This is the seventh edition 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.

Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.




Keep Reading Show less

LEGO recently unveiled plans to roll out a set of bricks for use by the visually impaired. Using each LEGO brick's 3-by-2 grid of raised dots, the educational toy includes bricks imprinted with every letter, number, and mathematical symbol in the braille alphabet.

Why LEGOs? Well, the American Printing House for the Blind recently found that only 8.4 percent of visually impaired children read Braille, as opposed to 50 percent in 1960. With the advent of audio books and voice-to-text technology, reading and writing are becoming lost arts for the visually impaired, often for lack of resources or time — modern braille education methods include expensive "Braille writers" or a slate and stylus, both of which create text that is difficult for students to edit or erase. LEGO bricks are not only swappable, but children are already familiar with their mechanics!

Keep Reading Show less