NBA Players Reject Latest Offer

NBA players have rejected the latest contract offer by league owners ahead of a 5pm Wednesday deadline. NBA Commissioner David Stern says if the latest offer is not accepted it will be reduced substantially from that time forward. The players essentially said Tuesday they would not be intimidated and want further meetings with owners Wednesday in advance of the deadline. Reports indicate games through Christmas are about to be cancelled.


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Heavy D Dies At The Age of 44

Rap legend Heavy D — one of the most influential rappers of the ’90s — died earlier today … TMZ has learned.

Heavy D — real name Dwight Arrington Myers — was rushed to an L.A. hospital around noon today … and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1 PM. He was 44 years old.

We’ve learned a 911 call was placed from Heavy’s Beverly Hills home around 11:25 AM to report an unconscious male on the walkway .

When help arrived, we’re told Heavy D was conscious and speaking — and was transported to a nearby hospital.

He died a short time later.

Heavy just performed at the BET Awards in October — and appeared to be fine.

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Ex-heavyweight champ Joe Frazier has died

PHILADELPHIA – November 7, 2011 (WPVI) — Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier has lost his battle with liver cancer, his family tells Action News.

Late Monday night, the family issued this statement:

“We The Family of the 1964 Olympic Boxing Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame Member Smokin’ Joe Frazier, regrets to inform you of his passing. He transitioned from this life as “One of God’s Men,” on the eve of November 7, 2011at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We thank you for your prayers for our Father and vast outpouring of love and support.

Respectfully, we request time to grieve privately as a family. Our father’s home going celebration will be announced as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.”

(Copyright ©2011 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Supreme Court Considers Life In Prison For Juveniles

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether juveniles convicted of killing someone may be locked up for life with no chance of parole, a follow-up to last year’s ruling barring such sentences for teenagers whose crimes do not include killing.

The justices will examine a pair of cases from the South involving young killers who are serving life sentences for crimes they committed when they were 14.

Both cases were brought by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala. The institute said that life without parole for children so young “is cruel and unusual” and violates the Constitution.

The group says roughly six dozen people in 18 states are under life sentences and ineligible for parole for crimes they committed at 13 or 14.

Kuntrell Jackson was sentenced to life in prison in Arkansas after the shooting death of a store clerk during an attempted robbery in 1999. Another boy shot the clerk, but because Jackson was present he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated robbery.

Evan Miller was convicted of capital murder during the course of arson. A neighbor, while doing drugs and drinking with Miller and a 16-year-old boy, attacked Miller. Intoxicated, Miller and his friend beat the man and set fire to his home, killing the 52-year-old man. Miller’s friend testified against him, and got life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The high court has moved toward judging juveniles less responsible than adults when considering severe sentences.

The high court ruled out the use of the death penalty for people under 18 in 2005. In May 2010, the court said that teenagers may not be locked up for life without a chance of parole if they haven’t killed anyone. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in both of those decisions.

“The identical analysis which led to the results in those cases logically compels the conclusion that consigning a 14-year-old to die in prison through a life-without-parole sentence categorically violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments,” Miller’s lawyer Bryan Stevenson said in court papers. The Supreme Court should “make that logical conclusion the law of the land.”

The court will hear arguments next year.

The cases are Miller v. Alabama, 10-9646 and Jackson v. Arkansas, 10-9647.

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HBCU Compared To Prison

When the Texas Southern University Physics Department was on the chopping block, Dennis Golden, a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, tried to defend the university’s president by stating that when he arrived, the school looked more like a prison than a college.

The program was still cut because it only produced one graduate in five years.

But Professor Byron Price, chair of the Texas Southern University Faculty Assembly, did not take Golden’s words lightly.  In an open letter to Golden, he questioned the racial undertones of Golden’s remarks.

The letter read:

Dear Mr. Golden,
    In your attempt to come to President Rudley’s defense as the Board deliberated whether to cut Texas Southern University’s low producing programs (i.e., the Physics degree), the following statement is ascribed to you by the Houston Chronicle: 

 “That when [President] Rudley took over three years ago, he inherited a deeply troubled institution that looked more like a prison than a college.”  This characterization from a public official entrusted with higher education curriculum and funding decisions is extremely problematic and requires an explanation from you in respect to the message you were trying to convey.  This characterization by you forces me to question your fitness to serve on a board with such a critical mission.  Your statement has a racial element to it, and I question your ability to be objective when it comes to evaluating the ethnic minority-serving institutions in Texas. 

    Although I was dismayed by the board’s decision to cut the STEM programs at TSU, I do not think the decision was a racial one.  At the end of the day, the number of graduates and the inability of the leadership to convince the board that the program should not be cut won out, I believe.  However, your temerity in describing TSU as a prison demonstrates an extremely egregious lack of sensitivity and political naiveté. 
    I have several questions I would like to pose to you:  What did you hope to accomplish by describing TSU as a prison?  What features of TSU specifically make it look like a prison?  Have you ever been to a prison?  Have you ever been to TSU?  
    Let’s assume you have been to a prison and to TSU; what is it about TSU that resembled the prison(s) you have visited?  As the Chair of the Faculty Assembly/Senate, on behalf of the TSU community, I would like you to account for your categorization of TSU as a prison and the socio-cultural perceptions this description ascribes to the university. I look forward to your rejoinder.
    Byron E. Price, Ph.D.
    Faculty Chair
    Texas Southern University

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Top Five Positive Black Television Specials

5. Our Black World – Black Enterprise

Our World with Black Enterprise is a weekly television show hosted by Marc Lamont Hill and produced by Black Enterprise, Inc. It airs on Saturday and Sunday across a range of United States local television stations.

4. The BET Honors

The BET Honors were established in 2009 by BET to celebrate the lives and achievements of African American luminaries. The awards will be presented annually and broadcast on BET during Black History Month.

3. African American Lives

African American Lives is a PBS show hosted by historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. focusing on African American genealogical research. The family histories of prominent African Americans are explored using traditional genealogic techniques as well as genetic analysis.

Gates has written an associated book, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, which was published in early 2009.

2. Black Girl Rocks

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! seeks to build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves. For the past five years, we have enjoyed the opportunity to enrich the lives of girls aged 12 to 17 years old through mentorship, arts education, cultural exploration and public service. At BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, young women are offered access to enrichment programs and opportunities that place special emphasis on personal development through the arts and cooperative learning.

1. CNN Black In America

Black In America is a multi-part series of documentaries hosted by reporter Soledad O’Brien on CNN. The series is about various issues regarding blacks (African-Americans) which includes panel discussions on issues facing the black community, and a look at the culture of black families in America, men and women.
It featured exclusive commentary by music mogul Russell Simmons, Grammy Award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco, comedian D.L. Hughley, award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee, and actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg.
The program was extremely successful.’s interactive section for “Black In America” garnered over 2.4 million page views. The “Black In America” assignment received over 1,000 submissions. Several viewers of the first episode were so inspired by the program that they launched, an online community and social network for black Americans who want to address the issues and challenges of Black America.

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Two South Carolina Women Get Life For Beating Death Of A 3-Year-Old Girl [VIDEO]

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They beat the little girl for days until her fragile, bruised and swollen body finally gave up — but the two women showed shock when a judge demanded the rest of their lives in return.

Erica Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham, both 25, each collapsed upon hearing that they would serve life in prison for killing 3-year-old Serenity Richardson, Butts’ goddaughter, two years ago.

The sentencing hearing took nearly two hours and ended with court officials dragging Cunningham from the courtroom on a chair and peeling Butts from the floor as she writhed and screamed hysterically.

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