This is the eighth edition of “This week in black women,” a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.
This week, I’m shouting out some of Hollywood’s best and brightest, a few new elected officials, a family you need to know about, and more. Remember these women! Pay these women! Follow these women! Let’s do this.
“Taking care of business”: Adrienne Nelson, Tamaya Dennard, and Nikuyah Walker
With the new year comes new elected officials. Here are three to celebrate this week:
1. Judge Adrienne Nelson was selected by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. She’s only the second woman of color to serve on the state’s supreme court, and the first African-American to serve on an appellate court.
Great news! @OregonGovBrown makes an excellent Oregon Supreme Court appointment with Judge Nelson. Nelson has been a powerful leader in the fight for justice & equality. I’m thrilled she is bringing that leadership & perspective to Oregon’s highest court. https://t.co/Mx0V4kQIJc
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 3, 2018
2. In her campaign for Cincinnati City Council, Tamaya Dennard often shared the Shirley Chisholm quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” After carrying around the chair for much of her successful campaign, Dennard brought the folding chair with her while she was sworn in. Yes, ma’am!
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Yesterday, because of your all’s support, I was sworn in as a Cincinnati City Councilwoman and President Pro Tempore of Council.
Because of you, we’re bringing a folding chair to City Hall.
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/o0IrgYO6jR
— Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard (@tamayaforcincy) January 3, 2018
3. The city council of Charlottesville, Virginia (yes, that Charlottesville) just selected Nikuyah Walker to be the city’s next mayor. (The city has a council-manager style of government, where the city council picks the mayor instead of a traditional vote.) In this role, Walker, an Independent, will be in charge of Charlottesville’s city council. She is the first black woman to hold the position.
“Go off, sis!”: Tiffany Haddish
The well-deserved rise of Tiffany Haddish continues in 2018. The comedic actress picked up the Best Supporting Actress honor at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Haddish delivered an honest, genuine, side-splittingly funny, 20-minute acceptance speech worth watching in its entirety, especially for gems like this.
“Stop holding your truth. Speak your truth. Be yourself! It’s the healthiest way to be. Be who you are. Speak who you are. If don’t nobody like it? Fuck it, there’s 10 other people that do.”
Here’s a (lousily shot) video of Tiffany Haddish’s epic, world-beating best supporting actress acceptance speech at tonight’s New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards
Posted by Alison Willmore on Wednesday, January 3, 2018
“Who run the world?”: the women of Essence magazine
After being bought by Richelieu Dennis from Time Inc., Essence, a lifestyle magazine for black women and popular music festival, is once-again black-owned. And the executive leadership team, which is entirely black women, will have an ownership stake in the new venture. Secure the bag, ladies.
“Yessssssssssss”: A TGIT crossover we can get behind
What’s better than two popular primetime dramas led by black actresses and created under the umbrella company of a black woman? A CROSSOVER EVENT THAT BRINGS THEM TOGETHER! The worlds of “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal” will collide in an evening of black girl magic. I am already salivating at the monologues alone. How lucky are we to be alive at the same time as Shonda Rhimes?
“We won’t forget”: the Myers-Mells Family
Shanta Myers, 36, her partner Brandi Mells, 22, and two of Myers’ children, Shanise Myers, 5, and Jeremiah Myers, 11, were found brutally murdered in their basement apartment Dec. 27, in Troy, New York. Two men were arrested in connection with their deaths. The story barely made a ripple in the national news.
Maybe it was the holidays. Perhaps it was because the family was black or because they were a loving same-sex couple. Maybe a combination of the three. But here, we will celebrate their lives and follow the case as perpetrators are brought to justice.
Final thought: @paulaakpan
Top 4 women
1. Black women
2. Women who are black
3. Black people who are women
4. Humans who are both black and women
Honourable mention: black women
— Paula Akpan (@paulaakpan) December 30, 2017
All facts, 2018.