A 16-year old girl and her 3 friends, who are all Black, were recently wrongfully detained and locked inside a beauty supply store in Virginia when the owner mistook them for shoplifters. Their parents believe the girls were racially profiled during the incident.

On Friday, the 4 girls went to Coco Beauty Supply in Chesapeake after eating at a nearby Subway restaurant. One of them bought a hairbrush from the store but when they tried to leave, they found out they were locked inside.

It turned out there was a recent shoplifting incident in the store and they put pictures of the real culprits in the area, including the Subway restaurant. Upon noticing the picture, a Subway employee called a security guard.

“Served the girls then security brought us a picture of the suspects, noticed one was sitting eating and alerted security and dialed 911,” the employee said in a statement.

The manager apparently locked the 4 girls inside the store until the police arrived. The girls were eventually released since police determined they were not involved in the robbery that happened in December.

Reubin Houston, the father of one of the teens, filed a police report claiming that his daughter and friends were racially profiled.

“I’m personally thinking everybody is going to be a suspect if you have braids and weave and you’re black. I mean, even the kids are suspects now. I guess mine was,” Houston told WAVY. “My daughter and her friends won’t ever forget about that.”

The manager has since apologized for mistaking the girls’ identities but claimed that it was the security guard’s instruction to lock the girls inside. The security guard, however, denied it but admitted to calling the police on the girls.

Moreover, the Chesapeake police department agreed that the girls shouldn’t have been locked in the store. They are looking into the possibility of abduction charges.


For the last 28 years, Chloe Cheyenne Sledd-Rogers has watched her African American father suffer from immense physical and psychological pain after being shot by Chicago police and left for dead. The near-fatal incident took place in March 1989 when undercover cops shot Andrew Sledd over a dozen times inside of his home in Hyde Park, Chicago, leaving him permanently handicapped at just 23 years old.

“He was getting ready to work the night shift [when he] heard a loud banging on the door,” Sledd-Rogers tells BLACK ENTERPRISE, recalling the incident that almost killed her father. “He went to go see what it was and by the time he got there, the door was already off its hinges and a group of plainclothes Chicago police officers began to raid my grandmother’s townhome and opened fire on my dad over a dozen times, hitting him on the crown of his head and multiple times in his groin area.”


But as he was bleeding to death the cops realized that they had the wrong address on their search warrant. “It was a case of mistaken identity. [They] had identified the wrong black man,” she says. In order to cover up the mistake, she claims “they planted drugs in his bedroom dresser, physically assaulted him after shooting him, and waited to call an ambulance, hoping that he would just die.”

Once Sledd was sent to the hospital doctors predicted that he wouldn’t make it through the night. Nonetheless, he underwent a series of operations—over 72 hours—and miraculously survived. “But in between those operations, he was actually handcuffed to his hospital bed because the CPD maintained that he was a threat and he had done something wrong, despite him being totally unconscious and disabled,” said Sledd-Rogers.

Sledd spent weeks in the hospital recovering before entering a lifetime of physical rehab. To make matters worse, he was attending St. Xavier College on a basketball scholarship at the time when his dreams of going semi-pro were crushed. “He learned how to walk again, regained his motor skills, and [how to] feed himself,” she says

A year later, Sledd-Rogers was born in 1990 in the thick of the tumultuous aftermath that her father and family were experiencing. Throughout her childhood, she watched her dad go to rehab and relive the trauma he experienced all while going back-and-forth to court, fighting for his innocence against the city of Chicago.

“I remember being a little girl watching him put on a bulletproof vest under his clothes before he would leave the house because he suffers from extreme PTSD from what happened to him,” she said. “Every single day that my family and I interact with my dad, we have to watch him in pain because he still has a bullet fragment lodged in his spine that can never be taken out, or else he will become a paraplegic.”

The emotional and physical trauma that her father has endured, however, has not gone completely in vain. In addition to being used as case law for similar issues, it has become the source of motivation for Sledd-Rogers’ quest to change the world.


