Ava DuVernay, Korryn Gaines: One day of writing, two different black women

Today, I published two pieces on Vice's Broadly. The stories they share are very different, but they both focus on a black woman who caught headlines this week. 

The first piece is about Selma director Ava DuVernay, who just became the first woman of color to work on a film with a $100 million budget. Only two other women have reached this feat. With Disney's full confidence, she's bringing us A Wrinkle in Time, due out next year.

Insert that awesome hashtag #BlackWomenDidThat.

The second story is about 23-year-old Korryn Gaines, who died earlier this week in Maryland when police kicked in her door to serve her a warrant. She barricaded herself in her apartment with her 5-year-old son and a shot gun. After an hours-long standoff, police shot into the home without knowing where the child was. Gaines returned fire; she was killed, and her son was shot in the arm. 

Photo via Instagram

Photo via Instagram

Here's a quote I didn't have space to include in my story, from Kali Gross, a professor of African-American studies at Wesleyan University. I think it says a lot.

I think we need to address the fact that a large number of police are racist and do not place a lot of value on black lives. When the perpetrators are white, they’re able to bring them in without being killed. Whether they shoot police, whether they shoot nine innocent people in a church, whether they’re in front of the police holding a gun yelling, 'Shoot me!' They’re able to somehow de-escalate the situation and bring white perpetrators in unharmed.

I joked with my editor that writing for Vice has made me really disgusted with the world. It's part of the reason why I asked to highlight DuVernay's accomplishment. 

Dear society. More good, please.