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Why Police and Black Community Relationships Don’t Work

Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biel and Jasiri X at the Dear Dr. Hip-Hop: Speak, Be Heard, Be Considered event in Dayton, Ohio. Photo by  Andrew-Bryce Hudson (www.andrew-bryce.net

This weekend, I had an opportunity to speak and perform in Dayton, OH, with the legendary MC Lyte at an event called, “Dear Dr. Hip-Hop: Speak, Be Heard, Be Considered.” A few days before arriving, I got a call from one of the organizers telling me that the Dayton Police Department had a “problem” with some of my lyrics and demanded to know what songs I was going to perform before they would secure the venue.

Being that this wasn’t the first time a group tried to censor me, I immediately got on the phone with my lawyer who advised me on what action I needed to take.  I sent this email as my response

Here are the links to my music and videos. I reserve the right to perform any one of these songs. There is not one lyric in any of these songs that advocates or calls for any kind of violence, especially towards law enforcement. Nor do I advocate or condone violence in our community, violence against women, or drug abuse like many rap artists. I’m a Hip-Hop artist and community activist that has dedicated my life to mentoring young men in our community to be peaceful and law abiding citizens. I have never had one incident of violence at any of the many shows, panels, or lectures I’ve done all over the world. It is the responsibility of the Dayton Police Department to provide a safe environment for the citizens they are obligated to serve and protect. I will consider any form of censorship an infringement on my constitutional right to free speech, and will forward any further communication on this issue to my lawyer. 


News Flash

BREAKING: Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line; Dozens Injured

Two large explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon have resulted in dozens of injuries.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates

UPDATE:

Watch a live feed of CBS coverage of the situation in Boston below

UPDATE 4:02 PM:

The Boston Globe says 64 people are wounded; still 2 confirmed deaths.

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UPDATE 3:53 PM:

Boston PD confirm that a third explosion occured at JFK library. Unsure if they are in fact linked.

They are advising Boston residents to stay in their homes. Say the situation is ongoing.

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UPDATE 3:38 PM:

Boston Police confirm that explosions were caused by bombs; and speculate that they were hidden in trash cans.

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UPDATE 3:31 PM:

CBS News is reporting that Boston Police have since found and neutralized another explosive device, found in the vicinity of the marathon finish line.

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UPDATE 3:06 PM CST:

Boston Police say that thus far 2 people are confirmed dead; 23 wounded.

More details to come as this horrific story develops.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by this terrible tragedy.



Featured Article

New Documentary Explores Obama’s “Complicated” Relationship with Black Community

A new documentary explores President Obama’s complex relationship with the black community.

Dubbed “A Complicated Affair,” the film examines the widespread support and criticism he’s received from African Americans, and attempts to understand the expectations the community had for the President upon electing him in 2008.

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Featured Article

Louisiana City Set to Ban Saggy Pants

A city in Louisiana is set to ban saggy pants. 

An ordinance has been passed in The Terrebonne Parish Council and is expected to be signed by the Parish President. 

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Featured Article

Police Sgt. Fired For Bringing Trayvon Martin Targets to Gun Range

A Florida police officer has been fired after bringing Trayvon Martin targets to a gun range.

On April 4th, Sgt. Ron King was leading target practice with a few other officers when he pulled out the targets.

The group of officers declined King’s offer to use the targets for practice.

From WFTV:

The image of someone wearing a dark hoodie with a drink can and a bag of Skittles candy in their hand has become a well-known symbol in the death of 17-year-old Martin. The unarmed teen was shot and killed in Sanford last year.

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Featured Article

BYP’s Dennis Johnson on MHP Show: “Violence will never cease until we find a way to make money out of peace.”

On Saturday, the Black Youth Project’s own Dennis Johnson appeared on MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris Perry show to discuss the crisis of gun violence in his hometown of Chicago.

Dennis spoke eloquently and passionately to the consequences of gun violence and racism on young black people.

Regarding how to stem the tide of violence, Dennis made a fascinating assertion: “Violence will never cease until we find a way to make money out of peace.”

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Featured Article

Rick Ross Apologizes AGAIN: Rape Lyrics are “one of my biggest mistakes and regrets.”

In the wake of his lost endorsement deal with Reebok and continued outrage over his “date rape” lyrics, Rick Ross has released another apology.

This time, Ross actually takes full responsibility for his words , rather than blaming the listener for “misinterpreting” them.

From Clutch Mag:

“Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets.

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Featured Article

Louis C.K. Talks Mexican Heritage: “I’m An Accidental White Person”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, writer and comedian Louis C.K. says his comic vision is informed by his upbringing in Mexico.

C.K.’s paternal grandfather immigrated to Mexico from Hungary and married a Mexican woman. Louis moved back to his father’s home country at the age of one, and stayed there until he was seven years old.

He says his outsider status in America, and the racial classification imposed upon him, gives him a unique perspective.

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[photo of Jonathan]
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Tales from a Black Filled Childhood: The Importance of a Mentor

Having a mentor is crucial. It was as important for my life as my grades in school, my extra curricular activities, and my exposure to the world at large. I believe these are all things that young people need to break cycles of oppression and poverty, however, without having someone to guide you in the right direction, you will either not make it to your destination or take considerably longer to get there. I was lucky. I had several mentors throughout high school (and still today) to give me advice, challenge me to be better, and help me along what is often a confusing and winding rode.

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Featured Article

8 Year-Old Follows Tenn. Lawmaker Around State Capitol; Shames Him Into Dropping Welfare Bill

8 year-old Aamira Fetuga followed Tennessee lawmaker Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) around the state capitol until he agreed to drop a bill linking welfare benefits to a student’s academic performance.

Nearby, a choir of 60 activists sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children” as Fetuga handed Campfield a petition demanding that he drop the controversial bill.

The walk to the Senate floor was a long and awkward one, but it may have worked. Campfield agreed to drop the bill for now.

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