Earth, Wind and Fire only wanted us to remember the 21st day of September, but we can’t seem to remember any of the 30. This month, this year has flown by. Spooky season is already here and now, there are only 92 days left until 2023. And, there are 39 days left until the midterm election. But instead of being crushed by the short amount of time left in 2022, we can all take this time to be encouraged by how much change we can incite if we start right now.
So, whether you spent this week praying for those in Hurricane Ian’s path or praying for Iranian women–here are a few news stories you may have missed.
Madea Goes To College
Could you imagine enrolling into college and your English course is centered around writer, director, and producer, Tyler Perry? Assistant professor Tameka Cage Conley at Oxford College of Emory University is teaching just that this fall.
Conley has followed Perry’s plays since she was a 23-year-old graduate student. Now, at 45, a total of 14 freshmen have registered for her course, “In the Language of Folk and Kin: The Legacy of Folklore, the Griot and Community in the Artistic Praxis of Tyler Perry.”
The syllabus will consist of analysis of Perry’s speeches, plays, movies, and television series alongside merited literary works by Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Ntozake Shange. The seminar course will also include a look at Perry’s life before fame, including surviving poverty and sexual assualt. According to NBCBLK, Conley cited the loss of her grandmother as the inspiration behind the class. The professor will have students dissect the importance of matriarchs within the Black family—a theme that is prevelant and exhibited through Perry’s gun-toting titular character “Madea.”
Black matriarchs “come from a community and come from a time that knows how to survive,” Conley told the outlet. “And because they know how to survive, they can sustain us while they’re telling us to keep going.”
Perry joins the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Lil’ Kim to have courses centered around their work on college campuses.
Thank Black Vets For Their Service
In a historic debut, Black veterans are finally getting a monument to acknowledge their service and contributions in all U.S. wars.
Earlier this week, the African American Veterans Monument was unveiled in Buffalo, New York. It’s the first time African American vets, past and present, are being honored for their service and contributions in all U.S. wars.The monument honors Black veterans and active-duty military service members who served in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard. Designed by the late artist Jonathan Casey, the monument made up of 12 black concrete pillars stands at 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The 12 pillars represent the 12 wars Black soldiers served in throughout American history—from the American Revolution in 1775 to the current war on terrorism.
The spacing between pillars is also significant, as it represents the times of peace between one war and the next, the press release explains.
Rarely are successful military efforts by Black units like the Buffalo Soldiers, 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment, and Harlem Hellfighters recognized. This monument intends to do just that. Commissioned in 2014 by a Black women-led organization, Erie County Chapter of the Links Inc., the Buffalo community funded the project on its own.
A Black Woman Is Getting Bostonians Baked
The Heritage Club, owned by Nike John, is Boston’s first Black woman-owned cannabis dispensary.
John, at age 30, is also the youngest person to open a cannabis dispensary in Boston as well. Despite not being a smoker herself, John found herself in the cannabis industry through encouragement of a surprising source: her mother. After researching how the war on drugs disproportionately affects Black and brown people, she was inspired to take action.
The Dorchester native, with a finance degree, minor in psychology, and 10 years of real estate experience, set out with one goal: change the course of the industry through education, diversity and quality products.
“I wanted to show that Black women can run a business and cannabis as well as anybody else and that we need to be a part of this industry, to help make sure that equity is something that keeps going on and is encouraged,” John told CBS News.
The city of Boston has really dedicated itself to making equitable change within the cannabis industry. In 2019, the city created The Boston Cannabis Board, The Cannabis Equity Program, as well as the criteria on how to be designated a Boston equity applicant.
The booming billion dollar cannabis market is alarmingly white, with about 81 percent of them making up the business owners. According to Fortune, few states meet the desired 5 percent Black ownership rate.
A post shared by The Heritage Club – Charlestown (@heritageclubthc)
Superhero, Static Shock
Looks like the Static Shock movie is still in the works! Fans have been worried about the fate of the Black teen superhero attached to the DC Extended Universe following a slew of cancellations, including the scrapping of the $90 million Batgirl project. It’s been two years since its DC Fandom 2020 announcement, and there have been no updates on Static Shock progress. Until now that is. Nikolas Draper-Ivey, illustrator and co-writer of the DC Comic took to Twitter to clear up all rumors.
He said: “Stop speculating about the Static movie. Don’t worry about those articles and be patient. I will not elaborate on this any further.”
Very little is known about the live-action film. Static Shock is currently without a date, and there is no telling whether the film will find a place in the newly announced ten-year plan of DC Extended Universe. Creed star Michael B. Jordan is confirmed as one of the producers.
Fingers crossed that Romeo is secured for the soundtrack like he was for the opening theme song.
Racism On the Pitch
If you thought American football fans (and league owners) were racist, then you’ve never watched the other football–soccer.
On Tuesday, during the impressive blowout in a 5-1 game between Brazil and Tunisia in Paris, things quickly turned racist.
Following the second goal scored by Brazil’s star forward, Richarlison, a banana, as well as other objects were thrown at him on the field. One of Richarlison’s teammate’s could be seen kicking the banana off the pitch.
After the match he took to Twitter and posted: “As long as they stay ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it will continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time bro! #racismonao [racism no].”
Prior to kick off, the Brazilian players had posed in front of a sign that read, “Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirt.” The stars refer to the record five World Cup titles that Brazil has won.
Black football players regularly experience racial abuse from spectators. Earlier this month, Madrid star Vinicius Jr’s celebration dance after scoring was also compared to a monkey. Vinicius has vowed to continue dancing and shared a heartfelt message on Instagram, stating, “As long as skin color is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.”
The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has announced an investigation on the incident and said it has a “clear, zero-tolerance stance” against racist behavior.
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