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.

 

Hold the Lemonade! Beyonce is Hooking up African Nation with Clean Water

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For a mom of three (two are newborns, mind you) Beyonce sure is busy.

When she’s not acting as silent producer on hubby Jay Z’ 4:44 album, Queen Bey is making it rain on an East African nation. Literally.

Beyonce is teaming up with UNICEF to provide clean drinking water to remote parts of Burundi through her BeyGOOD philanthropy org.

To help half a million people get access to clean water donate

The BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, a multi-year partnership, includes the construction of new wells with hand pumps, hygiene courses and tips on improving the water supply in remote communities.

According to Look to the Stars, rural areas in Burundi, children are more at risk of malnutrition and water born diseases with tainted H20.

Sadly more than 65 percent use unclean water in the remote parts of Burundi and have to travel great distances for the water.

Beyonce is hoping to change that.

“Access to water is a fundamental right. When you give children clean and safe water, you don’t just give them life, you give them health, an education, and a brighter future. I am committed to helping drive lasting solutions to the water crisis in Burundi,” said Beyoncé.

Anyone else having deja vu? The Carters love their water…here’s hoping Flint is next on the list.

Can I get an amen?

Sista Goals! Venus and Serena Donate $1 Million to ATA in Dad’s Honor

 

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A century ago, when the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association formalized a policy barring African-American players, the American Tennis Association – the ATA – was born.

It had to be born.

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the oldest African-American sporting organization in the U.S. has ambitious goals.

And Serena and Venus Williams may play a major role in helping the organization cement its legacy.

The ATA wants to set down permanent roots to help ensure African-American kids get every opportunity to thrive in the sport.

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To that end, it plans to build a new facility in south Florida. The location, subject to municipal procedures, is set for the city of Miramar’s regional park. The complex, to be called the ATA Tennis and Education Complex, will house the association’s relocated offices as well as a museum.

And it also will include a national training centre for promising young African-American players. The first major news is the imminent announcement that the first inductee into the ATA’s new Hall of Fame will be … Richard Williams.

There will be a stadium court in the middle of the proposed new complex. And in appreciation of the court being named after their father, Tennis.Life has learned that daughters Venus and Serena intend to endow the project with a hefty sum – $1 million.

Now 75, Williams did the seemingly impossible when he brought daughters Serena and Venus from the pitted courts of Compton, California to sporting immortality.The first two phases will cost about $7 million. First will be tennis courts and the ATA offices. Phase 2 will add more courts, and the museum.“Not only will it be a permanent home, but it also will help the development of the city,” Tucker said. In addition to being an ATA member, Tucker also is vice-president of multicultural business development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The organization has been trying for decades to make this a reality. There were plans even as far back as 20 years ago in south Florida.

(Written by Tennis Life)

Nicki Minaj Accepts Fans Offer to Pay College Tuition

Hol’ up, Hol’ up Hooolllld up. You mean to tell me my $18G’s of college debt could’ve been eliminated with one (numero uno) tweet to a celeb?

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Well, for a lucky few die-hard (they certainly are now) Nicki Minaj fans that most certainly was the case.

The fairy-tale ending–every college grad prays, wishes and pleads for–happened Saturday. A bold Nicki Minaj fan pleaded her case via Twitter.

Nicki was willing to shell out the coins, if the fan could prove she was a star pupil.

Thus began the put it on Minaj’s tab challenge. For those unaware of how it works–us mere broke and low-paying college grads put in offers for the “No Frauds” rapper and she epically hooked us up.

The tweets speak for themselves.

After a few hours Nicki cut off her purse strings, but it goes without saying she’s our #WCW.

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The #WhyIStayed Social Activist Creates Escape Aid-‘Bolt Bag’ for Domestic Abuse Survivors

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You may not recognize the name. It’s Bev Gooden, btw. But you damn sure remember her setting Twitter ablaze when her hashtag #WhyIStayed went viral in 2014, which nabbed TIME’s Top 10 Hashtags That Started a Conversation.

