In 1987 a 15-year-old black girl from upstate New York became the center of a national media circus. Tawana Brawley had gone missing, which, of course, wasn't the story. It was when she was found that all hell broke loose.
After her four-day absence, a neighbor discovered Brawley, seemingly unconscious and unresponsive, lying in a trash bag. Her hair had been cut, and her clothes cut and burned. Her body was smeared with feces, and the n-word and "bitch" were written upside down in charcoal on her chest. She was taken to the hospital, where she indicated to an officer that she'd been dragged into the woods and repeatedly raped by six men, one of them a cop.
Seven months and a media firestorm later, a grand jury investigation found "there was no medical or forensic evidence that a sexual assault was committed on Tawana Brawley." It's believed that Brawley created the elaborate hoax to avoid being punished by her stepfather for staying out late and missing school.
Singer Usher Raymond's young son survived a serious swimming mishap at his Atlanta home Monday, police said Tuesday.
Five-year-old Usher Raymond V was swimming when his aunt and a housekeeper noticed he was stuck in the pool's drain, according to the police report.
"I need an ambulance," his aunt, Rena Oden, told an emergency operator in a call to 911. "My nephew was in the pool, and I couldn't get him, I tried to get him." A recording of the call was made public by police Tuesday.
Political commentator Drew Johnson, who had been editing for the Chattanooga Times Free Press for less than a year, was fired from the paper after telling President Barack Obama to take his jobs' plan and "shove it" in a headline, according to WND.
During the President's visit to the Tennessee town last week, Johnson decided to change a headline to "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough," causing the article to go viral and stir up controversy.
Shortly after, Johnson was fired.
More than a century before Johnny Depp wore a terrifying crow headpiece in new Disney film "The Lone Ranger," another hero of the Wild West was carefully arranging his own remarkable disguise.
Sometimes he dressed as a preacher, at other times a tramp, and occasionally even a woman.
But beneath the elaborate costumes was always Bass Reeves – a 19th-century Arkansas slave who became a legendary Deputy U.S. Marshal, capturing more than 3,000 criminals with his flamboyant detective skills, super strength and supreme horsemanship.
Sound familiar? As one historian argues, Reeves could have been the real-life inspiration behind one of America's most beloved fictional characters – the Lone Ranger.
Aevin Dugas, a Louisiana native, has set a Guinness World Record for the largest Afro in the world, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
And if you think preparing and maintaining such a large Afro is challenging, you'd be correct. It reportedly takes Dugas up to two days to wash and dry her Afro if she's going out on the town. She maintains her 'do by shampooing it and applying five different conditioners.
According to Dugas, her hairdo isn't without its challenges: seeing clearly under it is quite the task, and it often gets stuck in trees, car doors, and even people's earrings, but she sees these as minor setbacks compared to the bigger message she wants to send to black women and girls: you don't need to straighten your hair to be beautiful.