This Week In Good Black News: Barack and Michelle Obama Celebrate 31 Years Of Marriage, Laphonza Butler Becomes The Third Black Woman U.S. Senator and Leslie Odom Jr. Returns To Broadway

Plus, an NBA icon continues to break records off the court.

Need a dose of some good Black news? We got you covered. This week, Barack and Michelle Obama mark an incredible 31 years of marriage. Laphonza Butler makes history as she becomes the third Black woman to serve as a U.S. senator. Her journey to this pivotal position is a testament to the power of perseverance and the limitless potential of Black women in American politics. Also, we celebrate the return of the immensely talented Leslie Odom Jr. to Broadway in "Purlie Victorious". 

This and much more in "This Week in Good Black News"!

  • Barack and Michelle Obama Celebrate 31 Years Of Marriage!

    On October 3, our forever President Barack Obama and forever First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated their 31st anniversary! President Obama tweeted a beautiful photo with the caption, "Happy anniversary, sweetheart! @MichelleObama, you're brilliant, kind, funny, and beautiful—and I'm lucky to call you mine." The Obamas are the ultimate couple's goals. 

    See our timeline of their relationship here.

  • Queen Sugar’ Alum Omar J. Dorsey And ‘The Gilded Age’ Director Crystle Roberson Are Preparing for Their Upcoming Wedding

    MOOD PHOTO & VIDEO Mike Purdy

    Crystle Roberson and Omar J. Dorsey

    While the Obamas are celebrating over three decades together,  the sky's the limit for "Queen Sugar" alum Omar J. Dorsey and "The Gilded Age" director Crystle Roberson who are just beginning their journey together. The couple got engaged in October 2022 and are preparing to walk down the aisle on New Year’s Eve at an exclusive beachfront resort in Santa Monica, California. 

    In an exclusive with this week, Roberson said, "I don’t know how we had never met each other before; we knew a lot of the same people. But everything happens in divine time. He’s an actor; I’m a director; we both love our craft and encourage each other." Congrats to the happy couple!

  • Gladys Knight Honored By The Boys & Girls Clubs of America

    On October 5, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in New York City honored the legendary Gladys Knight. The soul legend, who has supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for decades, received the "2023 Champion of Youth Award." Previous recipients have included Kane Brown, Jennifer Lopez, Lebron James, and the late Congressman John Lewis (D-GA). The powerful evening was packed with inspirational stories from our young people who benefit from the work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, including Alejandra L. of Boys & Girls Club of McAllen. Alejandra was recognized at the 2023 National Youth of the Year 

  • Idris Elba Gets Candid About Therapy

    No one should ever be ashamed of therapy! In an effort to normalize the practice, Idris Elba opened up this week about his own therapy journey for better mental health. During an interview on the Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast, the actor said he had been privately battling being a workaholic, which has impacted his personal life. 

    "I’m an absolute workaholic,” he confessed to the host. “That isn’t great for life.” Elba has been in therapy for about a year to treat his compulsive work habits. “It’s a lot of work,” he revealed. Macmanus commented on her experience in therapy as being stressful, and Elba added, “That’s just the beginning part because I have felt the same, and it’s probably good to go through that because once you start getting comfortable with the silences, that’s when the magic starts to happen.” 

    See this clip above.

  • Laphonza Butler Becomes The Third Black Woman In U.S. Senator In History!

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom fulfilled his promise to appoint a Black woman to replace Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who died on Sept. 29, when her seat became vacant. Newsome selected Laphonza Butler, who was once an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris and has roots in the labor movement, as Feinstein’s replacement. She is only the third Black woman U.S. Senator in history, the first being Carol Moseley Braun from Illinois from 1993 to 1999 and the second being Harris from California from 2017 to 2021. Butler is also the first openly LGBTQ+ African-American senator. 

    Feinstein said earlier this year that she would retire after her term ended. The current candidates for the seat are Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam B. Schiff. Butler has not confirmed if she will run next year.

  • Dr. Melissa L. Gilliam Will Become Boston University’s First Black Woman President

    After 184 years, Boston University will have its first Black woman president. Starting July 1, 2024, Dr. Melissa L. Gilliam will begin as BU's 11th President. Gilliam is an educator, scholar, research scientist, and physician who is currently the executive vice president and provost of The Ohio State University. ” 

    Gilliam told BU Today, “I’m looking forward to hearing from people, learning, and listening. I lead by listening, collaborating, and empowering other people. That is the best way to run big organizations, to get everyone excited and engaged and doing more than they think they’re capable of doing. This philosophy is core to shared governance, an essential component of a thriving university.”

  • Kerry Washington Is A New York Times Bestseller!

    Go Kerry go!

    Kerry Washington has earned countless accolades as an actress, but she can now add a New York Times bestseller to her resume! Washington's memoir, "Thicker Than Water," was released on September 26. In the book, the notoriously private actress offers a very candid look into her life, sharing not only her remarkable journey in Hollywood but also her experiences, challenges, and triumphs beyond the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. 

    See the clip above of the Bronx native finding out she is officially a bestselling author. 

  • Kenny Leon's 'Purlie Victorious' Opens To Rave Reviews On Broadway

    Kenny Leon's fifteenth Broadway show, "Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch," is officially open, and no surprise, the show is a big hit. Starring Grammy and Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr., the show is earning rave reviews. Variety wrote, "Odom electrifies as Purlie infusing a charismatic energy into a man who knows what he deserves but is forced to navigate countless prejudices to achieve it, the Tony Award winner is in his element here."

    The play was penned and first performed in 1961 by the late great Ossie Davis and tells the story of Rev. Purlie Victorious Judson and his quest to level the playing field in an oppressive Southern society. 

    This marks Odom's  first show on Broadway since winning a Tony for "Hamilton," and we predict there's another Tony in his future! "Purlie Victorious" is currently playing at Broadway's Music Box Theater in NYC.

  • Michael Jordan Makes the Forbes List of 400 Richest People!

    NBA icon Michael Jordan is not only a basketball legend but also a legend off the court for his bold business and entrepreneurship moves. Jordan is officially one of the wealthiest people in the country. According to CBS News, Jordan has been named to Forbes’ 400 list at the 379 spot with an estimated net worth of $3 billion. The former Chicago Bulls superstar is joined by LeBron James and Tiger Woods as the only former athletes to accumulate wealth of more than $1 billion. In June, Jordan’s wealth skyrocketed when he sold the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall after being the sole owner of the team for 13 years. He purchased majority ownership of the team in 2010 for $275 million, and the sale was valued at $3 billion.  We'd say that's a pretty good return on investment. 

    Additionally,  Jordan reportedly receives $260 million annually in royalties from Nike for his hugely successful Jordan brand. Other endorsement deals include McDonald's, Hanes, Upper Deck, and Gatorade.

    Is MJ open to adopting adults? We're ready to apply!

  • Jason Reynolds New Book Celebrates Langston Hughes

    Best-selling children's author Jason Reynolds released a new book this week that celebrates Harlem Renaissance icon Langston Hughes. "There Was a Party for Langston," is Reynolds' first picture book and was inspired by an image of Dr. Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka celebrating in memory of Hughes, who died in 1967. The two were at an affair at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 1991 and caught dancing on a space dedicated to Hughes and created on top of where his' ashes rest. This iconic black and white photo was the inspiration for Reynolds' book. Reynolds told CBS Mornings, "What you are witnessing in that photo is freedom." Watch the clip above.

    "There Was a Party for Langston" is available wherever books are sold.

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