Happy Holidays! Or, damn it, if Omicron derailed your plans. Just one week from 2022, there are plenty of surprises. Whether you’re at the airport hoping the flight isn’t canceled, doing some last minute shopping, or wrapped in a weighted blanket looking for the best Christmas movie – “The Preacher’s Wife” – here is a few things you might have missed this week.
1. This Is The Remix: Diddy buys fashion brand Sean John for 7.5 million dollars
Looks like Sean “Diddy” Combs bought back what is his. The eponymous brand of hip hop mogul Sean John was launched in 1998 and quickly achieved critical and commercial success. Sean John has since grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand including sportswear, bespoke suits, dress shirts, ties, tights, eyewear, children’s wear, perfumes, watches, outerwear, underwear, loungewear, cold weather accessories, hats and shoes. Diddy sold a majority of the brand’s sake in 2016. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021. With the return of Baby Phat, and now Sean John, perhaps the early nostalgia can be completed by a resurgence of Roc-A-Wear.
2. Nikole Hannah-Jones launches 1619 Freedom School
It’s been a hell of a year for Nikole Hannah Jones. the ESSENCE Cover star, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and educator, rejected a long and late tenure offer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to join Howard University’s faculty. Now she has her own school. Hannah-Jones announced the opening of 1619 Freedom School, an after-school literacy program in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. She noted, “The reading scores of black students were 30 points lower than whites before the pandemic.” Despite its large black population, Waterloo is one of the most segregated cities in the state.
3. Atlanta Season 3 release date finally announced
March marks the second year of the Covid pandemic and the only saving grace for the new year is the much anticipated return of FX comedy Atlanta. After an almost four-year delay due to scheduling conflicts, creator Donald Glover and his co-stars Bryan Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz return to reprise their roles as Earn, Paper Boi, Darius and Van on the 24th. March. Possibly titled “Catching Flights,” Season 3, is the must-have sequel to Season 2, “Robbin ‘Season”. Looks like Paper Boi was really all about his paper boy.
4. FDA approves first injectable HIV prevention drugs
The Food and Drug Administration has announced approval of the first long-acting injectable drug for use as pre-exposure prevention, or PrEP, against HIV. Until now, the only drugs authorized and approved by the FDA for HIV PrEP have been daily oral pills. Apretude is an injectable given every two months as an alternative to HIV prevention pills, such as Truvada and Descovy. While new HIV infections fell 8% between 2015 and 2019, the CDC reported that in 2019, blacks / African Americans accounted for 44% of new HIV diagnoses. The CDC is on track to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.
5. Jennifer King is the first black woman to hold the position of head coach of the NFL
Making NFL history, Jennifer King is the first black woman to hold the post of head coach. The former Washington assistant coach took over during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles after running backs coach Randy Jordan had to miss the game due to COVID-19 protocols. King became the second woman to coach full-time in the NFL, and the first black woman to do so. The historic moment is a much needed upheaval for the NFL as the diversity among coaches is disturbing. Only three head coaches are black while nearly 60% of the league’s players are black.
6. Omicron hits airlines, scrapped thousands of holiday weekend flights around the world
The Omicron variant steals Christmas. Between illnesses of airline staff from the Omicron surge and potentially severe weather conditions, thousands of travelers are facing flight delays and cancellations. Reports show that more than 2,000 flights were canceled around the world on Christmas Eve. With airport congestion, the world’s top airline medical advisers have greater concerns. Bloomberg reported: “Airplane passengers are two or even three times more likely to catch Covid-19 during a flight since the emergence of the omicron variant. ”
Be sure to watch ESSENCE’s editors recap the best moments of 2021 here and here.