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August 1, 2014

About a "Girl" Who Refused to Just Shut up and Take Orders

Donald Sterling ASSOCIATED PRESS

You could argue that the woman on the recording didn't really set up the man on the recording; instead, she let events play out in a way that seemed quite characteristic for the Clippers owner.

How This Mother Refused To Be Merely A 'Statistic'

Alexandra Elle
Erika Salazar

Michelle Obama: The Fact That Over 58,000 Vets Are Homeless Should 'Horrify' Us

Michelle Obama
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Stop Blaming Black Parents For Underachieving Kids

Young Black Student
Hemera Technologies via Getty Images

Teachers May Not Want To Reduce Number Of Out-Of-School Suspensions: Survey

School Discipline
RiceWithSugar via Getty Images

Obama Administration Joins Suits Against GOP-Backed Voting Restrictions In Wisconsin, Ohio

Eric Holder
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How School Suspensions Can Punish You For A Lifetime

Sad Black Child
2A Images via Getty Images

Ray Rice, Stephen A. Smith And The Black Male Masculinity Problem

Violence Against Women

Here They Go Again...

Atlah
Twitter

New York Lawmaker Wants To Outlaw Police Chokeholds Once And For All

Eric Garner
YouTube

'As A Black Person, I Want Less Encounters With The Police Not Friendlier Ones'

Black Man Arrest
Hill Street Studios via Getty Images

The Number Of Women Behind Bars Is Skyrocketing, And Here's The Upsetting Result

Orange Is The New Black
ASSOCIATED PRESS

George Zimmerman's New Job: Security Guard At A Gun Store

George Zimmerman
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pregnant Woman Allegedly Put In Chokehold By NYPD

Pregnant Woman Choke Hold
Power

Professor Explains The 'Privilege' Problem In Higher Ed

Beverly Daniel Tatum
HuffPost Live

How Minority Women Have Been Left Out Of The 'Having It All' Conversation

Black Mother Sons
Ron Chapple Stock via Getty Images

The School-To-Prison Pipeline Can Start This Early

Black Preschool
Juan Silva via Getty Images

Man Wearing 'RIP Eric Garner' Dunks Over NYPD Patrol Car

Basketball
Vine

Obama's Already Emotional Over Malia Leaving For College -- Two Years From Now

Malia Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fertility Clinic Tells Woman She Can't Use Sperm Donor From Another Race

In Vitro Fertilization Lab
dra_schwartz via Getty Images

L.A. Mayor Accepts Michelle Obama's Challenge To End Veteran Homelessness By 2016

Michelle Obama
Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

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Thelonious Monk's Son Responds To Denzel's Interest In Biopic Role

Thelonious Sphere Monk Jr
Courtesy of T.S. Monk

The Perfect To Keep A Sexy Bod And Still Enjoy Your Vacation

Black Person Hike
Peathegee Inc via Getty Images

Beyonce And Jay Z Sure Don't Look Like They're Splitting Up

Beyonce
Pacific Coast News

Jamie Foxx Gears Up For Another Biopic

Jamie Foxx
Dan Hallman/Invision/AP

Beyonce's Dad Is Teaching A Course On How To Be The Next Beyonce

Beyonce Father Course
Frank Micelotta via Getty Images

The Big Lie Brandy Told Oprah -- And Why She Did It

Brandy Oprah Lie
George Burns/Harpo Studios

Rihanna Hits The Club In A Black Bra And Boxer Shorts, Because Why Not

Rihanna
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Own Oprahs Master Class Cicely Tyson
ABC Photo Archives

WATCH: Nelly Breaks His Silence On Mayweather 'Beef'

Floyd Mayweather Nelly
YouTube

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How To Get Away With Murder
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Nene Leakes
Entertainment Tonight

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Tariq Nasheed
Tariq Nasheed

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James Brown
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Roxanne Shante: Coming Clean, Saying Sorry, Being Thankful and Fighting Cancer

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Roxanne Shante: Coming Clean, Saying Sorry, Being Thankful and Fighting Cancer

In April, a New York Daily News article about how '80s rap music pioneer Roxanne Shante forced her record company to finance her college education (resulting in a degree from Marymount Manhattan College and a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University) tugged at the heart-strings of Hip Hop America. Soon after, a firestorm of controversy ensued when an article on Slate.com debunked the inspiring story.

