Black Mississippi News Anchor Says She Was Banned from Wearing Natural Hair Because Viewers Want to See a ‘Beauty Queen’

A Black television news anchor claims she was unjustly fired after filing complaints against her TV bosses, who allegedly refused to let her wear her natural hair and pressured her to look like a “beauty queen.”

Brittany Noble-Jones, a former co-anchor for WJTV This Morning in Jackson, Miss., detailed the allegations in a Medium post Monday explaining why she hasn’t been on air of late. It has been eight months, however, and the seasoned reporter is still struggling to find work.

Brittany Noble-Jones
Brittany Noble-Jones, 32, accuses Jackson, Miss., station WJTV and parent company Nexstar of fostering an environment of discrimination.

“For the first time in my life, I collected unemployment but the money has run out,” she wrote. “Despite my love for journalism, I have been working outside of my field to make ends meet.”

Noble-Jones, who boasts nearly a decade of professional news experience and was named the 2015 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), was brought on by WJTV in August 2015 after her award-winning coverage of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. She told Yahoo Lifestyle it was initially “a normal work environment,” but issues soon started to arise.

“After I volunteered to appear in a company-wide promo in March 2017, my boss told me, ‘People here think you’re into yourself,’ but he would not give me specific examples,” she recalled.

Noble-Jones, 32, was newly pregnant at the time and said she was hesitant about telling her bosses. After spilling the beans, she said she began feeling even more ostracized at work, as she was passed over for certain assignments and many of her pitches — timely stories regarding race relations in Mississippi — were canned.

“After announcing I was pregnant, I was no longer asked to participate in commercials,” she wrote on Medium. “I felt the need to starve myself to fit in. I now weigh 108 pounds. I did eat while carrying my son and postpartum, but I noticed that my events were given to a white reporter. I was finally allowed to use a storage closet to pump milk for my son [six] hours after my shift began. This came after filing a corporate complaint and a two-month long investigation.”

Noble-Jones recalled the day she asked her boss why she was being kept out of promos, seeing as she was the target audience for young moms. His response? “Why should [you]? You’re not a mother yet.” Jones was 34 weeks pregnant at the time.

The discrimination didn’t stop there, however. In her Medium post, the reporter said she was given the green light to stop straightening her hair after giving birth to her baby boy. She told Yahoo Lifestyle the switch to wearing her natural hair was important to her because Black women, particularly in the TV industry, are forced to look a certain way by wearing weaves/wigs or flat-ironing their hair.

“Here I am in a predominantly Black city, and a school representative, and I’m not even showing my real hair to Black children?” she said.

Noble-Jones soon found herself back in her news director’s office, however, where she was reprimanded about her naturally curly tresses. She said her boss deemed her natural hair “unprofessional” and likened it “to him throwing on a baseball cap to go to the grocery store.”

“He said ‘Mississippi viewers needed to see a beauty queen,’ ” she wrote. “He even asked, “why my hair doesn’t lay flat?’ ” When I asked how I should address the change on social media, he told me to write, ‘I was told to change my hair back to the way it was because that’s what looks best.’ I chose not to post his suggested line because it would be hurtful to other Black women who share my 3c hair texture.

“I admit I am tired of changing my voice and wearing a wig in order to report on TV,” she added.

In June 2017, Noble-Jones said she decided to stand up for herself and filed a complaint against two supervisors with parent company Nexstar Media Group. In it, she accused the company of fostering an environment of discrimination, despite the fact that seven of the 12 journalists there were also African-American. The reporter alleged that station managers would go out of their way when scheduling vacation time to keep the Blacks from sitting together on the desk.

Noble-Jones filed a second complaint in September 2017, which she ended by saying, “I will not be surprised if Nexstar finds no problem with my multiple complaints.” She said she one day hoped to write about about less-than-diverse TV newsrooms and argued that “the country is crying out for real news- not fake news and that is exactly what we are doing at WJTV and in the Nexstar company.”

Noble-Jones continued anchoring for the next several months, but the harassment continued, prompting her to take her complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in April 2018. The reporter claims she was fired the following month while taking time off to care for her dying grandfather in her hometown of St. Louis.

Noble-Jones told Yahoo Lifestyle she now works a part-time retail job at Michael Kors in New York City and freelances while couch surfing at friend’s houses as her son lives with his father. The now-divorcée has since launched a GoFundMe page to help with her day-to-day expenses.

“Thankfully I have my peace of mind, and I hope in sharing my story — it opens the hearts and minds of readers to affect change,” she wrote.


