The Story of the First Black Woman to Hold Two Patents for A Natural Hair Accessory is Told in Black History Month Documentary 2/23/2019

Marietta, GA — As we celebrate Black History Month, inventor of the PuffCuff® Hair Clamp and the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents, Ceata Lash, stands out as a living legend who is blazing a new path in the hair industry. Her rise to success is chronicled in her newly released mini-documentary, which is accessible at www.ThePuffCuff.com. This documentary offers viewers a raw, honest story of how Ceata Lash turned her idea born out of personal frustration into a global empire for textured and curly hair accessories.About 12 years ago Ceata decided to stop chemically straightening her hair. “I actually had no idea what the hair growing out of my scalp would look like, so I didn’t know how to take care of it… Ever since the days of Madam CJ Walker, all we’ve ever known was straight hair,” Ceata states in the opening of the mini-documentary. After much research on natural hair styling, she found that most of the current hair accessories were designed with a bias towards straight hair. Ceata felt it wasn’t fair and realized she was facing a problem bigger than just her. She, along with many others with textured hair, needed a product to style thick, natural hair in an afro puff without the breakage or pain usually associated with using rubber or elastic bands that tug and rip the hair. “All I needed was something to hold my hair, not cinch it down,” she explains in the mini-documentary.

The mini-documentary continues where Ceata’s recounts her experience working as a senior graphic designer at a community college where she was the only black person in the department. During this time, she began experimenting with ways to style her natural hair, so that she would feel comfortable in a predominantly white environment. She decided to keep her hairstyling simple with a single afro puff but in order to achieve this style, Ceata had to use boot length shoestrings to gather her thick mane into a puff and keep it in place. However, she found that the tension and tightness created unbearable headaches throughout the day. She was sure others were suffering through the same issue. It was this very reason that inspired her to create a solution that ultimately became known as the PuffCuff– the only clamp for thick, curly hair on the market. The PuffCuff launched in 2013, and in 2017 Ceata became the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents.

Over the years, Ceata and her innovative PuffCuff have been featured in Allure, Kontrol Magazine, Marie Claire, Black Enterprise, and more media outlets. In 2018, the leadership team of beauty retail pioneer, Sally Beauty, chose to grant Ceata the President’s Innovation Award for her invention of the ingenious PuffCuff as a part of Sally Beauty’s Cultivate Program. This program is aligned with Sally Beauty’s new business accelerator initiatives to help women beauty entrepreneurs grow their businesses. As a result of having received this coveted recognition, PuffCuff was granted fast track distribution into all 3,000 Sally Beauty stores and website by the end of 2019.

Toward the end of the mini-documentary, Ceata ends offering some words of encouragement, “Don’t give up. Keep running when you’re tired, and you don’t stop until the Lord tells you too. And he hasn’t told us to.”

A proven success story, Ceata’s legacy will serve to help pave the way for ushering in future generations of black inventors, especially those seeking to contribute to breakthroughs within the beauty industry. As for Ceata, she’ll remain on the front lines toward innovating solutions to end common beauty and grooming problems, all while further solidifying her spot as a game-changer in black history.

Judge Denies $38 Million Verdict For the Family of a Black Woman Killed by Police 2/23/2019

Baltimore, MD — The family of Korryn Gaines, who was shot and killed by a police officer three years ago, is disappointed after a Baltimore County judge has overturned the decision of a jury that awarded them over $38 million in damages for her wrongful death.In 2016, local police officers went to Gaines’ apartment to serve an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for two different charges. Gaines, who was found inside the apartment with her boyfriend and her two children, allegedly pointed a gun at the officers.

After a 6-hour standoff, police officers fired shots when she allegedly threatened to kill them, although their neighbors told different stories. Gaines was fatally shot and her now-6-year-old son, Kodi, was injured.

Her family filed a lawsuit against Baltimore County Police and Cpl. Royce Ruby, the officer who fatally shot her, claiming that they used excessive force. The jury sided with the family and last year, they were awarded $38 million in damages, which included $33 million to her son, Kodi, $4.5 million to her daughter, Karsyn, and $9,000 to her parents and estate.

However, Judge Mickey J. Norman recently dismissed the claims and denied the family of the award. Norman stated in his ruling that Ruby’s actions were “objectively reasonable” and did not violate her rights against unlawful seizure. He noted the “qualified immunity” that protect law enforcement and government officials from civil liability when doing their job.

Gaines’ family said that they are planning to appeal the judge’s ruling.

