Bill Cosby refuses to answer questions about rape scandal during NPR interview


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During an interview with NPR Weekend Addition, Bill Cosby, 77,refused to answer questions about recent reemerged allegations against him.

Cosby appeared on the radio program to talk about 62 pieces of African and African American art donated by him and his wife to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. The interview started off talking about the exhibit, “Conversations: African and African-American Artworks In Dialogue,” but soon took an interesting turn.

BYP100: ‘violence in Chicago is very personal’


More than 80 people were shot in Chicago over Fourth of July weekend.  15 of the victims have died. Residents in the city are fed up with the senseless violence, but many feel helpless.

But members of the BYP100 are taking a stand against the tragedy, even if it means being in the thick of it. During an interview with NPR, BYP100’s National Coordinator Charlene Carruthers explained how the organization is combating the violence, and that it’s very personal. 

Today in Post-Race History: Nah, Bruh

Last week, writer Kiese Laymon published an essay, “You Are the Second Person,” chronicling his experience getting his novel, Long Division (which hit shelves earlier this month), published. Laymon’s thought-provoking, powerful, and inspiring work centered on exchanges between him and his former editor. Laymon’s former editor, described in the piece as a 54-year-old black man, not only suggests that Laymon isn’t a “real black writer,” but perpetually attempts to goad Laymon into writing a novel that will appeal to white readers by decentering blackness and, in turn, jettisoning black readers the editor doesn’t believe exists. The editor suggests that Laymon write a more indirect “race novel” moored in whiteness. Frankly, the essay is incredible and worth the read. Of the many intriguing elements is Laymon’s discussion of his editor calling him “bro”–long o–in several conversations, of which Laymon wonders, “what kind of black man would write the word “bro” in an email.”

They Came Before Troy Barnes

I just learned about “blerds” and I’m over them already. I got an email with a link to an NPR story about this apparently ascendant set of non-athletic, non-jive talking black folks–mostly men, I guess–who are apparently populating television shows and stand-up stages. It took fewer than 4 minutes, the length of Eric Deggans’ piece, for me to find the (alleged) trend worthy of my very first holiday humbug. According to Deggans’ essay, heretofore black nerds were some sort of weird, non-race-based personification of biraciality, in that being a black nerd was to be caught between what white people expected of blacks and black people’s apparent embarrassment that a member of the race wasn’t unequivocally cool. Deggans goes on to credit Kanye West–yeah, Mr. College Dropout–as the beginning of the “blerd” trend, going as far as willfully ignoring the Carlton Banks (nerd and class) swag Kanye borrowed. To further buttress his claim that he is a black nerd, Mr. Deggans botches interpreting West’s lyrics, which I’m going to assume was just a way of Deggans saying he’s so nerdy he can’t decipher the meaning of West’s rhymes without the help of Rap Genius. 

Kanye West, a rap star give to Argyle sweaters and pouring his heart out on wax, became the hottest thing in hip-hop. Now, raps a tough game, but Kanye can build rhymes around living on pancake batter after his jaw got broken in a car crash or drop references to an M. Night Shyamalan comic book movie. How nerdy is that?

Look around now and blerds are everywhere, intellectual, rock and roll loving, politics talking, comic book reading black nerds.