WNBA’s Candace Parker will be first female basketball player on cover of NBA 2K

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Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker will be the first female basketball player to grace the cover of the newest edition of popular video game NBA 2K

By Joseph Guzman, The Hill

Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker will be the first female basketball player to grace the cover of the newest edition of popular video game NBA 2K when it hits shelves Sept. 10, the company announced Wednesday.

The six-time All-Star will be featured on a special edition of NBA 2K22 — in honor of the WNBA’s 25th season — that will be sold exclusively at video game retailer GameStop.

The cover shows the Chicago Sky star shooting a layup over a background of her team’s colors.

“The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too,” Parker said in a statement.

“Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series. To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women’s game, and I’m proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K,” she added.

Parker, 35, has played in the WNBA since 2008 and is currently in her first season with the Chicago Sky after spending most of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks, where she won a championship in 2016.

Click here to read the full article on The Hill.

SERENA WILLIAMS BACKS BLACK WOMEN-OWNED STARTUP PROVIDING CUSTOMIZED WIGS THROUGH AI

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Serena Williams in a brown dress bent down in a seated position

By Days Tech

Serena Williams is a trailblazer in additional methods than one. This time she’s backing a enterprise aimed toward using synthetic intelligence to supply magnificence customers with custom-made wigs.

Parfait is a brand new wig customization platform aimed toward disrupting the business by being the primary to make use of facial recognition and synthetic intelligence to supply consumers with customizable wig merchandise. The firm raised $5 million in funding spearheaded by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures, in keeping with experiences.

“Parfait’s mission to leverage Al to solve core issues for both the tech industry and communities of color is something we, at Serena Ventures, have believed in since the beginning,” Serena Williams stated in a press release.

“She went on to say, “It’s been inspiring to witness their incredible achievements so far, and we’re proud to invest in this next phase of Parfait’s growth.”

Founded by former Target and Amazon government Isoken Igbinedion, the primary seed of funding will assist enhance Parfait’s manufacturing and enhance its provide chain to enter new markets throughout the globe. Through the improved facial recognition Parfait makes use of, the tech-based magnificence model goals to make the wig business extra inclusive to fulfill the hair targets of magnificence customers from all backgrounds.

“Training models used in facial recognition technology are largely unbalanced, often relying on training datasets that are similar in makeup, and do not represent the visual composition of faces worldwide. This often results in poor performance for users who do not fit into that dataset, often represented by white faces and male features.”

Williams shared her pleasure for the brand new funding in an Instagram Story put up, as captured by Essentially Sports. With Parfait aligning with Williams’ rules for her VC agency, the brand new firm is on the highway to success with the total help from one of many best athletes and Black feminine traders of all time.

Click here to read the full article on Days Tech.

Jasmine Jordan on Creating Her Own Lane at Jordan Brand and WNBA Stars Finding Out She’s Michael Jordan’s Daughter

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Jasmine Jordan and peer holding up a basketball

By Peter Verry, Yahoo! News

Jasmine Jordan has a famous father, but she also works for Jordan Brand as a field rep in its sports marketing division, highlighting future athlete icons — especially female ones.

What’s more, not only is Jordan Brand signing WNBA stars, but the company is committed to providing equal treatment.

“Once we started to expand the roster, [we were] having the conversations of, ‘We say we’re Jordan Family, we’re offering white-glove service to tier 1 athletes. Let’s make sure that is felt when we bring these ladies on board too,’” Jasmine Jordan, the daughter of NBA icon Michael Jordan, told FN.

Although she has a job working for the namesake label of her father, Jasmine Jordan would much rather play the background and make a difference for the better than have a role in the forefront. Below, the basketball field rep for women’s sport marketing shares her thoughts on preserving her father’s legacy and ensuring Jordan Brand is always at the forefront of sneaker culture.

