The O.J. Simpson saga continues! After a 9-year stint in prison for his role in a 2007 armed robbery, 70-year-old Simpson has been released on parole. He was initially sentenced to 9 to 33 years for the Las Vegas arm robbery and kidnapping incident. The former NFL star also known as “Juice” had ensured the parole board that he’d been a model prisoner and he promised to not be involved in any further conflicts if released. The parole board unanimously granted his wish, with an expected release date of October.

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"I've done my time," pleaded Simpson to the Nevada parole board. "I've done it as well and as respectfully as I think anyone can."

Simpson was reportedly alert and energetic during the parole hearing, even laughing when parole board Chairman Connie Bisbee mistakenly cited his age as 90. "I feel like it," he quipped.

In case you’re wondering, there was no mentions of the infamous 1995 Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman case and acquittal. If you can believe it, it has been 22 years since the verdict heard ‘round the nation. That particular case has made Simpson a household name far beyond his NFL days, inspiring works such as the award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America and the popular FX true-crime drama The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Simpson maintained that he was not fully responsible for the Vegas incident, citing his associates as misleading and turning on him in court. "Unfortunately, they got a get-out-of-jail-free card when they said 'O.J. told me (to do it),'" he said. "Nothing I can do about that."

Board member graded Simpson a “low risk to reoffend” to which Simpson smiled a simple “thank you” before silently lowering his head for a few moments.

Simpson plans to move to his home in Florida.

Source: CNN

What do you think about O.J. finally being released from prison?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

I met Yasmira the first day of first grade and we've been rockin' ever since-- conquering high school together (and beyond) and now we're successfully adulting.  Appropriately, we had our babies Edesiri and Max within a month of each other and hopefully they'll grow up together too, albeit 800 miles apart. Cheers to us, darling. 

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Later Gators,
Nik

p.s. despite the 100 degree temps and disrespectful humidity, my hair is still pic worthy!




Photo: Getty Images

Following Michael Vick's illuminating advice on FS1's "Speak for Yourself" informing Colin Kapaernick to "cut his hair" and "just try to look presentable," Colin Kaepernick seemed to respond via Twitter with the definition of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome is the psychological condition in which a hostage develops sympathy for and an alliance with his/her captors as a means of survival during captivity. If Kaepernick was indeed talking about Michael Vick then I couldn't agree more.

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We all remember how America reeled in horror at the cornrowed Vick having abused all of those poor, defenseless puppies. The dogfighting “thug” had to pay for his inexcusable crimes and he did so with a nearly two-year stint in prison. Upon his release, however, he shaved the braids, rebranded himself as an advocate for animal rights and re established himself as an upstanding citizen worthy of the NFL’s forgiveness.

It was as if Vick had spent his entire time in prison studying the philosophies of Booker T. Washington. And it kind of makes sense that he would. Washington had been born a slave and knew very well the horrors of the institution. An imprisoned Vick, especially after having lived as a wealthy and revered athletic hero, must have shared the same feelings as Washington. That feeling of “never again” and “I’ll do whatever it takes to be free” and “I know what these White folks are capable of so I’ll play by their rules and try to get ahead that way.”

Washington, who introduced and preached the idea of respectability politics, once wrote, "Labor to make yourself as indispensable as possible in all your relations with the dominant race and color will cut less figure in your upward grade." In an 1895 speech, Washington also made the claim, "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing." In response to Washington's ideas, American Whites offered great praise to the man and regarded him as a trustworthy leader, and perhaps savior, of his race. He was a "safe negro."

Yeah, that whole thing is Stockholm Syndrome alright.

I tend to have more sympathy for Washington than Vick though. Did Washington really have a choice during the era in which he lived? Nope, not at all. But Vick is a different story. He really didn’t have to fight those dogs in the first place. Plus he knows
good and damn well that respectability politics
doesn’t do anything for anyone who has been determined to be a threat to the American status quo.

Did Dr. King’s pristine suits or his beautifully orated talks of equality and non-violence keep him from getting shot down at the Lorraine Motel? Maybe King's Infidelity disqualified him from being truly respectable so let me do Vick one better. How about Barack Obama?

