Oprah Joins Fight to End Hunger

Oprah was fresh off a Parisian vacay, when THE media mogul spread some Black girl magic in Cincinnati.

Oprah shocked volunteers at Freestore Foodbank on Sept. 11th when she came suited and booted to help pack 2,000 meals for school kids in the community.

Oprah was one of 100 volunteers to support Kroger grocery store’s Kroger Zero Hunger, Zero Waste anniversary that aims to end hunger and food waste by 2025.
“It’s an honor to support this initiative in the local Cincinnati community and beyond,” said Winfrey. “I am committed to the fight against hunger because I’ve seen the impact it has on people. That’s why I wanted to be here today to help pack food for Cincinnati children facing hunger. The work Kroger is doing is special and meaningful.”

The cherry on top of the event was…no, Gayle didn’t come. Next time, guys.

Oprah’s food line O, That’s Good! teamed up with Kroger to donate one million meals to Feeding America to feed families around the country.

Oprah stands undefeated as the giving God. Fight me on this.

Taraji P. Henson Launches Foundation for Mental Health to Honor Her Father

Any Daddy’s girls out there? Y’all gonna love this one.

In between planning a wedding and portraying fierce Cookie Lyon on Empire, our girl Taraji created a foundation that will address mental health issues in the Black community.

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation will provide scholarships to students majoring in mental health field; offer mental health counseling services in urban schools; and help to decrease prison recidivism rates.

The Foundation is named after her late Dad because of his complete devotion to her she told People

I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues.

If you thumbed through Taraji’s 2016 memoir, Around the Way Girl, (I did!) you will remember she recounted her dad’s struggles to re-enter society after coming back from Vietnam. She says the Foundation is the best way to be a helping hand to those currently struggling.

My dad fought in the Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical and emotional support. I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black.

The Foundation will officially launch on September 22nd.

Let’s hope Taraji’s effort will create a big crack in mental health stigma in the Black community.

Langston Hughes Legacy Revived Through Arts Collective

So, I’m killing two birds with one stone on this post, actually three because I love doing the most.

Giving much deserved props to my fave poet–Langston Hughes–during National Poetry Month (check).

And featuring an arts collective org launched by Coretta Scott King Award winner. Introducing our other #WCW…Renee Watson.

The New York Times Bestselling author of “Piecing Me Together” was so inspired by Langston Hughes’ work she created “I, Too, Arts Collective” org (a nod to the iconic poem) in the scribe’s own Harlem brownstone.

Yes Ma’am!! The same parlor Langston used his famous typewriter, is now being occupied by kids taking part in African drumming and adult poetry readings.

It’s among the many creative programs offered by the non-profit, whose goal is to foster creativity within Harlem and sustain Langston’s legacy.

“This was a person that didn’t just write about Harlem, but loved Harlem,” Watson told CBS News.

What better way to repay that love affair than preserving the last creative space Langston Hughes worked in.

Through crowd sourcing and using hashtag #LangstonLegacy to get support, Watson was able to lease the brownstone in 2016.

The new goal is getting the collective to buy the building, which should’ve been a museum, anyway.

“There’s stories about Langston sitting in the parlor room with friends, and just talking politics, and talking about art, and we do that here. And so I hope that, yeah, if he knew it was going on, I think he would be proud. I feel like he’s cheering us on,” Watson said.

I am too.

Beyonce Donates to Young, Gifted and Black at HBCU’s

My edges have officially grown back, so that Beyonce can snatch them right off again come Saturday for Beychella 2.0.

Not only has the Queen of showtime put on the blackest of black performances celebrating…um…Black culture that wasn’t featured on an Apollo stage, Beyonce is donating to the cause.

Our girl is shelling out $100 Gs worth of scholarships at HBCU’s through her BEYGOOD charity initiative.

Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman (sorry Howard, we know you needed that W) will receive $25K each for Homecoming Scholars Award Program.

Four students from each school can apply. Just like with the merit scholarship she debuted after release of Lemonade, students concentration has to be art based.

Winners will be announced this summer.

May your odds be as favorable as Beyonce’s killing the stage on Saturday. #Blackexcellence

In My DNA: First Black Woman to Grace Canadian Money

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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.

 

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.

Rihanna Helped Raise Billions for Education Fundraising Overseas

Rihanna may have helped raised $2.3 billion dollars for global education on Friday, but she’s not even close to finishing her goal.

