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YSL rapper Gunna released a lengthy letter from Atlanta's Fulton County Jail on his 29th birthday on Tuesday.

The College Park, Georgia native was arrested in May, along with his pal Young Thug and 26 others, on charges of violating Georgia's RICO racketeering laws.
 
RELATED: Gunna Denied Bond, Prosecutor Called Him YSL 'Commander'
 
Gunna's music brought him riches beyond his wildest dreams. As he flew around the world on private jets, he never imagined that he would one day compose a letter to his fans from a windowless cell at the Fulton County Jail.

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"I don't have my freedom. But I am innocent," he wrote in the 2-page letter posted on his Instagram page on June 14.

He captioned the post:

"22 & 2, just a bed & a shower, no windows just walls. Can't see or talk to anyone. I'm writing now & still praying everyday. I was raised to fight fire with water, even tho my country's amendments have failed me! PROTECT BLACK ART!"

Gunna wrote that he was raised watching Black men, women and children "constantly attacked, hated, murdered, berated, belittled, silenced, judged, used, and held captive."

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He said, "the picture being painted of me is ugly and untrue," and he stated that he has "faith that God will grant me justice for the purity in my heart and the innocence of my actions.

He also addressed the Fulton County D.A. using his rap lyrics against him in the RICO case, writing:

"As a Black man in America, it seems as though my art is only acceptable when I'm a source of entertainment for the masses. My art is not allowed to stand alone as entertainment, I'm not allowed that freedom as a Black man in America."

Future, Young Thug at 'Breakfast With 5AM' at SL Lounge in Atlanta

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Rapper Young Thug, who is currently sitting in the Cobb County Detention Center near Atlanta, sent a message from jail via pr-recorded audio to his fans at Hot 97's Summer Jam on June 12.

"I just want to say thank you to all my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us," he said.

Young Thug, 31, asked his fans to sign a petition prohibiting the use of his lyrics in his RICO case.

"You know, this isn't about just me or YSL. I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and I see now that Black artists and rappers don't have that freedom. Everybody please sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all."

A judge denied both Thug and Gunna's bond requests and they will remain in jail until their trials in January 2023.

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Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles-Lawson heaped praise on her son-in-law, rapper Jay Z, calling him a "true man" in a gushing open letter.

Tina, 67, shared the letter to Instagram after it was announced that the "Empire State of Mind" rap star had sold 50 per cent of his champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, to luxury goods company LVMH's Moet Hennessy.

"Jay I salute you and your Latest venture," Tina wrote.

"You are a bad ass brother and I hope that you continue to pave the way for others like you have in the past!! And I have seen such extreme kindness and generosity so many times that people don't even know anything about! You are a true man who has admitted publicly when you've made mistakes in a very brave and classy way! You have in turn influenced the Culture of Young Black Men. You are a Bad Ass brother. I love you so much!!"

She added: "One thing that I’ve noticed about Jay is that he doesn't let what people say bully him into not doing the things that he knows are right."

Tina's open letter sparked rumors that her marriage to actor Richard Lawson is on the rocks. Intuitive social media users noted she referred to Jay Z as a "true man" -- perhaps a dig at her husband?

In a video shared on Instagram, Tina films herself standing perilously close to the edge of a cliff, just feet above rushing water crashing onto jagged rocks.

Tina, who has not had much success with men, captioned the video:

"On the rocks in Big Sur in my Ivy Park coat. Richard IS NOT trying to climb out on those rocks like me . He said NOTHANKYOU !!! we are really social distancing!"

But others noted that Richard, 73, didn't seem to care how close his wife was standing to the cliff's edge. In fact, he seems distracted by his cell phone and is not even watching to make sure she is safe. He's standing at least 20 feet behind her.

Questions: 1. Do you think a "true man" would show more concern for his wife's safety? 2. Do you think the "true man" line was a dig at Richard?
 


 

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Joe Biden, the apparent Democratic nominee, is in talks to pick his running mate and possible vice president from a short list of female candidates.

His list includes Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (pictured).

Whitmer's latest executive order has locked Michigan tighter than a drum -- even though she acknowledged Covid-19 cases are decreasing in her state.

Whitmer has banned public or private gatherings and she extended her stay-at-home order to include banning individuals "traveling between two residences."

Starting Saturday, April 11, Michigan residents can no longer visit friends or relatives or their second homes or vacation rentals within the state, according to the Washington Times.

Additionally, Whitmer ordered big box stores and home improvement stores to rope off "nonessential" merchandise and goods to decrease foot traffic in stores.

The Washington Examiner said Whitmer's draconian measures are like "an audition for vice president, and that's bad for Michigan."

