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Singer Chris Brown Accused of Battery in Las Vegas

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In this Jan. 15, 2015 file photo, R&B singer Chris Brown appears in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Brown faces another battery accusation just days after he performed in Las Vegas over the weekend. Las Vegas police said Monday, May 4, 2015, that Brown is suspected of beating a man who was found hospitalized earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson, Pool, File)

In this Jan. 15, 2015 file photo, R&B singer Chris Brown appears in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Brown faces another battery accusation just days after he performed in Las Vegas over the weekend. Las Vegas police said Monday, May 4, 2015, that Brown is suspected of beating a man who was found hospitalized earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson, Pool, File)

SALLY HO, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Singer Chris Brown faces another battery accusation just days after he performed at an after-party to the weekend’s much hyped boxing match, which was also billed as the kickoff to his residency at the Drai’s nightclub.

Las Vegas police said Brown, 25, is suspected of beating a man who was found at the Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center at 3:42 a.m. Monday.

The man said he was playing basketball at the Palms Casino Resort when he got into a verbal argument on the court with the singer. He claimed Brown punched him and, as he was preparing to defend himself, another person with the singer also hit him.

The man took himself to the hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.

Las Vegas police said they went to the hotel after they were called to the hospital but didn’t locate Brown.

Authorities say they have given Brown the option to sign off on a misdemeanor battery citation or have the case turned over to the Clark County District Attorney’s office. As of 2 p.m., police said Brown has not responded.

Officer Larry Hadfield said signing off on the citation is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgement of the accusation. Similar to accepting a traffic ticket, the accused would be given a court date in Clark County Justice Court scheduled for months from now.

Police said the investigation continues but declined to address the other person with Brown who also allegedly hit the man.

“We haven’t cited anybody. We have not had the opportunity,” Hatfield said.

The incident happened at the Palms Casino Resort, which features a basketball-themed luxury suite for $25,000 per night, officials said.

The 10,000-square-foot Hardwood Suite features an indoor basketball court, locker room with a gym shower, “NBA-sized” beds and 24-hour butler, according to the hotel.

A hotel spokesman deferred all other comment to police.

On Saturday, Brown performed a sold-out show at Drai’s nightclub atop the Cromwell Hotel as after-party entertainment to the much anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. He also attended the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

At his show, Brown reportedly commanded $100 and $200 cover charges with table reservations with bottle-service ranging in price from a $2,000 minimum for a small four-seater as far away from the stage as it can go, to at least $20,000 for a table in the middle of the action.

The full-length concert was also billed as the launch to Brown’s new residency at Drai’s. His next show in the series of concerts is scheduled for July 4, according to an announcement.

The statement sent Sunday also said Brown is expected to celebrate his birthday at the venue’s night time pool party on Tuesday.

The troubled R&B singer was freed from probation for felony assault just six weeks ago. In 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to a brutal attack on his then-girlfriend, the singer Rihanna, hours before the Grammy Awards.

Brown’s legal woes have since been in the spotlight.

His probation was revoked briefly, in January for performing in Northern California without permission and in 2013 for a fender bender filed as a hit-and-run case. He was also charged that same year with misdemeanor assault in Washington.

In February, Canadian immigration officials also refused to allow him into the country, forcing him to cancel two shows, and British officials blocked his entry in 2010 forcing the cancellation of four performances.

Brown’s attorney and publicist could not immediately be reached for comment.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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IN MEMORIAM: Robert Farris Thompson, Renowned Professor of African American Studies

Prolific Professor Robert Farris Thompson truly embodied the term ‘Maestro de Maestros.’ He was an absolute giant in the field of Afro-Atlantic history and art, respected by his peers for his groundbreaking work and multiple major articles and publications, particularly the seminal “Flash of the Spirit” (1984) and “Faces of the Gods” (1993).

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Robert Farris Thompson. Yale University photo.
Robert Farris Thompson. Yale University photo.

TRIBUTE

By John Santos

We’ve lost a Rosetta Stone.

Prolific Professor Robert Farris Thompson passed in his sleep Monday morning due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease and having been weakened by a bout with COVID-19 at the beginning of the year. He would’ve completed his 89th year on December 30.

Born on Dec. 30, 1932, Thompson was a White Texan who spectacularly disproved the fallacy of White supremacy through his pioneering and tireless elevation and clarification of African art, philosophy and culture. He removed the blinders and changed the way that generations of international students see African art.

A U.S. Army veteran, he went to Yale on a football scholarship and earned a B.A. in 1955. He joined the faculty in 1964 and earned his Ph.D. in 1965. He remained on the faculty until 2015.

‘Master T,’ as his students and friends often referred to him, was the Col. John Trumbull professor of the History of Art and professor of African American Studies at Yale University.

Thompson was also an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

He curated game-changing national exhibitions such as “African Art in Motion,” “The Four Moments of the Sun: Kongo Art in Two Worlds,” and “Faces of the Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African Americas.” The latter had a run at U.C. Berkeley in 1995 when local practitioners of African spirituality and musicians — including myself – demonstrated the powerful knowledge of tradition.

