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Congrats to #ZailaAvantGarde on Winning the #Scripps National #SpellingBee!!

Zaila Avant-garde shows off her pretty new hardware after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee on July 8th, 2021. Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee Instagram account.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “Murraya” is defined as a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals. However, to a young 14-year-old girl from New Orleans, Louisiana by the name of Zaila Avant-garde, the word “Murraya” means a whole lot more than that!

On July 8th, 2021 Zaila Avant-garde made history by becoming the first African-American (Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica was the first Black contestant to win the title in 1998) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the competition’s 96 year history. The event which was televised live on ESPN on Thursday evening drew a VIP crowd including First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden who was there to witness Avant-garde become a national champion! In addition to her spelling talents, Avant-garde also enjoys playing basketball and holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling the most basketballs at one time. She’s amazing! With everything going on in the world right now, it’s little victories like these that are so special.

Congrats to Zaila Avant-garde and all the contestants of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Watch the video of Avante-garde becoming a national champion by spelling the word “Murraya” below. It was the twirl at the end for us! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Zaila Avant-garde is the winner!!
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#ShirleyChisholm, A #BrooklynGirl With A Vision!

November 30th, 2020 marked the 96th birthday of politician, teacher, author and activist Shirley Chisholm. Although she is not mentioned as much as she should be when discussing American politics, Chisholm was an extremely important figure in the American political system.

Shirley Chisholm (born Shirley Anita St. Hill.) began her decorated career as a teacher’s aide in Harlem, N.Y. in 1946. Seven years later in 1953, Chisholm officially entered the world of American politics advocating for Lewis Flagg Jr. who became the first Black judge elected in Brooklyn.

Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress where she served seven terms (1969-1983). In 1972, Chisholm became the first African-American candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. As well as the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party as a presidential nominee.

However, in 2005 (only 15 years ago) when Shirley Chisholm passed, there were no national memorial services or even a nationally-televised special to honor her. Why? Chisholm single-handedly paved the way for all of today’s top political figures including fellow Brooklynite Ruth Bader Ginsburg who recently passed in September 2020.

In 2015, ten years after her death, Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2019, Shirley Chisholm State Park opened to the public in East New York, Brooklyn . The state park created to honor Chisholm in her hometown is the largest state park in New York City stretching 407 acres. Now all we need is a giant-sized statue erected in Washington D.C. to honor Chisholm who was a giant-sized figure herself.

Let’s start celebrating our heroes while they are still here living and breathing! Shirley Chisholm was a true Brooklyn girl with a vision! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

“Our confrontation must be against an all-time vision of America. Our confrontation must be against Blacks in the cotton and tobacco fields. Our confrontation must be against women in the kitchen. Our confrontation must be against Blacks at the back door and women at the bedroom door. Those bad, old days are dead.” – Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm x United States Vice President Kamala Harris courtesy of Shirley Chisholm Institute.
New York City’s first Black Mayor, David N. Dinkins standing in front of a portrait of Shirley Chisholm.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm at work.
Shirley Chisholm seated with the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.
Political Activist Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm together at an event.
Image of Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, New York.
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Robert Pattinson to Play #TheBatman in New Warner Bros. Film

Robert Pattinson as The Batman

So word on the street is Robert Pattinson is set to play The Batman in the new Matt Reeves film that is set to be released by Warner Bros. Films in late 2021. However, last week Page Six reported that Robert Pattinson was recovering from Covid-19. Well if this is true, we really hope that he gets well soon because #BrooklynGirlCode is a known supporter of anything related to The Batman and Gotham City! Page Six reported that the Twilight actor who was once engaged to Uk singer FKA twigs had fallen ill during production causing everything to come to a hault. Other acclaimed actors who are set to be featured in the new The Batman film includes Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell and others. Who’s your favorite Batman of all time? Let us know! Get well soon Robert because we’re really looking forward to this film!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3