While the unfortunate news about the Titanic submersible has captured most of the headlines this week, there was some joyful news you may have missed. Colin Kaepernick tackles Black History in a new book, Don Lemon shakes off CNN during his first gig since leaving the network, and Venus Williams is still killing the tennis court at 43 years old. Here is "This Week in Good Black News."
Colin Kaepernick Worked With Black Academics For New Book
Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick continues to create a profound legacy outside of football. Kaepernick. In an interview with The New Republic, He revealed he partnered with scholars Robin D.G. Kelley and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the anthology titled Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies.
“I’ve long admired Keeanga and Robin’s work as well as their uncompromising political analysis and understanding that Black liberation simply isn’t possible under capitalism,” Kaepernick said. The book also includes essays from W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and others.
The eBook is free and available now.
Venus Williams Still Has It
On June 19, Venus Williams, 43, defeated 48th-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(6), in three hours and 17 minutes at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham, U.K., according to Tennis.com. This is her first top-50 win in nearly four years. Following her victory, Williams praised the 31-year old Giorgi for her performance.
“I thought I played so well today, and she also played incredible. I'm so surprised she's not No. 1 in the world. There were so many moments where I just thought, 'This match is over,' and she would hit a shot from out of nowhere,” said Williams. Additionally, Williams was given a wild-card entry to play singles at Wimbledon. It will be her 24th appearance, and we can't wait to see how far she goes.
Don Lemon Returns
You can’t keep a good man down. After getting fired from his longtime role as an anchor at CNN, Don Lemon shined in his first gig since leaving the network as host of the sixth annual Native Son Awards. The brainchild of legendary journalist Emil Wilbekin, the night of Black queer excellence honored P-Valley star Nicco Annan, groundbreaking director and writer Patrik-Ian Polk and Bishop O.C. Allen and Rashad Burgess of Atlanta’s Vision Church, who were featured in the 2015 BET award-winning documentary Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church.
Although Lemon cracked some jokes and brought joy to the night, he also said, “I may not be on CNN, but I’m still a journalist… In 2023, there have already been over 520 anti-LGBTQ+ pieces of legislation introduced in state legislatures across the country. Nearly half of those bills target our transgender and non-binary siblings.”
Watch the clip above.
A$AP Rocky And Rihanna Share Adorable Photos Of Baby RZA
In a Father’s Day Instagram post, A$AP Rocky shared new photos of his adorable 13-month-old baby boy with Rihanna. The Harlem native, 34, began the carousel of images with one of baby RZA wearing a pink shower cap while brushing his teeth. There were also two images of little RZA sound asleep wearing a cow onesie next to his father, and another with Rihanna as she models a sweet grin while he naps beside her.
See the cuteness overload above.
‘The Blackening’ Takes Over Social Media
This comedy-horror film hit theaters over the weekend and blew up social media, bringing in $7 million. Directed by Tim Story, the cast includes Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Jay Pharoah, and Yvonne Orji (of Insecure fame). The unique take on horror from a Black perspective is sure to be the sleeper hit of the summer.
Missouri Rep. Cori Bush Pushes For Reparations
“This is the moment to put it out and we needed something like this," Bush said. "I feel it is the first of its kind on the Congressional Record." In May, Bush introduced H.R. 414, The Reparations Now Resolution, arguing that the U.S. has a "moral and legal obligation to address the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm" to millions of Black Americans. The topic of reparations has been ongoing for decades. In January, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey reintroduced H.R. 40 and S.40, over 30 years after it was first introduced by the late Michigan Representative John Conyers.
Baseball Legend Willie Mays Will Be Honored
According to CBS News, Major League Baseball announced this week it will honor Hall of Famer Willie Mays next year on June 20, 2024, between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinal at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Mays, a native of Alabama, began his professional career with the Birmingham Black Barons, a Negro League team, in 1948 and would also play for the San Francisco Giants.
The Rickwood Field stadium opened in 1910, and it’s the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S. and a National Historic Site. Mays, 92, said in a statement, "I can't believe it. I never thought I'd see in my lifetime a Major League Baseball game being played on the very field where I played baseball as a teenager.”
Ayesha Curry Celebrates Stephen Curry On Father’s Day
It's great to see Black love flourish, especially on Father's Day. To celebrate Father’s Day, Ayesha Curry took to Instagram with a heartfelt message to show how much she appreciates her husband, Stephen Curry as they raise their children, Canon, 4, Ryan, 7, and Riley, 10, together as a team.
“Happy Father's Day Chooch!!! We love you so much. It is too much fun raising these 3 little humans together with my best friend and you add so much excitement, fun and wisdom to the journey,” the post read. Ayesha added, “I am so proud of you. Watching you with our kiddos brings me SO much joy. Time to pop open a big wave and drive it down the fairway to celebrate!” See above.
Vanessa Bryant Dedicates Compton Basketball Court To Kobe And Gianna
Vanessa Bryant has dedicated a basketball court in Compton to the memories of her late husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna who, along with seven others, were killed in a helicopter crash in 2020. The court was refurbished by Vanessa through the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation in collaboration with BodyArmor.
Bryant shared several images from the opening day on Instagram. In one caption, she wrote, "Thank you for showing up and showing out for our exclusive court reopening at Wilson Park in honor of Kobe and Gianna.” Bryant also thanked former WNBA center Lisa Leslie and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who were also present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
See Lisa Leslie's video above.
Dionne Warwick And Queen Latifah Among 2023 Kennedy Center Honorees
The 2023 Kennedy Center honorees have been announced, and Dionne Warwick and Queen Latifah will be given their flowers. Comedy legend Billy Crystal, opera singer Renée Fleming and songwriter-producer Barry Gibb are also part of the 2023 class of honorees.
As for Latifah, the Kennedy Center said in a statement, “This year we pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a uniquely American culture whose constant evolution is one of enduring relevance and impact, reflecting our society as it has grown into an international phenomenon. Hip-hop has been an important, thriving art form here at the Center for a number of years; what a privilege it is to bestow an Honors to the First Lady of Hip-Hop [Queen Latifah] who has inspired us along the way.”
The ceremony will take place this December in Washington, D.C.