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Friday, July 31, 2020

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Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI (1986) | Lynn Whitfield Howard E. Rollins, Jr. Richard Lawson
As one of the first female black FBI agents, Johnnie Gibson (Lynn Whitfield) undercover to trap a gun smuggler, Adam Prentice (Richard Lawson), but her growing emotional involvement in the case worries another undercover agent, T.C. Russell (Howard E. Rollins), in JOHNNIE MAE GIBSON: FBI. Directed by Bill Duke, this made-for-television movie was Lynn Whitfield's first starring role. Shared for historical purposes. I do not own the rights. ##### Reelblack's mission is to educate, elevate, entertain, enlighten, and empower through Black film. If there is content shared on this platform that you feel infringes on your intellectual property, please email me at Reelblack@mail.com and info@reelblack.com with details and it will be promptly removed.


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New Trump financial disclosure gives glimpse into pre-pandemic business income


Before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism and hospitality industries, President Donald Trump’s high-profile properties were humming along in 2019, according to an annual disclosure report released late Friday evening.

Trump National Doral Miami, the golf resort where the president had considered hosting this year’s G-7 gathering of world leaders before scrapping the plans, brought in the most money in 2019. It reported revenues of $77.2 million compared with nearly $76 million in 2018.

One of president’s other golf clubs in Bedminster, N.J., a frequent retreat for Trump during the summer, reported a nearly 13 percent increase in revenue in 2019. Other golf resorts owned by Trump, including in Jupiter, Fla. and Charlotte, N.C., saw their revenues rise as well last year.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has become a prime meeting spot for administration officials and a source of controversy since opening in 2016, reported $40.5 million in revenue compared with the previous year’s income of $40.8 million.

However, revenues at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort Trump has frequented during the course of his presidency, dipped to $21.4 million in 2019, a drop of more than $1 million — or 5 percent — from $22.6 million in the previous year.

The disclosure indicates that Trump had a minimum income of more than $440 million.

The 78-page report, which is required to be reported every year under federal ethics rules, provides a glimpse into the president’s debts and how his properties are performing. Because the disclosure is for income generated in the previous year, it does not show the coronavirus’ impact on Trump’s properties and investments.

Trump's properties have not escaped the pandemic's deleterious effects, with many forced to close temporarily and lay off workers.

The disclosure was originally due in May, but the White House received two 45-day extensions as Trump addressed the coronavirus crisis. A White House memorandum released in April stated that there was “good cause” to grant the extension.

Ethics officials and watchdog groups have long raised concerns that Trump is profiting from his role as commander in chief.

The president, unlike his predecessors, has refused to release his tax returns, often claiming that he’s under audit. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court delivered a split-decision on Trump’s personal financial records, blocking congressional investigators from accessing the tax documents but rejecting his claim of “absolute” immunity.

Disclosures for Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, were also released Friday, showing the White House advisers reported at least $36 million in income.

Anita Kumar contributed to this report.



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Trump plans to ban TikTok in the U.S.


President Donald Trump said Friday that he plans to bar the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok from operating in the United States, a move that comes as officials across Washington accuse the company of posing a national security risk.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters traveling with him from Tampa aboard Air Force One. He said he could take action against the company as soon as Saturday.

TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has come under fire from lawmakers and government officials on both sides of the aisle over fears that it could turn over American users' information to the Chinese government. TikTok says it has not provided consumers’ personal information to Beijing and would not do so.

The president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to ban TikTok in the United States.

“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump said, referring to emergency economic powers.

Trump made clear he was not in favor of a deal to let a U.S. company buy TikTok’s American operations, following reports that Microsoft is in talks to do just that.

An administration official said earlier Friday that the administration would force ByteDance to divest ownership of TikTok through a ruling by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed earlier this week that TikTok has been under review by the inter-agency body, which evaluates whether foreign investments pose security risks. ByteDance acquired TikTok's precursor, Musical.ly, in 2017.

Mnuchin said Wednesday that he expected CFIUS to make a recommendation for action on TikTok this week.

After reports of a planned administration action against the company surfaced earlier Friday, TikTok spokesperson Jamie Favazza said in a statement, "While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok. Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform."

Fox Business and other news outlets reported that tech giant Microsoft is in talks to acquire TikTok, a move that would give the trillion dollar company a fresh footprint in the social media market. Microsoft declined comment on the reports.

The Trump administration plan to order ByteDance to sell off TikTok was previously reported by Bloomberg.

Cristiano Lima contributed to this report.



