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February 27, 2015

One Step Closer

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Faces From Ferguson: Ashley 'Brown Blaze' Yates

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In the basement of St. Louis' Saint John's United Church of Christ at the end of the Labor Day weekend, Yates recounted almost a month's worth of harrowing encounters with a militarized police force to a room of Black Lives Matter freedom riders. She woefully explained that as the days bled into one another, she began "marking days by police tactics."

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DUANE MARTIN: Finally Coming Out ... And Talking

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By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Duane Martin has come out addressing rumors of him being homosexual.Move over Shemar Moore!!!

Duane Martin is the latest black Hollywood hottie to come out ... disputing rumors that he's homosexual.

Oh, the power of the blogesphere: able to have the most reclusive personalities come out swinging.

Scary.

The 'All of Us' actor and his beloved wife, actress Tisha Campbell Martin, broke their long-held silence in an effort to dispel internet scuttlebutt that their marriage was doomed -- and that Martin is gay.

"Mark Twain said it best: 'A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,'" the 42-year old Brooklyn native surmised in an interview with Essence. "So I'm not going to defend myself against a gay rumor when I'm trying to defend my son [Xen] against autism."

"We would look really stupid trying to take our focus off autism, which affects all of us, to fight a gay rumor," he added. "The reason we are talking today is because what we will defend is our 17-year relationship. Nobody is touching that. So whoever wants to rumble, let's rumble."

Tisha Campbell and Duane Martin have been married for 11 years.The couple have been married for 11 years and together for 17, Campbell-Martin (a former child star) said, adding that the rumors started after he didn't join her for a celebrity fundraising event they usually both attend together. "This year he couldn't make it because he had to be in Turks and Caicos scouting for locations for the hotel we're building there," she shared.

"So I went to represent with Tichina [Arnold]," the former 'Martin' star continued. "After I left Philly, I heard that a radio disc jockey announced we'd had an amicable split. Then Duane got a call from Cedric the Entertainer saying, 'I just want y'all to know, Dawg, y'all broke up.' (Laugh) So it progressed from he and I having an amicable split to Duane verbally abuses me to Duane physically abuses me to Duane has a girlfriend on the side to Duane has a boyfriend on the side to I also live an alternative lifestyle."

The couple maintains that their marriage is intact and even collectively dismissed talk that Will Smith and Duane were lovers.

"Our theory is that it's really a slave mentality," she explained. "Whenever the Black community has leaders, potential leaders or a family unit, we emasculate them. You don't ever see them do that to Ben Affleck or Matt Damon. They can be friends, and be powerful individually or collectively and do amazing things."

"It's a Brat Pack when white people do it," he chimed in.

Duane Martin and his wife Tisha Campbell maintains that his relationship with best friend Will Smith is platonic."When two brothers are successful or have influential and powerful friends, we have to emasculate them," she furthered. "On the real, we even did it to Oprah [Winfrey] and Gayle [King]. We have to get over that because at the end of the day who really cares? We have Katrina, autism and children killing one another in my hometown of Newark. I don't know what the obsession is with celebrities, but maybe it helps people feel better about their own situation. We just know that it's something that comes along with being in front of the camera."

When asked about how radio personalities dealt with the controversial subject matter, Martins referred to them as "bottom feeders because they live off s---."

"They go after the low hanging fruit, the lowest common denominator, because they can't get off the bottom and they are trying to feed off others to get to the top," he said. "My family in New York called me and told me they wanted to call Wendy Williams because she was talking negatively about me and Tisha. I told them, "For what?"

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