“We’ve made tremendous progress today, but of course, our work is never done,” Rihanna told the crowd at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) fundraising conference in Senegal.

“We have a long way to go and this is a fight that we’re never going to stop fighting until every boy and every girl has access to education.” Rihanna preached at the podium.

Rih Rih was named GPE’s global ambassador to foster education last year. And since then the “Work, Work, Work” pop icon has been doing just that.

The Harvard Humanitarian has led donation drives through her Clara Lionel Foundation–that funds education, health and emergency response programs–and wrapped a mini doc where she visited a school in Malawi.

You better earn those miles for a cause, sis.

Five Times Michelle Obama Exemplified Black Girl Magic

It’s not as if we need a reason to celebrate FLOTUS Michelle Obama (fyi, she’s the only first lady I acknowledge) because, I mean, she’s Michelle.Obama.

She’s the cinnamon queen we’ve been waiting to bow down to foreva. No offense Bey.

Her “when they go low, we go high” mantra was way more effective than that make America great ish.

Aaanndd it was THE perfect cautionary sign for people (like me) heading towards petty town. It was used more like a speed bump, really.

Anyway, what to get the woman that has everything. The hell if I know that’s Barack’s problem. What I’m going to give you is what we’ve been craving for months: more Michelle.

To celebrate Michelle Obama’s 54th birthday we’re highlighting her five most lit moments as first lady.

Number 1 is Michelle’s truth bombs. This First Lady always kept it 💯 Especially about our nation’s history. No fake news here.

Number 2 is Michelle’s emphasis on education. Like a cool aunt you don’t mind listening to on career day, Michelle would traverse across the country to the most millennial-heavy events to press the point of getting a higher education.

Number 3 is her unconventionality. What other first lady has spit a verse about healthy eating? I’ll wait.

Number four is helping Black women, or women in general, realize their self worth and how to make themselves a priority.

Number five is Michelle’s give back game. It’s epic. There wasn’t a school she didn’t visit or a soup kitchen line she didn’t serve a meal.

Happy Birthday, Michelle. Our wish is for you to continue to be great.

Rihanna Donates Bikes to Malawi School Girls

Rih Rih’s loyalty isn’t just with Kendrick.

The “Love on the Brain” pop star is showing some more love to Malawi girls—by not only providing school scholarships, but bikes too.

Yes, bikes. No, she’s not searching for the next Ayesha McGowen.

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation teamed up with bike-sharing platform ofo to donate bikes to Malawi girls receiving secondary school scholarships. So they can have a dependable way to get to class.

Rihanna Becomes Global Ambassador for Education

Transportation is a major prob in the SouthEast African nation, girls have to travel long distances to get to class, which isn’t safe or doable.

Hence only an 8% attendance for secondary school compared to 4.6 million attending primary.

Let’s sprinkle some black girl magic on this equation.

Rihanna, who visited Malawi in January as a Global Ambassador for education, proud to be leading the charge, here is what the Navy’s queen had to say:

I’m so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation’s new partnership with ofo because it will help so many young people around the world receive a quality education, and also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone.”

All hail queen Rih.

Couple Goals! Nia Long and Ime Udoka Lead Fight Against Malaria

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“Uncle Buck” star Nia Long and hubby–San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka–were handpicked to lead the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign that aids in the prevention of malaria.

The power couple urged their fans, family and friends to donate to the ten-year old campaign to protect children and refugees that sucumb to the preventable illness.

“Ime and I wanted to find an organization that spoke to us on a personal level; we both have family members who have been affected by malaria and we are dedicated to giving back to those in need,” Long said. “It is inconceivable that children are still dying from a disease which is completely preventable and treatable. We are proud to partner with the Nothing But Nets campaign to help raise awareness. A simple bed net can make all the difference for a child and family to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.”

The Nothing But Nets campaign works predominately in Sub-Saharan Africa because its the leading cause of illness and death in most of those countries, where the most vulnerable children are displaced from their homes.

Nia Long is hoping to prevent that by asking supporters to donate $10 to donate a net for a family in need.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nia and Ime into the ranks of Nothing But Nets champions working across the country and around the world to raise awareness, funds, and voices to protect families from malaria,” said Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Director of Nothing But Nets. “We’re committed to working towards the day when no child dies from a mosquito bite.”