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Florida teen arrested, accused of being ‘mastermind’ behind Twitter hack

Graham Clark is currently in jail and being charged as an adult with over 30 felony counts. 

A Florida teen has been arrested and accused of being the “mastermind” behind Twitter’s recent security and privacy breach. 

17-year-old Graham Clark of Tampa, Florida is said to have posed as a member of Twitter’s IT department and gained access to the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Apple, Uber and more. The hack was part of a massive bitcoin scam on July 15th, theGrio reported. 

Each of the hacked Twitter profiles sent out messages that included the same bitcoin account, and urged followers to send cryptocurrency on the promise to double any amount received. 

Read More: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Uber and more hacked on Twitter

“Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time,” one of the tweets read. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

Apparently, Clark didn’t act alone. 22-year-old Nima Fazeli in Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard in the UK have also been charged by the US Department of Justice, The Verge reports. The duo, who go by the hacker aliases “Rolex” and “Chaewon,” respectively, are in custody, according to the FBI. 

Chaewon allegedly conspired with an unidentified minor in California, who confessed to helping sell access to Twitter accounts.

According to an affidavit released Friday, authorities say Clark convinced a Twitter employee that he worked in the IT department and that’s how he was able to gain credentials.

“Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers,” Twitter said in a statement. “We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.”

Clark is currently in jail and being charged as an adult with over 30 felony counts, including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking, 

Read More: Twitter was hacked and now some of its most prominent users are caught in a Bitcoin scam

Celebrities hacked on Twitter (via Twitter.com)

Fazeli is facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for computer intrusion. Sheppard is facing a 20-year sentence and a $250,000 fine in the US for computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy, the report states. 

“This could have had a massive, massive amount of money stolen from people, it could have destabilized financial markets within America and across the globe; because he had access to powerful politicians’ Twitter accounts, he could have undermined politics as well as international diplomacy,” said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.

“This is not a game… these are serious crimes with serious consequences, and if you think you can rip people off online and get away with it, you’ll be in for a rude awakening, a rude awakening that comes in the form of a 6 AM knock on your door from federal agents,” he added. 

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Gabrielle Union says Terry Crews tried to ‘discredit’ her over AGT drama

The actress says the ‘America’s Got Talent’ host may ‘regret’ being on the wrong side of history.

Gabrielle Union has made clear how she really feels about Terry Crews’ lack of support during her controversial stint on America’s Got Talent.

She previously spoke out about the racism and sexism she experienced as a judge on the NBC talent competition series. The Being Mary Jane alum says she was met with toxicity on her very first day when Simon Cowell began blowing cigarette smoke, which the actress is allergic to, on set. After taking her grievances to network bosses, she was fired from the show in November.

Union has since launched a legal complaint against NBC, Simon Cowell and Fremantle and Syco Entertainment. 

She spoke further about her AGT experience during a recent interview on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast. While Union touched on everything from Cowell’s smoking habit, to Julianne Hough’s blackface incident, she didn’t hold back while addressing Crews’ stance amid her firing.

Read More: Terry Crews gets dragged for tweeting acronym for ‘coon’

At the time, Crews caught major heat for not publicly supporting Union the same way she had his back when he came forward with claims of being sexually assaulted by another male at a Hollywood party. 

Late last year, as Union was speaking her truth, Crews appeared on the Today show to praise NBC and gush about his positive experience as host of America’s Got Talent

When Hill mentioned his response, Union replied, “The only thing I know for sure is that Terry Crews gets three checks from NBC. So, I don’t know if being worried about job stability — which listen, we all know that if you speak up about racism and white supremacy, you absolutely can be shown the door — I don’t know if that’s the motivation.”

The Bring It On star then referred to his recent tweets warning about the rise of Black supremacy.

“Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board?” she asked. “I think Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”

Read More: Terry Crews dragged on social media for ‘Black supremacy’ comments

Union said she was disappointed Crews didn’t publicly support her.

“Not to say if I offer you solidarity I expect you to be the getaway driver during a bank robbery — that’s what he made it sound like in one of those series of tweets,” she explained. “If you saw something, say something. If you didn’t have my experience, you also have an option to say, ‘I believe Gab, I just had a different experience.’ End of story.”

She added, “You don’t have to do a press tour where your sole objective is to discredit and malign me. You know, I’ve been in Hollywood a very long time. There’s very little that surprises me, but that was very disappointing for sure.”

Gabrielle warned that the White Chicks star may “regret” being on the wrong side of history as more details emerge related to her legal complaint. 