Source: Black info

Fed Up With Being the Bad Guy, Nene Leakes Airs Out Gregg Leakes’ Business: ‘Happy Your Out in the Casino’

Nene Leakes has been candid about the toll looking after her husband has taken on her as he continues to battle colon cancer. But some “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” fans think she’s the one who needs to be kinder. As such, the star has hit back and told viewers once and for all that Gregg Leakes isn’t just sick and in bed.

“Sometimes the wrong person gets accused! I’m pushing thru tho because i know what you don’t know #itsmylife RHOA,” the star posted on Instagram Sunday, Jan. 13, after a scene aired where Gregg grew irritated with the chef Nene hired.

As the episode went on, and despite Nene’s emotional discussion with Gregg’s sister about how difficult Gregg’s mood swings have been to put up with, fans still felt Nene was in the wrong, as they shared on Twitter.

“Nene is so shallow & superficial she can’t even be supportive to Gregg going thru cancer 😒🤦🏽‍♂️ #RHOA.”

“I do think NeNe could be way more sympathetic and understanding towards Gregg #RHOA.”

“Translation: Nene spent so long being taken care of that she doesn’t know how to take care of Gregg. That was never in the plan. #RHOA.”

Days later on Jan. 15, Leakes publicly wished Gregg a fun getaway to the casinos. That made it clear that her husband was not bedridden as some may have suspected.

“@greggleakes Happy your out in the casino doing what you love to do because for some strange reason, people seem to think your like stuck in a bed or hooked up to some sort of machine when that couldn’t be further from the truth! Enjoy your day and bring home some of that money hunni 💃🏾😜

nene leakes
(@neneleakes/Instagram)

The Swagg Boutique owner also got some support from a fan who spoke to what Nene previously said in a “RHOA” episode: that the cancer had been removed but some cells still exist.

“If that’s the case I don’t see what the problem is!” the fan said. “Have fun Greg.”

“RIGHT.” Nene readily agreed.

nene leakes

Nene has described the difficulties of being a caregiver before. In a series of tweets in October, the “RHOA” star wondered about how normal it was for an ailing family member to be mean to the person helping them. She got similar support at the time.


Source: Black info

Steve Harvey Lands New Gig in Face of Uncertain Future for His TV Show

Despite last year’s news of some changes coming to his radio show and talk show, Steve Harvey is forging ahead with a new gig in the coming weeks.

The comedian is set to host the 8th Annual NFL Honors at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in a Feb. 2 telecast on CBS, and he announced it on his Instagram page Monday.

“Who’s ready for some football? Join me on Saturday, February 2 at 9pm ET/PT on CBS for the @nfl Honors. We’re honoring the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2018 season. You don’t want to miss this. #NFLHonors #NFL,” Harvey wrote Jan. 14 in the caption accompanying a promo image for the event.

steve harvey
(@iamsteveharveytv/Instagram)

The newest hosting gig, which follows Harvey hosting Fox’s New Year’s Eve special and the 2018 Miss Universe pageant, comes after a year which signaled changes for some of the star’s longest-running programs.

In September, Dallas’ KRNB confirmed the comic’s radio program, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” was pulled from its airwaves at the end of August. After being syndicated on the station since 2006, it was replaced by Claudia Jordan’s program, “Morning Rush.”

Later that month, news emerged that more changes were underway for Harvey on the small screen. His daytime talk show “Steve” would be cut from 11 NBC markets in fall 2019 as the network tests Kelly Clarkson’s new talk show. Despite the specification that the show was only going to be removed from select NBC stations, Harvey’s representatives were forced to clarify that the show would not be canceled altogether. It will still run as the lead-in to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in some NBC markets, while in other markets “Steve” is slated to continue on stations owned by other media companies, such as Fox and Cox Communications, to name a few.

Recently, Harvey spoke out about the changes to his show, saying that he’s not worried about his future.

“They gon’ close the door on me in 2019,” Harvey said on his morning radio show Jan. 8. “All that means for me is God has another door for me to open. These people that make these decisions at these networks and stuff, they don’t control my life. They control that little piece of section over there. I got the rest of ’em. God in charge of me.”

A day later, while headlining the Variety Entertainment Summit, he said he wasn’t sure if NBC would be severing ties with his show altogether. He also took issue with NBC not touching base with him last year about plans to pull “Steve” from select markets.

“I just thought that you’re supposed to just talk to people and just go, ‘Look, you’ve been good business for us. This is what we’re thinking of doing, are you OK with that?’” he said. “No, you just don’t put something in the paper and say, ‘I’m just going to make this move right here,’ because it’s crazy. My show ‘Steve’ is the only show in the last seven years in syndication that has stuck.”


