22 Gifts Your Dude Will Actually Want For Valentine’s Day

The special guy in your life deserves a little somethin’ special on Valentine’s Day, not just a box of chocolates and a pair of Hershey’s Kisses boxers. 

To help you find something as unique as your boo, we’ve rounded 22 gifts from around the Internet that he’ll actually want to keep. 

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Why Naomie Harris Almost Turned Down 'Moonlight' Role

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Naomie Harris says she initially “didn’t want to play a crack addict” in “Moonlight.”

In an interview with The Telegraph, Harris opened up on why she was apprehensive to take on the role of the main character’s mother, Paula. The role earned Harris a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod.

Harris’ character suffers from drug addiction and is a single mom to a young boy named Chiron. Throughout the film Chiron struggles with discovering his identity in the impoverished neighborhood of Liberty City, Miami.

“I feel that there are enough negative portrayals of women in general, and black women in particular,” she said. “I grew up with this really strong mother – really intelligent, powerful, independent – and I’ve always admired her. She was part of a group of strong, powerful women as well. I very rarely saw those women represented then. So I initially said no to the role.’”  

The British actress previously told “CBS This Morning” that she overcame preconceived notions about the character after watching YouTube interviews with crack users and meeting a woman who struggled with crack addiction.

She went on to tell The Telegraph, that she’s very pleased to have discovered the nuances of Paula’s character traits.  

“The more layers I have to hide under as a character, the happier I am,” she said. “So with Paula in ‘Moonlight,’ despite the tortuous journey to get to her, once I found her was incredibly comfortable on set. Because she is so far removed. She is like the polar opposite to me.”

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Teacher Suspended After Rescinding College Letter For Student Who Made Swastika

A Massachusetts high school teacher has been suspended from her job after rescinding a college recommendation letter for a student caught making a swastika. 

The Stoughton High School teacher, an Army veteran, is one of three teachers at the eastern Massachusetts school disciplined for discussing the swastika a student fashioned from tape and displayed in a hallway. Two of the teachers received disciplinary letters. The third was suspended for 20 days because she explained to college admissions officials why she was revoking her letter of recommendation for the student.

“The student believed that he was being targeted, creating a hostile environment for him by members of the faculty because of his actions, despite having already been disciplined by the administration,” schools Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi wrote in a letter to staff that was obtained by The Enterprise newspaper in Brockton.

The teacher will serve the suspension by not teaching on Thursdays or Fridays until April. School officials have declined to identify the teachers.

John Gunning, president of the local teachers union, said he was “deeply troubled” by the discipline.

“Having the teacher serve the suspension in two-day increments for 10 weeks interrupts the continuity of instruction and is detrimental to the students,” Gunning, who leads the Stoughton Teachers Association, told The Enterprise.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, which backs the local union, called punishment of all three teachers an “injustice.”

“The MTA is vigorously defending the teachers who were disciplined, and the statewide organization will support the Stoughton Teachers Association in any way possible as it fights the injustice done to members,” Barbara Madeloni, president of the state association, told The Enterprise. “Educators will not allow bigotry and hate to take hold in our schools. Nor will we allow those who speak and act against hate speech to be silenced.” 

A GoFundMe account for the suspended teacher described her as “a very caring, funny, and most selfless teacher/veteran at Stoughton High School.” The posting said she was “simply doing her job when correcting a student in his bad behavior.”

The trouble stemmed from a November incident in which a male student was caught making a swastika out of tape by another student as they decorated the halls, according to The Enterprise. The student who had made the swastika responded by making a comment about Adolf Hitler.

It was the second time in less than a month that the school dealt with an incident involving a swastika, according to the newspaper. In an earlier incident, the symbol was used in a phone group chat involving several different students.

Police decided the swastikas didn’t constitute hate crimes, and school officials said they punished students who were involved, according to The Enterprise. Teachers asked administrators to send a letter home to parents explaining the situation, according to The Boston Globe. That didn’t happen, the Globe reported, and students and some teachers began talking about it. 

One teacher broached the subject in her classroom. Another raised the topic of anti-Semitism with fellow teachers, and privately with a student. Both were sanctioned with disciplinary letters.

The third teacher had written a letter of recommendation to a college for the boy who made the swastika. She contacted the college and explained why she was withdrawing her endorsement. A school district disciplinary committee decided last week to suspend the teacher without pay for saying why she had rescinded the letter, according to the teachers union. 

The punishments followed a complaint made to the superintendent by the mother of the boy who made the swastika.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

This 22-Year-Old Is Already An Engineer At NASA

Tiera Guinn is just 22 years old and she’s already working for NASA. 

As a Rocket Structural Design and Analysis Engineer for the Space Launch System that aerospace company Boeing is building for NASA, Guinn designs and analyzes parts of a rocket that she said will be one of the biggest and most powerful in history. 

Guinn, whose career trajectory seems like a sequel to the much-acclaimed “Hidden Figures” movie, has been aspiring to become an aerospace engineer since she was a child. 

Her mom, who noticed her daughter’s skills from a young age, made sure to Guinn stayed sharp by putting her intelligence to use…at the supermarket. 

“When [my mom and I] would go to the grocery store, she would get me to clip coupons [and] put it in my coupon organizer,” Guinn told WBRC News. “By the time we got to the register, I’d have to calculate the exact total, including tax. And I did that since I was six years old.”

“One day I saw a plane fly by and I just had this realization, ‘huh, I can design planes. I’m going to be an aerospace engineer,”’ Guinn said. 

She chose all of her middle school classes accordingly and commuted an hour to go to the high school that would best prepare her for the future.

Now, Guinn will soon be graduating from MIT with a 5.0 and is clearly on a path to success. She said she’d advise young girls looking to follow in her footsteps to expect obstacles throughout their journey. 

“You have to look forward to your dream and you can’t let anybody get in the way of it,” she said. “No matter how tough it may be, no matter how many tears you might cry, you have to keep pushing. And you have to understand that nothing comes easy. Keeping your eyes on the prize, you can succeed.”

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices