Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman of the board amid backlash after admitting he used the N-word

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company Wednesday amid growing backlash over his use of the n-word during a conference call in May.

In a statement late Wednesday night, the company said it had accepted his resignation and that Olivia Kirtley will be the company’s Lead Independent Director. The company said it will also appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.

The resignation comes after Schnatter admitted that he used “inappropriate and hurtful language” while on a conference call in May.

Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman of the board amid backlash after admitting he used the N-word


Hundreds gather to celebrate life of Antwon Rose II

SWISSVALE, Pa. — Hundreds gathered in a school auditorium Monday to pay respects to Antwon Rose, the unarmed 17-year-old high school student who was killed by a police officer last week.

Rose, a rising senior and honor student, was shot three times after fleeing a vehicle during a traffic stop and running away from officers.

The funeral service was mostly restricted to friends and family. The ceremony was held at Woodland Hills Intermediate School, where Rose attended middle school. No protests were scheduled Monday out of respect for his family.

Protests erupt following fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose

Chanting ‘black lives matter’ and demanding justice, hundreds of people gathered outside of the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh on Thursday to protest the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen who was running away from officers when he was killed.

“I am not what you think. I’m confused and afraid. I wonder what path I will take. I hear that there’s only 2 ways out,” said Christian of Youth Park Collective, reading a poem written by Antwon Rose II in tenth grade and afterward calling for a moment silence.

Protests erupt following fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose

Roseanne Barr blames racist tweet on Ambien after ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’

Roseanne Barr went on an extended apology offensive Tuesday night after ABC canceled her hit sitcom “Roseanne” over a tweet in which Barr referred to a former adviser to President Barack Obama as an “ape.”

Roseanne Barr blames racist tweet on Ambien after ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’

Pulse survivor and others gather to celebrate ‘freedom’ from being gay

WASHINGTON — Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Luis Javier Ruiz joined a few dozen others at a so-called Freedom March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday where those in attendance celebrated no longer identifying as gay or transgender.

“I don’t want to tell everyone it’s a ‘gay-to-straight’ thing because God is not calling me to that,” Ruiz told NBC News. “I feel that I want to live in a life of purity. I feel that through loving Christ, he will walk me out of any situation. I love the LGBTQ community, I love my family. There’s no hate here, there’s love.”

Pulse survivor and others gather to celebrate ‘freedom’ from being gay

Legendary actress Cicely Tyson reflects on her storied career

Cicely Tyson says she’s been prayerful and patient throughout her career which has spanned more than six decades.

The 93-year-old actress and humanitarian added another prestigious honor to her storied career Friday when she was honored with a hand and footprint ceremony at the world-renowned TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Presented by Turner Classic Movies during the networks annual TCM Classic Film Festival, Tyson is among other industry icons featured with a hand and footprint, including Marilyn Monroe, Denzel Washington, Michael Jackson, and others — an honor Tyson said leaves her speechless and one she couldn’t have imagined.
I spoke with Tyson as she was preparing to travel to L.A. about the recognition, the future of black actors and actresses in Hollywood, and advice she has for women of color in the entertainment industry.

NBC News’ Lester Holt speaks on being a journalist in the digital age

NEW YORK — Lester Holt spoke on his career and being the captain of the “NBC Nightly News” — as the show celebrates 70 years — at the Paley Center for Media on Wednesday night.

During the Black History Month event, Holt reflected on his time as both a reporter and anchor, the struggles of planning a nightly newscast, juggling “Dateline” storytelling in a digital age, and combating the spread of propaganda.

When asked about being the first African-American solo anchor of a weekday network nightly newscast, Holt said he is honored and inspired by the impact his career had made beyond the anchor desk.

“Kids can now look around and see someone who looks like them on TV,” he said.

NBC News’ Lester Holt speaks on being a journalist in the digital age

USA Screening of Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.: Natasha “Tash” Gray

‘She spoke up’: Lawmakers wear ‘Recy’ pins in honor of Recy Taylor

Many lawmakers wore black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night and some congressional members also adorned their clothes with pins in honor of Recy Taylor.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus wore red “Recy” pins, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., who organized the tribute, told NBCBLK in an email Tuesday evening that Taylor’s story “represents that of many marginalized women who have spoken up, spoken out and have long been ignored.”

‘She spoke up’: Lawmakers wear ‘Recy’ pins in honor of Recy Taylor

Why black women voters showed up for Doug Jones

For the first time in 25 years, Alabama elected a Democrat to the Senate and many say African-American women are to thank for that.

Democrat Doug Jones’ win over Republican Roy Moore was a stunning upset in a contentious and closely watched election for the deep-red state. Even more surprising for some was the high voter turnout of African-Americans. NBC News exit polls show 96 percent of black voters supported Jones, with 98 percent of black women and 93 percent of black men backing him.

Read more: Why black women voters showed up for Doug Jones

Charlottesville survivor Marcus Martin still healing after deadly rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Four months after a 20-year-old man drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one person and injuring 19 others, Marcus Martin is still healing.

