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Grammy-winning singer Betty Wright succumbs at 66

Betty Wright, the Grammy-winning singer and songwriter whose influential 1970s hits included “Clean Up Woman” and “Where Is the Love,” is dead at age 66.

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Oprah to keynote #Graduation 2020

Just when high school and college seniors across the country were starting to think all was lost for their graduation ceremonies canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the richest and most influential women in the nation comes to the rescue: Oprah Winfrey.

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Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney dies

Award-winning jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney, who studied under and collaborated with the Miles Davis, Art Blakey and other jazz greats during his 40-year career, died Tuesday, March 31, 2020, of complications from COVID-19.

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How to clean your cell phone

You’re washing your hands countless times a day to try to ward off the coronavirus. You should also wash that extension of your hand and breeding ground for germs — your phone. Tests done by scientists show that the virus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning all “high-touch” surfaces daily, including phones, keyboards and tablet computers.

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Grammy Award winner Bill Withers dies at 81

Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Grandma’s Hands” and “Just the Two of Us,” died Monday, March 30, 2020, from heart complications. He was 81.

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Jazz pianist, professor and family patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. dies at 85 of complications from coronavirus

Ellis Marsalis Jr., the jazz pianist, professor and patriarch of a New Orleans musical clan, died late Wednesday, April 1, 2020, from pneumonia brought on by coronavirus, leaving six sons and a deep legacy. He was 85.

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Rev. Joseph Lowery, head of SCLC and dean of civil rights veterans, dies at 98

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first African-American president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.

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Selma Online offers free civil rights lessons amid virus

The first attempt of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965 led to police violence against peaceful African-American demonstrators. The police beatings on what became known as “Bloody Sunday” generated anger across the nation 55 years ago this month and prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to push the Voting Rights Act through Congress. It was one of the most significant moments in U.S. history but remains almost absent from public schools’ social studies lessons.

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Former prosecutor files lawsuit over Central Park 5 series

Within one week, former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein has filed and lost a libel suit against Netflix and film director Ava DuVernay over her portrayal in the streaming service’s limited series about the Exonerated (formerly Central Park) Five case, which sent five African-American and Latino teenagers to prison for a crime they were later absolved of committing.

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Jazz master pianist ‘McCoy’ Tyner dies at 81

“McCoy” Tyner, the ground- breaking and influential jazz pianist and the last surviving member of the John Coltrane Quartet, has died. He was 81.

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Restaurateur, model B. Smith dies at 70 from early onset Alzheimer’s

Barbara “B.” Smith, one of the nation’s top African-American models who went on to open restaurants, launch a successful home products line and write cookbooks, has died at her Long Island home at age 70 after battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

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Actress and film festival co-founder Ja’Net DuBois succumbs at 74

Ja’Net DuBois, who played the vivacious neighbor Willona Woods on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” composed and sang the theme song for television’s “The Jeffersons” and was one of the founders of the largest black film festival in the United States, has died.

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala dies

The founder of the South African multi-Grammy Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died at age 78, the group and the government have announced.

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Emmy-nominated actress Paula Kelly has died at 77

Actress, singer and dancer Paula Kelly, who earned an Emmy Award nomination on the sitcom “Night Court” and co-starred with Chita Rivera and Shirley MacLaine in the film “Sweet Charity,” has died. She was 77.

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'Hair Love' gives color to Oscar winners list

A touching story about an African-American father trying to do his daughter’s hair for the first time is an Oscar winner.

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Investigation reopened into murder of Malcolm X

Who really killed Malcolm X? Nearly 55 years since his assassination on Feb. 21, 1965, in the Audubon Ballroom in New York, the human rights activist’s murder will be reinvestigated in the wake of new information uncovered in a Netflix documentary, prosecutors in New York said on Tuesday.

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Herring, other AGs sue to force U.S. to adopt ERA

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring and two other Democratic state attorneys general sued a U.S. government official last week, seeking to force him to recognize Virginia’s recent vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and adopt the measure in the U.S. Constitution.

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Trump expands immigration ban to 4 African nations, 2 others

The Trump administration announced last Friday that it is curbing legal immigration from six additional countries that officials said did not meet security standards, as part of an election-year push to further restrict immigration.

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Senate fails to remove Trump from office

President Trump won acquittal Wednesday in the U.S. Senate, bringing to a close only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. The votes split the country, tested civic norms and fed the tumultuous 2020 race for the White House.

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N.C. woman files $15M lawsuit against the national NAACP

A woman who said she repeatedly told the national NAACP that her supervisor in the North Carolina conference had sexually harassed her is suing the national group and her former boss.

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Jazz saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath dies at 93

Jimmy Heath, a Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and composer who performed with such greats as Miles Davis and John Coltrane before forming the popular family group The Heath Brothers in middle age, has died. He was 93.

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Auschwitz survivors warn of rising anti-Semitism 75 years after camp's liberation

Survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp prayed and wept as they marked the 75th anniversary of its liberation, returning Monday to the place where they lost entire families and warning about the ominous growth of anti-Semitism and hatred in the world.

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Grammys not just about the music

The Grammy Awards wasn’t just about the music Sunday night. The show opened with a dedication to basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident earlier in the day and whose Los Angeles Lakers team has its home at the city’s Staples Center and Grammy venue.

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Delta Air Lines fined $50,000 for booting off 3 Muslim passengers

Delta Air Lines is being fined $50,000 for ordering three Muslim passengers off planes even after the airline’s own security officials cleared them to travel.

