After becoming the first black woman to win an Oscar Award for costume design last month, the internet buzzed with her name, but Ruth Carter’s legacy began decades ago. In fact, her career in film started more than 30 years ago when she designed costumes for Spike Lee’s “School Daze”in 1987. Since then, she’s worked with some of Hollywood’s most prominent directors including Robert Townsend, Ava Duvernay, Steven Spielberg, John Singleton, Lee Daniels and of course, Spike Lee.
"Nothing comes easy, that’s what my dad always said to me and my brother…” Shaquem Griffin said in his 2019 acceptance speech at the NFL Honors. Griffin was awarded the 2019 NFL Game Changer award for a very unique reason. While his rookie season was a good one, and his on field production was solid, that was only part of the reason he received recognition. The Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker was given such a prestigious honor because of his perseverance due to a rare disorder that he was born with, which led to his left hand being amputated.
Shaquem, 23, was born with amniotic band syndrome, and due to complications, he was forced to have his hand amputated at only four-years-old. Shaquem learned to adapt and perform regular daily things despite having only one hand. He never made excuses , and his support system wouldn’t allow him to.
“Growing up as a child, being told what I couldn’t do, it can weigh heavy on your heart. But I had family, I had my brothers, I had those around me to keep my head straight, to keep my hopes high, and now I can say I’m blessed and I’m honored to be here in front of you.”
Tangled in a web of thick vines and bright leaves, a face stares back at me. I cannot quite tell who it is, but I feel the face is playful. It is pouting its lips as if asking for a kiss and beneath it, there is another one flipped upside down.