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February 1, 2015

Reproductive Justice Matters

Black Women Protest MICHAEL B. THOMAS via Getty Images

"I thought you worked on abortions so how can you also believe Black Lives Matter?" That was the question I was asked when, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I posted remarks, via social media, on the importance of honoring this anniversary.

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Fantasia Barrino Opens Up About Suicide Attempt, Goes 'Behind the Music'




As previously reported by BV Buzz, 'American Idol' winner Fantasia Barrino was hospitalized on Aug. 10, due to an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid. Contrary to various sources questioning whether there was foul play, it's now being reported that the 26-year-old singer's overdose was intentional.

In an excerpt from her forthcoming VH1 'Behind the Music' interview, the eight-time Grammy Award nominee revealed that the scrutiny surrounding her pending sex tape scandal had forced her into exile and ultimately toward suicide.

"I didn't have any fight in me. I didn't care about anything. I just wanted out," Barrino admitted during the interview, which premieres Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. "At that moment, I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with – all of it, all of that [expletive]."

See clip of Fantasia Barrino's 'Behind The Music' below.


"I just sat in the closet and looked at the mirror and took all the pills in the bottle," the 'Fantasia for Real' actress described of the night she overdosed. "I wanted to go to sleep and just be at peace. I knew exactly what I was doing. You can't accidentally take a whole bottle of pills."

Miraculously, the singer's near-fatal experience has given her enough strength and "motivation" to continue her career and promote her latest album, 'Back to Me,' which, coincidentally, is being released the same day as the premiere of her VH1 special.

Following her release from a North Carolina hospital on Aug. 12, Barrino released a statement through her record label, J Records, thanking fans for their prayers and support.

"I can't thank my fans enough for their prayers and support during such a challenging time," adding, "It has given me the motivation to get back to work. ...I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this album, and I pray that everyone enjoys it as much as I do."

Unfortunately, the cause of all of Barrino's recent self-loathing stems from being caught in the middle of a divorce between Antwaun and Paula Cook. On Aug. 4, the missus filed for divorce, detailing in court documents that the singer engaged in an affair with her husband and even "recorded" several of their sexual encounters.

While 'The Color Purple' musical star maintains her innocence, saying she believed Cook was separated from his wife, she admitted to being disheartened by the men who have been involved in her life.

"I was tired of people doing me wrong, constantly, over and over again --dealing with my family, my father, dealing with men and their [expletive]. I was tired," she disclosed to the VH1 special. "My head was hurting me. I was over it."

As for how much of a negative impact the whirlwind events may have on her future career, some media pundits feel that infidelity may have a major impact on her album sales.

"A significant portion of her consumer base is African American women, who don't take lightly the idea of someone breaking up another African American woman's marriage," said BlackVoices' columnist, Jawn Murray, who recently appeared on 'The Joy Behar Show' and 'Nancy Grace' to discuss the issue. "Fantasia has to convince the people she was the one misled by Antwaun Cook, because if they believe she purposely attempted to steal a married man, it could definitely be curtains for her career." The disappointing performance of Alicia Keys' last album is said to be due to her alleged role in ending producer Swizz Beatz marriage.

Terrie Williams, a public relations expert who has worked with Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson, Russell Simmons and Mo'Nique, believes that Fantasia's visibility on the reality show has invited a heightened level of scrutiny within her personal life. Her suicide attempt is likely a clear signal that more serious issues than record sales plague the singer.

"Many in our community wear the mask of wellness while suffering from deep depression bought about life's ups and downs, whether losing a lover, a job, a home or in whatever we have placed value upon and invested in emotionally," said Williams, author of 'Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting.'

"A suicide attempt is an obvious cry for help for a young woman under many pressures. The great thing is that there are smart, trained people that can help, and the people who love and care for her should make sure that happens. We must share ourselves...healing starts with us."

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