+

You know incredibly dope, superfly Lena Waithe, right?    

[rebelmouse-image 19475088 dam="1" original_size="480x468" caption="GIF via Paley Center for Media/Tumblr." expand=1]GIF via Paley Center for Media/Tumblr.

The goofy, brilliant, loveable, queer black woman everyone just can’t get enough of?  


Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images.

Well, the brilliant actress and screenwriter recently made history in a really awesome way.  

She’s just become Vanity Fair’s first openly black, lesbian cover star.

Vanity Fair, one of the world’s most famous high-end magazines, made the excellent decision to feature Waithe on the cover of its April issue.

Naturally, the internet went wild.

LEEEEENNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAA 💯

A post shared by Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) on

The incredible cover has been lauded by actors, musicians, journalists, and screenwriters alike.

Many are praising new editor-in-chief, Radhika Jones, for using her first Vanity Fair magazine issue to amplify a queer black woman’s story and change the game.

Photographed by the always-iconic Annie Leibovitz, Waithe’s cover is a welcome change to the homogenous, somewhat stuffy narrative that Vanity Fair’s been criticized for in the past.

But Jones is making a very clear statement with this cover: The world of film and art is changing, and readers should take note.        

The shoot’s candid photos of everyday life deviate from Vanity Fair’s norm of solely showcasing high-fashion imagery. Considering the magazine’s historical focus on white, heterosexual, cisgender people (for instance, their all-white female cover in 2017), it’s encouraging that Jones is making good on her promise to take the sometimes-exclusionary publication to the next level.

She’s doing so by engaging with the current cultural moment to diversify the ways in which we tell stories — and whose stories get told in the first place.

The honor is certainly well-deserved. Waithe has worked in the industry for more than a decade and recently became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for her incredible “Master of None” episode, “Thanksgiving.”  

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW.

But considering the fact that she’s now voicing commercials, producing and writing the beloved television show “The Chi,” and working with Steven Spielberg on a new movie, the actress/screenwriter/producer seems to be just getting started.

Unapologetically black and lesbian, Waithe remains true to herself while also working to lift marginalized voices on her journey to success.    

GIF from The Emmys.

While it’s certainly impressive, there’s one star who really wasn’t surprised by Waithe skyrocketing to the top.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay saw Waithe’s talent nearly 10 years ago on the set of one of DuVernay’s first films.    

Yes, Ms. DuVernay, you did tell us so.

Her tweets are a delightful reminder for anyone who’s working longer hours, having a few sleepless nights, and hustling to mark their mark in the world.

Hard work pays off.

Entering a new industry, taking a chance on a dream, or working towards a degree often takes extra time and energy, but DuVernay reminds us that doing your absolute best (even when it feels like you're at the bottom) pays off.  

DuVernay isn’t the first to applaud Waithe for her work ethic, either. Waithe had a long working relationship with “Love & Basketball” director Gina Prince-Bythewood and often discussed the long — usually hilarious — days that gave Waithe some of her most invaluable experience.

“There is nothing I cannot do," she once said. "With a little bit of help, little bit of resources, and little bit of swag, I’m gon' get there."  

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Essence.

In a world that’s constantly challenging everyone to think bigger, work harder, and achieve more, Waithe’s words ring truer than ever. Fighting for your dreams is hard work that often requires long hours, sleepless nights, and sacrifices.

But DuVernay’s words are incredibly motivating for anyone trying to make it.  

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

When you respect others, remain true to yourself, and work hard to listen and learn each day, nothing is impossible.

Lena Waithe taught us that.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Delivering packages AND safety.

This article first appeared on 6.15.22.

Amazon delivery drivers don’t have the easiest job in the world. Sitting through traffic, working in extreme temperatures, hauling boxes … not exactly a fun time. So when a driver goes out of their way to be extra considerate—people notice.

One delivery driver has gone viral for the way she delivered a little bit of safety education, along with some lighthearted advice. The TikTok video of the encounter, which now has more than 4 million views, was shared by Jessica Huseman, who had only recently moved into her new house.

The clip shows the doorbell cam recording of the driver approaching the house. As the delivery driver makes it to the front door, she sings, ”Hello … I hope your Monday’s going well. You have no markers on your house that says what number you are.”

From there, the driver’s song quickly changes tune, going from funny jest to helpful PSA.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less

Megan Montgomery and Jason McIntosh.

This article originally appeared on 12.16.19


If you were to look at Megan Montgomery's Instagram account, you'd see a beautiful, smiling woman in the prime of her life, her youth and fitness the envy of women the world over. You'd even see some photos of her with her husband (#datenight), with comments saying things like "Aww, gorgeous couple!"

But beneath her picture perfect feed was the story of a woman in an abusive relationship with her husband—one that would start with his arrest shortly after they got married, and end 10 months later with him shooting her to death in a parking lot.

In a Facebook post, one of the people who was out with Megan the night of her murder detailed how her estranged husband had come to their table, put his hand on her neck and shoulder, and escorted her out of the building.

Keep ReadingShow less

Pippa the golden retriever and some warm Thanksgiving rolls.

Thanksgiving is a great day to be a dog if you're looking for some tasty food scraps. There’s a lot of activity in the kitchen, folks are walking around with plates dropping food and there’s always someone who had too much wine that loves to give a few treats to the dog.

However, your dog’s innocent Thanksgiving snacking can be hazardous for its health.

The Pet Poison Helpline (PPH) shared a story from Tennessee that’s a great reminder to be careful of what your dogs eat, especially during the hectic holiday season.

Last Thanksgiving, Pippa, a playful golden retriever from Knoxville, had a scare after eating six unbaked rolls and had to go to the emergency room.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

An emotional Michael Jordan opens his first clinic for the uninsured and underinsured

"This is just the start of a battle of being able to touch as many people as we can."

Michael Jordan at the opening of his health clinic.

This article originally appeared on 11.05.19


Basketball great Michael Jordan made himself a global household name with his seemingly superhuman slam dunks and uncanny ability to score under pressure.

Now, 16 years into his retirement, his name is associated with something completely different—a medical clinic for uninsured and underinsured people in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Keep ReadingShow less