Source: Black info

DNA Scientist Stripped of Honors After Doubling Down on ‘Reprehensible’ Comments About Black People’s Intelligence

A famed scientist who co-discovered the “double helix” structure of DNA in 1953 has had his honorary titles revoked and some of his past awards yanked following repeated racist remarks on race and intelligence.

In a statement, New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory announced it was cutting ties with Dr. James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning geneticist who spent much of his career with the lab and, over the past decade, has expressed bigoted views that Black people are not as intelligent as other groups.

Dr. James Watson
American Dr. James Watson, 90, shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in medicine with British scientist Francis Crick for their 1953 discovery that DNA has a double-helix structure. (AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev)

In a 2007 interview with Britain’s “Sunday Times,” Watson said that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.” He then insisted that while he would like to hope that everyone is equal, those “who have to deal with Black employees find this is not true.”

Many in the scientific community hoped Watson, 90, would renounce his past statements in the PBS documentary, “American Masters: Decoding Watson,” which aired on Jan. 2. He did the exact opposite, however.

“Dr. Watson’s statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students,” the Cold Spring Lab said on Friday. “The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.”

After his 2007 remarks, the laboratory fired Watson as chancellor and relieved him of all his administrative duties. The scientist later penned an apology and was allowed to retain his countless honors.

Watson doubled down on his bigoted views in the recent PBS documentary, however, and admitted to lying in his 2007 apology — an action that prompted the laboratory to finally strip him of his honorary titles of Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus, and Honorary Trustee.

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory acknowledges and appreciates Dr. Watson’s substantial scientific legacy, including his role as founding director of the Human Genome Project and his critical leadership in the development of research and education at the Laboratory during his prior tenure as Director and President,” the statement read. “Nonetheless, the statements he made in the documentary are completely and utterly incompatible with our mission, values, and policies, and require the severing of any remaining vestiges of his involvement.”

In the documentary, Watson admitted his views on race and intelligence haven’t changed “at all,” telling the interviewer, “I would like for them to have changed. “There would [have to be] new knowledge, which says that your nurture is much more important than nature. But I haven’t seen any knowledge. And there’s a difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests. I would say the difference is … it’s genetic.”

Despite the comments, Watson’s son insists his father is not a racist.

Rufus Watson told the Associated Press this week that his father’s statements simply reflect his “rather narrow interpretation of genetic destiny.” Watson went on to criticize the lab for cutting ties with his father.

“My dad had made the lab his life, and yet now the lab considers him a liability,” he said.


Source: Black info

‘Marriage Boot Camp’ Star Nia Riley Hits Back After Being Fat-Shamed

Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood” actress Nia Riley shot back at folks who made rude comments about her weight gain.

Riley walked the “Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop” red carpet premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 9, in Los Angeles at West Hollywood’s Nightingale nightclub. She donned a black tight-fitting bondage dress that hugged her curvaceous figure.

Nia Riley
Nia Riley hit the red carpet (left) at the premiere party for We TV shows “Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition” and “Growing Up Hip Hop” on Jan. 9, 2019, as a noticeably different figure than she was in March 2018 (right). (Photos: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for We TV, Riley’s Instagram)

Several of Riley’s cast mates were also in attendance at “GUHH” premiere party, including  Tammy Rivera and her husband Waka Flocka, Jessica Dime, Nia Riley, as well as Lil Mo and her husband Karl Dugan.

However, some folks turned their eyes to Riley’s fuller figure. One naysayer tried fat-shaming the star by calling her a “fat slob” in her DMs.

The 29-year-old star hopped on Twitter on Jan. 10 and fired back at folks who seemed to have a problem with her newfound curves.

“Why the f*ck y’all care about my weight so much? When a b*tch was skinny and depressed AF and had no ass that was a problem too,” she wrote on Twitter. “Let me enjoy my fat a– and be happy damn!”

Nia Riley
twitter

Riley reaffirmed her love for her body by adding, “BTW. Still take yo n*gga. Fat and all.”

@nia riley twitter

She also addressed the male fan who attacked her new-formed curves by tweeting, “What would possess you to have such anger toward a stranger or someone that’s never done anything to you?!. …  he gets no p***y clearly worried about my fine a** at this time of night! #RealBody.”

Riley stars on “Marriage Boot Camp” with her longtime boyfriend, rapper Soulja Boy. The pair’s storyline focuses on their ongoing issues in their relationship. They’ve been off-and-on for almost ten years, but Riley expressed that the rapper publicly embarrassed her multiple times by cheating on her with different women, aired all their business on social media, and called her out of her name.

