Things That Gave Us Life: The We Are Black History Edition
Words: Ashley Poag
Our weekly roundup of the best things that happened online and IRL.
Recently the Library of Congress opened up the largest collection to date of civil rights' icons personal documents and photographs. Among them were personal notes written by the legendary Rosa Parks:
“I had been pushed around all my life and felt at this moment that I couldn’t take it any more...When I asked the policeman why we had to be pushed around? He said he didn’t know. ‘The law is the law. You are under arrest.’ …There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take.”
Her personal manuscripts have served as a glimpse into the mind of the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “I think that she felt, perhaps, limited in a way by the iconic image of Rosa Parks as the woman who refused to give up her seat in the bus,” said Adrienne Cannon, an African-American history and culture specialist at the Library of Congress. “This significance that she had in the public sphere did not fully describe who she was, and I think that she perhaps wanted us to know her true self.”
This news is everything we love about the Internet: Kim Coles and Erika Alexander (Sinclair and Max from the hit show Living Single) have teamed up for a web series called The BFF Chronicles. We can't wait to see all the funny these two have cooked up for us.
Some of our favorite black women are featured in a beautiful photo project on Elle.com. #WeAreBlackHistory captures influential women like Feminista Jones, HuffPost Style editor Julee Wilson, and past mater mea mom Jamilah Lemieux recreating iconic photos of Betty Shabazz, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis and more.
Lupita Nyong'o was recently featured on the March cover of Lucky magazine. During the photoshoot, she shared a photo of her mother. The two look so similar they could pass for twins. Nyong'o talked about her mother’s wisdom when it came to beauty: She wasn’t allowed to wear makeup growing up and it gave her more appreciation for her natural beauty. Momma knows best!
The Root published their 2015 Young Futurist roundup, and we were blown away by what young black movers and shakers are accomplishing in a variety of fields. The list is comprised of 25 millennials making waves in everything from politics to math and science, like Allyson Carpenter, who at 18 is the youngest elected official in Washington, D.C.
Autostraddle, a feminist online community, published a list of 100+ LGBTQ black women you should know. Perhaps the most striking feature of their “epic” list is just how far back they go—black women have been changing the world for centuries.
PBS is releasing the first documentary on legendary playwright August Wilson. Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work "The Pittsburgh Cycle," which includes The Piano Lesson and Fences that featured James Earl Jones. "August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand," will air February 20th. Tony award winning actress Phylicia Rashad will appear in the documentary and we are excited to see what other artists were influenced by his work.
Valentines Day is almost here! And the look of love is easy to spy on Fros and Beaus Instagram account. They have images of women rocking their natural hair and the men who support them that are sure to leave you goo-goo eyed.
Ashley Poag is mater mea's intern and an inspiring multimedia journalist.