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President Obama Honors Medal Of Freedom Recipients

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Maya Angelou’s Harlem Brownstone Is On Sale For $5M

Two years after the death of legendary poet and author Maya Angelou, her Harlem brownstone is up for sale. Her friends, musical icons Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, encouraged her to purchase the home site unseen in 2002. At the time it was a “shell” with a market value of between $300,000-$600,000. Angelou did massive renovations to the house increasing it’s property value to over $5 million. With nearly 6,000 square feet and four floors, the property includes five bedrooms, five full baths and three half baths. The estate also has an elevator, a basement that was turned into a recreational area and a garden. Angelou didn’t live in the house full time and is said to have rented out the home within the last years of her life when she became ill. Her primary residence was in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she had been a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University. When she did return to her New York property, Angelou was known to host massive parties and game nights for the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Cicely Tyson. On what separates this particular brownstone from others on the market, realtor Valon Nikci said, “…you’re buying a piece of cultural history.” {NY Times}

Georgia Woman Who Proudly Identifies As “Queer” Wins Election

Park Cannon has just been elected to Georgia’s 58 District House Of Representatives. Cannon ran in a special election to replace Rep. Simone Bell who has accepted a new position at Lambda Legal. The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill alumna is a health advocate who previously served as the coordinator for a Black women’s wellness program with the Feminist Women’s Health Center. Having raised more money than her opponent Ralph Long, Cannon won with over 59% of the vote. She proudly identifies as “queer” and apart of her platform includes economic growth and education as well as protecting the rights of gay marriage. Bell, who will fulfill her remaining term as a State Representative was the first Black lesbian to serve in any state legislature. Cannon will join the likes of Atlanta-area Representatives Keisha Waites and Karla Drenner as the third openly gay woman in the Georgia legislature. {Colorlines}

Oakland Schools Teaches Classes On How To Become A Successful Black Man

Statistically black males aren’t often recognized for their academic performance. The Oakland, CA school system is taking radical steps to change this paradigm with their new Office of African-American Male Achievement, the country’s first department within a public school district designed to respond to the needs of a typically underrepresented demographic, black male students. Twenty schools within the Oakland school district now offer a multi-level full credit course entitled, “Mastering Our Cultural Identity: African-American Male Image” (commonly referred to as the Manhood Development Program). Students from 3rd grade to 12th grade are taught by black teachers who infuse their own perspectives and experiences into a larger historical context. In addition to giving males life skills, Google has contributed a $750,000 grant towards enhancing the students knowledge of the entrepreneurship and tech industries. {Clutch Magazine}

Dallas Man Sues TV Production Company After Near Fatal Shooting

Allegedly, Michael Kenneth Scott shot and man and woman who’s account of a crime was featured on the popular A&E series, “The First 48”, a show about homicide investigations. The attorney for the unidentified man, Don Tittle, says the show portrayed his client as a “snitch” when it aired an episode about the death of Jamaican drug dealer Donovan Reid. The man says the production company behind the TV series, Kirkstall Road Enterprises didn’t have his consent to air a conversation that was filmed between he and the police regarding Reid’s death. While the man’s face was blurred and his voice was altered, his lawyer claims his client’s, “entire body was visible such that his size, height, skin color, clothing, and mannerisms were visible to the viewer.” While Scott claims he never saw the episode, he’s since been apprehended. The male victim, who identified Scott as his shooter before he went into surgery, spent 10 days in intensive care. He is seeking over $1 million in damages from Kirkstall Road Enterprises. {Dallas News}

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