ON BEING A JORDAN WORKING AT THE BRAND:
“It’s powerful, it’s special. To have the name and work for the brand, it doesn’t feel real. People say all the time, ‘That’s your brand.’ I say, ‘No, it’s not,’ [but] yes, it is. I’m aware of it, but I don’t think about it as much as people around me do. I’m blessed with the name and an opportunity, but I don’t take it for granted.”

ESTABLISHING HERSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL:
“Those who have interacted with me even for 5 seconds, they see I don’t own the room. I have no desire to own the room. I am happy to be standing in the back, grabbing water for my athletes, checking on everybody because that’s who I am. I didn’t come in with my last name printed out in an office and taking executive roles. I’m going to work my way to that point. I want to make sure that if a role or an opportunity presents itself down the line, I can say that I did the entry job, worked my way to manager, director, executive. I took my learnings to find my way to the top.”

ROLE IN SIGNING FEMALE ATHLETES:
“I did a lot of research during COVID, had a lot of conversations. I got the green light in mid-2020, saying, ‘Hey, we’re about to expand our roster’ — that’s all I needed. I had a list of ladies we could consider signing, and Anthony [DiCosmo] said, ‘Create the roster how you want it to look.’ I made sure no two players were alike, every player had their own story and they were killing it in their own way on their team.”

WHEN ATHLETES FIND OUT HER DAD IS MJ:
“Some of our ladies know from the jump like, ‘That’s Mike’s daughter.’ But I had an adorable moment with Te’a Cooper. She had no idea. It wasn’t until I posted ‘Happy Father’s Day’ on my Instagram and she texted me right after, ‘You did not tell me he is your dad.’ And I was like, ‘Te’a, I assumed you knew.’”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

Super Bowl halftime show taps into millennial nostalgia

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Eminem, dr dre, mary j blige, snoop dogg and kendrick lamar at the nfl superbowl 2022

By Morgan Sung, NBC News

The 2022 Super Bowl halftime show, which featured a handful of hip-hop legends, was a love letter to Black history in Los Angeles. And millennials were here for it. The show, held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, featured performances from hip-hop legends Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige and a surprise appearance by 50 Cent. Some online, including Los Angeles Lakers legend LeBron James, hailed it as the “greatest halftime show.” Many praised it for showcasing Los Angeles pride and leaning in to nostalgia.

Here’s a look at moments that stood out.

50 Cent surprised viewers
50 Cent, who wasn’t previously announced as part of the halftime show lineup, performed “In Da Club.” He opened his set upside down, a callback to the song’s music video, which was released in 2003.

Eminem took a knee
Eminem knelt while rapping “Lose Yourself.” Some suggested he did it as a dig against the NFL, which penalized former player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.

The NFL reportedly pushed back against Eminem’s request to take a knee and tried to censor an anti-police lyric. While performing “Still D.R.E.,” Dr. Dre recited the lyric “Still not loving police.”

But an NFL spokesman said the league did not try to stop Eminem from kneeling.

“We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Set paid homage to L.A.
The set featured architectural reproductions of Tam’s Burgers, Randy’s Donuts and the Compton courthouse, as well as a map of Compton on the stadium floor.

“THIS HALFTIME SHOW REALLY IS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE BORN AND RAISED IN LA,” wrote one Twitter user.

Many on social media also celebrated the show’s references to Black history in Los Angeles.

“This is the blackest NFL halftime show. happy black history month!” wrote one Twitter user.

The performance thrilled millennial and Gen X hip-hop fans.
The show especially spoke to millennial hip-hop fans, who were thrilled by the legendary rappers.

Some joked that loving the show meant they were aging.

“if you loved the halftime show as much as i did don’t forget your anti-aging moisturizer tonight,” one Twitter user wrote.

“The Super Bowl giving the people what they want: a medley of the songs they listened to in middle school,” journalist Kevin Fallon tweeted.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Dennis Rodman’s Daughter, Trinity Rodman, To Be NWSL’s Highest-Paid Player

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Trinity Rodman on the soccer field

By BET Staff, BET

Trinity Rodman is blazing her own trail. “She has a truly special career ahead of her.”

