How 'Black Panther' changed everything for Sandra Bullock and her kids.

As a Hollywood A-lister who's been in the film industry for years, you'd think Sandra Bullock would be unflappable. But there's still something that can bring her to tears — "Black Panther."

Bullock couldn’t help but rave about the film when she met the cast backstage at the Academy Awards on March 4.

“I started to cry backstage when I was telling [the cast of “Black Panther”] how much the film meant to me as a woman, but how much it meant to me as a mother,” Bullock said in a red carpet interview with "Access Hollywood."


Left: Sandra Bullock photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images. Right: Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Danai Gurira. Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

Bullock is the mother of two black children, Louis, 8, and Laila, 5, through adoption. The movie’s all-black cast, dynamic female characters, and Afro-futuristic setting are a refreshing change of pace for adult filmgoers. But for children, particularly children of color, seeing a black king, and the intelligent, fierce black women leaders is downright inspiring.

Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images.

And  for children of color this type of visibility is long overdue.

Children of color are still underrepresented when it comes to toys, books, TV shows, apps, and games. Finding entertainment options with visible, dynamic, leading characters of color requires a little extra time, patience, or in some cases, getting creative.

“I’m so grateful to Marvel because about five years ago, my son asked me if there were any brown Legos. And I said, ‘Yes, there are,’ and I got a Sharpie and I turned Spider-Man brown, I turned the Legos brown ..."

But with the success of films like “Black Panther” there is a glimmer of hope.

The film is already breaking records at the box office, earning more than $500 million domestically since its release 18 days ago.

Now, industry insiders suggest "Black Panther" could make  nearly $250 million in merchandise sales this year alone. With masks, action figures, clothes, Lego, and even a car, Bullock and other parents of children of color will finally get the opportunity to celebrate and support a hero of color on the big screen.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

It’s a moment many thought would never come.

Parents, including Bullock, are rejoicing.

“I don’t have to turn [the Lego] brown anymore,” Bullock said.

Happy tears, indeed.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."