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Sahle-Work Zewde is Ethiopia’s first female president and second african female head of state

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Ethiopia has appointed its first female president. Sahle-Work Zewde was unanimously elected by the parliament in Addis Ababa. It comes just a week after the prime minister has appointed a gender-balanced cabinet with 50 percent female ministers. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports.

Sahle-Work Zewde Photo: Getty Images

Sahle-Work Zewde (68). Ethiopia’s First Woman President & Second African Serving Female Head of State.

Zewde is fluent in English and French as well as her native language. She was born in Adis-Abeba, studied in France and has been an ambassador to France, Djibouti, and Senegal. Her most recent post was as the UN top official at the African Union. 

Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Her top priorities are women’s right and peace. She has been a strong advocate for women rights during her office in the UN, now she is president she will use this opportunity to keep pressing her advocacy even more. As president, she is expected to run two 6-year terms.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Photo: Frederik Sandberg

The first female president was Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (79), she served as president of Liberia and was the first African female head of state. Sirleaf served as 24th president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018.

 

 

 

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Melanin Excellence from Politics to Disney – our 2019 so far

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We are in the home stretch of 2019 and 2020 is fast approaching! What a year it has been! Black Excellence is truly on the rise! Personally, I have never been this proud to see our culture represented in such a positive light. – Tiesha

In the Political News – The United States has a black woman on the ballot for President of the United States!

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California, is really making her mark in the presidential race. She is the first black woman that has run of the office for president in over 9 years. The US has had 11 black women to run for President of the United States over the years. 

Her campaign slogan “For the People” is not just a slogan but a true testament for the changes she has initiated in her political career. From introducing tax cuts to the middle class, proposals of tuition-free higher education, protecting the rights of refugees and immigrants, and so much more. Her work showcases her commitment to the advancement of the United States. These are perfect qualities of a President!

But Kamala Harris is not the only Black presidential candidate. Wayne Messam, a Florida Mayor, is also in the running for the election. His parents came to Florida from Jamaica with only a 5th-grade education to build a better life. The work ethics that were instilled in their son drove him and his wife Angela in building several highly profitable minority construction businesses.

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Wayne Messam

In the career of Wayne Messam, he has been an advocate of higher wages, job security for US workers, leading the cause of protection of immigrants to come to the US for a better life, and many other contributions to the country. His campaign slogan “For America” shows that he has what it takes to bring wealth and prosperity to the US.

In Entertainment News – Disney has not one but two new remakes that have featured lead black cast members. This is a major accomplishment and advancement for Disney. The last black lead role in Disney pictures was The Princess and The Frog released in 2009.

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Halle Bailey the new Ariel

The Little Mermaid Reboot featuring Halle Bailey as Ariel is a beautiful addition to the Disney family. Halle Bailey is a part of the R&B Group Chloe x Halle who rose to fame after their rendition of Beyoncé’ Pretty Hurts. This led to the group to be an opening act for Beyoncé’ Formation World Tour in 2016.

Halle being the starting role unfortunately suffered major backlash from critics.  Hashtags #NotMyAriel were trending on Twitter causing an uproar of negativity to the star due to the changing of the skin color by Disney from fair to a melanin complexion.

Even through the criticism, an outpouring of support on social media came forth for Halle. Fellow celebrities Willow Smith, Mariah Carey, Donald Glover, Jordan Sparks, and many others came to showcase support for her as well for the upcoming remake of the Disney film.

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Donald Glover as Simba in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has a host of black excellence in the cast. Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chance the Rapper as Bush Baby, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric Andre’ as Azizi, John Kani as Rafiki, Florence Kasumba as Kamari, Phil Lamar and J. Lee offering voice supporting roles, and legendary artists Alfre Woodard as Sabri and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

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Beyonce as Nala in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has made over 540 million dollars to date. It was reported by Forbes magazine to be the top-grossing live-action remake! Hats off to the cast!

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The movie “Little” features youngest executive producer 14-year-old Marsai Martin from the ABC hit show Black-ish.

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Marsai Martin – Youngest producer ever

This was a great breakthrough for the youth in film. Working alongside Regina Hall, Preston L. Holmes, and Josh Martin who also executive produced this film, offered support and guidance as she embarked on this journey. This movie opened more doors of opportunities for Marsai to produce a film adaptation of B.B. Alston’s debut novel Amari and the Night Brothers and another film Step Monster with future release dates coming soon.

In Beauty News -The US has three major Black pageant winners!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst
Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst

Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst from North Carolina, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin from New York, and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris from Connecticut.

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Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris

This is a record-breaking history-making victory to have such representation at one time in this space. For years black beauty has been commercialized and society unaccepted.

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Nia Franklin – Miss America 2019

As a black woman being born and raised in Mississippi, I have seen firsthand many accounts of racial injustice and heard countless stories from my elders. To see Black people, rise above the pressures of opposition and move into their appointed victory in black excellence inspires me to do the same.

I truly believe that James Brown says it best “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

Blogger: Tiesha (Latiesha Olive) is a beauty blogger with her own blog beautifulnaturalcurls.com. You can also follow her on Youtube- ‘Beautiful Natural Curls’ and Instagram @Bnaturalcurls. Tiesha is our USA correspondent for your Melanin Wonder News!

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Art

De KROON

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On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.

This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.

Footage from the short film – de KROON

Robin and Kymani chose to form the video as a school assignment with a theme family.

Robin Ramos

Kymani Ceder

Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.

The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.

The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?

Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.

Sylvana Simons & Robin Ramos

“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.

For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here

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Politics

Blue for Sudan

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What really is happening in Sudan right now…

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