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November 26, 2014

Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

Ferguson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.

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Kandi Burruss: Newest 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Strikes Back

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Kandi Burruss, the newest member of Bravo's hit series 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' is finally coming to grips with her starring role on the franchise reality television show.

"Now, I'm glad I'm a part of the show," she confided to BV Newswire. "At first, when I signed on and folks went crazy on the blogs, I was like, 'Wait a minute, hold on, did I do the right thing?' But now I'm cool with it."

The Grammy Award-winning songwriter has been the topic of blog fodder relating to her clashes on camera and off with fellow 'Housewives' star NeNe Leakes. Recently, the two had a lively argument on an Atlanta radio station over whether Leakes told the BV Newswire that Burruss was a "weak-ass woman." During the radio program, Leakes denied the name calling, but Burruss is not convinced that she's telling the truth.

"If it had been in the Enquirer, I wouldn't have believed it, but you all are good sources for information. You all don't put bull out, so I knew she said it," Burruss charged.

"During taping, I pretty much got along with everyone. It wasn't until the end that Nene and I started clashing," she explained. "My thing with NeNe is she portrays herself to be this real chick, but she really is not. She's fake to me, but she is always saying stuff about people, and she tries to take it back or play it down later on."

The season will highlight Burruss as she raises her daughter, Riley, and tries to convince her mother that her fiance, A.J., is a good catch – despite fathering six children with other women. The Atlanta native makes no qualms about the short amount of time the couple has been together; what began as a courtship in July 2008 resulted in an engagement this January, and now Burruss is hoping that the Internet stories will die down soon.

"I feel very bad that he is catching so much heat for just being in a relationship with me, because he didn't sign on to the show I did," she said. "And I feel bad for him and his kids. The kids come over here all the time. A lot of them are older and they are on the Internet and seeing the things being said about their father. I felt horrible, [but] there is nothing I can really do about it."

But as vocal as the 'No Scrubs' songwriter is about some things related to her fiancé, when it comes to other things, she's mum about, including whether or not A.J. previously dabbled in dealing narcotics, as some have speculated.

"He is financially stable and has his own money and he has a lot of businesses that I know of. I see things that he is doing that are legit, so as far as speculating on what went on before me, he has shown me legit stuff. I don't want to go off into all of that, but it is what it is."

A wedding date has yet to be set, she said, because after taping 'Housewives,' "things got to be more stressful between my mother and A.J. and myself."

Though her personal life isn't perfectly in tact, Burruss' career is a different story. She's focusing on recording her own music and is sure that she won't be participating in an Xscape reunion anytime soon – if ever. The platinum-selling R&B quartet, from which Burruss got her musical start, is not a priority for her.

"We didn't make enough money together for me to go back," she pointed out. "We had three platinum records that I'm thankful for, but I made way more money after the group."

"We have been broken up for 12 years...and Tiny [Cottle] and I get along," she confided. "Tosha [Scott] has been pretty quiet, but Tamika Scott just came out the blue with some bull a couple years ago. [And,] it let me know it would be the same drama all over again."

In addition to penning a few songs for Fantasia's upcoming album, the 'Just Kickin' It' singer has recorded a few songs for her own upcoming solo album with Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Rashida and Tiny. Her plan is to find an independent distributor to release the project via her Kandi Koated Entertainment company.

As for those new rumors that the songstress might soon replace Paula Abdul as a judge on 'American Idol,' she quipped: "That was the biggest shock to me than it was to anybody else. I would love to do that, but no one has contacted me, and I hadn't heard it until I saw it on the Internet."

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' airs at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.





Real Deal On Real Housewives of Atlanta

    Real Deal On 'Real Housewives of Atlanta'
    It looks at though Bravo has another hit on their hand with their latest reality series, 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta.' With a 20 percent increase from its 'New York City' predecessor, the much-buzzed about "docu-drama" -- which follows the life and times of some of Atlanta area's rich and shameless has become a sensation of the blogosphere and the water cooler. BlackVoices.com invites you to take an inside look at the major players of the seven episode series that has become the latest guilty pleasure for millions of TV viewers.

    Sheree Whitfield
    Single mother of three, Sheree previously owned a popular clothing store, Bella Azul, in Atlanta. Now, she has closed shop on the store to focus on her first clothing line called "She by Sheree." In the show's pilot she declared that she expects her alimony to be seven figures and allow her to maintain or exceed the lifestyle she had when married to NFL player Bob Whitfield. Sheree maintains an entourage of personal assistants, publicists and hair stylists at all times.

    Bob Whitfield
    Shereé's soon to be ex-husband is former NFL offensive tackle Bob Whitfield. The two are currently in the midst of a three-year long divorce battle. In episode 2 of 'Housewives' we see Whitfield picking up one of the couple's three children, Tierra. Whitfield announced his NFL retirement in 2007.

    Lisa Wu Hartwell
    Lisa is the career woman of the group. In addition to owning her own real estate firm, Hartwell & Associates, she also has a jewelry line and baby clothing line. She's a mother of three and just married NFL player Ed Hartwell. Her ex-husband is R&B singer Keith Sweat.

    Ed Hartwell
    After four successful seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and two with the Atlanta Falcons, Ed Hartwell just recovered from an injury and has been working out with his wife Lisa to get back in shape to return to the NFL. Hartwell and Lisa have a one-year-old son, EJ together.

    Keith Sweat
    Lisa Wu Hartwell shares two sons, 13-year-old Jordan and ten-year-old Justin, with R&B singer and her ex-husband Keith Sweat. Lisa has been very vocal during her interviews over the past few weeks about how she was disappointed that Sweat refused to sign a waiver to allow their two sons to participate in the show's taping. Sweat has no regrets about his decision, and told Essence.com, "I do not want my children exploited in that way. It would be different if this was more of a family-oriented show on Nickelodeon or Disney."

    Deshawn Snow
    Lifting a finger around her home is not something that Deshawn Snow wants to worry about. After moving into her dream home in Alpharetta, Georgia, she attempts to hire a chef, governess, and full staff to maintain her palatial mansion. In addition to being the mother of three boys, Snow runs a non-profit, The DeShawn Snow Foundation, dedicated to improving self-esteem for teenage girls.

    Eric Snow
    Deshawn Snow and her husband NBA veteran Eric Snow were college sweethearts. Eric began his professional basketball career with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1995. He has since played for the Seattle SuperSonics, the Philadelphia 76ers and now is a guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last year, he was named co-captain of the Cavaliers, a leadership position he shares with LeBron James.

    Kim Zolciak
    Divorcee Kim Zolciak is the lone white woman on the series. The mother of two girls, 11-year old Brielle and six-year-old Ariana, divorced from her ex-husband when she was pregnant with their youngest daughter. She is a stay-at-home mom and aspiring country singer. Kim is closest to Nene on the show. The two have known each other for years and are shopping buddies and all-around hang out partners. Kim spent $18,000 on her daughter Brielle's eleventh birthday on the second episode of 'Housewives.' Kim considers herself a classy lady and decides instead of changing her clothes in a gas station bathroom she would rather do it instead in the parking lot and protected by Nene and her stylist.

    Big Papa
    There have been lots of guesses of who Kim's Big Papa really is. He allowed her to drop sixty-eight thousand dollars on a Cadillac Escalade, so that she can drive the car off the lot. Some say Kim's boyfriend could be a married man and others think he may be private. What we do know is that Big Papa is a celebrity. He resides in Atlanta. Some of Kim's closest friends still do not know who he is and Kim hopes to marry him one day.

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