On this chilly, fall day in Charlottesville, Martin, 27, said his leg is stiff because of the cold weather and occasionally hurts when he walks on it. He got an aircast boot taken off his left leg last month, a result from the surgery he underwent for a broken ankle, twisted tibia bone, and destroyed ligaments. Wearing tennis shoes, he walks with a slight limp, but hopes physical therapy will strengthen his leg.

He tucks his hands in the pockets of his vest and sighs deeply, emotional as he discusses the day of Aug. 12, when James Alex Fields, Jr. barreled his Dodge Challenger down the street, striking him as he pushed his fiancée Marissa Blair out of the way and hitting their friend Heather Heyer, who died from her injuries. He said every day is progress, and as his body continues to strengthen with each day, emotionally and mentally he is trying to move forward.

Charlottesville survivor Marcus Martin still healing after deadly rally

Black lawmakers meet with FBI Director over ‘Black Identity Extremists’ report

Black lawmakers met with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Capitol Hill on Wednesday over concerns about a bureau report targeting “Black Identity Extremists.”

In what was described as a “open and serious meeting,” Congressional Black Caucus members, including Reps. Val Demings, Karen Bass, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and others spoke with Wray for nearly two hours regarding the bureau’s internal assessment “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers,” that was written in August and posted online.

CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., called the meeting a “good first step.”

Read more: Black lawmakers meet with FBI Director over ‘Black Identity Extremists’ report

‘This isn’t about me’: African-American reporter takes stand after body-shaming

A woman’s comments that an African-American female news reporter in Dallas “looks ridiculous” in her clothes has sparked outrage on social media.

Wednesday morning, a woman on Facebook posted a photo of WFAA Channel 8 News traffic reporter Demetria Obilor wearing a red dress, criticizing the way she looked in her dress. The post has since been taken down.

“She’s a 16/18 woman in a size 6 dress and looks ridiculous,” the post said. The woman also said she would stop watching the news channel.
Obilor, 26, has been a traffic reporter at the station for two weeks. She was previously a traffic reporter at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. She said she wasn’t made aware of the post until Friday when someone posted a screenshot of the post on Twitter.

NFL players huddle with owners over national anthem protests

No deal was reached Tuesday after 11 NFL team owners and representatives of the league’s players huddled for more than three hours to try to defuse the controversy roiling pro football over ongoing protests during the national anthem.

But both sides agreed that they had a “productive” meeting about the nagging social issues that have prompted players to kneel during “The Star Spangled Banner” to protest police brutality and the oppression of black people in America.

“Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military,” their joint statement said. “In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.”

NFL players huddle with owners over national anthem protests

Kamala Harris, Booker are early 2020 favs among black leaders

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kamala Harris is the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate generating the most excitement among the black political elite, according to participants at this year’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation policy forum in Washington.

It’s still way too soon for endorsements — none of the major potential candidates are even in the race yet and elected officials say they’re more focused on the 2018 mid-terms than the next presidential contest — but Harris, a California Democrat who is in her first year in the Senate, has emerged at the center of attention.

Read more: Kamala Harris, Booker are early 2020 favs among black leaders

Saving grace: Faith community unites to help Harvey victims

As Hurricane Harvey relief donations pour in from around the world and celebrities from Kevin Hart to Tyler Perry urge contributions, many are looking to Houston area mega-churches and asking whether the role of the church during times of disaster should extend beyond spiritual sanctuary.

Despite some pointing fingers — who should do what and how far should that spiritual assistance should go — leaders in the faith community say they’ve spent this week assessing the needs of their flock and are mobilizing to provide aid.

Saving grace: Faith community unites to help Harvey victims

Comey hearing watchers pub hop, toast testimony

The drinks were flowing and news coverage streaming at bars in Washington D.C. and other cities as political watchers tuned in and raised a glass to fired FBI Director James Comey’s highly anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

In the nation’s capital, several bars opened as early as 9:30 a.m. and offered such drinks as $5 Russian vodkas and the “The Comey Hearing Covfefe” cocktail in honor of the befuddling word mistakenly invented by President Donald Trump in a midnight tweet.

Read more: Comey hearing watchers pub hop, toast testimony

Franchesca Ramsey Heads to Comedy Central With New Pilot

The world of late night comedy is getting another dose of blackness.

Comedian and actress Franchesca Ramsey is heading back to Comedy Central, but this time she is calling the shots. Tuesday, Comedy Central announced that a yet-to-be-named late night comedy pilot will be executive produced and hosted by Ramsey as part of its 2017-2018 line-up of development shows.

Read more:

Georgetown Apologizes, Renames Halls After Slaves

In a somber remembrance ceremony filled with prayer and song, Georgetown University asked for forgiveness and took new steps to right a nearly two-hundred-year-old wrong on Tuesday.

Speaking on behalf of the school’s founding fathers, Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, began the morning service offering reconciliation to the descendants of 272 women, men, and children sold into slavery to pay off school debts and keep the school afloat in 1838.