“Since I’ve been so vocal about what happened, the floodgates have opened. This reckoning is just hitting,” she said “There is so much more that is coming. I have a feeling he will probably regret it for a thousand reasons, very soon.”

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Romany Malco - Quarantine Book and Movie Suggestions (2020) | Tijuana Jackson Movie Out Now
Actor/Producer/Director ROMANY MALCO shares some book and movie recommendations to help get you through the 2020 quarantine. What are some of your picks? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section. His new film, TIJUANA JACKSON: PURPOSE OVER PRISON is out now on demand. https://ift.tt/2eFI0qP https://ift.tt/3fOCkdO https://www.youtube.com/user/RomanyMalco ##### Reelblack's mission is to educate, elevate, entertain, enlighten, and empower through Black film. If there is content shared on this platform that you feel infringes on your intellectual property, please email me at Reelblack@mail.com and info@reelblack.com with details and it will be promptly removed.


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Google is Making it Easier to Search for and Support Black Businesses

Google badge black businesses

Google introduced a new badge that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s Maps and Search listings. The new feature, which was announced Thursday, comes as more consumers are searching for black businesses in recent months.

U.S.-based companies with a verified Business Profile on Google can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, which will make it easier for customers to identify and support them. Those businesses will be marked with a black heart over an orange three-striped background (as seen below). To apply for the badge, black entrepreneurs must verify their company by mail, phone, or email.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community,” wrote Jewel Burks Solomon, the Head of Google for Startups, in a blog post. “With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” she added.

Google badge
[Image: Google]
Google partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) to help spread the word about the new badges. Together, Google and USBC will also provide Black business owners with training to maximize their online presence on Google through the use of Google My Business and Google Analytics.

According to The Verge, Yelp, a popular online service that provides crowd-sourced reviews and business listings, also reported an increase in Black-owned business searches on its site. It received more than 2.5 million searches for those businesses from May 25 to July 10.

Google also introduced badges for “Women-Led” businesses and LGBTQ-friendly businesses back in 2018.

Black businesses
Google Black-owned business badge [Image: Google]
In wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to dismantle systemic racism, Google committed $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities in June.

Earlier this year, the tech giant appointed Solomon as its first Head of Google For Startups to focus on empowering diverse startup founders with products, connections, and best practices. Prior to her appointment, the Howard University alum worked at Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence for diversity markets from 2014 to 2016 where she helped underserved business owners grow their businesses online using Google tools.



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Video shows LAPD shooting man in the head while arms are up

LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza called the shooting an ‘unintentional head strike.’ 

Officer body cam footage shows a man with his hands up during the George Floyd protests in Los Angeles being shot in the head with less-lethal projectile fired by police. 

The incident occurred in the Fairfax District on the evening of May 30 at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Grove Drive. The over 7-minute video shows the victim, CJ Montano, standing in the middle of the street with his hands up as officers on skirmish lines in front of him react to protesters throwing rocks and frozen water bottles at them, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Police are heard screaming “Less lethal!” and “Leave the area!” as they attempt to push back the crowd. They then fire at protesters as they flee. The clip shows Montano dropping to the ground and being rushed away from the scene by other demonstrators.  

Read More: LAPD officers accused of falsifying records could derail over 750 cases

LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza called the shooting an “unintentional head strike.” 

Espinoza said “the circumstances of how Montano was struck, and which officer fired the less-lethal projectile that struck Montano, is still under investigation” by the LAPD Force Investigation Division (FID). 

Montano, who was reportedly taken to a hospital and treated for a head injury, has refused to cooperate with the investigation, police said. 

Many protesters suffered injuries that day from police use of batons and tactical weapons. A Times investigation has found LAPD officers likely violated protocols for use of such weapons, as they are not supposed to fire at people who are fleeing the scene.

Read More: LAPD run by ‘SWAT Mafia’ who ‘glamorize’ lethal force, sergeant says

Department policy requires that less-lethal weapons and projectiles, such as sponge and foam bullets, are only to be used on individuals who are presenting an immediate threat.  Officers are supposed to aim only for the person’s navel, belt line or their arms and legs — never their head or neck.

Montano is the latest case highlighting the LAPD’s excessive use of force during protests over police brutality and injustice. 

The LAPD is reportedly investigating 125 separate complaints from the protests. So far, 10 officers have been removed from field duties pending investigations.

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Google is Making it Easier to Search for and Support Black Businesses

Google badge black businesses

Google introduced a new badge that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s Maps and Search listings. The new feature, which was announced Thursday, comes as more consumers are searching for black businesses in recent months.

