CHILDREN’S BOOK COMPANY JOINS FORCES TO COMBAT SICKLE CELL DISEASE — RELEASES NEW BOOK, “BREAKING THE SICKLE”

Fort Worth, TX (BlackNews.com) — Melanin Origins LLC, a children’s book company that writes biographies of African-American leaders, has partnered with Sickle Cell Disease Association of North Texas (SCDANT) in effort to increase the quality of life for those living with sickle cell conditions. The partnership includes Melanin Origins donating 25% of the proceeds from their latest book, Breaking The Sickle: A Snippet of The Life of Dr. Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette to SCDANT.

The late Dr. Francis-McBarnette was a pioneer in treating patients battling sickle cell anemia. The work that she did helped prolong lives and improve the quality of life for patients around the world. Former President Nixon created policies and initiatives that greatly impacted the nation due to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Francis-McBarnette.

Sickle Cell Disease Association of North Texas is a 501(c)3 organization committed to providing meaningful support for persons living with sickle cell conditions, as well as promoting awareness in the community. In addition to hosting blood drives, funding research, visiting hospitals, and volunteering initiatives, SCDANT offers programs aimed at off-setting qualifying expenses incurred due to having sickle cell.

It is clear what makes this partnership special: the promotion of literacy, providing hope to children, and giving back to a resilient community of people who champion living and surviving conditions that they did not ask for.

The mission of Melanin Origins LLC is to provide quality education materials which inspire young minds to aspire for excellence while embracing their heritage.

More information can be found about this partnership at www.MelaninOrigins.com.

Girls feel less ‘smart’ than boys by age 6, research says

— By the age of 6, girls already consider boys more likely to show brilliance and more suited to “really, really smart” activities than their own gender, according to a new study.

The US-based researchers found that at the age of 5, girls viewed themselves as being just as capable as their male counterparts in terms of brilliance. But by age 6, they were already perceiving their own gender differently.

The report, published Thursday in the journal Science, is based on results from a range of experiments on 400 children.

In one test, researchers told the children a story about a person who was “really, really smart.”

“We were very careful to leave out any clues as to the person’s gender,” said researcher Lin Bian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois.

The children were then asked to guess who the protagonist of the story was. At age 5, both boys and girls picked out characters of their own gender.

But within a year, that had changed.

Boys still picked boys, she said — but girls were picking boys, too.

“Suddenly, at age 6, girls became less likely than boys to do this,” Bian said.

In another scenario, the children were tasked with an activity that was labeled as being for “really, really smart kids.” At age 5, both boys and girls were enjoying these activities equally, said Bian. But by 6 and 7, the girls had lost interest.

However, in another task, the children were asked to choose who would get the best grades in school from four children, two girls and two boys. No difference was seen between the younger and older girls’ likelihood of choosing their own gender.

The researchers believe the overall results imply that from a young age, children are already absorbing the stereotypes of their gender, such as what kinds of activities girls and boys “should” be interested in.

“When they enter school around 5 or 6 years of age, they get to have much more exposure to the cultural message, and that’s when they learn a great deal of the information about the social world,” Bian said. “It seems to lead girls away from the types of activities that are for really smart kids.”

Young girls are learning these stereotypes from multiple sources: media, peers, teachers and parents, she adds.

But Madeleine Portwood, a child psychologist in the UK, believes it’s due to developmental difference at that age. She was unsurprised by the findings. “Gender stereotyping is evident at age 6. … Boys are more likely prone to telling everyone ‘I am smart’ or ‘I am strong’ and constantly require reassurance,” she said. “Girls are more conciliatory and look at someone else’s point of view.”

Portwood, who is also director of the Witherslack Group of special educational schools, said this is what she hears regularly in the classroom and playground. Although society today, and teachers in the classroom, are addressing the balance, the matter still needs to be prioritized, she said. “This study raises awareness not to be complacent that we’re raising equality,” she said.

Portwood was also unsurprised that no difference was seen when the young children were asked about who would achieve the best grades. “There wouldn’t be a difference, because girls are generally empowered to achieve academically,” she said.

The study itself surmises that these stereotypes become entrenched at a very young age and ultimately discourage adult women from entering professions that require special mental abilities. It goes on to argue that women are “underrepresented” in fields in which members cherish brilliance, such as physics and philosophy.

Bian said social stereotypes are absorbed so early on that by the time girls are young women and in a position to make a decision about their careers, their minds are made up.

“They probably don’t consider themselves as brilliant,” she said. “And when they reach adulthood, it will be very hard to convince them otherwise. We need to do something from early on.”

