All Articles Tagged "gun violence"
Barbershop: The Next Cut Will Not Only Make People Laugh, But It Will Also Tackle Gun Violence In Chicago [Trailer]
Welcome back to the barbershop!
It’s been more than 10 years since the last installment in the Barbershop franchise. But after rumors of another film being shopped around popped up last year, Malcolm D. Lee was able to make it happen. Ice Cube and the gang all hustled back into Calvin’s barbershop in Chicago to make a third film. Barbershop: The Next Cut will open nationwide on April 15, 2016.
Until then, you can check out the first trailer from the comedy, which was released today.
Directed once again by Lee, but written this time around by Black-ish showrunner Kenya Barris and The Neighbors‘ Tracey Oliver, we catch up with Calvin (Ice Cube) and Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) and the inhabitants of their beloved shop. Major changes have been made to it, including the establishment now being co-ed thanks to the addition of a beauty shop that brings with it Angie (Regina Hall) and the feisty Draya (Nicki Minaj).
And major changes are also happening in the surrounding community, where gang violence is rampant. In the hopes of not only saving the shop, and the neighborhood, but to also keep his son Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr.) out of harms way, Calvin and the barbershop crew work together to try and bring about change.
That’s right. This story is a bit deeper than what we were given the first and second time around–and I’m not mad at that.
But no worries! Based on the trailer, the film still has very humorous moments, and that makes sense considering all the funny folks with roles. Anthony Anderson is back as J.D., of course, Cedric the Entertainer is an important player, and then there’s JB Smoove, LaMorne Morris (of New Girl fame), and Deon Cole (of Black-ish popularity).
Common has joined the cast, and some of your old favorites are back too, including Sean Patrick Thomas (Jimmy), Troy Garity (Isaac) and Eve (Terri). No sign of Michael Ealy though.
Check out the trailer for yourself and let us know if you’ll be down for another visit to Calvin’s barbershop next spring.
We don’t have to go on about the alarming murder rate plaguing the metropolitan city; almost daily a national newspaper does that for us as it details yet another shooting or massacre of some sort. And while many on the outside are stunned by what’s transpired in the city during the past few years, April Lawson says young Black men in Chicago are operating as if a crisis isn’t on their hands. It was seeing a group of young males camped out in front of a shoe store recently that let Lawson know she had to do something herself.
“You’re watching these guys just like buying gym shoes and carrying on like life is normal,” she said before pointing to another inspiration for her sex strike. “Then I saw the trailer to ‘Chi-Raq’.”
If you haven’t checked out the trailer already, the premise of the new Spike Lee film centers on neighborhood women withholding sex until gun violence ends. Lawson wants to bring that notion from the big screen to real life. The mother has already started an online petition, asking other women to agree to this pledge she read aloud on ABC news:
“I vow to stay celibate until Black men organize and create a strategy to keep the peace in our neighborhoods.”
In an open letter on the petition site, Lawson wrote:
The day after Tyshawn Lee and Kaylyn Pryor were shot dead on the south side within blocks of each other I watched you file into stores on State Street to buy gym shoes despite the fact that your neighborhoods are being torn apart. I watched in dismay as you carried on with your lives at work and at home as if this were of no consequence. I watched when you shook your heads and uttered, “That’s a damn shame,” on the CTA Red line with the newspaper in your large brown hands. I listened when you gave benign excuses about how there’s not much you can do about it and that somehow through it all, “God’s got it.”
You simply ran on Dunkin in the morning. And you supersized your fries at lunch time. As Londoner’s say, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Seriously, you kept a little too fucking calm, in my opinion.
Step into your greatness and out of the shadows of impotence. I need you to be leaders, not consumers. I need you to cherish your woman and protect your babies using every ounce of fortitude and creativity you can muster. I need you to insist the adage “justice for all” includes you too.
No, Chicago men. I’m done marching. I’m fed up with chanting catchy slogans like, “Black lives matter.” My silent protest to fight this battle is by keeping my panties up and my skirt down, one day at a time. My legs are closed to you. IT’S GAME TIME. I’m bringing on some real life Lysistrata in Chicago, and I’m hoping to enroll thousands of other single and married women in this city before the end of this bloody week.