Chloe and her parents, Andrew and Maria Sledd


In 2015, the Howard University School of Business graduate left her full-time job at Google to launch a social justice startup. In addition to her father’s pain and resilience, Sledd-Rogers was compelled by the shooting death of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teen who was fatally shot by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. “Just watching that image of his lifeless body in the streets of Ferguson really hit home in a way that I just can’t ever hope to describe. And I decided that while I really appreciated my job at Google, that there was something more important that I have to do.”

Sledd-Rogers leveraged her experience in tech with her passion for social justice to create a platform to mobilize and accelerate activism called COMMUNITYx (Cx). The social impact tech startup aims to connect activists, organizations, and community leaders around shared causes and movements. It’s run by an all-black board of directors and was funded by investors of color in its angel round. Plus, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan serves as a special adviser to the company, while MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid is one of her mentors.

“When I first came up with the idea for this company, I could have never imagined that we would have built the network allies that we have,” she says. “Joy has not only been a big supporter of the company, but she’s also one of my greatest mentors in life. So having like her guidance for direction and her support throughout this whole process has been honestly just a dream come true.”


Chloe Sledd-Rogers and Joy Reid at the Cx Social Impact Summit


While Twitter and Facebook have notoriously been infiltrated by racist trolls and even penalized black voices, Cx promises to be a safe space for socially conscious people to connect. The app allows users to build local and global communities that focus on prescient social issues, from the climate crisis to racial justice to prison reform to mental health. After downloading the app, users can select their preferred causes and get instantly connected with others nearby and around the world that share their passion. Cx also provides people with the opportunity to connect in real life through experiences like its inaugural Cx Social Impact Summit, which took place in September at Santa Clara University.

The buzz around the budding tech startup is growing. Since its launch in 2018, the Chicago-native raised $125,000. Plus, Cx tied for first place at the Forbes Under 30 Startup Pitch Competition in October, earning a $250,000 media grant while becoming the first startup with a black founder and black leadership team to ever win the contest. Cx is bound to receive more accolades and may even catapult social change in the 21st century. But even that will not give Sledd-Rogers the justice she says her father deserves.

“Justice is really hard to gauge in these types of situations,” she says.  “For my dad, the city did settle with him out of court, [but] it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the medical expenses and issues that he had both at the time and to this day.” She asserts, “There’s the other side of justice, which is actually addressing this systemic police militarization issue. And, as we all know, these things still continue to happen to people like us in communities across the country. So, has justice served? I wouldn’t say so.”

While the intent of students at Oak Park and River Forest High School remains unclear, the photos were jarring enough that administrators withheld the books.

A high school in a Chicago suburb is spending more than $53,000 to reprint its 2018-2019 yearbook after staff discovered photos inside in which students were flashing the white supremacist “OK” hand sign.

Administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School released a statement last week notifying parents that they were withholding the yearbooks from distribution after they discovered the photos, according to CBS Chicago.

This week, the Chicago Tribune reported that the high school will pay Jostens $53,794 to reprint the books and that the new versions are expected to be delivered to students by mid-June.

The racist adaptation of the “OK” hand sign began on 4chan ― an anonymous message board frequented by racists, trolls and extremists ― and has since been co-opted by prominent white supremacists who often use it to signal their presence to like-minded extremists. It’s prominent enough that those who use it have been fired from their jobs or faced other consequences ― recently, a Chicago Cubs fan was banned indefinitely from Wrigley Field after flashing the hand sign behind a black reporter during a live broadcast.

While the students’ intent was unclear and the photos weren’t made available, the content was apparently jarring enough that staff felt it necessary to reprint the yearbooks.

An email to parents, from school district Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams, notes that while the hand gestures could have been in reference to the classic schoolyard made-you-look “circle game,” its use by hateful people and ideologies led to the decision:

We’ve been made aware that this year’s ‘Tabula’ yearbook, which has not yet been distributed, contains several photos of students making a hand gesture that has different meanings. In some cases it’s used in what is known as the circle game. However, the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism. Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is. We are looking at alternative options, and in the coming days we will share further details about distribution plans. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and support as we work through this situation.

You are offered a nice job position, in a nice communication agency, well located. You feel great.This was supposed to be the biggest announcement of 2019 so far.