Thompson truly embodied the term ‘Maestro de Maestros.’ He was an absolute giant in the field of Afro-Atlantic history and art, respected by his peers for his groundbreaking work and multiple major articles and publications, particularly the seminal “Flash of the Spirit” (1984) and “Faces of the Gods” (1993). If he did not coin, he certainly standardized the term ‘Black Atlantic.’ He was a brilliant presenter, writer and teacher. But unlike many if not most academicians, he was also loved, revered and respected by the musicians, artists and communities about whom he wrote.

Initiated in Africa to Erinle, the deity of deep, still water, Thompson was hip, quirky and totally immersed in African and African-based music, dance, language, art and history. His lifetime of research, immersion and visionary work formed a bridge between Black America and her African roots.

Countless trips to Africa, the Southern U.S., the Caribbean and Central and South America informed his passionate work. He wrote about sculpture, painting, architecture, dance, music, language, poetry, food, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, African history, stolen antiquities, African spirituality, African retention, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, Black Argentina, New York, México, mambo, tango, jazz, spirit possession and so much more. He recorded African drumming. He befriended giants of African diaspora music such as Julito Collazo, Babatunde Olatunji and Mongo Santamaría.

I first saw his writing around 1970 on the back of the classic red vinyl 1961 Mongo Santamaria LP, Arriba! La Pachanga (Fantasy 3324). They are inarguably among the deepest liner notes ever written.

He told me that he used our 1984 recording, Bárbara Milagrosa, by the Orquesta Batachanga, to demonstrate danzón-mambo to his students. I nearly burst into tears when he invited me and Omar Sosa to address and perform for his students at Yale, his alma mater, where he was a rock star. It was an unforgettable occasion for me.

He wrote wonderful liner notes on our 2002 Grammy-nominated production SF Bay, by the Machete Ensemble. He went out of his way to support and encourage countless students and followers like me. I was highly honored to count him as a friend as well as mentor.

He will be missed.

John Santos is a seven-time Grammy-nominated percussionist and former director of Orquesta Batachanga and Machete Ensemble and current director of the John Santos Sextet.

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Art

Poet Laureates Provides Poetry That Heals the Soul

The City of Richmond’s 2021– 2023 Poet Laureate, David Flores was joined by fellow poet laureates including Eevelyn Mitchell of El Cerrito, Jeremy Snyder of Vallejo, Ayodele Nzinga of Oakland and Tongo Eisen-Martin of San Francisco to celebrate Flores’ installation. Each poet shared some of their work with the audience. A laureate is a person who has been honored for achieving distinction in a particular field.

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The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft.
The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft.

By Clifford L. Williams

Poetry is a universal language…it’s the song of the heart that feeds the soul.

That was the message shared by five poet laureates from the Bay Area last week at a gathering to introduce the City of Richmond’s 2021– 2023 Poet Laureate, David Flores, during an Open Mic event at CoBiz Richmond, in collaboration with Richmond’s Arts and Cultural Commission.

Flores was joined by fellow poet laureates including Eevelyn Mitchell of El Cerrito, Jeremy Snyder of Vallejo, Ayodele Nzinga of Oakland and Tongo Eisen-Martin of San Francisco to celebrate Flores’ installation. Each poet shared some of their work with the audience. A laureate is a person who has been honored for achieving distinction in a particular field.

Flores, an 11-year former schoolteacher for the Richmond Unified School District, submitted a few poems and some of his writings to a panel of commissioners last May, who reviewed his work and eventually selected him as the city’s newest poet laureate.

“To me, this is an opportunity to really highlight poetry as an art form accessible to everyone in our city,” said Flores. “I will use this appointment to actively engage young people and adults to allow them the opportunity to not only hear art but to also inspire them to share their work.”

Flores said that since COVID 19, people have been disconnected and now need community bonding to express themselves through art and poetry. “As a poet laureate, I want to grow as an artist and share my work,” said Flores. “It’s fulfilling as a shared humanity to connect and inspire people and a way to spark communication with one another. Once you have that experience, you feel confidence and there’s no going back.”

The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft. Laureates help to bring awareness of poetry and literacy through the arts to their respective communities during their two-year appointments. Each laureate goes through a process involving several steps, outlined by a panel of commissioners, who make the final selections.

“One of the main things we do as poet laureates is to encourage unity within our community through the arts,” said Mitchell. “Our specific responsibilities are to highlight poetry as an outlet to allow people to express themselves.

“As poet laureate, we put on events to encourage our community to become more involved and aware, and to be more unified in bringing awareness, unity, respect and love within the community. Because of the pandemic, we are all trying to figure out our new norm.

“With everything that has been going on for the past two years, I firmly believe it’s important that we as a community, and I as a poet laureate, need to bring harmony back into our lives,” she said. “It is my quest and priority to promote that. We are neighbors, we are friends, we are a community, and we need each other to survive.”

The general public can learn more about their city’s poet laureate events and activities by contacting their Arts and Cultural Commission.

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Bay Area

Skyline High Girls Volleyball Team Makes History

The team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match.

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The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team
The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team.

As the season comes to a close for the Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team, the members are celebrating that they went farther than any Skyline or OUSD/OAL volleyball team ever has. On the final day, November 19, the team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match. Skyline fell short 3 games to 1, coming in as runner-up. The photo above shows the team posing with their trophy after the match.

 

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