Published on May 7th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

This list features the Top 10 Black News Stories of the week ending Friday, May 7th, 2010. Making the headlines this week includes one famous Jackson, two former college friends, three well-known athletes, three well-known actors, and one Pulitzer Prize winning President.


10. No More Albums for Janet Jackson, Just Singles?


Janet Jackson said she is through with recording full-length albums and will focus on putting out singles and securing quality acting roles for the remainder of her career – this according to her ex-boyfriend and producer Jermaine Dupri. “I can tell you that she’s not working on an album. We just did the one song ‘Nothing’ for the ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ soundtrack,” Dupri tells Vibe. “Last time I heard she really didn’t want to do an album. She wanted to just do singles every once in a while. She’s looked at the marketplace – albums are not really doing what they usually do when you put all this budget out there. Janet is just trying to figure out her landscape.” Dupri says his former girlfriend’s future in film looks promising. “She has a lot of work going on that’s keeping her in the right direction,” he says. “The movie came out, which is the biggest Tyler Perry movie he has had thus far. It looks like her star power as an actress is still there. And she’s about to do the other movie, ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf’ with Mariah Carey, Kerry Washington and Whoopi Goldberg.” Source,


9. Teddy P, Tammi Terrell, George Clinton Next for ‘Unsung’


*TV One is in development on eight more episodes of its widely acclaimed bio series “Unsung.” Teddy Pendergrass, Tammi Terrell and George Clinton are among the new artists to be highlighted next fall in “Unsung,” a series of one-hour biography specials celebrating the lives and careers of successful music acts who, despite great talent, have been under-recognized or under-appreciated over the years. Source,


8. NBA Vet Mark Jackson Launches Clothing Line



Former NBA great and current ESPN/ABC personality, Mark Jackson, has launched a new basketball apparel line named Hand Down Man Down, with the acronym HDMD serving as the brand logo. The apparel line derives its name from Jackson’s signature catch phrase “Hand Down, Man Down,” which describes a player capitalizing on an opponent’s defensive mistake. “It’s a very distinct line that captures the spirit of the game and the spirit of athletic competition in general,” Jackson stated. “The HDMD line will have a look for everyone.” The line includes long and short sleeve shirts (sizes Small to XXXL), wristbands, headbands and shorts, all of which will initially be sold online exclusively at  HDMD is supporting the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks, and will donate $1 of every t-shirt sale to help the organization fund global biomedical research into the disorder. Jackson added, “As a brand, we want to be socially responsible and believe in giving something back when provided the opportunity. It’s this belief that led us to the partnership with Autism Speaks, a truly amazing organization that does so much to address issues surrounding autism throughout the world. We feel good knowing that the brand’s success will directly benefit the ongoing studies to research and hopefully cure autism.” TV and online spots will air throughout the months of May and June, while the NBA playoffs are in full swing. Source,


7. Harvey Foundation Raises Over $1M for Mentoring Programs



Steve Harvey hosted his 1st Annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala to support the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men. Alongside co-host Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America,” Harvey gave recognition to Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta Washington for their good deeds. The couple donated $1 million to the cause. “I am stunned but at the same time I’m not because this gift exemplifies Denzel and Pauletta,” said Harvey. “Giving comes real easy to them and although that’s surprising to a lot of people, its not surprising to us. Marjorie (Mrs. Steve Harvey) and I are so grateful and will use this money in the spirit it has been given – to change the lives of young men around the world.” Source,


6. Lawrence Taylor Pleads Not Guilty to Rape


Lawrence Taylor, 51, has pleaded not guilty to charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, police said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. If convicted, he could face up to five years in jail. As previously reported, the NFL Hall of Famer was arrested early Thursday on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old. In announcing the charges, Ramapo Police Chief Peter Brower said Taylor “engaged in sexual intercourse with a child less than 17-years-old” and paid her $300. The victim, according to authorities, had been brought to a Holiday Inn in Montebello, N.Y., by a man named Rasheed Davis, who was also arrested, according to the Associated Press. Police say the teenage victim had an eye injury but there is “no evidence [Taylor] caused [it].” Authorities also said there were no drugs in the hotel room, but a bottle of alcohol was found. Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said Ramapo police were informed by the New York Police Department to arrest Taylor after the victim’s uncle, who had reported her missing, told New York City authorities he received a text from the girl about being driven back to the Bronx by a pimp. The judge originally set bail at $100,000, but eventually lowered it to $75,000.  __________________________________________________________________________________________ 

5. Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade Respond to Siohvaughn’s Lawsuit