“It’s devastating to a certain extent, but they’re a very faithful family,” J. Wyndal Gordon, the family’s attorney, told The Baltimore Sun. “It’s not over.”

12 and 14-Year-Old Boys Arrested For Allegedly Gang Raping a 19-Year Old Girl 2/23/2019

Baltimore, MD — Three 14-year-old teens and a 12-year-old boy are now facing charges in connection with their alleged gang rape of a 19-year old woman whom they abducted after she stepped out the bus in Baltimore.Wilmer Ramos, Philip Worrell, and Nile Campbell, who were all 14-years old, were charged as adults with first- and second-degree rape after the sexual assault that happened on the night of February 6.

A 12-year-old boy who was with them at the scene during the sexual assault was also charged but as a juvenile. He faces charges of first-degree rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offense, conspiracy kidnapping, conspiracy robbery, perverted practice, and illegally possessing a handgun.

The victim, a 19-year-old woman whose name wasn’t released, had reportedly just got off a bus and was walking back to her house in Baltimore when the teens and the boy approached her and threatened her with a handgun. She was forced to a backyard full of rubbish, beer bottles, and old mattresses where she was allegedly raped at gunpoint.

Police said that as the three teens were sexually assaulting the woman, neighbors heard noises and went out of their house to identify where it is coming from.

The four attackers were interrupted and they fled from the scene. Two of them were caught later on when school police recognized them. School police cooperated with sex offense detectives and the two other suspects were captured after they were identified from the photos.

Unapologetic Alabama Editor Who Urged KKK To ‘Ride Again’ Finally Resigns 2/23/2019

The still-not-sorry editor and publisher of an Alabama county newspaper has resigned and turned over control of his publication to a black woman following outrage over his editorial calling for the “Ku Klux Klan to night ride again.” 

Goodloe Sutton told the Montgomery Advertiser on Friday that the Democrat-Reporter now has a new “publisher, owner and editor.” He refused to explain whether he had sold the publication in Linden, in western Alabama, or simply turned over control, calling the reporter “dumb” for asking, according to the Advertiser.

He told the Auburn Plainsman on Friday: “I can drink beer and chase women now. They can’t run too fast, or I can’t catch them.”

A news release from the Democrat-Reporter announced that local woman Elecia Dexter became publisher and editor on Thursday. Dexter is African-American and has worked at the newspaper for several years, according to the Plainsman. Dexter told The Associated Press that, although she will run the 3,000-circulation newspaper, Sutton will continue to own it.

The statement said Dexter would continue the newspaper’s 140-year-old tradition of providing “quality news” as well as “moving the paper into a new direction.” 

Sutton, 80, wrote in his editorial last week that it was time for “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” as he complained about Washington “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.” The white supremacist Klan carried out murderous lynchings and other attacks on black people and their supporters during their night rides.

He later told the Advertiser, “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off.” Asked to explain what he meant, he responded: “We’ll get the hemp ropes out and loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.” 

He also insisted the Klan “didn’t kill but a few people” and “wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”

The community had complained for years about the racist perspective of the editorial page, the Advertiser reported.

The statement from the Democrat-Reporter said that the “Sutton family devoted this newspaper to integrity and excellence in journalism which has been led over the past 50-plus years by Goodloe Sutton and his [late] wife, Jean.”

It added that “Ms. Dexter is coming in at a pivotal time for the newspaper and you may have full confidence in her ability to handle these challenging times.”

Sutton had been inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mass Communications and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007, along with his wife, who died in 2003. The university released a statement earlier this week condemning Sutton and announcing his removal from the hall of fame. 

Here’s the Democrat-Reporter’s full statement on Sutton stepping down:

The Democrat-Reporter is pleased to announce effective February 21, 2019, Elecia R. Dexter will be the Publisher and Editor of the newspaper going forward. The Democrat-Reporter has provided the community of West Alabama with quality news for over 140 years and you may have full confidence that Ms. Dexter will continue in this tradition as well as moving the paper into a new direction. We are pleased to make this announcement as her family has strong roots and a rich history in Marengo County where her dad, John Dexter Jr. was born.

She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with her Bachelors in Speech Communication. She continued her academic pursuit by getting her Masters in Human Services from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and her Masters in Counseling from Argosy University. Over the past 10 years, she has been a strategic leader with expertise in human resources, operations and change management.

The Sutton family devoted this newspaper to integrity and excellence in Journalism which has been led over the past 50 plus years by Goodloe Sutton and his wife Jean.

Ms. Dexter is coming in at a pivotal time for the newspaper and you may have full confidence in her ability to handle these challenging times.