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Rachel Noerdlinger, right, escorts Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, to a June 3, 2020 press conference. | Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

When a routine tally of New York’s top 50 political operatives was published over the summer, a group of Black consultants immediately took note of the list’s lack of racial diversity.

Some of them made the grade but felt they were ranked unjustifiably low, given their professional success. Others weren’t listed at all. So they reached out to the publisher of the news outlet, City & State, to air their concerns.

Last week, after the same publication ran a story claiming a sitting Black female lawmaker “crashed, burned and flamed out,” the consultants said they’d had enough. Despite several apologies and swift corrective action from the publisher, Tom Allon, they are forming an advocacy organization to force change in how they are depicted in media coverage. …


Back to the Future

The champion, whose work exceeded her sport, urged women to demand what we deserve and own our power

Venus Williams holding her Wimbledon trophy in 2000 on a Windows 95 desktop with a rainbow gradient background.
Venus Williams holding her Wimbledon trophy in 2000 on a Windows 95 desktop with a rainbow gradient background.
Photo illustration; Image source: Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

This story is a part of our Back to the Future series on how key moments in the year 2000 influenced similar events in 2020.

Venus Ebony Starr Williams is a woman who has always owned her power.

Confident in her beautiful brown skin with a big game and an even bigger determination, she charted a path to historic wins while fighting systemic racism, sexism, and unequal pay one trophy at a time.

Like Venus, I began my sports career in the mid-1990s, and more than any woman I encountered, Venus did the most to make me feel like her wins were my wins. As I climbed that lonely corporate ladder in sports media, eventually going on to become one of the first Black women promoted to vice president at ESPN and a founding editor of ESPN Magazine, she was there, making me proud, lifting me up. …

About

Roxanne Jones

Fighter. Writer. Author. Producer. CNN opinion columnist. Radio Voice. CEO. A Founding Editor ESPN Mag. Inspired beach bum. A wild flower stretching to the sun.

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