HuffPost Her Stories: 'We Built This' Celebrates Resilient Black Women

Plus: How Facebook is dealing with "flashers."
Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

“HuffPost Her Stories” is a new series highlighting HuffPost’s coverage of women’s lives from across our 15 global editions. Sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

Dear reader,

HuffPost U.S. has been marking Black History Month with a series celebrating today’s black history makers. Taryn Finley, who spearheaded the project, wrote about her intent to reclaim the narrative of black history through stories, videos, photos and conversations that go beyond the one-dimensional portraits of U.S. civil rights leaders that tend to circulate each February.

Taryn interviewed more than a dozen people — from award-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to “Orange Is The New Black” actress Danielle Brooks — for the “We Built This” series.

Brooks, Hannah-Jones and other extraordinary women talk about their experiences navigating industries in which black women are woefully underrepresented, and they reveal how they’re working to empower younger generations.

Taryn said resilience was a theme that repeatedly came up during the interviews.

“From [professor, cancer awareness advocate and model] Ericka Hart turning her battle with breast cancer into a vehicle to educate black femmes to Danielle Brooks using her voice despite Hollywood trying to put her in a box as a curvy black woman, these stories remind us to keep fighting,” she said. “These women exemplify strength, grace and courage for their audacity to break barriers and pave the way for generations to come.”

The series of in-depth interviews, accompanied by powerful visuals, has garnered a lot of positive attention. “Both our audience and the participants have been excited to see the portraits, shot by Kris Graves, and the profiles done in a way that shines a light on black excellence,” Taryn said. Hannah-Jones and Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim shouted out the series on social media, and both MTV News and BuzzFeed’s online morning show AM2DM featured it in Black History Month segments. But in her interview with the morning show, Taryn emphasized her intention to keep the multidimensional stories of black Americans coming throughout the year.

“We want to continue this because black history is not just relegated to this month, and we need this,” she said.

Until next time,


For more on black Americans breaking barriers and confronting challenges, follow HuffPost’s @_TARYNitUP and @blackvoices on Twitter and sign up for the Black Voices newsletter.

Dahaba Ali Hussen and Melanie Macleod.
Dahaba Ali Hussen and Melanie Macleod.

HuffPost U.K. reported this week on how common it has become for Facebook users — particularly women — to receive unwanted graphic images from strangers. A YouGov report from 2017 found that 53 percent of millennial women in the U.S. (18 to 34 years old) had received an unsolicited sexual image online. Some of these images are sent via Facebook Messenger, which appears to have a higher tolerance for these sorts of photos than the main Facebook platform, HuffPost U.K. reports. One woman said Facebook ignored her complaint about an unsolicited “dick pic” sent via Messenger but promptly shut down her account when she shared the same image on her profile page in a warning to friends. Some politicians in the U.K. have been pushing for a blanket ban on so-called cyberflashing, but women told HuffPost U.K. that tech companies need to take the lead in policing their platforms.

HuffPost Canada

The creator, star and director of the hit Canadian comedy “Workin’ Moms” spoke with HuffPost Canada about her own challenges balancing motherhood, marriage and a career. Catherine Reitman said working on her award-winning show, which follows four women fresh off maternity leave, has been a “cathartic” experience.

“Unfortunately, being a mother, even though it is the most common experience all over the world, is the most lonely experience all over the world,” she said. “We’re all doing it and I think many of us are too afraid to tell our true story to each other.” The show aims to tell that true story, delving into tough topics such as postpartum depression and mom guilt. But Reitman also writes into the script the sort of female friendships she wishes she’d had to help with the feeling of isolation. And fans are responding. “When they reach out to me, it’s about that unit,” she said, referring to the friendship between lead characters Ann and Kate. The first season of the series, which debuted in 2017, drops globally on Netflix this week.

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