“I was fighting for every black child in this country.”

Those are the words of the very brave Zulaikha Patel, the 13-year-old South African girl with the natural hair of a goddess! Zulaikha is now a heroine for her country after she started a protest over a discriminatory hair policy at her school.

Zulaikha was repeatedly suspended for her hair by teachers at South Africa’s Pretoria Girls High School …something’s she’s actually had to deal with since primary school. As a result, Patel leads a protest for change in the school’s racially-biased hair policy. According to All Africa, she had to leave three schools because her hair challenged the system. Her sister said she was continually mocked, her hair described as “exotic” and looking like a “cabbage”. She would come home in tears. It is remarkable then that she didn’t look for ways to mend the “problem”.

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The protest included an online petition for a policy change which gained thousands of signatures. Zulaikha and fellow schoolmates of Pretoria Girls’ High school became involved in a tense standoff with private security guards as they threatened the students with arrest. The protest, which sparked national attention, has garnered support from all over.

“The issue of my hair has been a thing that’s followed me my entire life, even in Primary I was told my hair is not natural, it’s exotic, my Afro was not wanted or anything like that and then the issue followed me to high school, Patel told CNN.
Pretoria Girls’ Code of Conduct does not specifically mention Afros, but it does lay out rules for general appearance, including prescribing that all styles “should be conservative, neat and in keeping with the school uniform.”

This little girl was put in an adult position to fight a system that forces her to conform to their standards. All she wants is the right to wear her natural hair. A 13-year-old, who should be focused on doing things 13-year-olds do, took weeks to study the school’s “code of conduct”, according to her sister. She also studied human rights, including rights for children, so she could be prepared to fight a system who uses their racist practices to limit this young, care-free black girl’s freedom to be herself.

This is a child who has to emotionally suffer from having to sacrifice her individuality for an education. I’ll dare ANYONE to disregard the blatant racism these students are dealing with.

She’s taking on a lot for someone her age, but guess what? She’s the epitome of a person with courage by standing up for what she believes in…human rights. A lot of us adults could learn from her.

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Nick, Aaron, Zach, and Nigel Wade, quadruplets from Ohio, is making their entire family and community so proud! The brothers were accepted into Harvard and Yale Universities.

Both schools had single-digit acceptance rates with Yale accepting only 2,272 of the 32,000 students who applied (7.1 percent), while Harvard only accepted 2,056 of the 39,000 who applied this year (5.3 percent).

The newspaper writes that Zack, Nigel, Aaron and Nick Wade were “fertility babies conceived through a fertility procedure.” and “despite their circumstance they are a novelty, in the Wades’ case both because they are quads and their parents managed to raise four exceptionally high-achieving boys.”

Their father vividly remembers when he found out he’d be a father of four.

“I remember they were doing an ultrasound and they said, ‘Mr. Wade, you better sit down.’ I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘There’s not two. There’s four.’ It was really at that point in time that I tried to figure out how we’re going to pay for school,” their father Darrin Wade told The Washington Post.

Aaron told the WaPo, The outcome has shocked us.

“We didn’t go into this thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to apply to all these schools and get into all of them.’ It wasn’t so much about the prestige or so much about the name as it was — it was important that we each find a school where we think that we’ll thrive and where we think that we’ll contribute.”

Congrats to the Wade Brothers!

 

Source: New York Times/Washington Post

 

The Williams sisters ROCK, and Serena, once again, makes history!

 

Via Associated Press:

 

Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, and her sister was right there on the court to give her a congratulatory hug.

The all-Williams final — the first at the Australian Open since Serena won the first edition of the family rivalry here in 2003 — went to the younger sibling 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday night.

With her record seventh Australian title, the 35-year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era. Margaret Court has the all-time record and was also in the crowd for the final at Rod Laver Arena.

Court won 24 majors but collected 13 of those before the Open era which began in 1968 after the sport became professional.

The victory also ensured Serena Williams will regain the top ranking, which she lost in September after 186 straight weeks when Angelique Kerber won the U.S. Open.

It was Serena’s seventh win in nine all-Williams Grand Slam finals and the first since Wimbledon in 2009. It was 36-year-old, No. 13-seeded Venus Williams’ first trip back to a major final in 7 ½ years.

Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate before Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug.

