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Thandiwe Newton Corrects Spelling of Name: ‘I’m Taking Back What’s Mine’

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The announcement comes after an interview with British Vogue’s Diana Evans. Newton, born Melanie Thandiwe Newton Parker, says her Zimbabwean mother Nyasha gave her the name. She is the princess of a Shona chiefly family. In the interview, Newton informs Evans that her name means “beloved” in Zimbabwe’s Shona language.

What We Know:

  • Newton’s correction is part of her ongoing effort to be herself. She claims that she hid her identity due to racism that started in her childhood. When she attended Catholic school in Cornwall, she recalls that the W in her name went out of sight and earshot because she wanted to feel less different. At the same institution, she could not be in a class photo because of her cornrows. In ballet, she never received trophies due to her “brown” skin color. When she started acting, people “carelessly missed out” the W in her name. The misspelling goes all the way back to her first acting credit which recognizes her as “Thandie.”

“That’s my name. It’s always been my name,” she declared.

  • At times in Newton’s career, filmmakers rejected her for not being “Black enough.” Directors have asked her to compromise her looks. Newton recalled that during her audition for her debut performance in Flirting, director John Duigan asked her if she could “be a bit darker.” She was also asked to be tanner by that Monday.
  • Additionally, Newton refused a role in Charlie’s Angels because former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal said a Black female character should be sexy but not university educated. British newspapers criticized her when she won a BAFTA. Her father is British and her birthplace is London; however, the source denied Newton’s heritage because of her mother’s culture.
  • Newton feels it is important to be sincere about her experiences and identity, especially as an avid activist. Among supporting various movements, she has been vocal about sexual harassment. She feels compelled to help others because of her ordeal. On the set of Flirting, a 39-year-old Duigan groomed 16-year-old Newton. When a publicist asked Newton to stop talking about sexual abuse because it was not good for her reputation, she terminated the contract. She said she needed to continue helping others who have similar stories.
  • She has also fought to ensure women are paid the same as men. While filming Westworld, she and co-star Evan Rachel Wood started being paid the same as their male counterparts. Despite the situation leaving her “disgusted,” Newton holds that she is setting a precedent in the industry that she wants to see normalized. She also wants studio heads to take more responsibility for the issue.

Newton confirmed to Evans that all her future films will have the new spelling of her name. She wants the public to know she is now in full control of her life, and all her adventures have led her to this. The Emmy and BAFTA-Award-Winning actress finished her interview by announcing, “I am taking back what is mine.”

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Cannabis

Jaleel White Launches Cannabis Brand ‘Purple Urkle’

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The Family Matters actor launched his own cannabis brand in a partnership with 710 Labs.

What We Know:

  • Jaleel White’s new cannabis line is called ‘ItsPurpl’, and features variants of a popular cannabis strain ‘Purple Urkle’. The brand will launch onto California dispensary shelves on April 20, 2021. The brand has plans to potentially grow more marketplaces in the future. White revealed in a statement to Forbes that he was frustrated in seeing there was no brand leader for the ‘Purple Urkle’ weed strain.
  • Purple weed is made possible by the use of Flavonoids. Flavonoids are a class of plant pigments and the pigments work in combination with other chemicals to give plants distinctive and varied colors. The main Flavonoid responsible for purple cannabis is Anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives plants a red, purple, or blue hue depending on the pH level. A more neutral pH level gives plants a purple color.
  • ‘Purple Urkle’ has been around since cannabis was legalized in California. White’s variant of ‘Purple Urkle’ will be sold as eighths. Additionally, the brand will include vape pens with live rosin pods and Noodle Doinks. Noodle Doinks is a hand-rolled joint that has a rotini pasta filter. White has admitted that he plans to create edibles but states, “We gotta crawl before we can walk.”
  • 710 Labs founder, Brad Melshenker, believed that collaboration with White made perfect sense. He revealed that he generally doesn’t do celebrity partnerships, but he and White are actually friends which makes the collaboration genuine. The two individuals met on a flight and connected over their shared love for cannabis.

710 Labs began in Boulder, Colorado in 2009 and has since moved its base to Los Angeles, California.

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Daughter of Dennis Rodman Makes History in Her NWSL Debut

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Trinity Rodman cemented her professional soccer debut with a goal on Saturday for Washington’s Spirit team.

What We Know:

  • Rodman is 18 and just became the youngest player ever drafted in the league as the second overall pick in 2021. She subbed in for fellow teammate Kumi Yokoyama after 55 minutes and scored after playing five minutes during the game. Yokoyama originally put Spirit on the scoreboard with a goal. The Washington Spirit lost the game to North Carolina Courage in the National Woman’s Soccer League (NWSL).
  • Rodman’s father, Dennis Rodman, won five NBA league championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. Dennis is regarded as one of the most prolific defensive players and rebounders in NBA history. Despite her father’s notable accomplishments, she admits that her role model is actually her mother, Michelle.

“I just want everyone to know that my mom’s been my support system in everything in life and she’s my best friend and my rock,” Trinity stated after the game.

  • The Spirit team is due to return to their home at Audi Field and host Racing Louisville FC in the challenge cup on Thursday. Prior to her pro career, Rodman was a finalist for U.S Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year. She was the standout for the women’s U.S U20 National team. She scored eight goals and six assists at the 2020 CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship last March.
  • Rodman was originally supposed to play for Washington State as a freshman, but the 2020 NCAA season was postponed until the spring. Trinity plays the forward position and in 2018 played 164 minutes in the U-17 Women’s World Cup and provided one assist. She was the number one high school recruit in the country in 2020 and had extensive international experience, having played throughout the U.S National Team system.

So far, Rodman has significantly impacted Washington’s Spirit team and hopefully can continue to surprise senior players in the NWSL.

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Entertainment

Kid Cudi Pays Tribute to Kurt Cobain with Floral Dress for SNL Debut

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The performance took place days after the 27th anniversary of the Nirvana singer’s death.

What We Know:

  • Rapper Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, performed songs from his latest album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, on this week’s Saturday Night Live episode. In both of his performances, “Tequila Shots” and “Sad People,” he paid tribute to lost celebrities.
  • While singing “Tequila Shots,” Cudi wore a fuzzy olive-green cardigan. It was similar to one Kurt Cobain sported during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York months before his death in 1994. Underneath the cardigan, he donned a white shirt with a headshot of late SNL comedian Chris Farley, who passed away in 1997.
  • When Cudi performed “Sad People,” he changed into a spaghetti-strap floral-print dress. This was another tribute to Cobain, as he wore similar apparel on the cover of “The Face” in 1993.
  • Many fans praised Cudi for his attire and performance. They were happy that he was spreading awareness about suicide and prevention on SNL. Cobain committed suicide at the age of 27. Cudi has also struggled with mental health issues. In 2016, he registered himself into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges.”  He made the statement on Facebook and signed the post with this real name. He described himself as “a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions every day of my life” on the social media page. Additionally, he said his depression and anxiety ruled his life for as long as he could remember. He emphasized he would no longer hold himself back. His openness sparked a national conversation on Black men’s mental health.
  • Cudi mentioned on Twitter that Off White CEO Virgil Abloh designed the dress for him. Furthermore, he mentioned that he wanted to commemorate Cobain somehow in the outfit.

In a follow-up tweet, Cudi announced he is collaborating with Off White. He also stated the dress he wore on SNL would be included in the collection. Cudi is continuing Cobain’s legacy of advocacy and acceptance to ensure no one else succumbs to their battle with mental illness.

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