Portwood added that universities and higher education establishments have done a lot to address gender differences and equalize the ratios of boys and girls in typically biased subjects, such as science, but that more should be done to achieve the same improvement in the workplace. “We still have a way to go to encourage companies to appoint more female directors.”

Bian said more research is required to determine exactly how teachers and parents can tackle this “cultural phenomenon,” and she believes the answers won’t be simple.

However, researchers say there are steps that can be taken now. For instance, a strong female role model has shown in some instances to “inoculate” girls from this social stereotype.

Above all, Bian said, parents and teachers should advertise the importance of hard work and effort, as opposed to the idea of brilliance. “Everyone does better when hard work is perceived as the key to success.”

‘You are welcome here’ – Refugee school plastered with signs

— The International Community School has been a fixture in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur for 15 years. It’s a public charter school where refugee children learn side by side neighborhood kids.

On Monday, when students arrived at school, they were greeted by signs. Dozens and dozens of them planted along the sidewalks. “You are welcome here,” said one. “You are loved,” said another.

They’d been placed by neighbors — and strangers — who wanted to send a message of solidarity after President Trump’s executive order banning refugee resettlement.

“Seeing them all together,” said Tanya Myers, a neighborhood resident, “was a really powerful sign.”

From 1 to 50

It started with one sign.

A neighbor posted on Facebook a photo of a sign she’d made and placed outside the school.

Soon, others followed.

Ten, then 20, then 50.

“You could see neighbors and their children pouring in,” resident Emily Holler said, recounting her trip to the school Sunday evening to leave a sign. “Everybody saying how wonderful the community is.”

Sign making party

Danny Vincent, a neighborhood resident, told CNN she asked her daughter if she wanted to make a sign.

On Sunday afternoon, she hosted five families with children ages 2 to 12 to make signs.

“For them, it was really important,” Vincent told CNN. “I think a lot of the stuff that we’ve tried to talk about, even at an 8-year-old level, feels very abstract.

“I can say pretty confidently when she gets nervous that she is safe and she’s going to be okay, but that there are a lot of kids that aren’t. So the opportunity for her and her friends to do something tangible in the face of something confusing and out of their control, when even the adults in their lives are nervous, is really empowering.”

Trump fires acting AG after she declines to defend travel ban

— President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said.

“(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said.

Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the White House said, and was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, per an administration official.

Trump didn’t call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter, according to a different administration official.

The dramatic move came soon after CNN reported Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

The move set up a clash between the White House and Yates, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and was set to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is confirmed.

“My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts,” she said in a letter. “In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Trump’s executive order, signed Friday, bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program. Yates’ decision came amid a flood of protests against the executive order nationwide and after four federal judges ruled against Trump’s order, staying its impact on people who were detained at US airports over the weekend.

Trump tweeted his response shortly after the news broke, saying Democrats have stymied Sessions’ confirmation, enabling Yates.

“The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.,” he said.

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates wrote.

Yates’ decision was always likely to be extremely short-lived as Sessions is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

White House policy director Stephen Miller, who helped craft the executive order, called Yates’ decision “a further demonstration of how politicized our legal system has become.”

“It’s sad that our politics have become so politicized, that you have people refusing to enforce our laws,” Miller said Monday night on MSNBC.

Miller also defended the executive order’s legality, insisting that the Immigration and Nationality Act gives the President “the ability to exclude any class of would-be visitors or immigrants to our country based on our national security interests.”

But the decision didn’t face the same criticism from Rep. Pete Sessions, a top House Republican, who said Yates’ decision was likely similar “to an evaluation that we made.”

“And that was it did not appear to be specific in nature,” Sessions said referring to the executive order. “So it may be a matter of clarity it may be a matter of illegality to him, it may be a matter of several things. It did not look as complete and succinct as what I think I would’ve wanted.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, praised Yates for standing up “on principle.”

“In all my years as a member of Congress, which now is 21, I’ve met so many very principled people who truly believe in the Constitution and doing what is right,” Cumming said. “There comes a time when people, no matter who may be their boss, they stand upon their principles, so at the end of the day they can look them selves in the mirror and say ‘I synchronized my conduct with my conscience.’ And Yates is such a person.”

Currently, there are cases filed in at least five states including Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Washington and California that are challenging Trump’s order.

The decision effectively grounds the executive order for the next few days until Sessions is sworn in.

