(243222)

California

Variety reports that Jay Z and Beyoncé brought their newly born twins home from the hospital last week not to the swanky estate in L.A.’s Holmby Hills they rented a couple of years ago at a reported rate of $150,000 per month or to a Beverly Hills estate once owned by Madonna, where they reportedly holed up during her pregnancy… but rather to the so-called La Villa Contenta, an even larger, more lavish and profoundly pricey, 6.3-acre compound in Malibu that rents for $400,000 per month. Should the decide they like La Villa Contenta, it’s additionally for sale at $54,50,000, a sky-high price by any standard but almost a third below the rose-tinted $75 million price tag the compound’s owner, real estate developer Richard Weintraub, first asked for the super-luxe spread when it came for sale amid a flurry of international publicity in 2010. Sequestered behind an imposing gate, a forbiddingly high hedge and abundant mature foliage, the heavily fortified compound, on a high bluff with panoramic coastline views but, alas, no direct beach access, is anchored by a Mediterranean inspired main villa that measures in at around 12,000 square feet with three en suite guest and family bedrooms and a couple of staff bedrooms plus a major-league master suite with fireplace, large private terrace, two bathrooms and his-and-her closets.

Florida

They are being called “baby gangstas.” They are six teens, ages 14-16, who stole cash and goods from high-end homes and used the proceeds to buy themselves jewelry and cars for their parents, reports the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. The six boys charged last week with breaking into a home and stealing a Porsche, a safe stuffed with more than $200,000 in cash and two loaded handguns were so young that only one was old enough to drive. But the Fort Lauderdale teens—ages 14 to 16—are experienced in crime well beyond their years and have lengthy rap sheets, authorities say. One of the teens, Rural Scott, 15, was on probation and wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor, when he told investigators he served as lookout during a April 27 break-in in Fort Pierce. St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara called the teenagers “thugs” who “intentionally targeted our community, searched out a house in an affluent neighborhood and stole their life savings.” When charged with burglary and grand theft this week, all six of the teenagers were already in custody on other charges. The teens are accused not just of committing the theft, but of recklessly flaunting the fruits of their crime. After getting away with the guns, the car and the loot, the teens went on a spending spree, police said. One youth claimed he bought permanent gold teeth for $11,000; a $10,000 gold chain; a $3,500 gold bracelet; an $80,000 Dodge Challenger Hellcat for his mom, which he put in her name; and a $25,000 2009 Mercedes C300 in his brother’s name.

Georgia

Back in 2011, Killer Mike opened up his SWAG Shop in Atlanta, a barber shop where the name stands for Shave, Wash and Groom, reports Billboard. Today, he’s announced that he’s expanding the business’ horizons and opening up a new location in the Philips Arena where the Atlanta Hawks are based. The arena is undergoing renovations soon, and a SWAG Shop location will be included. “I’m very happy that the front porch of the Hawks is going to be host to a SWAG Shop,” Mike said in a statement. “It really is like a dream coming true because now kids are going to be coming down early just to hang out in my shop, buy a t-shirt, get a haircut and watch the game.”

Idaho

A Boise restaurant owner recently found himself in hot water over a Facebook video promoting his menu, reports the Idaho News. Brad Breakell is known for posting videos to Facebook promoting the pizza, salad and chicken that can be found at his Pizzalchik restaurant. In each video, he comes up with a different, eye-catching character, but the character of Jacklyn Jaws caught attention for all the wrong reasons. The “talking shark” character was supposed to be a reference to Discovery Center’s shark exhibit, but Breakell had painted his face Black, and that was what brought down calls of blackface against the restaurant owner, who claimed that he had painted his face in order to blend in with the mouth of the shark. The character, intended to look like a talking shark to play off the Discovery Center’s shark exhibit, featured Breakell with a face painted black. He immediately received heavy backlash on social media, claiming Breakell’s post was racist. Breakell says the face paint was not meant to be racist but instead was supposed to help him blend in with the mouth of the shark. “There was no intent of being blackface,” Breakell said. “People said, ‘Do you know what blackface is?’ Of course, I know what blackface is but because I’m so not that way it didn’t even cross my mind.”

Illinois

A class action lawsuit has been filed after a series of alleged discriminatory practices and an abusive work environment at the Chicago’s water department, reports WLS ABC7. Several African-American employees say they have been denied promotions or forced to resign from senior positions. Workers add they’ve been subjected to a hostile work environment where White employees are favored over Black workers. The lawsuit also makes claims of sexual harassment. “Personally I feel less than me, than I am, when I have to be talked to disrespectfully, especially after 33 years of service and an impeccable work record,” said Derrick Edmond, a Chicago Water Department employee. The city would not comment on the lawsuit specifically, but says it has no tolerance for discrimination.


Chance the Rapper says he’s donating his Grammy Award for best rap album to Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History, reports the Chicago Sun Times. The rapper’s announcement at the museum’s gala last Saturday surprised officials. He said during his speech that he wants to make the museum “a staple of African American history” and received a standing ovation. The best rap album Grammy is one of three Chance won in February, including best new artist. His album “Coloring Book” was the first streaming-only album to win the award. He also won best rap performance. The 24-year-old Chicago rapper, whose name is Chancelor Bennett, was named to the more than half-century old museum’s board of trustees in January, along with his father, Ken Bennett, who is a Chicago tourism executive.

