“I’m a Black woman before anything else. I’m still part of my community, which is hurting right now. I can’t just workout, practice and try to be the best in my sport. I have to use my platform and represent my community. I have to speak out as a woman and as a Black woman.”
For A’ja Wilson (@aja22wilson), the recently crowned MVP of the @wnba, work doesn’t begin and end on the court. The 24-year-old @lvaces player and social justice advocate is committed to fighting for equality for future generations.
“I love it because young Black girls can turn on the TV and watch me do what I love and be inspired to be me, or to be better than me. It means a lot to me that I have the opportunity to be a professional athlete at all. I don’t take that for granted. Off the court I’m still doing what I love for a cause that’s bigger than me, in fighting for the continued visibility of women who are victims of police brutality and for justice on their behalf. I fight for the next generation of Black girls, so that their opportunities are limitless, and they are valued as they should be.”
Head to @wnba today as they share more perspectives and voices from Black athletes and advocates in their league.
#ShareBlackStories 🖤 #SeeMe
#HelloFrom Pfullingen, Germany. We are dreaming of taking in the mountainous view from the Schönbergturm observation tower — aka Pfullinger “Onderhos,” which means underpants in Swabian German. The tower gets its nickname due to its unusual shape and color. 🙃
Photo by @hannesstier
Comedy creator LeJuan James (@lejuanjames) knows firsthand the joy of growing up with immigrant parents, but he also acknowledges the struggles they endured.
“It takes an incredible amount of courage to come to a foreign country. For my parents, it was probably the most difficult thing they’ve ever done,” says LeJuan, whose real-life experiences with his Dominican and Puerto Rican family are the inspiration for his comedy.
“The hardships my parents endured coming to a country with a language barrier all for my siblings and me to have a better future, it really makes me appreciate living in America,” he adds. “This is why I want to continue celebrating all of our parents because they should receive the flowers now while they can still smell them.”
This #LatinxHeritageMonth, we’re celebrating Latinx voices that represent the beauty and power of their culture. Read LeJuan’s letter to his immigrant parents below and check out our story to see some of his family-inspired skits that will have you saying, “jajajajaja.”
“My greatest honor is being the child of first-generation immigrant parents. For many of us in the Latinx community, the word sacrifice is all too familiar when speaking of our parents. They’ve left everything they’ve ever known behind in their home countries for us to have a shot at a better life, better education and better future. So with this, I would like to thank all the incredibly courageous parents who have made this enormous sacrifice for us. During this Latinx Heritage Month we celebrate you, the parents.” —@lejuanjames
Collage by @valheria123
On today’s #WeeklyFluff, Rover (@rover_thecat), an independent and graceful domestic shorthair rescue cat, shows off his meow-deling talents and his determined catwalk stomp.
Videos by @rover_thecat
On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. On Wednesday, none of the officers were found responsible for her death.
Journalist Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) shares her reaction.
“Breonna liked to write down her goals on sticky notes that she posted on the walls of her home. This was going to be HER year.
Breonna had plans to buy a home, to get engaged, to have a baby, to get matching motorcycles with her mom. She had just bought herself a new car, a 2019 Dodge Charger (her mom says it was her baby).
Breonna was an essential worker — she worked to sustain lives. She was an EMT and she worked in the ER. Her dream was to become a nurse.
Breonna was an old soul (like me); she loved to sing the blues with her grandma. Her mom called her the glue of their family: ‘She don’t care what is happening, she is going to make sure we get together and have a game night or have a cookout or have something.’
Breonna is not a meme or a headline or a hashtag… she was someone’s daughter, grandbaby, friend and future fiancée.
Her humanity is our humanity. Her justice is our justice. That’s why [Wednesday’s] rulings feel like a gut punch. And the collective trauma fatigue is only heightening by the day. To equate her murder with a petty crime exacerbates why #BlackLivesMatter is our rallying cry and why it will continue until the pain stops.
Today, I choose to celebrate Breonna — no matter what despair may say. I choose to lift up her humanity. To show her face and tell her story. Because even if it was hard to believe in better, with history as our teacher — she deserved so much better than this. #SayHerName#BreonnaTaylor ”
Rest in power.