Trinity Rodman, the National Women’s Soccer League’s 2021 Rookie of the Year and the daughter of NBA legend Dennis Rodman, has made history as the highest paid player in U.S. women’s professional soccer.

After inking a contract extension with the Washington Spirit, reportedly worth $1.1 million, Rodman, who’s just 19, is the highest paid player in the NWSL.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Trin as a part of the Spirit family for at least the next three seasons,” Kris Ward, coach of the Spirit, said. “She has a truly special career ahead of her and makes us a better club on all fronts.”

According to ESPN, Rodman “joined the league last year on a three-year deal that averaged $42,000 in base salary, plus housing and bonuses.” They were able to pay her above the base salary by tapping into allocation money, which allows teams to offer players an amount above the salary cap. After ratifying the league’s collective bargaining agreement — which ups the maximum salary for most players to $75,000 (a 43 percent increase), while increasing the minimum salary to $35,000 — Rodman will reportedly make a $281,000 base annual salary, placing her at a higher salary than NWSL vet and World Cup star, Megan Rapinoe.

After accepting her first call up to the NWSL in January, Rodman led the Spirit to the NWSL 2022 title, cementing her spot as one of the most promising players in the sport today.

“She was one of the most exciting players in the league this past season,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said, “and she proved that she can be impactful at the professional level in NWSL.”

Click here to read the full article on BET.

Not Only Is Candace Parker Really Good at Basketball, but She’s an Amazing Mom With Another Baby on the Way

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Candace Parker on the red carpet standing and smiling at the camera

By Jay Connor, The Root

It’s hard to top a year that includes becoming the first woman to grace the cover of NBA 2K, dropping a new dope-ass footwear and apparel collection with Adidas, and bringing your hometown Chicago Sky its first WNBA title. But would Candace Parker be Candace Parker if she didn’t continue to outdo herself?

On Tuesday, the two-time WNBA MVP took to Instagram to reveal that not only has she been married for two years to her wife, Anya Petrakova, but the happy couple is expecting their first child together, per People. (Parker has a 12-year-old daughter, Lailaa, from a previous relationship with former NBA player Sheldon Williams.)

“Happy Anniversary Моя жена! 2 years ago, I got to marry my best friend in front of our close family and friends. My heart could have exploded. I cried like a baby,” she captioned pictures of their wedding. “To know me or you is to know our love. This journey hasn’t been easy. I am proud of us and what we have built and who we have grown to become both individually and together.

“Thank you for always loving Lailaa as your own, being my calm, my support, my voice of reason, my laughs, my cuddles, my dance in the rain, my happy, my home. Thanks for constantly challenging me and telling me when I’m wrong 🙄. I LOVE YOU🐞 I appreciate you, I value you and what we have.”

She continued, “We’ve always dreamed of growing our family….it’s surreal that we now have a baby on the way! Lailaa is pumped to be a big sister! You couldn’t be more beautiful! Glowing, while understanding that I have to constantly love, kiss, and talk to your belly AND yes… play Jay-Z for the baby (Goose knows “Song Cry” already by heart😜 !) I can’t wait to embark on this next chapter in life with you!”

Click here to read the full article on The Root.

Black Women Gamers Aren’t Unicorns — They’re The Future

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Gamer Girl and founder of Black Girl Gamers

By Jay-Ann Lopez

Many people still think that being a gamer and a Black woman is a juxtaposition. It’s not. We’re not unicorns. Just like in any other industry, there are content creators, industry professionals, and consumers, and Black women can be found in all of these categories — but they’re often overlooked, underestimated, or outright ignored. So Black women are taking their spot in gaming for themselves.

