This Week In Good Black News: Angela Bassett To Give Commencement Address at Spelman, Zendaya Named Co-Chair of 2024 Met Gala, and Caleb Williams Selected No.1 By Chicago Bears In NFL Draft

Plus, Nas and DJ Premier to release collaborative album, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander named Creative Director of Converse Basketball.

1. Angela Bassett To Give Commencement Address At Spelman College

Spelman College announced that Angela Bassett will be Class of 2024's commencement speaker and receive a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary degree on Sunday, May 19.

In an official statement, President Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH expressed her excitement that the acclaimed actress will be coming to the campus of the storied HBCU.

“Spelman College is honored to have acclaimed actress and director Angela Bassett to bring words of inspiration to our graduating Class of 2024,” said Spelman College President Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH.  “Her work has had a tremendous impact both on and off the screen and serves as an example for our students to lead in their own spaces.

Bassett is one the most acclaimed actors of her generation. The Academy Award winner currently stars in the hit ABC drama "9-1-1," and is known for her roles in "Malcolm X," "Waiting to Exhale," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Black Panther," "Mission Impossible: Fallout" and "What’s Love Got to Do With It."

2. Zendaya Named Co-Chair of 2024 Met Gala

For the first time in five years, Zendaya will return to the Met Gala and she will also co-chair the grand event.

In an interview with "Live with Kelly and Mark" on Tuesday (April 23), she shared that her first time at the event was "exciting, but still terrifying.”

"Going up the steps is very daunting, and I haven't been back for maybe four or five years," she said. "So this is, like, my first time back at the Met in quite a while."

She also expressed her gratitude for being named a co-chair.

Being asked to host felt very special, obviously an honor. But it felt like the right time to try to go back to the Met,” Zendaya added.

The theme for the Met Gala this year is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

3. Caleb Williams Selected No.1 By Chicago Bears In NFL Draft

As many have speculated, the Chicago Bears selected USC's Caleb Williams the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft as their new franchise quarterback.

Described as a generational talent, in a stellar college campaign, Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022  throwing for 4,537 yards, and 42 touchdowns, with only 5 interceptions in 500 pass attempts. 

After being selected, Williams could not contain his excitement about being drafted number one.

"I didn't know how I was going to react in the moment," Williams said. "I was trying to think through it in my head throughout the process, but nothing feels better than actually being in the moment, actually getting that call. You know, I don't feel nervous, I don't feel any of that. I was anxious and ready to go, just ready to get the call so I could walk out there on stage and just finally be back on a team is honestly what I'm excited for."

4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Named Creative Director of Converse Basketball

After another breakout year where he is considered a front-runner for the MVP of the NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander inked a lucrative deal with Converse.

According to the terms of the deal, SGA was named the creative director of Converse Basketball and will release his own signature sneaker line in 2025.

In the 2023-24 season, SGA has led the Thunder to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season with a 57-25 record averaging 30.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in 75 games,

5. Nas and DJ Premier Announce Joint Album

After celebrating the 30th anniversary of Illmatic, Hip-hop legends Nas and DJ Premier announced that they will finally release a collaborative album this year. 

To get hip-hop fans ready for the highly anticipated project, the duo dropped “Define My Name,” which is the first single from the album.

During behind-the-scenes footage of their new track, the duo are seen working in the studio. 

“So you about to drop another album?” Premo asks Nas who has released six albums over four years with Hit-Boy.

“With Premier,” Nas repsoned.

“Oh, okay!” Premo replied.

According to a press release, the album will be released on Nas’ Mass Appeal Records later this year.

6. Paolo Banchero Debuts New Air Jordan 39

Orlando Magic star Paolo Banchero is making waves during his sophomore year in the NBA. As one of the faces of the Jordan Brand, he debuted the unreleased Air Jordan 39 shoe on the court in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Infused with MJ’s signature style of play, the Air Jordan 39 “is designed to enable athletes for their best game experience with new technology that enhances the ability to change directions.”

In a statement, Banchero spoke about the importance of representing the iconic brand during his first playoff run.

“It’s an honor to represent the Jordan family in wearing the Air Jordan 39s for our first playoff series of my career,” Banchero said. “MJ’s legacy is rooted in historic playoff performances, and to have the opportunity to honor that in unveiling the 39’s is truly special for me.” 

The SOL colorway goes on sale on July 23 and the LUMIÈRE will be available on August 6.

7. Advancement of Blacks In Sports Announce Third Annual Champions & Legends Weekend

Advancement of Blacks In Sports (ABIS) will hold the third annual Champions & Legends Fundraising Weekend from May 31st to June 2nd at the MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino. The organization celebrates “excellence, equity, and enduring influence in sports.”

Honorees include Yolanda 'Lonnie' Williams, wife of Muhammad Ali, legendary designer and academic leader Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, renowned civil rights Ben Crump, philanthropist Paxton Baker, NASCAR’s first African American driver Wendell Scott, former collegiate track & field coach Beverly Kearney, and the 1982 Cheyney University Women’s Basketball Team.

Gary Charles, CEO and founder of ABIS shared in a statement the importance of Black representation in every area of the sports world.

"We invite not only sports enthusiasts, but all advocates of equality to join us in commemorating the extraordinary legacies of our honorees,” Charles said. CEO and founder of ABIS.  “This weekend transcends mere celebration; it serves as a rallying cry for continued progress and inclusivity within the sports industry."

The weekend will not only celebrate the honorees but “galvanize support for ABIS' ongoing mission to enhance the representation of Blacks in collegiate and professional sports.”

For more information about ABIS and the gala, visit

8. Diverse Representation To Host 3rd Annual Black Entertainment Career Summit

Diverse Representation will be hosting its third annual  Black Entertainment Career Summit. Taking place at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, on May 3-4, 2024, the two-day the two-day event will "gather Black professionals, creatives, and students and expose them various to career opportunities and create a pathway into the entertainment industry."

According to the press releases,  the Summit will feature representatives from Lionsgate/STARZ, United Talent Agency (UTA),  Amazon MGM Studios, Wasserman, William Morris Endeavor (WME), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), with several companies, such as NBCUniversal, conducting onsite informational interviews.

Speakers for the event include Bill Duffy, founder of BDA Sports, one of the oldest Black-owned sports agencies in the country, Lindsay Wagner, the first Chief Diversity Officer of United Talent Agency, and Tami Quintero, Head of Talent Acquisition at Lionsgate.

“Our goal with the Career Summit is to close the gap by not only providing Black professionals with the information resources and tools to build successful careers in the entertainment industry but also providing them with the unique opportunity to meet with those who have the power to hire them," said Jaia Thomas, Founder and CEO of Diverse Representation. “To date, there have been very few programs or events specifically focused on recruiting and retaining more Black professionals in the entertainment industry. We hope this event helps usher in a greater number and new wave of Black professionals in television, film, digital, and more.”

For more information on the Summit, visit www.entertainmentcareers

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