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

While this column technically took a week off last week, I wrote a story about the many ways you can thank black women for carrying the country on our backs. TL;DR: Open your wallet and/or get to work.

This week, I'm shouting out a dynamite teenage speed-skater, a musician finally getting her due, the best ending (beginning?) to Lena Waithe's story and more. Pay these women! Celebrate these women. Follow them! Encourage them! Let's do this.


"Yes, young queen": Maame Biney

17-year-old Maame Biney became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team. FIRST. In 2017. Born in Ghana and raised in Virginia, she is only the second black person to make the team — EVER. (Shani Davis made the team in 2002.)

“I can’t believe it! Aww geez!” Biney told ESPN after she won her final 500 meter race. “It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I’m like, ‘holy cow.”’

Maame Biney celebrates victory in the women's 500-meter A final. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

"We won't forget": Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Decades after her death in 1973, rock gospel icon Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She infused the sounds of her rural home in Arkansas with her adopted hometown Chicago to create music that laid the foundation for generations of rock legends, including Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. This long-overdue praise and recognition is richly deserved. Take a listen to some of her greatest hits.

Photo by Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images.

"Go off sis!": Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones (and one half of Colin Jost's face) appeared on the cover of New York Magazine looking fabulous. Hats off to this furiously funny woman on her continued come-up.

"Love is real": Lena Waithe

Because life imitates art in the very best way, Emmy-award winning writer Lena Waithe announced this week she got engaged to her partner, Alana Mayo, on Thanksgiving. As you may recall, Waithe won a writing Emmy for penning an episode loosely based on her life coming out to her family as a lesbian over the course of several Thanksgivings. So, this is basically the best epilogue of all time.

Photo by Tibrina Hobson/AFP/Getty Images.

AND, yes, there's more Lena Waithe content where that came from. The first episode of her new show "The Chi" (which debuts on Showtime in January) is streaming right now for free on YouTube. (Don't worry, it's legit.)  The show is a coming-of-age drama about a community of black people living on the south side of Chicago. Waithe is co-creator and co-writer.

Final Thought: @_peech

Again, put your money where your mouth is and support the work of black women.

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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His aunt died on Thanksgiving and his 'rap' about how the family handled it is hilarious

The 95-year-old's 'bold, creative decision' to die on Thanksgiving when the whole family was at her house led to this chaotic masterpiece.

A viral video tells a wild, oddly hilarious tale of a guy's aunt dying on Thanksgiving.

A loved one dying on a holiday isn't normally something to laugh about, but there are exceptions to every rule. This video is one of them.

TikTok user Darien (@dairy.n) shared a story about his family's Thanksgiving Day that is so gloriously bizarre and delightfully real, it's hard not to laugh, despite the fact that it's about his aunt dying. The fact that he tells the tale in the style of a "One thing about me" rap is extra hilarious, and judging by the comments of some of the 6.7 million people who've watched it, it's struck people's funny bones.

Dark humor? A little bit. But his aunt was 95 and she died of natural causes, which helps the hilarity feel not quite so inappropriate. She also apparently had a fabulous sense of humor that she used to cope with her own difficulties throughout her life, so the video is more like a fitting tribute than a what-the-heck storytelling.

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While getting these images might seem like a bit of innocent, inexpensive fun, many are unaware that it comes at a heavy price to real digital artists whose work has been copied to make it happen. A now-viral Facebook and Instagram post, made by a couple of digital illustrators, explains how.

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