My headshot could be plastered just as easily on the front page of tomorrow’s headlines. How dare you shake your heads and just walk away. God gave man more muscle mass than woman because it’s his job to protect and defend. Isn’t it time ya’ll got on your job?
Just like Lysistrata entreated the mighty women of her city I implore the strong ladies of Chicago to take this oath. If you are a woman who is sick and tired of the senseless violence then please, please take this pledge.
Elaborating on the pledge, Lawson added this:
Until an official treaty is signed and an actionable plan is in place by all black men who live in this city, I take a vow of celibacy. I vow to refuse sex to any man I’m dating, engaged to or married to until the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice. I vow to keep my affections for men vocal, spirit filled and non-sexual until all children on the south side are safe to play outside their doors. I vow to stay celibate until black men organize and create a strategy to keep the peace in our neighborhoods. All men must take responsibility to take back their communities and behave as global citizens who patrol their own streets until every block in every neighborhood can all breathe again in ease.
Until ALL men in every neighborhood take a solemn oath that they will stay proactive instead of passive I will remain vigilant to the cause.
GENTLEMEN, THE CANDY STORE IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED. WE ARE ON STRIKE. PANTIES UP. SKIRTS DOWN. Let the lockdown begin…
If All Lives Matter where is the outrage over the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon?
It really is an obvious question, but it is also a poignant one.
When folks say Black Lives Matters, they are told “nuh-uh. All Lives Matter” and how it is not fair to focus on one specific kind of death in America.
And it would be a fair argument if the folks who proclaim All Lives Matter were actually doing something about it. Heck, I see more folks upset about the Jenner-Kardashian being christened “America’s First Family” by Cosmopolitan than I do about the latest mass shooting, where people actually died.
For whatever reason the mass violent death doesn’t bring about the same sense of urgency as it does when a single cop kills an unarmed Black person. Maybe it is because when it comes to death, Black lives matter more?
Or maybe folks just don’t care.
As noted by Ben Dreyfuss who writes in a piece for Mother Jones entitled, 16 Years After Columbine, How “Never Again” Became “Oh, Well:”
“Both responses, “never again” and “don’t bother trying,” offer statements about the USA. The former says “America is the greatest country on Earth. We went to the moon. Surely, we can stop kids from getting shot to death at school! If the Brits can do it, so can we. ” The latter says, “No, we can’t. We’re America. The greatest country on Earth and the cost of the liberty that makes us so is that our kids may get shot to death at school.”
Every time there is another mass shooting and nothing happens it becomes a little easier to believe that the “don’t bother” crowd is right.
Nothing changed after 13 people were killed at Columbine, or 33 at Virginia Tech, or 26 at Sandy Hook. Each of those tragedies came with the same breaking-news urgency as Columbine, but none generated the same sense of expected action because fewer and fewer people actually believed things could change. The last 16 years have been a lesson in how “never again” can be cowed into “I need a drink.”
What is great about the Black Lives movement, and subsequently those who champion the BLM hashtag, is that it essentially embodies the former, more optimistic side of the America in which Dreyfuss speaks about. The side that believes that although police killings of mostly young and unarmed Black people has gone on forever – and although there are other kinds of violent death that warrant outrage – we have to take a stand somewhere in our demands for “never again.”
It also illustrates how the only ones actively working to address any kind of violent death in America are those activists on the front lines championing the cause of more police accountability.
Meanwhile, it has been three days since the tragic shooting in Oregon and there has not been a single call by any All Lives Matter leader for nationwide protests, which demand an end to the violence. No one is bum-rushing Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump’s campaign to demand they pay attention to mass shootings or make all lives a priority. There are no ALM activists holding sit-ins in the corridors of power, demanding their elected leaders enact new anti-violence laws. There are no rallies outside of gun stores or the NRA headquarters demanding that they be held accountable for their parts in this tragedy.
Basically. all of those who claim they are about all lives mattering have no demands, which would give any impression that violent death – regardless of the color of the person who died – is worthy of doing something about.
There is a bit of truth that exists at the core of the All Lives Matter argument: what is needed in society is a cultural shift, which values and respects the lives of all people equally. But if folks who champion the All Lives Matter want to see that cultural shift happen, then they need to be out here in these streets, putting themselves on the frontline and taking a stand for “never again.”
Until that happens, All Lives Matter will continue to sound like nothing but hollow rhetoric.
