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November 21, 2014

Official: Ferguson Grand Jury Remains In Session

Ferguson Grand Jury
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here Are The Key Figures In The Ferguson Shooting

Michael Brown
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Allegations Against Bill Cosby Begin To Snowball

Bill Cosby
Ethan Miller via Getty Images

These Photos Show Why Hope Is Alive In Detroit

Corine
Detroit Institute of Arts

Judge Issues Court Orders To Uphold Right To Record Police In Ferguson

Ferguson Police
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Fox Host Links Immigration Reform To Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Eric Bolling
Noam Galai via Getty Images

Church Threatens 'I'm Not Gay No More' Man With A Lawsuit

Gay Viral Video
ABC 46

Toni Morrison Schools Colbert On Race In America

Toni Morrison
Comedy Central

NYPD Officer Shoots And Kills Unarmed Man In Brooklyn

Nypd
Rudi Von Briel via Getty Images

Why Does Alleged Sexual Predator R. Kelly Still Have a Career?

R Kelly
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

REPORT: Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson In Talks To Resign

Darren Wilson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why We Don't Need Another White Dude On The Cover Of People's Sexiest Man Alive

Chris Hemsworth
Don Arnold via Getty Images

Bill Cosby's Arizona Show Canceled

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'I Do Not Want My Son's Death To Be In Vain'

Michael Brown Sr
You Tube

Ferguson Police Arrest Demonstrators In Confrontation

Ferugson Protests
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Holder Announces New Guide For Police Ahead Of Ferguson Decision

Holder
Justice Department

Read The Full Text Of Obama's Immigration Speech

Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NAACP Blasts Nevada Speaker-Elect's Racial Comments

Ira Hansen
ASSOCIATED PRESS

An Anti-Gay 'Christmas Gift' On The Way For Uganda?

Uganda Gay
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Wrestling Superstar Struggles As Double Amputee

Kamala
Bleacher Report

This Is What School Districts Are Doing To Prepare For The Ferguson Verdict

Normandy Schools
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Raven-Symone Speaks Out Against Rumors That Bill Cosby Assaulted Her

Raven Symone
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

This 5-Year-Old Gives Homeless Kids Care Packages That Make Them Feel Right At Home

Jayla Newson
Today Show

Facts On Stop And Frisk Reform That Shatter Right-Wing Media Fears

Bill

'Urban Militia' Group Offers Bounty For Location Of Officer Darren Wilson

Darren Wilson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cosby Controversy: 6 Signs Of Rape Culture

Bill Cosby
Brad Barket/Invision/AP

Police Arrest 6 Protesters In St. Louis

Police Arrest Protesters St Louis
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Ferguson and the 'Us vs. Them' Illusion

Ferguson Police Protesters
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Calling Nevada's Incoming Speaker Racist And Sexist Would Be A Huge Understatement

Ira Hansen
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore' Has A New Name

Larry Wilmore
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

Daniel Handler's Offensive NBA Jokes Prove Book Industry Has A Long Way To Go

Lemony Snicket
David Livingston via Getty Images

Rand Paul Honestly Thinks He's Congress' Biggest Defender Of Minority Rights

Rand Paul
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violence in Post-Verdict Ferguson: What We Should Be Worried About

Ferguson Protests
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Man Who Spent 39 Years In Prison To Be Freed After Witness Admits He Lied

Ricky Jackson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NFL Star Finds Wallet, Goes To Owner's House To Return It

Marshawn Lynch
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jane Doe 10 From Cosby Case Goes Public With Claims

Cosby Serignese
Getty/Courtesy of Therese Serignese

Ballerina Of Our Dreams Misty Copeland Is Getting A Reality Show

Misty Copeland
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Florida Cops On What Ferguson Can Learn From Trayvon

Trayvon Martin
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Getting Beyond Ferguson

Ferguson Police
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Rape Accusations Against Bill Cosby Must Not Be Ignored

