Taraji P. Henson
has just been announced as the host of the “Black Girls Rock” 2017 Awards
“I’m honored to
host the ‘BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™’ Awards. I love the message and I love
Beverly Bond and her vision. I was lucky to be honored in 2011. It is truly a
highlight of my life. Now I’m back to be part of this amazing night to honor
the strong and powerful Yara, Issa Rae, Roberta, Suzanne, Derrica and Natalie.
Let’s make history together as
we come together as
women of brains, beauty and in support of each other,” Henson said in a
press release announcing her hosting gig.
The Black Girls Rock Awards are targeted to highlight
extraordinary Black women who have broken barriers and been uplifting
influences in their communities. Honorees include actress Issa Rae, actress Yara Shahidi, singer Roberta Flack businesswoman Suzanne Shank, and Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of The Black &
The awards will be taped on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 and
will air on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 at 8:00 P.M./ET on BET.
Meet 13-year-old Zulaikha Patel, one of the students who helped lead a protest against the discriminatory hair policy at Pretoria Girls High School (a formerly white-only institution in South Africa).
During the school's weekend fair on Saturday, Zulaikha and her fellow classmates staged a silent protest against their school's hair policy, which targets and restricts how Black girls wear their hair to school. On top of being disciplined for wearing her natural hair, Zulaikha has had to move schools three times because her hair did not comply with the code of conduct. Furthermore, Pretoria High's teachers also prohibit students from speaking their own local African languages in the classroom.
For Zulaikha this is about: "Fighting for every Black child in this country, because it’s time for our endless cries to be heard."
When we think of super intelligent “good guys” in the Marvel
Universe, there’s a few names that come to mind. We might think of Tony Stark,
who built the Iron Man suit (and
Spider-Man’s new threads), or Reed Richards AKA Mister Fantastic, who has
basically mastered all aspects of physics, biology, and chemistry.
But according to an announcement
made at San Diego Comic-Con, the smartest
hero in the Marvel Universe is not Tony Stark or Reed Richards or any of the
other superheroes that might have claimed the title in the past. The smartest
protagonist in all of Marvel is a little black girl named Lunella Lafayette.
Lunella is the main character in the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
comics, which is a remake of Devil Dinosaur, a
classic graphic novel that follows a T-Rex that is magically transported to
modern day NYC. In the new version,
Lunella replaces the original hero, Moon Boy, and she eventually teams up with
the monstrous dino. Part of what makes Lunella so
smart is the fact that she carries an “inhuman gene,” and she
also is a skillful engineer.
BuzzFeed spoke to
Marvel senior editor Mark Paniccia about what’s in store for Lunella in the
upcoming issues of the series. Mark said that, “In the third arc of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,
Lunella faces an impossible half-dozen science-challenges that might not only
prove her smarts, but also save the world.”
And that is pretty exciting, not just for older fans of
comics, but for the young girls who might read them while growing up.
Representation matters, and this news, which follows on the heels of the news
that Roxane Gay will write a Black Panther book, is a sign that Marvel is moving
in the right direction.
Inspired by the Puerto Rican
national anthem of the same name, the superhero La Borinqueña — a woman named
Marisol Rios De La Luz, wearing a costume inspired by the Puerto Rican flag —
will make her debut this summer at the Puerto Rican Day Parade. She also will
be featured in a comic book to be printed in the fall during an event organized
by the creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez called Café Con Comics (“Coffee With
Comics”); it will be held at the CUNY East Harlem campus building in a
historically Puerto Rican neighborhood.
La Borinqueña has the powers of
nature — such as hurricanes, the sea and the sun — and protects Puerto Rico
from natural disasters. Her greatest power, Miranda-Rodriguez says, will be
showing Puerto Ricans — those on the island and in the United States —
that the power to make Puerto Rico better lies within them as much as it does
inside of her. “It’s not about [her powers],
but it’s about what the character represents,” Miranda-Rodriguez says. “She’s
here to remind you that the power of our people comes from our people. We don’t
have to ask for something when it is already within us. It’s a narrative that’s
going to remind us of ourselves. We’ve always had that power. Being Puerto
Rican is our superpower.”
It was the Marvel comic
featuring Grandma Estela — the one that touched so many readers — that led
to Miranda-Rodriguez’s creation of other Puerto Rican comic-book heroes. He
says there is power in those panels when you’re able to see yourself through
art. “People saw themselves. And
when you see yourself, that’s empowering,” Miranda-Rodriguez said. “When you
hear your story, you recognize for the first time that you have that