If you’re not familiar with gaming, let me briefly explain how we got here. Gaming started with simplistic classics like Pong, and in their infancy, games were aimed at a broad audience who just wanted to play and have fun. But after the video game crash in the 1980s, the industry essentially said, “Fuck it, let’s just focus on white men and boys.” And after decades of game creation and marketing geared toward men, here we are in 2021, with the majority of the highest paid gamers being white men. Not to mention that the workforce in the industry is also dominated by white men. According to jobs site Zippia, 72% of video game developers in the US are men, and 72% of developers are also white. And unfortunately, with this came the foundation of a toxic misogynistic culture, which companies overlooked and sometimes encouraged with their early marketing — just look at one ‘90s Playstation advertisement.

As the social climate changed to become more critical and vocal about racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination, some companies have vowed to change, but only after hitting rock bottom. In July, a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleged the company long facilitated an environment of harassment, discrimination, and a toxic “‘frat boy’ workplace culture.” The suit led to an outpour of horror stories on social media that exposed what often happens behind game creation. Some triple-A companies have started to hire experienced chief diversity officers, who slowly but surely hope to tackle the ingrained bias internally and in their games.

But many gaming companies are still struggling to hire, and retain, Black employees which means, beyond the marketing, the culture isn’t progressing. Just 6% of video game developers in the US are Black, according to Zippia, so it doesn’t take long to look under the surface and see the dust is still under the rug. Brands are still enabling toxic content creators or work environments where marginalized people can feel as though they are collateral damage as we’ve seen with recent revelations about Activision. There’s still so much to do, and it seems the industry only reacts to current events, such as the murder of George Floyd, rather than plan for a better future. Despite changing demographics and efforts from within to create more inclusive spaces, Black women still aren’t visible and have long been ostracized, ignored, and underpaid.

The space is democratizing. But rather than the companies that make millions, it’s creators-turned-entrepreneurs who are doing the necessary work to address the lack of transparency and seemingly unclosable gaps in gaming.

Click here to read the full article on Refinery29.

Simone Biles Details the Trusted Tool She Uses to Help Combat Her Anxiety

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Simone Biles posing on gymnatict floormat after performance smiling with hand in the air

By People

Simone Biles is developing tools to deal with anxiety, thanks to the help of a trusted therapist.

While appearing virtually at the Child Mind Institute’s annual Child Advocacy Award dinner in New York City on Tuesday to accept the inaugural Trailblazer Award, Biles — who has been outspoken about mental health, especially in the wake of a challenging Tokyo Olympic Games — said she hopes to be “a voice for the voiceless.”

In doing so, Biles is being candid about what helps her through difficult moments.

“I do keep close contact with my therapist, I love that,” Biles, 24, said in a PEOPLE exclusive clip from the dinner. “And it’s super exciting so hopefully more people are open to going to therapy and knowing that they’re there for you and not to harm you.”

Part of what Biles’ therapist has encouraged her to do is keep a worry journal.

“I have pretty bad anxiety sometimes so she tells me in my worry journal to put from 12 to 1 p.m. — that’s the time I’ve selected — and anything I’ve written down in my worry journal, I use that hour to worry about the things then,” Biles explained. “And usually by the time 12 or 1 [p.m.] comes, I’ve already forgotten about all my worries so that kind of is a tool that helps me.”

Biles, in general, said she’s learned “to not give up, to move forward and keep pushing,” over the years, even when facing the unimaginable. She said she now sees happiness as, “Just waking up and having a positive outlook on life in general and to know that you’re blessed with another day.”

The athlete was in conversation with Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute. In a press release, Koplewicz said “Simone Biles bravely showed children and the entire world this year that mental health and wellbeing should be made a priority and a foundation for everything else we do in life. The Child Mind Institute is pleased to present her with the inaugural Trailblazer Award for her courageousness and strength in using her global platform to tell young people that it’s critical to speak up and get help.”

During this year’s Summer Games, Biles removed herself from four out of five gymnastics event finals due to a case of the “twisties” — a disorienting condition that athletes can experience when they lose air awareness, putting them at risk for injury when they land.

The Olympian explained at the time that she withdrew to focus on her mental health, saying on social media that her “mind & body are simply not in sync.”

