Pride May Be Canceled, but This LGBTQ Marching Band Plays On

Pride May Be Canceled, but This LGBTQ Marching Band Plays On

Seth Kessler for The Daily Beast

A year ago, 160 members of the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC), New York’s oldest LGBTQ marching band, eagerly waited at the start line of the World Pride 50 parade in New York.

Neil Patrick Harris climbed a nearby float and waved his hands, conducting the starstruck band below. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio strode by, lifting a rainbow flag high above his head. Hundreds of pink T-Mobile balloons peppered the band’s starting pen.

The day’s visual—five million global partygoers converging on parking lot’s worth of Manhattan asphalt—is now unimaginable. But the reception from last year—the open arms of celebrities, politicians and corporations—was once unimaginable too.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

AMC Will Now Require Face Masks, Reversing Policy After Mass Outrage

Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

AMC Theatres reversed its controversial face mask policy Friday afternoon, following mass outrage and backlash over social media. All customers will now be required to wear masks when theaters reopen.

The theater chain’s CEO, Adam Aron, had previously said that the company’s plan to reopen locations would not require patrons to wear masks as they “did not want to be drawn into political controversy.”

The insinuation that the CDC’s recommendation that all people wear masks in public spaces in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus was a political issue infuriated many of AMC’s customers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

150 Days of Coronavirus in the United States: A Timeline of How the Pandemic Unfolded

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Americans reached another startling milestone in their national coronavirus nightmare on Friday: 150 recorded days of the deadly virus in their midst.

In just about five months since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered in Washington state on January 21, the U.S. has identified over 2.2 million cases and 118,758 deaths, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Both numbers are over two times more than those of the next most infected country, Brazil—and almost certainly represent a vast undercount.

In recent weeks, dozens of states moving forward with reopening from lockdowns geared at reining in the pandemic have registered a spike in new cases. States like Texas, Florida, and Arizona are setting new 24-hour case records virtually by the day.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Juneteenth Fashion That Matters, from Black-Owned Businesses

Today is Juneteenth, and with many public events and observances cancelled countrywide, people are seeking more personal ways to display their resilience, pride, and convictions in their own space. Juneteenth fashion and accessories are selling fast and shipping across the country online. Fashion and statement t-shirts have always been a huge part of Juneteenth festivals and celebrations. After slaves were freed, one of the most celebrated aspects of freedom was the ability to finally “dress up”. Slaves were relegated to harsh, plain fabrics and could be punished severely for “dressing outside of their station”, this raised suspicion that they’d be confused  as  free people of color or seeking to escape bondage. Freed slaves therefore spent considerable time and expense to adorn themselves to their personal taste once in a safe space. To this day, “dressing for the occasion” is of high regard in the Black community. Online sales of empowering or inspiring Black message fashions have exploded — both due to pandemic event cancellations as well as Black Lives Matter protests

In conjunction with Juneteenth observances taking place, folks can patronize merchants for #BlackoutDay as well — a day earmarked for supporting only Black businesses — on July 7th, 2020. This is a movement underway to show the power of the collective Black dollar, and it is taking hold widely across the country. 

Of course, these designers create other inspirational messages with their talents. Some offer a wide array of graphics and quotes.  Here are a few we loved:

Read more at The Daily Beast.

What Would a Socially Distanced Award Show Even Look Like? 

Illustration by The Daily Beast

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here. 

Amidst all the, well, everything going on in the world, there were two bits of news that may have escaped you this week because with the, well, everything going on there is absolutely no reason you should have paid attention. 

That said, here is a longer-than-necessary write-up of those two very things.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

What the Hell Is John Bolton?

The Daily Beast/Sarah Rogers

Molly Jong-Fast, like the rest of us, is rather confused. What, exactly, is a “John Bolton?” In Episode 18 of The New Abnormal, she and Rick Wilson (who knew the former national security advisor from life’s past) take the deceased zoologist Steve Irwin approach and try to crack the mystery of Donald Trump’s mustachioed menace.

“He looks slow, but he’s a swift bureaucratic actor,” says Rick, adding that because of Bolton’s explosive new book, the president and his lawyers will go after “the traitor,” as Pompeo called him. “Nobody gets a pass in Trumpworld.”

