Ben Crump No Doubt, Black Folks 'Will Win War For Equality' Talks New Netflix Doc 'Civil'


Ben Crump says Black people in America have overcome the most dire of circumstances, and he has no doubt the community will continue to progress in the future ... no matter how concerning things appear today.

The high-profile civil attorney joined "TMZ Live" Thursday to talk about the overall state of civil rights and equality in America ... ahead of the release of the new Netflix documentary, "Civil: Ben Crump."

Ben tells us, he has no doubt Black people will win the war against inequality. He says, no matter how it feels today, "we are far better than we were yesterday, and we are going to be better tomorrow."

As you know, Ben has been involved in the country's most high-profile civil rights cases -- including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Andre Hill -- and he continues to shine a light on police violence ... now the leading cause of death for Black men.

The documentary -- which drops on Sunday, Juneteenth -- follows Ben through 2020 as the nation faced a reckoning on race and equality in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Ben says, he's grateful for those who blazed a trail for him, and he hopes to inspire the next generation of civil rights attorneys and activists. He spoke to us about the 2 legal icons who inspired his own career and life philosophy.

Catch the full interview on Thursday's "TMZ Live."

Dr. Anthony Fauci 'To My African-American Brothers and Sisters' ... Black Woman Developed COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci wants Black Americans skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccines to know a Black woman was at the forefront of creating one of them ... so fear not.

The nation's leading infectious disease expert spoke Tuesday at an event hosted by the National Urban League and, while discussing racism in medical research and how it's created mistrust ... Fauci put a spotlight on the contributions of Black scientists in the historic development of COVID vaccines ... most notably Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett.

While it might have sounded awkward, Fauci was simply addressing the elephant in the room -- a new study shows only 14% of African-Americans trust the vaccine will be safe and only 18% trust it'll be effective. That's alarming, considering a large portion of the country needs to get vaccinated in order to beat the virus which has disproportionally affected people of color.

Corbett's a pretty big deal in the medical research world. She's the lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research at Fauci's National Institute of Health. She was also part of the team that worked with Moderna to develop its vaccine that's expected to get emergency use authorization from the FDA and be rolled out later this month.

Fauci added, "So, the first thing you might want to say to my African-American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you're going to be taking was developed by an African-American woman. And, that is just a fact."

Jeezy Verzuz Success is Great, But ... It's Time for a Culture Shock


Jeezy's had enough of his culture being linked to guns, feuds, violence and death -- and he says his highly-viewed Verzuz episode was a chance to address those issues.

The rapper told us what the real takeaway should be from Thursday night's showdown with Gucci Mane ... which set a Verzuz record with nearly 2 million viewers. Jeezy tells us more than anything ... the unprecedented event presented an opportunity to reflect on what's been going on in Black culture.

Sadly, some of what's been going on has been shooting deaths of young artists, like King Von, Mo3, Pop Smoke and so many more ... not to mention Nipsey Hussle's murder last year.

Verzuz/Apple Music

Jeezy says THIS is the issue his people should be focusing on, and it's so much bigger and more important than his beef with Gucci. However, he's happy their battle allowed them to set an example.

As we reported ... this led to a peaceful resolution between Jeezy and Gucci over a 15-year beef sparked by the killing of Jeezy's friend Pookie Loc. It's pretty clear ... Jeezy wants what happened Thursday night to become the norm for young people -- in and out of the music industry.

Jeezy says the messaging on his new album, "The Recession 2," goes hand in hand with his powerful speech during Verzuz -- evolving and getting better.

He also hopes his album helps remind everyone what people have been fighting for in recent months following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

There's also a more literal meaning to the album's title, and Jeezy talked to Big Boy about how business partners taught him what a recession is ... and why he was inspired to share that knowledge with his fans.

Believe it or not ... there's a Barack Obama twist!

Activist Tamika Mallory Black Women Turned Out in Force for Joe ... So Now Give Us Our Due!!!

We Delivered Joe, Your Turn Now

Black voters and especially Black female voters are responsible for what looks like a clear win in Georgia for Joe Biden, so it's about time they get a little more respect ... so says activist Tamika Mallory.

We got Tamika out in NYC Friday, and she made it clear ... Joe Biden will almost certainly become President in no small part because of support from Black voters. True, Donald Trump actually got more Black Georgia voters in his column than in 2016 -- 15% in 2016 and 18% this time around -- but the lion's share went to Biden. Now it's time for Biden and co. to acknowledge their contribution with action.

Tamika echos what many say ... Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic party for decades, yet they have not received their due from the party and candidates they support. Well, she says, that's gotta change ... and now.