Gabrielle Union is firing back at claims made in a lawsuit by the soon-to-be ex-wife of her alleged boyfriend Dwyane Wade. As previously reported, Siohvaughn Wade sued Union on behalf of the former couple’s two sons, aged 8 and 2, claiming the film and TV star has engaged in “extreme and outrageous conduct” with Wade in front of the kids, including acts of “sexual foreplay” in public. A spokesperson for Union has rejected the allegations and apologized to the court system for having to deal “with erroneous claims when there are real victims who should be receiving the legal attention they need.” Wade has also spoken out to defend his actions, dismissing the claims as “meritless.” He said: “I am deeply saddened and disappointed that Siohvaughn has used our sons once again as pawns and is now lashing out at Gabrielle, who is an innocent party. It is clear that this is a desperate attempt to retaliate against me for seeking sole custody of our children and requesting that the court have her undergo a psychiatric examination.” Source,


4. Fight Over Boy Led to Racist Harvard Email Scandal


Turns out that the exposed email from a Harvard Law student that suggested blacks are inherently less intelligent than whites was leaked as the result of a catfight between the author and her former friend, who sent it to the Boston Globe out of spite. got to the bottom of the scandal that started six months ago, when Stephanie Grace — in November 2009 – joined two friends for a conversation in the Harvard cafeteria. Gawker reports: One of these students was fellow 3rd-year law student Yelena Shagall. At the time, the three were close friends and regularly had heated discussions about controversial subjects. That day, we’re told, the topic was affirmative action. They discussed. Afterward, Stephanie apparently had additional thoughts regarding the possible genetic inferiority of black people, which she could not stop herself from typing into a computer and emailing to her friend Yelena and the other friend: She said she could not rule out “the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.” Stephanie and Yelena had a falling out last week, we’re told. We don’t know what the fight was about, exactly, but at least one mutual acquaintance is pretty sure it was about a boy. The Harvard tipster tells us: Stephanie’s close friend Yelena Shagall forwarded the email out after Stephanie confronted her because Yelena had slept with a mutual friend’s ex-boyfriend. During this fight, Yelena told Stephanie she would “ruin her life.” Yelena soon embarked on a mission. She began posting mean messages on pictures of Stephanie on Facebook. Unsatisfied, she apparently dug up the email and forwarded it to a few choice recipients—either directly to members of the Black Law Student Association or people she knew had connections to the BLSA. She wanted the now six month-old email to cause a splash. It worked: Members of the BLSA passed the email among themselves, understandably enraged by the content. The legal gossip blog Above the Law caught wind of a scandal brewing and posted the email. Lots of blogs picked up the ATL post and the email—some, including us, the Huffington Post and the Boston Globe named Stephanie Grace as its author.  The Dean of HLS issued a denouncement of the email. Students began contacting Judge Alex Kozinski, demanding Stephanie Grace be stripped of her clerkship. Eventually, Stephanie apologized to the BLSA. As the story broke, Yelena apparently changed her Facebook status to read “Karma” Source,


3. FBI Says Ex-South Carolina Sheriff Dealt Drugs From Police Car


A South Carolina sheriff dealt drugs from his police SUV and when state and federal agents gave him a list of possible drug dealers in his county, he immediately started calling to tip them off or extort money to get them off the list, according to the FBI.
The FBI tapped then-Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin’s phone starting in March, and caught him saying he was going to arrange for a traffic stop on a drug dealer, take some of the cocaine he expected to find for himself and use the rest as evidence, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent released Monday.
Melvin was arrested Saturday and remained in jail Monday after a preliminary hearing. Melvin resigned his office the day he was arrested. A spokesman said Gov. Mark Sanford will appoint an interim sheriff.
Melvin and six others were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of powder cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. If convicted, the former sheriff faces a mandatory 10 years in prison and could face up to life behind bars.
Melvin’s friends and family helped pack the courtroom Monday. He briefly acknowledged them as he shuffled in with his ankles and wrists shackled after a weekend in jail. But he spent most of the hearing with his eyes closed and his head titled back.
His family was stunned by Saturday’s arrest, but said they are confident he will be found innocent. Source, Jeffrey Collin,  AP News,


