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Report: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian set to wed Thursday

According to some reports, Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian will be husband and wife by the weekend.

Numerous publications are reporting that the couple plan to wed in front of family and friends in an intimate ceremony in New Orleans. The Daily Mail reported that the nuptials could take place as early as Thursday. If the reports are true, the wedding would come just three months after the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1.

>> Read more trending news

People reported that several rumored high-profile guests, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kris Jenner and possibly Williams’ friend Meghan Markle are set to show up at the wedding.

Related: Love, set, match: Serena Williams announces engagement

“Serena and Alexis have spared no expense on their dream wedding. They have hired the best of the best and can’t wait to get married,” an unnamed source told The Daily Mail of the party. It is rumored to take place at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

“Serena and Alexis chose the Contemporary Arts Center because of its incredible architecture and history. They have instructed (celebrity wedding planner)  Preston (Bailey) to fill the hall with thousands of dollars worth of crystals and flowers. The hall will be totally transformed,” the source added.

Guests are also reportedly banned from using their cellphones during the ceremony and reception, as Williams has reportedly signed a deal to share her photos in Vogue magazine. There are allegedly as many as 250 people on the guest list and the couple has decided to beef up security to maintain as much privacy as possible on their big day.

As for baby Alexis, the Mail’s source says she won’t be left out of the festivities: “Alexis will have a babysitter on hand just for her the entire night. Both parents wouldn’t dream of not having her there. She will be a part of the wedding as much as possible for an 11-week-old. They are totally and utterly besotted with her.”

Related: Serena Williams shares open letter to her mother since giving birth to Alexis Olympia

People reported Nov. 7 that Williams celebrated her upcoming nupitals with a bachelorette party in New York. Williams, her sister Venus, actress LaLa Anthony and singer Ciara enjoyed tea and brunch, spa treatments and dancing to celebrate the tennis star.

Ohanian and Williams announced their engagement in December 2016 after just over a year together.

Sweet video alert: Footage of Spelman student telling fellow classmates they’re beautiful goes viral

One Spelman College student is spreading some positivity on her campus with a viral video that celebrates the beauty of black women.

»RELATED: QUIZ: How much do you know about Spelman College?

Eva Dickerson, a junior at the all-women’s HBCU, recently created a video where she roamed the school telling girls they were beautiful.

In the nearly two-minute clip, she stopped classmates to ask them one question: “Did you know that you’re beautiful?” Many confidently replied, “yes,” and others blushed at the unexpected compliment.

The economics and comparative women’s studies double major uploaded the recording to her Twitter page, and it quickly went viral. Within one week, it garnered more than 74,000 retweets and over 100,000 likes. 

Dickerson didn’t expect the overwhelming reaction. She actually created the video as part of a homework assignment for a film class taught by the award-winning filmmaker Julie Dash, whose credits include “Queen Sugar.”

“Everyweek we have a different assignment. For this one, we had to be roving reporters, where you walk around giving interviews,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I thought, ‘This is Spelman. What do Spelmanites do besides compliment each other all day?’ I just wanted to record it.”

»RELATED: 5 things to know about Spelman College 

Now, many more people know about the loving community. Many on social media have commented on the post to express how encouraged they felt after watching it. 

"The responses were heartfelt,” she said. “People resonate with stories of black girl happiness. I think the world is starting to realize black girls deserve to be happy.”

»RELATED: This week’s viral sensation is a Morehouse extra credit video

Former DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile in Atlanta on Sunday

Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile will be in Atlanta Sunday to discuss and sign copies of her new book, “Hacks:  The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

The free event , moderated by Mo Ivory, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the ZuCot Gallery, 100 Centennial Park Drive NW.


Donna Brazile says she found “proof” Clinton rigged Democratic race

Donna Brazile not bothered at all by critics

Brazile’s book had drawn controversy from many Democrats.

In it,  the longtime political operative alleges there was an agreement between Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to run the organization’s finances and have a role in its operations.

In exchange for the reducing the DNC’s debt, Clinton’s campaign was given control of the “party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised,” Brazile wrote.

