mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

Things That Gave Us Life: The Super Human Edition

Photo: Humans of New York

Photo: Humans of New York

Things That Gave Us Life: The Super Human Edition

Words: Ashley Poag

Our weekly roundup of the best things that happened online and IRL.

Humans of New York

Humans of New York

“She tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter."

That's 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet talking about his principal Nadia Lopez during an impromptu interview with photography blog, Humans of New York. Founder and photographer Brandon Stanton was so touched by his words, he went to visit the school and talk to the woman who had made such an impact. The resulting photos and stories led to a fundraiser that has raised more than $1.2 million dollars for Mott Hall Bridges Academy. The funding will assist in closing the persistent achievement gap in the Brownsville community in Brooklyn, New York, an area where the highest income is about $28,000 and less than 35 percent of residents graduate from high school, according to Lopez.

The story—and the wave of support and publicity it brought—came in the nick of time. Lopez said she was about to give up when she saw what Chastanet had to say about her.

“I was overwhelmed with joy and filled with tears because it made me feel significant at a time when I didn’t really feel like I mattered in my work anymore.”

But as she tells her students and as millions have told her through their comments and support, Nadia Lopez matters.


This week was packed with a slew of our favorite stars appearing and reappearing on the small screen.

Gabrielle Union returned to BET for season 2 of Being Mary Jane. The show promises to bring even more drama and juiciness than the premier season, and has already been renewed for  season 3. Here's to creator Mara Brock Akil, more diverse characters, and celebrating being "beautifully flawed."


Why settle for just Thursday night? Can’t we live in Shondaland forever? ABC certainly seems to think so. Shonda Rhimes is set to produce “The Catch,”  her fifth show with the network. “The Catch” premieres this fall and will follow a female forensic accountant as she exposes frauds.


The only female rapper to have six certified platinum albums reminded us why she’s gone platinum so many times. Missy Elliott made a surprise appearance during Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime show headlined by Katy Perry. As a result, her album sales shot up 996% as youngsters who had never heard of her flocked to iTunes to download her music.

Us old kids know she’s constantly in the studio with a variety of artists, but we’re excited she’s back on the mic!

We’ve waited 14 long years, and it has been well worth the wait. D’Angelo’s Black Messiah is an incredibly meticulous work of art. The singer performed two songs, “Really Love” and “Charade,” from his third album on Saturday Night Live to remind us why we fell in love with his music in the first place. 


The ratings for Fox’s Empire, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, continues to skyrocket each week, beating out the network's former star American Idol. We personally tune in each week just to see what fly girl, Cookie is wearing!


mater mea just posted our 50th issue, with Mocha Mom, Inc. president Kuae Kelch Mattox. It seems like only yesterday we were sharing our very first interview with Karen's Body Beautiful founder Karen Tappin. We are so thankful for all our readers and followers. Each mom who has shared her story with us has a special place in the mater mea family and has played a major part in reaching this milestone!


“Uh oh”—she’s going to have all the bees in her hive swearing off honey! Beyonce shows off her diversity as a businesswoman by launching at vegan meal delivery service. Queen Bey has partnered with her trainer Marco Borges to create a service that will deliver the meals once a week. Prices range from $9.76 to $16.50 per meal.


Ashley Poag is mater mea's intern and an aspiring multimedia journalist.