2. Breast-Reduction Surgery Saves Mom’s Life


Julia Manihuari’s noticed that her breasts had grown rather large after giving birth to her third son seven years ago. But after having her fourth child, her breasts started growing at an alarming rate and would not stop. Manihuari’s breasts grew to an N-cup. The petite 29-year-old would try to move around, but her pendulous breasts would make each and every step unbearable. “It was awful. If I tried to get up I would faint because my breasts were so heavy, they were all the way down to my legs,” she tells Peru’s CPN News. Doctors feared that the Peruvian native’s breasts would squash her lungs, cut off her breathing and kill her. So for six months Manihuari remained trapped in her bed. Local news outlets heard of the young mom’s ordeal and came to her rescue. Monies were collected, and soon the young farmer’s wife and her husband were placed on a small boat to make a eight day trek to the largest nearby city of Iquito to a team of doctors, who would be able to help save her life. Manihuari was diagnosed with a rare condition, where the mammary glands just keep growing, called bilateral gynecomastia. The just under five-foot-tall woman agreed to have a very risky surgery that would last six hours and result in 35 pounds of flesh being cut from her breasts. One gynecological surgeon, who has been practicing for 15 years, says he has never seen a case like Manihuari’s. “In all the years I’ve been practicing, I have yet to see breasts of this size and weight.” The surgery was successful and Manihuari wound up with 34C breasts. There are women who long for larger breasts every day, but what Manihuari wound up with was a living hell. “My breasts became so huge, my skin had sores, and the stress on the rest of my body was agony,” she recounts. Marihuari, who is so thankful to have had the surgery, now only wants to heal as soon as possible to get back to her four young babies. Source, Ruth Manuel-Logan,


1. Obama Administration Focuses on HBCUs


    The Obama administration is focusing on Historically Black Colleges and Universities this commencement season. Both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are speaking at HBCUs commencements this year: The President will speak at Hampton University, while Michelle Obama will grace the stage at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff. In all, 11 Obama officials will speak at HBCUs. This is a great gesture on behalf of the administration. Obama has said he wants to increase the percentage of college graduates in this country, and focusing on HBCUs, community and smaller colleges is a great way to do it. HBCUs produce more than 20 percent of black college graduates, and half of students at HBCUs are the first in their families to go to college. These same students are also in need of financial assistance, with more than 50 percent qualifying for Pell grants.
Obama got off to a rough start with the nation’s HBCUs; their budgets decreased by $85 million under his first budget cuts, but then he increased funding from $13 million to $98 million for 2011. Source,

News | Comments (11)

11 Responses to “Top 10 News Stories of The Week”

  1. Jeanette Davis ("Author") Says:

    Kudos to President Obama for stepping out for black colleges and universities. This is truly a man for all the people. May God bless him and his family during his presidency and beyond.

  2. Shack Says:

    #10 – Okay but at some point, she should do and dedicate an album to MJJ (that’s Michael Joe Jackson).

    #9 – The Unsung series is greatness but they’re making too many of them and I haven’t seen all the early ones yet!

    #8 – Commendable…particularly for such a deserving cause. He should also be an NBA coach by now!

    #7 – Thought one of his companies owed the IRS.

    #6 – Shocking & Pathetic thought this story would be No.1

    #5 – Admire both the athlete and the actress but HE IS AN NBA PLAYA – beware G.U. And what is it they say about “Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned” etc.

    #4 – “Unevolved Creature(s)Catfight” plus, I understand that both Stephanie and Helena’s mothers are genetically predisposed to ignorance as evidenced by the fact that these two were concieved and brought into existence to bore the world with their thoughts!

    #3 – Wonder if this guy is related to a recently fired cop here in Dallas who was busted in uniform in his squad car smoking a joint?

    #2 – D@@@@MMMMNNN!

    #1 – Heres To A “Great President” Hopefully my oldest son will benefit since he’s planning to attend an HBCU (SOUTHERN U)this fall!

  3. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    #10. It may be true, but it is not coming from the source. It’s coming from the ex.
    #8. It’s funny that so many think they can do a successful clothing line. Maybe he can.
    #7. That’s nice. I hope it is spent in the manner in which it was given.
    #6. SAD…
    #5. If it is no true, they had better be careful of the children and mother.
    #4. The best pay back is nothing…
    #2. Poor woman.
    #1. Cheers!

  4. Trisha Says:

    10. I agree with shack about a tribute album, but I enjoy her acting talents as well as her music.
    9. Sounds like a good tool to recognize people caought in the shadows.
    8. A clothing line would have be sterotypical of a celebrity but funding Autism Speaks is a noble effort I wish him luck.
    7. Good thing Denzel was there, how much over the million did he raise?
    6. LT, LT, LT…..what were you thinking.
    5. D.Wade should let his lawyers speak…good or bad she is his kids momma.
    4. Higher education does not always make a person smart.
    3.How does somebody convince themselves they won’t get caught?
    2. Okay, I am going to stop lighting my prayer candle and be happy with what I got.
    1. Being present at one of those speeches is worth the price of tuition.

