Congratulations, Serena: It’s A Girl!

I’d originally considered re-blogging a post containing some lovely nature photographs today, but this bit of news that I happened across is worth reporting! Tennis superstar Serena Williams and her partner / fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed a baby girl into the world on 1 September. From BBC News:

Tennis star Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl at a clinic in Florida.

Williams, 35, whose partner is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was admitted to the St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach on Wednesday. The 23-time Grand Slam winner said last month she was planning to return to tennis for the Australian Open in January.

Congratulations have been pouring in from sports stars and celebrities. News of the birth came as her sister Venus prepared to go out on court at the US Open.

“Obviously I’m super-excited,” Venus said. “Words can’t describe it.” The couple are yet to confirm the birth themselves but Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, tweeted: “I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion.”

He added: “Btw … I wish you a speedy recovery… we have a lot of work ahead of us.” Serena admitted she had revealed her pregnancy to the world in April by accident, after mistakenly uploading a photograph on Snapchat. She won the Australian Open title this January while newly pregnant, and in an article in Vogue last month she said she wanted to defend her title.

“It’s the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth.” In June she appeared in a nude cover photo for Vanity Fair, saying: “I don’t know what to do with a baby.” The news has delighted the tennis world, with Rafa Nadal among the first to tweet his congratulations.

Congratulations to Serena and Alexis – all the best to you and your new little one! Blessed be.

Wordless Wednesday: Vintage Americana

The title says it all…enjoy!

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BGR 2017: Celebration in Pictures!

The Black Girls Rock 2017 celebration took place on Saturday, 5 August, but you wouldn’t know it unless you had marked the schedule on your respective calendars! I found little coverage and virtually no articles about this event, but I can’t say that I’m surprised – par for the course, sad to say.

In light of that, here are a few pictures with some positive, uplifting quotes for those of us who are overlooked and under-represented on a daily basis!

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Philadelphia Resident Vashti Dubois Turns Home into Museum Dedicated to Black Women

This is excellent news – I plan on visiting this museum on our next road trip!

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GOOD BLACK NEWS

Museum founder and proprietor Vashti Dubois (photo via metro.co.uk)

by Adam Smith via metro.co.uk

There is a museum like no other in Philadelphia. You would not have heard it, it is not listed anywhere and there are no signs from the motorway. Only the hand carved wooden sign in the garden hinted that the Victorian house was not like any other home in the world – and the woman who opened the door had the smile of someone who knew she was about to amaze you.

For years Vashti Dubois was sick of not seeing any images of black girls or women in museums and art galleries, so three years ago she decided to do something about it. The 56-year-old turned her house into The Colored Girls Museum, celebrating everything about black women and their place in the universe. Standing in the hallway, which screams with colour due to every inch…

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Singer Luedji Luna earns three nominations at the Caymmi Music Awards recognizing the best of Bahian musicians

This post illustrates why most reviews are meaningless to me: the people who write them are only interested in maintaining the boring, insular status quo. They could care less about putting the spotlight on talented up-and-comers who could use a little boost! Sad to say, that is a common reality amongst the creative arts – the deck is stacked against most.

Black Women of Brazil

1 Photo: Nti Uirá

Note from BW of Brazil: I learned many years ago that some of the best artists in music are those whose names are not plastered on the covers of every magazine, constantly featured on talk shows, sell out huge revues or get hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. On the one hand, it’s a shame because so many of us won’t even know of the existence of some great artists. But on the other hand, when you discover such artists you sometimes feel that the artist’s music is your own little secret for your own little world. Once upon a time I remember only listening to those artists whose music made it onto the Top 10 list of some music chart. But in the past few decades, I have found myself becoming more and more distant from what is usually defined as Top 40 music…

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Tuesday Tunes & Soothing Scenery…13 June 2017

To counter the ugliness that is rampant here in the USA, around the world, and everywhere on the Interwebs, I offer up some soothing scenery of beautiful people and beautiful places, along with some relaxing music. Enjoy…

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The daughter of a street vendor, Mahany Pery from São Gonçalo in Rio de Janeiro, becomes the darling of the fashion industry

It’s always inspiring and refreshing to see a new (super)model, who I can relate to, breaking into the fashion industry!
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: What words come to mind when you look at this young lady? Gorgeous? Striking? Lovely? Stunning? I’m sure as people fixate on her photos, more adjectives will surely emerge. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a story about a Brazilian-born black model and when I come across them they automatically receive a place here! What I find even more newsworthy about Mahany’s story, besides her humble origins, is the fact that she’s found such success with such an African phenotype. As Brazil has always favored its more European-looking African descendants, her arrival on the world stage should be celebrated even more (see note one). After all, if the dreams of the nation’s 19th-century elite had come true, people who look like Mahany wouldn’t even exist! This planning for a whiter Brazil has been discussed in a number of previous posts, so today, let’s…

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Midweek Music…31 May 2017!