Photographer Ziqian Liu’s (@ziqianqian) ethereal self-portraits seek balance and harmony, and her innermost longing for perfect order.
“I started shooting this way about two or three years ago,” says Ziqian. “I was very anxious at that time. I found that taking pictures would slowly release my negative emotions. My style was gradually formed in the process of shooting. I found that the minimalist pictures would make my heart calm.
Humans and other creatures of nature live in the same world; we breathe the same air, depend on each other, are tolerant of each other. I try to find a kind of balance and symbiosis between humans and nature in my works, because only in this kind of state can beauty be most embodied.
My deepest desire is symmetry and perfect order. In my work, the images in the mirror represent the idealized world I hope for. The integration with the outside just reminds me to respect and recognize the imbalance in the real world, but also to adhere to my own inner order and principles.
My work is always created indoors. I think in the space we are most familiar with our emotions can be fully released. Through talking with ourselves, we can get to know our innermost true self. So I think enjoying loneliness is also the process of discovering beauty.”
Photos by @ziqianqian
“We are triggered by how information and technology transforms networks, cultures, societies, relationships, behaviors and interactions between people,” says Jeroen Barendse, the founder, design and art director for design studio RNDR (@rndr.studio), a Netherlands-based company that develop tools for interactive media, creating work like installations, data visualizations and generative identities that almost exclusively use their own open source framework.
In March, RNDR launched Quarantine Stories, an online platform and collaborative resource collecting personal stories of people in isolation during COVID-19 as an effort to document the effects of social distancing.
“The project started from the simple premise that the view from our window is what connects all individuals currently living in isolation around the world and is the starting point to tell a personal story that touches upon being in quarantine,” explains Jeroen. “Sharing experiences on a large scale helps readers and contributors to avoid the sense of loneliness and encourages the expression of feelings.”
Video by @rndr.studio
Welcome to performer, artist and model Ellen Sheidlin’s (@sheidlina) twisted fantasy world, where imagination runs wild and creativity plays out through her surreal imagery and absurd beauty looks.
“My art covers sensitive issues like bullying, self-acceptance, body positivity,” says Ellen, who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I make sculptures, paint, sew clothes and organize interactive exhibitions. The videos are images that come to life, and these are cartoons in which I am the heroine, both a villain and a savior.”
Everything Ellen creates is shot IRL with her husband — and without a big team or huge budget. “Everything is very modest; we make props in the workshop; my husband takes photos of me and I process them. The shooting takes two minutes and the preparation takes three days,” she says.
“The internet for me is like a picture book in my childhood,” says Ellen. “Every social network has influenced my artist identity — every app, every filter.”
Photos by @sheidlina
And now for the look you’ve been waiting for... it’s actor Billy Porter (@theebillyporter), a dynamic force. He made history last year as the first openly gay Black man to win best lead actor in a drama at the Emmy Awards. This year, he’s been nominated again for his work as the character Pray Tell on the TV show “Pose.”
“Never in a million years, as a gay Black man who came out in the 80s during the AIDS crisis, did I imagine that a show like ‘Pose’ and a character like Pray Tell could exist,” says Billy, who is known to make a statement through perspective and style.
“I would describe my style as free. I’ve worked a long time to find a space where I don’t care what other people think about me. That’s a real interesting and hard place to get to,” says Billy. “I’m there. I’m free.”
Cheer on Billy and the other amazing nominees at the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards (@televisionacad).
Photo of @theebillyporter by @luckychurch
What will fashion icon and two-time nominee Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) be wearing to this year’s Emmy Awards?
Bold colors? 💥
Statement piece? 🔥
Whatever it is, we know it will be fierce. Check back later for the grand reveal ahead of the big night.
Reel of @theebillyporter by @luckychurch
#HelloFrom Moab, Utah. We’re dreaming of this Mars-like landscape where human-made solar evaporation ponds — and matching blue skies — contrast with red desert rocks and table-top cliffs.
Photo by @watchluke