Whitmer claims her unconstitutional executive orders are necessary because the coronavirus is pushing the healthcare system to the brink.

But one registered nurse disagrees and has accused Whitmer of promoting more fear to make herself "look better for Joe Biden."

In a lengthy open letter, the nurse wrote: "Michigan sees the puppet you have become for the Democratic party. Shame on you for what you are doing to Michigan!"

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Photos: Getty Images, ATLPics.net

Rep. James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black Congressman, would like nothing more than to see Biden pick a Black woman - either Mayor Bottoms (left) or failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams - as his running mate.

But Whitmer is at the top of Biden's short list -- and she's determined to stay there.

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Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, was literally caught with his pants down with a naked man in a hotel room on South Beach on March 13.

The news coverage slowed to a crawl and then halted days after Gillum, 40, was found naked and vomiting on the bathroom floor in room 1107 at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel. His friend, male escort Travis Dyson, 30, was treated for a possible drug overdose.

A police report was leaked to conservative activist Candace Owens by someone who knew the news media would cover up the story.

Gillum apologized to his wife, R. Jai Gillum, and his friends and supporters. He announced he was entering rehab for an alcoholism problem.

After recovering from their shock, Gillum's supporters collectively shrugged and moved on, leaving Gillum to his sexual demons.

But 2 of Gillum's supporters believe Black men should uplift Gillum, and the news media should not demonize down low Black men.

Preston Mitchum and Michael Seaberry penned an open letter to Gillum, Black men and the news media to "be our Brother's keeper".

The open letter came days after The Central Florida Post and London's Daily Mail published embarrassing photos of Gillum naked in a hotel room strewn with drug paraphernalia and bedsheets soiled with blood and feces.

Mitchum, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law Center, told NewsOne in an email Monday night that "all media has a role to play" in supporting Gillum and Black people.

"...mainstream media, in particular, must be careful in how it displays Black people and our bodies and it isn't something they are often forced to do."

Seaberry, a high school science teacher in Clayton County, Georgia, appealed to Black men to be more supportive of Gillum and each other in their times of need.

"Fellow Black men, allow this letter to be a reminder that we, too, must be allowed the space to explore, mess up, reevaluate ourselves and become anew," Seaberry and Mitchum wrote.

Addressing the rightwing news media. Mitchum and Seaberry wrote:

"We should not be shocked that you, the media, would fetishize a Black life for clickbait, likes, and shares -- for anything. Black life, in moments of pain and terror, has long been delectable to the American palate."

While acknowledging that Gillum's story is newsworthy, they said the coverage should not be done in such a "salacious way."

The men asked the news media for decorum and restraint when covering stories about down low high-profile men.

"Sharing photos of Mayor Gillum's naked body, especially in such a vulnerable state, is inexcusable and triggering to a community that has seen our own bodies fetishized and/or slain across the nation, from the lynching tree to Main Street. Quite frankly, we are sick of seeing Black bodies become a call-to-fame and the subject of your headlines."

NewsOne chose not to publish the nude photo of Gillum or the drug-strewn hotel room.

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Janet Jackson penned an emotional tribute to her friend Ja'Net DuBois, after news of the star's death broke on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The famed character actress died of natural causes after passing away in her sleep at her home in Glendale, California on Tuesday. She was either 74 or 82 (her exact date of birth is unknown).

Jackson, 53, posted a heartfelt tribute to her former "Good Times" co-star and personal friend after hearing the news.

"I am so very saddened to hear my longtime friend Ja'Net DuBois has passed away," Jackson wrote, alongside a slideshow of snapshots of the pair taken over the years.

"I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment. I'm grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories."

She added: "I pray for comfort for all her family and friends. Thank you Ja'Net, I’ll miss you."
 

DuBois is best known for her portrayal as the projects gossip Willona Woods in the 1970s Norman Lear TV sitcom Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979.

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Jackson, then 11, joined the cast in the fifth season as Penny - a young girl adopted by Willona after she's abandoned by her abusive mother.

The pair reunited in 1987 when DuBois played the R&B icon's mother in the music video for her single "Control."

Lear also posted a tribute to the late actress and singer, sharing on Twitter, “Ja'Net DuBois was all light and will be missed. I love that she wrote the theme song for her passing, 'Movin’ on Up'," referencing the theme song to The Jeffersons, which DuBois wrote and sang.

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Mo'Nique called out Oprah Winfrey in an open letter for staying quiet about Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior with Hollywood starlets such as Lupita Nyong'o.

Oprah has repeatedly said she knew nothing about Weinstein's rapey behavior, but Mo'Nique isn't buying her denials.

