The original 'Silence Breaker' who didn't make that cover plus more kick-ass black women.

This is the sixth edition of "This week in black women," a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.

This week, I'm cheering for Atlanta's mayor-elect, Tarana Burke, and two books sure to land on your wishlist. Support these women! Pay these women! Follow them! Encourage them! Let's do this.

"We see you": Tarana Burke

In 2006, activist Tarana Burke founded the Me Too movement as a way to help survivors of sexual assault and violence. More than a decade later, Burke's work became part of a pivotal national conversation about survivors and sexual predators, particularly in the workplace. For her work, Burke was recognized as part of Time magazine's collective person of the year, along with other "Silence Breakers" of the #MeToo movement.


But, to the consternation of many of her devoted fans, she was left off the widely celebrated cover. So we're here to shout you out and praise your excellent work, Ms. Burke.

"This is just the start. I’ve been saying from the beginning it’s not just a moment, it’s a movement," Burke said in an interview with Time. "Now the work really begins."

Photo by Chirag Wakaskar/Pacific Press/Sipa USA via AP Images.

"Taking care of business": Keisha Lance Bottoms

In a narrow victory, Keisha Lance Bottoms was elected the mayor of Atlanta. There is something so encouraging and affirming about a black woman named Keisha running one of the largest cities in the country. It's a beautiful name, steeped in black girl magic, which in many circles may have drawn ire or limited her opportunities. But instead, Keisha Lance Bottoms was elected by the people to lead her city. What a time to be alive.

Keisha Lance Bottoms. Image via Vote ATL.

"Go off, sis": Amber Ruffin

Ruffin is a writer and performer for "Late Night With Seth Meyers" and uses her improv chops to help create some of the show's best moments. This week, Ruffin announced she will be hosting the 70th Writers Guild of Awards ceremony next February.  

Ruffin said in her statement, "If you’re looking for hard-hitting satire on sexual assault allegations, Russia and the Republican tax plan — too bad! This is gonna be all hugs and rainbows! (The hugs will be consensual.)"

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Lindt.

If you're dreaming of a black Christmas...

It's the season of giving, and this week, I discovered two awesome books that would make great gifts for the kiddos in your life.

The first is the "Black Queens" coloring book. It's got affirmations, encouraging quotations, and of course, ample room to color and draw.

The second is "Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History." With darling illustrations and short, easy to read biographies, the book is perfect for children and the young at heart.

Final thoughts: Aisha Alexander

This country has a long way to go, but some days, it feels good to reflect on how far we've come.

​Note: We were not paid by the authors to promote the books included in this post (we would tell you!). We just think it's just awesome to see black women lifting up and celebrating other black women.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Last year, we shared the sad impact that plastic pollution has had on some of our planet's most beautiful places. With recycling not turning out to be the savior it was made out to be, solutions to our growing plastic problem can seem distant and complex.

We have seen some glimmers of hope from both human innovation and nature itself, however. In 2016, a bacteria that evolved with the ability to break down plastic was discovered in a Japanese waste site. Two years later, scientists managed to engineer the mutant plastic-eating enzyme they called PETase—named for polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic found in bottles and food packaging—in a lab.

Here's an explainer of how those enzymes work:

Ending Plastic Pollution with Designer Bacteria youtu.be

Now researchers have revealed another game-changer in the plastic-eater—a super-enzyme that can break down plastic six times faster than PETase alone.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he's had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book "What Unites Us," and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay "steady" through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

All of that is to say, when Dan Rather sounds the alarm, you know we've reached a critical historical moment.

Yesterday, President Trump again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election when directly asked if he would—yet another democratic norm being toppled. Afterward, Rather posted the following words of wisdom—and warning—to his nearly three million Facebook fans:


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via DanielandDavid2 / Instagram

Editor's Note: We used "black" in lowercase for our headline and the body of this story in accordance with emerging guidelines from the Associated Press and other trusted news outlets who are using uppercase "Black" in reference to American descendants of the diaspora of individuals forcibly brought from Africa as slaves. As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent and communicate choices with our readership, we've included this note for clarity. The original story begins below.

On February 26, 2019, Stacy and Babajide Omirin of Lagos, Nigeria got quite the shock. When Stacy delivered identical twins through C-section one came out black and the other, white.

The parents knew they were having identical twins and expected them to look exactly the same. But one has a white-looking complexion and golden, wavy hair.

"It was a massive surprise," Stacy told The Daily Mail. "Daniel came first, and then the nurse said the second baby has golden hair. I thought how can this be possible. I looked down and saw David, he was completely white."

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