“Thoughts & Prayers Are Not Enough” Pres. Obama Delivers Stern Remarks On Need For Gun Control Laws After Oregon Shooting
Last night, I sat scrolling through Instagram viewing accounts of those on the ground in Ferguson. There was a 12-year-old girl in handcuffs surrounded by police, a man grabbed from the sidewalk, pepper sprayed and laid on the ground in cuffs, and many more images that took me back to Ferguson a year prior or the incidents I’ve experienced personally with the NYPD at protests. These racial occurrences are not just news items, they have a way of moving into your core and can even disrupt one’s health due to stress.
Boston’s newly appointed and first- ever “chief resilience officer,” Dr. Atyia Martin, knows this first-hand as she works to fight stress in poor neighborhoods that often contain a disproportionate amount of African Americans. The new position was created by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program. A program that helps cities adapt to economic, physical and social challenges faced.
Martin, 34, has spent the last four years leading the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Public Health Preparedness, but her new role will allow her to get even more hands-on with what she feels these communities are battling the most.
“The people who suffer the most after emergencies are disproportionally those who are considered the most vulnerable — people who are low-income, people with disabilities, the elderly, children,” Martin told The Huffington Post. “Then we have the undercurrent of race.”
Martin is using her new role to deal with the history of racism embedded into Boston and the ways in which it manifests itself today. The neighborhoods of Boston are still highly segregated. Roxbury is comprised of 85.4 percent Blacks and Latinos, while 90 percent of residents in a more wealthy neighborhood, Beacon Hill, are white.
However, one unfortunate incident that knew no color was the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Martin played a critical role in providing psychological and physical support for those who faced trauma. It is this same trauma we often see in poor, minority communities.
“The marathon bombing response was very well-coordinated,” Martin told The Huffington Post. “Juxtaposed with that, over 50 shootings that happened in the month after the bombing. You don’t have the same level of coordination and attention focused on people who suffer under chronic community issues like violence.”
But Martin believes creating discourse is the first step to moving forward.
“You have the best discussions when you have a nice mixture of people in the room across all races because it helps people see different perspectives,” Martin said. “It’s a challenge we’ll be able to overcome, but a challenge nonetheless.”
In a press release, Mayor Marty Walsh stated Martin’s new position will aid in Boston’s ability to “withstand and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ — catastrophic events like floods, infrastructure failure and acts of terrorism — and ‘stresses’ — slow-moving disasters like persistent racial and economic inequality, lack of affordable housing and unemployment.”
Martin’s new position could be what many other cities are in need of to combat the realities and affects of the racial history ingrained into our communities. Many studies have been done to reveal the realities of post traumatic stress disorder due to racial events, which is often referred to as “race-based trauma.”
Last month, NPR spoke with many psychologists for “Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll” and realized individuals who take on a level of stress due to racism often have changes in mood, appetite and become worrisome about other unrelated events, sometimes making it hard for them to be as productive.
“It’s not the incident that causes stress, distress or trauma; it’s the helplessness in the face of the incident,” psychologist Carl Bell told NPR.
Martin’s new position may not solve the issue or eradicate the racial incidents occurring, but her work may be an example of the types of things leaders in more poor and racially segregated communities should be doing as a service to its residents. What do you think?
— Good Black News (@goodblacknews) July 29, 2015
The next time one of your ignorant Facebook friends asks what are Black people doing about “Black on Black crime,” you can tell them about the “Army of Moms” on the South side of Chicago.
This…vintage news somehow slipped under our radar about a month ago, but we felt it was an important and inspirational story that needed to be told.
According to DNAinfo.com, these concerned women, mothers, started patrolling their neighborhoods in late June after the death of Lucille Barnes. The group of volunteers calls themselves Mothers Against Senseless Killings. The women wore pink shirts, sat in folding chairs and leaned on mailboxes hoping to prevent retaliation.
According to police Barnes, 34, was killed after a man walked by her and two other women and opened fire.
Tamar Manasseh, Englewood resident and founder of Mothers Against Senseless Killings, said “People are very emotional about it, and we don’t know what’s going to happen. If people say there will be violence, there likely will be violence, and you go where you are called.”
Manasseh organized the event for the first time after this particular shooting, hoping that people would be dissuaded from shooting if they were being watched by a mother figure, 15 mother figures, to be exact.