Mo'Nique took to social media to call out the media mogul for staying quiet about the disgraced Hollywood producer who is accused of raping dozens of women who willingly visited his hotel rooms for sexual favors in return for starring roles in his films.

His casting couch style of auditions were an open secret in Tinseltown, and many believe Oprah should've known about him.

Mo'Nique took issue with Oprah producing a documentary about Russell Simmons' alleged rapey behavior with younger women. Oprah cancelled the documentary after a massive blowback on social media.

"I felt compelled to write you this open letter after observing the disparity in the way that you seem to treat people, who were accused of the same allegations," Mo'Nique wrote. "You did an interview on the CBS Morning Show and were asked about Harvey Weinstein by Norah O'Donnell, and you said as it pertained to him that you "always try to look at the Rainbow in the clouds, whatever is the 'silver lining'. You also said 'if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment.'"

The comedienne questioned why Oprah planned to make documentaries about Michael Jackson and Simmons. "How is that not making it all about them?" she asked.

Mo'Nique added:

"Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits? Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not "support" the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver liming for both like you said you did for H.W.?"

Mo'Nique accused Oprah of playing it safe by producing documentaries about Black men who are accused of rapey behavior.

"My personal experience with you is you've watched me as a Black woman be accused of being difficult for not promoting 'Precious' internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment...

When I was sixteen and I meet you at your local show in Baltimore, I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. You responded, 'you have to work really really hard'. My sixteen year old self didn't know that you in your silence in the face of wrongdoing, would make my life 'harder'."

 

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Dear @oprah, I felt compelled to write you this open letter after observing the disparity in the way that you seem to treat people, who were accused of the same allegations. You did an interview on the CBS Morning Show and were asked about Harvey Weinstein by Norah O’Donnell, and you said as it pertained to him that you “always try to look at the Rainbow in the clouds, whatever is the “silver lining”. You also said “if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment”. When you either are, or were going to be a part of documentary on Michael Jackson, and Russell Simmons, how is that not making it all about them? Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits? Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not “support” the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver lining for both like you said you did for H.W.? The only difference between the two is there skin color and doesn’t H.W. have way more accusers? My personal experience with you is you’ve watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting “Precious” internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment. And, how are you for black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up but you or him still haven’t said a word? When I was sixteen and I meet you at your local show in Baltimore, I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. You responded, “ you have to work really really hard”. My sixteen year old self didn’t know that you in your silence in the face of wrongdoing, would make my life “harder”. Lastly, please consider standing by the people who are right and not just the “right people”. Love you to life, Mo’Nique

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Tina Knowles pens open letter

Knowles matriarch Tina Knowles-Lawson kick started her Mother's Day celebration early by penning an open letter to her four daughters on Wednesday.

You're probably thinking: Tina only has 2 daughters -- Beyonce and Solange.

But, in her moving open letter, Tina also claimed her ex-husband's rumored Love child, Kelly Rowland, and her morbidly obese niece Angie Beyince.

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Chuck Creekmur Pens Open Letter to Nicki Minaj

Rap idol Nicki Minaj once vowed she would change her crazy, pre-Superbass-era ways. She changed her style, even tossing her wigs and weave extensions aside to embrace her own natural flowing locks.

In an interview, she said:

"I went so far to the other side that there's only one place to go from there. You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, 'Hey guess what? This will shock them even more. Doing nothing will shock them even more.'"

Nicki's brief social experiment ended with a loud bang when she released the cover for her new single "Anaconda".

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Jada writes open letter

Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith penned an open letter to a friend who has decided to get a divorce. In her letter, which she posted on her Facebook page, Jada said couples who hope to grow old together must give each other space and time apart to miss each other.

By sheer coincidence, actress Gabrielle Union and her boyfriend Dwyane Wade separated for a time over the summer when rumors swirled that Wade stepped out on Union with a sports groupie.

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Frank Ski and Don Lemon

Local restauranteur Frank Ski, left, tweeted his response to CNN anchor Don Lemon's oral dissertation on what's wrong with black men in America.

Lemon, 47, recently defended Bill O'Reilly's low opinions of black men, saying O'Reilly didn't "go far enough" in his depiction of black men as social outcasts.

Addressing black people directly, Lemon, who is openly gay, listed "5 Things To Improve Black America," beginning with "Pull up your pants."

In his letter to Don, titled "I'm just saying," Ski tweeted "It was extremely irresponsible for a person of your influence to point fingers and criticize without also listing the "Systemic Racisms" of America that brought us to this point."

Ski, 49, who owns Frank Ski's Restaurant and Lounge, left V-103 last year after 14 years at the helm of the station's top-rated Frank Ski Morning Show and Frank and Wanda Morning Show.

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