She also criticized former President Barack Obama’s “titantic” ego.

In previous interviews, Brazile defended her right to tell her story.

“ Why am I supposed to be the only person who is unable to tell my story?,” she said.

Book signing: Donna Brazile, former DNC interim chairwoman, will discuss and sign copies of “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House.”  2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. ZuCot Gallery, 100 Centennial Park Drive NW. 404-380-1040. for tickets go to Eventbrite.

Rapper Eve to join CBS ‘The Talk’ show

“The Talk” is getting a new co-host.

Variety reported that rapper and actress Eve is joining the CBS panel talk show as a co-host after guest co-hosting during the last week of October. The announcement was made on Tuesday’s show.

Eve’s entrance comes after longtime co-host Aisha Tyler left the show after six seasons, E! News reported. Tyler’s exit in July was an emotional one. She decided to leave as she was balancing directing her first feature film and working as a series regular on “Criminal Minds.”

“I just realized I had to let something go,” Tyler said in July. “It’s been the hardest decision of my life and you guys are my family and I love being with you every day.”

>> Read more trending news

Eve gained notoriety in the entertainment industry when she worked with the Ruff Ryders on multiple collaborations, later topping the Billboard 200 with her debut album, “Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders’ First Lady” in 1999. She went on to star in the “Barbershop” movie franchise and her own successful UPN sitcom, “Eve.”

“It is a new career move for me,” Eve told Variety. “I am interested in hosting, and specifically on this show, because I feel as though I can express myself in a way people haven’t seen me before, and be able to engage in great discussions (and) have some fun. I’m just in a place in my life where I was looking for a platform to express myself.”

Eve said she plans to balance the new job with acting and music.

“I will definitely make time for acting, if there is time. I’m always interested in unique and fun parts,” Eve said. “And music, yes, I’ve already started recording. I started recording a few months ago. And the plan was, before this opportunity came up, was to put out some music, which I still plan to do soon.”

“The women were thrilled when they heard Eve would be joining the show and can’t wait to start talking and engaging her in the conversation,” Angelica McDaniel, executive vice president of daytime programs at CBS Entertainment, said in a statement. “Eve is a natural fit with our dynamic group of Daytime Emmy Award-winning hosts, and brings a fresh perspective and bold point of view as an accomplished artist, businesswoman, and wife who is raising four stepchildren and looking to add to her family.”

“The Talk” airs on CBS weekdays at 2 p.m.

Video: Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach on sideline

After punching his coach on the sideline, a Tennessee State player has been dismissed from the team and expelled from school, according to a report by the Tennessean.

Senior defensive end Latrelle Lee hit the Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head and then knocked him to the ground on the sideline.

The Tennessean reported Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillips said Lee was kicked off the team by head football coach Rod Reed.

The 22-year-old from Dothan, Ala. was expelled from the college on Monday, according to the Tennessean.

Looking for a steamy night out? Try this Atlanta Booze & Nudes night

Whether it's a lively ladies outing or an adventurous date night, visiting Atlanta's Booze & Nudes will make it one to remember.

It's like paint and sip but with an R-rated twist. At this Thursday event, a beefy male model poses in the buff while attendees express themselves artistically by painting what they see − all of what they see.

RELATED: This is Atlanta’s best art gallery, according to our AJC poll

Tickets are currently available for Booze & Nudes, which will be held at the Little 5 Points Community Center, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta, (tickets are selling fast) and there will be more opportunities to sip on your favorite drink and artistically interpret a male model. 

"A lot of people come to paint and to learn how to paint, but most people come for that experience. And they will be guaranteed to get it," said Jasmine Strickland, professional artist and creator of Booze & Nudes.

Find out everything to expect during this head-turning night of sipping spirits and stripped-down artistry.

Interest is particularly high.

Strickland was shocked when the first ever Booze & Nudes event on Nov. 10 sold out on Eventbrite in days. She thought the night would only attract her friends' attention.

"I had no idea that it would have this much success," she said. "I literally went to sleep and woke up and the event sold out."

