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Alabama City Leader Under Fire for Using Racial Slur, Refuses to Resign

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Tarrant City councilmember Tommy Bryant is under fire for using a racial slur and refuses to step down from his position.

What We Know:

  • During a council meeting on Monday which was being live-streamed on Facebook, Bryant was seen standing up from his seat and addressing Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton on various issues. At one point, Bryant turns his attention to Black female councilmember Veronica Freeman and used a racial slur at her. Everyone in the room gasped at Bryant’s use of the slur, and Freeman left the meeting in tears.

Warning: This video contains strong profanity. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • The white councilman stated that he was only repeating something that Newton said in a private meeting. He said that the public needed to know what type of person Newton was and that he was calling Freeman a “house N—–,” a house slave during slavery times, behind her back because she opposes him on various proposals. Newton told Advanced Local that he never referred to anyone by that racial term and that this was all a “political stunt that [the opposing side] did not do very well.”
  • According to the mayor, all of his meetings with council members are recorded, so audio evidence would exist if he did say the racial slur. Just last week, Freeman threatened to sue Newton for racial discrimination.
  • Waynette Bonham, a Tarrant resident and attendee to Monday’s meeting said she couldn’t believe what Bryant had said. She told CBS 42 that no one left the room because they were all shocked that something like that came out of the 77-year-olds mouth, especially since he was in a room with multiple Black people in it. She felt like the councilman was a little too comfortable saying the racial slur and that he should step down from his leadership position.
  • The Alabama NAACP asked for Bryant’s resignation as he had “disgraced himself and stained the position he holds.” The Democratic Party of Alabama also feels as if Bryant should resign and issued a statement calling for it. Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl called Bryant’s actions unacceptable and concerning, as he is an elected official in the city.

Bryant has stated that he isn’t racist per the true definition of the word, regardless of what the public considers the term to mean. He has yet to apologize for saying the racial term and does not plan on stepping down from his long-term position anytime soon.

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Headlines

Jovita Moore, Atlanta evening news anchor has an aggressive form of cancer

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Channel 2 Action News anchor Jovita Moore has an aggressive form of brain cancer, WSB-TV reported during its 4 p.m. newscast Thursday.

((BREAKING NEWS))

ATLANTA ― The story was first reported by the AJC.  that Moore, 53, would be undergoing surgery for a brain tumor in April.

Moore, who has been with WSB-TV since 1998 and has won numerous Emmy awards ― had brain surgery in April after doctors discovered tumors. At the time, doctors had hoped she could be back on air in eight to 10 weeks, assuming no serious complications.  Pathologists discovered Moore had glioblastoma, a serious form of cancer. She is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy in an effort to slow the cancer’s growth.

Moore herself did not want to be on camera but sent an audio message to the station for the public to hear.

“I just want to say a quick thank you,” she said. “Thank you for your cards, thank you for all the gifts, and most importantly, thank you for your prayers and positive energy. I feel all of it. I’m home now, I’m up and about and doing everything my doctors tell me to do. So for now, I need to be here to focus on my health. I’m surrounded by my family, a very small circle of friends, but also your extended love and support. This journey for me started with an unusual headache so if something’s not right with you, I urge you to please get yourself checked.”

Glioblastoma, according to the Mayo Clinic website, “can be very difficult to treat and a cure is often not possible. Treatments may slow progression of the cancer and reduce signs and symptoms.”

wsb said people can leave a note online on the WSB-TV website or send cards to Moore at the station address: 1601 W. Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga., 30309. Moore has also asked for concerned viewers to donate to two charities: Our House, a charity that addresses homelessness, and National Brain Tumor Society.

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Music

Family of James Brown Finally Settles 15-year Battle over His Estate

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The family feud over James Brown’s estate began after his death on Christmas Day in 2006.

What We Know:

  • Attorney David Black told the Associated Press the legal battle came to an end as family members reached a settlement on July 9. However, details of the settlement were not disclosed.
  • Brown’s estate, which is estimated to be worth anywhere between $5 million to more than $100 million, had been the face of lawsuits over the years. One of the litigations’ central figures includes the Godfather of Soul’s former partner Tomi Rae Hynie, who claimed she was Brown’s fourth and final wife. Because of this, she claims she deserved a portion of their estate.
  • However, the South Carolina Supreme Court declared Hynie never legally married Brown due to her previous marriage never being annulled. The Supreme Court also ordered a lower court to “promptly proceed with the probate of Brown’s estate in accordance with his estate plan.” Brown wanted his estate to provide scholarships to underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia.
  • This decision came after the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a previous deal in 2013. A settlement plan from 2009 aimed to give nearly half of Brown’s estate to a charitable trust, a quarter to Hynie, and the rest to his adult children. The Supreme Court overturned this plan because then-Attorney General Henry McMaster ignored Brown’s desire for his money. Instead, McMaster hired a professional manager “who took control of Brown’s assets from the estate’s trustees to settle debts.”

Black News Alerts will provide more information on the Brown estate when details on the settlement are released.

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Education

South Carolina State University erases $9.8 million in student debt

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South Carolina State University, a historically Black university in Orangeburg, said in a news release last week that the move will provide relief for students “who were previously unable to return to college due to financial hardship caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

What We Know:

  • SC State University Acting President Alexander Conyers said in the release that the school is “committed to providing these students with a clear path forward so they can continue their college education and graduate without the burden of financial debt caused by circumstances beyond their control.”

“No student should have to sit home because they can’t afford to pay their past due debt after having experienced the financial devastation caused by a global pandemic,” he said.

  • The decision to erase the student debts will be funded by nearly $10 million the school received in federal aid.   SC State University is utilizing approximately $4 million in funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and $5.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. Both pieces of legislation provided economic relief to Americans, businesses and other organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Wilberforce University announced last month it would clear more than $375,000 in debt, including fines, fees and other balances paid directly to the school.  Clark Atlanta University announced that it too, would clear student debt from the 2020-2021 school year.

Debt among college students has increased more than 175% over the last 20 years.

 

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