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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Nov 27, 2019.

The 2019 Root 100: How Well Do You Know These Figures of Black Excellence?

The 2019 Root 100: How Well Do You Know These Figures of Black Excellence?

The Root’s video team, including host and producer Felice León, went on a mission to test the black cards of one of the black meccas in America: Harlem. We wanted to see how much 125th Street residents knew about some of the top nominees recognized in The 2019 Root 100.

How do you think they did? Should we revoke some black cards? Do you think you could guess some of these influential African...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Nov 07, 2019.

Born to Fly: This Flight Program Is Giving Black Children Access to the Sky

Born to Fly: This Flight Program Is Giving Black Children Access to the Sky

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 9 percent of all commercial aircraft pilots in the U.S. are women and less than 3 percent are black. Let that sink in.

Courtland Savage, a former navy pilot and current commercial airline pilot, hopes to change these disparities. The North Carolina native understands the difficulties that come with being a minority in the field, including the...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Aug 30, 2019.

Maxine Shaw Ain't Nuthin To F' With: A Black Ass Game with Erika Alexander

Maxine Shaw Ain't Nuthin To F' With: A Black Ass Game with Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander will forever be a staple in black television and is still on top of her game . You may know her best as Maxine Shaw from Living Single or Cousin Pam from The Cosby Show but now she’s starring as a young RZA’s mother in Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

We put her ’90s sitcoms and Wu wisdom to the test in this fun Black Ass Game. See the full video above

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Aug 15, 2019. 7 comments

Aiming for Diversity: Meet the Organization Giving Black and Brown Communities a Shot at Archery

Aiming for Diversity: Meet the Organization Giving Black and Brown Communities a Shot at Archery

The Black and Latino Archery Association (BLAA) is one of the few archery organizations geared toward promoting the sport to black and Latinx neighborhoods, where there is usually a lack of exposure to the sport. It also provides a place where people of color who already practice archery can do so on a competitive level.

Chris Cotto, the organization’s vice president and co-founder, told The...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Jul 19, 2019. 4 comments

'We Are Where We Belong': Rep. Ilhan Omar Refuses to Allow Trump and His Supporters to Silence Her

'We Are Where We Belong': Rep. Ilhan Omar Refuses to Allow Trump and His Supporters to Silence Her

One day after the Trump rally in Greenville, N.C., where he allowed his supporters to shout “send her back” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota congresswoman shares why defending Trump and his hateful rhetoric is wrong, as well as why dissent is patriotic.

She also responds to Lindsey Graham ’s stance that Trump’s comments are not racist saying, “I want to remind people that this is...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Jul 10, 2019.

Snowfall Star Remembers John Singleton and Nipsey Hussle Ahead of Season 3 Premiere

Snowfall Star Remembers John Singleton and Nipsey Hussle Ahead of Season 3 Premiere

Season 3 of Snowfall premieres tonight, Wednesday, July 10 and The Root spoke with the lead actor Damson Idris, aka “Franklin Saint.” He reflects on his close friendship with John Singleton, the show’s co-creator, director and executive producer, who passed away this April. Idris also critiques the double standards of the crack epidemic versus the opioid crisis and how this show depicts...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Jun 07, 2019. 1 comments

Saving Weeksville: Why Black Historic Landmarks Need Us

Saving Weeksville: Why Black Historic Landmarks Need Us

The Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. preserves one of the first free black communities in America. Weeksville was formed in 1838 by African-American longshoreman James Weeks, 11 years after New York abolished slavery. It became a self-sustained community where black people were able to live, thrive and lead successful lives.

Unfortunately, 2019 proved to be a difficult year for...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards May 25, 2019. 1 comments

‘I Love You Black Man. I Love You Black Woman’: Meet the Real-Life Best Friends of Netflix’s See You Yesterday

‘I Love You Black Man. I Love You Black Woman’: Meet the Real-Life Best Friends of Netflix’s See You Yesterday

Netflix’s See You Yesterday isn’t your average sci-fi flick. Black nerds fighting police brutality, creating time travel and exposing viewers to Caribbean-American culture combine to show another side of the science-fiction genre. Directed by Stefon Bristol and produced by Spike Lee, See You Yesterday is led by a duo who have been friends since birth and it shows in this Afro-futurist joint,...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards May 11, 2019. 3 comments

Rap and R&B Queens Salt-N-Pepa and SWV Reflect on What Motherhood Means to Them

Rap and R&B Queens Salt-N-Pepa and SWV Reflect on What Motherhood Means to Them

Our ’90s faves, Salt-N-Pepa and SWV love music but they really love being mothers. For Mother’s Day, the R&B and hip-hop veterans shared their favorite things about motherhood with The Root.

Both groups have a new reality show on BET, Ladies Night. Check out the music icons in the short video above.

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards May 02, 2019. 3 comments

Avengers Stunt Performer Reflects on Being a Black Woman in the Movie Industry

Avengers Stunt Performer Reflects on Being a Black Woman in the Movie Industry

Chances are, you’ve seen Jazzy Ellis perform stunts in your favorite movie or TV show. Some past projects include the Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Ride Along 2, The Walking Dead and Black Lightning. But, of course, it’s not easy being a black stunt performer, let alone a black woman, in the industry.

Women of color are a minority in the industry. So much so that “wigging” and “

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Apr 06, 2019.

