This is the ninth edition of "This week in black women," a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.

This week, I'm shouting out Vogue's youngest cover model, a much-needed resource to help black women get credit, a warm reception for our future president, a photo series to celebrate, and more.

Remember these women! Pay these women! Encourage these women!


Let's do this.

GIF via The Golden Globes.

"Yes, young queen!": Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. and her mom, Serena Williams

The adorable first child of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, Sr. graced the cover of Vogue magazine with her mother. Just 3 months old during the shoot, she's the youngest cover star in the history of the magazine.

The cover story, however, leaned a bit heavier on new mom Williams and her transition from greatest athlete of all time to greatest athlete of all time/mom. Williams shared the harrowing moments following Olympia's birth when she developed blood clots and had to be her own fierce medical advocate to get the lifesaving care she needed.

When a star of Serena Williams' caliber has to fight for her own life, it's no wonder black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy or delivery complications than white women. This is a well-documented, dangerous issue that demands our full attention.

"We've got your back": Cite Black Women

I talk a lot in this space about the need to fairly compensate black women for their time and talent. One way to make sure this happens is to give black women the credit they deserve by accurately citing them as sources in syllabi or research.

The Twitter account @citeblackwomen encourages academics to share the literature and research they're teaching and referencing. Not only does this give black women their shine, it may inspire others to incorporate the content into their syllabi as well. Win-win.

And even if your school days are long-gone, follow the account anyway to bolster your reading list. There's some great stuff on there.

"Speak on it, madame president!": Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey became the first black women to receive the Cecil B. deMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her contributions to the entertainment industry. Her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes provided a much-needed jolt of inspiration and hope in the media and political landscape starved for both.

Social media jumped on the Winfrey wagon with a chorus of tweets suggesting Oprah run for president in 2020, followed by even more tweets suggesting she's not qualified. (The internet will find a way to ruin everything you love.)

Whether she throws her own hat into the ring or actively supports another candidate, it's great to see people get excited and optimistic about the state of the country again — something that seemed impossible for so long.

What can't black women do?

Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

"Go off, sis!" Erin Jackson

Erin Jackson of Ocala, Florida made the U.S. Winter Olympic team in long track speed skating after on ice full-time for just four months. FOUR MONTHS!

“I’ve been an inline speed skater for 15 years,” Jackson told Team USA. “I came out to Salt Lake City for the first time ... in the end of February into March. Then I went back to inline for the summer and came back to Salt Lake in September, so it’s been about four months combined.”

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

Final Thought: Shonda Rhimes

And don't forget the barbecue sauce!

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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2021 Mullet Champ kids finalists.

The mullet haircut has meant many different things. In the ’70s it meant you were a cool rocker such as David Bowie or Paul McCartney. In the ’80s it was the preferred haircut for hockey players and baseball dirtbags. The hairstyle also has a rich association with Southern culture and country music.

The mullet fell out of fashion in the mid-’90s when the flamboyant business in the front, party in the back hairstyle began to be seen as the epitome of trashiness. The haircut has been known by many names throughout history but would forever be known as the mullet after Beastie Boys released a punk rock B-side in 1994 called “Mullet Head.”

You're coming off like you're Van Damme

You've got Kenny G, in your Trans Am

You've got names like Billy Ray

Now you sing Hip Hop Hooray

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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