In My DNA: First Black Woman to Grace Canadian Money


I got, I got, I got, I got/ Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA/ Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA/ I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA/ I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA

Sorry y’all, I can’t stop singing this Kendrick Lamar joint ever since I heard my cousin is the first Black woman to grace Canada’s $10 banknote.

Naturally, Viola Desmond is our WCW. For not only refusing to leave a white’s only section of a movie theater in the late ‘40s, but more importantly her defiance was the jump off to the civil rights movement, which led to the end of segregation in Nova Scotia.

For not only refusing to leave a white’s only section of a movie theater in the late ‘40s, but more importantly her defiance was the jump off to the civil rights movement, which led to the end of segregation in Nova Scotia.

No wonder out of more than 26,000 submissions, cousin Vi was selected as the Canadian woman reppin the new banknote.

Fair warning this post will be bias as a mofo, but I’m hoping you guys will indulge me in this proud moment.

Viola Desmond did for Canada what Rosa Parks did for us. Only she did it a decade before Rosa. My cuz Vi stumbled upon her role as a civil rights pioneer. Much like Rosa, she was sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

So this is how she landed in textbooks:

In 1946, Vi’s car broke down while traveling and had to stop in New Glasgow to get it fixed. To kill time, she went to the movies.

It was obvi segregated because it’s 1946—whites took the floor seats and Blacks were forced in the balcony section.

There was no way cousin Vi was getting a floor seat, so she paid for the balcony. Yet still sat in the white’s only section. My cousin.

She refused to leave and had to be dragged out of the theater by police. She spent 12 hours in the clink.

Cousin Vi was convicted and ordered to pay what amounted to $26 in fines. She fought the charges up until her death in 1965.

It wasn’t until 2010 the charges were dismissed by Nova Scotia’s first African Lieutenant general. “Here I am, 64 years later – a black woman giving freedom to another black woman,” Mayann Francis told Maclean’s magazine.

Yup that’s called black girl magic. Now get out and spend those Desmond’s.


Will Smith Donates Bottled Water to Flint Schools

Will and Jada Smith are using their new bottled water company– JUST–for good.

The power couple is donating their eco-friendly water to Flint, Michigan public schools each month, until city’s water becomes drink-able again, Huffington Post reports.

So far 9,200 b̶o̶t̶t̶l̶e̶s̶ cartons have been shipped to the schools.

With so much more of the plant-based H20 on the way, says JUST CEO Ira Laufer.

“This just makes sense for us to do,” Laufer told MLive. “After reading more about [Flint’s] challenges and the mayor objecting to pulling bottled water from the schools, we thought, ‘Let’s help these kids.’”

Where there is a will there’s a way. Sorry, had too.

On a serious note this is a great gesture for a company that is barely four years old. Given how toxic the water levels still are in Flint–EPA rated city’s lead at 397 parts per billion, the standard is 15 ppb.

Yeah, keep them cartons coming, big Willy.

What We Wish For on Int’l Woman’s Day

If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that women are unbreakable. We are unstoppable and our gentle exterior may show we come in peace, but our tenacity, strength and smarts most certainly exude that we. mean. bizness.

We get shit done that no one (*cough* men *cough*) else want to handle. Or better yet don’t know how to manage. Not us. We can study for that midterm and feed our newborn. Cook dinner and clean the house. Eff an apron, where is our cape?

We most certainly need one today because…drum roll please…it’s International Woman’s Day.

On this day we tip our hat to all the 3.96 billion women (thanks Alexi…ok, stop laughing) around the planet, helping to make this world a safer more worthwhile place.

To truly accomplish this goal, we need a favor from the fellas. And you have to say yes because it’s our day. However, we will need today, tomorrow, next week and even next year to get it done. You need to recognize our worth. Our abilities. Our talents. And most importantly: our symmetry with you.

We demand equal treatment. The time for asking is over. We are ready. Yaasss SHE’s ready (in my Tiffany Haddish voice) for that board seat, equal pay and for goodness sake being respected for our brain and not our boobs.