 

“This was a tough one,” Serena Williams said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration.

“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank-you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”

Williams has won 15 majors since last losing to Venus in a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon in 2008. That was the seventh and last major title that the older of the Williams sisters won.

Venus hadn’t made the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011, and made her return to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.

“She’s made an amazing comeback … I don’t like the word comeback,” Serena Williams said. “She’s never left. She’s been such a great champion.”

 

Congrats to both ladies!

 

 

When we browse Youtube for makeup tutorials, we typically look for artists in our age range, because they’re more experienced, right?

Well, Aliyah Muse has definitely proven that age ain’t nothin’ but a number! Aliyah is a Youtube and Instagram sensation with makeup skills impressive enough to beat the faces of celebrities. Aliyah’s portfolio can hang with the professionals half her age! She’s even taught her mom how to apply makeup!

artist

I love how she explains in detail the techniques she uses and why, helping those who need help in trying to create a particular look.
Check her out in action below!

She even does special effects makeup!

 

Little mama is great now! By the time she reaches adulthood, no one will be able to touch her!

Meet Black Excellence by the name of Dr. Jedidah Isler, Ph.D.

Dr. Jedidah Isler is an award-winning astrophysicist, TED Fellow, and a nationally recognized speaker and advocate for inclusive STEM education. She is also the creator and host of the monthly web series “Vanguard: Conversations with Women of Color in STEM.”

Dr. Isler received her bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State University’s Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS) before earning a Masters in Physics from the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, a pioneering effort to increase the attainment of advanced STEM degrees by students of color. Dr. Isler continued her education at Yale University, where her research on supermassive, hyperactive black holes was supported by fellowships from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Yale, completing an award-winning study that examined the physics of particle jets emanating from black holes at the centers of distant galaxies called blazars. Dr. Isler’s current research focuses on using simultaneous infrared, optical and gamma-ray observations to better understand the physics of these blazar jets.

Dr. Isler has served as a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow at Syracuse University, an affiliate of the Future Faculty Leader Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and is currently an National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University. She was recognized as a 2015 TED Fellow for her astrophysical research and innovative efforts to inspire a new generation of STEM leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. She has been invited to Astronomy Night at the White House and featured in various publications including Wired, Diversity in Action, Ebony, NPR:CodeSwitch, and The Crisis Magazine. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times.

As a speaker, Dr. Isler works with schools, museums, libraries, and nonprofit organizations across the country to advance the cause of truly inclusive STEM engagement and has established herself as a champion of access and empowerment in STEM education from middle school and beyond.

Just awesome on so many levels!

Source: Jedidahislerphd.com

You hear of stories like this and your heart just melts! This just goes to show that this young man will grow up to become a very thoughtful human being.

According to ABC News, 8-year-old Jalen Bailey of California stated his bakery business with one primary goal; to earn enough money to buy his mother a new house.

Via ABCNews:

“I just want one that me and my mom can be happy in,” Jalen Bailey, 8, told ABC station KFSN-TV in Fresno.

Jalen makes the cakes, cookies tarts and muffins out of his and his mother’s home in Fresno.

“He’s very excited,” mom Sharhonda Mahan told ABC News. “It seems like the more orders he gets, the more excited he gets and the more serious he gets about his business.” 

Mahan said that her son has been baking for two years. Recently, he decided he wanted to begin raising money so he and his mom can move into a larger home, something that makes Mahan emotional, she said.

“I guess I would wrap it into feeling overwhelmed with joy,” Mahan added. “I’ve always wanted to raise him to be a selfless individual.”

On July 1, Jalen’s Bakery officially opened for business, complete with its own website. Baked goods are priced from $5 to $15.

With his mother’s help, the young, aspiring entrepreneur had to obtain permits in order to prepare goods in his private kitchen.

Jalen’s specialty is his peanut butter cookies, Mahan said, proudly.

Recently, Jalen went to his first business mixer, where he networked with other local bakers and raised money for his back-to-school drive for homeless children. One man offered to donate an oven so Jalen could bake even more cookies, KFSN-TV reported.

“I said I wanted to be a millionaire, I thought that wasn’t possible, but now I think it is,” Jalen told KFSN-TV.

Jalen’s business has been booming from of all the media attention. He has filled 40 orders in three days, his mother said.