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Questions, lawsuit arise as Va. ratifies ERA

Virginia became the last state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Tuesday as the state Senate approved on a 27-12 vote a House of Delegates resolution endorsing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that the rights of women “shall not be denied or abridged” because of their gender.

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Trump impeachment trial opens with GOP Senate majority rejecting Dems' attempts to bring in new witnesses

The U.S. Senate plunged into opening arguments Wednesday in President Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers detailing the case that the president abused his power and should be removed from office.

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Duke and Duchess walk away from 'royal highness'

Goodbye, your royal highnesses. Hello, life as — almost— ordinary civilians. Britain’s Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan Markle, no longer will use the titles “royal highness” or receive public funds for their work under a deal that lets the couple step aside as working royals, Buckingham Palace announced last Saturday.

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Serena Williams wins Auckland Classic; donates money to help bushfire victims

Former world No. 1 tennis star Serena Williams won the World Tennis Association’s Auckland Classic last Sunday — her first title since 2017 — and immediately donated her prize money to aid victims of Australia’s deadly bushfires.

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Niecy Nash, 'Pose' cast and others to be honored by Essence

Emmy winner Niecy Nash, the groundbreaking cast of the hit television series “Pose,” Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas and “Captain Marvel” actress Lashana Lynch will be honored at the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood Awards.

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ERA passes hurdles toward final approval

Virginia moved to the brink of becoming the crucial 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday in what was seen as a momentous victory by women’s rights advocates, although it is far from certain the measure will be added to the U.S. Constitution.

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Johnson Publishing artwork going on auction block

Bankrupt Johnson Publishing Co., the former owner of Ebony and JET magazines, will sell off art that once decorated the company’s Chicago headquarters. Among the art to be auctioned Jan. 30 at a New York gallery will be paintings, sculptures and other works from 75 African-American artists.

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Golden Globes so white? Critics blast lack of diversity among winners

The 2020 Golden Globe Awards, presented Sunday by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, drew criticism this week for its lack of winners of color.

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Latest spate of religious violence again raises safety questions

People across the nation were grappling with a spate of religious violence that struck at a rabbi’s New York home Saturday during a Hanukkah celebration and erupted at a North Texas church on Sunday.

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Congressman John Lewis fighting biggest battle: Pancreatic cancer

Messages of support are pouring in for Congressman John Lewis, known as “the conscience of the Congress,” following his announcement Sunday that he is facing a foe like none before: Advanced pancreatic cancer.

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Study: 40% of millenials not affiliated with religion

Millennials — those between ages 23 and 48 — are shaking up the workplace, transforming dating and undoing organized religion.

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11-year-old dancer breaks barrier in 'The Nutcracker'

For the first time, a young black dancer is playing the lead in the New York City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

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Bill Russell finally accepts Basketball Hall of Fame ring

It took him 44 years, but Bill Russell finally accepted his Basketball Hall of Fame ring.

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Jimmy Carter still drawing devotees to church

The pilgrims arrive early and from all over, gathering hours before daybreak in an old pecan grove that surrounds a country church. They come, they say, for a dose of simple decency and devotion wrapped up in a Bible lesson. The teacher is the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter.

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Justices could return Allen's cable TV race bias suit to lower court

The U.S. Supreme Court seems likely to overturn a lower court ruling in favor of an African-American media mogul and comedian who’s suing cable giant Comcast for racial discrimination.

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Rev. Barber wins highest N.C. award

The Rev. William J. Barber II, a social justice activist and co-leader of the national Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, has been awarded the state of North Carolina’s highest honor.

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'Friday' actor-comedian John Witherspoon dies

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon, who memorably played Ice Cube’s father in the “Friday” films, has died. He was 77.

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World Series winners visit White House

The World Series champion Washington Nationals were honored at the White House on Monday, although more than a half-dozen players skipped the ceremony on the South Lawn.

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Former Gov. Baliles dies of cancer at 79

Former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, a Democrat known as the “transportation governor” and for his work to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and increase foreign trade, died Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019.

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Comedian Dave Chappelle honored with Mark Twain Prize

Dave Chappelle has built a career on pushing boundaries and challenging social conventions. But his greatest act of defiance may have come Sunday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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Rep. Cummings remembered as ‘fierce champion’

First African-American lawmaker to lie in state at Capitol

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was eulogized as a leader with the fiery moral conviction of an Old Testament prophet at a funeral last Friday that brought former presidents and ordinary people alike to the Baltimore church where the congressman worshipped for four decades.

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Former Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving black lawmaker in U.S. House of Representatives, dies at 90

Former Rep. John Conyers, a liberal Democrat who was the longest-serving African- American member of the U.S. House of Representatives at more than half a century, died on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at the age of 90.

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Funeral service Friday for Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland

Tributes continue to pour in for Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, a moral voice of conscience who fought for civil rights and took on the White House as a prominent figure in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump as chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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Gymnast Simone Biles breaks medal record with 25

American Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in world championship history Sunday when she won the beam and floor finals to take her career tally to 25 medals.

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Coco wins first WTA title at 15; Osaka gives up U.S. citizenship to play for Japan in Olympics

Coco Gauff is still just 15. She also is already the owner of a WTA singles title.

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Kenyan marathoner breaks 2-hour barrier

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge made athletics history on Saturday when he became the first person to run a 26.2-mile marathon in under two hours, stretch- ing the limits of human endeavor and passing a milestone few thought could be reached for decades if at all.

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