Author: Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas is a digital intern at Unmutedco.

Actor John Boyega has cut ties with perfume brand, Jo Malone, after the company replaced Boyega with a Chinese actor for a campaign in China. What We Know: Jo Malone, a British perfume owned by Estée Lauder, assumed John Boyega as a global ambassador. However, the Star Wars star has stepped down from his position following the company’s decision to replace Boyega in a Chinese campaign. The original advertisement, called The London Gent, starred John Boyega in various settings, some that reference his Nigerian heritage. The advertisement featured Boyega’s friends, family, and hometown. Although, for the Chinese campaign the actor…

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A Connecticut teenager saved a mom and three children from a burning car earlier last week. What We Know: Waterbury Police Department received multiple calls last Wednesday (September 9th) describing similar scenes of a woman trapped in a burning vehicle. 18-year-old Justin Gavin was reportedly on a walk to a local Walgreens and realized there was a car on fire. The small SUV was covered in flames when it drove past Gavin. He proceeded to chase down the burning car to help the family escape. Once he reached the vehicle, Gavin pulled the woman and three young children to safety.…

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W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas faces serious backlash following an assignment that prompted students to write about various heroes from a list including Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Kyle Rittenhouse. What We Know: The 17-year-old accused of killing two people in Kenosha, Kyle Rittenhouse, was included on a list for an assignment labeled “Hero for the Modern Age”. The English assignment asked students to write a half-page biography of each name listed. The list included Mahatma Gandhi, César Chávez, Malcolm X, George Floyd, Kyle Rittenhouse, and Joseph D. Rosenbaum. The English teacher that created the assignment remains unidentified due…

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Tabitha Moore, director of the Rutland county chapter of the NAACP in Vermont, is leaving her home following months of racially-motivated harassment. What We Know: Tabitha Moore has already found a buyer for her new home following months of harassment towards her and her family. Amongst many incidents, the vandalism of her home and intimidation tactics by community members towards her daughter propelled the decision to move. Although the family plans on relocating, they are still unsure as to where exactly they will go. Moore is not surprised by the harassment, she said Vermont is primarily white by the state’s…

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Soul icons, Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle competed in the latest Verzuz battle on Sunday (Sept. 13.). What We Know: Legendary R&B and soul singers Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle competed via Instagram Live in the newest episode of the Apple Music series, Verzuz. The series was created by Swizz Beats and Timbaland as a way for artists of the same genre to compete virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two icons went hit-to-hit, singing popular songs like Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” and Labelle’s “If You Asked Me To”. They were also joined by a surprise guest, Dionne Warwick…

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Nineteen Black families bought over 90 acres of land in Wilkinson County, Georgia to create a pro-Black safe haven. What We Know: The Freedom Georgia Initiative was created in response to the state-sanctioned violence perpetrated upon Black people. The initiative plans to create a safe space for Black people by creating a community in Wilkinson Country Georgia. The initiative is a collective of 19 black families. The goal of the community is to not only foster generational wealth but to provide a place for restoration, recreation, and reformation during this time. The Freedom Georgia Initiative is “black-owned, woman-owned, family-owned, [and]…

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Black Lives Matter demonstrators occupied a Trader Joe’s in Seattle last week to protest the ways capitalism exploits marginalized communities. What We Know: Morning March Seattle, an organization that advocates for abolishing the police and investing in Black communities in Seattle, Washington, took to Trader Joe’s last week to demonstrate. The demonstrations were an effort to educate both staff and shoppers on the dangers of capitalism. The protestors focused on the ways “gentrification” and “a lack of access to grocery stores” disproportionately affect particularly black and brown communities of the working class. Morning March Seattle has been marching every (week)…

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Jamaican reggae legend, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert died at the age of 77 in Kingston, Jamaica. What We Know: The musician, from Toots & the Maytals, passed away peacefully on Friday night. While no cause of death was reported, many speculate COVID-19 played a part. Hibbert is considered a father of reggae as he is credited for not only popularizing the style but also giving the genre its name. His 1968 single “Do the Reggay” is the first song to actually use the term. Many social media users joined in both mourning and celebrating his death. He was deeply loved…

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Approximately 7 million students will begin learning within an online classroom for the 2020-2021 school year. What We Know: Across the United States, school districts are taking precautionary measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus. According to CNN, 62 of the largest 101 districts in the US will participate in online learning in response to COVID-19. New York City is home to the largest school district in the country with over 1.1 million students enrolled. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that classes in New York City will be offered both entirely remote or blended, “We’re going to have…

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In violation of North Carolina’s COVID-19 rules, President Trump was without a face mask at a campaign rally in Winston-Salem on Tuesday. What We Know: President Trump spoke Tuesday at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem in hopes to sway the swing state in his favor. The president violated North Carolina law by refusing to wear a mask during his speech. Similar to Trump, many of the supporters at the rally were also not wearing a mask or following any COVID-19 precautions. According to North Carolina safety measures issued by Governor Roy Cooper, mass gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors…

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