News Roundup

MLK memorial, Urban League honors, USDA allegations


Three black firms teamed up with the SmithGroup to create a design concept for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Black Architects Chosen to Design Smithsonian Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be getting new digs, and three prominent African American firms will head the architectural team, the Smithsonian Institute has announced.

African American firms, The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, and Davis Brody Bond, teamed up with the SmithGroup to create a design concept for NMAAHC, the last museum to be built on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The team, which is calling itself as Freelon Adjaye Bond/ SmithGroup, has designated David Adjaye, a leading British architect from Tanzania, as the lead designer, and the Freelon Group is the architect of record.

The museum will feature a bronze crown, which will allow natural light to flow into the structure through bronze screens, reports the Associated Press.

“Our model illustrates a design concept—not a finished building. The design process now begins in earnest with the full engagement of the museum and Smithsonian Institution staff,” said Freelon, in a press release. The Freelon Group designed the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore.

The museum is estimated to cost $500 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and the museum is set to open on the National Mall by2015.

–Marcia A. Wade

Lil’ Wayne Denied Injunction to Stop Documentary’s Release

lil-wayneA Los Angeles Superior Court judge this week denied rapper Lil’ Wayne’s request to bar the release of QD3 Entertainment’s documentary The Carter. The New Orleans rapper sued the film’s producers last month, claiming he’d been denied approval over its contents of the movie, which was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The urban multi-platform media and entertainment company now has freedom to distribute the film via DVD and other media formats.

Shot in 2008, the film includes scenes of Wayne using drugs in Amsterdam and talking about his first sexual experience. Filmmakers had unprecedented access to the music artist’s tour bus, hotels, shows, and press tours.

The platinum-selling, Grammy award winner is no stranger to legal woes. Known for his affinity for prescription cough medicine, he once even declared his dedication to weed and syrup till I die.

Separately, Lil’ Wayne appeared in a Manhattan court Thursday regarding a gun-possession charge stemming from a 2007 arrest. Testimony included reports of alleged marijuana use during a traffic stop of his tour bus.

–Janell Hazelwood

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