“Being with Soulja Boy is annoying. He’s a cheater, he’s embarrassed me a million and one times, and he has to tell the whole world our business,” Riley said. “We got issues.”


Source: Black info

Tommie Lee Gets Dragged When Unsavory Fashion Accessory Intrudes on Cute Video

Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta” actress Tommie Lee created chatter with her most recent social media video after fans noticed another apparent ankle monitoring bracelet around her leg.

Lee, who has a growing rap sheet of criminal offenses, shared a video of herself visiting the Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami, Florida, on Jan. 14. In the video, she was surrounded by lion and tiger cubs while seemingly trying to pose in her Fashion Nova attire.

“Nothing P**** About this 🐈 @fashionnova,” Lee captioned the recording.

Tommie Lee
photo courtesy@tommie

However, the 34-year-old was also spotted wearing a black monitoring device around her ankle.

A few fans pointed out the star’s court-ordered device and expressed deep disappointment.

One person wrote, “Damn Tommie the ankle bracelet again. I swear they won’t let you be great. … Small thing to a Giant. .. Time to write yo book babygirl! I’m praying for you 😢.”

“So we’re just gonna ignore her ankle bracelet?” one fan asked. ” Not again Tommie Sis just got out of 1.”

“Damn u got another ankle monitor 🤷🏾‍♀️ it’s like ankle monitors are apart of her daily outfit.”

In May 2018, Lee was ordered to wear a SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring device around her ankle after a 2016 DUI arrest. She had the court ordered bracelet removed in August 2018 at the Georgia CSRA Probation Services Inc.

Lee has since added to growing rap sheet after she was arrested in October for allegedly assaulting her daughter at a Cobb County middle school. She was indicted on seven criminal charges, three of which are felonies. If she is convicted on all counts, she could be looking at 54 years behind bars .

The mother of two has seemingly addressed the charges against her by noting that she isn’t “a perfect person.” She appears to be under a great amount of stress after she reportedly was caught lashing out at fans last week for making reference to her indictment charges.

The 34-year-old spazzed out at one fan in particularly who suggested that her “gangsta” behavior was the reason she was possibly looking at 54 years in prison.

Lee went off the rails by telling the person, “Shut your ignorant a– up writing paragraphs about me while I’m dropping fly a– pics, captioned by A Bar off a song and bounce off the internet. … Get cha life together Fam you’ll never get paid for tryna understand me!”


Source: Black info

LHHNY Viewers Have Mixed Emotions After Yandy Smith ‘Illegally’ Houses Foster Daughter

Love and Hip Hop: New York” fans were caught between a rock and hard place after Yandy Smith allowed one of her mentees to stay at her home without the consent of the child’s guardians.

Smith introduced viewers to Infinity Gilyard, a teenage girl she’s mentored for the past three years. Smith started the process of legally becoming the young girl’s foster mother in 2018, but during “LHHNY” she was not the child’s legal guardian.

Yandy Smith
photo courtesy@fromyandytoinfinity/ (L) Infinity Gilyard and (R) Yandy Smith

In the Jan. 14 episode, Smith revealed that she had been harboring Gilyard at her house without the permission of the girl’s foster parents or social worker. She told her friend Jonathan Fernandez that the teen had threatened to run away from her foster home. According to Smith, Gilyard told her that she felt unsafe there.

Smith claimed she tried to get in touch with Gilyard’s foster parents, caseworker and attorney, but none of the parties were responding. Fernandez told Smith that it was illegal to harbor a minor without the consent of her guardians. Smith said she had good intentions behind her actions and couldn’t let Gilyard run away from home without having a place to lay her head.

“LHHNY” fans were completely torn over the episode. Some felt Smith was wrong for illegally housing Gilyard, while others felt she was only trying to protect the young girl.

“Yandy know damn well she lyin! She still breaking the law with the lil girl in her home,” one fan tweeted.

Another added, “I understand Yandy trying to help Infinity but laws aren’t always “it was the right thing to do.”

A third viewer wrote, “If I was Yandy I would’ve done the same thing. CPS don’t give a f–k they’ll take a kid out of a good home.”

A fourth added, “I see no wrong with what Yandy did. If them foster parents cared they would have called the police and reporter her missing.”

In August 2018 and apparently some time after the Jan. 14 episode was taped, Smith went from mentor to foster mom when a New York judge granted her approval to start the process of fostering Gilyard. Smith mentored the 10th-grader three years ago with nonprofit organization EGL Partners Uplifting our Daughters. The pair have since been inseparable.


Source: Black info

Police Arrest Michigan Man They Say Threatened to Put a Gun to Sen. Cory Booker’s Face

The man authorities say was behind a voicemail threatening to put a gun to Sen. Cory Booker‘s (D-New Jersey) face has been arrested, local station WOOD-TV reported.

