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January 26, 2015

NYT Columnist 'Fuming' After Son Held At Gunpoint By Yale Police

Charles Blow
Getty

Black Lives Matter, So Do Our Voices

Voting
Comstock Images via Getty Images

Grateful Man Who Handed Out His Resume At Train Station Now Hiring At Very Same Stop

Hiring
Alfred Ajani/Twitter

When Street Harassers Realize The Women They're Catcalling Are Their Moms Undercover

Stupid Men
YouTube.com

A Detroit Collage

Black Kids Art School
Hero Images via Getty Images

'Selma' Team Reunites For Hurricane Katrina Movie

Ava Duvernay
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

When You Say You 'Don't See Race', You're Ignoring Racism, Not Helping To Solve It

Black And White Babies
Monkey Business Images via Getty Images

Muhammad Ali, Paralympian Amy Purdy Make Toyota's Super Bowl Ad One To Remember

Toyota
Toyota/YouTube

NFL Pulls $150 Poster After Getting Called Out For ‘Hypocrisy'

Old Poster
Twitter

Cindra Ladd, Wife Of Prominent Hollywood Producer, Says Bill Cosby Assaulted Her In 1969

Cindra Ladd
Alex Berliner

Dedicated 'Humans Of New York' Fans Raise Money To Send Underserved Kids On Harvard Visit

School
Let's Send Kids to Harvard/Indiegogo

Should Black Athletes Attend the University of Michigan?

University Of Michigan Basketball
Andy Lyons via Getty Images

MLK Today: Taking the Blinders Off White Privilege

I Have A Dream Copyright
Getty

Fox News Raises Alarm Over College Course About Race

Whiteness
Fox News

MLK Would Be 'Mortified' By The Gay Marriage Movement, Right Wing Activist Claims

Martin Luther King Gay
RJ Sangosti via Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens Release Terrence Cody Amid Animal Cruelty Allegations

Terrence Cody
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ben Carson Wouldn't Support Obamacare 'Even If It Worked'

Ben Carson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

New Classics Every Child Should Own

476804473
Inti St Clair via Getty Images

North Carolina Man Exonerated Of 1976 Conviction

Joseph Sledge
Raleigh News & Observer via Getty Images

Proof More Women And Minorities Should Take On STEM

Camille Eddy
KTVB

Police Launch Investigation After Video Appears To Show Cop Shoving Man In Wheelchair Into Street

Bofrierson
cop logic via Youtube

One Suit Dropped, One Still Pending Between MLK's Children

Bernice King Martin Luther King Iii
Getty

New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward Targeted For Gentrification

New Orleans Ninth Ward
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Diversity in the Classroom: How to Solve the Black Male Teacher Shortage

Black Teacher
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

McDonald's Has Another Fight On Its Hands

Mcdonalds
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

The Harrowing Story Of One Man's Escape From The Genocide In Burundi

Burundi
Escape From Burundi

Campaigners Call For State Investigation Into Fatal New Jersey Police Shooting

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violence Against Black Transgender Women Goes Largely Ignored

Black Woman Violence
Hans Neleman via Getty Images

Bill O'Reilly Says Ferguson Protesters 'Should Be Ashamed'

Oreilly Protesters
Fox News

University Of Chicago President: 'Chicago's A Better Place' For The Obama Library Than Columbia

Zimmer
HuffPost Live

A Tale Of Two Movements

Abortion Rally
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 9 Best Things That Happened When YouTube Stars Interviewed Obama

Seflie
YouTube

Showcasing Her Natural Hair Got This Meteorologist Fired

Rhonda Lee
HuffPost Live

'Light Girls' Producer Stephanie Frederic On Healing From Colorism

Stephanie Frederic
Stephanie Frederic

This Protest Song Captures The Power Of #BlackLivesMatter Demonstrations

Sidewalk 2
Sidewalk Chalk/YouTube

'Defy Hollywood, See Selma'

Ava Duvernay
Paras Griffin via Getty Images

College Student Likely Died From Chewing Gum In Her Sleep

Shanice Clark
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Al Sharpton Pokes Fun At Infamous Teleprompter Flub

Sharptom Teleprompter
MSNBC

Video Shows Man Raising His Hands As He's Gunned Down By Police

Jerame Reid
NJ.com

New ‘Hands Up' Shooting Is Anything But Black And White

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bill Gates Makes Bold Bet About Poverty, And Tech Plays A Big Role

