Google, Keke Palmer, Celebrate the Black Girl Magic of the ‘Real Life Akeelah’ Zaila Avant-garde


There is something heartwarming about moments when celebrities unexpectedly use their platforms to elevate talented and intelligent youth.

Google, Halle Berry and Keke Palmer gave public shout-outs to Zaila Avant-garde, the first African-American crowned the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee champion on Thursday. Zaila is a little powerhouse not only because she outlasted hundreds of other kids, spelling word after word with precision, but it turns out she’s also a child prodigy too.

Zaila has also set three Guinness World Records for dribbling and juggling basketballs, too. Berry–who is an award-winning actress– shared news of Zaila’s spelling and athletic skills with her Twitter followers.

The New Orleans Pelicans basketball team joined the Twitter party to celebrate a young “hooper” and spelling bee champion.


Palmer posted a screenshot on Instagram about Zaila’s history-making win as the first African American to take home the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion title, while sharing the story with her followers in a way they could not miss.


Palmer could relate to Zaila’s journey, since she played the role of Akeelah, a young girl who participated in the Scripps National spelling bee in the popular movie, “Akeelah and the Bee.” The actress enthusiastically shouted out the true champion with a written message.

“THE REAL LIFE AKEELAH YOU GUYS!! The real life one. I’m so happy in my heart. A couple of weeks ago I sent in a video encouraging all the contestants and for this to happen just feels so spiritual! I am so happy. Major love to Doug Atchison that allowed me to act a dream and thank God for letting me live to see it come to fruition,” Palmer wrote.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate..” y’all know the rest ????♥️???,” the star added.

Google went out all and celebrated Zaila’s Black Girl Magic! When people type in her name Zaila Avant-garde, a whole confetti celebration with the winning word “Murraya” is unleashed!


CNN reported that Zaila hails from New Orleans, La. The intelligent teen will be rewarded with a $50,000 cash prize as spelling champion.

“It felt really good to win because I have been working on it for like two years. So to actually win the whole thing was like a dream come true,” Zaila sad on CNN’s “New Day. “I felt like in the moment I snapped out of a surreal dream.”



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