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Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel, featuring Lauren Victoria Burke, Dr. Jason Johnson, Sophia A. Nelson and Cleo Manago discuss what topics President Barack Obama should address during his State of the Union speech.

Will Pres. Obama talk about #Ferguson, police brutality, poverty, criminal justice reform, increase in racial tensions or the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Today’s panelists seemed pessimistic that the nation’s first black President would touch on these subjects but would instead talk about terrorism and international affairs.

“I don’t think Ferguson gets mentioned at all,” said Sophia A. Nelson. “I don’t think [Pres. Obama] is going there.”

Dr. Jason Johnson believes Obama will address some of the difficult subjects during this year’s State of the Union Address saying, “I think he [Obama] is also going to be teeing some of these things up for 2016.”

Johnson said, “This is his last chance to speak to the coalition that he built over the last six years.”  Johnson also believes this may be an opportunity for Mr. Obama to help the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in the next presidential election.

Johnson added, “I can’t imagine he is going to ignore hundred of thousands of people who have been protesting across the country, he’s going to say something” about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Gospel Artist Ricky Dillard Nominated For A Record 10 Stellar Music Awards

Gospel sensation Ricky Dillard joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to talk about his album “Amazing” and his whopping 10 Stellar Award nominations.

Dillard told Martin he started out in three Stellar Award categories and now “we’ve moved to ten, it’s amazing and we’re certainly thankful to be here.”

When asked about the charismatic nature and stage presence of choir directors Dillard said, “It’s actually the joy of the Lord. As David danced before the Lord with all his might — this is what takes over me.”

“When I think of the goodness of God and how he has brought me and and kept me and I have survived the darts of the enemy. The joy of the Lord overtakes me, I’m going into a praise, I’m going into a dance and I am liberated to give God all that I have because of what he has done and who he is” said Dillard.

Ratchet Reality TV Decreases Empathy, Increases Aggression Towards Black Women

Sil Lai Abrams, a domestic violence activist and founder of Truth in Reality joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss the impact reality TV is having on how women of color are being treated and the movement to change how women of color are being represented in the media.

Abrams told Martin that Black women have jumped on the the genre of reality TV without even knowing what we are supporting. A strong proponent against reality television that undermines the perception of African American women, Abrams said: “It is amazing that the boycott (against VH1’s Sorority Sisters”) happened. It shows what we can do as a people when we are unified and take a stand.”

She added that we need to move beyond “Sorority Sisters” and take this collective power and use it shut down any type of media that denigrates and exploits women of color.”

Abrams is traveling to college campuses around the country to spread the message of “Redefining HERstory,” where she works to change how African American women are being viewed and reverse the trend of violence against women. Abrams’ TruthInReality initiative arrived at Howard University on January 20th  at the College of Medicine.

All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.

NewsOne Now Audio Podcast: Should Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter Be A Prominent Part Of The State Of The Union?  was originally published on