First day : everyone is smiling at you, welcoming, but you don’t know how to act, feeling everyone’s look upon you. 15 days later, you’re done. Nobody speaks to you.

My first (and peculiar) reaction : asking Google about that. Because that state of loneliness hit me so hard that something in my head told be to check on the internet if I could share this with other people. I found several psychological/kind of depressing articles, but didn’t find anything appropriate. These were just a bunch of people complaining without giving advices about it.

Being connected to a social circle has never been so important as far as Facebook, Twitter Instagram or Snapchat have (or at least one of them) taken over our lives. (Really ?). But Internet is another problem.

At work, indifference is the greatest contempt

People at work can be even more cruel and can really destroy you for no particular reason. When you’re highly implicated, work hard, do the best you can and all of a sudden you feel so bad because you see people gathering themselves to talk, make private jokes, working (or acting like working) closely together, trust me, it is normal to feel left behind.

Welcome to ostracism. A land where your imagination is tortured everyday. It is not about being sensitive, because sensitivity is different from one person to another. It is strictly about being ignored.

So how can you handle at work ?

Right now, your boss is not talking to you anymore, and you’re one of these scared “millenial” that thinks that work should be a place where you can express yourself, in a blossoming workspace, with some intricate and thrilling frameworks, imagining stories that matters. And you’re not doing any of these things. You’re not fitting to the work spirit of the company, and now, panic-stricken.

All social interactions with your coworkers are slowly going down, to the point of not even saying “hello/goodbye”. It’s going wrong for real. And this ostracism can lead to depression, because feeling useless and hopeless

1 — Stop complaining

Did I mention that I’m French ? 
I think it is truly specific to my country. People are complaining every minute in advertising/digital agencies. About clients, about emails, about the amount of work, about the boss… This is clearly annoying. Their time spent complaining could be used doing real-work no ?

So if you’re being ostracized, be strong, and simply face this fact as it is. Being down-to-earth is very useful when facing that kind of situation. It is important to visualise the situation to better go forward and being less stressful.

2 — Dig up your mind

Ok so, now that you have understood the situation, let the anger and worries go and stop trying to make clumsy conclusions or getting ahead of yourself, asking “but why is this happening, what did I do, did I made something wrong, maybe I’m not good enough…” In every overrated advertising agencies, people are mostly the same, so you will face this situation in every one of them. Just sayin’. I’ve been working in agencies for 4 years, and it’s been exactly the same, most of the people are faking work.

“Think outside the box, make things that change things” (and other posh mottos), they said. Agencies are mainly copy and paste. They are baking and re-baking ideas since 1980’s, but with higher prices, using the same Istock / Getty / Shutterstock/ Thinkstock image banks. Using the same reportings with so low Facebook interactions, not even asking themselves what people would like to see when interacting with brands. It is really funny since I’m writing this from my desk, in a nice advertising agency, observing people writing emails, sending Gif or tagging themselves on the last Tasty recipe on Facebook.

If you are feeling alone and like you’re in the spam box, it’s seriously no big deal. You have now time to think about yourself and step back at how different you are, simply by speaking your mind and asserting yourself .

3 — Just do something else with your free time

Now that you are barely transparent, you can do things far more interesting than nothing. 
Meaning : “Great ! I’m out of this sham and mockery system.”
Read, take time for yourself, leave your phone, learn something you didn’t know. In a nutshell, be curious.

If you read this, you can now take a deep breath and play down the situation. And if you want more cool, follow me 🙂

By: Jennifer Capestan

This week was the week proud new parents, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have presented their new-born son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world. Also the week BBC Radio host Danny Baker was fired Thursday after tweeting out a cartoon the day before representing the new royal baby as a chimpanzee in a suit, with the caption: “Royal baby leaves the hospital.”

Baker, an award-winning host as well as a comedy writer and journalist, initially deleted the tweet and apologized for its contents.

“Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up,” he tweeted first. “Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased. Soon as those good enough to point out it’s possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that’s it.”

As the backlash kicked off on social media, in a desperate attempt to make amends, Baker tweeted,

“Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier. Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte. Also, guessing it was my turn in the barrel.”