It’s 2018, guys. The clock moved past 1952, *checking watch* 66 years ago. A time machine doesn’t exist to go backwards, women are getting in formation to claim our rightful place of power.

Because our time is now.

Cheers to all the overlooked, underpaid and unappreciated women that don’t know you are a bulletproof spirit, waiting to soar like a shooting star above our orbit.

Kevin Durant Donated $10 Million to Hometown College Prep Program

Kevin Durant is the Golden boy of Prince George County.

Not just for that championship rock on his finger.

The Maryland native donated $10 million to jumpstart a local College Track program, which helps low income students prepare for college, The Washington Post reports.

The intense (decade long!) program is designed for test prep, tutoring and matching students with colleges.

High school students also to have to commit three to five hours a week after school and summer school.

The program aims to support low income families whose members never attended college.

Kevin Durant’s investment will bring College Track program to the East Coast for the first time. Centering on Maryland and Washington D.C. area.

But of course his heart lies with the first College Track program in Seat Pleasant, Md.

“This hits home, because it’s right in the neighborhood where me and my buddies lived,” said Durant,who opens the center later on this year.

The College Program, started 20 years ago in California by Powell Jobs, has helped over 3,000 students in nine centers in California, Louisiana and Colorado.

Durant, who got involved in the College Program early last year, says his ultimate goal is to level the playing field.

“We didn’t have the resources to get our minds thinking about the next level,” Durant told The Post. “I want to do my part, whatever it is. If College Track students want to be the next Steve Jobs or the next influencer or the next tastemakers, they can get there.”

No doubt with Durant’s big boost.

Disney Wants to Create More Shuri’s


Happy Friday, Blinkers.

We’ve got a lot to feel good about. For one, Black Panther continues to snatch our edges and our wallets with it’s message of melanin magnificence.

So much so that the mouse company has donated $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America to expand their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) youth programs.

The Walt Disney Company’s CEO Robert Iger couldn’t help but gush about the movie’s influence on, well, everyone, releasing this statement:

Marvel Studio’s Black Panther is a masterpiece of movie making and has become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age old myths.

Prompting him to create more real life Shuri’s.

It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.

The grant will also be used to build STEM centers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Memphis, New Orleans, LA and Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

The youngsters have a lot to look forward to because they’ll be doing work similar to what Princess Shuri slayed at in the movie. Sans the car chase.

They’ll be tinkering with “3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment” through group exercises and individually, using real apps.

Jim Clark, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America says this is just the beginning.

From hands-on interactive programs to critical thinking, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to providing thousands of young people with the tools they need to prepare for a great future.

Wakanda won’t be the only one churning out tech princesses.


How “Walking Dead’s” Sasha Wants You to Beat Cancer

The Walking Dead‘s Sasha knows a thing or two about dodging scary monsters.

Cancer happens to be the scariest invisible monster out there.

Good thing Sonequa Martin-Green (aka Sasha) has our back as Stand Up To Cancer’s ambassador.

First line of defense against battling this menace?

Clinical trials.

It’s the “brightest torch researchers have to light their way,” says Sonequa in Stand Up To Cancer’s newest PSA.

Urging cancer patients to take part in the trials to help develop effective medicine.

Less than five percent of cancer patients sign up for research trials in this country.

“Clinical trials are a fundamental path to progress and the brightest torch researchers have to light their way to better treatments,” Martin-Green says in the PSA out to be distributed nationwide this month.

“And if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, they may be your brightest ray of hope. That’s because clinical trials allow researchers to test cutting-edge and potentially life-saving treatments while giving participants access to the best options available,” she added.

Being up close and personal to the issue–Sonequa’s mom is a cancer survivor–makes her want to lead the charge for this issue.

“Participation in clinical trials is so important, and I’m honored to lend a voice to this message so that more patients can be aware of their options,” the Star Trek Discovery star shared.

With the right treatment plan, cancer can finally fuck off for good.

Fingers crossed, y’all. This monster will be exterminated soon.