This is the fifth edition of “This week in black women,” a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.
This week, we shout out a pioneering mayor, a cool-as-a-cucumber newscaster, a legendary golfer, and more. Celebrate them! Follow them! Support them! Let’s do this.
“Go off, sis”: Rhodes Scholars
The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the most distinguished academic awards for university students. Just 32 young people are selected to receive the prestigious award each year, which covers expenses for two or three years of graduate study at Oxford University.
This year, 10 African-American students earned the honor, including six women: Simone Askew, Jasmine Brown, Camille Borders, Tania Fabo, Chelsea Jackson, and Thamara Jean.
“Taking care of business”: LaToya Cantrell
In a landslide victory, Cantrell was elected the next mayor of New Orleans. She will be first woman mayor in the city’s 300-year history.
“Y’all play too much”: Rahel Solomon
Solomon is a newscaster in Philadelphia who is going viral this week after completing the “one-chip challenge” with her colleague on air.
The challenge involves eating a single, albeit dangerously spicy, Paqui brand chip. Solomon ate the chip and barely flinched. Her colleague, however? Not so much.
The highlight of the video is Solomon calmly asking, “Can we get a medic in here for Jim?”
It’s always HOT in Philadelphia. @jimdonovancbs3 and I took the @paquichips #OneChipChallenge and the clip spread like wildfire. If you haven’t seen it — here’s part of it. The full version is on my FB. Let the anchors fall where they may. Enjoy 🤣 #CBS3 pic.twitter.com/kHPFQQUKeV
— Rahel Solomon (@RahelCBS3) November 26, 2017
“If you don’t know, now you know”: Ann Gregory
Every week, I ask you to send me links to stories or people I should highlight. Reader Mark S. let me know about one of his favorite women in history:
“Not sure if there is a time limit on your series on black women but I think Ann Gregory deserves a shout out.”
He’s right. Gregory is a trailblazing athlete who doesn’t get nearly enough props.
Born in 1912, Ann Gregory (née Moore) was the first and one of the best black women to play golf. Gregory didn’t pick up the game until she was in her 30s, but her storied amateur career spanned more than four decades.
She played in United Golf Association tournaments for black players, where she earned the unofficial title “The Queen of Negro Women’s Golf.” She was not only a dynamo on the course, but an active community volunteer, military wife, and mother. She competed well into her 70s, winning gold at the U.S. Senior Olympics in 1989. She passed away in February 1990.
“Let the people know”: Dee Rees
Dee Rees is the director behind the new film “Mudbound.” The film follows two families — one black and one white — in the years immediately surrounding World War II.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rees revealed why focusing on stories from the Jim Crow era is vital.
“When a certain person says ‘make America great again,’ I think this period is the ‘again’ he’s referring to. And I’m trying to get behind this mythology of the ‘greatest generation,’ who we were, what we really did and what did it cost. The American educational system has a reductive, simplified view of history. But things didn’t end with [the abolishment of] slavery. This period is our link between our then and our now.”
“Mudbound” is currently streaming on Netflix and in a handful of theaters. It’s also generating some early Oscar buzz.
And of course, a bunch of happy tweets about Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement this week. Markle is biracial and American, so needless to say, my Twitter timeline was very excited.
Prince Harry’s future mother-in-law is a black woman with dreadlocks. There are no words for this kind of joy.
— S. (@Samara_Linton) November 27, 2017
Anyone marrying a Black woman is marrying up. Even a prince.
— Ali B (@wtflanksteak) November 27, 2017
Final thoughts: Common
Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2017 should be Black Women.
— COMMON (@common) November 25, 2017
I, for one, support this idea 100%.