Massachusetts

Officials say a Boston police officer who made a video with the tagline, “Black people have met their match,” will be suspended without pay for six months. Officer Joseph DeAngelo Jr. also has been ordered to participate in sensitivity and unconscious bias training, meet with community leaders and perform community service. In the cellphone video, which was shot like a movie trailer, the tagline ran over an image of Black women. Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans says DeAngelo told investigators that the video was intended to be a spoof on another officer. Police later determined the other officer was unaware he was in it. In an open letter, DeAngelo says he apologizes for his actions and regrets the embarrassment the video has caused for the police department.

Minnesota

The mother of Philando Castile, a Black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last July, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city that employed the officer, avoiding a federal wrongful death lawsuit that attorneys said could have taken years to resolve, reports the Associated Press. The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the family’s trustee, was announced Monday and comes less than two weeks after officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges connected to her son’s death. Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot five times by Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook. The acquittal of Yanez, who is Latino, prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests. The $2.995 million settlement for Valerie Castile will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. The plan for distribution of funds requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks. Robert Bennett, who along with attorney Glenda Hatchett is representing Valerie Castile, said a decision was made to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would “exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds.” The settlement will also allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing, Bennett said.

Nebraska

Ashlei Spivey wants to break the traditional mold of what it means to be successful and Black. Her way of doing so? Create an award that honors the work happening in Omaha’s Black community, reports the Omaha World Herald. Last weekend, 10 people, from youth to those into their 40s, were honored with Omaha’s first Young Black and Influential Awards. “We as a community can say, ‘This is what success is based on our culture, our historical experiences,’ “Spivey said. The awards honor people within the Black community who have created their own narrative, she said. She cited as examples Dominique Morgan, the Nebraska executive director of Queer People of Color, and how his “queerness and Blackness intersect,” She also mentioned William Dortch, an entrepreneur who is “a regular guy who cares,” and Maurice Jones, who made an unsuccessful bid for City Council as a teenager and demonstrated that “kids have vision.” There’s crime in north Omaha, and it’s a distressed community, Spivey said, but it’s more than that. “To be successful doesn’t mean you have to have a vice president’s title, go to a four-year college or church. Being successful takes all different shapes and forms.”

National

Sling TV, the provider of live and on-demand streaming television services, has expanded its programming with the addition of AFRO, a polycultural Black television network, to its “Lifestyle Extra,” which includes, among other networks BET, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, LMN, Oxygen, truTV, VH1 and WE tv. The launch of AFRO provides Sling TV Lifestyle Extra customers with AFRO’s live stream in addition to hundreds of hours of exclusive and original Afrocentric movies and series on-demand. “As we solidify our position as the leader in multicultural Black entertainment in North America, this latest development reaffirms our commitment to listen to and adjust to changing consumer behavior while opening the door to exciting possibilities for our company,” says Yves Bollanga, CEO of the Afrotainment Family of channels. AFRO is the first independently owned and operated African American television network distributed by Sling TV.


Many millennials are not in great financial shape: They have overwhelming student loan debt, can’t afford to marry, retire, or even move out of their parents’ homes in many cases, reports Marketwatch.com. But non-White millennials are especially susceptible to economic vulnerability, according to a new study from the GenForward project at University of Chicago. Its survey of 1,853 young adults ages 18 to 34 across the U.S. showed Whites and Asian-Americans in that age group are more likely to be employed and receive full-time employment benefits than non-White Americans. African-American and Latino millennials also have the most difficulty paying unexpected bills and are “far less likely” than White Americans to have established financial tools like bank accounts and credit cards. “While much of the post-election conversation has been about the concerns of the White working class, this data makes it clear that the economic reality of Black millennials is just as dire,” Cathy Cohen, lead researcher for GenForward said.


When compared with their White peers, young Black girls are viewed less as children and more like adults, according to a new research report, says CNN. Adults in the United States tend to view Black girls as “less innocent” and more grown up than White girls, according to the report, which published by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality on June 27. Based on those findings, the research suggests that adults may perceive that Black girls need less nurturing and protection than White girls, which could influence how Black girls are treated in the education or juvenile justice systems. If our public systems, such as schools and the juvenile justice system, view Black girls as older and less innocent, they may be targeted for unfair treatment in ways that effectively erase their childhood,” said Rebecca Epstein, lead author of the report and executive director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality. She added that disparities in how Black girls are viewed emerge as early as age 5, when some children are still in preschool. “Our finding that ‘adultification’ begins as young as the age of 5 was particularly sobering. That means that adults may even see little girls in kindergarten differently, needing less nurturing and support than their white peers,” Epstein said. “Yet at the same time, the more general confirmation that Black girls are adultified was not surprising. Scholars and researchers have observed this phenomenon for years. Many experts have observed that stereotypes of Black women, especially the stereotype of the ‘angry Black woman,’ are projected onto Black girls, and that Black girls’ behavior is often interpreted as threatening to adults’ authority, which effectively adultifies Black girls in harmful ways.”

Compiled by Carol Ozemhoya.