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“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (Sept. 16) to discuss the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi; the Black Lives Matter organization fallout; Tyler Perry’s latest offering; and the 2022 Primetime Emmys. REVOLT Special Correspondent Segun Oduolowu hosted the episode, titled “Black Community and the Jackson Water Crisis and the Cost of BLM.” He was joined by Jackson State University student Mackenzie Williams, Vice President of Programs at the U.S. Water Alliance Renee Willette, BLM Grassroots lead attorney Walter Mosley Jr., One Love Global CEO Angela Waters Austin, and Mass Exodus Movement founder Quisha King. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also brought viewers the latest in celebrity news, during which she interviewed Tyler Perry about his film A Jazzman’s Blues.
Oduolowu opened the show by discussing the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis, during which more than 150,000 residents were left without clean running water and were placed under a boil water advisory for weeks. He then held a roundtable discussion with Williams and Willette to discuss who should be held accountable for failing to implement preventative measures. Williams told Oduolowu that while some people are blaming the Jackson City Council for the tragedy, it would be incorrect to do so. “I am a citizen of Jackson, I’ve lived here my entire life. Above the city council is our governor, and our governor isn’t necessarily as empathetic with the city of Jackson when it comes to these types of social issues,” she declared.
During the conversation, Willette stated that poor infrastructure played a key role in the Jackson water crisis. “We haven’t invested in infrastructure or workforce in our country in about 45 years and that’s a systemic problem across the country. The changing climate is making severe storms, flooding, and water quality issues even worse for communities across the country,” she asserted. “Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem that’s isolated to Jackson. I think we’re seeing the results and the tragedy in Jackson right now, but this is something that communities across the nation have to face and deal with.”
Switching gears, Oduolowu turned his attention to a lawsuit that was filed against Black Lives Matter leader Shalomyah Bowers for allegedly misusing millions of donated funds for personal use. Delano Squires, contributor for “Fearless with Jason Whitlock,” expressed to REVOLT that throughout the years, BLM has misled members of the Black community. “A lot of people sent their hard-earned money to BLM thinking that they were an organization that was sincere in the things they said they would do in terms of improving certain outcomes in the Black community. Clearly, in the last two years, that’s proven to not be the case,” he explained.
Oduolowu led a provocative exchange with Mosley, Austin and King about the history of BLM and allegations the organization has faced in recent years. Mosley told REVOLT the lawsuit alleges Bowers embezzled $10 million dollars from donated funds. He told Oduolowu that BLM Grassroots is currently investigating the ordeal. “As our investigation proceeds, we find more instances of this malfeasance, of this self-dealing, of [these] insider payments to him and to his firm,” he stated.
Austin told Oduolowu that she is not surprised Bowers and the BLM organization have denied any wrongdoing. “I wouldn’t expect a different response. It’s rare that when people are in the wrong that they are willing to come forth with that. Ultimately, it is the history of the work of Black Lives Matter Grassroots that will stand for itself,” she claimed.
King stated, “It was obvious from the beginning” that the BLM organization “was not meant to help Black Americans.” “I’m happy that they are being sued. But, I think that the whole premise of what the organization started off with, we were duped as American citizens and a lot of us saw that early on. This was a search for power. This was not a search for helping people,” she voiced.
Later in the show, McCullough hosted her “Entertainment Remix” segment, during which she interviewed Tyler Perry about his latest film A Jazzman’s Blues and what inspired him to write the screenplay. “It was a literal rainy night in Georgia and I had just seen an August Wilson show, and I went to a little café for the after-party. He was there and we had a chance to sit and talk and chat, and he told me just write what was in my heart. I went home and started writing Jazzman,” Tyler Perry revealed.
McCullough also shared highlights of the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards, where “Euphoria” actress Zendaya made history by becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy twice for Best Actress in a Drama Series. “My greatest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people,” said Zendaya during her award speech.
Sheryl Lee Ralph also made history at the awards show by becoming the second Black woman to win an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Abbott Elementary.” Ralph’s acceptance speech went viral as she boldly sang, “I’m an endangered species.”
Watch a quick clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.