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Graduation Part III: Rocky Lane

Harper High School. Darryl Green, age 16, 2013. Cedric Bell, age 16, 2012. Shakaki Asphy, age 16, 2012. Marcus Nunn, age 17, 2011. Terrance Green, age 16, 2009. Starkesia Reed, age 14, 2006.

My goal is to graduate…go to school for business and management…try to own my own bakery in the near future, try to come back to Englewood and just help out some kids. My goal while I’m still young is to start a cycle with one person, teach that person to teach the next person…”  Rocky, age 18. 

This Spring I met with several remarkable students at Harper High School to learn how violence affects them and their peers and discuss their goals and aspirations. The students I met greatly impacted my life and I am honored to have heard their powerful stories. One young man, Rocky Lane, shared a beautiful oral history of his life; he discussed growing up without parents, being surrounded by violence, and his growth into the focused and mature young man he is today. What I loved about Rocky was his cool, calm and reserved nature, yet underneath it, behind his youthful eyes was a young man who had been through a lot. Rocky has the voice of so many young men of color who are working to create a positive life for themselves. He breaks a negative stereotype that has been placed on young black males. His goal is to become a pastry chef and own his own bakery. He is a leader, wanting to pass down knowledge and guidance to his peers as you’ll hear in his audio.

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News Flash

Ursula Burns, Rosalind Brewer, Shonda Rhimes listed among ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’


Ursula Burns made history when she became the first black female Fortune 500 CEO of Xerox.

Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” has been released. As we may expect, there aren’t a lot of women of color on the list, but three made the cut.

CEO & Chairman of Xerox Ursula Burns, Sam’s Club CEO & President Rosalind Brewer and Creator and Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes of the hit television series Scandal Grey’s Anatomy  made the list.

From The Grio:

Burns ranked 13 on the list, Brewer came in at 15 and Rhimes made the list at No. 50. Their net worth or salary information was not provided. The publication also recently released their list of the 50 most powerful international women, which did not feature any black women.

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News Flash

Mother of slain man files wrongful death lawsuit


Theresa Rudd wants to know what really happened to her son, and she’s hoping that a lawsuit filed against the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas will provide them.

It’s been almost a year since 21-year-old Chavis Carter was found dead with a bullet wound in his head. Rudd filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, the police chief and the two police officers who were present when Carter was shot.

Officials claim Carter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while sitting in the back of a police car on July 28, 2012. At the time of the incident, Carter’s hands were cuffed and double-locked behind his back.

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[photo of Rae Kae]
All posts by Rae Kae »

What about Team Brown Skin?

I never had to deal with colorism most of my life. It wasn’t until these past few years, I realized that racism is not the only hurdle we must overcome. I don’t want to sound predictable. I want to share my thoughts with you.

I’m a brown skinned woman. Brown as in carmel. As in Reginal Hall or Halle Berry brown skin. I’m not light skinned or dark skinned. In general, I would be considered the grey that fits right between the black and white. Understanding how I would be introduced to colorism was to experience it first hand.

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News Flash

SURPRISE! Northwestern basketball player receives full ride from coach


When James Montgomery III joined Northwestern University’s Men’s Basketball team, he didn’t have the luxury of having his tuition paid for like other members of his team.

But on Thursday, he got a wonderful surprise. Head Coach Chris Collins awarded the player a full ride for all of his hard work.

“He comes everyday, he has as much energy as anybody on the team, he’s always talking, he’s our best defender,….because of that James is gonna be put on full scholarship,” Collins announced.

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News Flash

NYC Barney’s accused of racism by a second shopper


Yesterday we broke news of 19-year-old Trayon Christian’s arrest for shopping while black at a NYC Barney’s.

Turns out that he isn’t the only young black person who has been discriminated against at the store.

Kayla Phillips, 21, told the Daily News that four plainclothes cops accused her of credit card fraud after she purchased a $2,500 designer bag from the department store.

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News Flash

Officer who pepper-sprayed students at peaceful protest awarded $38,000


In 2011, students at University of California-Davis who were peacefully protesting were attacked with pepper spray by a campus police officer.

Now, John Pike will receive more than $38,000 in workers compensation after being diagnosed as having a disability.

From Davis Enterprise:

Pike, 40, of Roseville, reportedly suffered depression and anxiety brought on by death threats he and his family received after the Nov. 18, 2011, confrontation at an Occupy UC Davis encampment. Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis lawyer supportive of the protesters, said that the settlement “sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of.”

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News Flash

School ask students, parents to sign ‘no twerking’ pledge


A Washington state high school is asking students and their parents to sign an agreement that bans twerking and other sexually suggestive dances during school events.

River Ridge High School in Lacey sent home the dance contract earlier this month.


The contract outlines various examples of “inappropriate dancing,” as well as consequences that will incur following a student violation. Punishments range from a warning to removal from a dance and ban on future dances.

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News Flash

16-year-old cheerleader breaks Guinness World Record


A South Fulton County, Georgia cheerleader broke a category in the Guinness World Records. 16-year-old Mikayla Clark of Westlake High School broke the record of most consecutive back hangsprings.

The previous record was 36, Clark did 44.

From Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Mikayla, who’s been cheering since age 4, is also a cheerleader for the Georgia All Stars Competition Squad. On Mikayla’s record achievement, coach Clark said, “I’m very proud of her.” Coach Clark expects Mikayla’s official certificate from Guinness World Records to arrive this week.

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News Flash

Dutch natives protest “Black Pete” criticism


On Monday, we broke news of a protest happening in the Netherlands against the country’s long-standing Christmas tradition honoring Sinterklass, the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Critics took issue with the clown-like helpers called “Zwarte Pieten” or “Black Petes.”

Today, the natives of the Netherlands are using social media to strike back with an online petition to preserve the tradition.

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