*The mother of a 17-year-old Nigerian student who felt disgraced after she was discovered cheating on a high school exam and killed herself, is suing the city of New York because of it.
Mounsurat Adeoye is reportedly holding accountable, the high school that her daughter attended before she committed suicide. Adeoye filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of New York, according to LiveLeak.
Omotayo Adeoye (pictured) was a gifted student who attended the prestigious HS for Math, Science and Engineering.
When Omotayo died last May, she had been carrying a heavy load: taking advanced classes at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and waiting to hear if she had qualified for a National Achievement Scholarship for college. As one of four siblings, she is said to have had aspirations of becoming a doctor. Continue reading →
Prolific writer J. California Cooper, has died at age 82.
Cooper focused mainly on writing plays, until she met Alice Walker who advised her to consider short stories and novels instead, because they were an easier path to a paycheck.
She had been living in Seattle, Washington.
According to her daughter Paris Williams, Cooper died early Saturday; she had experienced a number of heart attacks over the past few years.
Cooper was born in Berkeley, and frequented a local theater there called Black Repertory Group, where a close-knit family of black actors (EURThisNthat editor, DeBorah B. Pryor included) worked under the guidance of founder, Nora B. Vaughn, who produced many of Cooper’s plays. The playwright was referred to as Joan ‘California’ Cooper at the time, wrote more than a dozen plays and went on to have about a dozen books published after switching to prose fiction.
Walker met Cooper after she came to see one of her plays.
“Her advice to my mother was you should write short stories or novels because it was easier to get paid. She went home and wrote 12 stories,” Williams said.
When Cooper asked Walker to write an introduction to her first story collection, the writer who had just been honored for “The Color Purple” asked to publish the book at her own publishing house. Walker also helped Cooper get one of her stories published in Essence magazine and the book took off from there, Williams said.
Williams called her mother a hard worker. She worked a variety of jobs from a teamster on the Alaska pipeline to an escrow officer and a manicurist to pay the bills.
She went to the pipeline to work as a secretary and switched to bus and truck driving after she realized she could make a lot more money, her daughter recalls. She drove welders up to their work site and then panned for gold while waiting for the return trip, Williams said.
“My mother tried a lot of things when I was growing up,” she said. “Writing was something she always did. She just stuck them in a drawer.”
Reviewing her novel “Family” in The New York Times in 1990, Roy Hoffman called it “the sort of book that ought to be read out loud.”
“Never mind that the narrator, Clora, is a ghost,” Hoffman wrote. “In its strong rhythms and colloquial expressions, this book is a living woman’s monologue. At times, Clora even seems to lean toward us, grabbing at our lapels.”
Williams said her mother never took her fame seriously.
“She used to say people have forgotten all about me,” Williams said. “But all her books are still in print. It’s pretty amazing.”
Her mother did not want a funeral and requested instead that she be remembered with personal acts of kindness or charity.
Rest in sweet peace, Ms. Cooper. And give Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn (and Mr. Lamar) a tight squeeze for me.
*We will never know for sure, why Kayelisa Mart, 20, walked in front of a moving semi-trailer on I-77 at Milepost 115,’ near Akron-Canton Airport, and ended her life. And as if this isn’t tragic enough, medical personnel have no clue whatsoever what caused the death of her 14-month-old son, Omoyele Gonzalez, who was found deceased in his bed at their home. This information comes from a press release by the Summit County sheriff’s office.
The accident caused closure of the northbound lanes of the road for about four hours after the incident and traffic was detoured around the scene.
Stark County Coroner’s office conducted an autopsy on the toddler Saturday and results released Monday offered no conclusive details on how the little boy died, while preliminary autopsy findings showed that he did not die from any trauma,’ according to coroner P.S. Murthy’s statement. Continue reading →
*Amidst a very public request to the Ferguson community for peace by the family of Michael Brown the day before laying their son to rest, was the underlying realization that all is far from calm. According to the Los Angeles Times, thousands gathered at the funeral service of the slain teen; which was held in St. Louis at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, August 25, with well known activists, politicians and celebrities in the pews. But according to a recently released poll by CBS News/New York Times, a lot of them are far from satisfied with how president Obama is handling the situation in Ferguson, and they are making their feelings known with mixed reviews. Continue reading →
*Oh man, this is a really tragic. We just recently came to hear about the Ice Bucket Challenge that is taking social media by storm, only to learn that Corey Griffin, one of the men behind the viral charity craze, has drowned.
We’ve seen the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Iyanla Vanzant,Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana and all kinds of sports stars and musicians take the challenge that has raised millions of dollars for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease – which makes this news especially poignant.
Griffin, 27, had just attended a fundraiser for ALS on Friday and helped raise $US100,000 in honor of his friend Pete Frates, whose struggle with the disease inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge and turned it into a viral craze, according to the Boston Globe.
At about 2am, Griffin dove off a building at Straight Wharf in Nantucket before floating to the surface and then sinking without a trace. Continue reading →
*Those of us old enough to remember first “met” the actor and comedian, Robin Williams as the alien “Mork” on the ABC television series, “Mork & Mindy” (circa 1978-1982). But is was through his incredible work and charitable commitments over the decades, that he became much more – like a beloved friend, portraying some of the most hilarious, memorable and endearing roles – such as the comedy classic, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the over the top DJ in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” and “Jumanji.” According to a police report, Williams, 63, was found dead this morning in his Bay Area, Tiburon, home from an apparent suicide by asphyxiation. Continue reading →
*Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson did not believe the official autopsy that claimed their 17-year-old son, Kendrick Johnson, had fallen into a rolled up gym map and suffocated, after he tried to retrieve a tennis shoe. So they hired their own private pathologist, whose finding resulted in the conclusion that the young man died from a bodily blow.
Further investigation found that Kendrick, an African American, had been bullied by a white classmate prior to his death, and somebody killed the teen and placed him in the mat to cover it up. Continue reading →
Dr. Dre’s 20-year-old son Andre Young, Jr. died of an overdose in 2008. His mom found him unresponsive the next morning after a night out with friends.
George Benson suffered much tragedy during his lifetime. He has buried three sons. One died from kidney failure, one from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and one he lost to gun violence. His 29-year-old son, Keith Givens, was fatally shot outside a Pittsburgh bar in 1991.
Evelyn Champagne King and Freddie Fox lost their only child in 1988. Their daughter, Johnniea King was named for Evelyn’s mother and was only two years old. Continue reading →