Bill Gates Smiling
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

'Black Lives Matter' Protesters Interrupt Capitol Hill Lunch

Capitol Protest
Christine Conetta/Huffington Post

Barry Levinson Blames Hollywood's Diversity Problem On Our Education System

Berry Levinson
HuffPost Live

Oregon Was Founded As A Racist Utopia

Oregon 1930
MPI via Getty Images

How The State Of The Union Missed The Mark On Ferguson And Racial Politics

State Of The Union
ap

With a Book You Are Never Alone

Zimbabwe Library
Bisila Bokoko

Jay Leno On Bill Cosby Allegations: 'I Don't Know Why It's So Hard To Believe Women'

Jay Leno
Aaron Davidson via Getty Images

Arkansas Bill Would Remove Robert E. Lee From MLK Day

Mlk
Getty

New Looting Footage From Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath

Dellwood Looting
St. Louis County Police

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Big Sean Reveals New Album Title

Big Sean
NBC via Getty Images

Kid Cudi Dishes On Making Out With A Dude

Kid Cudi
Joe Scarnici via Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Get Super Steamy For GQ

Chrissy Teigen John Legend
Anders Overgaard for GQ

Tracey Edmonds Opens Up On Staying Ahead As A Black Producer

Tracey Edmonds
Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Former Backup Singer Declared As James Brown's Wife

James Brown
Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Ava DuVernay's Passion Project

Ava Duvernay
Paras Griffin via Getty Images

Jon Stewart Was NOT Expecting This

Jon Stewart
Comedy Central

Kim And Kanye Get Matchy-Matchy In All-Black Balmain

Kim Kardashian Kanye West
Johnny Nunez via Getty Images

Viola Davis' Natural Hair Is Her Crowning Glory

Viola Davis Natural Hair
Lester Cohen via Getty Images

Muppets-Biz Markie Mashup Is Just What You Need

Muppets
YouTube

Rihanna Just Dropped A New Song With Kanye & Paul McCartney

Rihanna New Song
RihannaNow.com

Kanye Finally Explains Why He Doesn't Smile

186118297
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

How Sherri Shepherd Responds To Critics Who Said 'You Can't'

Own Ownshow Sherri Shepherd
OWN

#CurlPower Encourages Women To Put Down The Flat Iron

Dove Love Your Curls
YouTube

Tia Mowry Is Our New Favorite Style Star

Tia Mowry
Tia Mowry Instagram

Here Are More Reasons To Love Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Stevie Wonder Set To Produce An Underground Railroad Miniseries

Stevie Wonder
Josh Brasted via Getty Images

An NBA Player Paid A Touching Tribute To Stuart Scott Last Night

Danny Green Stuart Scott
Jesse D. Garrabrant via Getty Images

Let Jennifer Aniston & David Oyelowo Show You How To Handle A Snub With Grace

Aniston Oyelowo
Getty Images

Starz Debuts 'Power' Season Two Trailer

Starz Power
Starz

20 Awesome Photo Ideas For Wedding Parties Who Know How To Have Fun

Wedding Party Fun
Bre Thurston Photography

Flavor Flav Pleads Not Guilty

Flavor Flav
Bryan Steffy via Getty Images

Kevin Costner Hopes His New Movie Redefines How People Think About Race

Kevin Costner
Vince Bucci /Invision/AP

Listen To This NKOTB/TLC/Nelly Mashup Ahead Of Joint Tour

Tlc Band
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Black Films Are Buzzing At This Year's Sundance Festival

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

How The Beyoncé Backlash Could Help The GOP

Beyonce On The Run Tour
Larry Busacca/PW via Getty Images

Nas Explains How Police Misconduct Exposes America's Weakness

Nas
Andy Kropa /Invision/AP

Vince Camuto Dies At Age 78

Vince
WireImage

Michelle Obama's State Of The Union Look Is Grey And Gorgeous

Michelle Obama State Of The Union 2015
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

Two Married Moms Ditched Glitzy Gigs In the Music & Fashion Industries To Launch The Crabby Shack

The Crabby Shack
New York Daily News

Anthony Mackie On 'Selma' Oscar Snub: People Are Tired Of Being Bombarded With Race

Anthony Mackie
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Michael Franti's Proposal Video Reminds Us That Love Happens In The Little Moments

Michael Franti Engagement Video
Michael Franti/YouTube

Lil Wayne Drops New Mix Tape

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne

Barack Obama Gets #YesWeTan Trending With Tan Suit Prank

Barack Obama
Bloomberg via Getty Images

This NBA Star's Post-Game Interview Is Pure Gold

Tupac
YouTube

'Single Ladies' Adds New Cast Member

Melissa De Sousa
Mark Sullivan via Getty Images

Lee Daniels Is Using 'Empire' To 'Blow The Lid Off' Homophobia In The Black Community

Lee Daniels
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

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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