The Cleveland native is doing more than talking about her experience as a domestic violence survivor. She launched nonprofit org–The Ella Mae Foundation–to advocate for victims of domestic abuse (in honor of late grandmother, who the foundation is named after.)

Starting with ‘The Bolt Bag’ project. It’s exactly what you think it is. A bag full of essentials when you need to…you guessed it…BOLT from someone dangerous.

The Bolt Bag contains toiletries, first aid kits, brush, comb and even more essentials.

IMG_20170426_192401Good hearted folk, like us Blinkers, can donate needed items for the Bolt Bags by reaching out to Bev.

“The time when you leave domestic violence is so, so dangerous, Gooden told NowWhat Her. “And I just wanted to do something tangible, to remove that obstacle.”

“My marriage was abusive and I got out of that marriage.” She adds.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Being in those shoes, Gooden designed Bolt Bag to emphasize anonymity and safety.

“You don’t have to give me your name, or address, or social or phone number. That was the whole idea of the project is anonymity.” the Hampton University grad explains.

NowWhat Her reports hundreds of Bolt Bags have gone out around the world to help all those in need of an escape from a toxic relationship.

To learn more about the Bolt Bag Project click here.

Bev is our #WCW for not only surviving an impossible situation, but giving others the tools to do the same.

Rihanna Runs Bean Town as Harvard’s Humanitarian

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Rihanna presented with Humanitarian of Year award by Allen Counter, director of Harvard Foundation. 

Rihanna was shining bright like a diamond as she accepted Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year award yesterday at Sanders Theatre at the university.

“So I made it to Harvard — never thought I’d be able to say that in my life,” Rihanna mused as she opened her acceptance speech.

Bad gal Ri Ri, decked out in an off-the-shoulder, belted tweed dress, was honored by the Ivy League for launching the Clara Lionel Foundation, which awards college scholarships to Caribbean students attending US schools.

The Work singer was also recognized for building the Clara Braithwaite Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Centre at Queen Elizabeth hospital in her hometown of Barbados.

Fun Fact: the centre was renamed after Rihanna’s grandmother after the pop star donated $1.75 million to the Bridgetown hospital in 2012.

The Barbadian beauty made sure to honor her memory by passing along some of granny’s wise words in her speech. “You don’t have to be rich to help somebody…if you got a dollar, there’s plenty to share.”

Rihanna’s full remarks are below–they were live streamed.

 

Octavia Spencer Kicks Off Free Screenings of ‘Hidden Figures’ for School Kids

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Hidden Figures is the No. 1 movie for a reason.

One being people saw the untold tale of three brilliant Black chicks–Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae–using their magic to get a man in space more than once. Guilty!

And it’s a really inspiring history lesson that the young’ins can use. Especially now. However not everyone can afford that $20 movie ticket.

Enter our shero Octavia Spencer–who bought out a whole theater in Baldwin Hills, Cali on Saturday so families can enjoy it too.

 

The Academy Award nominee unknowingly jump started a pay-it-forward trend around the country.

A Georgia-based guidance counselor, Kahadija Oliver-Baker, at Jones County high school rounded up 76 of her students on Tuesday to see Hidden Figures.

Not only did she schedule the cheese buses to take them to and fro, but used her own money to get the tickets.

Baker told 41 NBC it was worth it to give her kids an “alternate learning experience.”

“The goal of education to learn the truth, and because their textbooks do not include the full truth.” She continued, “As a parent, as an educator, and as a woman I want to be sure that I help expose the truth to my students.”

The story of three African American women working in NASA’s space program isn’t found in students’ textbooks but it’s one she says still needs to be told.

“I think about my students like my own children and I would have been remiss to not bring about some type of change in order to get them here to the theater to experience this truth,” she said.

Michael Barnathan, film producer for The Help, was next to light the torch in exposing melanin magnificence.

Barbarian bought out two theaters and provided lunch for LA students to see Hidden Figures.

 

Let’s not break this chain of goodness.