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Beyoncé's Parents Kept Destiny's Child Away From R. Kelly


There were repeated requests by him and his label to work with the teenage girls. Matthew Knowles, said of the girls: "They did not leave our eyes."

REUTERS

Beyoncé's father, Matthew Knowles said Destiny's Child stayed away from R. Kelly because they had heard of his reputation back in the late '90s.

"The girls were 15, 16," he said. "When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes."

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Chance The Rapper Apologizes to Black Women for Working With R. Kelly

While Chance acknowledged his mistake, many other artists, who have profited in some way from an R. Kelly collaboration, are keeping quiet.

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"Surviving R. Kelly," the documentary series that R. Kelly's lawyers had threatened to file a federal lawsuit over, has not only outed some disgusting allegations against the singer, songwriter and record producer, and the families of young Black girls, but also gut-wrenching truths about the treatment of Black women by the music industry — and the money and fame that has been prioritized over their lives.

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Black Men Get Candid About Mental Health

Celebrities are seeking out ways to fight the mental health stigma within the Black community.

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Studies show Black men are particularly concerned about the stigma of mental illness, and apprehensive about seeking help.

Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, director of the Health Disparities Institute at University of Connecticut Health and associate professor of psychiatry, said that men of color are generally discouraged from seeking any kind of help, including help with mental health issues.

But some brave men in the very public eye, have decided to tackle the issue hoping to change the way the Black community views getting help.

Earlier this month, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to help improve mental health services in Chicago. Six mental health providers in Cook County will each get $100,000 grants, and SocialWorks is starting an initiative called "My State of Mind" to help connect people with treatment.

NFL player Brandon Marshall, who struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, started a nonprofit Project 375.org to help eradicate stigma, increase awareness and improve training and care for youth. He wrote a powerful essay called "The Stigma," last year, where he was candid with his own battles and some of his coping mechanisms that included meditation and journaling.

The conversations around health are happening in other ways, in interviews, on albums, online and on screen.

Jay-Z has come out in interviews to talk about how the experience of therapy helped him grow as a man, overcoming situations, which he describes in his lyrics.

Related Story: Black Men Defy the Racist Stigma That Says Their Trauma is Their Own Fault

On his album "4:44," he released a mini documentary "Footnotes for MaNyfaCedGod," where he gathered a group of Black men to talk candidly about therapy, self-care, and mental health awareness.

He also advocated for therapy at younger ages and in schools.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted about his mother's suicide attempt on social media and went on "Oprah's Master Class" on OWN to discuss his own depression and how important it is to know that you are not alone in your struggles.

Related Story: Taraji P Henson on Mental Health: We're Demonized for Expressing Rage for Traumas We've Been Through

Rapper Kid Cudi, in posting about and seeking help for his anxiety struggles back in 2016, inspired users on social media to start the #YouGoodMan hashtag, which became a place for Black men to share knowledge and their stories with support.

Primetime TV shows are breaking the silence in the Black community as well.

Sterling K. Brown star of "This Is Us," Romany Malco Jr. of "A Million Little Things," and Kendrick Sampson and Issa Rae of "Insecure" all struggle on screen with issues and survive.

These actors are tackling conversations around getting help for depression, suicide ideation, panic attacks, and trauma — many issues that plague the Black community based on everyday living experiences.

And talking about it helps.

Marcus and Markeiff Morris, twin brothers and NBA players talked to ESPN about their struggles with depression and trauma from growing up in a violent neighborhood. Marcus Morris, who shared their story, encouraged others, "If you have depression, you should be trying to get rid of it instead of bottling it up and letting it weigh on you and weigh on you and weigh on you."

Markeiff, initially agreed to speak about his illness, but bowed out, possibly a sign that he's not quite ready. There are many men like him.

Hopefully, the more men that come forward to advocate and share, the more others will feel empowered to do the same.

Reader Question: Why do you think Black men struggle to speak openly about their how stress impacts their mental health?

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Chicago hip-hop artist Vic Mensa has organized an event through his SaveMoneySaveLife foundation, giving away 10,000 pairs of shoes in the same neighborhood where the bait truck sting took place.

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Sexist and Racist NFL Decision Upstaged by Social Media

Janet Jackson disrespect and double standard called out. Justin Timberlake should have insisted Jackson perform, he was boring without her.

REUTERS

Justin Timberlake performing at halftime during Super Bowl LII on Sunday was rebuffed by fans of Janet Jackson who chose to show their admiration for the superstar amid white male privilege and sexism.

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Black TV Journalist Body Shamed Says 'I'm Not Going Anywhere'

"The controversy is coming from people who aren't too happy about the way I look on television," Demetria Obilor said.

TWITTER

A body-shaming Facebook post criticizing Dallas journalist Demetria Obilor's physique went viral, causing many to come to her defense on social media, including Chance the Rapper. Obilor, who in her professional career has been criticized for both her natural hair and her curves, has addressed the controversy as well.

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BET Awards: Michelle Obama Gives Surprise Message to Chance the Rapper

"Chance has been taking that big, bright spotlight that follows him around, and he's shining it on young people in our hometown of Chicago," Obama said in a video message.

The 17th annual BET Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles, hosted by "Saturday Night Live" star Leslie Jones, included performances by chart-topping hip-hop and R&B artists, causing the hashtag #BETAwards to trend all night.

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