Then he tried yet again, relaying an exchange at his door with a Daily Mail reporter. Baker’s irritation was showing as the reporter allegedly asked him, “Do you think black people look like monkeys?”

“This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” the BBC said in a statement Thursday, as the broadcaster decided to let the presenter go. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”

Shortly after he had been fired, Baker turned on his former employer for making the decision to let him go.

“The call to fire me from @bbc5live was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity,” he tweeted Thursday. “Took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah. Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits knees knocking.”

In an LBC interview after he was fired, Baker told James O’Brien: “It was put up there as a joke about class. It was supposed to be preposterous about toffs leaving. The idea that there was any racial basis for it … it came out of my own ignorance.

“I curdled that I thought anyone could have thought that was the intent behind that photo.”

A whole 24 hours after the radio host shared the offensive post the backlash continued with many criticising Baker, including ITV News anchor Charlene White who said, “To claim ‘ignorance’, and give a half-hearted apology – again full of jokey ‘banter’ – despite people highlighting just how clearly offensive it is, is also unacceptable. That’s not the world we live in now. Those who live in privilege must be held to account” and writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch who tweeted: “Not only does Danny Baker post an image comparing a baby w African heritage to an ape, but he has the audacity to say problem is that those of us who point out how racist it is have ‘diseased minds’.”

Hirsch’s comment right here sums it all up For those still wondering what the brouhaha is all about – and there are indeed many of them still pondering all over Twitter and Facebook. One such today came across Mr O’s rant on Facebook and ventured to comment, “Pretty sure he meant it as ‘the kid is gonna become another royal monkey being controlled and pranced around by higher ups without proper freedom’ rather than anything racial. Completely unfair to fire him based on his post. From the statement also he didn’t mean it as some people understood it.”

What is perhaps equally as troubling as, if not more so than, Baker’s original tweet is the defence he offers for his actions, which is echoed by those who see no wrongdoing in Baker’s behaviour. And it can be summed up in two words: white privilege.

No need pointing out Baker’s race and privilege. Needless to add, the aforementioned clueless commentator is another member of the white privilege club where the colour of one’s skin and the privileges that naturally come with it make one blind to connotations and in fact blatant codes of racism, such as depicting the biracial offspring of the Duke and Duchess as a chimp.

White privilege is also the same disease that caused similar blindness in 2018 when H&M outraged its black audience with their ill-advised ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoody, incidentally worn by a black kid.

Also the same disease which made Heineken and its supporters equally deaf to the racial undertones of the tagline ‘sometimes lighter is better’ the brand used to market its light beer.

There are countless examples from the world of modern media and advertising to show just how rampant white privilege still is and how so many are blind and deaf to the connotations of certain imagery and words which struck a chord with a racially diverse audience. But to suffer from the white privilege disease and then accuse those offended of having ‘diseased minds’? So glad karma served up real fast in the case of Danny Baker.

Source: Guardian

Chimamanda Adichie was a guest at the Esquire Townhouse, United Kingdom where she talked about racism and sexism. She revealed that she feels more comfortable talking about racism than sexism.

The author in a chat with Esquire’s Editor-In-Chief Alex Bilmes explains when her host said, “You say that you are angrier about sexism than you are about racism.”

She mentioned that having to give obvious reasons why women are disadvantaged can be a bit of a stress.

But she does not get this reaction when talking about racism.

“I said that because in my very own personal space, the people  I love, the people I’m close to, my family, my friends, all get race.  So, I have never with them have to make a case, for why something was racist.

“So, I’m in my circle of friends, White people, Black people, Asian people, Hispanic people and when something happens to do with Blackness, immediately, we all get it.

“But with gender, I find that with the people I love, I’m constantly being expected to make the case, the ways in which, women are reduced, the ways in which authority in women is judged much more different than authority in a man.

“And I’m constantly being asked by the people, I love. So, I’m not talking about anonymous people, to make that case and it gets emotionally exhausting.

“Because, I don’t feel like I have the kind of effortless support that I have, when I talk about race.”