U.S.-based companies with a verified Business Profile on Google can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, which will make it easier for customers to identify and support them. Those businesses will be marked with a black heart over an orange three-striped background (as seen below). To apply for the badge, black entrepreneurs must verify their company by mail, phone, or email.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community,” wrote Jewel Burks Solomon, the Head of Google for Startups, in a blog post. “With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” she added.

Google badge
[Image: Google]
Google partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) to help spread the word about the new badges. Together, Google and USBC will also provide Black business owners with training to maximize their online presence on Google through the use of Google My Business and Google Analytics.

According to The Verge, Yelp, a popular online service that provides crowd-sourced reviews and business listings, also reported an increase in Black-owned business searches on its site. It received more than 2.5 million searches for those businesses from May 25 to July 10.

Google also introduced badges for “Women-Led” businesses and LGBTQ-friendly businesses back in 2018.

Black businesses
Google Black-owned business badge [Image: Google]
In wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to dismantle systemic racism, Google committed $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities in June.

Earlier this year, the tech giant appointed Solomon as its first Head of Google For Startups to focus on empowering diverse startup founders with products, connections, and best practices. Prior to her appointment, the Howard University alum worked at Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence for diversity markets from 2014 to 2016 where she helped underserved business owners grow their businesses online using Google tools.



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Thousands Sign Petition To Deport Tory Lanez After Meghan Thee Stallion Shooting

Thousands of people have signed a Change.org petition calling for rapper Tory Lanez to be deported back to Canada for his alleged involvement in the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion

As of Friday afternoon, the petition has more than 18,000 signatures and asks for the Department Of Homeland Security to deport Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson. Although Lanez's involvement in the shooting has not been confirmed, the petition calls for his deportation for promoting "violence against women" and for "intentionally trying to harm Megan the Stallion."

It also demands that the rapper be banned from the United States forever. 

According to TMZ, Peterson is facing a felony gun charge for a concealed weapon that was found in his vehicle.

Peterson was with the "Savage" rapper, whose real name is Megan Pete, and another woman when police were called to a home in Hollywood Hills around 4:30 a.m. TMZ reported that witnesses heard gunshots in the SUV and then saw the car drive off.

Officers were eventually filmed on video stopping the car and having all three occupants slowly exit the vehicle. 

A source told Page Six that “Tory fired the shots from within the vehicle while Megan was outside trying to leave."

"This is a case of a man physically harming and abusing a woman,” the source said.

Pete later shared statements on social media saying she had been shot.

 On Monday, Pete discussed the situation at length on Instagram Live, breaking down in tears as she described the trauma of being shot and dealing with the rumors around the situation, as Blavity previously reported.

"I was shot in both of my feet and I had to get surgery to get the bullets taken out. It was super scary and the worst experience of my life. It's not funny. There is nothing to joke about. It was nothing for y'all to start going and making fake stories about. I didn't put my hands on nobody. I didn't deserve to get shot," she said.

In addition to addressing the situation, she spoke about the distasteful jokes that people were making about the situation. Rapper 50 Cent has since come out and apologized for making light of the shooting. 

Other stars have offered their support to Pete. Rihanna sent the rapper Savage X Fenty gear as well as flowers. Lizzo also sent her a sweet gift and positive vibes. 



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Rihanna says she felt like a ‘clown’ in 2015 Met dress

In a new interview, Rihanna opens up about how nervous she felt before hitting the red carpet at the 2015 Met Gala

After delivering one of the most memorable looks at the 2015 Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, better known as the Met Gala, singer Rihanna reveals how nervous she was before strutting down that red carpet.

READ MORE: Rihanna says new music coming ‘sooner than you think’

“Oh my God, I’m a clown, people are going to laugh at me, this is too much,” she remembers.

In a new interview with Access Hollywood to promote her newest beauty brand Fenty Skin, the multi-hyphenate talent says she was overwhelmed by the now-iconic moment.

“I remember being so scared to get out of that car because I felt like, ‘I’m doing too much,’ remembers the “Pour It Up” singer. She continues “Finally, I was like, ‘Whatever, let’s go. Let’s just go. Let’s just go,’ confessing she had her car circle around the event three times before she was ready to make an entrance.

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issa ball.

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The vibrant yellow gown was designed by Chinese couturier Guo Pei for the event, which was themed “China: Through The Looking Glass.”

