A historic Senate pick, Saving Black cemeteries, Ex-Lizzo staffer speaks out
Plus, a judge blocks a grant program for Black women entrepreneurs, Simone Biles defends an Irish gymnast, Oluwatoyin Salau's killer sentenced to life, Brazilians push for judicial change & more.
Hello new and old subscribers,
NBC News, Adam Edelman and Amanda Terkel
[Editor’s note: This appointment makes Butler the only Black woman member of the US Senate.]
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom has chosen Laphonza Butler, the president of EMILY's List, to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the governor's office confirmed to NBC News.
She will be the third Black woman to ever serve in the Senate, as well as the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the chamber. Politico first reported Newsom's choice of Butler.”
Column: Newsom’s cynical pitch: Hey, you there, Black woman. Can you keep Feinstein’s seat warm?, Los Angeles Times, Erika D. Smith
The Atlanta Journal-Constiution, Mirtha Donastorg
“The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Saturday ordered Atlanta-based venture capital firm Fearless Fund to pause grant applications supporting Black female founders while a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination works its way through the court.
The ruling is the first legal win for the nonprofit American Alliance for Equal Rights, a conservative group started by Edward Blum, a key activist in the successful challenge of affirmative action in college admissions. The Alliance sued Fearless in early August, alleging their $20,000 small business grant program was racially discriminatory because it was only for Black women.”
“GOP setback in DEI battle: Judge refuses to block grant program for Black women,” USA Today, Jessica Guynn
The New York Times, Elizabeth Williamson
“Three Black women, shocked by the condition of cemeteries in Washington, Georgia and Texas, have turned their anger into action. None have prior experience in historic preservation, landscape architecture or design. But like many others working to save Black cemeteries, they view the work as a sacred trust and payment of a debt to ancestors who led the way.
“We stand on their shoulders,” said Margott Williams, who founded a nonprofit entrusted with the care of Olivewood Cemetery in Houston.
In Washington, Ms. Fager single-handedly took on the city and federal government when work crews dug into the border of the Female Union Band Society cemetery to revamp a bike path. In Midland, Ga., Yamona Pierce demanded that Georgia Power repair the damage from plowing an access path over graves at Pierce Chapel African Cemetery. In Houston, Ms. Williams pushed a lawn mower the mile to and from her home to Olivewood for months, eventually convincing the county to legally entrust her with the overgrown cemetery’s care.”
Huffpost, Pocharapon Neammanee
“Just a month after speaking out about violence against Black women, a Chicago mother was found dead after her boyfriend strangled her, police allege.
Sierra Jamison, who had just celebrated her 30th birthday, was found dead on Monday inside a garage near her home. Charging documents obtained by HuffPost allege that Lawrence Boyle, 63, killed her while she was moving her car.
According to the charging document, Jamison and Boyle had been friends for about 10 years until their relationship turned romantic a few weeks before her death. Boyle has been charged with murder and had his initial appearance in court on Friday.”
“Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles says "there is no room for racism in any sport" after a video went viral on social media of a black girl not being given a medal at an Irish gymnastics event ceremony.
The incident occurred at a Gymstart event in Dublin in March 2022 when a line of children were awarded medals but the black girl did not receive one.”
Black Enterprise, Daniel Johnson
“A Florida judge has sentenced Aaron Glee to life in prison for the 2020 murders of 19-year-old BLM activist Oluwatoyin Salau and 75-year-old Victoria Sims.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Glee was supposed to plead guilty in January 2023 but decided to have a trial instead. In June, the 52-year-old Glee pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder and kidnapping charge. He opted to spend the rest of his life in jail rather than face the death penalty.”
The Guardian, Constance Malleret
“Women make up 51% of the population, and Afro-Brazilians 56%, but both groups have been chronically underrepresented in state institutions. This is particularly true in the upper levels of the judiciary: in its 132-year history, the supreme court has only ever had six judges who weren’t white and male – three white women and three Black men.”
The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Abramovitch
“Providing screengrabs of emails and detailed accounts of conversations, Ross, 42, says Murphy abruptly stopped communicating with her three years ago, during which no one in his company, Ryan Murphy Productions, would offer her any information about her status within the AHS franchise. Roberts, meanwhile, could be a bullying presence on set, Ross alleges, once going so far as to misgender her in front of a director.”
Angelica Ross’ experience proves Black women don’t have allies in the workplace, The Grio, Monique Judge
ABC News, Allie Weintraub, Kelley Robinson, Paulina Tam, and Elizabeth Perkin
“Asha Daniels, a clothing designer who formerly worked for Lizzo, sued the singer and members of her team last week for alleged racial and sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment, among other claims.
Now Daniels is speaking out in a network news exclusive, saying she was inspired to tell her own story after three of Lizzo’s former backup dancers came forward with similar allegations in a lawsuit filed last month.”
Lexington Herald Leader, Linda Blackford
“Cheryl White was just 17 when she became licensed as a jockey in Ohio in 1971. She became a household name, was featured on the cover of Jet Magazine, and went on to dominate the Appaloosa and Quarterhorse racing tracks in California.”
Slate, Nadira Gofee
“Beyond the misogynoir inherent in this repeated shaming of a Black hair care method, it’s just boring. Ask different questions, like: Why do we hyperfixate on Black women’s hair and then shame them for making a choice, as if we’re the only group using these methods?”
‘The Other Black Girl’ and the Haunting of Black Hair, The Atlantic, Hannah Giorgis
Axios, Carly Mallenbaum
“In the Black community, fertility treatment, in general, is [considered] something that quote-unquote 'only white women partake in,’ says Stephanie Thompson, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist.
‘Being a Black woman, myself, and being a Black fertility specialist, this is something I have seen and known throughout my entire career,’ she says.”
NPR, Ajani Daniel and Jonathan Franklin
“Birckhead is not the first Black woman to lead a state's military, but as she approaches her sixth month in office, she has drawn inspiration from her role model — the now-retired Maj. Gen. Linda Singh — who was the first woman and African American to command the Maryland National Guard.
She understands how rare it is for someone like her to rise in the ranks. In 2021, less than one in five active duty officers in the Army were women. Only 9% of officers in the Marine Corps were women.”
The Daily Beast, Helen Holmes
“When Frankel asked why she thought she was given less screen time despite her undisputed status as the show’s breakout star, Leakes replied: ‘It felt like I was being phased out. I didn’t understand why I was given less and less episodes, and I was asking, ‘Why am I given less and less and less every season, and everyone else is getting more?’ I was constantly being told by the executives in the offices that I was unhappy. And I don’t know how you tell a person they’re unhappy.’”
ON OUR RADAR
FILM — RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ, in theaters Dec. 1
BOOKS — The List by Yomi Adegoke, available in the U.S. Oct. 3
TV — “Rebuilding Black Wall Street,” airing Fridays at 9PM ET on OWN
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE BLACK GIRLS & WOMEN?
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