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Reporter’s Message: Queen Latifah, Coco Gauff, Kamala Harris

By Laura Onyeneho

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 10: Queen Latifah performs the national anthem prior to a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 10, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. / Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Put respect on the Queen’s name

Queen Latifah’s recent performance of the Star-Spangled Banner during an NFL game between the Giants and Cowboys sent shockwaves across the internet. Despite her numerous singing accolades, it appeared that many were still unaware of her vocal prowess. Fans flooded social media with a mix of astonishment and reminders of her previous musical achievements.

One person on Twitter exclaimed, “People are JUST finding out that Queen Latifah sings? Have they not seen ‘Chicago’ or ‘Hairspray’? Or saw that she released two jazz albums? Or even when she played Bessie Smith in that HBO movie?”

Some folks had no shame in displaying their ignorance. One Twitter user commented, “Y’all dragging it lmao she is not famous enough for anything, especially singing, to do all this.”


Queen Latifah’s remarkable talent extends beyond singing; she is also one of the most influential female emcees in hip-hop, making her mark in a male-dominated industry and paving the way for other women to succeed. It’s unfortunate that some individuals in this generation may have shallow knowledge about the trailblazing Black icons who paved the way for their favorite female rappers today. Queen Latifah’s list of accomplishments speaks for itself, including an Oscar nomination, a Grammy, a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Awards, NAACP Image Awards, and a Primetime Emmy. Put some respect on the Queen’s name.

Coco Gauff gives a shout out to her haters

A girl holding trophy

At 19-years-old, Coco Gauff has achieved a historic milestone by becoming the youngest U.S. Open champion since Serena Williams won the event at age 17 in 1999. Not only did she make an indelible mark on the tennis world, but she also stood up against implicit anti-Black bias in American sports. During her victory speech, Gauff graciously acknowledged those who doubted her, stating, “Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me… A month ago, I won a 500 title, and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title, and people were saying that was the biggest it was going to get.” She emphasized her journey from winning a 500 title to a 1000 title, culminating in her triumphant moment with the U.S. Open trophy.

She radiated confidence and resilience, symbolizing the bright future of tennis. Gauff humbly credits her success to Serena and Venus Williams, who paved the way for young talents like her to believe in their dreams, highlighting the importance of representation and the enduring legacy of Black women in sports. Black women are one of one. They set the bar and the trends. And Black women’s resilience in the face of adversity needs to be a case study for a PhD dissertation. I can’t wait to see the growth this rising star will have in the years to come.

VP Harris hosts epic hip-hop house party at White House

VP kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris pulled out all the stops, bringing together over 400 guests for an unforgettable party honoring hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. With luminaries such as Lil Wayne, Common, Jeezy, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, MC Lyte, and Wale performing their iconic hits on the front lawn of Harris’ residence in Washington D.C., the event was a dazzling spectacle of talent and culture.

The highlight of the night was the VP herself, who, clad in a vibrant 90s-inspired multicolored shirt and high-waisted pink pants, surprised everyone by dancing energetically to Q-Tip’s 1999 hit “Vivrant Thing.” Her moves and outfit perfectly captured the spirit of the occasion, showcasing the enduring influence and evolution of hip-hop over the decades. It was a night that left a profound impact and showcased the power of this cultural phenomenon. As fun as it was to experience this from the comforts of my laptop, it’s great to see the influence and growth this genre has throughout the years. They need to throw these parties every quarter and the Defender needs a special invite. That’s all I’m saying!

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