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Akon sued for Pitbull's no show; Amber Riley launches clothing line; Derek White makes Port Went work history; Steve Harvey joins Pay it Forward Program

1/23/2014, midnight

Sam and Candea Aarons, an interracial couple from Atlanta was upset after they recently discovered an offensive racial slur written on their valet ticket after picking up their car. They couple reportedly valet parked their car, and had dinner on New Year’s Day at Spondivits restaurant in East Point. After retrieving their vehicle and preparing to go home, they couldn’t help but notice a tag that was still attached to their set of keys. It read “jungle fever”. Initially the restaurant only offered a coupon for a free dinner to remedy the incident, but eventually released a statement saying that the employee had been fired, and that they “do not tolerate racism of any kind whatsoever.”

Virginia

In commemoration of Black History Month PBS announced new shows and online content celebrating the African American experience past, present and future. From a profile of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, to a documentary about the secret spy agency created to maintain segregation in 1950’s Mississippi, Black History Month on PBS will provide programs that educate, inform and inspire viewers to learn more about the rich culture of our nation. The lineup begins on Feb. 3 with

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Alice Walker

“American Promise,” a powerful coming-of-age documentary that follows the journey of two young African American males from kindergarten through high school graduation as they attend a prestigious Manhattan private school. Confronting challenges from typical childhood growing pains to cultural identification within a predominantly White environment, the young men and their parents push toward success and discover their own individuality in the process. Also airing in February are two programs that celebrate the contributions of artists such as Bobby McFerrin and Terence Blanchard in “Jazz and the Philharmonic,” and Bill T. Jones and Brian Stokes Mitchell in “Becoming An Artist.”

National

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) released a new national billboard awareness campaign headlined “AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue.” As African American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS compared with their respective percentages of the overall population, AHF’s billboards are intended to serve as a reminder of this and suggest that access to HIV prevention and care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be a universal human right. Currently African Americans account for 44 percent of all people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12 percent of the population. Latinos account for 21 percent of all new HIV infections nationwide, yet only represent 16 percent of the U.S. population.


Actor, comedian turned media mogul and philanthropist-Steve Harvey- takes on another exciting role by joining the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Program. His strong commitment to mentoring is a great complement to the movement that uncaps a world of possibilities for the next generation. Marking year three, the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program will offer once-in-a-lifetime apprenticeship experiences to African American youth looking to pave the way for their futures. Under the umbrella of the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Harvey will offer two apprenticeship experiences focused on the areas of philanthropy/community and media/entertainment. Youth will work with Harvey and his team on his radio shows, with his entertainment company and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation’s mentoring camps which promote educational enrichment, one-on-one mentoring and global service initiatives. Now through March 15, parents, relatives, friends and mentors may nominate an aspiring young person for the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program by visiting www.coke.com/payitforward.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood.