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Michael Brown’s Funeral Draws Thousands of Mourners

Michael Brown’s Funeral Draws Thousands of Mourners

As Michael Brown’s life was celebrated Monday during a packed ceremony at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, the audience and speakers never lost sight of the reason they were there: justice.

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an emotional eulogy, bringing out cheers and applause from the crowd who came to lay to rest the young man whose life was inexplicably cut short.

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Back in spotlight, Sharpton seizes the moment

Back in spotlight, Sharpton seizes the moment
Stepping to the pulpit at Greater Grace Church — minutes from where a suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old — the Rev. Al Sharpton wielded the fiery words that have marked his long, often notorious career.
 
"These parents are not going to cry alone," he preached to the crowd that packed the pews last Sunday in Ferguson, Missouri. "We have had enough!" But when Sharpton sat down days later with New York's mayor to discuss the response to a Staten Island man's death in a police officer's chokehold, he recalibrated his rhetoric. "We don't have to agree on everything, but we don't have to be disagreeable," Sharpton said, facing the city's police commissioner.
 
Plenty has been said in recent years about Sharpton's "reinvention," as he shed nearly 170 pounds, traded warmup outfits for tailored suits, took to the camera for a daily cable television show, and built relationships with the White House and New York's city hall. But to allies and critics who have watched him parachute into racially charged crises for more than three decades, recent weeks are just testament to Sharpton's unflagging ability to seize the moment, regardless of setbacks and no matter how the opening presents itself.

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Navy Discharges Black Woman Who Refused to Cut Natural Hair

Navy Discharges Black Woman Who Refused to Cut Natural Hair
After months of discussion about how styling and protocol relating to black women's hair in the armed forces, Think Progress reports that the Navy discharged Jessica Sims, a sailor for 12 years, for "failing to obey an order to cut off her natural hairstyle."
 
Sims, "who wears her hair in tightly twisted locks pulled back in a bun," claims that her record was unblemished and that she had no complaints about her natural hair until she was given orders to teach at a Navy Illinois boot camp.

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Can We Talk About How Black Women Are Treated as Threats, Too?

Can We Talk About How Black Women Are Treated as Threats, Too?
Like The Root’s Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele, who recently penned the essay “Michael Brown’s Death Reopened My Eyes to My Privileges as a Black Woman,” I understand that, as a woman, I behave differently in public spaces than the black men I know and love. Actually, as an activist who has been involved in various rallies against police violence and “cop watches” in my community, I even have a habit of “mouthing off” to police officers when I know they are behaving in ways that are inappropriate and sometimes illegal.
 
But as I witness the national response to Michael Brown’s slaying, and how the citizens of Ferguson, Mo., are being terrorized by a militarized police force, I am forced to take a long, hard look at my behaviors and how dangerous they are. The truth is that, although cases of state and racialized violence against black women may happen less frequently than with black men, black women are still constantly perceived as threats by law enforcement and others, and must begin behaving with that awareness.

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Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights

Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights
FERGUSON, Missouri (AP) — Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.
 
A small stream of protesters marched in the St. Louis suburb as night fell Friday, but instead of confrontations with police, several stopped to talk one-on-one with officers about the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown and tactics used by authorities during previous demonstrations.

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Outspoken About Ferguson, Jesse Williams May be This Generation’s Harry Belafonte

Outspoken About Ferguson, Jesse Williams May be This Generation’s Harry Belafonte
(The Washington Post)-There are many ways to get celebrity activism wrong when it comes to a situation like the one that has emerged in Ferguson, Mo.
 
Appearing to be uninformed is a huge no-no, as is calling for a plan when you don’t have one — sorry Nelly. But if one can offer fiery rhetoric absent sanctimony and full of razor-sharp opinions, well, people take notice.

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