Detroit Lions hire Jim Caldwell; NAACP fights new Trader Joe's development; Alicia Keys hosts "We Are Impowered" watch play

Juliana Norwood | 1/16/2014, midnight


Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg issued his final verdict ordering Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra to pay $1.15 billion into a fund to remove lead paint from homes in various counties and cities in California. This decision is the largest public nuisance award in history of the State of California and comes after 13 years of vigorous litigation. The case has already gone up to the Court of Appeal twice and the California Supreme Court once. According to the judge, Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra or their predecessors were liable for promoting lead paint while knowing of its poisonous effects on children. The medical literature and the companies’ own internal documents demonstrate that the companies knew by the early 1900s that lead paint was injurious to children. Although banned in 1978, lead paint remains on millions of homes in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano, and Ventura; the city and county of San Francisco; and the cities of San Diego and Oakland.

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe

“Precious” actress Gabourey Sidibe responded to the fashion critics and Twitter users who made fun of her weight after seeing pictures of her on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards. After checking out some of the hurtful comments, Sidibe took to Twitter to respond. “To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night,” she tweeted along with the hashtag #JK, which means “just kidding.” The response earned thousands of favorites and retweets within minutes. Sidibe continues to make moves in Hollywood her name connected to “American Horror Story: Coven,” “Gravy” with Sarah Silverman, “Life Partners” with Leighton Meester and “White Bird In a Blizzard” with Shailene Woodley.

District of Columbia

D.C.’s Black history will come together this spring, as researchers piece together texts, images and videos documenting the city’s African American community at Gelman Library at George Washington University. A half-million dollar grant will allow the university and five other city organizations to combine their collections, helping the school to become a hub for the city’s African American history, decades after the university harbored a reputation for racist administrators and all-White groups on campus. Faculty in the Africana Studies department also plan to develop courses around the collections, which will tell the story of the role the city played as a refuge for runaway slaves during the Civil War. Bernard Demczuk, assistant vice president for district relations, will develop the courses and hopes the courses will eventually be taught at all D.C. schools and universities.


The Detroit Lions hired Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as its 26th head coach. He replaces Jim Schwartz,

Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell

who was fired after five seasons and a 29-51 record. Caldwell becomes the first Black coach in the Lions’ 83-year history. Caldwell, who went 26-22 as the Colts’ head coach from 2009-11, is expected to bring Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin with him as his defensive coordinator. Gunther Cunningham currently remains under contract with Detroit in that capacity.