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Standing Your Ground in Journalism, Even When Diversity Isn't Valued

Racism Newsroom
David Joyner via Getty Images

Black-Owned Food Trucks Give New Meaning to Meals on Wheels

Goodies Frozen Custard
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Meet The Teach For America Official Charged With Bringing Change To Ferguson And Beyond

Brittany Ferguson
Emily Kassie

Sharpton: Activists In Ferguson Are Ready

Rev Al Sharpton
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Why One Ferguson Store Owner Refuses To Board Up His Windows

Ferguson Store Owner
Emily Kassie

Study Shows White Americans Draw Distinctions Between African-Americans And Blacks

Naacp
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mo'ne Davis Has A Memoir Coming Soon -- And She's Only 13

Mone Davis
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reflections on Ol' Dirty Bastard Ten Years Later: ODB as a Microcosm of American Inequality

Ol Dirty Bastard
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Racial Disparity In Ferguson Arrests Is Big, But Not As Big As Other Places

Ferguson Police
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Motown Singer Jimmy Ruffin Dead At Age 78

Jimmy Ruffin
Ian Dickson via Getty Images

Corporate Buyout: Why Legacy Civil Rights Groups Are on the Wrong Side of History

Net Neutrality
Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Unique Love Story About a Ugandan Transgender Woman

Jonnyvonwallstromcleo
Jonny von Wallstrom

Will The National Guard Really Help Keep Peace In Ferguson?

National Guard Ferguson
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Wall Street's Lack Of Diversity Is Putting Us At Risk Of Another Crisis

Wall Street Traders
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

Liberian-American Health Care Workers Join Fight Against Ebola

Minnesota Nurses Ebola
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hard Time: Lessons From a Maximum-Security Prison

Behind Bars
Halfdark via Getty Images

Tanzania Is Uprooting 40,000 People For The Most Despicable Reason

Tanzania Masai
Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Ferguson Remains On Edge Ahead Of Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson
Getty

Students Walk Out Of School To Protest Racist Tweet They Believe Was Sent By Administrator

Student Protest
13 News Now

Justice Department Probe Of Ferguson Police Could Spur Broad Change

Eric Holder

Missouri Executes Killer For 1994 Murder Of Gas Station Attendant

Leon Taylor
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ferguson Protesters Fear Police Crackdown After Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Human Toll of 'Stop and Frisk'

185494998
Getty

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WATCH: Tina Knowles Dishes New Details On Solange's Wedding

Tina Knowles

My Conversation With Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Gina Prince-Bythewood

Beyond The Lights
Larry Busacca via Getty Images

What Michael Sam Would Change About His Coming Out In Hindsight

Michael Sam Gq Interview
Peggy Sirota/GQ

'RHOA' Star Slams Incarcerated Husband's Talk Of Reconciliation

Phaedra Parks Apollo
Bravo via Getty Images

Don't Tell This 'Scandal' Star He Isn't 'Black Enough'

Joe Morton
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Listen To Two New Beyonce Songs

Beyonce
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

What Street Style Looks Like Around The World

Street Style
lamarr/eyeem

These Celebrity Drawings Are So Realistic, You'll Think They're Photos

Celebrity Photos
Instagram

Wyclef Jean Is Still Totally Down For A Fugees Reunion

Wyclef
Brad Barket/Invision/AP

MC Lyte Among Honorees At Annual Women's Empowerment Event

Mc Lyte
Nyki Elle

LL Cool J, Chaka Khan Honor Quincy Jones At Ebony Gala

Quincy Jones

'No More Drama' AND No Female Friends For MJB's Husband

Mary J Blige
Stephen Lovekin via Getty Images

The Subtle, Revolutionary Thing That Happens On 'Scandal' Every Week

Scandal Kerry Washington
Adam Taylor via Getty Images

Kara Walker Secretly Filmed You Ogling Her Sugar Sphinx In Brooklyn

Kara Walker
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

"Bye Felicia" Is The Name Of a New TV Show And You'll Never Guess What It's About

