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January 28, 2015

One View From the Black Middle Class

Black Male
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Steve Scalise To Meet With Civil Rights Leader

Steve Scalise
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Badass Woman Celebrates Her 40th By Marrying Herself

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A Blizzard Couldn't Stop These People From Helping Those In Need

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This Man Could Die Tonight Despite Being Labelled Intellectually Disabled

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DC Plans to Invest $20M in Minority Male Students

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These States Are Actually Considering Ways To Make Voting More Convenient

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Mom Goes On Strike To Protest 'Out Of Control' Teen Daughters

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Here's How Much Less Women Make In Each State

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'Django Unchained' Actress Pleads Not Guilty To Lewd Conduct

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Yale Responds To Officer Holding Student At Gunpoint, Says It's Not Ferguson

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Marshawn Lynch's Finally Talks To The Media In Hilarious Skittles Ad

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This Is What New York Looks Like Without All The People Thanks To Snowstorm Juno

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All Jokes Aside, 'The Bachelor' Has A Diversity Issue

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The Powerful Message That Helped Condoleezza Rice Thrive Amid Racism In The '60s

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90-Year-Old Kenyan Woman Goes To School, Learns To Read And Write Alongside Great-Great-Grandkids

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Black Lives Matter, So Do Our Voices

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3 Black Adoptees Speak Out About Life With White Parents

Biracial Family
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#UseMeInstead: Debate Over White Clergy's Hashtag Activism

Twitter Hashtag
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Most Southern Baptists Don't Go To A Racially Integrated Church

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

Charles Blow
Getty

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

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

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A Detroit Collage

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'Selma' Team Reunites For Hurricane Katrina Movie

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

Black And White Babies
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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'

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Twitter

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

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

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Should Black Athletes Attend the University of Michigan?

University Of Michigan Basketball
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MLK Today: Taking the Blinders Off White Privilege

I Have A Dream Copyright
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Fox News Raises Alarm Over College Course About Race

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

Martin Luther King Gay
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Baltimore Ravens Release Terrence Cody Amid Animal Cruelty Allegations

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

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New Classics Every Child Should Own

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North Carolina Man Exonerated Of 1976 Conviction

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Proof More Women And Minorities Should Take On STEM

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

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

Bernice King Martin Luther King Iii
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New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward Targeted For Gentrification

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

Black Teacher
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McDonald's Has Another Fight On Its Hands

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

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Escape From Burundi

Campaigners Call For State Investigation Into Fatal New Jersey Police Shooting

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Violence Against Black Transgender Women Goes Largely Ignored

Black Woman Violence
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Bill O'Reilly Says Ferguson Protesters 'Should Be Ashamed'

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

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A Tale Of Two Movements

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The 9 Best Things That Happened When YouTube Stars Interviewed Obama

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Showcasing Her Natural Hair Got This Meteorologist Fired

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'Light Girls' Producer Stephanie Frederic On Healing From Colorism

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This Protest Song Captures The Power Of #BlackLivesMatter Demonstrations

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'Defy Hollywood, See Selma'

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College Student Likely Died From Chewing Gum In Her Sleep

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Al Sharpton Pokes Fun At Infamous Teleprompter Flub

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

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

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

Bill Gates Smiling
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'Black Lives Matter' Protesters Interrupt Capitol Hill Lunch

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

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Oregon Was Founded As A Racist Utopia

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MPI via Getty Images

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

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New Looting Footage From Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath

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WATCH: 'This Is How We Do It'...At Buffalo Wild Wings?

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Aretha Franklin's Family Remaining Positive Despite Cancer Battle

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Over the past week, news of Aretha Franklin's purported pancreatic cancer diagnosis has given her fans little hope that the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer will return to her reign as the Queen of Soul.

But family members are letting the world know that the icon's return to the spotlight looks promising.

"Aretha is doing better than expected. She has a long life in front of her and will be back in concert and on stage late spring or early summer," Franklin's cousin, Brenda Corbett, who has visited her frequently since her hospitalization, told the Detroit Free Press."This girl is doing great, and they need to stop it," she added, referring to the National Enquirer report that noted pancreatic cancer survival rates are a mere five percent to 10 percent.

Pancreatic cancer has claimed the lives of several famous people, including Patrick Swayze, Joan Crawford, Michael Landon, as well as Franklin's friend and famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti, whom she paid tribute to at a 1998 Grammy MusiCares benefit.

On Friday, recent Grammy nominee and 2007 Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend recipient James Moody died after just 10 months of suffering from the deadly disease. According to his spokesperson, the jazz saxophonist and flutist, best known for his hit 'Moody's Mood for Love,' was diagnosed in the spring with the disease and died on Dec. 9 at age 85.

Dr. H. Leon Pachter, chairman of surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center, told CBS News, "It's a grim diagnosis. Overall, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is 35 percent." Of last year's 43,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States, 37,000 people died from the disease, the National Cancer Institute reports.

Pachter did reveal that he's treated patients for the disease who have survived for more than a decade. According to reports, two survival success stories include Apple CEO Steve Jobs and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Franklin was expected to be released from the hospital over the weekend just in time to spend her favorite holiday, Christmas, with loved ones.

Despite the medical statistics of pancreatic cancer, her family is putting on a united front and staying very positive about her condition.

"Aretha is doing absolutely wonderful," her sister-in-law, Earline Franklin said. "All the prayers and well wishes have supported her, and she's doing well."

The 68-year-old vocal powerhouse is requesting a desire for privacy, which was breached in a phone conversation when former R&B star Keith Washington made her news public. The 'Kissing You' crooner is employed as an on-air personality at Detroit's WDMK/105.9 Kiss FM, which is owned by black media company Radio One.

Corbett confirmed that Franklin will make a statement when she decides to, and not at the urging of media or anyone else.

"It's her private business, and she's just not ready to talk about it. Give her time to heal. When people ask for their privacy, respect them for that," Corbett added.

As previously reported, Franklin underwent a surgery on Dec. 2, which had not been publicly announced but made national headlines after city council members held a public vigil the night before the operation.

A medical surgery known as the whipple procedure, in which the head of the pancreas, gall bladder and parts of the stomach and small intestine are removed, is the only way to cure the disease.

Through her spokesperson, Tracey J. Jordan, Franklin issued a statement saying, "The surgery was highly successful. God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country. God bless you all for your prayers!"

Jordan declined to offer any further comment.





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Her Royal Highness

After recording a string of jazz and blues projects for Columbia Records, Memphis born songstress Aretha Franklin landed at Atlantic Records in 1966. "They made me sit down on the piano and the hits came," she later said about her legacy there.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing during a Martin Luther King Benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on June 28, 1968.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin with 'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius. Franklin was one of many entertainers who performed on the long-running show during its 1970s heyday.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin rehearsing for Inaugural Eve program for newly elected US President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale at the Kennedy Center in 1977.

Her Royal Highness

Flanked in fur, Aretha Franklin in the press room at the Grammy Awards, circa early 1980s.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing in Chicago on April 18, 1985.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin, pictured here with Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun (circa early 1990s), at a private music industry party.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti are photographed at the 8th Annual Music Cares Gala in Honor of the famed opera singer. The event took place at New York City's posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 23, 1998.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin held royal court during the broadcast of 'VH1 Divas Live' at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on April 14, 1998. During the show's finale a stirring rendition of her classic song, 'Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel),' The Queen of Soul is joined by Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Carole King, Celine Dion and Shania Twain.

Her Royal Highness

On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton, along with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, awarded Aretha Franklin with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Her Royal Highness


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