More

Tracee Ellis Ross didn't win an Emmy. But she won our hearts and made history anyway.

The underrepresentation of minorities on television is still a big problem, but there's hope.

Tracee Ellis Ross didn't win an Emmy. But she won our hearts and made history anyway.

Tracee Ellis Ross was nominated for a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

Ross was nominated for her role as Rainbow Johnson in "Black-ish," an ABC sitcom about a self-aware and non-stereotypical black family. Ross' character — the matriarch of the family — is half white.


This nomination for Ross marks her first Emmy nod. But most importantly, this is the first time a black actress has been nominated in this category in 30 years. The last black actress to be recognized and nominated for her work in a comedy series was Phylicia Rashad in 1986 for playing Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." But she didn't win; Betty White took home the prize that year.

2016 seemed poised to be Ross' year.

Which is why it was a surprise when Ross lost to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who accepted her fifth consecutive Emmy in that category for her role on "Veep."

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

It's not that Dreyfus doesn't deserve it — "Veep" is an incredible piece of media. But why not spread the love? It would've been an amazing moment of recognition for black actresses all over America.

And it also would have helped us talk about the larger problem at hand: a lack of diversity in Hollywood.

The underrepresentation of minorities on television is still a big problem.

A UCLA study on diversity in Hollywood found that out of 825 roles in broadcast scripted programming, only 9% of them went to black actors during the 2013-14 season. All minorities combined accounted for only 20% of those 825 roles.

Ross' nomination was not only symbolic, it was also necessary.

In the late 1980s, the Huxtables on "The Cosby Show" were seen as a "new" type of black family (especially following portrayals on shows like "Good Times" or "Sanford and Son"). The Huxtables were an upper-middle-class family, which is something that was rarely shown on television at the time. The dad (played by Bill Cosby) was a doctor, and the mom was a lawyer.

But that was 30 years ago, and things have changed quite a bit since then. Now "Black-ish" seems to be carrying on the "Cosby Show" torch but in a more realistic, relatable, and modern way. During this season alone, the show has tackled police brutality and a number of other serious issues. They use comedy to start important conversations in people's living rooms, and that's incredibly important.

The cast of "Black-ish." Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images.

Progress is happening: This year's Emmy nominees are the most racially diverse ever.

It means the landscape for non-white actors is widening, and more people are being given opportunities to show what they can do, like Ross. Plus, Ross' family was so proud, her mom, Diana Ross, even took out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter congratulating the star.

"Women playing a nuanced role in life has been happening for eons, but on TV it’s been few and far between," Ross has said about her role on "Black-ish."

"In 2016, we’re still trying to get the wife role to match who we are in life, which is people who are many things, not just wives."

So while I wish Ross had taken home the Emmy this year, I can't wait to see what else she has in store. Congrats, Tracee!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Kim Kardashian West / Twitter

It's not hard for most people to make fun of the Kardashians. But this week it got even easier after Kim tweeted she took a birthday getaway to Tahiti with her friends and family — during a deadly pandemic.

"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ted-Ed / YouTube

Trees are one of the most effective ways to fight back against climate change. Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis then store it in their wood tissue and in the surrounding soil.

They work as an organic vacuum to remove the billions of pounds of carbon dioxide that humans have dumped into the atmosphere over the past century.

So, if trees are going to be part of the war on climate change, what strategies should we use to make the best use of their amazing ability to repair the Earth? How can we be sure that after planting these trees they are protected and don't become another ecological victim of human greed?

Keep Reading Show less