“This will be moot. Then we will very much see the Trump Justice Department led by Jeff Sessions defend this executive order pretty vigorously. And then it will be up to the courts,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor and law professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN’s Erin Burnett Monday the Justice Department decision reflects poorly on the Trump administration.

“When you do something as important as this, it can’t be a Twitter-type of activity,” Schumer said. “This has to be thoroughly vetted … and it’s a very bad omen for this presidency.”

Activists who have led the fight against Trump’s immigration ban lauded Yates’ action Monday night.

“We took to the court room, people took to the streets and now principled federal officials are drawing a hardline on this shameful and unconstitutional act by President Trump. This is what we rely on the Department of Justice for, to uphold the rule of law no matter how the political wind is blowing,” said Karen Tumlin, the National Immigration Law Center’s legal director.

Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued against the immigration ban in court in New York, praised Yates’ decision and called on the next attorney general to “continue with that policy.”

“This ban will do irreparable damage to real people and to American values,” he said.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Theodore Schleifer contributed to this report.

Last chance to sign up for Obamacare for 2017 coverage

— Attention: Now’s your last chance to sign up for Obamacare coverage for 2017.

Almost lost in the political battle that surrounds the health reform law is the fact that open enrollment ends on Tuesday.

Enrollment in Obamacare this year will prove a critical indicator of the program’s value to Americans. Sign-ups have been running ahead of the prior year, a sign of its popularity, according to former Obama administration officials. Before they left office, they focused on boosting enrollment with television ads, online outreach, in-person enrollment campaigns and the hashtag #coveragematters.

More than 11.5 million people signed up for coverage through the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, and the 11 state-based and Washington D.C. exchanges, as of Dec. 24, according to the latest comprehensive data available. That’s 286,000 more than the comparable time a year earlier.

The Obama administration projected last fall that 13.8 million people will sign up this open enrollment season, which began Nov. 1.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans, however, paint Obamacare as a program that burdens consumers and is on the verge of collapse. The Department of Health & Human Services last week pulled the final $4 to $5 million in advertising promoting the end of open enrollment. The move was decried by advocates and insurers, noting that the final days of enrollment are crucial in attracting younger, healthier consumers.

Though Trump and Congress have started the process to repeal Obamacare, the program will continue this year and possibly next. Insurers have signed contracts to provide coverage through this year.

Insurers are also closely watching this year’s enrollment figures, which will play a role in whether they decide to remain in the market in 2018 and what premiums they charge.

Residents of Minnesota, which runs its own exchange, will have through Feb. 8 to enroll. MNsure, the state exchange, extended enrollment so consumers can take advantage of a new state law that provides an automatic 25% reduction in premiums to those who buy policies on the exchange but aren’t eligible for federal subsidies.

HBCU Round-Up Women’s Bowling Recaps – January 27-29

Rattler Invitational (Florida A&M)

Alabama State

Southern

Alabama A&M

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Alabama State women’s bowling team capped off its weekend with two wins to capture the Rattler Invitational title on Sunday.

The Lady Hornets opened the day with a 4-2 loss to No. 23 UAB, but bounced back with a 4-2 win over Louisiana Tech, sending Alabama State into the championship match and a rematch with UAB.

In the final, the Lady Hornets won the opening game, 166-159 and took a 2-0 advantage after a 205-178 win in the second game. ASU led 3-0 after a 246-176 win. However, UAB stormed back to tie the match, 215-194, 174-149 and 247-190. Alabama State captured the title after a 240-196 win in the seventh and final game.

The Lady Hornets, who went 11-2 over the weekend, had two placed on the all-tournament team and three finished inside the top 10 individually.

Rebecca Hresko and Haley Young were named to the all-tournament team.

Hresko finished third individually with a 993 total pinfall and averaged a 198.6 in five team games. Young finished fifth (981 total pins) in five team matches with a 196.2. Jessica Sawmiller registered an eighth-place finish with a 191.4 average.

Alabama State returns to action Feb. 3-5 at Texas Southern.

Courtesy of Alabama State Sports Information

Southern and Alabama A&M also participated in the event. Brielle Dean and Sarah LeDuff, who finished in 20th and 21st in the individual standings led the way for the Jaguars. The Bulldogs were led by Jewel Richardson, who was 27th in the individual standings.

Prairie View A&M Invitational (Prairie View A&M)

Prairie View A&M

Texas Southern

Jackson State

RESULTS

ARLINGTON, Texas – Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern and Jackson State all competed in the Prairie View A&M invitational hosted by the Panthers over the weekend.

