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.
Hey did y’all see me in The New York Magazine! I didn’t like it at first but now I kinda do! https://t.co/vuGDngwBIT— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Leslie Jones 🦋) 1513309716
"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.