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The Most Important Commentary You’ll Read About Ferguson

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What do we do about Ferguson? That was the inevitable question facing teachers throughout St. Louis in the days following the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, in nearby Ferguson on Aug. 9. With summer drawing to a close, students were heading back to school just as nearby protesters were being tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets. At Gateway Middle School — where 83 percent of students…

How Atlantic City’s promise failed its black community

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Atlantic City apparently didn’t see it coming. Thirty-five years ago, when the first of the casinos began to dot the boardwalk, there was a virtual monopoly in casino gaming in the region. There also appeared to be no voice from the black community surrounding the inception and subsequent failure of the gambling industry in Atlantic City. There was no champion to assure that the benefits of the cash flowing from the…

Should President Obama visit Ferguson?

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Should President Obama go to Ferguson? In light of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen killed by police in the Missouri town—and the violent, militarized overreaction by law enforcement to peaceful protesters and journalists on the ground–attention is focused now on how Obama will respond. At a Monday press conference, the president spoke about the hurt Ferguson is facing and announced Attorney General Eric Holder will To be sure, there are calls…

Captain Ron Johnson delivers powerful message to Michael Brown’s family

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It’s no secret Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson has won over the community of Ferguson. He’s been a staple at protests and demonstrations since Thursday — walking side by side with residents who feel Michael Brown was wrongfully killed at the hands of police. Sunday, Johnson continued to endear himself to those still outraged by his death. Speaking at a “unity rally” at Greater Grace Church, Johnson apologized on behalf…

One shot seven arrested overnight in Ferguson, MO

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Gunshots and tear gas were fired overnight in the St. Louis suburb gripped by protests over the death of an unarmed black teen, officials said. Violence broke out after about 200 people defied a midnight curfew for the town of Ferguson, Missouri. Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said one person was shot and is in critical condition at the hospital. Seven people have been arrested, Johnson said. Tear…

Ferguson Chief Names Darren Wilson as Cop Who Shot Michael Brown

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A six-year police veteran named Darren Wilson was identified Friday as the officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb last weekend, touching off a week of sometimes violent protests and a military-style police response. A police report made public Friday also revealed that the teen, Michael Brown, was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a convenience store and assaulting a clerk…

Ferguson Police Chief: Darren Wilson Did Not Know Michael Brown Was Suspect In ‘Strong-Armed’ Robbery

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Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Friday the initial contact between 18-year-old Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson was not related to a convenience store robbery. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Wilson on Saturday, August 9. In a press conference earlier on Friday, Ferguson police released a report naming Brown as the main suspect in a convenience store robbery where a box of Swisher…

New Ferguson Police Commander Ron Johnson Walks With Protesters

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The man now leading police in Ferguson, Missouri, walked Thursday night with those protesting the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, one day after protesters faced rubber bullets and tear gas from heavily armed officers in riot gear. On Twitter, MSNBC’s Jamil Smith in Ferguson captured a scene Thursday: “We all want justice. We all want answers,” the new commander, Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol,…

Jay Nixon: Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Over Supervision Of Security In Ferguson

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FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over the supervision of security in the St. Louis suburb that’s been the scene of violent protests since a police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, the governor announced Wednesday. Gov. Jay Nixon said security will be overseen by Capt. Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol. Johnson, who is black, said he grew up in the community and…

Huffington Post Reporter Arrested In Ferguson

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The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday evening while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer last week. The journalists were released unharmed, but their detentions highlighted the town’s ramped up police presence, which has left numerous residents injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas…

’72 Percent’ Documentary Confronts The Black Community’s Single-Parent ‘Epidemic’

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There is one number that is always mentioned in the discussion of black children born out of wedlock: 72 percent. Estimations place the growing number of children born to unwed mothers in the 70th percentile of the black population in America. The documentary ‘72 Percent,’ “takes a hard look at the single mother phenomena in the African American community.” The documentary aims to analyze “beyond catastrophic” statistics through a discussion of the effect…

The ‘Woman in Black’ Is a Social Media Mystery

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A woman walking the streets dressed all in black has been spotted in several states, but her motive remains a mystery.  An anonymous black woman dressed all in black is currently walking the streets of America with just a suitcase and Bible in tow. No one knows who this woman in black is, but she’s gone viral because folks on various social media are posting about her. The woman has…

7 Tips for Surviving a Black Family Reunion

7 Tips for Surviving a Black Family Reunion

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It’s summer, which means it’s family-reunion time. These gatherings are a time of celebration, but between the family politics and the overeating you’re bound to do, they can be downright exhausting. Before you put on your custom-made T-shirt and head to the park to meet your long-lost relatives, remember to keep these tips in mind. 1. Avoid your conspiracy-theorist uncle. Everyone has the uncle who fully embraces a conspiracy theory…

A Black Man’s Head Protects Sanctity of Ancient Italian Temple

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This image is part of a weekly series that The Root is presenting in conjunction with theImage of the Black in Western Art Archive at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. The head of a black man seen here, enclosed in a shell-like frame and painted in naturalistic colors, represents a key piece of sacred imagery produced by the rich but…

Malcolm X family upset with Nicki Minaj for photo

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NEW YORK (AP) — Malcolm X‘s family and estate said Nicki Minaj’s use of a famous photo of the black nationalist with a rifle in his hands and juxtaposing it with a racial slur for her new song’s artwork is disrespectful and offensive. In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press on Friday, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said Minaj’s use of the picture “in no way is endorsed by our…