Black In The Day: Women’s History Edition

Janelle Monae Many Moons

Welcome to Black In The Day, your monthly-ish serving of yesteryear’s magical, inimitable and unforgettable Blackety Blackness courtesy of Alexander Hardy.

With Women’s History Month coming to a close, on top of preserving our strength for an onslaught of April Foolery and tacky Easter looks, it’s important to gather to Hallelujah and Heel-toe in jubilation as thanks for all that womenfolk have done to make this swampdonkey-electing society less terrible while facing institutional hateration and structural inequality in the dancerie.

Let’s start the party with cousin Lena Waithe, the Chicago-born actress, screenwriter, and producer who happens to be the first female Chocolatey Wonder to win an Emmy award for comedy writing for her work on Master of None. While being honored at this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event, she implored other members of the LGBTQIA+ community to live and love out in the open to inspire and be a support system for “lesbians in training” and younger queer folks who’ll benefit from the increased representation. There and in her Vanity Fair cover story, she stressed the importance of not hiding and being our whole-ass selves at all times. Let your soul glow, boo.


Remember that time when pre-gentrification Aunt Viv, hair braided like a hex-slinging Miss Celie, rolled up into that dance audition in a carnation pink freakum onesie and showed Miss Millie and Sourpuss Sally how they get down out in Bel-Air? Gym enrollment surged 144% among Black TV moms and teachers. June Cleaver could never.


As the first product of Lady Katherine Jackson’s majestic platinum-plated wombpiece, Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson is much more than the default babysitter and La Toya’s chief bodysuit bedazzler. Rebbie made her own contribution to the Jackson family legacy with the help of hits like “Centipede,” her legendary hot and steamy arthropod-themed two-stepper. Written and produced by and featuring background vocals of King Michael, this debut single will live on forever via grown-and-sexy white parties, cookouts, and linen suit-filled Tom Joyner cruises for decades to come.


Also, let us not forget that time Oprah demonstrated the meaning of sisterhood by reminding Gayle King to moisturize her elbows before hitting the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes. Being able to fill your closet with the flyest Parasuco denim sets and thigh-high jelly sandals means nothing if your homegirls will let you leave the house bound by the spirit of ashiness.


Twenty years after she and her bionic braided bob first Bankhead bounced onto the scene, Brandy rolled up to the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards with Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah and MC Lyte to remind us of the greatness of their classic remix of her single, “I Wanna Be Down.” Watching Moesha, Khadijah, Keylolo, and the official voice of Black award ceremonies perform this gem from the Skort Set Era always brightens my day. Shoutout to good living, great stylists, and graceful aging.


Never forget that Janelle Monáe conceptualized and masterfully executed a robust futuristic love story built around a messiah-like love- and justice-seeking android named Cindi Mayweather, and has brought us into her universe (Metropolis) over the course of three projects (and counting).


And because Black excellence is the gift that keeps on giving, shoutout the fourth novel by Tayari Jones, An American Marriage, which explores race, wrongful imprisonment, mass incarceration, and loyalty via a gripping Atlanta-based love story. Since its debut, Tayari’s book has become a New York Times bestseller and is so dope, Oprah both chose the title for book club and secured the film rights. Win upon win.


Tiffany Charmaine KaLinda Charlesetta Maude “New York” Pollard is an effortlessly captivating media personality, walking meme, and a gift to our undeserving society. Along her journey to claim the titles of Mrs. Flavor Flav and self-proclaimed “Head Bitch In Charge,” your girl contended with hateration and spit globs born of untreated chronic melanin envy. And though she spent two seasons pitching woo at your favorite becornrowed hippity hop grandpa, all that woo pitching and dagger sharpening wasn’t for naught. A decade after tongue twerking  with Sir Flavington, Tiffany can still be seen Blacking it up pon the tube for a living.


And finally, Queen Dominique Dawes being brilliant in the finals at the 1996 Olympics.

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