Manasseh said, “If you’re trying to shoot someone and we’re out here, you’re not getting off the block.”
The group plans to be on that corner everyday, for four hours, from now until Labor Day.
If and when another shooting happens, the mothers will move to make sure the neighborhood knows the mothers are watching.
The group, who is working without the help of police, brought grills and hot dogs to show that the message is coming from community members rather than law enforcement.
Manasseh said, “This is about reconnecting with children that haven’t been mothered that much. Take away the guns, and they’re just kids.”
Manasseh and others in her community believe that parents had relinquished authority to their teenaged children and the violence in Southside is a result of that.
The goal now is to change the mindset and not just simply take the guns away.
So far, it’s worked. according to another piece in DNAinfo, five weeks after Barnes’ murder there have been no shootings on the block or on the 7500 block of South Harvard where the patrols are set up.
Still, Manasseh says that the group needs more volunteers.
Right now there are about 15 adult volunteers who have pledged to be out every day until Labor Day. It’s the same number of people they had initially after the June shooting.
She laments the brevity of people’s attention spans.
“It’s hard to keep their interests between tragedies.”
One community leader cited fear as the reason Manasseh hasn’t seen more participation.
“It’s not easy. Our people are afraid so they don’t participate.”
Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case with the teens from the neighborhood. At least 24 teenagers have taken an interest in keeping their community safe and have started participating in the patrols.
The ultimate goal is to get people on other blocks to follow Manasseh’s example and start their own patrols in their own neighborhoods. Manasseh plans to hold an orientation in the future to teach conflict resolution and strategic placement.
In an earlier interview, Manasseh said, “A mother’s love is selfless, annoying and always there. This is what mothers do best, get in the way.”
If you’re interested in helping Manasseh and her cause, you can learn more here.
Based on the reoccurring violence in the inner-city of the Chicago, Lee’s cast includes Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson, Common, Wesley Snipes and John Cusack— some of whom grew up in the city. Despite the criticism the film has received for its title (a slang word used to describe the level of violence and conflict in the city), Amazon reports filming finished last week. Many politicians believe it will be hurtful to Chicago’s tourism, although they fail to address ways to better its on-going gun violence situation.
This past January, Amazon began planning to produce a dozen films this year in the hopes of creating distribution deals with traditional theaters. It also plans to release those same movies on its Prime streaming video service a month or two after it releases in theaters. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon’s aggressive approach may help them with their leading competitor Netflix who has several hit original content films and shows.
Prior to Spike Lee, Amazon launched deals with Woody Allen and Doonesbury comic strip creator Garry Trudeau.
“Lord Jesus, These Streets Is Not Right”: Bloody 4th Of July Weekend Leaves Chicago Residents Reeling
The Fourth of July will be remembered as bloody weekend by Chicago residents after tragedy swept through the city during the celebratory occasion. According to NBC News, nine people were killed and 46 were wounded in shootings that spanned across the city.
Among the deceased is 7-year-old Amari Brown, who was enjoying a fireworks shows along with his father in Humboldt Park around midnight Saturday. Sadly, the show was cut short when the gunfire erupted not far away from where the twosome stood. Amari and a 26-year-old woman were wounded. The elementary school student died from his injuries. The other victim, however, was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition.
According to Amari’s father, Antonio Brown, he assumed that the gunshots were fireworks at first. He also confessed that he didn’t know the boy had been shot until he heard him calling out for him. According to CNN, police believe that the boy’s father, who they say is a known gang member, was actually the target of the shooting.
“We need to repair a broken system,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters Sunday. “Criminals don’t feel the repercussions of the justice system.”
McCarthy went on to say that the system failed young Amari, reasoning that his father would have never been on the streets in the first place if the city had tougher gun laws. Antonio’s criminal history consists of 45 arrests.
“If Mr. Brown is in custody, his son is alive,” McCarthy said.
Police are still on the hunt for Amari’s killer, and they’re claiming that Antonio has not been cooperative in the investigation.
“Love your kids every day,” said Amari’s grieving mother, Amber Hailey. “Tell them every day. Keep them with you. Lord Jesus, these streets is not right.”