Jackson State came in 9th, the Panthers finished in 11th and the Texas Southern rounded out the standings in 12th place. Jackson State struggled to a 1-10 record overall for the weekend, while Prairie View A&M finished at 4-7 and TSU finished at 2-9 for the event. Jackson State totaled 9,822 pins, the Panthers knocked down 9,691, and TSU knocked down 9,636 pins.

Nebraska would win the event, while Vanderbilt finished in second, and McKendree rounded out the top three.

Marcella Sanchez was the only member of the SWAC to crack the top 20 in the individual standings. Sanchez knocked down an average of 198.33 pins per contest, which was ranked 16th in the individual standings.

All three schools will be in action again on Feb 10-12 in the Stephen F Austin Jacks Invitational.

Trump move leads to confusion and chaos between White House, Congress

— Confusion and chaos.

It’s not the imagery one might expect from a President who promised to bring private sector competency to governing.

But in temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending the Syrian refugee program, President Donald Trump and his team acted more like he did as a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants candidate than an orderly CEO, giving little direction to those expected to interpret and carry out orders that have real world consequences.

“You have an extreme vetting proposal that didn’t get the vetting it should have had,” Republican Sen. Rob Portman told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday’s “State of the Union.”GOP senator: Trump’s travel ban ‘wasn’t properly vetted’

“As the result, in the implementation, we’ve seen some problems,” he added.

Problems on policy, and a political quandary for the President’s fellow Republicans.

Since Trump was elected, congressional Republicans from leadership on down have been preparing to deal with an unconventional President. Many GOP sources say that means picking their battles — not criticizing every controversial move he makes. But even Republican sources who say they wanted to be supportive of what could have been a popular move aimed at making Americans more safe, say they felt compelled to condemn it because it was handled so poorly.

“I think it’s a good idea to tighten the vetting process. But I also think it’s important to remember that some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims, both in this country and overseas,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, who tries to be supportive of Trump, said in this case the “executive order has been poorly implemented.”

He told CNN’s Phil Mattingly Monday he found out about the Trump policy move through press reports.

“I think they know it could’ve been done in a better way and my guess is they’re going to try and clean it up,” Corker said. “They probably learned that communication and the inter agency process would probably be helpful.”

The White House talking point in the wake of chaos and criticism is that it had to be a close hold.

“If we announced this a lot earlier it would have given people plenty of time to flood into the country who planned to do us harm. That’s not a sound strategy. The people that needed to be kept in the loop were kept in the loop,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday.

Yet even the GOP House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul — who backed the idea in general — wasn’t consulted either.

Several high-profile Republicans say the sloppy executive order will actually help recruit potential terrorists.

“I think the effect will probably, in some areas, give ISIS some more propaganda,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain.

One GOP lawmaker concerned about Trump’s actions found a silver lining, noting that this is an early signal to worried Americans that checks and balances can work. Five courts temporarily blocked the President’s order on travel restrictions, and while Congress hasn’t passed legislation, they did voice loud concerns.

It is an open question as to whether Trump and his team — advisers like Steve Bannon who never worked in government — will learn a hard lesson about governing and all its implications, or whether stirring controversy and doing things differently, is exactly what they think Trump was elected to do.’

Rubio: State wouldn’t discuss ban

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told reporters that his staff called the State Department earlier Monday, only to have department staff say they were instructed not to answer any questions on the travel ban.

“My staff was told the State Department as of today was ordered not to talk to Congress about this issue. I don’t know the reason maybe perhaps they’re still kind of working through how this is going to apply so perhaps they don’t want to give us information that’s wrong,” Rubio said.

The State Department said it will “provide information and assistance as we are able.”

“The Department remains in contact with Members of Congress who have reached out regarding the Executive Orders, and will continue to provide information and assistance as we are able,” said acting spokesman Mark Toner’s response.”

Rubio said the Trump administration needs to find a way to answer questions about the ban and how it is being implemented.

“There’s no doubt they’ll have to at least issue a number of clarifications about how it applies,” Rubio, a former GOP presidential contender, said. “From what I’ve heard from multiple agencies there is still significant questions about how this is supposed to be applied. So this is a big change and it has a lot of moving parts and a lot of agencies and thousands of individuals task with enforcing it and applying it. Some of whom in the early stages at least we’re not confident in how they were to proceed.”

Rubio’s office later said the department provided a general Q&A fact sheet.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Tom LoBianco and Elise Labott contributed to this report.

