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News Flash

Bill that will change Stand Your Ground law advances

Florida legislators advanced changes to the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law amid series of protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

The current law allows citizens to use “deadly force” without trying to retreat if they feel their lives are being threatened.

In July, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin. While Zimmerman did not rely on “Stand Your Ground” for his defense, his trial has brought to light the law.

From The Orlando Sentinel:

The bill would require sheriffs and city police departments to set guidelines for “neighborhood watch” programs like Zimmerman’s and to restrict members to observing and reporting suspected crimes.[...] the bill would also prohibit people who are the “aggressors” in confrontations from then claiming “stand your ground” immunity.

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News Flash

Marissa Alexander supporters demand her release

Marissa Alexander will be granted a new trial and while this is great news for the woman sentenced to 20 years in prison, her supporters are demanding more.

Some in favor of Alexander’s freedom aren’t quite convinced that another trial will yield fair results.

Alexander was denied immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense when she fired a warning shot over her abusive husband’s head in 2010 during an altercation.

From Colorlines:

Alexander’s sentence was overturned because of flawed jury instructions, but she still hasn’t had a bail hearing. Now, a group of supporters are organizing to stop prosecutor Corey from moving forward on the case, and they are asking the state drop the charges against Alexander.

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News Flash

Latest episode of “South Park” spoofs Trayvon Martin shooting


The cartoon comedy “South Park” has a long-standing reputation for its controversial humor.

The latest episode tackles a still touchy subject: the Trayvon Martin shooting.

In the second episode of the season, character Eric Cartman attempts to blame Token, who portrays an African American role on the show, for black rage over the Zimmerman verdict.

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News Flash

Kanye West, Jimmy Kimmel settle beef, star appears on show


21 time Grammy Award-winning musician Kanye West appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night to settle a Twitter beef the two had recently.

West took issue with a skit Kimmel ran on his show about the star a few weeks ago where Kimmel was making fun of an interview Kanye had with BBC.

But last night’s interview seemed to put an end to the misunderstanding.

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News Flash

Tennessee Divinity school appoints openly gay black woman as dean


Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tn., has appointed it’s first openly-gay black female dean.

Described as a “liberal oasis,” the institution appointed Emilie Townes as the 16th dean of the school.

The school’s “Commitments” page states that it recognizes  ”the rights of lesbians and gay men within the religious community and the need for the eradication of civil discrimination based on sexual orientation.” 

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News Flash

Meet Folorunsho Alakija, the richest black woman in the world


Move over Oprah. While you will forever remain the most popular black woman on daytime television, you can no longer claim the spot of “richest black woman in the world.”

Although being worth $2.3 billion is still pretty damn impressive.

Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija is worth a whopping $7.3 billion.

Ventures Africa reports that Alakija is the fourth richest person on the continent.

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News Flash

Southern University researcher receives $900,000 to prevent AIDS

Dr. Alma Thornton is the director for the Center for Social Research at Southern University Baton Rouge.

She was recently awarded a three-year, $900,000 federal grant to assist in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.

The project’s goal is to provide “integrated substance abuse and HIV prevention programs to African-American college students.”

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News Flash

Radio piece explores invisible gang lines


If you grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, then you know about the invisible border.

It’s a well-known line that doesn’t have to be etched in white chalk, because its existence lies deep within the eyes of everyone living in gang territory.

Gangs are particularly prevalent in Chicago, and the Little Village community is no exception.

Jacqueline Serrato is an alum of the Vocalo storytelling workshops. In her piece, “Border Mentality 26th Street,” she outlines the very real “invisible line” and its affects on the lives of citizens.

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News Flash

Foul play in death of teen, case remains closed

17-year-old Kendrick Johnson’s death remains a mystery. The Valdosta, Ga., sheriff’s department has closed the case, but new evidence shows the death was not an accident.

In an initial autopsy, state medical examiners concluded that Johnson suffocated in January after becoming stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a shoe.

Johnson’s family challenged the findings, and a second autopsy was conducted. An independent pathologist found that Johnson suffered a blow to the right side of his neck.

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News Flash

“Preachers of L.A.?” Good for the black church?


Everyone knows the power of the black church as Christianity is the foundation for many African Americans.

More of America will get to take a look at the religious haven thanks to a new reality television series.

Preachers of L.A. follows the lives of six high-profile pastors from Los Angeles.

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