Rick Lynn Simmons, a resident of Grand Rapids, Mich., was indicted Jan. 9 on charges of interstate communication with threat to injure after authorities said he called Booker’s New Jersey office in October and left a racist, profanity-laced voicemail message.

Cory Booker
Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) is expected to be a candidate in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. (Getty Images)

According to transcripts included in the indictment, Simmons made at least three references to putting a gun to the Black Democrat’s face. MLive reported that the indictment, filed in U.S. District Court, was unsealed Monday after the FBI arrested Simmons in Kentwood, a 15-minute drive from Grand Rapids.

“Come on, you bring it on buddy,” the message said in part. “Just me and my wife and we got guns a blazin’. You wanna come in here? … I got a nine millimeter I’ll put in your f—–’ face, you m———–. You wanna, you wanna challenge me?”

At one point, officials said Simmons also used the N-word.

If convicted, Simmons faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine

Booker is thought to be exploring the possibility of running for president in the 2020 election.


Source: Black info

Mother Outraged After Student Gets a ‘Slap on the Hand’ After Photoshopping Her Son as a Slave

A Black mother in Springfield, Ill., is crying foul after she says the school district let her son’s bully off way too easy.

Kierra Nabors ripped into Cherokee Middle School officials for failing to take action after a student photoshopped her son’s face onto a cartoon depicting slaves. According to station KY3, the student in question edited four photos in all, one of which was made to show the principal branding 8th grader Isaiah, whose face was superimposed over that of a slave.

Kierra Nabors
Springfield school officials said the bully was disciplined, but stopped short of saying what exactly the discipline was. (Getty Images)

It wasn’t long before the image, captioned “slave branding,” was circulated across social media.

“I’m not shocked, I’m disgusted,” Nabors told the station. “But I’m not shocked.”

School officials said the student who made the photos has been punished, however, state law prevents them from disclosing the nature of said punishment. Frustrated, Nabors said she feels the discipline — whatever it was — didn’t go far enough.

“He wasn’t expelled. Isaiah still sees him at school …,” she said of the student accused of racially harassing her son. “He’s still there, so how is that zero tolerance? To me he got a slap on the hand.”

“[Isaiah] is in a hostile environment right now,” Nabors added. “And yeah, I feel like my hands are tied.”

Stephen Hall, the communications officer for Springfield Public Schools, defended actions taken by the school district and explained that discipline for bullying cases can range from in-school suspension to up to three days of out-of-school suspension.

“If students are participating in that type of behavior, we will investigate it and make sure that that activity ceases and that is what has happened in this case,” Hall told KY3.

Watch more in the video below.


Source: Black info

50 Cent Goes Extraterrestrial for Latest Diss at Wendy Williams

50 Cent isn’t letting up on Wendy Williams as far as the insults go.

This time he created a split image of the talk show host and the film character E.T. Plus, in the caption, he referenced the Brooklyn Nets hat that she was wearing.

50 Cent compared Wendy Williams to E.T. in a new photo.
Instagram

“Wendy Williams reported seen in Brooklyn creeping, trying to find her a Boo Thang,” wrote the rapper.

The two have been slinging shots at each other ever since Williams fainted from overheating in that much-talked-about episode of “The Wendy Williams Show.” While he promoted his now canceled show “50 Central,” the G-Unit leader made light of Williams passing out and continued to make fun of her after that.

“Happy Halloween,” wrote Fif on Oct. 31, 2017. “Catch ’50 Central’ tomorrow night at 10:30 … I’m gonna over heat in my costume. Lol.”

He also suggested that Williams was “acting” during that episode, and she didn’t really faint at all.

Then on her show, Williams insinuated that 50 was gay after the rapper sent Remy Ma a flirtatious Instagram message and got into it with Papoose.

“Pap, everyone knows that you and Rem are thicker than thieves, nobody’s checking for 50 like that,” said Williams. “Does he still like gir…”

50 responded by bringing up the longtime rumor that Williams’ husband, Kevin Hunter, had had a mistress for years. “This b-tch, didn’t I tell her not to put me on her show ’till she talk about being the world’s most famous side b-tch. Get the strap,” he replied.

He also wrote the same thing when the cheating allegations made headlines in December of 2018.

Williams hasn’t responded to the E.T. photo yet, but 50’s followers did, and some seemed entertained, while others thought the diss was too harsh.

“Funny as sh–,” someone wrote.

Hell ain’t missing you. “Just horrible,” wrote another. 


Source: Black info

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