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.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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