Community leaders have raised a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Amari’s killer. Despite the alarming number of shootings that occurred this weekend, the number of shootings has dropped in comparison to this time last year. In 2014, there were 69 shooting victims and 15 murders.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual to read about rappers getting arrested for engaging in criminal activity, but what about getting arrested for pretending to be gangsters in a music video?
That is what happened to an unsigned hype from Jersey City, New Jersey. Sort of. According to reports by All Hip Hop.com and NJ.com, nine members of a New Jersey Bloods gang, who also make up the hip-hop group DFG, were arrested for brandishing a gun while filming their their music video. The video, which is for their first single called “MoneyCello,” was posted about a year ago, but somehow it recently caught the attention of the Jersey City Street Crimes Unit who used the “evidence” to get an arrest warrant for the nine men.
According to published reports, one of the rappers was apprehended while at his full-time non-rap gig at a warehouse. Another was arrested while in bed with his girlfriend. During the raids, which included a search for the YouTube music video, police found small amounts of drugs and other paraphernalia in their homes; however, none of the reports specify if the actual guns (or any guns for that matter) used in the music video were recovered. Still, experts from the Newark Police Department’s Ballistic Lab are certain that the guns used in the video were real and have determined that one of the handguns was either a 9mm or a .380 semi-automatic.
And because of the video, which prior to their arrest had only a couple thousand views, the rap group is looking at a litany of charges, including felony unlawful possession of a handgun.
This is not the first time rappers have been arrested for their stellar performances. Last year in San Francisco, Bayview plainclothes officers raided the set of a rap music video and arrested 20 people on various charges, including suspicion of being a felon in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun and suspicion of selling drugs. And in 2014, two rappers out of Pittsburgh were arrested and convicted of intimidating witnesses, making terroristic threats and conspiracy. This all stemmed from a YouTube rap video, which included a lyric that threatened two Pittsburgh police officers who arrested the pair in the past on unrelated gun and drug charges. The song also referenced a cop killer who had gunned down three officers in 2009. The rappers were sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison.
An article from The New York Times entitled “Legal Debate on Using Boastful Rap Lyrics as a Smoking Gun” recently took note of this growing trend in law enforcement. According to the report, in the last two years alone there have been three dozen prosecutions in which rap lyrics were used as either confessions or to help paint an “unsavory picture of a defendant to help establish motive and intent.” As reported by the Times, prosecutors and law enforcement alike see rap lyrics as an important crime fighting tool, however:
“The proliferation of cases has alarmed many scholars and defense lawyers, who say that independent of a defendant’s guilt or innocence, the lyrics are being unfairly used to prejudice judges and juries who have little understanding that, for all its glorification of violence, gangsta rappers are often people who have assumed over-the-top and fictional personas.”
I have to agree with the scholars and defense lawyers. Rappers, particularly those who rap about the streets, are easy prey because they are involved in a profession that requires them to portray violent images and hyper-masculinity. And it really does seem like these law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are exploiting the general public’s–particularly White America’s– ignorance and disdain for hip-hop music to prosecute otherwise difficult cases. Likewise, I am sure there are tons of Hollywood directors being violent gang-related films sitting in their mansions with tons of cocaine and other drugs stuffed up their noses like Tony Montana in Scarface. And yet, I can’t recall a single one of them being targeted for felonies.
The question that comes to mind when I think of this case in New Jersey is how does one determine the authenticity of a gun from a video on YouTube? I know high definition helps to add more resolution to people and things, but it sure as hell doesn’t make them three dimensional. I mean we are talking about law enforcement agencies that can’t always tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun in the hands of a 12-year-old boy.
But what do folks think? Is this fair or are aspiring rappers being set up by a malicious and opportunistic court system? Leave your comments below.
This summer, Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez will take the screen in the dramatic indie film, Lila And Eve. Previewed in January at the Sundance Film Festival, Lila And Eve centers around two mothers whose children have died.
The women meet one another at a grief support meeting and quickly form a friendship. When Lila is not satisfied with the police investigation regarding her son’s death, Eve encourages her to take matters into her own hands. The two then begin to investigate the case and find Lila’s son’s killer, however, they become extremely vengeful in the process.
With drama, murder, grief and drugs intertwining in the film, it appears Lila And Eve will be nothing short of a hit summer thriller.
Directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline), Lila And Eve will debut on July 17th in theaters and on demand.
Take a look at the trailer, below!