President Obama Calls Prince “Electrifying Performer” In Written Statement

One could claim it’s hyperbole to say that everyone is a Prince fan, but it’s getting harder to deny. With his passing on Thursday, millions of people grieved both privately and publicly, including many celebrities. But, to top the list, President Obama released a written statement to mark Prince’s passing and called him an “electrifying performer” among many other compliments.

Zoe Saldana Speaks On Playing Nina Simone And How She Got The Role

“Nina,” the biographical film that focused on a period of singer Nina Simone’s life, is set for a limited release tomorrow (April 22), according to Colorlines. This day has been long in the making, after multiple attempts to get the project off the ground and has seen its fair share of controversy. Namely, the use of makeup to make Saldana’s skin appear to be darker and prosthetics being used to make her nose look wider.

Zaldana didn’t directly reference this controversy in a recent screening, but she did reference “well, the other obvious reasons” while talking about her initial hesitations with accepting the role. She did go on to speak about what it took for her to play Simone and what kind of process she went through. Take a look at some of what she had to say below:

Charges Brought Up After Flint Water Crisis

Responsibility for the Flint water crisis that sent poisoned water through the pipelines of tens of thousands of residents has been passed back and forth between local and state governments for months now. But, after investigation, criminal charges have been brought up against three men tied to the decisions that led to the tragedy.

Mike Glasgow, Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby could all face time in prison, if convicted of their charged crimes, according to CNN. Busch and Prysby have already pleaded not guilty, while Glasgow hasn’t set foot in court yet. 

The Iconic Prince Dies at 57

Prince, the singer, songwriter, musician and overall champion of popular culture for multiple decades, has died at the age of 57. He was reportedly found unresponsive in his elevator.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, according to CNN.

Black Women Kicked Off Napa Valley Train Settle Lawsuit

A group of 11 women, 10 black, one white, met up on the Napa Valley Wine Train last August to talk over a book that they’d read and celebrate a birthday, according to USA Today. But, instead of enjoying the festivities, the women were asked to quiet down because they were allegedly disturbing other guests. Later on during the ride, the women were escorted off of the train and encountered police.

The passengers went on to sue the company for $11 million. While the amount is confidential, the group’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, says that the two parties have reached an “amicable” settlement.

U.S. Treasury Announces Harriet Tubman To Be Placed On $20 Bill

The faces of most U.S. currency belongs to the country’s white forefathers and president – some of whom owned slaves. To completely turn that pattern on its head with the biggest change to the country’s denominations, the U.S. Treasury has announced that Harriet Tubman will take Andrew Jackson’s place on the $20 bill, according to Politico.

Former NYPD Cop Gets Community Service After Killing Akai Gurley

Peter Liang was a rookie NYPD officer walking the stairs of the Pink Houses in New York City. After hearing a noise, he drew his gun, pulled his trigger after being startled and the bullet ricocheted and hit Akai Gurley, 28, in the chest. Liang and his partner then debated over who should report the shot before discovering Gurley’s body.

In February, Liang was convicted on a charge of manslaughter. Yesterday, April 19, he evaded jail time completely and was sentenced to 800 hours of community service by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.

Killer of Black Transgender Woman, Islan Nettles, Sentenced to 12 Years

On Aug. 17, 2013, James Dixon, 23, met Islan Nettles, 21, in Harlem, New York. The two began to flirt until Dixon learned that she was a transgender woman. According to what Dixon later told authorities, he went into a “blind fury” and attacked Nettles, hitting her twice. The first blow knocked her to the ground. The second time, Dixon hit her as she already lay on the pavement. Nettles died five days later – after falling into a coma. Her death was a direct result of the physical assault from Dixon, according to the New York Times

“I just didn’t want to be fooled,” Dixon reportedly said in a videotaped statement. Apparently his friends began to mock him for flirting with a woman of trans experience. He blamed the taunting for his decision to beat Nettles to death.

Lauryn Hill Opens Haitian Art Exhibit In Flatbush

While Lauryn Hill was the only non-Haitian member of the Fugees, Pras and Wyclef Jean considered her “Haitian by association.” To show her appreciation of the culture – as well as the Caribbean and African Diaspora as a whole – she’s opened up an art exhibit to coincide with her performance at Kings Theatre this Friday. 

Melissa Harris-Perry Named’s Editor At Large

It was only a couple of months ago that Melissa Harris-Perry was in the middle of a very public parting of ways with MSNBC, which had been the home for her weekend broadcast for years. Many wondered what would be the next home for the news personality. We now have an answer.

Harris-Perry will be joining as an editor at large, according to CNN. With this new role, she’ll be responsible for writing columns, conducting interviews and working as on-air talent for videos. While this won’t be a full-time position –it could be one of many positions that she ultimately fills – she’ll contribute on a regular basis.