Most Shared

Moviegoers are praising this breakout character of 'Black Panther' for an amazing reason.

'Black Panther' is groundbreaking, but this brainy teen could change the world.

Moviegoers are praising this breakout character of 'Black Panther' for an amazing reason.

Meet Shuri.

Image via Marvel Entertainment.

Shuri is the wildly brilliant 16-year-old sister of T’Challa, who is king of Wakanda and the Black Panther.  


GIF from "Black Panther."

In "Black Panther," we see the charming hero take to the crazy streets to capture villains, utilizing vibranium — Wakanda's invaluable and sought after metal — to keep Wakanda moving forward, mastering technologically advanced vehicles to chase villains and having the super suit and shoes to match.  

Guess who created all of those cool superhero tools?

GIF from "Black Panther."

That’s right — young, brilliant Shuri.

T'Challa is dependent on Shuri’s creative, unique inventions and operations. Without her work, T'Challa couldn't succeed, and she plays a leading role in the fight for the survival of Wakanda.  

Basically Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is a total badass genius. Oh, and she’s pretty brave and hilarious while doing it.

Moviegoers are singing praises for the character and the amazing opportunity she represents.

Shuri is lifted up as a black woman running the game in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM fields, as they're called). It's a portrayal of black women that audiences rarely see, and that representation is making waves.

Shuri is leading the most technologically advanced society in the dream African world of Wakanda. It's an incredible statement of how black women can and should be leaders in STEM fields.    

Shuri isn't there to be the romantic lead. She's not flighty, swooning, or presented as a prop of sexual desire. She doesn't need to be saved. She has her own story. Action movies haven’t historically represented women well and especially not women who are interested in science and tech. "Black Panther" has flipped that narrative on its head.

GIF from "Black Panther."

Shuri’s brilliance is vital to keeping the vibrant society afloat and for defending it. She shows that women can successfully do whatever they want and believe, and society will greatly benefit from that.  

Unfortunately, this fact has been largely ignored in film, and in real life history. Scientists and technological wizards in film are often portrayed by white men, likely because of how the STEM industry looks like in the real world.

The disparity between men and women in STEM is staggering.

The numbers don't lie.

Women make up only 24% of the country's STEM workers, and the numbers are even smaller for black women. In 2012, black women took a total of 684 STEM degrees, in comparison to 6,777 for white men and 8,478 for white women.  

Despite these statistics, Shuri’s character shows just how awesome and creative the STEM field can be when we amplify opportunities for black women and create spaces for them to lead.

And Wright understands the gravity and importance of her character.      

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney.

"[Shuri] shows that when you have people coming together to just take time to make characters well-rounded, well-thought-out, not one way, amazing things like that happen," Wright told HuffPost. "Having a character arc and journey is refreshing, so it’s good writing ... Now there’s a breakthrough of [audiences] seeing people [they] relate to and that’s refreshing."

Despite being ignored in STEM, disrespected by male counterparts, and left out of opportunities, women of color have made historic STEM contributions.

And these same accomplished black women are paving the way for future people of color to break through.

Organizations like Black Girls Code, The National Girls Collaborative Project, and the STEM Society for Women of Color, are working to make sure that girls of color are aware of the opportunities available to them and that they have the support needed to succeed.  

Shuri in "Black Panther" is showing black girls — hell, all black kids — just how essential their intelligence can be.

Let’s make sure that our society continues to make this story a reality in real life, too.    

Image via Marvel Entertainment.

True

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.

Keep Reading Show less
Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

Keep Reading Show less
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less

A vintage post-card collector on Flickr who goes by the username Post Man has kindly allowed us to share his wonderful collection of vintage postcards and erotica from the turn of the century. This album is full of exquisite photographs from around the world of a variety of people dressed in beautiful clothing in exotic settings. In an era well before the internet, these photographs would be one of the only ways you could could see how people in other countries looked and dressed.

Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less