READ MORE: Rihanna, Beyoncé send Megan Thee Stallion flowers following shooting

The Bajan pop star shared with Vanity Fair how she researched before deciding on the gown for the annual fashion showcase.

 “I can’t really walk in it without any help—but it’s so worth it. I love this dress so much!” she told the outlet. “It’s handmade by one Chinese woman and it took her two years to make. I found it online.”

Pei shared the care she put into creating the dress with Vanity Fair.

“The focus and the attention paid to this dress will make it remembered by the world—[what] I want is to make them remember. . . . It is my responsibility to let the world know China’s tradition and past, and to give the splendor of China a new expression. I hope that people do know China in this way.”

Rihanna also talked about falling in love with makeup, her future children, creating a legacy, and her music career.

Watch the interview below:

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Jazz musician Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis embraces life after cancer on debut album

Davis created ‘Focus’ while battling cancer for the second time

Chris “Big Dog” Davis is a Grammy-nominated producer and pianist who prefers to stay in the background. His debut album Focus, recorded while he battled lymphoma, is now a moment for him to enjoy life and the spotlight.

Davis was drawn to music early in life, playing the piano since the age of four while growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut. His skills were honed at Refuge Church of Christ where he played and his mother was the choir director. She ultimately saw his talent and provided him with a private teacher to help him evolve.

“They knew I had a gift,” Davis recalls.

Chris Big Dog Davis Jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Read More: Rihanna says new music coming ‘sooner than you think’

Davis studied classical composition at Yale University then entered the Marine Corps at age 20. After leaving the military, he worked as a bodyguard for R&B heavyweight Brian McKnight.

Davis got his big musical break while working with the superstar, playing alongside him on The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show, and The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

He’s since worked and toured with George Clinton, Will Downing, Syleena Johnson, Chanté Moore, and jazz singer Maysa. His Midas touch is now on display for his own solo effort which comes decades into his career.

The 11-track career milestone, released in June by Shanachie Records, also came while Davis was battling lymphoma for the second time. He was previously diagnosed in 2010 and began to experience symptoms such as weight loss at the end of last year while touring with saxophonist Gerald Albright.

He was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital but remained determined to complete his album.

“I went in there in January. I didn’t come out until like February. I was in there for at least 30 days when they were diagnosing me and everything,” he shares.

“I was sitting down with my sister who was my caregiver, God bless her soul. She took care of me and I sat up here myself and I put the whole Focus record together.”

Chris Big Dog Davis jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Read More: Beyoncé releases new trailer for ‘Black is King’

Davis describes this project as “gumbo” inspired, taking bits and pieces from multiple genres like gospel, R&B, and jazz. He played bass, keyboards and mixed it while still ailing.

“I’m here to tell people that you can win this. This is my second [bout] with stage four,” he says. “You have to stay focused.”

Contemporary jazz greats Dave Koz, Nick Colionne, Kim Waters, Rick Braun, and Albright are just some of the artists who offered their talents for this project. Davis’ determination to breathe life into the album even as his was jeopardized is a testament to his unshakable character.

Albright, who has known Davis for years, hails him as having the “X Factor” and being a “warrior” whom he is proud to call a friend and collaborator. Davis has been in his band for several years as his principal keyboardist and has co-produced some of his albums.

 “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me” is one of the songs they worked on together for Focus.

“He’s very tenacious in whatever he wants to conquer,” Albright says. “I was one of the closest people to him during that season where he was going through cancer.

And we would talk either every other day or, you know, through email or a phone call, whatever it was., I was just kind of monitoring him and, and help try to support him in the best way I could,” the saxophonist recounts.

“He was always positive during that whole process. I didn’t feel any energy of depression. I mean, he was obviously concerned, but he knew that in order to live, he had to go through certain stages of medical healing and otherwise.”

Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Focus, in his view, is a labor of love.

“I’m just so elated in celebrating him now that he’s in total remission. And he’s back to the music 100%,” Albright says.

Maysa has known Davis since 2006 and praises him as a “beautiful spirit” and musical genius. The singer and songwriter is a co-writer on the title track.

“He a strong man because the prognosis was not so good and so he was planning just in case something happened,” she recalls.

Read More: The beat of a culture: how HBCU bands relate to Black music legacy

She hopes that listeners are inspired to be “grateful” for what they do have.

“Staying focused on the good things in life..trying to change your perspective to not just focus on everything that’s wrong but the time you have to get your life in order; the time you needed so desperately when the world was at full speed ahead and you were waiting for some time to do it. This is the time to do it,” she declares.