Roxanne Shante (nee Lolita Shante Gooden) is widely recognized as the first female hip hop artist to break through the male dominated industry. At the age of 16, she became a household name with songs including 'Roxanne's Revenge' – an "answer" record responding to U.T.F.O.'s popular 'Roxanne, Roxanne.'

She offers Blackvoices.com some insight on the controversy and her very real life battle with breast cancer ... in her own words.


In March, I noticed a lump in my left breast, rather small at the time and didn't really know what I was feeling. So instead of going straight to the doctor's office, I started asking friends their opinion and trying to go by their experiences. It was such a stupid move. Well, I figured I was just getting older. A hysterectomy in my early thirties led me to believe that I would be fine. Another stupid move.

I let months go by – five months to be exact. The weight loss of over 40 pounds made me feel like, "Damn, this diet is finally working." But then I remembered I wasn't on a diet. So on a bright, sunny day in August 2009, I walked into Doshi center for a mammogram. I put on the gown and stepped up to the machine. As soon as the technician took my breast in her hand, she asked me how long had I had the lump. It's huge, she said. I made a joke, she giggled, but I was scared and angry that I had waited so long.

I was in denial. I even went so far as to ignore the letters sent by the lab that read: "Urgent!!! Please contact us."
I had gotten a call from the doctor, "I just received your images at my office and they have been trying to reach you for weeks. As soon as you get back to New York, you come to my office. This is your life."

I hung up, turned the phone off, walked out on the set and tried to pretend that the call never happen. But they did. And it showed on my face.

The doctors was a different story, however. This is how the week went. Headlines: 'No Ph.D. Roxanne's Revenge,' 'Where are you Roxanne?'

It was the '80s all over again, but this time not to spark a career but to end over 10 years of charities, pushing education and giving and helping people and not too mention 25 years of hip-hop. But that's nothing new. What about my children ? My 13-yea-old ? What if I die? So Tuesday another mamo, Wednesday ultrasound Thursday the bad news and then the surgery.

So I felt all eyes were on me to tell women how important it is for them to get checked. It is only by the grace of God that I have been able to survive. I have been blessed to not only have survived the pitfalls of an industry that has destroyed so many, but to also survive just the everyday struggles of surviving all the negative that has come my way .

Do I apologize? Yes, I do. But I am not asking for your forgiveness. I am sorry about a lot of things that I should've done differently. There were quite a few things that have been exposed with that article; the fact that I never received any royalties, the fact that I did go on to attend college (even if no Ph.D. was acquired), and the fact that at 14 years old and coming straight from the group home, I went on to create a career that even after 20 years of not making a hit record, was still pulling headlines.

My platform was only telling our young people to educate themselves before getting in this industry, and that your lawyer, accountant, manager and record company shouldn't all be under one roof or work together. No one ever told me that, so I felt the need to pass that along to our young people.

And now I have another testimony.

To be called Dr. Roxanne Shante was and is a privilege. But with that privilege comes pressure. I also had to live and talk like someone with a doctorate--not an easy task at all. I had to make sure that people felt healed and inspired after speaking with me.

And you know what? I accomplished that every time. But only with God's help.

So, yes, I apologize to all those who applied themselves and put in all the hard work that is required to acquire a Ph.D. I admire you all. But don't discredit all the hard work and sacrifices so many others have also done to also reach their goals.

I apologize again but I don't request your forgiveness, because I have already been forgiven by who matters: God. Sorry I can't hold my head down because my crown may fall off.

Life begins at 40.

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