Strickland started Booze & Nudes as a way "to get the entire room together," where attendees can let their guard down and create art.

"Having someone in the room that is vulnerable makes you want to be vulnerable, too," she said. "And honestly I thought what woman wouldn't want to paint a nude male, and you don't get that opportunity too often."

Male models are hand-picked.

Each model is specially selected by Strickland from a modeling website, Model Mayhem. Currently, she's choosing muscular African-American men to reflect the look on Booze & Nudes' infamous fliers.

"They are like fitness models. So, they have chiseled abs. They are very handsome," she boasted.

Unlike traditional nude models with softer features, Strickland wants the Booze & Nudes men to appear "more stripper-like." She also interviews them to make sure that they have the personality to interact with a crowd.

"I wanted to bring the eye to the middle of the room," she said. "I didn't want someone who was boring who would kind of lay there and sit there and pose. I wanted someone that really brought attention to the room."

RELATED: Sia shares nude image of herself before paparazzi can sell it

It’s not all about the nudity. You’ll actually learn art techniques.

Booze & Nudes is for anyone with any level of art expertise, because it's a guided workshop.

"The first 10 minutes people are just trying to get used to having a naked man in front of them. So, after everybody kind of calms down...everybody starts talking to the guy and just painting," she said.

Attendees will be shown how to sketch the subject. Then once they are satisfied with the outline, they will shade their figure in with paint.

Plan to buy tickets in advance.

More Booze & Nudes events are planned through December. 

Other upcoming dates include sold-out events on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, along with the Nov. 24 show that currently has a few tickets left. 

An upcoming model is described as a “6-foot-3, muscular man from England who has an accent.”

In case you don’t make it to the local Booze & Nudes, you’ll also have options outside of Atlanta.

Due to the event's high demand, Strickland wants to bring Booze & Nudes to more locations in the Southeast, including the Carolinas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama next year as a tour.

Strickland also hopes to open up a studio in Atlanta where Booze & Nudes will happen every week.

"It makes me feel good that this is something that I thought of that's getting such positive attention," Strickland said.

Tickets: Admission includes access to the show, a 9x12 canvas and painting equipment. Tickets must be purchased online here, and attendees must be 21 or older. Prices are $15 for early bird admission and $20 for general admission.

Strickland said women at a previous Booze & Nudes described the event as a one-of-a-kind experience.

"They say that it's something you can go to that's not the strip club, because a lot of people don't feel like going to the strip club...," Strickland said.

Parking and snacks are available onsite.

No worries on guessing where to park at this event. There's a parking lot attached to the Little Five Points location.

Alcohol won't be served onsite, but Strickland encourages attendees to BYOB and food. Just bottled water and a few snacks will be available.

Cardi B reveals wedding details: ‘The world is not ready for it’

Cardi B has big, big plans for her special day.

The “Bodak Yellow” rapper, 25, revealed details about her much-anticipated wedding in an interview New York magazine.

Since her on-stage engagement to Migos rapper Offset, 25, Cardi B is already envisioning her dream wedding, saying, “The world is not ready for it.”

“Everybody got to be wearing red,” she continued. “And my bridesmaids are gonna be wearing suits, what’s good.”

» Watch: Offset of Migos proposes to Cardi B at concert

The couple, who began dating earlier this year, got engaged in late October with Offset proposing at Power 99’s Powerhouse concert in Philadelphia in front of a crowd of excited onlookers.

The ring, a beautiful pear-shaped diamond, glittered against the rapper’s left hand as she showed it off to the camera.

Cardi B shared a photo of herself holding up the ring on Instagram, writing, “Jesus Christ I’m so emotional, @offsetyrn I loveee you so much. Thank you for seeing the potential in me since you met me. For giving me advice molding me and loving me. You’re such an amazing man to me your family, friends, kids and you are extremely talented. I can’t wait to spend FOREVAAAA with you. Lets make a lot shmoney and love together .”

