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Memphis, group gets 2 federal crime-related grants


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal officials say the city of Memphis and a safe-neighborhoods organization have received two grants totaling more than $1 million to protect victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and reduce gang and gun violence.

The U.S. attorney's office for West Tennessee says the city, in collaboration with the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center, will use a $900,000 grant to improve post-testing requirements for victim notifications, investigations and prosecution of sexual assault cases resulting from the processing of backlogged rape kits.

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Gladys Knight to today’s artists: ‘You don’t need to sell sex to sell music’


Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight is back with her newly released Gospelalbum, Where My Heart Belongs, a collection of songs that showcases faith, soul, and unmatched vocal ability.

The seven-time Grammy Award winner has a career spanning several decades and has no plans of slowing down.

In an interview with Chris Witherspoon for MSNBC.com, the “Empress of Soul” opened up about having “new album jitters” and also discussed the current state of the music industry.

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It’s Been Harder Than Obama Thought to End Our Middle East Wars


President Barack Obama has a problem. Just when he thought he was getting out of the Middle East, he keeps getting pulled back in.

After declaring the successful conclusion of two wars initiated by his predecessor, the centerpiece of his foreign policy, external events have backed the president into a proverbial corner.

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Mike Tyson Goes Mike Tyson on a Reporter After ‘Convicted Rapist’ Remark


There’s a harrowing moment in Mike Tyson’s one-man stage play, MikeTyson: Undisputed Truth, where he describes how he was accused, tried and eventually convicted of raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington in 1992. He talks—sensitively—about how he wasn’t the first person Washington had accused of rape and how his agent at the time, Don King, hired a tax attorney to defend him instead of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

At the end of his fast-paced soliloquy, Tyson’s high-pitched voice cuts to a halting stop, he plants himself in the center of the stage, looks solemnly into the audience, and says: “I did not rape Desiree Washington and that’s all I have to say about this.”

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Maybe My Weird Version of Blackness Isn’t That Weird


Growing up, I always thought I was weird. Even my own mother said so. I was a nerdy black girl who was quiet, shy and introverted; who struggled to find out who I was and to be comfortable in my own skin. For years I felt I had to put on masks of identities that didn’t fit me completely or reflect the way I saw myself. I felt alienated from the expectations of a fundamentalist-Christian identity, a black-church identity, a hip-hop-based cultural identity and other popular forms of identity associated with blackness.

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