Nia Long Wants Young Women to Chill on the Idea of Needing a Man

Nia Long with son, Massai and baby girl, Kez Sunday

In an interview with Rolling Out magazine, Nia Long has some sage advice for single young women who feel anxious because they don’t have a man.

“I think that women who are extremely driven to success, ambitious, I think they get to a point in their lives when they’re like, ‘Uh oh. I am 30-something years old, and I don’t have a husband and I don’t have children yet and what does that mean?’ I think what it means is stay in your course because it’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen,” Long explained.

As a mother of two, Long, now 42, has no designs on getting married to her boyfriend (and father of her youngest child), 37 year old former pro basketball player Ime Udoka anytime soon.

“Marriage is not a priority for me. I’m not saying I’ll never do it; It’s just not where we are as a family,” she revealed in Essence.

Nia believes you can’t compare your life to anyone else’s; that love will happen for each person at its own pace. “But” there is a caveat to this thinking,

“You have to have an open heart to be vulnerable to a accept it when it does come. I think the more success you have as a woman, you kinda go, ‘Well, I don’t really need a man ’cause look: I have everything I want.’ But the truth is, you do need a partner because at some point in your life you’re not going to want to walk alone.”

Thousands Attend Michael Brown’s Funeral

Lesley McSpadden looks at the body of her son Michael Brown at his funeral Monday morning at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.

Thousands of mourners have turned out for Michael Brown’s funeral Monday at Friendly Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. [Scroll down to watch live.]

The Rev. Al Sharpton is among those scheduled to speak at the service, which is open to the public. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is in attendance, along with Sean “Diddy” Combs and filmmaker Spike Lee.

Spike Lee takes a photo of Michael Brown's cap atop his casket at

The families of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell are also in attendance, as are Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Bernice King.

Among the politicians were there, too, including U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump is scheduled to read a message from the Brown family.

Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was shot and killed Aug. 9 by a white Ferguson police officer.

Three in attendance are representing the White House: Broderick Johnson, chairman of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, an Obama initiative to empower boys and men of color; Marlon Marshall, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Heather Foster, an adviser for the office.

Watch the service live below:

Public Memorial for Michael Brown to be Held Monday


A funeral and public memorial for Michael Brown will take place Monday morning, according to family attorney Anthony Gray.

The location and time for the event have not been set, but Gray said services likely will begin between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“It’s going to be public and it’s going to be supported by national leaders,” Gray said. “We don’t have details on who those national leaders will be at this time.”

He said organizers were working to find a large enough venue for the memorial.

Trayvon Martin’s Mom Pens Letter to Michael Brown’s Family: ‘If They Refuse to Hear Us, We Will Make Them Feel Us’

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Stand Your Ground Laws

Trayvon Martin’s mother has written a touching letter to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old recently shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Sybrina Fulton, whose 17-year-old son Trayvon was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in 2012, says she wishes she could say “it will be alright” but the truth is she can only “pray” as their ‘lives are forever changed.”

“Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing,” Fulton wrote in the letter, published in TIME magazine.

Fulton explains the dichotomy of detractors and supporters family members will face since they’ve sadly joined “this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence.”

For Fulton, the loss meant devoting her life to the missions of The Trayvon Martin Foundation. She lends her support to Brown’s family and “to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country.”

Read Fulton’s letter in its entirety below:

To The Brown Family,

I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.

I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live. Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing.

Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don’t want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. You may find yourselves pulled in many different directions by strangers who may be well-wishers or detractors. Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in “the system” and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed.

However with those changes come new challenges and opportunities. You will experience a swell of support from all corners of the world. Many will express their sympathies and encourage you to keep fighting for Michael. You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have. This will incense and insult you. All of this will happen before and continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest.

I know this because I lived and continue to live this. I have devoted my life to the comprehensive missions of The Trayvon Martin Foundation – including providing support to families that have lost a young child to senseless gun violence regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. I will support you and your efforts to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country. The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims. The list is too numerous to adequately mention them all. According to The Children’s Defense Fund, gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-19. That is a horrible fact.

