Welcome to "This Week in Good Black News," your source of hopeful and uplifting stories about the Black community. This week, we have a lot to celebrate.
In Philadelphia, history was made when Cherelle Parker was officially voted in as the first Black woman mayor, marking a significant milestone in the city's political landscape.Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, a shining example of receiving a second chance and giving back, showcases the power of community support in his efforts to uplift those in need. And, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen introduce fans to the newest addition to their family.
Plus, actor Colman Domingo sparks Oscar buzz and we take a moment to thank our service officers who put duty, pride, and courage before all else. These are just a few of the ten inspiring stories we want to share with you in this edition of "This Week in Good Black News."
Vanessa Bryant Gifts Kobe 6 'Reverse Grinch' Sneakers to USC Basketball Teams
On November 6, the men's and women's basketball teams at the University of Southern California were given a special gift from Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant and mother of Natalia Bryant, a junior at USC. Both Vanessa and Natalia gifted the school's basketball teams with pairs of Nike Kobe 6 performance retro "Reverse Grinch" sneakers ahead of the new college basketball season. The women's team opened their season with a win over Ohio State, while the men's team started their season on Thursday (November 9). LeBron James' son, Bronny James, was among the athletes who received a pair of the lucky kicks.
The Kobe 6 "Grinch" sneaker debuted during the 2011 holiday season. Sneaker News notes that its design drew inspiration from the Green Mamba snake, paying homage to Kobe's Black Mamba alter-ego. A performance retro version, known as the "Protro," was launched on Dec. 24, 2020, less than a year after Kobe’s passing.
We hope the gift is a guiding light for both teams this season.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Have The Cutest Baby!
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have already made some beautiful kids and they've recently added one more to the mix.
Baby Wren was born in June via a surrogate. His other siblings include Esti, five months old; Miles Theodore, four; and his older sister, Luna Simone, 7.
See Wren in all his cuteness above.
Colman Domingo Earns Rave Reviews For ‘Rustin’
“Rustin,” the highly anticipated biopic on Bayard Rustin, is officially in area theaters (and premieres on Netflix on Nov. 17) and Colman Domingo is earning stellar reviews for his performance. The Associated Press called Domingo “outstanding,” and Vulture is predicting an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Rustin's remarkable contributions to the civil rights movement, despite facing discrimination as an openly gay Black man, are inspiring and deserving of recognition.
Directed by George C. Wolfe, the film also includes performances by Chris Rock, Jeffrey Wright, and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. The movie was produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground.
Cherelle Parker Makes History in Philadelphia
On November 7, Cherelle Parker won her race to become the next mayor of Philadelphia. She is the first woman ever elected to be mayor of the City of Brotherly Love. A former Philadelphia city councilwoman and state representative, Parker defeated her Republican opponent in a landslide, 74.5 percent to 25.5 percent, CBS News Philadelphia reports. Mayor-elect Parker will take office in January 2024 as Philadelphia’s 100th mayor.
Parker, 51, was born to a single teenage mother and raised by her grandparents. She became the first person in her family to attend college and served 17 years in government. She plans to advance issues relating to justice, equality, and civil rights in Philadelphia, and we are here for it. Congrats to Mayor-elect Parker!
Damar Hamlin Gives Back
Damar Hamlin, the 25-year-old Buffalo Bills safety who needed emergency care last January when he collapsed motionless on the field, is paying tribute to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff. Hamlin is establishing a scholarship program for the youth of Cincinnati, CBS News reports.
The Chasing M's Foundation will award $1,000 scholarships to 10 people in underserved communities in Cincinnati. The scholarship will be named after “the 10 first-responders, nurses, and doctors who treated Hamlin after he suffered a cardiac arrest mid-game last season.”
The charity has pledged to dole out $10,000 each year over the next three years to underwrite the initiative. Hamlin returned to playing with his team in August after doctors cleared him.
Exonerated Central Park Five Member Yusef Salaam Elected To NYC City Council
This week, Yusef Salaam, best known as one of the wrongly imprisoned “Exonerated Five,” won a seat on the New York City Council without opposition after winning a landslide victory in the June Democratic primary. Back in 1989, Salaam and four other Black and Latinx teens were wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a White woman. Their convictions were thrown out in 2002 after Salaam had already served nearly seven years in prison.
"I am really the ambassador for everyone's pain. In many ways, I went through that for our people so I can now lead them,” said Salaam toThe Associated Press after his win. He will now represent the interests of central Harlem on the City Council.
Sisqo Turns 45!
On November 9, Sisqó, the R&B sensation known for his distinctive voice and iconic hits, celebrated his 45th birthday. The multi-talented artist gained fame as the lead singer of Dru Hill and achieved solo success with chart-toppers like "Thong Song" and "Incomplete." With his smooth vocals and charismatic stage presence, Sisqó has left an indelible mark on the music industry, and fans continue to groove to his timeless classics. Happy 45th, Sisqó!
Revisit his timeless classic "Thong Song" in the clip above.
The SAG-AFTRA Strike Is Finally Over!
After 118 days, Hollywood actors have reached a tentative deal that brings them back to work after demanding an increase in pay as projects develop on streaming platforms.
The SAG-AFTRA union agreed to a three-year contract worth over $1 billion, which includes increases in minimum salaries, a new bonus paid by streaming services, and protections against the unauthorized use of celebrity images in AI.
We're happy to see that some of our favorite stars are back to creating amazing content and doing the work they love.
Video Of Pregnant Teacher Dancing To Thriller Resurfaces
A video has resurfaced and captured the attention of the world. The five-year-old video showcases Jazmine Cooper, a beloved dance teacher at CICS Wrightwood Charter School in the Chicago area, and her young students dancing to a "Thriller"-inspired choreography routine. What makes this performance even more extraordinary is that Jazmine was nine months pregnant at the time. As her students joyfully followed her lead, the expectant mother gracefully moved to the iconic beat of Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
It's Veterans Day
This year, Veterans Day is observed on Friday and celebrated on Saturday, where we honor the individuals who sacrifice, protect, and defend the freedoms of this nation.
African American officers proudly wore their uniforms and fought for their country, despite sometimes serving in a segregated military. To them, we raise our hands. We also appreciate the Biden administration's efforts as they address some of the most important issues facing veterans today, such as military to civilian transition, advancing equity, improving access to mental health care, reducing veteran suicide and homelessness, safeguarding veteran benefits, and ensuring access to world-class care for veterans with severe disabilities.
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