Cleveland had one of the biggest celebrations that the city has ever seen, as scores of fans gathered to celebrate the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA title on Wednesday. It was a historic event for the Cavs, who brought home the city’s first NBA title in 52 years. They also became the first team to bounce back from a 3-1 deficit during an NBA Finals series. Ohio-bred NBA star LeBron James rode through the streets accompanied by his wife and three children in a luxury car. He smoked a celebratory cigar while his two sons threw beads into the crowd. It was a full-circle moment for James, who returned to Cleveland in 2014 and vowed that he would win a championship ring for the city. Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving walked the streets along the parade route so that he could greet fans. “The people of Cleveland deserve this more than any other people I’ve ever seen or met or felt,” said Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. “No group deserves this more. No fan base deserves this more. I’m speechless and proud of everybody.” Read more.


Black Architect Leads $33M Project To Restore Historic Park In Houston

A Black architect is spearheading a $33 million project that was launched to revamp a park in Houston, Texas, that has been the epicenter of Juneteenth festivities for the last 140 years. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was implemented on Jan. 1, 1863, slaves in Galveston, Texas, didn’t know they were free until Union General Gordon Granger delivered the news on June 19, 1865. He revealed the news in the park, which is called Emancipation Park, and ever since it has served as a gathering place to celebrate Juneteenth. The site also evolved into a cultural hub, hosting year-round social events for the African-American community. Phil Freelon, the man who designed the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C., wants to restore the park so that it can continue to be a mainstay in the Black community. “The new Emancipation Park will be an interwoven tapestry of buildings and landscape that celebrates the park’s rich history while embracing the present and future of its community,” said Freelon. According to reports, the new park will include a recreation center, pool house, and community center. “The historic Emancipation Park project is a beautiful journey that weaves together many stories from the past to the present,” said Teri Canada of Perkins+Will, the design firm that is funding the project. “This place is more than just a park; it is a destination that showcases the extraordinary story of triumph of a former enslaved people and celebrates this story through the language of architecture.” Read more.


Prince Is Not the Father Of Inmate Who Claimed To Be His Son

A Colorado inmate’s quest to get a piece of legendary singer Prince’s estate has come to an end. According to reports, 39-year-old Carlin Q. Williams, who claimed to be Prince’s son, took a DNA test and the results showed the singer is not his father. In May, Williams filed legal papers claiming Prince and his mother had sex in 1976 at a hotel in Kansas City. DNA results revealed there is a 0.0 percent chance that Prince is Williams’ father. If the test had shown otherwise, he would have inherited a piece of Prince’s $300 million estate. Williams is currently behind bars for gun possession. Although the legendary musician has no surviving children, several individuals have come forward claiming that he could have been their father. If a will isn’t found, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, and his other half-siblings would inherit the money. Prince died on April 21. He was 57. Read more.


Auction Of Whitney Houston’s Items Spark Legal Battle

A recent auction of items that belonged to the late songstress Whitney Houston has sparked a legal battle. On Wednesday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences filed a lawsuit against Heritage Auctions, claiming that the 1986 Emmy Award that she received for her hit song “Saving All My Love For You” cannot be a part of the two-day auction. The starting bid for the award is $10,000. “It’s just appalling,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. Rohan claims the Academy doesn’t have evidence that Houston agreed to keep the award. The two parties will meet before a federal judge on Thursday. Other items of Houston’s up for auction include her wedding gown, jewelry, and artwork. Read more.


OWN Hits Ratings Milestone With Greenleaf

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network hit a ratings milestone on Tuesday night during the premiere of its new series, Greenleaf. Its debut garnered 3.043 million viewers. It became the second top scripted cable debut behind American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson for the year of 2016. The drama series is centered on a family who has a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee. It stars Lynn Whitfield, Lamman Rucker, Oprah Winfrey, and Merle Dandridge. It is produced by Craig Wright, Clement Virgo, and Winfrey. “Like so many megachurches in America, Greenleaf World Ministries is more than just a house of worship,” OWN said in a statement. “It’s a home. But beneath its steeple lies a den of iniquity.” Read more.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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