Obama, a Harvard alumni and the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, an accomplished author, the fifth Black person to serve as a U.S. Senator and the first Black U.S. president was never caught up in any scandal of any kind, political, personal or otherwise. Loved, revered and respected the world over, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama always remained well-spoken, poised and prepared. The only time he rocked an Afro was during the 70s. Yet for all his many accomplishments, his commitment to his wife, his adoration of his children, and his occasional wearing of mom jeans, none of that stopped him from being called a nigger, terrorist, liar (during a State of the Union address) or an outright traitor to the country.

I do believe Vick meant well when trying to offer advice to Kaepernick but I find it laughable that Vick has somehow determined that Kaepernick has image issues. Kaepernick has committed no crime, has not been to prison and was otherwise exercising his first amendment right as an American to practice freedom of speech. To suggest that Kaepernick’s hair (or overall supposed appearance as a revolutionary) is somehow responsible for his unpopularity with football fans who feel that his peaceful protest was an affront to patriotism is equally ridiculous. Perhaps if Kaepernick takes up dog fighting, he should give Vick a call. Otherwise, Vick should take several seats and keep his PR advice to himself.

What do you think about Vick's comments?
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Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

It's no secret that Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL. Some would say that it has a lot to do with his protests during the National Anthem, while others would suggest it has to do with his inconsistent playing on the field. But if you ask Michael Vick, he'd suggest that it has to do with Colin Kaepernick's hair and image.

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Vick shared his thoughts on what it would take to get Kaepernick back in the NFL in an interview with Speak For Yourself.

"First thing we’ve got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. Listen, I’m not up here to try to be politically correct, but even if he puts cornrows in there, I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of—just the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut. You know, why not? You’re already dealing with a lot of controversy surrounding this issue. The most important thing that he needs to do is just try to be presentable. All the social media stuff he’s doing—we get it, we understand it. It’s time for Colin to step up in a different way."

Vick adds,"It's time for Kaepernick to step up in a different way."



What do you think about Michael Vick's comments on Kaepernick's hair? What is he really trying to say?
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Mike "Orie" Mosley is the managing editor for CurlyNikki.com and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of www.afrotrak.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie
Photo Source: Vulture

R. Kelly is certainly a divisive person when it comes to his connection with ephebophilia. There are usually two camps: those that defend him as fans of his music and those that have no tolerance for his behavior with minors. Ever since his 2008 trial on child pornography, that debate has heightened and still remains a hot point today. He has since been acquitted of such charges, but the effect of that infamous sex tape has not faded away in the public eye.

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Cut to now, where the stakes have gotten much higher. According to several parents’ reports to police, the R&B self-proclaimed “Pied Piper” is being accused of running a “cult” for teens and subjecting them to emotional and sexual abuse. Additionally, Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones and Asante McGee have provided more details from their perspective as former members of Kelly’s inner circle.

“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” said McGee. “But Robert is the devil.”

Per the three former inner circle members, Kelly oversees the “cult” full of teens that he dubs his “babies” which reportedly includes acts of sexual training of the teens by a “den mother,” videotaping sexual acts to be later shown to Kelly’s friends, and controlling rules such as having to notify Kelly when they want to leave the studio or their assigned rooms. Any deviation from the “house rules” are allegedly means to punishment.

Mack shut down any perspective groupie fantasies about R. Kelly who hope to live a “lavish” lifestyle once they become connected with the singer. “No. You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom. … [Kelly] is a master at mind control. ... He is a puppet master,” Mack said.

In one instance, a couple parents noted their daughter -- an aspiring singer -- once lied to them about a weekend trip to visit a college, but was in fact planning to visit Kelly in a trip arranged by Mack. There were even phone recordings obtained between the daughter and Kelly in which Kelly said things like, ““I want you to get in the habit of telling me what color panties you got on every day.” He also noted, I’m more interested in developing you. Songs are not an issue. We can always do a hit song.”

This is just one of the many similar stories about young girls led astray toward a man who is reportedly a master at mind controlling vulnerable teens. As someone who is roughly 50 years old at this point and a superstar, there is a significant power dynamic in play in Kelly’s favor.

Contrastly, Kelly has maintained his innocence ever since the infamous trial for which has acquitted. “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” wrote R. Kelly’s attorney Linda Mensch, in a statement to Buzzfeed News. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”

Source: Buzzfeed News

What do you think about these new allegations? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.