When news spread about Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old Black woman who died in a jail cell after being pulled over during a traffic stop, many used social media to not only express their anger and disbelief, but to spread awareness about her case. Bland’s tragic story spread so quickly, the hashtag #SandraBland started trending. But Instagram users who recently tried to search for posts using the hashtag were directed to a blank page, leaving many to wonder if the social media site banned its users from posting about Bland. Instagram claims they aren’t trying to censor users, but wanted to prevent people from posting hateful messages. They claim that some users started leaving racist and threatening captions and comments on posts. “Content in the ‘Most Recent’ section of a hashtag can be abused because the photos and videos that appear in that section are highly visible,” said an Instagram spokeswoman. After banning the posts for 24-hours, the hashtag is now up and running again. Read more.
The Boy Scouts of America Lift Gay Ban
The Boy Scouts of America took a major move in ensuring that their organization is more LGBT inclusive on Monday. They voted to lift a long-term ban on allowing gay adults to be employees and volunteers. “For far too long, this issue has divided and distracted us,” said BSA President Robert Gates. “Now it’s time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of scouting to be a force for good in the community and in the lives of its youth members.” BSA’s executive board voted 45-12 for the change, which will go into effect immediately. LGBT organizations like GLAAD have expressed their excitement. “Finally, hardworking and devoted gay adult leaders can serve openly and honestly in Scouting without fear of rejection or retribution,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the advocacy group. Read more.
The Cast of “The Color Purple” Revival Revealed
The revival of The Color Purple is finally coming together. The cast of the project, which is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, will feature Danielle Brooks from Orange is the New Black as Sofia, Jennifer Hudson as Shug, Cynthia Erivo as Celie, Isaiah Johnson as Mister, Kyle Scatliffe as Harpo, and Joaquina Kalukango as Nettie. Other cast members will be revealed over the next few months. The production is slated to open on December 3rd at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in NYC. Read more.
LaGuardia Airport to Get a Facelift
New York City’s LaGuardia Airport will soon be getting a makeover. The project will not only give LaGuardia a new look, but will expand the available space for planes to operate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking forward to the changes. “This is what New Yorkers deserve and have deserved for a long time. And now we’re going to get it,” he said. Read more.