Aside from her over-the-top wedding plans, the Bronx native told New York she didn’t believe labels like “feminist” applied to her, despite her hit song, “Bodak Yellow” becoming a somewhat empowering anthem for some women.

“You know what? I’m not even gonna consider myself nothing,” she said. “Here’s the thing that bitches got me f—ed up when it comes to that word. People think that being a feminist is a bitch that, like, went to school.”

“They wear skirts all the way to their motherf—ing ankles like a goddamn First Lady,” she continued. “That’s not being a feminist. Being a feminist is being equal to do what a man do.”

Spelman faculty join #WeKnowWhatYouDid campaign

More than 60 Spelman College faculty members signed a letter distributed Monday supporting a student-led effort to stop sexual assault and harassment on the Atlanta campus.

Spelman, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University students last week began a campaign on social media with the hashtag #WeKnowWhatYouDid urging students to share information about individuals who’ve hurt others and complaints that administrators aren’t doing enough to stop such acts.

“As an institution, we have an obligation to protect you,” the letter, in part, says. “Because of your bravery and courage, change starts now. You have shown us that our silence does not protect any of us and especially not you.” 

Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell wrote a message to students and staff Thursday urging accusers to report complaints to campus police or officials. 

Khloe Kardashian might have debuted her baby bump on Instagram

The entire Kardashian family has been tight-lipped about Khloé Kardashian’s and Kylie Jenner’s rumored pregnancies, but fans may have gotten a glimpse of one of the baby bumps just days ago. 

On Friday, Khloé Kardashian rolled out her latest look for her fashion line Good American and the slightest, tiniest baby bump could possibly be seen under her velour sweats. 

>> Read more trending news

In the photo, posted on Instagram, Kardashian is seated in the sweatsuit but the angle seems to hint at a little bit of curvature where her baby bump would be. But anyone could sit like that and produce a little lower-belly pooch.

Sources first started whispering about Kardashian’s pregnancy in September after reports surfaced that she was expecting her first child with boyfriend Tristan Thompson.

Related: Khloe Kardashian is pregnant, reports say

“Yes, Khloé and Tristan are expecting and they are absolutely thrilled,” a source told People at the time. “This isn’t something they were in a rush to announce to the whole world, and it’s only been in just the past week or so that they’ve felt comfortable telling most of their inner circle.”

The rumor mill is swirling that Kardashian and Thompson are expecting a boy.

Just days earlier, there were reports that Kardashian’s younger half-sister, Kylie Jenner, was expecting a daughter with her boyfriend Travis Scott.

“The family has known for quite some time. She is REALLY excited and so is Travis!” a source told People. “Everyone is overjoyed for her. This is the happiest she’s ever been.”

Sister Kim Kardashian West did confirm she and husband Kanye West are expecting a child via surrogate in January.

The Kardashian-Jenner matriarch, Kris Jenner, dodged questions about the rumored pregnancies during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week.

Sammy Sosa’s latest photos draw more speculation about his appearance

Sammy Sosa’s skin is once again the topic of conversation.

Four months after Sosa’s interview with ESPN Deportes, a photo posted of the former MLB player shows his skin appears less pink and more fair.

>> Read more trending news

According to Business Insider, radio personality Franklin Mirabal of salsa station Caliente 104.1 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was traveling with Sosa in London and posted some photos of the slugger on Twitter.

Just as they did in July, some Twitter users speculated about Sosa’s appearance after Mirabal’s November posts.

Sosa hasn’t spoken out about his appearance in recent years, but the former baseball player once had darker skin and looked more African-American in color.

Related: Sammy Sosa’s latest change in appearance draws speculation, commentary

“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin some,” Sosa said in a 2009 interview with Univision’s “Primer Impacto.” “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften (my skin), but has bleached me some.”

“I’m not trying to be Michael Jackson,” he said that same year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Gwinnett organization invites white people to ‘Come Meet a Black Person’

A professional organization in Gwinnett County is inviting white people to a unique event this Thursday. 

The “Come Meet a Black Person” networking event hosted by Urban Media Maker’s (UMM)at Cornerstone in Lawrenceville promises to offer white and black professionals the chance to interact in a meaningful way.

