Happy Holidays! Or, Bah humbug, if Omicron derailed your plans. With just one week left until 2022, there is no shortage of surprises. Whether you were at the airport hoping that the flight wasn’t cancelled, squeezing in some super last-minute shopping, or wrapped up in a weighted blanket looking to stream the best Christmas movie—“The Preacher’s Wife”— here’s a few things you might have missed this week.

1. This Is The Remix: Diddy Buys Back Sean John Fashion Label For $7.5M

Looks like Sean “Diddy” Combs bought back what’s his. The Hip Hop mogul’s namesake brand, Sean John, launched in 1998 and quickly enjoyed critical and commercial success. Sean John had since expanded to a full lifestyle brand including sportswear, tailored suiting, dress shirts, ties, hosiery, eyewear, childrenswear, fragrances, timepieces, outerwear, underwear, loungewear, cold weather accessories, headwear, and footwear. Diddy sold a majority sake in the brand in 2016. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021. With the return of Baby Phat, and now Sean John, maybe the early aughts nostalgia can be completed with a Roc-A-Wear resurgence. 

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2. Nikole Hannah-Jones Launches 1619 Freedom School

It’s been a hell of a year for Nikole Hannah Jones. The ESSENCE cover star, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and educator, rejected a long, overdue tenure offer from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and followed up with joining the Howard University faculty. Now, she has her own school. Hannah-Jones announced the opening of the 1619 Freedom School, an after school literacy program in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. She noted, “Black students’ reading scores were 30 points below white ones before the pandemic.” Despite its heavily Black population, Waterloo is one of the most segregated cities in the state. 

3. Atlanta Season 3 Premiere Date Finally Announced

March marks the second year of the Covid pandemic and the only saving grace to the new year is the highly anticipated return to FX’s comedy Atlanta. After an almost four year delay due to scheduling conflicts, creator Donald Glover and co-stars Bryan Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz return to reprise their roles as Earn, Paper Boi, Darius, and Van on March 24. Possibly titled “Catching Flights,” Season 3, is the much needed follow-up to Season 2, “Robbin’ Season.” Sounds like Paper Boi really was all about his paper, boy.

4. FDA Appoves First Injectable HIV Preventention Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration has announced the approval of the first long-acting injectable medication for use as pre-exposure prevention, or PrEP, against HIV. Until now, the only FDA-licensed and approved medications for HIV PrEP were daily oral pills. Apretude is an injectable given every two months as an alternative to HIV prevention pills, like Truvada and Descovy. While new HIV infections dropped 8% between 2015-2019, the CDC reported that in 2019, Blacks/African Americans accounted for 44% of new HIV diagnoses. The CDC is on track to end the HIV epidemic in the US by 2030.

5. Jennifer King Is First Black Woman To Act As NFL Lead Position Coach

Making NFL history, Jennifer King is the first Black woman to act as a lead position coach. The former assistant position coach for Washington stepped up to the role during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles after head running backs coach Randy Jordan had to miss the game due to COVID-19 protocols. King became the second woman to coach full-time in the NFL and the first Black woman to do so. The historic moment is a much needed shake up to the NFL as diversity among coaches is troubling. Only three head coaches are Black despite nearly 60% of the league’s players being Black.

6. Omicron Hits Airlines, Thousands Of Holiday-Weekend Flights Scrapped Worldwide

The Omicron variant is stealing Christmas. Between airline staff illnesses due to the Omicron surge and potentially severe weather, thousands of travelers are facing flight delays and cancellations. Reports show more than 2,000 flights canceled globally on Christmas Eve. With the congestion at the airports, top medical advisers to the world’s airlines have bigger concerns. Bloomberg reported, “Aircraft passengers are twice or even three times more likely to catch Covid-19 during a flight since the emergence of the omicron variant.” 

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Be sure to watch ESSENCE editors recap the best moments of 2021 here and here.

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