Gay marriage comes to Archie's Riverdale
December 21st, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Wedding bells to ring for Archie Comics' gay character

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) - One of Archie Comics' archetypal all-American teens is getting married – and it isn't to girl-next-door Betty Cooper or scheming sophisticate Veronica Lodge.

A year after introducing Riverdale’s first gay character, Kevin Keller, Archie Comics is showing his marriage to an African-American physical therapist named Clay Walker. The issue with their wedding, "Life with Archie #16," debuts at comic book stores January 4 and newsstands January 10.

It's part of a series that imagines the gang five or six years after graduation, with two alternate timelines - one in which Archie married Betty, another in which he married Veronica. Kevin's wedding appears as part of a story showing Archie and Betty's married life.

Kevin Keller is shown to have followed in his Army father's footsteps - in images released to CNN, readers learn that he served in the military and was injured while serving in Iraq. He meets Dr. Clay Walker while in a hospital’s rehabilitation unit.


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Filed under: Pop culture • Race • Relationships • Sexual orientation • Who we are
December 21st, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Barbie gets a natural hair makeover

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) - This holiday season, one group of women in Columbus, Georgia, decided to try a new, kinky hairstyle on one of pop culture's most enduring beauty icons: Barbie.

Using simple at-home methods, the Fro-lific meetup group turned the straight, shiny hair on 40 donated Barbies into natural-looking curls.The dolls went to girls living in a housing complex in Columbus - girls who might not have gotten the word that beauty isn't always tied to long, blond hair.

Fro-lific was organized by Layoce Mims and Candace McBride after they attended 'Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta. Their mission: provide support for women - and girls - who wear their hair natural. They plan to remake more Barbie styles in the future, Mims said.

Here's what Mims had to say about the group and its Barbie makeovers.

CNN: What is natural hair?

Mims: Natural hair is no relaxer, no chemical to straighten your hair out. The way it grows out your root, that’s the way you rock it.

CNN: What made you decide to start the Fro-lific meet-up group?

Mims: We thought to start the group after attending the 'Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta. We had such a great experience, so we were thinking of what can we do to bring back it back to Columbus. So, we thought to start a meet-up group to provide encouragement and support for other natural hair women or men. All the support seems to be online or on blogs, we thought, 'If you could really see someone going through it, and wearing their hair natural or transitioning, like being able to touch it, you can really see what they’re doing in person and it can encourage them to follow through with the natural process instead of going back to the relaxer.'

CNN: Why was it important to give the girls Barbie dolls with natural looking hair?

Mims: We have encountered some African-American or biracial children who have natural hair, getting picked on about the texture of their hair, how it wouldn’t lay or didn’t look or feel like the other children’s hair, so they didn’t love their hair and our job is to let them know that their hair is beautiful the way it is.


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Filed under: Black in America • How we look • Pop culture • Women
Engage: Consider women executives' legacies
A Forbes writer says female executives like former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz are portrayed unfairly.
December 21st, 2011
09:49 AM ET

Engage: Consider women executives' legacies

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Opinion: Don't buy in to negative portrayals of female executives - Forbes

Study: Immigrants behind half of nation’s start-ups - The Wall Street Journal

Opinion: Asian Americans changing the political landscape - Huffington Post

Native American woman will become a Catholic saint - USA Today

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Filed under: Engage
December 21st, 2011
09:08 AM ET

5 ways the suburbs are changing

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories about the changing American suburbs.

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Manicured lawns, minivans and modest-homes-turned-McMansions: They’re the sorts of symbols that might come to mind when we think modern suburbia.

But peer inside the windows at the people living there and the American suburbs are increasingly complex, the 2010 U.S. Census and other reports show. We’ve come a long way since “Leave It to Beaver.”

The suburbs – or rather suburbanites – represent an evolving America. And what exists today would leave June Cleaver’s perfectly coifed head, and even her strand of pearls, spinning.

Relying on various census reports culled and crunched by seasoned demographers like those at the Brookings Institution, we present a mere taste of what can be learned about the changing face – or faces – of suburbia.


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Filed under: Age • Black in America • Census • Ethnicity • How we live • Immigration • Latino in America • Where we live