There are many artists who view success as platinum records and #1 singles. The barometer for Davis is that his message is heard.

“The more I get to talk about it, the more people know about it, I think more people will like it,” he responds.

Focus can be streamed on Spotify and is available for purchase.

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Fat Boys - Brr Watch 'em (1986)
The Fat Boys were an American hip hop trio from Brooklyn, New York City, that emerged in the early 1980s. The group was briefly known originally as the Disco 3, originally composed of Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley and Darren "Buff Love" Robinson, who died of a heart attack during a bout with respiratory flu in 1995. The trio is widely known for using beatbox in their songs. The group opened doors for beatboxers like Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh. The Fat Boys was one of the first rap groups to release full-length rap albums, along with Run-D.M.C., Whodini and Kurtis Blow. Beloved for their comedic, self-deprecating rhymes, the group released 7 studio albums, 4 of which went Gold by RIAA. The first two albums of the group were produced by the legendary Kurtis Blow, and they were successful due to the singles "Jail House Rap", "Can You Feel It?", "Fat Boys", "Stick 'Em", "Don't You Dog Me", "All You Can Eat", "The Fat Boys Are Back", "Pump It Up", and videos to them. - Wikipedia Shared for historical purposes. I do not own the rights. ##### Reelblack's mission is to educate, elevate, entertain, enlighten, and empower through Black film. If there is content shared on this platform that you feel infringes on your intellectual property, please email me at Reelblack@mail.com and info@reelblack.com with details and it will be promptly removed.


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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Hate Crime Against Black Woman

In 2018, a 57-year-old Black woman was walking to a subway station in Brooklyn when a white man began stabbing her and yelling racial slurs.

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The Best Guitars for Beginners, According to Our Readers

Holy shit: A lot of you really like the guitar. There were so. many. passionate and helpful responses to our call for the best guitar for beginners. I didn’t bargain for a master class in purchasing your first axe, but that’s exactly what I got, and I implore anyone exploring guitar to go check out all the wonderful…

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Harris allies granted call with Biden campaign after Dodd blowup


Allies of Kamala Harris sought and received a meeting with Joe Biden’s campaign staff this week after a leader of his vice presidential vetting team was quoted doubting whether she’d be a loyal No. 2.

Prominent supporters of the California senator asked for the virtual sit-down on the heels of a POLITICO report Monday that Harris is not a lock for VP. It quoted former Sen. Chris Dodd, one of four members of the vetting unit, remarking to a prominent Democratic donor that Harris had “no remorse” for attacking Biden during a debate last year. Biden’s campaign at the time viewed the attack — Harris went after Biden for opposing a school busing program — as a cheap shot contrived to make him look racially insensitive.

That story and another recent POLITICO report detailed that a contingent of Democrats is lobbying against Harris to be chosen as Biden’s running mate.

The conference call included several of the state’s highest-ranking elected officials and labor and business leaders, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, state schools chief Tony Thurmond, state Treasurer Fiona Ma and Chad Griffin, a Democratic consultant and former head of Human Rights campaign, according to organizers.

Representing the Biden campaign were the four main members of his vetting team: Dodd, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Biden's former White House and Senate counsel, Cynthia Hogan.

Harris was not involved in organizing the call, they said.

A person on the call said Harris’ allies wanted the campaign to hear from people who know her best. The implication was that others who’ve criticized Harris to the media, and compared her unfavorably to another contender for VP from California, Rep. Karen Bass, were not providing an accurate reflection of Harris or her record.

One person briefed on the call said the Harris allies wanted to “correct the record,” and directly referenced the POLITICO reports.

“This was about us sharing how much Kamala would be a stellar vice president,” said one official who participated on the call, referencing Dodd’s earlier remarks.

“He spoke at length about her and said very nice things,” the person said of Dodd’s comments about Harris on the conference call.

POLITICO alluded to the call in a Wednesday story, but the extent of the organization behind it was unclear at the time. Dodd said “very supportive things” about Harris during the call, according to Kounalakis.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who was on the call, said he wanted to convey some of Harris' attributes.

“We love Senator Harris, and will continue to share her incredible work and record here in California," Garcia said. "She’s extremely loyal and has the highest integrity and character.”

Biden has said he'd name his running mate sometime next week, but aides now expect the announcement will come the second week of August.

Biden’s campaign faced a backlash over Dodd’s remarks to the donor. A second source has since told POLITICO that Dodd made similar comments about Harris on at least one other phone call during the vetting process.

