and revisited work.  Additional information about PlayhouseLive and its programming, including new announcements and pricing specials, are available at www.playhouselive.org

EURweb.com, Everything Urban & Radioscope (formerly The Electronic Urban Report) Covering the Culture since 1997.

David Anthony EURweb 20201006_231339

David Anthony is new on the EURweb team. Covering the culture since 1997. Contact David: [email protected]

David Anthony is a new graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.  A self-designated history buff and random fact finder, David could rattle your ear for hours with information. Born and raised in the City of Angels he is a huge fan of the city’s culture and hometown NBA team, the L.A. Clippers. A future attorney, businessman, and civil servant, he hopes to be an impactful individual in life.  Contact David: [email protected]

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Revolt Announces New Social Justice Documentary ‘From Pain to Power’ (Trailer)

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From Pain to Power preview from EURweb on Vimeo.

*REVOLT is behind a new captivating documentary that takes a close look at the passionate struggle for social equality happening today, and the robust grassroots efforts propelling the movement forward. “From Pain to Power: A REVOLT Special” will premiere on Monday, Oct. 26.

“From Pain to Power: A REVOLT Special” spotlights the fight for social justice, starting at the March on Washington and spreading to the streets of Kentucky, Atlanta, and beyond. The film features intimate interviews with some of the most well-known celebrities and activists at the forefront of the social justice battle including Tip”T.I.” Harris, Tamika Mallory, Mysonne, Ben Crump, Drumma Boy, Shabazz the OG, Dr. Frank Smith, Ms. Opal Lee, Linda Sarsour, Bridgett Floyd, Lonita Baker, Angela Williams, and Mothers of the Movement: Kadiatou Diallo, Thelma Pannell-Dantzler, Sybrina Fulton, Wanda Johnson, Maria Hamilton, Gwenn Carr, and Tamika Palmer.

“Our resilience as Black people in America after centuries of oppression is nothing short of remarkable,” says activist Tamika Mallory. “We need to continue to archive our brilliance, our power and yes, even our pain, and REVOLT TV is the platform for our full stories.”

“We are honored that REVOLT saw that this is a critical moment in African American and civil rights history, and with T.I. leading the charge, this should be shown to the world,” says Steve Raze and Mac Mills, executive producers and CEOs of AGA Agency.

“After months of mass protests in the streets demanding social justice – and now a presidential election just weeks away – it’s obvious that we’re at a historic crossroads where systemic change is not only possible, but critically necessary,” says Detavio Samuels, Chief Operating Office at REVOLT. “From Pain to Power not only documents this moment in time, but charts our next steps forward. We couldn’t be any prouder to premiere this program on REVOLT.”

Watch the trailer above.

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens

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