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.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less
via UniversalPicsSweden

Steven Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" is one of the greatest films ever made but it could have easily been a disaster.

Director Steven Spielberg took huge risks with the film betting the house on the relationship between a young boy named Elliott and an oddly-shaped alien.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less
via City of Calgary

Graffiti is an underground form of expression that can be seen as anything from criminal destruction of property to art. Most of the time that depends on whether it was your wall that was defaced.

While most graffiti is painted over, some of it is so powerful that it becomes a beloved part of the community. Many of street artist Banksy's pieces are still up and have become popular landmarks throughout the world.

But what about little nuggets of fake history placed on park benches around Canada? Where do we sign up?

Keep Reading Show less