A source close to Dodd said that he thinks highly of Harris, has spoken with her several times during the vetting process and that he supported Harris' campaign for Senate.

Critics suggested that Dodd was questioning a woman for being ambitious. In a sign of the extensive damage control the campaign did in the aftermath, Biden's campaign manager tweeted later this week: "Ambitious women make history, change the world, and win. Our campaign is full of ambitious women going all out for Joe Biden."



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New Jersey weighs rolling back reopening plans as Covid cases spike


New Jersey was a shining example of how states can flatten the Covid-19 curve. Now, it's on the brink of rolling back its economic reopening.

More than four months after coronavirus forced Gov. Phil Murphy to shut down the state’s retail economy and direct residents to remain at home, swelling case totals in the Garden State have triggered fresh alarm bells.

“We are standing in a very dangerous place," said Murphy during his press briefing on Friday, shortly after announcing that almost 700 people had tested positive for the virus in the previous 24 hours. “The only way to silence these alarms and get back to the process of moving forward is for everyone to take this seriously."

Murphy said new enforcement mechanisms or fresh restrictions on indoor gatherings are likely in the coming days if the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.

“Everyone who walks around refusing to wear a mask, or hosts a house party, or overstuffs a boat is directly contributing to these increases,” he said. “This has to stop. And it has to stop now."

New Jersey, at least for the last two months, was one of the few states that appeared to have navigated its way through the worst of the pandemic.

The steps taken by Murphy, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, to shut down non-essential businesses and limit social interaction were being touted as a blueprint for other states looking to flatten the curve.

Even as Covid-19 surged across the U.S. through June and July, which compelled tri-state governors to order mandatory quarantines for out-of-state travelers, New Jersey’s economic reopening remained on a positive trajectory.

Beaches and boardwalks were opened. Non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen their doors. And though Murphy hit pause on indoor dining, that measure was largely viewed as preventative, rather than reactive.

But all the while, compliance with social distancing guidelines seemed to be slipping. Police officers spent hours breaking up a massive party of 700-plus in Jackson over the weekend, which led Airbnb to shut down dozens short-term rental properties across the state.

House parties in Long Beach Island, Middletown and Stone Harbor were catalysts for sizable outbreaks. The Rutgers University football team has been quarantined after more than a dozen players contracted the virus at an off-campus shindig.

“This should be a sobering reminder to healthy residents, especially young individuals, that this disease is serious. You could be battling cough, fatigue or shortness of breaths for weeks or months,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said during Friday‘s briefing. “It’s not worth taking unnecessary risks.”

The rate of transmission, a measure of how many people will likely be infected by each new patient, slipped above 1.0 this week and stayed there — which means the virus is now spreading faster than it’s being contained. On Friday, it was 1.35.

On July 1, New Jersey’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 289, according to data compiled by The New York Times. Taking into account the 699 new cases reported on Friday — bringing the total to nearly 2,500 in the past five days — the state’s current seven-day average is now more than 500.

“It is overwhelmingly indoor activity, high congregation, lack of ventilation” that’s causing the recent surge of new cases, Murphy said Friday. “If we take any steps, we’re not going to wait a whole lot longer.”

Barring a marked improvement in public health data over the weekend and early next week, Murphy on Friday said he’d likely be ordering new capacity restrictions for indoor venues in the coming days. The current cap for indoor venues is the lesser of 25 percent normal capacity or 100 people.

While it’s unlikely Murphy will take any immediate steps resembling his shutdown order, which went into effect March 21 and was lifted June 9, Covid-19’s resurgence is bound to put more strain on a public health infrastructure that’s barely begun to recover from the initial wave of patients seen earlier this spring.

The administration’s efforts to bolster New Jersey’s contact tracing processes are still a work in progress. The state has only just begun to centralize oversight of its long-troubled nursing home and long-term care industry; almost 7,000 died in outbreaks at those facilities since March. Delays in obtaining test results from commercial labs persist.

On Friday, Persichilli said the state would be distributing more $32 million to county and local health departments to bolster ongoing efforts to contain Covid-19.

With dark clouds on the horizon, in an odd twist of fate, Friday also marked the first time since March 10 that no Covid-19 deaths were reported at any of the state’s acute care hospitals.

After calling for a moment of silence to mark that milestone, an acknowledgment of the almost 14,000 New Jerseyans who have lost their lives to Covid-19, Murphy emphasized the hospitals’ 24-hour reprieve from death was merely an indication of where New Jersey was a month ago, not the direction it’s headed.