In the future, Jalen has dreams of competing on a cooking show.

“I hope that when he grows up, he keeps the same values at his core,” Mahan said of her son.

 

How brilliant is Ryan Coogler to use his skills and the social media platform to spread awareness about police brutality?

With the help of a few friends involved in activism and the film industry, Coogler created a Youtube video series, ‘My Life Matters’. In each video, a celebrity reflects on their life achievements, while paying homage to those who died by the hands of police officers.

Watch the first volume of the series below

 

Coogler teamed up with ‘Blackout For Human Rights’ in support for ‘Freedom Now’

Aja Brown serves as Mayor of Compton, California since 2013. the 34-year-old has made history as the youngest person in the city to be elected.

Mayor Brown’s career started at the University of Southern California where she received her bachelor’s in public policy and masters in urban planning with a concentration in economic development. In 2006, she began working for the city of Inglewood as an urban planner and soon made her way to the cities of Pasadena and Compton. During her time as mayor, a decrease in Compton gang crimes dropped by 65 percent in 2014.

 

Source: Los Angeles Sentinel

22-year-old Identical twin brothers, Darion and Varion Walton, graduated with their Masters of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in Texas in August 2015. Getting an MBA is impressive, but to accomplish it with your brother two years early is something else altogether. The twins say their success comes from staying focused, praying hard, and not giving in to peer pressure. They even studied on the weekends!

They were obviously born to excel in everything they’ve touched, regarding their education. Born to a single mother, I know she is extremely proud of her sons!

When the twins enrolled at Navarro College, they were working four jobs as school ambassadors, resident advisors, interns at the student center and peer mentors. They did all of this while graduating Magna Cum Laude in the Fall of 2013.

Talk about impressive!

These awesome men ought to be celebrated for exemplifying black excellence! Congratulations Darion and Varion!

I came across a story at XONecolethat not only I became amazed by, but I really felt a sense of gratitude to this woman for sharing her story about self-acceptance and turning her impossibilities into her opportunities. Hernaam Kaur is not your typical 25-year-old British model. As a woman who epitomizes a human being of courage, strength and with generous amounts of self-acceptance, she faces the world everyday of her life while dealing with a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries), and can cause problems with a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance. In Hernaam’s case, the condition makes her grow excessive facial hair, which she’s battled for years…until now.

 

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Having PCOS didn’t deter Hernaam from pursuing her dream as a model. In fact, she’s making history as UK’s first bearded model to work a fashion runway!

She strutted her stuff at the recent Marianna Harutunian Royal Fashion show, making Hernaam’s catwalk debut.

 

 

I grew up watching America’s next top model, and i admired @tyrabanks whole heartedly. I always wanted to be like the pretty models, so i remember copying the way they posed and walked. I grew up being told i was to fat, ugly, and disgusting to even model. I was told i’d never walk the runway. I used to look at models and tell myself that i will never ever be able to do what they are doing. I am not pretty enough or beautiful enough and i dont have the ‘right’ body type. I was laughed at when i said i wanted to model. Jokes on my bullies. I was lucky enough to walk for @mariannaharutunian as the first bearded lady to walk for a celebrity jewellery designer. I was humbled to be the first model to walk and open the show for #royalfashionday with the portrait of the legendary #davidbowie looking down on me! Every path is my runway! Walk with your head up high and ooze confidence always! Xx (my lifes quote) Dreams do come true! A huge thank you to @usfashionsource and @mariannaharutunian for scouting me and allowing me to walk for the jewellery brand. 📷- @jamesalexanderlyon thank you James for capturing a precious moment. Jewellery by @mariannaharutunian Shoes- @jeffreycampbell spiked lita boots Makeup – @loribeemua Dress- @angeshowroom #harnaamkaur #mariannaharutunian #lorrainerobledo #londonfashionweek #lfw #royalfashiondaylondon #royalfashionday #beardedlady #bearderwoman #harnaamkaurdoesrunway #harnaamkaurdoesfashion

A photo posted by the official harnaam kaur page (@harnaamkaur) on

Source: Independent

 

Featured image: Velvet D Amour

Stylist: Ashley Conor
Hair: Rachel Williamson
Makeup Artist: Hannah Brewin Smith

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