Hidden Figures- Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer
Hidden Figures has been released worldwide today. The film tells the untold story of three brilliant black women who work for NASA. Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Johnson (Monáe) are the women responsible for one of the greatest moments in American history–the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
This film tells the story of three strong, intelligent, black women that had a huge role in our country’s history. This is one untold that needed to be heard.
Check the leading ladies out on the February issue of Essence Magazine
Political History Makers: Kamala Harris, Ilhan Omar, and Lisa Blunt Rochester
Kamala Harris (D) was sworn in as California’s first African-American senator in the state’s history on Tuesday. She is also the first Indian-American to ever serve in the U.S. senate. She formerly served as a prosecutor and was elected as San Francisco’s district attorney twice before being elected California’s attorney general in 2010. Some highlights of her career: launching a statewide campaign against school truancy, negotiating a mortgage relief settlement on behalf of California homeowners, and eliminating the state’s backlog of untested rape kits. She also stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, focused on keeping low level offenders out of jail, and supported gay marriage.
On Tuesday, Ilhan Omar was sworn into the Minnesota House of Representatives becoming the first female Muslim and Somali-American legislator. Omar held the Quran during her swearing-in ceremony. She serves House District 60B in Minnesota. Some highlights of her career: winning paid parental leave for city employees, banning environmentally harmful containers and other environmental friendly endeavors, securing collaborative urban education funding for Minnesota State Legislature to support Augsburg College’s East African Student to Teacher program. She is also passed the Minneapolis city ordinance to allow businesses to extend their hours 35 days a year to honor, respect, and accommodate Muslims celebrating Ramadan. The ordinance is the first of its kind.
Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) became the first African-American and the first woman to represent Delaware and be sworn into Congress. Rochester made history before after becoming the first African-American woman to serve as Delaware’s secretary of labor. She also served as the CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. This will be her first position in elected office. Some of her career highlights: caseworker for then-Congressman Tom Carper. She helped people during their challenging times with social security benefits, IRS disputes, and more. She also served as State Personnel director and investigated the Delaware Police for racial and sexual discrimination.
Viola Davis Receives Her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Viola Davis became the first star of 2017 to receive a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame. Davis’s Doubt co-star, Meryl Streep gave a speech during Viola’s star ceremony. Meryl stated during her speech that, “Viola Davis is possessed. She is. She’s possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent. She is, arguably, the most immediate, responsive artist I have ever worked with.” She stated “she’s, like, a sure thing and her star has been patiently waiting for 50 years for her.”
Davis also gave a speech during her ceremony recalling her upbringing in Central Falls, Rhode Island and the death of her father.
“Only thing I could think about is my dad,” she said. “I wish he were here. He died in 2006 and, um, he would think this is pretty fantastic.” She continued saying, “The only picture I have of myself as a kid in kindergarten is with a little … sucker and an expression that’s not really a smile, not really a frown, just something. But every time I look at the little girl, I always thought, ‘Oh, that’s a cute outfit but she was always hungry, she was always shy, she was always kind of in the background, but inside she had big dreams bursting. And the only thing I could think about is that saying, ‘What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly,'” she continued. “I cannot believe my life right now … that Meryl Streep spoke at my Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony with my handsome husband (actor Julius Tennon) and a beautiful daughter (Genesis) and my family and my representatives … all I can say is, ‘God has blessed my life in abundance.”
Viola Davis is a Primetime Emmy, SAG, and Tony award winning actress who has acted in films such as Eat Pray Love, The Help, and Suicide Squad, and most recently, Fences. She is also plays the lead role of Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder. She also has broadway experience acting in plays Seven Guitars, King Headley II and Fences. She is currently up for a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Rose Maxson in Fences.
Watch her full speech here:
Beyoncé Makes History as Coachella Headliner
Beyoncé will headline the Coachella music festival in April. Beyoncé has become the first black woman to headline the festival and she is the first woman to headline the event in 10 years. The last time a woman headlined a show was Björk in 2017. Among the other headliners and performers as Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Little Dragon, BANKS, Bon Iver, Future, SchoolBoy Q, Gucci Mane, Tory Lanez, Lorde, Kehlani, DJ Khaled, Lil Uzi Vert, and more.