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The new Spider-Man is black. Here's why it's a big deal.

The Marvel superhero roster just got more diverse.

Marvel announced that a new Spider-Man is hitting the stands this fall.

This comes on the heels of a Sony email leak showing a contract that required Spider-Man to be — get this — white, male, and straight. Surprise!



This was actually my reaction. GIF from "Real Housewives of Orange County."

And the announcement about the new Spider-Man movie star and director? Spoiler alert: They're both white guys.

Even white dude Harry Potter is bored by the news. GIF via "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Luckily, the new official Spider-Man in the Spider-Man comics is finally breaking the mold.

Meet Miles Morales, your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Image by Marvel.

If he looks ... different ... from all the Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) you've seen before, it's because he has an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother.

He's the first black and second-ever Latino Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics universe.

What's especially great is that Miles isn't new to fans of the Spider-Man franchise, but the co-creators made an intentional move to make him official. He has been around for a while in an alternative Marvel universe where Peter Parker dies and he takes his place.

But now Miles Morales is the official main Marvel Comics universe Spider-Man.

Miles Morales in action. Image by Marvel.

This move is significant because it means bringing diversity to Marvel's main roster of superheroes in a big way.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Spider-Man writer and co-creator Brian Michael Bendis explains the reasoning behind the decision saying, “Our message has to be it's not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it's the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else."

And it's already having a positive impact.

Bendis was brought to tears when his 4-year-old black daughter picked up a Miles Morales Spider-Man mask at the store, put it on and exclaimed "Look, Daddy, I'm Spider-Man!"

YAS. I'm crying too. GIF from "Bob's Burgers."

It's important to have racial diversity in our superhero stories because studies show that representation matters.

One study found that children are quick to pick up on racial stereotypes portrayed in the media. Kids also notice when people of color are not shown as much as white people. They end up thinking that people of color must not be as important.

An Indiana University study showed that not having positive role models of color in the media lowered the self-esteem of black children.

Who our children see in the media and how these characters act has a big influence.

It doesn't just shape how they view people of other races; it influences how they view themselves. Imagine growing up and rarely seeing people who look like you on TV or in books, and when they do appear, they're doing bad things.

The fact that one of the most recognizable (good) characters in the world is multi-ethnic will help children of color feel good about themselves in a world that offers so few positive portrayals of people that look like them.

That's why this latest move by Marvel is so great.

We're officially living in a world that has a black Captain America, a female Thor, and a multi-ethnic Spider-Man.

How cool is that?

This cool. GIF from "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors."

Here's hoping we'll see a live-action version of the new Spider-Man in the near future. My spidey senses tell me it'll only be a matter of time.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

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The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

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Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

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Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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In 1993, punk icon Henry Rollins urged MTV viewers to stop being fans and make their own music

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Henry Rollins whants you to pick up a guitar and play.

The rock music scene changed in a big way in the early ‘90s; spandex-clad glam rockers were kicked to the curb by a new group of alternative-rock acts that were rooted in the D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) ethics of the late ‘70s, early ‘80s punk movement.

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