She has high praise for Stacey Abrams, who worked tirelessly to combat voter suppression and get people to vote, and she succeeded in spectacular fashion.

Shaq & Dwyane Wade We Blew Millions On Dumb (Awesome) Stuff ... Learn From Our Mistakes!

Black Entrepreneurs Day

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal have a lot in common -- they both blew a FORTUNE when they were young ... and are hoping young people can learn from their stupid, expensive mistakes.

The NBA legends sat down with "Shark Tank" star Daymond John for Black Entrepreneurs Day -- to talk to young people about the importance of financial intelligence.

And man, if these stories don't get the point across ...

Shaq says he was so uneducated about finances when he signed his first endorsement deal after turning pro, he blew $1 MILLION in an HOUR -- splurging on expensive cars, jewelry and a trip to Vegas.

In fact, he went through so much cash, his bank manager pulled him aside and warned him that he was gonna go broke if he continued to spend like a maniac ... because he wasn't accounting for things like income tax, etc.

Black Entrepreneurs Day

Dwyane Wade tells a very similar story -- saying he got tangled up in some bad investments because he had no idea what he was doing.

"I blew through a lot of money," Wade said ... "I got into bad relationships with people from ... ventures outside of basketball, restaurant ventures, etc."

Wade says he simply wasn't educated when it came to finances -- and had to learn the hard way after being taken advantage of.

But now, both superstars are hoping their loss can be your gain -- stressing the importance of financial intelligence so young people spend their money wisely and make it last a very long time.

We totally get the point -- and they're both right (obviously) ... but that 60 minute million dollar spending spree sounds awesome!!

Colin Kaepernick Calls For Abolition Of Police 'Roots In White Supremacy'

Colin Kaepernick is calling for the end of America's current policing system ... saying Wednesday, "In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police."

The ex-NFL star spelled out his wishes for the country in a pointed essay ... claiming the current U.S. police system has "roots in white supremacy and anti-Blackness."

Kaepernick says based on his research ... he believes the "central intent" of cops is to "surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks."

And, Kaep says the only way to stop that is to tear down the entire system.

The 32-year-old says simpler solutions -- like police reforms -- just flat-out don't work.

"F**k reform," Kapernick said, adding, "reforms have done nothing to stop the actions that force us to #SayTheirNames."

Kaepernick is also urging the end of the country's prison system ... saying it, too, has roots based in racism.

"Abolition is the only way to secure a future beyond anti-Black institutions of social control, violence, and premature death," Kaepernick said.

Colin says once the systems are dismantled ... he wants to see the funding "reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and houselessness, access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability."

Kaepernick added, "This is a future that centers the needs of the people, a future that will make us safer, healthier, and truly free."

Daymond John Get Ready for Black Entrepreneurs Day ... $25,000 for Your Biz!!!


Daymond John is dropping knowledge and giving away money through a brand new venture he's cooking up, and he has a ton of celebs ready to inspire a new wave of entrepreneurs.

The "Shark Tank" star filled us in on his latest initiative called Black Entrepreneurs Day, telling us how folks can get $25,000 to help their small businesses.

It's pretty cool ... Daymond's got a dream team of celebs, who are also very successful business people. Shaquille O'Neal, Gabrielle Union, Jamie Foxx and LL Cool J will be with him to share experiences and advice in a series of one-on-one conversations.

Daymond and co. will be streaming live for Black Entrepreneurs Day on Oct. 24 and you can tune in and take notes on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok.

Check out Tuesday's "TMZ Live" to see more from Daymond about how he put this huge event together -- and you can apply for one of the $25k grants starting today at

The winners will be announced at the inaugural Black Entrepreneurs Day.

Rapper Consequence Listen Up, Black Men ... Lupus Affects Us Too!!!


Consequence thought Lupus predominantly affected Black women ... but then the disease knocked him on his ass, and now he's letting men know they should be aware too.

The NY rapper tells TMZ ... his knowledge about the autoimmune disease didn't go beyond its impact on women. That all changed when he was diagnosed around 7 months ago.

Consequence says he first felt pain in his neck while giving his 9-year-old son a piggyback ride. A physician prescribed a muscle relaxer, but as time went on it got worse. He thought he'd have time to recover when the pandemic hit -- instead, Consequence says he suffered immobility and weight loss, and couldn't figure out what was wrong.

He told us the hardest part came once he was diagnosed, because his son thought he might have to say goodbye to Dad.

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Consequence also suffered diabetic complications -- he says he went from Type 2 to Type 1, and has been taking insulin for about 2 months. He adds, his weight got down to a debilitating 105 pounds.

Although it's true Lupus predominantly affects Black, Hispanic and Asian women between 15 and 45 ... Consequence is sharing his battle so men know they can't ignore it. As he told us, guys gotta get informed about the symptoms.

Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Michael Rubin REFORM Alliance Scores Big Win ... Improving State's Probation System

REFORM Alliance -- the criminal justice reform org launched by Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Michael Rubin and others -- is celebrating its first major victory with CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signing a new bill into law.

Newsom just put pen to paper on AB 1950 ... legislation which will drastically reshape Cali's probation system and give hundreds of thousands of Californians a better shot at exiting the criminal justice system for good.

Specifically, the new law limits adult probation sentences to a maximum of 1 year for misdemeanor, and 2 years for felony offenses. The theory is that will greatly reduce probation violations. REFORM campaigned hard for the bill, generating more than 3,000 emails to Newsom's desk.

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As you know, Meek knows personally how probation violations can unjustly derail someone's life, and his experience is part of the origin story of REFORM.

Meek's pal, and 76ers partner, Rubin says ... "This is exactly why we created REFORM -- to change laws and create a smarter criminal justice system focused on rehabilitation and redemption all while keeping communities safe."

He adds ... "We’re grateful for Governor Newsom and Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove’s commitment to making such meaningful change in California and we hope it sets a necessary precedent for state leaders across the country."

REFORM was created in early 2019 and co-founded by Robert Kraft, Clara Wu Tsai, Michael Novogratz, Dan Loeb, Robert Smith, and Laura Arnold ... and its CEO is Van Jones.

Michael Jordan Kickstarting Wave Of Minority Owners ... Says Driver Jesse Iwuji


Michael Jordan's the highest-profile Black team owner in NASCAR history (heck, he's the highest profile, period) ... but driver Jesse Iwuji says he's far from the last, 'cause the sports about to get a lot more diverse!

... and that's super important for an organization that has historically lacked diversity within its ranks.

TMZ Sports talked to Xfinity series star Jesse Iwuji -- a 33-year-old African American driver -- about the impact MJ's arrival will have on NASCAR.

"I think that was huge! Especially just with NASCAR looking to continue to expand diversity and really showcase to people around the world that, 'Hey NASCAR just isn't just a one-sided type sport," Iwuji says.

Jesse continued ... "We include all. We're here for inclusion, we're all about making sure that it's an open environment so no matter what color you are, no matter what religion, gender it doesn't matter, NASCAR is open to everything. It's really cool to see that diversity come in."

Iwuji says he expects -- and has some inside insight -- that other minorities will be following MJ's lead, and entering the racing world.

"I think here in the next 6 to 12 months, you're gonna see a few more minority owners come into the space. I'm just hearing some rumblings about some things and there's all these different things coming up so I think some more will be coming pretty soon."

Of course, MJ announced Monday night he was linking up with his good friend Denny Hamlin, and they were starting a NASCAR team ... with Bubba Wallace as their driver.

The positive benefits of Michael owning a team don't stop there ... 'cause Jesse says MJ's presence will open up a bunch of new branding and marketing opportunities for drivers and teams.

"I think Jordan with his influence and his global brand will be able to attract different sponsors that we maybe never had in this sport," Jesse says.

"We'll be able to attract different business to business type deals and sponsorships that we haven't seen before, so having him here I think is great for the sport."

Regina King Ben Crump Praises Her Emmys Shirt ... Keep Fighting for Breonna!!!


Regina King pulled a real-life hero move by wearing a Breonna Taylor shirt while accepting her Emmy for playing a superhero ... so says Breonna's family attorney, Ben Crump.

The civil rights lawyer was at LAX Monday, sporting a Breonna mask himself, when he lauded the "Watchmen" star and all the other celebs who used their very public platforms at the 2020 Emmys to remind everyone ... justice still hasn't been served.

Crump tells us what Regina and others did keeps Black victims' stories from being swept under the rug. He also said the gesture -- also made by Uzo Aduba during her acceptance -- reminds him of something the iconic Harry Belafonte once said about how and when to use your influence.

Ben added, the continued public support for justice for Breonna keeps him hopeful the cops who killed her will soon be charged.

As we've reported ... no criminal charges have been brought in the case of Breonna's death, but the City of Louisville did reach a settlement last week with her estate. Louisville will pay out a historic amount of money, and also pledged major police reforms.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has yet to announce if any of the officers involved will face criminal, but they're bracing for it to come soon. The Louisville Metro Chief of Police declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon in anticipation of Cameron's announcement.

President Trump Black Voters Go After Him at Town Hall


President Trump got grilled by voters who identify as undecided, and it was a far cry from his rallies as several of them held his feet to the fire on issues like healthcare and systemic racism ... and didn't back down.

The Prez was challenged with many tough questions at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia Tuesday night ... in particular 2 undecided voters.

Assistant Professor Ellesia Blaque told Trump how she has struggled with a preexisting medical condition all her life, adding it's especially difficult for her as a black woman to get adequate medical care. Trump tried to interrupt her but she wasn't having it and shut him down.

Trump predictably went after Obama and spewed a couple of lies about the Affordable Care Act ... but it didn't go unchecked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Like we said -- this was no Trump rally.

Then there was Pastor Carl Day, who called Trump out over his campaign slogan -- "Make America Great Again." Day asked Trump when American has ever been great for African-Americans living in the ghetto ... and if he was aware how tone-deaf MAGA comes off to the Black community.

Freedom, Georgia 19 Black Families ... Buy 90-Plus Acres for Safe Living

More than a dozen Black families came together for a common cause in Georgia -- snatching up a bunch of land to start their own community, which they hope will be a safe haven.

The nearly 97 acres of unincorporated land recently purchased near the town of Toomsboro -- about 130 miles south of Atlanta -- has now been dubbed Freedom, GA ... and the 19 Black families that went in on the land are hoping to make it a complete city one step at a time.

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Renee Walters and Ashley Scott are the two women who kick-started the initiative -- now known as the Freedom Georgia Initiative -- and they say they did it because they wanted a safe place to raise their families without fear of police brutality or other forms of oppression embedded into society. The whole idea is a community by Black people for Black people.

They also note that when the place is up and running -- with an agriculture infrastructure, businesses and eventually homes -- they won't exclude anyone ... meaning you don't have to be Black to be a resident. They do make it clear though ... it'll be a pro-Black town.

The first phase of getting all this started is clearing the land, farming it and then creating a man-made lake that they intend to use for sustainable fishing. It's a massive undertaking, and will presumably take years before it might be considered viable. Still, they're working on it.

Over Labor Day weekend ... Renee, Ashley and co. hosted an event called the Big Black Camp Out, where folks flocked in from all over the country to enjoy the land with tents and RVs in tow. It also served as a ribbon-cutting ceremony to highlight the achievement.

As for what exactly inspired them to do this ... Renee and Ashley say the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others -- plus the protests that have erupted as a result -- made them realize they needed their own space for their own people.

Pretty incredible stuff, really. But, it's somewhat also disheartening considering this is what some POC feel they need to do in order to thrive and avoid persecution.

NFL's Richard Sherman I'm Against Boycotting Games It Won't End Social Injustice

San Francisco 49ers

"I don't see how missing a football game is going to keep police from killing black people."

NFL superstar Richard Sherman says boycotting games is NOT the answer to ending social injustice ... with the 49ers DB saying straight-up, people need to find a different solution.

"People are putting too much onus on saying, 'Hey, sports, stop our problems!'" Sherman said. "And, it's like, 'Hey, this can only go so far.'"

As we previously reported ... teams all across the MLB and NBA boycotted games last month in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting -- and some thought Sherman might bring the same demonstration to the NFL.

But, when Richard spoke about the prospects of that with media members Thursday ... he said, frankly, he just doesn't see the point in it.

"If you told me that boycotting a National Football League game would stop police brutality and stop the injustices that people of color deal with, then I would be all for it," Sherm said.

"If we miss 10 games, does that stop the problem?" Sherman added. "Does that solve it? Does that get something done? Do we make those kinds of shots? Do we make those kinds of calls? I don't think we do."

Sherman says he doesn't have a solution at the moment ... but adds it's extremely important that people continue to search for and eradicate the "root of the problem."

Sen. Marco Rubio '1619 Project' is Flawed, But ... Don't Take It Out On Students, Trump!


Marco Rubio's weighing in on President Trump's threat to defund schools that use "The 1619 Project," saying POTUS is misguided -- but he's also challenging the project's view of American history.

We got the Florida Senator at Reagan National Airport in D.C. Thursday, and he initially sided with Trump when he said he believes '1619' is "historically flawed" ... telling us the country was founded in 1776, not 1619.

It's interesting, though, because Rubio doesn't seem to oppose the goal of the project ... which is telling the full truth about slavery being at the center of U.S. history.

Marco admits generations of U.S. leaders have not lived up to the promise of equality in our Declaration of Independence, and concedes the '1619 Project' isn't all bad.


Thursday, the creator of '1619,' Nikole Hannah-Jones, told us Trump doesn't have the power to defund schools, despite his threats, and blasted him for misleading the public in order to stoke more racial division.

Senator Rubio suggests the President has more power than she thinks and could "make it difficult" for schools, but as he puts it ... Trump would only be hurting kids for the sake of politics if he went that route.

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