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Gabby Douglas is Back in the Gym!

17 year-old Olympic champion Gabby Douglas is back in the gym training, after a whirlwind year of media appearances and projects.

She’ll be training in a gym in West Des Moines, Iowa with her coach Liang Chow.

They’re aiming for a return to competition next year.

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Dozens Arrested in Chicago School Closing Protests

Dozens were arrested yesterday, during the last of three protests calling for a moratorium on the mass school closings in Chicago.

After marching through the South and West sides of the city, protesters entered City Hall in downtown Chicago, blocked elevators, and many subsequently arrested.

The Chicago Public Schools Board will vote on the 54 Chicago school closures this Wednesday.

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If We the New Slaves, When Are We Gonna Get Free?

First of all, I love when an artist spits conscious lyrics, which Kanye certainly does on his new song, “New Slaves”. I especially like when he references CCA and how they’re really making new slaves:

“Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), now the nation’s largest private prison company, was founded just over 30 years ago in Nashville. Since then, it has become a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business with more than 60 facilities across the country. Meanwhile, the U.S. prison population has grown 500 percent.”

The larger question is, now that we have this knowledge, what are we gonna do about it?

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News Flash

Zoe Saldana Hates Questions About Her Ethnicity; Says “People of Color” Don’t Exist

Ever since she was cast as Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic, actress Zoe Saldana has found herself routinely asked questions about race and identity.

And apparently she doesn’t like it very much.

In a recent interview, Saldana asserted that she wishes people would stop asking her about her race, and that “there is no such thing as people of color.”

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14 Year-Old D’Asia Robinson Killed by Stray Bullet While Riding City Bus

14 year-old D’Asia Robinson was killed last Saturday after being shot in the head by a stray bullet while riding a city bus.

The NYC teenager and her friends were leaving a sweet 16 party, and on their way to another birthday, when a bullet came through the bus window.

Friends have created vigils for the slain young lady, and the tragedy has sparked renewed calls from community leaders and residents for an end to the senseless violence.

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Michelle Obama at Bowie State: Too many young people “fantasize about being a baller or a rapper”

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement speech at Bowie State University in Maryland this weekend.

Her speech highlighted the long struggle for educational opportunities for African Americans, led by figures like Frederick Douglas, Dr. King, Ruby Bridges, and the Little Rock Nine.

Later, in a Bill Cosby-esque move, the FLOTUS called out black youth for fantasizing about being a “baller or a rapper,” and called for a renewed hunger for education.

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Kanye West’s “New Slaves” Rails Against the Prison-Industrial Complex

This weekend, Kanye West unleashed two incendiary political tracks, “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead.”

To unveil “New Slaves,” West had footage of himself rapping the song’s rage-filled lyrics against 66 buildings around the world.

While reactions have been mixed, what is undeniable is the song’s dissection of the prison-industrial complex; as it lays plain the impact of institutional racism and private prisons on communities of color.

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Murder of Mark Carson in NY’s Greenwich Village Being Investigated as Antigay Hate Crime

The murder of 32 year-old Mark Carson in  New York’s Greenwich Village is being investigated as a hate crime.

Carson and a friend were reportedly being followed and taunted with antigay slurs by 33 year-old Elliot Morales.

Morales fired a single shot from is revolver, killing Carson.

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Pres. Obama’s Morehouse Commencement Speech Raises Eyebrows

President Obama delivered the commencement speech at Morehouse this weekend, urging the graduates to use their degrees and ambitions to give back to the community and help the less fortunate.

According to Obama, the point is never to amass fancy cars and big houses. Meaningful work is work that enriches communities and betters people’s lives.

However, the speech has recieved a great deal of criticism for its elitist and condescending tone.

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Why Did You (Really) Get Married?

Graduation season is well underway. And I applaud those who are donning caps and gowns in this unpredictable weather. We are also at the beginning of the traditional wedding seasons, wherein our time at work will be spiced up by YouTube videos of newly married couples rocking the reception or toddlers getting it in on the dancefloor. Since we are also in the midst of a larger political debate about what the powers-that-be have decided to christen “marriage equality,” this wedding season may take on additional significance for many, as it may be legal for them in their own state to get hitched. Now, plenty has been said about the ideological problems with this fight, especially as it pertains to queer folks whose lives will not be better by being able to register for linens at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I won’t rehash that argument here. Instead, I’d like to wonder aloud, yet again, about what it means to identify with those who articulate the limits of “marriage equality” as a right worthy of pursuit, to understand that marriage is an incredibly fraught institution, and to jump that broom anyway.