  5. Shonee Says:

    #10 – Good comment Lenora..let’s hear what she says about it.
    #9 – One of my favorite TV programs. I can’t wait to see the new line-up.
    #8 – I think its commendable that his clothing line is being used for a Cause.
    #7 – Will/can the IRS take that money that was raised?
    #6 – There’s 3 sides to a story…
    #5 – She sued on behalf of her sons? Acts of “sexual foreplay”..what kissing? Hugging?
    #4 – These two people should enlightened themselves on Black History. Great comment, Shack!
    #2 – OMG! I didn’t know there was an N-cup!!!
    #1 – I am so glad to be living in such a time as this, to witness Barack Obama’s presidency.

  6. Leon Says:

    Trisha, good question.
    The total amount raised was not released.

  7. Shack II Says:


  8. Jeanette Davis ("Author") Says:

    Sister Lena Horne passed away. She was such a bright spirit. She was and is a bright shining star in our hearts and a brave remembrance of what we all should strive for in having an impact on life and others in a positive and sometimes direct way. She fought for her rights and in doing so for ours. I pray for her family that they will remain strong through this time of sadness and for them to know that we grieve with them momentarily because we know that; “When she is not at home in the body; she is with the Lord”.

  9. Leon Says:

    Jeanette, I heard the sad news regarding Ms. Horne late Sunday night.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughful & caring comments.

  10. Joi Says:

    :-) Thanks for sharing Leon!

    10. Janet Jackson, DO WHAT U DO!!! A single, a movie, whatever! I like u! :-)
    9.Teddy P., and the show… Never saw it! But none the less, DO YOUR THING!!!
    8. Good luck and good for you M. Jackson. Don’t know about the clothing line, but if its in you, DO IT! and as far as the Autism Foundation, that’s great! If u ask me, STOP GIVING OUR KIDS ALL THESE INJECTIONS!!! A child by the age of 5 has a series of 48 injectons. I’m 35 and HAVE NEVER HAD 48 INJECTIONS!!! and that’s just from the pediatrician, next comes all the ish that we feed ourselves! pesticides, hormones… YUK!!!
    6. Okay… I heard on the view this am, that yes he was arrested for rape. UGH, WHAT’S RAPE IN THE 3RD DEGREE??? are there levels? rape is rape. HOWEVER, I would like to also say that on the view, they said that the girl was a runaway, and her pimp gave her to L.T. She then sent a text to her uncle saying “help me”. Then he called the police. FIRST, what was going on that she would run away, and turn to prostitution? And why would someone pay a pimp anyway? If I’m doin tha do, that loot is mine! Next, Okay…. L.T., L.T., L.T…. a 17 or 19 year old?? WHAT THA HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU DUDE??? u couldnt find an older prostitute? I aint the judge, but I dont want nothing 17 or 19, unless its…. ugh, nope, there is NOTHING that I could think of that I would want at 17 or 19 years old. Plus, (and this is my 2funny moment) a@# is free, especially for an athlete! Call me L.T., I’ll take you to school! Pimpin 101 is the first class. Freak em’ over 21 and ask for i.d. is another. And the other is some kinda emotional something, or some kinda cat scan, cuz for u to be that old, and have “some kinda connection” with somebody that young that you arent mentoring or is your child or family friend, u autta have yo a@#$ whooped. The name of that class is TBD… To me that speaks more about “where your mind is”. Change your brain, change your life. (that’s a book, that he’ll have to read during class). Bring a notebook L.T.!!! I do have to say that a friend said that that is uncharacteristic of him. I forgot to ask which one… the prostitue, or the underage-ness?
    5. G.U. and D. Wade… I don’t know what to say about that one. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A WOMAN SCORNED! as well as, DO NOT USE THE KIDS AS A PAWN! Don’t bring the kids into no adult ish! I hate that!
    4. UNEVOLVED CREATURES!!! that comment right there shows, that “her studies, comment or opinion, makes her statement invalid! CUZ THAT IS SOME STOOPID ISH!!! I dont know if it was over a boy or not, but I agree with, who ever said up-top that the best is not to do anything! Keep it movin!!! It’ll come out. And when it does, nobody’s going to be looking at her/you like “wonder why she did that, or what were her intentions?” If you spit in the wind, what’s gonna happen??? YUK!!!!!
    3. Dumb a@##!!!! For real mann??? and for his family to say that “he will be found not guilty”… REALLY???? Okay…
    2. Breast reduction…???? Where’d they put that 35 lbs.? I could use a pound or 2 up there. lol!!! I did know of a girl when I was in H.S. that had the procedure done. WOW!!! what do i need to do to get a little “bilateral gynecomastia” in my life? LOL! JUST JOKING! I’m good, but her story makes me grateful for my little cups. And an “N cup”??? WOWZER!!!! Only in my dreams… Well actually, only in my honey’s dreams. Lol. :-)
    1.DO YOUR THING PRES!!! :-)

  11. Leon Says:

    Joi… great insight, humor (especially regarding L.T. lol) and comments as usual.