Dear friends, 

Thank you for joining me again this week and if you’re a new subscriber – welcome! This week I write to you from Florence. 🇮🇹

As you may know, many around the world have begun to honour and celebrate a very special annual observance: Black History Month. For the important occasion, Women & The World is bringing you all the best news, jobs, and entertainment, but all with this theme in mind. In the jobs section, for example, you will only find companies run by people of colour–particularly, Black women–and, among these, many that specifically aim to empower and support women of colour. If you can take the time, I encourage you to read more about these companies and organisations; their work is truly inspiring and I think we can all learn something from reading about their work. 

I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas for my future newsletters, and please consider sharing with your friends!

with love & light,
Something Informative

We could all use a healthy dose of optimism, so let's see what was good in the world last week.

🎶An interview with Ivy Queen, the Reggaeton Pioneer from Puerto Rico: Reggaeton is a genre of music that started out as an uncensored commentary on race and class. To launch their Black History Month special, NPR considers the genesis and evolution of the genre, with true reggaeton royalty: Martha Ivelisse Pesante Rodríguez. She performs as “Ivy Queen,” and her personal musical history mirrors the trajectory of the music she helped pioneer in her native Puerto Rico in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As an outspoken woman in a genre that pulses with male bravado, she has managed the kind of career path that outliers everywhere must delicately traverse. Not only has she had to be twice as good as the men, but she also had to be strategic about when she spoke up to challenge or to celebrate. In an exclusive interview with NPR, Ivy Queen reflects on her incredible journey. She offers remembrances of the music's rough early days when it was the musical expression of the marginalised African diaspora community living in Puerto Rico and presented on mix tapes that were sold from the trunks of cars in San Juan. Full Story  

🐰Playboy was the first major magazine to feature a solo Black woman, and her story offers a fascinating take on Black history in America: Years before American Vogue, ELLE, and Harper’s Bazaar had a Black woman grace their cover, Playboy became a maverick. In October 1971, Playboy featured on their cover Darine Stern, the first solo Black cover girl. The cover holds such significance in history that in 2005, the American Society of Magazine Editors listed this feat as one of the 40 most important magazine covers of the last 40 years. Journalist Morgan Jerkins spent months researching her life and career in honour of Black History Month, and worked alongside her family to bring Stern’s story to life with all the important reflections it raises. Full Story  

✊🏾The black women who changed the course of history in the past 150 years: The stories and accomplishments of Black women have never traditionally had a place of importance in mainstream history. For centuries, achievements reached by Black women have only ever been celebrated in the Black community, amongst those who knew how big of a deal it was. But as the years have gone by, society has learned not only to embrace these milestones, but finally celebrate the noteworthy accomplishments Black women have brought to the table: Althea Gibson was the first Black woman to compete in the Wimbledon Championships (and win, paving the way for Venus and Serena Williams); Michelle Obama became the first Black First Lady of the United States, who used her platform to spread knowledge about equality, nutrition and general kindness. But before the world knew the Gibsons and the Obamas, there were the Chisholms, the Hamers and the Mahoneys. From as far back as the 1800s to present day, Black women have been shaking up societal norms and becoming vanguards for positions now deemed normal for a Black woman today to have. These seven women took admirable steps in their respective fields over the last 141 years to become medical experts, politicians, inventors and the like so Black women of today could follow their dreams as well. Full Story 

Something Practical

A few opportunities and projects that caught my eye.


Publishing // Italy // General application for Afroitalian Souls - Details 
Media // Milan // Media internship at MediaCom- Details 
Beauty // Milan // Collaborators at AfroHair Italy - Details


NGO // Mumbai // Social media at Girl Effect - Details 


STEM // London // Freelance at Stemettes - Details 


NGO // Dallas // Intern at Brown Girls do Ballet - Details 
Media // NYC // Administrative assistant at Oprah Winfrey - Details
NGO // Oakland+Los Angeles // Communications at Essie Justice - Details 
Tech // NYC // Creative developer at Compass - Details 
Media // Los Angeles // Writer at Harpo Productions - Details 
Tech // Oakland+NYC // Community at Black Girls Code - Details  
Media // Los Angeles // Content manager at Blavity - Details  
NGO // North Carolina // Coordinator at Sister Song - Details 
Tech // Philly // Operations at Girl Develop It - Details 


Tech // Online // Social media & app developers at ArenaLinq - Contact me! 


🗣Share these jobs with your friends:

Something Fun

for your eyes, heart, and mind. 

💋A young Afroitalian woman takes center stage in the Vogue February edition. Maya Fall Didba was born in Senegal and brought up in Italy, where she became a model. This month, she was the cover girl for the “Italian Beauty” issue. 

🎤Narration is as important as the writing when it comes to audiobooks–and here are 20 must-read audiobooks narrated by Black women who make the listening experience all the more magical. 

💫20 inspiring Black women who are making history in 2020.

🎥In honour of Black History Month, Google creates video with the icons and moments that have been searched more than any others. To create the video, data was gathered by identifying Black achievements that were most searched between January 1, 2004 and July 1, 2019. The final clip includes Beyoncé’s Coachella show (the most searched performance), Maya Angelou (the most searched female poet), Serena Williams (the most searched tennis player), and many more.

🎨Some of the best exhibitions to catch during Black History Month across the US. 

🎾Sports Illustrated celebrates Black History Month by spotlighting a different iconic athlete or group of athletes every day. Fascinating among these stories is that of Ora Washington, the tennis player who was so good that white champions refused to play her.

🧗"Brown Girls Climb” is an awesome community that aims to promote and increase visibility of diversity in climbing by establishing a community of climbers of colour, encouraging leadership opportunities for self-identified women climbers of colour, and by creating inclusive opportunities to climb and explore for underrepresented communities.

💡And speaking of inspiring new communities… Meet Erika Hairston, a groundbreaking developer and creator in the world of apps and games. Hairston is the founder and designer of Zimela, an app that encourages underrepresented groups to enter tech by connecting women—particularly black women—with mentors, career placement opportunities, and internships. “You never know whose life you could change by sharing an opportunity,” says Hairston, 23. “Every day I try to create an opportunity for someone to reach their goals.”

🍳Culinary heroes of the past who paved the way for Black cooks (spoiler: most of them were women). 

💃The dance troupe setting a national trend in America: What started off as an innovative way to break free from traditional baton twirling has turned into a dance phenomenon, inspiring artists like Beyoncé. J-setting is a unique form of dance, originating in the 1970s when the ladies of the Jackson State University band traded their batons for a creative dance style that would not limit them physically. Today, J-setting has become a national sensation, making its way into pop culture and finding legions of fans.

🎸Need to add some more badass music to your showers, workouts, commutes, cooking?? Here is a playlist full of Black female artists to channel your inner SuperWoman with pretty much anything you do. 

🧠Brain food: One of my favourite authors of all time is Jamaican-British author Zadie Smith, who is best known for her treatment of race, religion, and cultural identity. Her life is inspiring, her books are inspiring, but what has stuck with me the most, and what I hope will give you much food for thought this Sunday, is one of her quotes on identity: “The world does not deliver meaning to you.You have to make it meaningful...and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.”

Feedback or ideas for the newsletter?
Reply to this email or give me a shout on social media!

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