I felt like posting some pictures and music for this final day in May, 2017…enjoy!

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Nomine Michelle Obama – Named after Michelle Obama

I meant to post this on Mrs. Obama’s birthday…but, no harm done in re-blogging it now!
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Notable Black Women: Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman: 26 January 1892 – 30 April 1926

Today, 26 January, marks the birthdate of Bessie Coleman; it is her 125th “birth anniversary.” She was the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to hold a pilot license and an international pilot license. From the American Experience PBS site:

Bessie Coleman, the first African American female pilot, grew up in a cruel world of poverty and discrimination. The year after her birth in Atlanta, Texas, an African American man was tortured and then burned to death in nearby Paris for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl. The incident was not unusual; lynchings were endemic throughout the South. African Americans were essentially barred from voting by literacy tests. They couldn’t ride in railway cars with white people, or use a wide range of public facilities set aside for whites. When young Bessie first went to school at the age of six, it was to a one-room wooden shack, a four-mile walk from her home. Often there wasn’t paper to write on or pencils to write with.

When Coleman turned 23 she headed to Chicago to live with two of her older brothers, hoping to make something of herself. But the Windy City offered little more to an African American woman than did Texas. When Coleman decided she wanted to learn to fly, the double stigma of her race and gender meant that she would have to travel to France to realize her dreams.

It was soldiers returning from World War I with wild tales of flying exploits who first interested Coleman in aviation. She was also spurred on by her brother, who taunted her with claims that French women were superior to African American women because they could fly. In fact, very few American women of any race had pilot’s licenses in 1918. Those who did were predominantly white and wealthy. Every flying school that Coleman approached refused to admit her because she was both black and a woman. On the advice of Robert Abbott, the owner of the “Chicago Defender” and one of the first African American millionaires, Coleman decided to learn to fly in France.

She was apparently the tenth of thirteen children born to sharecroppers George Coleman, who was of the Choctaw tribe and African-American, and his wife Susan, who was African-American. She began attending school at the age of six in Waxahachie, Texas. She completed all eight grades at that school, but her routine of school, chores, and church was interrupted annually by the cotton harvest. Still, she was an avid reader and an outstanding math student, which probably led her to go after her dream of flying, no matter where it took her. Being an Aquarius didn’t hurt, either!

Sadly, her life and career were cut short in a tragic accident that occurred during a practice flight in Jacksonville, Florida:

Coleman took her tragic last flight on April 30, 1926, in Jacksonville, Florida. Together with a young Texan mechanic called William Wills, Coleman was preparing for an air show that was to have taken place the following day. At 3,500 feet with Wills at the controls, an unsecured wrench somehow got caught in the control gears and the plane unexpectedly plummeted toward earth. Coleman, who wasn’t wearing a seat-belt, fell to her death.

About 10,000 mourners paid their last respects to the first African American woman aviator, filing past her coffin in Chicago South’s Side. Her funeral was attended by several prominent African Americans and it was presided over by Ida B. Wells, an outspoken advocate of equal rights. But despite the massive turnout and the tributes paid to Coleman during the service, several black reporters believed that the scope of Coleman’s accomplishments had never truly been recognized during her lifetime. An editorial in the “Dallas Express” stated, “There is reason to believe that the general public did not completely sense the size of her contribution to the achievements of the race as such.”

She is truly an inspiration to many, and her name deserves to be spoken with the same reverence and esteem that Amelia Earhart’s is – but, when it comes to giving women historical credit, that honour is always reserved for white women. Racism and segregation have only served to keep non-white women out of institutions of learning, and the revisionist white-washing of history has all but erased us from schoolbooks and other texts of education. We made our mark on this country and continue to do so. This is another woman who should be looked up to and emulated. She overcame far more than most women today can even imagine. I salute her today.

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