The event was inspired by a 2014 study from Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute, which found that 75 percent of whites have few black friends or few friends of any race other than white.

“It blew me away because as a black person you kind of know most white people don’t have black friend, but to actually see a number -- that quantifies it, ” said Cheryle Moses, a digital content creator and the founder and producer of UMM. 

For the full story, visit Talk of the Town at

GQ ‘Men of the Year’ awards include Colin Kaepernick for ‘Citizen of the Year’

GQ Magazine announced its “Men (and Woman) of the Year” awards Monday, and NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick snagged “Citizen of the Year.”

>> Read more trending news

According to GQ, “Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality puts him in rare company in sports history.”

Kaepernick was the first pro-athlete to take a knee during the national anthem at NFL games last year in protest over police brutality, and racial and social injustice.

A quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick was not resigned after the season ended earlier this year. Since his initial protests, dozens of athletes have joined in, kneeling during the national anthem in solidarity.

Although a better quarterback than many of his peers, no NFL team has signed him.

“Approximately 90 men are currently employed as quarterbacks in the NFL, as either starters or reserves, and Colin Kaepernick is better—indisputably, undeniably, flat-out better—than at least 70 of them,” GQ said in explaining why Kaepernick was chosen as its Citizen of the Year. 

>> Related: Bengals may want ‘Colin Kaepernick’ after big loss to Houston, rumor has it

“And yet he has been locked out of the game he loves—blackballed—because of one simple gesture: He knelt during the playing of our national anthem.”

In taking a knee, Kaepernick took a stand and inspired a movement that has reverberated around the world, and that’s why GQ named Kaepernick its Citizen of the Year.

>> Related: Gal Gadot won’t do ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel if Brett Ratner is involved, report says

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was named GQ’s 2017 “Champion of the Year.” Late night TV show host Stephen Colbert was named “Bad Hombre of the Year,” and GQ named a woman, Gal Gadot, as its “Wonder Woman of the Year.”

Poll: In the old Confederacy the racial gap shows no sign of closing

Black Southerners and white Southerners are so profoundly split on central questions of equality and opportunity that the only thing they seem to share is geography, a new poll of the South suggests.

The Winthrop University poll of the 11 states of the Old Confederacy, released last week, finds some common ground between the races on certain issues. But 61 percent of white people in the survey believe that all Americans have an equal chance to succeed if they work equally hard. Only 33 percent of black people surveyed feel that way.

Likewise, 60 percent of black Southerners believe strongly that the legacy of slavery and discrimination continues to hold black people back. But only 19 percent of white Southerners share that strong conviction.

“I came from a modest background and built something because I stuck with it and took some risks,” says Lyza Sandgren, a white business owner in Suwanee. “That is available to everyone in this country. Does everyone have the same ability to succeed on the same level? Of course not. The only avenues that any of us have are education, hard work and the willingness to take a few risks. Nobody’s going to do it for us. On that level, I say that everyone in the United States has an equal chance to succeed.”

Sandgren said she finds the poll results unpersuasive.

“To anyone who in these polls says, whites think this, blacks think that: I don’t care. I listen to the person, not the race,” she said.

Courtney Spencer, an African-American resident of Paulding County, argues that the deck has been stacked against black people since the earliest days of colonial America.

“During slavery you have the slave owners, who actually created wealth off of the ones that they put into slavery,” said Spencer, who works in the pest control business in Hiram. “So, basically that wealth trickled down from generation to generation. But when black people finally got their freedom, they were already hundreds and hundreds of years behind. They’re having to play catch up, and it’s hard to play catch up because there are people who don’t want them to.”

The key to racial understanding? “I really think progress can only come from uncomfortable conversations,” Spencer said. “There are a lot of people, regardless of race, who don’t want to talk about race. They’d rather be silent about it and hope it will go away. But it never does.”

Sandgren and Spencer were not poll respondents. Rather, they are among a group of AJC readers who volunteered earlier this year to speak with the newspaper about race.

