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black history month

Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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Photos from Delilah Antionette, used with permission

Just a queen sitting on her throne, NBD.

“The story of Blackness isn’t just about trauma. Blackness can be luxurious, filled with joy, and a healing experience.”

You could say this is the mantra playing on repeat in the heart of Delilah Antoinette, founder of Black Girl’s Healing House. Her organization, an invention forged out of necessity and inspired by Antoinette's own lack of resources, proudly “connects Black Women to Black Wellness.”

As a fellow advocate for spiritual healing, I was thrilled to hear Antoinette’s story and honored to share her mission. So many people feel that their circumstances—be it class, culture, or background—somehow exclude them from being able to achieve mental and emotional health. Or, even worse, they’re made to feel that way by the ignorance of others.

This was how her journey began. As a daughter to a single mother who struggled with mental illness, Antoinette had to seek a nurturing environment elsewhere. And, despite growing up “Christian-ish,” the church simply didn’t resonate like she hoped. It wasn’t until she found alternative spiritual concepts, like the Law of Attraction, affirmations and mindfulness, that she started to notice real shifts.

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“Downton Abbey” fans have been rejoicing over Julian Fellowes’ newest historical drama “The Gilded Age.” Instead of London at the beginning of the 20th century, audiences are transported to (the truly new) New York of 1882, where aristocrats Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook reside.

Despite the different backdrops, “The Gilded Age” has much of the same aspects as its predecessor: conflict between the ways of old and new, weighty scrambles up the social ladder and, of course, the rich emotional narratives of the privileged class.

But “The Gilded Age” does offer something that “Downton Abbey” does not, and it’s a piece of history rarely portrayed or taught, yet real and important all the same: the story of the Black elite.

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If you ask the average baseball fan about great Negro League players, they’ll probably bring up people like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige or James “Cool Papa” Bell. Obviously, there are plenty of Negro League players that should be on the tip of any sport’s fan’s tongue, but the discrimination at the time meant that a lot of great names were never elevated to the status they deserved.

Google is paying tribute to a Negro League player from the ‘40s and ‘50s who should be known by Americans everywhere whether they like baseball or not. Marcenia “Toni” Stone, the first woman in history to play as a regular in a men’s major baseball league, is the subject of a new Doodle that’s gracing the front page of the search engine.

Stone should be known for her play on the field as well as the incredible tenacity that allowed her to break the gender barrier at a time when the thought of women in sports ruffled a lot of feathers.

“I am a woman, a Black woman, and I want and will play men's baseball. I'm not even getting paid the same amount of money these guys are making. But I do it because I love the game, and I do it to show other women that they can do it too. Remember, a woman has her dream too,” she used to say.

The Doodle was created by California-based artist Monique Wray.

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