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Singer Janelle Monáe took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to mourn the loss of her 37-year-old cousin, Natasha Hays. Hays was struck as bullets from a drive-by shooting sprayed through her home in Kansas City, Missouri early Tuesday morning. Hays’ three children, aged 14, 16, and 18, were unharmed. “#KansasCity #Gunviolence is still keeping our city in a dark place. The fear of ‘who is next?’ never leaves. Praying4more light. Help us,” the singer said in a tweet. Police are still searching for suspects. Read more.

Mary J. Blige Set To Star In Upcoming Episode of “How To Get Away With Murder”

Shondaland welcomes a new superstar to the third season of ABC’s hit drama, How to Get Away with Murder. The queen of hip-hop soul’s role has been kept under wraps, but lead Viola Davis said a new mystery will be quickly introduced in the first episode. The singer has appeared in a variety of acting roles, most recently portraying “Evillene” in The Wiz Live! on NBC. Read more.

Supreme Court Justices Ruled Against Restoring Controversial NC Voting Law

In a 4-4 split, Justices denied a request from North Carolina to allow certain components of its controversial voting law to go into effect. The decision essentially means provisions surrounding tightening voter ID requirements, early voting cutbacks, and teen voter pre-registration will not be enacted during November’s presidential election. Civil rights groups and the Department of Justice, who continually pointed out the law’s disenfranchisement of African-Americans, celebrated the ruling. Read more.

Texas Teacher Slammed By Austin Police Files Lawsuit Seeking Damages Exceeding $1 Million

Breaion King, an Austin, Texas teacher, filed a million dollar lawsuit against the city for her mistreatment by police during a June 2015 traffic stop. Dash cam video released in June 2016 shows officers manhandling her and saying Blacks have “violent tendencies.” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized for his officers’ actions, then initiated an internal investigation. King’s lawyer Erica Grigg says when she initially reached out to city officials, she received little-to-no action. Read more.

FSU Player Makes “Life Changing” Gesture For 11-Year-Old Autistic Boy

On Tuesday, Florida State University football star Travis Rudolph did a simple, but heartfelt thing. After completing a visit to Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida, Rudolph and his teammates entered the cafeteria to eat lunch with the students. The team sat with different groups of students, but Rudolph took a tray of food and sat next to Bo Paske, an 11-year-old autistic boy who frequently eats alone. Bo’s mother Leah Paske, shared the image of the two eating together in a heartfelt Facebook post. Paske said Rudolph’s gesture made her burst into tears because she frequently worries about her son being bullied and alone. “That’s all you need—small acts of kindness. And it can be life-changing for somebody,” she said. “I was just so touched and so blessed and so humble that he would take a moment to sit with my child.” Read more.


NEWS ROUNDUP: Janelle Monáe’s Cousin Killed In Drive-By Shooting…AND MORE  was originally published on