Hardening racial attitudes

The poll comes as the South is struggling with a variety of issues, from what to do with Confederate monuments to the resurgence of white supremacists — and the people who oppose them — to renewed culture wars. It also comes near the end of the first year of the Trump presidency, which many believe has exacerbated racial tensions and further polarized the nation.

Interestingly, blacks and whites in the poll were in general agreement that the country is moving in the wrong direction. They also gave the economy reasonably good marks. But when it comes to the future, the wedge returns: 63 percent of whites believe economic conditions are getting better; 63 percent of blacks believe they’re getting worse. 

The election of Donald Trump may have much to do with those polarized views, said Emory University political scientist Andra Gillespie.

“Last year, before the election, would whites have felt as sanguine about the economy, particularly when the message coming from the Trump campaign was that the economy was in bad shape?” Gillespie said.

Racially differing views about the economy have been revealed in other polls since Trump took office, said Scott Huffmon, the Winthrop University professor who administered the latest Winthrop poll.

In the other polls, among whites, “there was a magical overnight swing after Trump was elected, that the economy was much better then when Obama was president,” Huffmon said.

But William Boone, a political science professor at Clark Atlanta University, said the poll results might not hinge completely on the election results themselves.

“Is this happening because of the Trump effect, or were things present long before Trump but we are seeing them flare up now?” Boone said.

He pointed to the poll question of whether people can get ahead, regardless of race, if they work hard. Sixty-one percent of whites said everyone has an equal chance at success, while only 33 percent of African-Americans felt that way. Boone said the legacy of legal discrimination against African-Americans and subsequent affirmative action policies have affected the way blacks and whites today view their chances in the workplace and in the economy.

“If you look at the policies of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, those policies were in harmony with the country’s mores at the time; school segregation, housing segregation, employment discrimination,” Boone said. “Those things have driven us to where we are today. Now, blacks may argue that affirmative action policies are still trying to correct the lingering effect of those policies, but whites may feel, ‘Well, the government is giving them special treatment.’ But that viewpoint is absent historical context.”

Another difference in the poll that may reflect the divisive politics of the day: Black people overwhelmingly said that racial minorities are under attack in America today. Half of white respondents agreed with them. But nearly half of whites said it was they who are under attack.

Where blacks and whites agreed

Despite these discrepancies, blacks and whites in the poll overwhelmingly agreed that “all races should be treated equally” and that “people of different races should be free to live wherever they choose.”

Another area where blacks and whites appeared to agree was whether “political correctness threatens our liberty as Americans to speak our minds.” Majorities of both races agreed with that statement. Huffmon said it was possible that some African-Americans who vote Democratic but are socially conservative on issues such as gay marriage and transgender rights may have feelings similar to white Republicans who are also conservative on similar social issues.

Whether blacks and whites can find middle ground on the other contentious issues may not be resolved by this generation or even the next, said LaKeyta Bonnette, a political science professor at Georgia State University.

She shows a clip in one of her classes of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch where Tom Hanks portrays a white Trump voter and lone white contestant on an episode of “Black Jeopardy.” In it, the contestants find common ground on issues such as mistrust of government, the economy and even body type. But things begin to break down when the category turns to Black Lives Matter.

“That episode is a perfect example of the divide,” Bonnette said. “Race is going to be divisive.”

Staff writer Richard Halicks contributed to this article.

Commenting on this article is being moderated by AJC editors.

About the poll

The Winthrop University Poll was conducted between Oct. 22 and Nov. 5. It surveyed 830 adults from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The overall margin or error was +/- 3.4 percent for all respondents. Among whites the margin was +/- 4 percent and among African-Americans, +/- 7.7 percent.

The KKK killed her husband. She can never forget

Ellie Dahmer can still feel the flames of her family’s home on fire.

She can still hear her daughter screaming they would never get out alive. She can still see her husband grabbing his shotgun to fire back at the Klansmen attacking them at 2 a.m. on Jan. 10, 1966. He died defending his family in their home north of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.    

