Remember the uproar about a black woman playing Hermione? Emma Watson just cleared it up.

Noma Dumezweni's casting as Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" caused a whole lot of controversy when it was first announced.

The stage show, set 19 years after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" caused a stir with Dumezweni's casting for one very frustrating reason: her race.

See, Dumezweni is black, and Emma Watson, who played the character in the film series, is white. For some fans, this departure from their expectation of what Hermione looks left them feeling a bit of dissonance.


Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images.

J.K. Rowling even stepped in to say that yes, Hermione can be black.

She chimed in not just once, but on multiple occasions to basically tell fans that if they can accept a world filled with wizard and magic and death eaters, they should be able to imagine one of the series's characters not looking exactly like they originally imagined. It was pretty awesome, to be honest.

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

On July 7, Dumezweni got another ringing endorsement: Emma Watson.

So now that the woman who wrote Hermione AND the woman who played Hermione are on record in full support of Dumezweni, can we put this whole "controversy" to rest?

People of color have a hard enough time as it is finding roles on stage. Why would we want to take an opportunity like this away? As Leslie Odom, Jr., best known for playing Aaron Burr in "Hamilton," said in a recent Hollywood Reporter roundtable, there simply aren't a whole lot of roles written with minorities in mind.

In the U.S., on Broadway, about 80% of all roles are held by white actors — when compared to the percentage of white people as a total of the U.S. population, they're overrepresented on the stage.

Rowling has said that Dumezweni was simply the best actress for the part. Watson said meeting Dumezweni was like meeting her older self. Can we mark this "controversy" case closed?

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

Keep Reading Show less