One was a dancer. One had just started college. A third worked at the Harry Potter theme park. Another was a mother who had survived cancer twice and had gone out to have fun with her son. And a bouncer who made everyone around her light up. And two men who had loved each other for 13 years. These are some of the 49 people who were murdered while attending a regular Latin night at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Most, though by no means all, of the victims were Latino men in their twenties and thirties. After their names were released by the city of Orlando, their families and friends took to social media to remember people who were, above all, good, kind and loving. (Lea historia en español aquí) Below are the names of the victims who have been publicly identified, along with some of what we know about the lives they led. Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 Ocasio-Capo, who went by Omar, was a dancer who lived in … [Read more...] about These are the victims of the Orlando massacre
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If history has taught us anything, it’s that young people will always lead the way. Whether it’s the young African-American activists marching in the streets to insist that black lives do matter or the students who hit the streets on #NationalWalkoutDay to demand changes to gun laws that will keep their schools safe, it’s clear this generation isn’t waiting around for the so-called grown-ups to do the right thing. The 25 people who make up this year’s list of Young Futurists also are not content to let adults determine their future. Since 2011, The Root has proudly honored the best and brightest African Americans between the ages of 15 and 22, the brilliant and inspirational leaders who are already charting their own paths in the worlds of business, science and tech, the arts, social justice and the environment. At a time when there is a void in leadership in Washington, D.C., and beyond, these Young Futurists are stepping up to show the world that, … [Read more...] about Young Futurists 2018: These Are the Leaders This Country So Desperately Needs
We laid many of our beloved black icons, role models and pioneers to rest in 2017. From legends such as Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Della Reese to modern-day stars like Charlie Murphy and Prodigy; from unsung heroes like civil rights activists and black firsts to men, women and children killed by police, and to members of the transgender community, who continue to be killed in record numbers, this list reminds us that time is fleeting. As we look ahead to 2018, let’s remember the people who boldly paved the way for us, demonstrated what it means to truly live, and made us laugh or inspired us to live our best lives, all while changing the world in the process. January Mesha Caldwell A beautician and hairstylist, Mesha Caldwell is recorded as the first transgender person killed this year. On Jan. 4, the 41-year-old was found dead outside of Canton, Miss., and her death was investigated by police as a homicide. GLAAD reported that 2016 was the deadliest year for transgender … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: Remembering Those We Lost in 2017
On the Monday before Christmas break at an elementary school in Pearland, Texas, just south of Houston, a five-year-old girl named Kai went with the rest of her kindergarten classmates to the library. Physically slight but hugely affectionate with silky blond hair, Kai loved her teacher, her classmates, and her school. Yet a short time later, Kai’s family claims, she was crying and standing over a puddle on the hallway floor. Accidents aren’t uncommon for kindergarteners, of course. But when Kai’s mother, Kimberly Shappley, picked her up that day, Kai was wearing different clothes than what she’d gone to school in, her original outfit was wet and balled up in her backpack, and she was distraught. “That day she made a big deal of it, because in her mind and her heart, it was a different feeling, and she knew it was different,” said Kimberly. Kai assured her this accident wasn’t because she’d gotten distracted playing or waited until the … [Read more...] about She Was an Ultraconservative Texas Christian. Then Kai Was Born and Everything Changed.
This fall, two television shows starring Latinas, and featuring American Latina culture, made it to primetime. In Cristela, we've seen a milestone: it's the first-ever primetime sitcom not only starring a Latina (any Latina!) but also created, written, and produced by her as well. Cristela Alonzo, a 35-year-old, Mexican-American comedian/writer from San Juan, Tejas, is blazing through barriers and has created a show based on her family, to boot. On the other hand, this fall we've also got Jane the Virgin, based on the novela Juana la Virgen, which is maybe a bit more fantastical given its origins, but also shows a Latina family (including Puerto Rican-American actor Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanuevas) in a light that hasn't necessarily been seen, barring maybe Ugly Betty (RIP!), in a primetime, network-TV setting. I wanted to do a mid-season temp check with these shows, and to dig in to TV representations of Latinas in general, I assembled four fellow Mexican-American writers to … [Read more...] about 5 Latinas Discuss