»RELATED: Wesleyan College in Macon to acknowledge ties to Ku Klux Klan


That night came flashing back to her Friday as she toured the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which captures the event in photographs, a telegram from then-President Lyndon Johnson and even remnants of a truck struck by gunfire.         

“It brings back memories,” she said as she toured the museum with her daughter, Bettie, her son, Dennis, and the rest of her family.         

One wall features a photograph of four sons of Dahmer, dressed in their military uniforms and overlooking the rubble of the family home. (Six of his seven sons served in the armed forces a total of 78 years.)         

One of those was Harold, who had just returned from duty in Korea and was in the house the night the Klansmen burned it and the family store.         

Vernon Dahmer Jr. was another. A master sergeant in the Air Force, he found himself back home, in charge of the funeral, in charge of finding a new place for the family to live.         

He became emotional as he spoke of that time. “Mom is still with us,” he said. “We owe a lot to her we can never repay.”

In the 1960s, Mississippi juries convicted several Klansmen of Vernon Dahmer Sr.'s murder, but they were released a few years later from prison through pardons or similar acts.         

In 1998, the family finally saw KKK leader Sam Bowers, who ordered the killing, go to prison, where he died in 2006.

“We’ve come a long way. It’s something that we can all be proud of,” Vernon Dahmer Jr. said, adding, “We’ve still got a long way to go.”         

»RELATED: KKK is denied request to burn cross on Stone Mountain

Dennis, who was 12 years old at the time of the attack, said, “I’m just glad to see (this museum) in my lifetime.”

Bettie, who was severely burned that night, said she hopes that school children across Mississippi, even those from poor places, are able to make the trek to this museum, which opens Dec. 9.         

In many classrooms, students learn little about the civil rights movement, she noted.

Ellie Dahmer said she wants the story of what happened to her family in 1966 to serve as a lesson for the future. “I hope it never happens to anybody else, no matter what their color.”         

Beyonce’s baby twins show up in leaked photos and Bey’s not happy

Not everyone is happy to see pictures of the Bey Beys on the internet.

>> Read more trending news

Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced the addition of two more children to their family in in February via a beautiful Instagram post. Since the announcement, the parents have kept their summer arrivals as secretive as their fans would allow.

Following rumors and speculations, Beyoncé shared an official picture of Rumi and Sir Carter on her Instagram.

Over the weekend, pictures surfaced of the Knowles-Carter family on vacation in Miami with Rumi and Sir in full view.

Fans could hardly contain their excitement over the pictures of the babies.

But eager onlookers found out that the family intended on keeping their privacy.

The Root reported, “[K]nowing how serious the Carters are about their social media presence, and especially their fierce protection of their children, the images are slowly, surely, being scrubbed as they go up,” referring to the fact that a number of pictures of the babies on Instagram have been deleted.

While many delighted in the pictures, others joked about the lengths to which the family might go to combat the leak.

Others supported respecting the family’s privacy (though getting a peak of the Bey Beys wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world).

Spelman College announces plan to address student hunger issue

Spelman College and its food service vendor have created a plan to help students who sometimes cannot afford meals, the college announced Thursday.

Spelman president Mary Schmidt Campbell released a statement to students and staff that it will help provide 2,000 meals by the end of this year and 7,000 meals next semester to current Spelman students who live off campus and who have a need for a meal. Starting Monday, Spelman will give free meal tickets to students who live off campus to use in the dining hall.

The changes were made after a group of students involved with the National Action Network Spelhouse Collegiate Chapter announced a hunger strike last week to raise awareness to food insecurity on campus. The students ended the hunger strike, Campbell wrote.

Spelman will explore additional ways they can address the problem, Campbell wrote.

Nicki Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj, convicted in child rape case

Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, has been found guilty of  predatory sexual assault on a child younger than 13 years old. 

He was tried in Nassau County, New York.

People reported that the conviction on Thursday also included endangering the welfare of a child, according to Nassau County District Attorney Spokesman Brendan Brosh.

