In 2015, the news of Flint, Michigan not having access to purified water went viral. The reaction to this news felt like the U.S. was finally realizing the reality that water supplies are limited, depleting, and potentially contaminated. Excessive levels of lead, iron, and even E.coli were found in Flint’s water. Despite national outroar, numerous lawsuits, and millions of donated plastic water bottles, eventually the rest of the world started to forget about Flint. Flint started receiving less donations and press attention even though their crisis continued.

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Killer Mike is one of the most outspoken individuals when it comes to the state of Black America and the development of a Black agenda. So when I heard that he had a Netflix series, called Trigger Warning, there was no doubt that I would tune in to see some of the things he wanted to address.

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If you’ve never been to an event created by Nirjary Desai, you’ve been missing out. Radiant, lively, lavish and grand, her events are tailor-made once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not right,” the spicy but sweet Zambian-born trailblazer says.

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“Nothing comes easy, that’s what my dad always said to me and my brother…” Shaquem Griffin said in his 2019 acceptance speech at the NFL Honors. Griffin was awarded the 2019 NFL Game Changer award for a very unique reason. While his rookie season was a good one, and his on field production was solid, that was only part of the reason he received recognition. The Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker was given such a prestigious honor because of his perseverance due to a rare disorder that he was born with, which led to  his left hand being amputated.

Shaquem, 23, was born with amniotic band syndrome, and due to complications, he was forced to have his hand amputated at only four-years-old. Shaquem learned to adapt and perform regular daily things despite having only one hand. He never made excuses , and his support system wouldn’t allow him to.

“Growing up as a child, being told what I couldn’t do, it can weigh heavy on your heart. But I had family, I had my brothers, I had those around me to keep my head straight, to keep my hopes high, and now I can say I’m blessed and I’m honored to be here in front of you.”

I wonder what it takes to be considered a “legend” in Hollywood. Is it the amount of awards a person wins or who has the  longest career? This biggest following? Or, in the case of actress Marla Gibbs, is it the tenacity to be an outstanding actress? After playing an extra on two separate films in the 1970s, Gibbs revealed in an interview for The Washington Post that she told the guy who hires extras she is not coming back and said, “I want to do what Diana Ross is doing.” The man responded “Don’t we all?” and Gibbs told him, “Yes, but I’m going to.”

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A powerful coalition of billionaires fighting for prison reform sounds like a group of Democratic politicians, doesn’t it? However, this coalition, called REFORM Alliance, is headed by people like Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Philadelphia 76ers’ owner Michael Rubin, the owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, the New Jersey Nets’ co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, cryptocurrency giant Michael Novogratz, and Vise Equity Partners’ creator Robert Smith.

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February is a month we spend in celebration of love. Valentine’s Day is conveniently placed in the middle of Black History Month, so we not only pay homage to historical figures but we also celebrate black love. What could be a better time to celebrate black love than during Chicago Black Restaurant Week (CBRW)?

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There has been only one time in my life where my friends convinced me to buy a movie ticket just to see the previews. Leading up to the Incredibles 2, my friends were on the edge of their seats to see the latest Pixar short Bao. As we watched the eight minute short, we smiled, we laughed, we gasped, and ultimately we choked up.

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The roots of many forms of American entertainment are linked to a time that lacked diversity in these industries. Hollywood and specifically film is an industry that has been slow to change. There still has never been a person of color or woman that has been the head of a major film studio.

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One of the most striking photos on photographer Shayan Asgharnia’s website is of a prisoner with his back turned to the camera. One of his hands is laced around his wrist as if it were a handcuff and the other holds a dog’s leash. Recently, Asgharnia’s series Rescued featured the participants of Marley’s Mutt Pawsitive Change, a program that asks select prisoners to take care of rescued dogs.

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