“As important a milestone as that is,” he said. “It’s a lagging indicator.”



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James Murdoch resigns from News Corp board


James Murdoch resigned from the board of directors of News Corporation on Friday, citing disagreements over editorial choices by some of the conglomerate's news outlets.

News Corp owns Dow Jones, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal; publishing house HarperCollins; the New York Post and several other media outlets. Murdoch's resignation letter was revealed in an SEC filing from the corporation.

“We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp's executive chairman and Lachlan Murdoch, its co-chairman, in a statement. James Murdoch is Rupert Murdoch's son and Lachlan Murdoch's brother.

James Murdoch has expressed frustration with some of the coverage of the company's news outlets in the past. He and his wife, Kathryn, told The Daily Beast through a spokesman in January they were upset by coverage of climate change by Fox News and some of the company's Australian outlets.

"Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known," the spokesman told The Daily Beast. "They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

Fox News is housed in Fox Corp, the successor company to an acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney in 2019. 21st Century Fox split from News Corp in 2013. James Murdoch used to sit at the head of 21st Century Fox but left the company amid the Disney acquisition. Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch are co-chairmen of Fox Corp, and Lachlan Murdoch serves as its CEO.

When asked for more clarity on the editorial disagreements prompting the resignation, Jim Kennedy, chief communications officer for News Corp, responded with Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch's statement. Spokespeople for Dow Jones and a spokesperson for News Corp Australia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

James Murdoch has backed Democratic candidates for president, and Kathryn Murdoch donated $1 million to help Democrats win a Senate majority, Bloomberg Government reported last month. She told POLITICO in January she would happily support whoever the Democratic candidate would be. James Murdoch donated $615,000 to help get Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden elected.

His father, meanwhile, has had a close relationship with President Donald Trump. Rupert Murdoch kept a direct phone line to the president early in his term, The New York Times reported at the time, and he advised Trump during his 2016 campaign. Trump is a regular viewer of Fox News, often tweeting out quotes from Fox hosts and analysts and calling in to its shows. Some of those comments have taken a negative turn recently amid growing concern he is slipping by wide margins ahead of November's election.

James Murdoch's resignation also comes shortly after a dramatic confrontation between the newsroom and opinion section of The Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of Journal reporters last week wrote a letter to the newspaper's publisher, Almar Latour, urging clearer divisions between the publication's news and opinion operations. Reporters alleged that work published in the opinion section was at times backed by shoddy evidence and often hindered their reporting. The reporters called for a clearer delineation to enable readers to understand the difference between the two independent operations.

After the reporters' letter leaked, the Journal's Editorial Board published a brief but scathing note saying it would not "wilt under cancel-culture pressure."

"It was probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal, as it has at nearly every other cultural, business, academic and journalistic institution," the note to readers said.



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Streaming service Twitch targets HBCUs to increase minority participation in gaming

Twitch aims to encourage diversity in esports through a new partnership bringing an official league to HBCU campuses.

The popular gaming platform Twitch announces a partnership with nonprofit organization Cxmmunity to bring an official esports league to historically Black colleges and universities.

READ MORE: Reddit, Twitch clamp down Trumpist forums for hate speech

The league will be the first of its kind in Black colleges. Engadget reports the participating HBCU students will be provided educational and scholarship support via Twitch Student and the program will help HBCUs expand their esports programs.

“As a graduate of an HBCU and knowing firsthand how we’re underrepresented and just lack the access to get into gaming, I’m excited to be working with Twitch to fulfill our mission in increasing the participation of minorities within these industries and close the digital divide,” said Chris Peay, CoFounder of Cxmmunity, according to Engadget.

Cxmmunity is a nonprofit, that according to their official website, is “committed to increasing participation in minority esports through STEAM development.

The organization announced the partnership on social media saying, “oh my, what a time to be alive.

READ MORE: Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, donates millions to HBCUs

Engadget notes that currently, over 200 North American colleges and universities have esports teams or clubs associated with Tespa, the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Out of the hundreds represented, only one HBCU is listed – Morehouse College, the historic private, all-male institution in Atlanta, Georgia.

The report continues to highlight the racial disparities in the gaming community between players and industry professionals. Engadget reports that while an estimated 83% of Black teens play video games, 68% of video game creators are white, according to data from the International Game Developers Association.

Together, Twitch and Cxmmunity hope to build a “pipeline for Black talent in the esports industry,” the companies said in a statement.

A first look into the newly-formed HBCU league will be broadcast by Twitch on the Cxmmunity Twitch channel on August 2.

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