Valerie Jarrett, Obama's Top Adviser, Reflects on Trump's Win, the Obamas and Finding Her Voice

Valerie Jarrett, Obama's Top Adviser, Reflects on Trump's Win, the Obamas and Finding Her Voice

Obama’s top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, opens up about her new book, Finding My Voice, her journey to the White House, Trump’s presidential win in 2016, and her close friendship with the Obamas. She also shares her thoughts on the 2020 presidential race and has some advice for the Democratic candidates.

“They will be at their strongest when they describe what they are for, what they want to do...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Mar 26, 2019. 5 comments

Namaste Black: Yoga Isn't Just for Skinny White People. It's for Everybody

Namaste Black: Yoga Isn't Just for Skinny White People. It's for Everybody

After noticing people of color were usually the minority in yoga classes, Shakira Scott brought together a group of black women to create Black to Yoga, an all-inclusive space for Oakland yogis. Scott, Kirsten Rogers, Maureen Miller and Zenovia Forbes came together to make classes more accessible and affordable to the black community in the Bay Area.

“Going into certain spaces, they can kind of...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Mar 20, 2019.

Watch: Angela Bassett Fights for Her Sweetheart

Watch: Angela Bassett Fights for Her Sweetheart

Legendary actress Angela Bassett hopes to raise awareness of the connection between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease with her campaign For Your Sweetheart. Her mother, Betty Jane Bassett, was diabetic and passed away from heart disease in 2014. Since then, Angela Bassett has been working steadily to raise awareness. Heart disease is the most common killer of people with Type 2 diabetes.

Watch...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Mar 08, 2019. 8 comments

Pam Grier, the Queen of Classic Black Cinema, Walks Us Through Her Most Memorable Roles

Pam Grier, the Queen of Classic Black Cinema, Walks Us Through Her Most Memorable Roles

March is Women’s History Month and Lord knows, Pam Grier has made history. She is known for dominating the black cinema scene in the ’70s with cult classics like Foxy Brown, Coffy and Sheba Baby. And she continued to make her mark throughout the years with Jackie Brown, The L Word and now, with her latest film, Poms.

Currently, she is the ambassador of BrownSugar.com, where many of her...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Feb 26, 2019. 9 comments

Spike Lee Needed More Than Tea After Green Book Won the Oscar for Best Picture

Spike Lee Needed More Than Tea After Green Book Won the Oscar for Best Picture

After multiple Oscar nominations and an honorary award, Spike Lee finally won a competitive Oscar for co-writing the adapted screenplay for his film, BlacKkKlansman. However, he still had to take a backseat to Green Book, which won Best Picture of the year. Backstage, Spike channeled our best drunk uncle and had a few words to say about it.

He also took some time to talk about the impact of...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Feb 14, 2019. 2 comments

Kadir Nelson Puts Iconic Moments in Black History on Canvas

Kadir Nelson Puts Iconic Moments in Black History on Canvas

Renowned artist Kadir Nelson paints to reflect the strength and spirituality of black history to remind black people of their own beauty, divinity and inner hero.

His work has been featured in many prominent institutions, including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery , the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the U.S House of Representatives and museums around the world. You might also...

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P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Feb 06, 2019.

This Producer Helped Craft Ariana Grande's Sound and He's Working With Your Other Faves, Too 

This Producer Helped Craft Ariana Grande's Sound and He's Working With Your Other Faves, Too 

Khris Riddick-Tynes and Leon Thomas make up the production duo The Rascals. They’ve produced Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla $ign, Zendaya and Kehlani, to name a few.

Riddick-Tynes also knows the value of mentors, one of which is legendary singer-songwriter Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The 11-time Grammy winner, along with music giant Antonio Dixon, took the young producer under their wings....

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Jan 26, 2019. 8 comments

A 'Triggering' Conversation With Rapper Killer Mike

A 'Triggering' Conversation With Rapper Killer Mike

Rapper Killer Mike stopped by The Root to chat about his new Netflix series, Trigger Warning, and be warned, some of his viewpoints may trigger you. I know some of them triggered me. We sat down with him to chat about Big Boi performing at the Super Bowl, gun control, cancel culture and more. Judge for yourself.

Watch the full video above.

8 Comments

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Jan 16, 2019.

The Story Behind the Music of Black-ish’s Most Talked About Episode 

The Story Behind the Music of Black-ish’s Most Talked About Episode 

ABC’s Black-ish has never shied away from controversial topics and tonight’s show about colorism shouldn’t be any different. Ahead of tonight’s episode, we spoke to the composer Hilton Wright II, the co-producer of the music for one of the most memorable episodes, “Juneteenth .”

Hilton has worked with artists like Big Sean, Sofia Reyes, Drake and more. He shares the details of how the...

P.J. Rickards P.J. Rickards Dec 28, 2018. 3 comments

You’re Not Living Your Best Life: Leave These 6 Things Behind in 2018

You’re Not Living Your Best Life: Leave These 6 Things Behind in 2018

You made it through 2018. Bless up! But your friends aren’t keeping it 100 with you. Luckily you have Corey Townsend, social media editor for The Root.

Whether it’s toxic masculinity, avoiding salt and pepper or trying to Basquiat your hairline: Here are a few things you should leave behind if you want to be your best self in 2019.

Watch the full video above. New Year. New You.

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