News Brief

Barbie Just Released Its First Hijab-Wearing Doll In Honor of ​Olympic Fencer

Barbie released the new doll as part of its Shero Collection honoring groundbreaking women.

Barbie has unveiled its latest doll today, in honor of U.S. fencing Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first athlete from the country to compete while wearing hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The new doll is part of Barbie's "shero" collection, inspired by trailblazing women "who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls," says production company Mattel.

"Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented," said Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie's vice marketing representative in a statement. "By honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything." Matel joins other major brands like Nike, which announced the launch of the sportswear "Pro Hijab" back in March.

Muhammad took to Twitter to share her excitement about the release of the doll, and explained why the creation of a hijab-wearing Barbie, is a major milestone for her and the young girls who will be inspired by it.

Other dolls in the Shero line include one of award-winning director Ava Duvernay, and celebrated ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

Muslim women who choose to wear hijab are making major strides in a number of industries, in June, Halima Aiden became the first women to wear hijab on the cover of Vogue.

Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

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