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The King and the Queen: How LeBron James and Beyoncé are rewriting the rules of celebrity

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The truest line in Spike Lee’s newest film, BlacKkKlansman, comes courtesy of the president of a college’s Black Student Union. She’s talking to the title character about W.E.B. Du Bois and double consciousness.

“We shouldn’t have a war going on inside ourselves,” she tells him. “We should just be black.”

Maybe the September 2018 cover of Vogue is what it looks like to “just be black.” Or maybe it’s LeBron James striding through the halls of his newly opened I PROMISE public school in Akron, Ohio, and having a conversation with Don Lemon on CNN that drew the ire of the president. Maybe it’s tens of thousands of fans in a stadium going apes— while the Carters close out another On The Run II tour date with “Apes–t.”

The two biggest black celebrities in America, LeBron James and Beyoncé, are both taking big social and artistic swings at the heights of their careers. And they’re doing so as deeply informed, politically engaged citizens, neither of whom went to college. Their actions aren’t defined by vanity or solipsism but by a deliberateness that challenges their audiences to keep up. They have, as sociologist Tressie McMillan-Cottom would say, done the reading.

Read more by @ The Undefeated HERE

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Google’s Advertising Platform Is Blocking Articles About Racism

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On Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, the Atlantic decided to recirculate King’s famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” which the magazine had run in its August 1963 issue and republished, in print and online, in 2018. Several hours later, the publication’s staff noticed that Google’s Ad Exchange platform, which serves many of the ads on the Atlantic’s website, had “demonetized” the page containing the letter under its “dangerous or derogatory content” policy. In other words: As part of its efforts to protect advertisers from offensive internet content with which they would not want their products to be associated, Ad Exchange had locked out one of the most important texts of the civil rights movement.

Google controls more than 30 percent of the digital ads market. A big chunk of that business happens through Ad Exchange, a marketplace for buying and selling advertising space across the web. According to its publisher policies, Google does not monetize, or allow advertising on, “dangerous or derogatory content” that disparages people on the basis of a characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination—race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc. As the policy outlines, this might look like “promoting hate groups” or “encouraging others to believe that a person or group is inhuman.” Because of the scale of Google’s ad-serving business, however, it can’t enforce this policy on the front lines by hand, so instead the company uses an algorithm that, in part, scans for offensive keywords in articles. But the system doesn’t always take context into consideration. Several mainstream publishers, including Slate, have had articles demonetized under this policy when covering race and LGBTQ issues.

Read the entire article @ Slate.com

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Google adds ‘Black-owned’ business attribute to local listings

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Verified Google My Business profile owners in the U.S. can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their listings.

Business attributes are highlighted as icons when customers view a business’ profile on mobile, as shown below.

Why we care

Google said it has seen “a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses” in recent months — a period in which the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum. Distinguishing Black-owned businesses in local search may help those businesses attract visibility in Search and Maps and gain customers.

“With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” Jewel Burks, head of Google for Startups U.S. said in Thursday’s announcement.

Google is also adding the new attribute to its digital skills training program Grow with Digital Coaches, an initiative designed to help Black and Latinx small businesses reach new customers.

Want to read the entire article @ Search Engine Land? Click here and subscribe!

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Support for Black-owned businesses skyrocketed to historic levels in the last 2 months, according to a new Yelp report

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Interest in supporting Black-owned businesses has never been so high, according to a Yelp report released on Wednesday.

Search activity for Black-owned businesses on Yelp increased by 7,043% in the last two months compared to the same period in 2019. Yelp users searched for Black-owned businesses over 2.5 million times between May 25 to July 10. In 2019, there were around 35,000 similar searches during the same period.

Justin Norman, Yelp’s vice president of data science, told Business Insider in an email that Yelp has never seen such a significant increase in support for Black-owned businesses.

Read more @ Business Insider

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