Plus! The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright tells the juicy backstory behind his big scoop that Mary Trump has written a tell-all book about her fucked-up family. And the tea is hot.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

He Was Cut From Jordan’s Bulls After Standing Up for Rodney King

Lynne Sladky/AP

Close to 30 years ago, Craig Hodges had a radical idea. The then-30 year-old shooting was coming off the bench for a loaded Chicago Bulls team headed into a storied match-up in the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Facing off against an aging but still dominant Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan was presented with a near pitch-perfect opportunity to dispel the myth that, for all his otherworldly gifts, he couldn’t lead a team to the title. If he prevailed, Jordan could stake his claim to be included in the pantheon of NBA greats. 

Hodges saw a different kind of opportunity altogether. Inspired by Elgin Baylor, Bill Russell, and Jerry West, whose threat to shut down the 1964 NBA All-Star Game forced the league to fund a pension plan and recognize the union, he proposed a wildcat strike of game one. By bringing the Finals to a shuddering halt, the NBA and the entire basketball-loving world would have to pay heed to the systemic racism that existed both in the country as a whole and the league itself. Enlisting Jordan was key to the entire endeavor, Hodges determined. If he were willing to lock arms in solidarity, the rest of the Bulls would follow suit. 

Jordan declined, as did Johnson. “That’s too extreme, man,” Hodges says Johnson told him during warmups, as detailed in Hodges’s 207 memoir, Longshot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Trump Threatens Potential Protesters Ahead of Tulsa Rally

Justin Sullivan/Getty

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday morning to warn potential protesters at his Saturday rally that Oklahoma “will be a much different scene” and that they “will not be treated like [they] have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” calling them “lowlifes.” The president shortly thereafter shared another tweet that said “THE SILENT MAJORITY IS STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE.”

The city of Tulsa, where Trump’s Saturday rally is set to be held, ordered a last-minute curfew Thursday night to mitigate potential violence overnight, according to The Washington Post. The order is in place from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night. The mayor, G.T. Bynum, declared a “civil emergency” in the city after officials told him “individuals from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other states are planning to travel to the City of Tulsa for purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally,” according to the order. It remains unclear whether the Trump supporters who have waited in line for days to secure a spot at the rally will clear out for the curfew.

Trump’s rally, the first since the start of the coronavirus lockdowns, has faced widespread criticism. Bynum on Tuesday afternoon said he “shares anxiety” about the rally, saying he would have preferred another city to have been a testing ground for such a large event. The rally, originally scheduled for Friday, was moved to Saturday after outcry over the event being held on Juneteenth, the date that marks the end of slavery in Texas.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Inigo Philbrick, $20m Art Fraudster, Lived Openly and Adopted a Dog in His Pacific Hideout, Shocked Locals Say

Stuart C. Wilson

Having nerves of steel is an essential attribute for any confidence trickster, and Inigo Philbrick, 33, described as the art world’s Bernie Madoff for an alleged $20m fraud, certainly had those.

Philbrick, who was arrested last week while strolling through the locked-down streets of the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, wearing just swimming trunks and a t-shirt, had made no attempt to hide his identity and had been using his own name to book tennis lessons and in dealings with local businesses on the island, the industry website Artnet reports.

After being picked up, Philbrick was frogmarched to a Gulfstream jet bound for the American territory of Guam on June 11 and a photograph of Philbrick in zip ties being walked to the plane made the front page of the sleepy island’s local paper in the following days.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

10 Black Small Businesses To Support Right Now

With the protests going on surrounding the recent killing of George Floyd and other Blacks by the police, more people are looking at ways to join the Black Lives Matter movement and support the Black community.  Apart from donating to various organizations fighting racial injustice in America, there are other ways to show solidarity and be an ally to the Black community.  One of such ways is to patronize small Black business owners and to show continued support of Black entrepreneurs. Below is a list of Black businesses you can support from the comfort of your couch. 

Eyeseeme

This is the time to let your kids read more about people of color, especially Blacks by Black authors. Eyeseeme is a family-owned bookstore founded by Pamela & Jeffrey Blair. The bookstore seeks to provide parents, teachers, and schools with the best children’s books that promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history. From Multicultural books, graphic novels, to history and comic books, your wards would have a lot to read from Eyeseeme. | Shop Now 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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