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As the ‘face’ of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke is carving out space for a ‘unicorn’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Tarana Burke, introduced by mayoral candidate and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, was in Memphis to close out the university’s Women’s History Month programming.

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By Harlan McCarthy, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

The face of the #MeToo movement and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” graced the University of Memphis Ballroom stage last Friday to share her “why” and her vision for the future of the movement.

Tarana Burke, introduced by mayoral candidate and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, was in Memphis to close out the university’s Women’s History Month programming.

Burke started the #MeToo movement in 2006 with the mission to help survivors of sexual violence find pathways to healing. Within a few years, the hashtag turned into a worldwide viral community, offering vital conversations both online and offline.

When asked by lecture host Hai Phuong Nguyen, an institutional equity specialist at the University of Memphis, what compels her to do this line of work, Burke said her focus on helping black survivors stemmed from her grandfather’s practice of Garveyism.

With a strong black feminist mother and Pan-African roots, it is no coincidence she read books from Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison and even Alex Haley’s “Roots” alongside her required Catholic school readings.

“It was fine for me to do that (enrollment in Catholic school) as long as I read a history book alongside the bible. In the seventh grade — after I finished “Roots” — he gave me a book called “Before the Mayflower” and another one called “They Came Before Columbus,” so I was into a lot of heavy stuff at an early age.”

Reading books by Ivan Van Sertima, who was a professor of African studies at Rutgers University and author of “They Came Before Columbus,” and Lerone Bennett Jr., a former executive editor of Ebony magazine and author of “Before the Mayflower,” as a child created a foundation that Burke called different from other children’s upbringing.

“I didn’t have the typical childhood where you go get ice cream with your granddaddy on Sunday. He would drive me down to Harlem to a record store where you used to be able to buy cassette tapes of scholars, so John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Ben-Jochannan would be on cassette. He would buy them and then we would drive around listening to them.”

Burke also credited her family for giving her a strong foundation which she used to identify injustices at an early age, whether it was questioning her childhood teachers on religion and history subjects or organizing in her community as part of the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement.

The 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement was created around the 20th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the Selma to Montgomery commemorative march, with a mission to inspire and develop young people with mentoring training from a long list of veteran civil rights leaders.

“I grew up very active in social justice … 21C molded me,” said Burke.

That activism led Burke to co-found Just Be Inc., a program that promoted the wellness of teen girls, and was the catalyst for the #MeToo movement.

“I had an experience a few years before with a young girl who had disclosed to me and I didn’t know what to do with it. That’s actually where I got the words ‘me too’ from because I couldn’t say it to her. I was 22 and this baby was 13 and had the courage to tell me what happened to her,” she said. “I was like ‘I don’t know what to do with that,’ but I also decided at that moment I didn’t want to be in that position again.”

Distressed with similar incidents, Burke started doing the legwork for the movement to go forward. In the past few years, her work has been connected to the incidents surrounding Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly but Burke shies away from the #MeToo reputation of taking down powerful men.

“This whole idea that #MeToo is about taking down powerful men comes from the fact that the media focuses on one small piece of this work.”

Burke highlighted the PSAs which cover the stories of victims Emily Waters, Terry Crews, Daniela Contreras and an anonymous survivor. Burke said people like Crews have opened the door for men survivors.

“The first thing we have to do is engage men as survivors in this movement. The second thing is that everyone doesn’t identify as a man or a woman.

Burke said the book “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk helped her learn to compartmentalize shame when dealing with survivors and her own self-care but admitted that she still has battles with finding joy.

“For those of us who don’t have access, for those of us who don’t have time, for those of us who are still trying to figure it out: you may have not gotten to that place yet. Think about the things that make your heart smile for a second.

“Protect it like it’s the thing that will save your life. I am in the process of just trying to get back to that. I think survival is a constant battle to get back to ourselves. Honestly, I don’t want to be the face of #MeToo in five years. I want some young unicorn to come take this job.”

Closing out the lecture, Burke answered questions from activists, students and fans in the crowd. Questions ranged from more discussion on the movement and how to help those marginalized communities, the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which details the sexual assault of young girls close to R. Kelly, and confessions from a student and fan about their own sexual abuse experiences and how they appreciated Burke’s commitment to helping survivors.

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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