*The Minneapolis teen who used her cell phone camera to record the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis officers is slated to receive a national courage award.
Darnella Frazier, 17, was on the scene of the tragedy that occurred on Memorial Day, after officers attempted to arrest Floyd on suspicion of forgery. Frazier’s footage, which she posted on her Facebook page, shows the victim handcuffed and on the ground with Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of his neck, with Foyd pleading: “Please, I can’t breathe.”
The officer ignores Floyd, even after he appears to lose consciousness, keeping his knee on the victim’s neck for nearly five minutes.
Frazier previously revealed that she caught major heat on social media for posting the video, critics called her a clout chaser.
“I’m doing it for clout ?? For attention?? What ?? To get paid ?? Now y’all just sound dumb and ignorant,” she said in a post to her haters back in May. “I don’t expect anyone who wasn’t placed in my position to understand why and how I feel the way that I do!! MIND YOU I am a minor ! 17 years old, of course I’m not about to fight off a cop I’m SCARED wtf. I don’t give 2 f—s about what y’all would’ve did because was y’all there?? NO.,” she wrote.
Once shared online, the video sparked a wave of protests, demanding justice not only for Floyd, but Breonna Taylor — who was shot and killed by police in Kentucky.
“With nothing more than a cell phone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement Tuesday.
“With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness, and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw.”
Frazier told the Star Tribune following Floyd’s death, “The world needed to see what I was seeing,” she said. “Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
PEN America in December will honor Darnella with the PEN/Benenson Courage Award.
Barack Obama Says Rapper Drake Has ‘Stamp of Approval’ to Play Him in Biopic
*Barack Obama has given former actor Drake his approval to play him in a potential biopic about the former president.
“I will say this, Drake seems to be able to do anything he wants. I mean, that is a talented, talented brother. So, if the time comes and he’s ready…,” said Obama during a recent interview on Complex’s 360 With Speedy Morman.
“Drake has, more importantly I think, my household’s stamp of approval,” he added. “I suspect Malia and Sasha would be just fine with it.”
Drake’s acting career began on the Canadian teen drama “Degrassi,” before he transitioned into a hip-hop artist. According to PEOPLE, the rapper first expressed interest in playing Obama in an interview with Paper in 2010.
“I hope somebody makes a movie about Obama’s life soon because I could play him,” he said during Obama’s first term in office. “I watch all the addresses. Anytime I see him on TV, I don’t change the channel, I definitely pay attention and listen to the inflections of his voice.”
Drake continued, “If you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty good at impressions. Slowly but surely, I’m not in the study mode because nobody’s called me about anything, but I just pay attention so when the day comes I’m not scrambling to learn how to speak like him.”
In related news, Obama is currently on his book tour promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land,” and during a recent interview with Breakfast Club, he addressed criticism that he didn’t do enough for Black Americans while he was in the White House.
“I understand it because when I got elected, there was so much excitement and hope. And I also think that we generally view the presidency as almost like a monarchy. In the sense of, ‘once the President is there he can just do whatever he needs to get done and if he’s not doing it then it must be because he didn’t want to do it,’” Obama told the hosts.
He then said he “had the statistics” to prove his accomplishments.
“By the time I left office, you had seen three million African Americans have health care that didn’t have it before. You had seen the incarceration rate, the number of Black folks in prison, drop for the first time in years… You had seen Black poverty drop to its lowest level since 1968. You had seen Black businesses rise, you had seen Black income go up,” Obama said, adding that “millions of Black folks were better off” when he left office.
Jody Watley Makes Surprise TV Appearance on DJ Cassidy’s ‘Pass The Mic: BET Soul Train Edition’ / WATCH
*(Hollywood, CA) – Jody Watley is always full of surprises. The Grammy-winning, trendsetting pioneer in music, video, fashion and style recently joined other R&B legends of the 80s on DJ Cassidy’s “Pass the Mic: BET Soul Train Edition,” which also featured Sheila E, Chaka Khan, El DeBarge, Deniece Williams, Morris Day, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Lisa Lisa, George Clinton, and many more.
