There is nothing more thrilling to me than watching an incredible athlete play at the absolute top of their game. This week Serena Williams, who I firmly believe to be the world's greatest athlete, trounced her competition and solidified her spot at the Wimbledon finals. The intensity that Serena exhibits on the court is almost unnerving, like she can see right through her competitors. I can't wait to watch the finals!
Serena wasn't the only female athlete serving up fierceness this week, the U.S. Women's soccer team brought home the World Cup in a stunning performance against Japan. Soccer is not a spot known for its quick scoring, but somehow in the blink of an eye the U.S. team was up by 4 with less than 15 minutes on the clock.
They left everything they had on the field and it showed. And you know what else was left? The rest of their pay. While the German Men's team that won the cup was awarded an astounding $35 million, the entire women's team will only be walking away with a paltry $2 million to split between the entire team. Even in sports women work just as hard as their male counterparts--and in this case--don't even get 77 cents on the dollar.
If ever there was a time to re-engage the conversation around equal pay, now would be the time. Maybe instead of embezzling funds FIFA admins should look into changing their archaic and sexist awarding system.
Even President Obama was beyond impressed with the U.S. Women's Soccer skills.
Pop Off Of the Week: The Confederate Flag is Coming Down
After calls from activists, politicians, celebrities and Twitter--for all the wrong reasons, the South Carolina legislature has voted to take the Confederate flag down. While many are and should celebrate this victory, let us not forget that this flag is just a material representation of the real hatred and white supremacist ideology that lives in the hearts of too many.
If there is anything that the terrorist attack against the parishioners at the AME Church can remind us, it's that we have so much more work to do.
Shout to Bree Newsome, the extraordinary heroine that made headlines for literally taking justice into her own hands and scaling the flag pole in front of the SC statehouse to remove the confederate flag. It was just the spark needed to get the job done.
Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterverse This Week
Trend of the Week: #BillCosby
While 48 women told eerily similar stories of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, many (too many in my opinion) still had their doubts, that is until his 2005 deposition was released. In the deposition that was unsealed by the presiding judge this week; because he felt that, "Cosby's moral superiority" had become too much, the comedian admits to drugging women. This may be a small victory for the women as they pursue legal action, but I can't help but wonder why we didn't believe them before? The message this send me is that we will only believe rape victims when their rapist choose to confess.
THREE: In Her Shoes
Artist Nona Faustine shed her clothes in New York City to shed some light on the slave trade and black bodies that built the city's economy. Faustine refers to herself as a "time traveler", a person vested in the experiences of the past and how they shape our present and future lives. In her pieces she is wearing nothing but white shoes to represent the white patriarchal construct we can never seem to escape. Her work is at once bold and heartbreaking. It's a stark reminder of how far we've come as a people and yet still so far to go for our lives, bodies and souls to be considered equal and worthy.
TWO: White People
This is the title of a new documentary premiering on MTV later this month directed by Pulitzer Prize winning filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. The purpose of the documentary is for white people to explore their whiteness and recognize the privilege their skin color comes with. I'm not sure how this will go, but viewing from the trailer there will be a whole lot of "white tears".
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired police Commissioner Anthony Batts this week. Rawlings-Blake stated that the police department under Batts leadership had become more preoccupied with internal politics than addressing the spike in murders the city has seen since the death of Freddie Gray. The mayor stated that this decision was difficult but that she needed to put her focus on lowering the murder rate. This is the first Commissioner to be fired after the killing of an unarmed black person.