Good News

Clutchettes, we’ve survived the second week of July. It’s been a hellacious six days, but some of our sisters still managed to accomplish some dope ish. Here are last week’s fabulous accomplishments and firsts from fellow black women.

Nicki Minaj Nabs August Cover of Marie Claire

Hate or love her, Nicki Minaj is the premiere woman in rap music. Her dominance continues this month as she becomes the first female rapper to land the cover of Marie Claire. The Queens, New York-native also offers one of her most introspective interviews to date. She discusses motherhood and encourages women to chase their dreams. [theGrio]

London’s West End Welcomes First Black Female Play Director

London’s West End is considered one of the most prestigious theater platforms. Until now, no black woman playwright or director has graced its stage. Paulette Randall, 52, is demolishing that barrier with her production of “Fences.” “It’s my biggest achievement,” she said in an interview with The Guardian. “But you never know what’s around the corner, do you? I’m nowhere near done.” Randall also has exclusive rights to August Wilson’s catalog. She’s the only director in the United Kingdom who can produce and direct the late playwright’s works. [The Guardian]

A Trans* Activist Breaks the Glass Ceiling in “Orange is the New Black”

Netflix’s latest series, “Orange is the New Black” is generating massive buzz. One of the lead characters, Sophia, is a trans*-woman who was formerly a firefighter. Laverne Cox is a trans*-woman and she’s portraying Sophia. This is a first that deserves recognition. “Orange is the New Black” may transform Cox into the first famous trans*-actress. The magnitude of that accomplishment isn’t lost on her. “I met a woman on Saturday who said, ‘Because of trans*-women like you, [model] Isis King, and [advocate] Janet Mock, I decided not to do sex work and I’m in school, and have a job now, and I’m living my dream,’” she said in an interview with Buzz Feed. “There’s going to be criticism of me, but if that can happen, if I can change one person’s life because of the work that I do, then that’s something.” [Buzz Feed]

Ava DuVernay Lands Two Directing Gigs

The last three round-ups have featured Ava DuVernay. It’s not a coincidence or favoritism. The famed director is in the midst of a prolific season of success, and we intend to celebrate her accomplishments. DuVernay was tapped by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company and two other production partners to helm the film “Selma.” It’s an important historical drama that highlights the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s uphill battle to push the 1965 Voting Rights Act. David Oyelowo will portray King. In addition to this news, DuVernay will direct episode 308 of the hit drama, “Scandal.” DuVernay joining forces with Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington is epic. [Shadow & Act]

Maryland Appoints First Black Woman to the Court of Appeals

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has appointed two new judges to the state’s Court of Appeals. One of his appointees is Judge Shirley M. Watts, a former Baltimore City Circuit Judge. Judge Watts will be the first black woman to serve on Maryland’s Court of Appeals. The magistrate will reside on the 6th Appellate Judicial Circuit. [Southern Maryland Newspapers]

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