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The charges say Maraj repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl at his home in Long Island while the girl’s mother was at work. Brosh said prosecutors alleged the girl was repeatedly raped between April and November 2015.

The victim, who is now 14, testified in detail about the multiple sexual assaults. The girl’s younger brother also testified that he witnessed one incident.

Neither Maraj nor Minaj testified during the trial.

Brosh said Maraj was stoic when the verdict was read. According to Maraj’s lawyer, he will appeal.

Maraj was arrested for in connection with the case on Dec. 2, 2015. He was released from custody on $100,000 bail, reportedly backed by two homes owned by Minaj, according to People.

The Associated Press reported that Maraj, 38, was walked out in handcuff and bail was revoked after the sentencing. 

“Justice demanded that this defendant be held accountable for these heinous acts and we are thankful to the jury for their careful deliberation,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement to People. “We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process and that it will close this terrible chapter in their lives.”

A representative for the rapper did not immediately respond to a request for comment from People or The AP. She has never commented publicly about the charges.

Maraj is at Nassau County Jail until his sentencing Dec. 14. He faces 25 years to life in prison.

Chance the Rapper surprises Chicago City Council meeting to argue against ‘cop academy’

Chance the Rapper often shouts out his native Chicago in his music (“You cannot mess with the light/ look at little Chano from 79th,” he famously rapped in fellow Chicagoan Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”), but he doesn’t limit his Windy City advocacy to song form.

On Wednesday, Chance (real name Chancellor Bennett) showed up unannounced to Chicago’s City Hall for a city council meeting, arguing that the assembled aldermen should vote against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal for a new $95 million police academy. Chance said the city government should instead invest such funds in Chicago Public Schools.

“My name is Chance the Rapper. I’m here representing the city of Chicago: The students, principals, parents, and teachers of Chicago,” Chance began. “I think you guys are familiar with the work that I’ve been doing. We’re doing a lot of work with Orr Academy, which is just down the street from where this proposed police academy is gonna be at. This school, with just $100,000 in 3 years, is about to make some transformative changes. It’d be awesome, though, if we could get pools at their school, or a new library, or a museum, or any of the things that are proposed in the budget for this $95 million cop academy … There are a lot of different services that need to be funded. Obviously schooling is my big thing, but there are a lot of ways to transform the city without policing.”

This is not the first time Chance has publicly advocated on behalf of CPS. Back in March, Chance even met with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner amid a high-stakes budget negotiation to convince him not to withhold funding from Chicago’s schools. When that didn’t work, he personally donated $1 million to CPS, and called for others to follow suit. The difficulty of that struggle influenced his stance on the proposed training facility, as he made clear on Wednesday.

“What are we doing? I’ve been asking for money for over a year now to fund these classrooms,” Chance told the aldermen. “But on the Fourth of July weekend, they announced they’re proposing a $95 million cop academy. What is y’all doing? It doesn’t make sense, and I’m very confused. You guys have a lot of power here, and that’s the reason why I showed up at 8 am. I feel like, maybe if you guys hear me say it…”

Chance is not the only person making this argument. Students, teachers, community organizers, and activists from around Chicago have banded together under the hashtag #NoCopAcademy to protest the proposed facility, and instead argue for community investment. CPS teacher Dave Stieber recently expressed the protestors’ frustration for the Huffington Post, writing, “Every year our students watch as librarians, counselors, social workers, support staff, security, and teachers are cut … Yet through all of this, Chicago always finds money for policing.”

When Chance showed up to City Hall on Wednesday, he was joining a crowd of protestors who had already gathered. Unfortunately, their efforts did not make much of a difference, at least on Wednesday’s vote. The city council overwhelmingly voted to acquire land for the proposed academy, with only Alderman Carlos Rosa voting against.

“A set back for now, but there’s a grassroots army rising up to break every chain, end racist policing, and put working and poor Chicagoans of all backgrounds first,” Rosa tweeted after the vote. “There will be other votes and this is just the beginning.”

Chance, too, continued to use the #NoCopAcademy hashtag in defiance of the city council’s vote. Watch the video of his talk below.

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