Biles ended up returning to the competition to participate in the balance beam final, for which she won bronze. The athlete also took home a silver in the team all-around final.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Will Smith Says Venus and Serena Williams ‘Cried All the Way Through’ King Richard: ‘They Loved It’

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Will smith playing kin richard in upcoming movie about the williams sisters

By Benjamin VanHoose, People

Will Smith waited on pins and needles to hear Venus and Serena Williams’ reaction to his onscreen performance as their father.

In King Richard, out Nov. 19, the Oscar nominee plays Richard Williams, the dad and childhood tennis coach of the famous athlete sisters. While appearing on The Tonight Show Tuesday, Smith recalled being nervous to find out what Venus, 41, and Serena, 40, thought of the final movie.

“Venus and Serena were really excited about the possibility. And they said that they would potentially be executive producers and they would walk us through the whole process, but they were going to withhold whether or not they put their names on the film until they saw it,” said Smith.

“So then I get the call that Venus and Serena are walking into the theater to see the film,” he continued. “It’s the worst two hours ever. The worst two hours. Because you spent so much time creating these things, and there is literally only one audience when you do it. … You hope that they like it.”

Fortunately, the stars enjoyed the movie, Smith said: “Venus and Serena cried all the way through. They loved it.”

Earlier this month, Smith and the Williams sisters spoke with Entertainment Weekly about King Richard, praising the story, which follows the family’s start in the sport and their rise to ground-breaking champions status. Venus and Serena are played by actresses Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively.

“When we heard that Will wanted to do it, it was like, ‘Oh my God this movie is going to be the real deal.’ Whatever film he’s in, it’s the real deal. We got the sense of this is gonna be big, this is gonna be a serious film,” Venus said.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Shaq is retiring from celebrity status: ‘Out of their mind’

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Shaquille O'Neal smiling wearing a suit

By , NY Post

Don’t call Shaquille O’Neal a “celebrity.”

Although the Lakers legend has a stacked NBA resume and booming broadcast career (including countless commercials and brand deals), O’Neal wants to be remembered for his kindness before anything else.

“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” O’Neal told The Post, while discussing his new campaign with Kellogg’s.

“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”

The four-time champion has found a different way into the spotlight with his random acts of kindness, which he said he tries to do at least twice per week.

Since retiring from the NBA in 2011, he’s become known for helping others with grand gestures that have included paying for a stranger’s engagement ring — and more recently, funding one of his favorite Atlanta restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All my life, everyone probably gets stereotyped, but us celebrities, we get stereotyped because most of these celebrities are out of their mind. I don’t do that. I’m a regular person that listened, followed his dreams and made it,” he said.

It’s easy to hone in on O’Neal’s life from the start of his NBA career to the present day, but things were much different before the 1992 NBA Draft — when the 7-foot-1 LSU product was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic.

O’Neal grew up poor in Newark, New Jersey, and has credited the Boys & Girls Club of America for helping to keep him off the streets and out of trouble.

“I came from nothing,” he said. “But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way. So I don’t want to be in that category of people.

“When they talk about Shaq, what do you say? ‘He’s a nice guy.’ Because what else can you be? You’re either nice or you’re the A-word, and I definitely won’t be looked at as the A-word,” he said.

“I want people to say, ‘Bro, he’s nice. He didn’t have an entourage. His people didn’t take my phone because I took a picture and threw it.’”

Another good deed O’Neal is focused on, is helping kids play sports.

Click here to read the full article on the NY Post.

Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand donating $1M to help diversify newsrooms

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Basketball legend Michael Jordan announced that he will donate $1 million to the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting to help diversify newsrooms.

BY OLAFIMIHAN OSHIN, The Hill

Basketball legend Michael Jordan announced that he will donate $1 million to the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting to help diversify newsrooms.

The Jordan Brand grant will enable the society to expand its college internship program, create a summer journalism program at a historically black college or university in North Carolina, and launch a high school journalism project with a majority Black and Latino school in the state.

