*Stevie Wonder shared his feelings about the state of the nation in a moving video message shared on social media.
His seven-minute announcement arrived hours after a grand jury in Kentucky indicted one police officer with first-degree wanton endangerment for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor’s family will receive a $12 million settlement as part of their wrongful death lawsuit against the city and police department, but Wonder believes “no amount of money has ever brought a life back. Ask yourself, ‘Why so long for Breonna Taylor?'” he says in the clip above. “‘Why would we accept anyone [to] call a fallen soldier anything less than an ultimate hero?'”
“And for me, good trouble is bringing our nation, this nation, back together again. And the way we do that is to vote justice in and injustice out. We just can’t put November in the hands of fate. But we can put it in our hands. The universe is still watching us. And now,” the teary-eyed singer declared, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is watching us, too.”
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Kerry Washington, Ava DuVernay, Dan Levy, and more celebrities reacted to the news that none of the three officers in Taylor’s case were charged for her death.
“God bless Breonna’s family and all who knew and loved her. Her tragic death compounded by the violence of silence and inaction by the city she called home is more than any of them should have to endure,” Duvernay tweeted. The director has championed racial justice and highlighted issues in the criminal justice system through projects like Selma, 13th, and When They See Us.
“What is most insulting is that the recommended charges aren’t even in response to the MURDER of Breonna Taylor, but to the POTENTIAL injury of other people in the apartment,” “grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi wrote, adding, “‘No knock warrants’ feels analogous to the experience of being Black in America … The unsolicited intrusion of racism and violence dealt with on a daily basis.”
George Clooney issued a statement to The New York Times in response to Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron condemning celebrities for reacting to the news.
“I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month. The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions. Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision.”
Scroll up and watch Wonder’s full empowering message via the YouTube video above.
Maryland Man Narrates Viral Video of his Own Violent Arrest (Watch)
*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 :/
@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.
EUR Review: Javon Johnson’s ‘STILL’ – A Captivating Lesson in Blackness
“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, Still. can 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.
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 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]
Revolt Announces New Social Justice Documentary ‘From Pain to Power’ (Trailer)
*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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