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August 31, 2014

Chicago Business Learns Little Leaguer Is Homeless, Offers To Pinch Hit And Pay Family's Rent

Jackie Robinson West
Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

Police Allegedly Assault Black Father Waiting For His Kids

Chriss Lollie
Courtesy Chris Lollie

Remembering Madam CJ Walker As Organizations Aim To Preserve Estate

Cj Walker
Craig F. Walker via Getty Images

UN Condemns U.S. Police Brutality

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Ebola Spreads To Another Country

Senegal Ebola
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Ferguson Protests Reach White House Doorstep

White House Ferguson
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Ray Albers, Cop Who Threatened Ferguson Protesters, Resigns

Albers
YouTube

LAPD Identifies Two Officers Involved In Ezell Ford Shooting

Ezell Ford
Matt Ferner/HuffPost

Most White People Don't Have A Single Black Friend

Interracial Friends
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Powerful Hands Up United Video Honors Michael Brown

Hands Up Michael Brown
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'Exodus' Director Addresses Casting Controversy

Exodus Gods And Kings
Fox

In Ferguson, A Sense Of Normalcy Returns To A City Still On Edge

Ferguson Protests
Ryan J. Reilly/The Huffington Post

Outside Chiefs Called To Help Ferguson Police 'Make Better Decisions'

Ferguson
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This Hundred Year Old African-American Tradition Could Go Extinct

Gullah Geechee
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Family Sues Atlanta Cops After Death In Custody

Gregory Towns Jr
DigitalJournal

This Is How Much Jail Time Prosecutors Want For Renisha McBride's Shooter

Renisha Mcbride
Thurswell Law

Lawsuit Claims Police Brutality At Ferguson Protests

Ferguson Police
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hillary Breaks Silence On Ferguson

Hillary Clinton
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amber Alert: 6-Week-Old Baby Kidnapped At Gunpoint

Delano Wilson
Handout

5 Reasons Why Black Lives Matter

Ferguson Michael
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former USC Football Player Accuses Coach Of Being Racist

Anthony Brown Usc
Jonathan Moore via Getty Images

New Lifetime Show Will Make You Cringe

Girlfriend Intervention
Richard Knapp / Lifetime

Alumni Rally Round NYC's Top Public Schools That Admit Very Few Blacks

Stuyvesant High School
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ferguson Children Sent Inspiring And Educational Gift

Black Kid Abc
Wavebreakmedia Ltd via Getty Images

Newspaper Under Fire For Incredibly Racist Headline

You7
TWITTER/Hossam

Privileged White Guys On Fox News Agree: There's No Such Thing As White Privilege

Bill Oreilly Sean Hannity
Fox News

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The One Film You Must See This Weekend!

Through A Lens Darkly
Film Forum

LISTEN
Hip Hop Heavyweights Dedicate ‘Don't Shoot' Track To Michael Brown

Michael Brown Funeral
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This Summer's Movies Were Even Worse Than Thought

Spilled Popcorn
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5 Reasons Why We'll Always Remember Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
Associated Press

Terri J. Vaughn Talks 'Girlfriends' Getaway'

Terri J Vaughn Girlfriends Getaway
Elise Romany

Hip Hop Moves As Strong Force For Michael Brown

Chuck D Public Enemy
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Mystery Donor Gives Money To Vandalized Stores In Ferguson, Keeps Town 'Hopeful'

Money In Wallet
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Nick Cannon: I Like A Woman Who 'Knows' What She Wants

Nick Cannon
HelloBeautiful.com

WATCH
SWV Singer Discovers Devastating News

Swv
WE TV

Beyonce Holds A Chanel #Surfbort In CR Fashion Book

Beyonce Fashion Book Cover
Pierre Debusschere

Colbert: Why Can't Black People Can't Be More Like Cliven Bundy?

Colbert Ferguson Cliven Bundy
Comedy Central

Jeezy Pleads Not Guilty

Young Jeezy
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Mathew Knowles Says Beyonce, Jay Z Divorce Talk Is 'Jedi Mind Trick'

Beyonce Jay Z
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Tim Howard Talks U.S. Soccer, His Favorite World Cup Meme And Helping Kids Conquer Tourette's

Tim Howard
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'I Gotta Find A Place Where They Don't Kill Black People, Jon'

Daily Show Ferguson Michael Che
Comedy Central

Iyanla Vanzant's Intense 36-Hour Visit To Ferguson

Iyanla Vanzant Ferguson Missouri
OWN

BET Suspends Producer For Making A Joke About Blue Ivy

Blue Ivy
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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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