This week in black women: Luvvie, 6th-grade superstars, The Lion Queen, and more.

Indictments fell like leaves. Baseball finally ended. And black women had another week of being intelligent, talented, innovative, and fearless.

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.

Hats off to Robinson — a gay, black woman getting it done and finding success in an industry long dominated by white men. (And kudos to Molly for letting people know about her fabulous friend.)

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?

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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