Baltimore Black Memorabilia & Collectible Show to be held, February 11, 2017

— Join attendees at the Baltimore Black Memorabilia & Collectible Show Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt Street, in Baltimore, Maryland. Show hours are 10 am until 5 pm. Museum entrance fee is general admission $8, seniors and students $6, and museum members and Maryland Public School Teachers Free. The objective of this show is to provide an environment where the public can be educated on African American History & Culture, and purchase black memorabilia, fine art, crafts and collectibles.

Items made by African Americans, made in the image of African Americans or about African Americans are considered black memorabilia whether these items are positive or negative. Many of the items we consider as black memorabilia reflect the way African Americans were viewed and treated in this country. Items from the slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras to present tell a story of great progress of our ancestors despite the obstacles they were faced with. Black memorabilia documents the chronological history of African Americans in the United States.

At this show there will be vendors with black memorabilia, fine art, crafts and collectibles for sale, educational exhibits and celebrity autograph sessions. Items for sale include historical artifacts and documents, books, stamps, dolls, autographs, toys, advertisements, photos, paintings, prints, political and Civil Rights memorabilia, kitchen collectibles, coins, sports and entertainment memorabilia, movie posters, postcards and other items from the 19th century or earlier to the present. Educational exhibits include slavery artifacts & Jim Crow memorabilia, Negro League Baseball, Marcus Garvey, Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, Dorothy Dandridge and others. These exhibits give an in depth look at important people and events in our history. There will be autograph sessions with Negro League Baseball Players and Tuskegee Airman for a nominal fee. Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, will be at the show signing her books. Also, there will be verbal appraisals of black memorabilia for $5 per item.

Many of the items for sale and on display are museum quality. There will be plenty of good food. The show is indoors and will be held rain or shine. For additional information, call (301)649-1915 or view www.johnsonshows.com or www.lewismuseum.org.

Serena Williams beats Venus Williams to win record 23rd major

— MELBOURNE — Serena Williams rewrote tennis history books once again, this time with sister Venus across the net and her fiance Alexis Ohanian watching from the stands.

When Serena beat her older sibling in the Australian Open final 6-4 6-4, she collected a 23rd grand slam title to surpass Steffi Graf for the Open Era lead.

Now she only trails all-time leader Margaret Court by one major and the way she played in Melbourne — not dropping a set — Serena, 35, is looking good to achieve that feat later in 2017.

“It’s never enough, 23, 24, 25,” Serena told the crowd after her win. “I felt like I really elevated my game this year.

“It’s such a great feeling to have 23. I’ve been chasing it for a really long time,” she later told reporters. “I knew I had an opportunity to get it here and I’m here.”

As a considerable bonus Saturday evening, Serena also regained the No. 1 ranking from Angelique Kerber. Last year the German upset Serena Williams to win the title.

“I didn’t know that,” said Serena. “It feels good.”

Serena had her game face on throughout, but the sisters exchanged an extended hug after Serena converted on her first match point in one hour, 22 minutes. The competitors in them took a backseat.

“Your win has always been my win,” Venus told the crowd, referring to Serena. “All the times I couldn’t be there, didn’t get there, you were there.”

It simply wasn’t meant to be for Venus, who appeared to be the crowd favorite at Rod Laver Arena.

At 36, she was the oldest Australian Open finalist in the Open Era. Her celebration after winning in the semifinals is sure to be one of tennis’ memorable moments come the end of the long campaign.

Venus had last played in a grand slam final in 2009 at Wimbledon, when Serena once again came out on top. Her career has been slowed after she was diagnosed with autoimmune disorder Sjogren’s Syndrome in 2011.

“It was great to have an opportunity to play for the title,” Venus said. “That’s exactly where I want to be standing during these grand slams. That’s the highlight of all this, is to be in that moment.”

In keeping with their head-to-head record — Serena now leads 17-11 and 7-2 in grand slam finals — it was her kid sister who would have the final say in Melbourne.

“I say this to you every year but I find her capable of doing things completely out of the ordinary,” Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena’s coach, told reporters.

The sisters have always been close but it was all business, especially from Serena, even before the match — the oldest grand slam women’s final in the Open Era in combined age — began.

They didn’t chat in the tunnel on the way to the court. Venus placed her arm around Serena for the habitual pre-match photo, but Serena kept both hands by her side.

She was clearly focused on the task at hand, perhaps fueled by the fact that in 2016, she lost two of her three grand slam finals. Very unusual.

This didn’t turn out to be like their last duel at the US Open in 2015, which was one of the finest matches of the season.

