01: A Queen with Kinks
Exclusive beauty ideals inch closer to their demise every time a woman with coils takes the top crown. For Zozibini Tunzi, the newly minted Miss South Africa, mainstream’s departure from traditionally White beauty standards is long overdue. As the first person from her native country to hold the title while sporting a short, natural hairstyle, Tunzi is making it her mission to promote diversity, inclusion and representation. “Through my win I hope I have inspired people to be themselves at all times, to never compromise their identities and to insert themselves into spaces where they feel that people like them do not belong,” the 25-year-old public relations grad said during her acceptance speech.
02: Burden-Free Books
According to a Cengage poll, 85 percent of students view purchasing textbooks as a financial stressor. That’s why the tech education company is partnering with the United Negro College Fund to alleviate that concern for 1,000 HBCU students. The subscription service dubbed Netflix for textbooks offers unlimited access to course materials. Go to scholarships.uncf.org after November 4 to submit an application for spring 2020.
03: History Retold
The American narrative received a new treatment in The 1619 Project, a special issue of The New York Times Magazine. Spearheaded by investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, the initiative tells the 400-year story of this country through the lens of contemporary Black reporters, novelists, artists, photographers, and historians. This timeline is recalibrated to take into consideration America’s original sin, from the arrival of enslaved Africans to the present day
04: The Hard Truth
Police violence is a public health issue. That’s according to a new study by researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Michigan and Washington University in St. Louis. Using verified data on police killings from 2013 to 2018, the analysts found that roughly one in every 1,000 Black men will die at the hands of law enforcement, and African-Americans as a whole are 2.5 times more likely to have fatal interactions with cops compared with White people.
05: The Power of the Bloc
Experts predict that Black women will be central to the outcome of the 2020 presidential race. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and a study titled “Ahead of the Majority: Foregrounding Women of Color,” 55 percent of eligible Black women cast votes during the 2018 midterms, which is above the national average. This leads analysts to believe that any candidate who wants to win the White House must demonstrate a commitment to our concerns.
The function of freedom is to free someone else.—TONI MORRISON ACCLAIMED NOVELIST, EDITOR AND PROFESSOR FEBRUARY 18, 1931—AUGUST 5, 2019
07: Pushing Good Health
In the United States, African-Americans are twice as likely as Whites to develop type 2 diabetes, which can have fatal complications. The Suga Project, a Chicago-based organization founded by Natalie Pauls, hopes to change this statistic by opening up a dialogue within the Black community about the disease. Through education and research, the goal is to show diabetics how to manage their care.
08: Richmond on the Radar
Looking for a fall getaway? Richmond, Virginia, may be the place you didn’t know you needed to visit. This summer its tourism board, along with more than 20 community leaders, launched BLK RVA to promote African-American travel to the destination. The campaign highlights the Black experience in the city by focusing on arts and entertainment, food and drink, community and history.
09: A Rich Acquisition
More than 4 million photographs and 10,000 hours of video and audio detailing the life of Blacks in America are now in the hands of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, the Getty Research Institute and other cultural institutions. The deal was brokered between the owner of this media, Johnson Publishing—the former publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines—and four foundations for $30 million.
10: Passing the Time
Move over, Sudoku. Author Latoya Nicole has engineered a fun new way to relax and release while you stimulate your mind. Color XO is a coloring book app with a slew of melanin-rich photos that allows users to paint by numbers. Find it in the App Store and Google Play.