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July 24, 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.

11 Parents Of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Have Died

Nigeria
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Man Accused Of Threatening To Kill Obama

Obama
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Michael Sam Reveals Why He Had Second Guesses About Coming Out Publicly

Michael Sam Boyfriend
Michael Buckner via Getty Images

The NYPD Is Getting An Overhaul, And That May Mean More Tasers

Bratton
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Forgotten Black Mormons Reclaim Their Place In History Of The LDS Church

Flake
Utah Department of Heritage & Arts / RNS

Black Leaders Worry Low Voter Turnout Could Lead To More Voter ID Laws

Jotaka Eaddy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vine User Gets Back At Store Employees Following Him In Best Possible Way

Rashid Polo Shopping
Vine / Rashid Polo

Why Bobby Jindal Is Being Sued By His Allies

Bobby Jindal Common Core
ASSOCIATED PRESS

McDonald's Allegedly Fires Mom Whose Daughter Played Outside While She Worked

Harrell
ABC local affiliate

Black Colleges Face Hard Choices On $25 Million Koch Donation

Black Colleges
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

39 Pieces Of Advice For Journalists And Writers Of Color

Black Professionals
Roberto Westbrook via Getty Images

Chokehold Death Puts New York's Controversial Police Chief Back In The Spotlight

Bill Bratton
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

These 3 Governors Are Definitely Not Good Neighbors

Deval Patrick
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NYPD Internal Memo Says Chokehold Victim Was Not 'In Great Distress'

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Obama Expands Plan To Help Minority Boys

My Brothers Keeper
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why The Case Of The NYPD Officer Who Put A Man In A Chokehold Is 'Indefensible'

Eric Garner
New York Daily News

Luxury New York Condo Will Have A 'Poor Door' For Lower-Income Residents

Poor Door
PIX11

Renisha McBride Shooting Death Trial To Begin

Renisha Mcbride
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Eric Garner's Cause Of Death 'Pending Further Studies'

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why I Can't Watch the Video of the NYPD Murdering Eric Garner

Eric Garner
YouTube

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Sherri Shepherd's Huge Custody Victory

Sherri Shepherd
JPI

Pregnant!

Zoe Saldana Marco
Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

Whitney Houston's Family Slams Lifetime Biopic

Whitney Houston 2009
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOTOS
'Get On Up' Premiere

Get On Up Premiere
BlackFilm.com

The King Of Pop Just Got A Huge Honor From His Hometown

Michael Jackson
AFP via Getty Images

Marvel Won't Make A Black Captain America Movie 'Any Time Soon'

Female Thor
ASSOCIATED PRESS

You Don't Know This Rising R&B Star Yet, But You Will

Sza Pitchfork
Justin Barbin/The Huffington Post

Spike Lee Posts Chilling Video Proving Chokehold Victim Is The Real Life Radio Raheem

Spike Lee Eric Garner
YouTube

Sherri Shepherd's Estranged Husband Adds More Drama To Divorce Battle

Sherri Shepherd Lamar Sally
Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Split Rumors Surround Beyonce And Jay Z

Beyonce Jay
Invision for Parkwood Entertainment

Michael Rapaport Fires Back At 'Sh*t Stain' Spike Lee

Michael Rapaport
HuffPost Live

A$AP Rocky Is Facing A Lawsuit For Allegedly Slapping A Fan

Asap Rocky
Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

WATCH
Newest 'Dear White People' Trailer Will Have You In Stitches

Dear White People Trailer
Dear White People YouTube

Celebrities React To Eric Garner's Death On Twitter

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The World's Got One Less Problem Thanks To This Dad-Daughter Dancing Duo

Dad And Daughter Dancing
YouTube

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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