A closer look at the black women making headlines and breaking barriers this week.

The talent and net worth in this photo alone is proof of awesomeness. Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment.

Black women are everything.

I say it without reservation or hesitation. I say it with personal experience and anecdotal knowledge. We. Are. Everything.

Need someone to replace your contaminated water pipes? We can do that. Need someone to tell off Paul Ryan? We can do that. Need someone to help you master a skateboard trick? We can do that too. Try to keep up.


Our talent, know-how, grace, and grit is unparalleled. There's only one problem: No one seems to care.

At least not visibly — not when it matters. In the spirit of intersectionality, black women cape for black men, we support women, other POC, people with disabilities, and our LGBTQ family. But who is championing, listening to, trusting, and promoting us? Fine, we can do that too.

Dropping knowledge about the awesomeness of black women. Photo by WOCinTech Chat/Flickr.

This is the beginning of a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.

From tastemakers and politicians, to women making a name for themselves in their communities, these are people whose stories merit attention and enthusiasm.

Let's go ahead and give them their roses. Here are the women I'm here for this week — support them, believe them, and celebrate them.

"We've Got Your Back": Janet Jackson and Lola Olufemi

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.

  • Across the pond, Cambridge student Lola Olufemi joined together with other students to write an open letter about improving the university's English department. It included suggestions for creating a more inclusive canon and improving representation among the authors and viewpoints. (You can read the entire thing here.)  Soon after, Olufemi's simple, clear proposal was mischaracterized and demonized on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, who suggested she was trying to drop white authors, including Shakespeare, altogether. The paper has since printed a tiny apology, but the damage is done. We know the truth, sis.

"We Believe You": Myeshia Johnson and Kitti Jones

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

"Go off, sis": Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay recently accepted Smithsonian magazine's American Ingenuity Award. The award honors great talents and contributions in eight categories: technology, performing arts, visual arts, life sciences, physical sciences, history, social progress, and youth. DuVernay picked up the honor for visual arts for her work in TV and film. And if that's not enough, check out this clip from "Finding Your Roots" when she discovers her genetic makeup is majority African. Her smile is like standing in a sunbeam.

Final thoughts: Robin Thede

Robin Thede, host of "The Rundown with Robin Thede" will deliver this week's final thoughts:

I'll be here next week with more women to celebrate, support, and signal boost. If you know a black woman that I should feature, send me some links.

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Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed, and the balance between lefties and righties has been the same for almost 5,000 years. People used to believe that left-handed people were evil or unlucky. The word "sinister" is even derived from the Latin word for "left."

In modern times, the bias against lefties for being different is more benign – spiral notebooks are a torture device, and ink gets on their hands like a scarlet letter. Now, a new study conducted at the University of Oxford and published in Brain is giving left-handers some good news. While left-handers have been struggling with tools meant for right-handers all these years, it turns out, they actually possess superior verbal skills.

Researchers looked at the DNA of 400,000 people in the U.K. from a volunteer bank. Of those 400,000 people, 38,332 were southpaws. Scientists were able to find the differences in genes between lefties and righties, and that these genetic variants resulted in a difference in brain structure, too. "It tells us for the first time that handedness has a genetic component," Gwenaëlle Douaud, joint senior author of the study and a fellow at Oxford's Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, told the BBC.

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