Black grads are celebrating their success with this empowering hashtag.

Completing a master's degree, doctoral degree, or professional program is a big deal. When you're all done, a celebration is in order.

This is especially true for black students, who are still underrepresented at the highest academic levels. That's why these recent graduates are shouting each other out in an awesome way.

GIF from "The Daily Show."


Since the commencement regalia for master's, doctoral, and professional students often includes a hood, black graduates are posting selfies and giving each other well-earned props using the hashtag #BlackAndHooded.

It's a celebration of black joy, persistence, and talent.

The new grads behind the hashtag, Anthony Wright and Brian Allen, earned their master's degrees in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University and Columbia University, respectively, this spring.

While talking with one of his undergraduate students, Wright was reminded of the importance of black graduate student representation. He teamed up with Allen, a friend from his undergraduate days at the University of Wisconsin, and came up with #BlackAndHooded. It's intentionally inclusive of all black students across gender expressions, fields, institutions, and geography.

"Black excellence exists in all facets of education and we're pretty much killing the game," Allen says. "I think [the hashtag] really works to combat the negative notions of inadequacy in academia."

Wright and Allen expanded #BlackAndHooded into an online photo series too.

Recent grads can submit their photos via email and share their institution and field of study. The site is pages and pages of black excellence. At the time of this writing, Wright and Allen have more than 200 graduates on the BlackAndHooded site and are even honoring "Grads of the Week."

"The hashtag is cool, but ... they go away after a few weeks," Wright says. "I wanted to have something consistently available — all the images and not just tweets."

The number of black students earning advanced degrees is on the rise, but we're not done yet.

Black enrollment at post-secondary institutions has increased since the 1990s and advanced degree attainment has followed suit. In 1990, 5.6% of master's and 4.7% of doctoral degrees were conferred to black recipients. In 2013, those numbers jumped to 13.6% and 8%, respectively. They're baby steps, but they're headed in the right direction.

A community-conscious, action-oriented EDUCATOR ✊🏾💙 #BLACKANDHOODED #ZΦB #MasterOfEducation #MASTERED

A post shared by Jessica L. Williams (@jleannaw) on

We'll get there. Because behind that data are real living, dreaming black people. Disregard us at your own peril. These students are putting in work and making the impossible possible in a system that was not designed for their success. This celebration is for them, and they've certainly earned it.

Wright and Allen both hope this project inspires black people to pursue their dreams, not just in academia but wherever they may lead.

The road to success doesn't always go through higher education, and that's OK. But seeing their black peers work hard and accomplish their dreams across different fields and disciplines may be just the motivation someone needs to go for it.

"I hope it inspires people to push themselves to achieve their goals, regardless of what those goals are," Wright says.

For every happy, proud smiling face you see in this photos, there's a lot you don't see.

Earning an advanced degree requires years of research; tough projects, teaching, or work assignments; sleepless nights; and enough reading to make your head spin. There are days when you don't know if you'll make it. There are days when you question yourself and your abilities. But you persist, not just for yourself, but your family, your community. And you do it for a moment like this:

An advanced degree is much more than a piece of paper, it's an achievement earned by the best and brightest. And no one can take that away.

Hats off to the class of 2017, and the people who love and support them.

This is your time. Go ahead and show out!

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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