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Young poets connect the dots between hip-hop and history

DropTheMic 600South Main was alive as more than 300 people watched 26 young poets bridge gaps between hip-hop, millennials and past civil rights movements at the National Civil Rights Museum Drop the Mic Poetry Slam.

The Saturday night (Feb. 22nd) slam, part of the National Civil Rights Museum's spring 2014 grand reopening events, was a creative outlet for youth throughout the region to express their views on freedom and involve themselves in current civil rights issues. The theme for the night was "My Freedom Is," where students from as far as Bolivar, Miss. performed poems that addressed issues such as slavery, segregation, war, poverty and education.

First place winner Markuitta Washington, a Rust College alumnae, was ecstatic about winning.
"I'm so grateful that the judges thought what I had to say about freedom and civil rights is meaningful; that's what means the most to me," said Washington.

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Trayvon Martin’s family attorney to speak at Memphis COGIC conference

Cogic 600Benjamin Crump, known to many as the attorney that represented the family of Trayvon Martin as they sought justice for his fatal shooting at the hands of George Zimmerman, will keynote The Conference on Family 2014 in Memphis on Friday (Feb. 28th).

Temple Church of God in Christ is hosting the three-day conference that will stretch through Sunday (March 2nd) at the church at 672 South Lauderdale. Attorney Crump will speak at 7 p.m.

The goal of the conference is to bring people together in a common forum to discuss today's problems and challenges of families, including how to deal with juvenile delinquency, aging parents, unwed mothers, and the social and emotional stresses of poverty.

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President moves forward with My Brother’s Keeper initiative

mybrother 600President Barack Obama is taking action to launch My Brother's Keeper – an initiative to help every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead.

The White House announced late Wednesday that the President would unveil the initiative during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday (Feb. 27th) afternoon. It involves a partnership with foundations, businesses and others to make sure "that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential."

Building on his Year of Action, the new initiative is pitched as another way the President will use his pen and his phone, involving both the private and public sectors, to expand opportunity for Americans.

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The MED evolves into Regional One Health

regionalone 600The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, known for 30 years as The MED, passed quietly into the annals of Memphis history Wednesday with the unveiling of a new name – Regional One Health.

CEO and President Reginald W. Coopwood took the wraps off the facility's new logo and name change, already posted where The MED used to be.

"When the Shelby County Health Care Corporation adopted the name Regional Medical Center in 1983, the organization was a stand-alone acute care hospital. Over the years, a broader reach of inpatient and outpatient services have been added, but we continued to be identified under the hospital name," explained Coopwood, who is also an MD.

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Everyone is asking the wrong questions about the Ray Rice video

RayRice 600"PSA of the day ... If you spit in a man's face, you deserve to get knocked out. Man, woman or child. Period!"

This was a friend's Facebook status on the day the news broke that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, had both been charged with simple assault after they were involved in a domestic dispute while visiting an Atlantic City casino over Valentine's Day weekend. Rumor had it that Palmer had spit on Rice, and Rice had reacted. To what degree he reacted was anyone's guess, at that time. Rice's lawyer initially—and in hindsight, bafflingly—described the event as a "very minor physical altercation," as if there were some way for a couple to lay hands on each other that wasn't bad.

Good ole TMZ came through with footage of the aftermath to that dispute. "Very minor?" Hardly. Grainy video showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee from the elevator and discarding her facedown on a carpeted hallway. He seems not to want to be bothered, and even more so when he is approached by hotel security. As the woman comes to, he drags her around some more, seemingly annoyed. The first thing I wondered is, what happened to her?

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