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‘Self Made’ Trailer: Octavia Spencer Radiates Strength as C.J. Walker in Netflix Series | IndieWire

Blair Underwood and Tiffany Haddish join the Oscar winner in a lively period piece about a black woman succeeding. After the debacle that was the Oscars all but ignoring black talent this year, audiences are long overdue to see black characters thriving and succeeding onscreen. Like most progressive change in Hollywood these days, when the movies won’t do it, television steps up to the plate. Enter Netflix’s exciting new four-part limited series, “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker,” starring Octavia Spencer as America’s first female self-made millionaire. With an uplifting first trailer released today, as well […]

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11 charts that track the progress America has made in racial equality — and all the visceral ways we still have left to go | Business Insider

February is Black History Month, when Americans celebrate the achievements of well-known black figures and the progress that has been made so far for the US black population. There have been improvements in different areas of living (such as black employment and earnings) since the 1960s, when many of the government tools tracking racial disparities were launched. For example, the number of black students earning a college degree has risen dramatically in the last several decades. Still, inequality persists. For instance, change in overall household wealth has been minimal for black families compared to their white neighbors. The following 11 […]

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Lash Nolen Is Harvard Medical School’s First Black Woman Class President | Teen Vogue

Lash Nolen is “hungry for justice” and “hungry to see my people win.” Most people call her “Lash,” but LaShyra Nolen’s name is hardly the only unique thing about her. Last year, she became the first black woman ever elected as class president of Harvard Medical School (HMS). Born in Compton, California, and educated in Los Angeles, Lash grew up with big dreams and equally daunting challenges. Despite not seeing black women leadership reflected in society in general, she found inspiration in the strength of the women around her. Lash’s mom had her when she was only 18 years old. […]

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Bartender Shannon Mustipher Upgrades Instant Ramen “I hooked it up with mint and basil and fresh scallions.” | Grub Street

Earlier this year, the relentlessly energetic Shannon Mustipher released Tiki, a beautiful book of modern cocktails that’s the first by a working African-American bartender in over a century. A rum evangelist, Mustipher is also the beverage director at Glady’s, where you’ll find her excellent painkiller; works with spirit brands (currently Bertoux brandy); and is the founder of the Women Who Tiki events. In her daily life, she’s a snacker — but that’s more about time than preference. “I’m pretty busy in my life, but when I sit down to eat, I like to spend two hours at the table,” she […]

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‘It sounded like the future’: behind Miles Davis’s greatest album | The Guardian

On the 50th anniversary of Bitches Brew, one of the contributing musicians and the director of a new documentary share their thoughts on the record Guitarist John McLaughlin, who helped electrify Miles Davis’s music, describes Bitches Brew as “Picasso in sound”. Stanley Nelson, who directed a new documentary on Davis, calls it “an all-out assault”, while Davis’s official biographer, Quincy Troupe, labels it “a cultural breakthrough: it sounded like the future”. Fifty years on, it still does. Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of Bitches Brew, a pivotal album that altered the trajectory of jazz, messed with the boundaries […]

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Robert F. Smith on becoming the richest black man in America, what companies get wrong about diversity, and what he’s doing to help mint more black billionaires | Business Insider

Robert F. Smith is the richest black man in America, and one of only four to currently have a net worth of more than one billion dollars. The son of two Denver-based school teachers, he earned degrees from Cornell University and Columbia Business School before founding Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in software companies, in 2000. From the journey of becoming a black private equity titan, Smith knows one piece of conventional wisdom to be true: Life really is lonely at the top. Smith is now spending his $5 billion fortune to make sure it doesn’t […]

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Breaking the color barrier: behind the long fight to diversify space | The Guardian

The film Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier dives into the under-reported history of efforts to include people of color in the space race Most children who rise through the American education system are familiar with the US space program – or at least the story of the program’s achievements: John Glenn’s orbit of the earth, John F Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, the Apollo program, Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind. “In the end, the big takeaway we get is that America was first in everything,” the documentary […]

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A Curriculum for Black Youth Activism | AAUP

What is the source of black youth activism? What nurtures it, and how has it evolved over time? Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism By Jelani M. Favors. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. What is the source of black youth activism? What nurtures it, and how has it evolved over time? In light of the recent waves of student activism for racial justice across colleges and universities, and across society more broadly, these questions have become foundational to understanding the contours of resistance to the structural inequality that […]

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6 myths about the history of Black people in America | Vox

Six historians weigh in on the biggest misconceptions about black history, including the Tuskegee experiment and enslaved people’s finances. To study American history is often an exercise in learning partial truths and patriotic fables. Textbooks and curricula throughout the country continue to center the white experience, with Black people often quarantined to a short section about slavery and quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. Many walk away from their high school history class — and through the world — with a severe lack of understanding of the history and perspective of Black people in America. Last summer, the New York […]

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Don’t pit slavery descendants against black immigrants. Racism doesn’t know the difference. | USA Today

An anti-African, anti-black-immigrant stance is shortsighted. As we celebrate Black History Month, we should not divide the black community. Should African American/black identity be defined by descendants of slavery, or by African ancestry? This increasingly bitter debate in the black community is undermining the spirit of Black History Month. At the center of the conflict is the social movement referred to as ADOS, or the American Descendants of Slavery. Co-founded in 2016, ADOS is a political and social movement whose purpose is to advocate for reparations — compensating those who have been wronged — on behalf of black Americans. The […]

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