This week in black women: Luvvie, 6th-grade superstars, The Lion Queen, and more.
This is the second edition of "This week in black women," a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.
This week, we shoutout a Hollywood hotshot, a writer making big moves, children inspiring millions from their classroom, and a judge doing work. Celebrate them! Follow them! Support them! Let's go!
"Go off, sis": Luvvie Ajayi
The best-selling author and blogger was the opening speaker for the TEDWomen conference in New Orleans. Through presentations, discussions, and other events, the annual three-day conference centers women and girls as the innovators, change agents, and creators they are. Not 24 hours later, Ajayi was in New York City delivering the keynote address at The 3% Conference, a movement and event created to address the lack of women creative directors in advertising (only 3% when the effort began).
Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Adcolor.
"Take care of business": U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson
Presiding over the preliminary portion of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates' indictments was none other than Deborah A. Robinson, a jurist with nearly 30 years of experience behind the bench. As a judge in the district, Robinson is no stranger to high-profile defendants, hearing cases involving NBA star Allen Iverson; former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry; and George W. Bush's White House aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Prior to her work as a judge, Robinson served as an assistant U.S. prosecuting attorney. Robinson will now hand the case over to U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
Images by Dana Verkouteren/AP and Charles Dharapak/AP Photo.
"If you don't know, now you know": Christy Coleman
It's 2017, and folks are still attempting to rewrite Civil War history. If you're looking for a place to brush up on your facts, visit Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia. The innovative space examines the Civil War from the Confederate, Union, and black perspectives.
Coleman is one of the few black women to lead a Civil War museum and told NBC News this summer, "My job is to lay out stories you may not have considered or heard before and provide an environment where people can learn and explore. And that’s what I do and I do that fairly well."
"Yes, young queens": the sixth-grade MCs at Milwaukee Excellence Charter School
I wrote about Milwaukee Excellence last year after seeing their passionate principal rap about homework. The school and students are going viral again, this time with their empowering student-lead rap "Excellence First" about staying focused and goal-oriented. It was written by their teacher, Terrance Sims, set to the beat from Tee Grizzley's "First Day Out," and tweaked with help from his sixth-grade class. He held mini tryouts to see who would perform for the video, and these talented tweens rose to the top.
Come for the positive message, stay for two sixth-grade girls spitting 🔥 bars about MBAs and doctorates. The video has more than 86,000 views on Instagram and even landed the students on "Good Morning America."
"Let the people know": Angela Robinson
Last week, I asked you to send me links if you knew of any awesome black women doing amazing things. Molly M. sent me this delightful note:
"I wanted to reach out and propose my best friend Angela Robinson who just wrote and directed the major movie, 'Professor Marston and The Wonder Women.' An awesome woman with major accomplishments to write about, too!"
Robinson has some amazing Hollywood bonafides to her name, working as a writer, director, and producer on shows like "True Blood," "How To Get Away With Murder," and "The L Word." Her latest project, "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women," tells the surprising true story of William Moulton Marston, the psychologist who created Wonder Woman, and the polyamorous relationship he had with his wife and mistress. The complex love story opened Oct. 13 and is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Angela Robinson attends the Professor Marston and the Wonder Women panel in New York City. Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.
Final thoughts: Ziwe
Disney just announced the full cast of the live-action "Lion King," and Beyoncé will take the throne as Nala.
Where's the lie?