Bye Felicia
VH1

How Jay Z Influenced Remy From 'House Of Cards'

Mahershala Ali
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

Tyler James Williams: The Black Community Is 'Notoriously Homophobic'

Tyler James Williams
Tiffany Rose via Getty Images

Bill Cosby's New NBC Show Is No Longer In Development

Bill Cosby
Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Cornel West And Questlove Discuss Politics & Music

Questlove
ASSOCIATED PRESS

We're Girl Crushing On This Creative Director And So Should You

Aurora James
Aurora James Instagram

Hear 30 Seconds Of A New Beyonce Song Before It Gets Pulled Down

Beyonc
Jonathan Short/Invision/AP

Maybe It's Time To Stop Caring About Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Tracy Morgan Fighting 'Severe Brain Injury'

Tracy Morgan
Greg Allen/Invision/AP

EBONY To Honor Top 100 Black Influencers Of 2014

Lupita Nyongo
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Netflix Postpones Launch Of Bill Cosby Comedy Special

Bill Cosby
Al Pereira via Getty Images

Tiger Woods Is Very Angry About A Very Fake Satirical 'Interview' With Him

Tiger Woods
Andy Lyons via Getty Images

Janice Dickinson Alleges That She Was 'Sexually Assaulted' By Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Will Smith And His Ex-Wife Are Total Pros At Co-Parenting

Will Smith Jada
Bryan Steffy via Getty Images

Jaden And Willow Smith Said Some Weird Stuff In Their T Mag Interview

Jaden Willow Smith
Amanda Edwards via Getty Images

Dave Chappelle Defends Donald Sterling

Dave Chappelle
GQ

10 Craziest Things We Learned From The Aaliyah Lifetime Movie

Aaliyah Singer
George De Sota via Getty Images

Chris Rock Explains The Double Standard Of Being Black & Famous

Chris Rock
CBS

Wendy Williams Shrugs Off 'Aaliyah' Movie Critics

Wendy Williams
Robin Marchant via Getty Images

Katherine Heigl Opens Up About Her Alleged Feud With Shonda Rhimes

Katherine Heigl
Robin Marchant via Getty Images

'I Refuse To Let Them Come Into This Space'

Bradford Young Selma
Paramount

Solange's Bridal Afro Upsets Beauty Standards

Solange Afro
Chelsea Lauren via Getty Images

I'm a Hip-Hop Feminist Dating a Patriarchal Man

Black Couple
Camille Tokerud via Getty Images

LOOK: Michael Sam Covers GQ Magazine And Nabs HUGE Honor

Michael Sam Gq Magazine
Twitter

WATCH Kevin Hart Tell Jameis Winston To 'Stop Doing Dumb Sh*t'

Kevin Hart
TMZ Video

Hear Nicki Minaj's Latest Single, 'Bed Of Lies'

Nicki Minaj
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Solange And Son Julez Bust Some Sweet Moves At Her Wedding

Solange Son Wedding Dance
Vimeo

The Hard-Won Lessons Sherri Shepherd Took Away From Two Divorces

Sherri Shepherd
Bravo via Getty Images

Why Do Fans Feel Guilty About Bill Cosby's Sexual Abuse Allegations?

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'106 & Park' Cancelled?

106 Park
BET

Beyonce Shares Photos From Solange Knowles' Stunning Wedding

Solange
Instagram

J. Cole Announces New Album Coming In December

J Cole
Taylor Hill via Getty Images

Solange Knowles Is Married!

Solange Knowles
Josh Brasted via Getty Images

Timbaland Slams Lifetime's Aaliyah Biopic

Timbaland
Bennett Raglin/BET via Getty Images

Bill Cosby's Lawyer: No Comment On Sexual Assault Allegations

Cosby
Victoria Will/Invision/AP

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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