At one stage Serena struck three double faults in one game, and Venus, sporting strapping on one leg, wasn’t able to serve in the fashion she did in previous rounds.

Serena also received a warning for smashing her racket in the third game when a net-cord winner went against her.

She, however, earned the pivotal break of the first at 3-3 and broke again in the same game of the second. In that second set Serena’s first serve — which she said hadn’t helped her out much of the tournament — became more of a factor.

She ended up with 10 aces and an impressive 76% points won on first serve.

The crowd wanted a third set and when Venus won a 24-shot rally to get to 15-30 on the Serena serve at 5-4, it may have been coming. Venus though made a pair of unforced errors before Serena forced an error on match point.

She sunk to the ground, before the long embrace. Despite the loss, Venus said she’d walk away from Melbourne with fond memories.

“Ready to kill it this year,” she said. “That’s my goal.”

Later near the locker room Serena exchanged hugs with her team and fiance Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder. One wondered if parents Oracene Price and Richard Williams — so instrumental in their daughters’ careers — watched back home in the US.

Their daughters were in another grand slam final, with Serena — based on what happened in Melbourne — playing some of her finest tennis.

SAG Awards 2017 gets political

— From the moment the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony began Sunday, the stars wasted no time diving right into politics.

From “Scandal” star Kerry Washington explaining that actors are activists to Ashton Kutcher declaring “I am a citizen of the world,” Hollywood did not shy away from what was on the mind of many in attendance — President Trump’s travel ban.

Kutcher, who was announcing the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series, greeted “everyone in airports that belong in my America.”

“You are a part of the fabric of who we are,” Kutcher said. “And we love you and we welcome you.”

Kutcher presented the award to “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who said in her acceptance speech that she is the daughter of an immigrant who fled the persecution of Nazi-occupied France.

“Because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes,” she said. “The immigrant ban is a blemish and un-American.”

The award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series went to William H. Macy for his role in “Shameless.

With so much attention on the travel ban this weekend, there had been an expectation that at least some award winners would utilize their moment in the spotlight to express their thoughts on the current state of our country.

Several winners touched on the ban, including Sarah Paulson, who won the outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries award for her role in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Amid her remarks Paulson encouraged people to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union.

David Harbour, who stars as police chief Jim Hopper on “Stranger Things,” got the audience whipped up with his acceptance speech aimed at White House policies when the cast won for the outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.

But it was “Moonlight” star Mahershala Ali who offered one of the most emotional moments of the night.

After winning the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role, Ali shared that his mother is an ordained minister who was not thrilled when he converted to Islam 17 years ago.

“But I tell you, now, you put things to the side and I’m able to see her and she’s able to see me. We love each other,” Ali said. “The love has grown. And that stuff is minutia. It’s not that important.”

Emma Stone won for outstanding performance by an actress in a leading role for “La La Land.”

Denzel Washington was presented the award for outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role for “Fences.” His is costar Viola Davis won for supporting actress.

The surprise of the evening came with the outstanding performance by a cast in a theatrical motion picture win by “Hidden Figures.” Cast member Taraji P. Henson paid tribute to the women who were the subjects of the film, a group of African American NASA employees who were integral to the space race. The actress talked of the lessons that could be learned from them and how they overcame discrimination.

“Love wins every time,” said Henson, who then added “these women are hidden figures no more.”

Legendary comedic actress and “Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin received a standing ovation after her “9 to 5” costar Dolly Parton presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tomlin kept the audience in stitches with her acceptance speech, including her advice to young people in the industry.

“Behind every failure is an opportunity someone wishes they had missed,” Tomlin said.

Typically, the night is for Hollywood, voted on by Hollywood.

Winners are determined by members of the Screen Actors Guild. The show has no host, so it’s not like other awards ceremonies where the tone is set by the monologue.

At this year’s Golden Globes, renowned actress Meryl Streep sparked days of conversation when she used the speech she gave while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award to express her concern over Trump’s election and actions.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” she said. “It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, there was nothing good about it, but it was effective and it did its job.”

It’s more likely now that someone will follow in Streep’s footsteps Sunday night due to the travel ban, and the way that it has already hit home for Hollywood.

Asghar Farhadi, the director of “The Salesman,” which has been nominated for the Oscar for best foreign-language film, has said he will not attend this year’s Academy Awards in protest against the ban. Farhadi is Iranian, and so would have been kept out of the U.S. due to the ban, but could possibly have requested an exception had he wanted to.

The SAG Awards air simultaneously January 29 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS. (Both networks are, like CNN, owned by Time Warner.)