img-22.jpgWest Inks New Deal with Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is apparently looking to beef up its presence in the glow-in-the-dark menswear market. Sitting front and center at the French fashion house’s spring 2009 show in Paris last week, Kanye West told Women’s Wear Daily that he has signed on to collaborate on a line of men’s footwear for the LVMH-owned luxury brand. The clothes-conscious rapper also said that he’s working on a non-Louis-related signature line of womenswear that’s set to debut this fall. West has blogged before about his passion for couture, calling runway shows “one of [his] favorite things in the world.” He performed June 7 at a gala ball at the Brooklyn Museum to tout the opening of contemporary artist Takashi Murakami’s latest show, which incorporates a line of specially designed Louis Vuitton bags for the especially well-heeled art appreciator. (Continue Reading…)

Black Lawmakers Seek Restrictions on Menthol Cigarettes
The Congressional Black Caucus is calling for changes to a House tobacco-regulation bill, demanding that the legislation place restrictions on menthol cigarettes, the type heavily favored by African-American smokers. The 43-member caucus is taking aim at a provision in the bill that would ban candy-, fruit- and spice-flavored cigarettes but that specifically exempts menthol. In recent weeks the exemption has become the focus of controversy because menthol brands are heavily used by black smokers, who develop a large share of smoking-related cancers and other health risks. (Continue Reading…)

Black Leaders, Too, Should Be Accountable in MD Jail Death
A young black man suspected in the death of a white police officer turns up dead in his jail cell, an apparent victim of strangulation. Echoes of racism and revenge killing reverberate through Prince George’s County, which has a history of tension between black residents and white law enforcement officials. The suspicion among many blacks — based on historical precedent — is that a white jail guard killed Ronnie White, 19, to avenge the death of Prince George’s Cpl. Richard S. Findley, 39, who was run down last week by a pickup truck allegedly driven by the accused. But even if that proves true, the fact remains that the county’s new black leadership campaigned on a pledge to change the system and, at the very least, put an end to vigilante justice by law enforcement officers. (Continue Reading…)

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