Facts, myths, and flat out lies are already out there in Michael’s case. Theories, regardless of how ridiculous, are being pondered by the pundits. My advice is to surround yourselves with proven and trusted support. Through it all, I never let go of my faith, my family, or my friends. Long after the overwhelming media attention is gone, you will need those three entities to find your ‘new normal.’ Honor your son and his life, not the circumstances of his alleged transgressions. I have always said that Trayvon was not perfect. But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.

But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain. The galvanizations of our communities must be continued beyond the tragedies. While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy. If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us. Some will mistake that last statement as being negatively provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…

With Heartfelt Support,

Sybrina D. Fulton

An Obama Visit to Ferguson ‘Not Off the Table’

President Barack Obama makes a statement in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 18, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The people of Ferguson could see their president in town at some point – but it’s not likely.

A senior administration official didn’t rule out a trip to the St. Louis suburb, now in its second week of protests over the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, but the White House currently has no plans for President Barack Obama to visit the troubled community. Also, state and local legislators say a visit would be too much of a distraction.

The president didn’t say whether he would visit Ferguson when asked by a reporter on Monday, stressing only that ongoing investigations precluded him from going into the details on the matter.

Two Missouri Democrats on Tuesday panned the idea, citing security concerns that a presidential visit would involve amid regular clashes that led Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to call in the National Guard.

“It adds another distortion. We don’t need that now. And we don’t need any more people coming into Ferguson to help the poor people out during this time of trouble,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said on MSNBC. “What we need is a sense of calm and anything other than that is going to be dangerous.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) echoed Cleaver, and added that it would place an undue burden on police who are already struggling to contain the protests.

“A presidential visit requires a lot of security from local officials,” she said. “Right now our local officials have their hands full. It is a very bad time for a presidential visit for the practical reasons — many of these people are not getting enough sleep. We are really taxing all of the jurisdictions on the police forces.”

Obama announced Monday that he was sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson to meet with federal law enforcement authorities who are conducting an investigation into the death of Brown.

Obama Sending Holder to Ferguson; Plugs ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ (Watch)

President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.

President Barack Obama announced Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, while again calling for calm in the town that has seen protests since the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

“While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only dis-serves to raise tensions and stir chaos, it undermines, rather than advancing justice,” Obama said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Of the situation, Obama said Ferguson is “rightly hurting,” but called once again for people to “seek some understanding rather than to simply holler at each other.”

“Let’s seek to heal, rather than to wound each other,” the president said.

“I’ve said this before, in too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear,” Obama said, before pointing to his own initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, which he said is already making significant progress. [Scroll down to listen.]

Holder met with Obama at the White House on Monday to discuss the situation in Ferguson after perhaps the most violent night of demonstrations since the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old.

The president said Holder’s visit to Ferguson would include meeting with investigators and other leaders of the community. In addition to meeting with Holder, Obama said he also spoke to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon as well as Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.

Other Obama administration officials in the meeting included White House deputy chief of staff Anita Breckenridge, White House counsel Neil Eggleston and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, the report said.

Listen to Obama’s comments on Ferguson in its entirety below:

Michael Brown’s Family ‘Beyond Outraged’ at Ferguson Cops (Read Full Statement)


On Monday, the police chief in Ferguson, Missouri said Michael Brown had been jaywalking before a police officer shot and killed him following a confrontation.

Today, the police chief announced that the unarmed black teen was actually a suspect in a robbery that occurred shortly before the shooting. Needless to say, the delay in revealing the robbery’s connection to the shooting, and the manner in which the information was released has Brown’s family and their attorneys “beyond outraged.”

Their statement, released Friday from both the family and their lawyers, was tweeted out by attorney Ben Crump after police announced Darren Wilson as the officer who shot Brown, and named the teen as the robbery suspect.

Read the full statement below:

Michael Brown’s family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piece mil information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight.

There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.

The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies.

It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.

The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention, from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael’s death and will demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.

Benjamin L Crump, Esq.
Anthony D. Gray, Esq.
Daryl D. Parks, Esq.

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