The Ida B. Wells Society, created in 2016 to help train and support minority investigative journalists, is housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Media.

“Investigative reporting is the most important reporting in our democracy,” society co-founder and 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones said in a statement.

“It’s the reporting that holds power accountable, that unearths the way it’s wielded, that tells the stories that people don’t want told. Our democracy is in crisis as politicians are advancing a wave of voter suppression laws across the country and journalists must step up to be the firewall for our democracy,” she added. “That makes the work we do as a Society and the substantial support of Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand so critical in this moment.”

Jordan, who was the main subject of the Netflix documentary series “The Last Dance,” pledged in 2020 to donate $100 million to organizations that are dedicated to racial equality, social justice and education access over the next decade, Black Enterprise reported.

Click here to read the full article on The Hill.

Michael B. Jordan-Backed HBCU Basketball Showcase Partners With Turner Sports and Invesco

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By Angelique Jackson, Yahoo! Entertainment

Michael B. Jordan’s upcoming college basketball showcase, spotlighting men’s teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) added Turner Sports and Invesco QQQ as partners.

The newly named Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic will take place on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. TNT will televise the doubleheader competition between Hampton University and North Carolina Central University, plus Howard University versus North Carolina A&T University.

The event — presented with WME Sports (the sports division of WME, an Endeavor company), Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) and Scout Sports and Entertainment (a division of Horizon Media) — was previously announced as the Hoop Dreams Classic.

“I am thrilled to finally announce the four HBCUs that will be competing in the inaugural Legacy Classic,” Jordan said, announcing the latest updates.

“Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports have been amazing partners in helping bring this experience to life,” he continued. “I grew up watching basketball games on TNT, so I am confident they will deliver this set of games to a true audience of basketball fans and their families in an exciting way.”

In addition to the basketball game, the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic is also set to feature an immersive cultural experience that highlights elements of HBCU life and culture, including a band showcase, a live musical performance, college and career opportunities and more.

“We are excited for this partnership with Michael B. Jordan and all of the event organizers as we present the inaugural Legacy Classic,” Tina Shah, Turner Sports’ executive vice president and general manager, added. “We’re looking forward to having this unique opportunity to showcase these four college basketball programs, while highlighting HBCUs both leading up to and during the event.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment

Black women are finally shattering the glass ceiling in dance

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Dionne Figgins, artistic director of Ballet Tech, is one of several Black women named recently to leadership posts in dance. (Jeenah Moon for The Washington Post)

By Sarah L. Kaufman, Washington Post

Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell knows how it feels to be the only Black dancer in the dressing room.

“Everyone was friendly, but it was a lonely feeling that nobody looked like me,” says the former star of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recalling her first dance job 30 years ago, with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

“So when it came to styling my hair, I couldn’t rely on anyone to help advise me. There were so many little things like that.”

Throughout the concert-dance world, dancers of color have often shared that sense of isolation and difference. But in recent months, some significant appointments offer hope of change. In March, Fisher-Harrell began leading the company where she once felt so alone. As the new artistic director of Hubbard Street, a widely respected contemporary troupe founded by Broadway dancer Lou Conte, she is one of very few Black women heading traditionally White-led dance organizations.

Fisher-Harrell, who most recently had been teaching at Towson University and the Baltimore School for the Arts, made changes quickly at Hubbard Street. She hired four dancers of color, bringing the total at the 14-member company to six dancers.

Three more Black women have recently assumed dance leadership roles, in front-office moves that are rare in the dance world. Each has led a distinguished performance career in premiere companies on international stages followed by years as dance educators.

Endalyn Taylor is the new dean of the dance school at the prestigious University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. A former leading ballerina of Dance Theatre of Harlem, an original cast member of “The Lion King” and “Aida” on Broadway, and a dance professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Taylor succeeds former American Ballet Theatre principal Susan Jaffe.

Click here to read the full article on the Washington Post.

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