DJ Cassidy included an all-star surprise line-up for his set, including Jody Watley giving homage to she and her fellow musical legends who gave birth to some of the greatest dance records of all time. The ‘highly anticipated,’ DJ show premiered after the Soul Train Awards, and also aired on VH1 and MTV2 on Sunday, November 29.
Never one to disappoint, Jody Watley ‘rocked the mic’ and performed bars of “A Night to Remember,” one of the many hit songs from her years during the pinnacle time for the group, Shalamar for the prime-time DJ television special.
Following her brief six year run in the group, Watley went on to become a celebrated solo artist, respected businesswoman, innovative music maker, and style-forging pioneer who has led the way as an entrepreneur working in the independent music world as one of the few already-established female best-selling artists to produce, create and own her recordings.
Some of Jody’s many classic hits include “Real Love,” “Don’t You Want Me,” “Everything,” and “Still A Thrill.”
She is one of the architects of 21st-century pop. From her groundbreaking union of rap and R&B (1987’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim) to her vision-forward amalgamation of high fashion, street fashion and music in the 1980s (long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre, the iconic singer forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook.
DJ Cassidy’s popular ‘Pass the Mic’ webcast series made its debut on BET’s broadcast of “The Soul Train Awards.” His special DJ edition immediately followed after the awards show and delivered a second prime-time special that brought Cassidy’s all-star medleys, usually seen via Twitch and YouTube, to a network for the first time.
“I was thrilled to be part of the first TV presentation for DJ Cassidy’s ‘Pass the Mic.’ He has such an incredible love of music and appreciation for an artist’s body of work that reflects in his presentation and delivery as a DJ,” said Watley.
“Cassidy knows how to mix music seamlessly and play the right song at the right time. It was such an honor and great feeling to be a part of the TV broadcast. We have a mutual appreciation and love as well as a respect for the classics – great music and artistry has no expiration date!” she added.
For all links to Jody Watley’s website, blog, social media & more visit https://direct.me/jodywatley
source: BNM Publicity Group / [email protected]
Pro-Trump Donor Sues for Return of $2.5M He Gave Group to Prove Election Fraud
*Venture capitalist Fred Eshelman gave $2.5 million to a group of Trump supporters promising to help overturn the election results. Eshelman is now suing to get his money back.
According to Business Insider, Eshelman is suing True the Vote Inc., claiming the Houston-based organization failed to fulfill the conditions of his monetary gift.
True the Vote is a vote-monitoring organization. Complex reports that in the lawsuit, it says that Eshelman “regularly and repeatedly” asked for updates on True the Vote’s investigation but was “consistently met with vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises of follow-up that never occurred.”
Here’s more from USA Today:
Eshelman allegedly wired $2 million on Nov. 5 and an additional $500,000 on Nov. 13 that was intended to be put toward True the Vote’s “Validate the Vote” strategy.
The initiative was designed to investigate and litigate claims of voter fraud and “solicit whistleblower testimonies,” “build public momentum,” “galvanize Republican legislative support in key states,” “analyze data to identify patterns of election subversion” and “file lawsuits … with the capacity to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.”
True the Vote offered Eshelman $1 million as long as he didn’t sue them, the report states. The organization dropped its lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on Nov. 16.
Eshelman’s lawsuit alleges that True the Vote’s “consistent delay and inability to make progress on the goals … suggested that many of those goals might not be met since many important deadlines relating to state election results were rapidly approaching.”
The group’s president and founder, Catherine Engelbrecht cited “barriers to advancing our arguments, coupled with constraints on time” as why they failed to uncover evidence of voter fraud.
True the Vote says on its website that it aims to “empower and equip citizens to ensure that our election process is protected from fraud and exploitation.”
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