Month: December 2009

December 28, 2009 / / media

Over at the Fashion Bomb, Claire posits that this may be the year of the newest model dream team:  Arlenis, Chanel, Sessilee, and Jourdan.

Marie writes in to point out one positive aspect of Avatarthe female leads are Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver, all from groups traditionally underrepresented in Hollywood.

Indeed, Avatar is one of the most minority filled films we’ve seen in a while – but everyone is covered in blue body paint. Hmm.

Read the Post Mailbag – Odds and Ends

December 28, 2009 / / announcements
December 28, 2009 / / black

By Guest Contributor AJ Christian, originally published at Televisual

The vast majority of original, independent web series never make it to season two. Producing season one takes so much time and money, when the millions of viewers never materialize, creators can’t bring themselves to invest more precious time and money. (At this point, I’d almost prefer most market themselves as “miniseries until proven otherwise”!)

Drama Queenz, a show about three black gay men trying to make it in New York’s theatre world, and its creator Dane Joseph then deserve a huge pat on the back. It’s a Herculean effort.

Remarkably, Joseph edited and marketed the first season while in graduate school at Columbia University, then shot season two, which comes out today. Now that, as they say in theatre, is gumption!

What’s more, the second season promises lots of hijinks, along with guest appearances  from some of my favorite YouTube personalities! Read the Post “Drama Queenz” Returns With A Fierceness (And A Few Guest Stars!)

December 25, 2009 / / Uncategorized

By Special Correspondent Jessica Yee


As I rush off and dash to jet-set again for yet another destination and another area of Turtle Island – I’m reminded this time around that the place I’m going to requires me to stop, pause, and really think about what it is I’m about to do.

This year I’ve decided to join my Dakota/Lakota/Sicangu/Crow family on a journey they call the “Big Foot” or what it is now known as the “Future Generations Youth” ride. The story goes that 25 years ago, this ride started with the Lakota Youth of Pine Ridge (Red Cloud Agency) to retrace the steps of their ancestors from Standing Rock to Wounded Knee. This 7+ day non-stop horseback ride commemorates the December 1890 events with Chief Big Foot’s band, where more than 250 men, women and children were shot by the U.S. 7th Cavalry in the Wounded Knee massacre, including Sitting Bull.

I wrote about this ride last year, along with the Dakota 38, when I learned about them here: http://www.shamelessmag.com/blog/2008/12/riding-to-remember/ At the time I honestly thought it would have been at least a few years before I might eventually do one of these rides myself. It was one of those “yeah, I hope I’ll do it ONE day” type of things, but last month things changed for me and I knew I had to do it.

I’m riding because to be honest – my frustrations with differing opinions on what actualizing Aboriginal youth leadership really means have been maxed out on many different fronts and far too many occasions as of late where people saying they support youth is one thing, but actually DOING something where youth ARE actually in power and being leaders and taking up our rightful space is quite another (and in most instances not happening at all despite the nice and fine talk about it at conference after conference – or if it is happening it was short-lived since apparently people didn’t seem to be “used to” youth having “that much power”. It’s really just bullshit).

Knowing that so many of the youth on this ride live through countless hardships, chose not to celebrate Christmas, and decided themselves to give back their time, energy, and spirit to their community in this most honorable way by riding on the trails of the ancestors during the so-called “holiday” season fills my heart and soul with incredible hope for what are next generations are capable of doing. I’m so completely excited to learn from all these youth I will meet.

I’m also riding because I need to do my best to go somewhere where I’ll be forced to feel ultimately guilty for checking the Blackberry and doing work on the computer (or at least go to a place where I’ll have limited access so tough shit for me).
Read the Post What I’m riding for this year – on horse – during my anti-colonial holiday season

December 24, 2009 / / media

by Latoya Peterson

I’ve received some tips that serve to update some of the stories we have discussed on site.

In the matter of South Philadelphia High, Angry Asian Man has reported that the students have ended the boycott after a conversation with officials:

Tuesday’s meeting lasted more than two hours. Here’s the public statement put forth by the students of South Philly High School boycott:

Through our trials and struggles, we pushed the school to hear us. We have made change by standing together. We are proud of what we have done. If something happens again after all this, we know that we have strong wills and we will stand together again.

We have came back to stand with more students. We want to start a dialogue with other student organizations. We will continue to work with the community organizations. The struggle will go on until all the demands are met; we won’t give up. We ask everyone to continue to pay attention to what’s going on at SPHS. We hope that school can change their attitude for the benefits of all students. We thank our supporters. Without the support of everyone we could not go this far. We are excited for the future. We now believe in hope and change, like president Obama.

We want a safe school for everyone; we want everyone to have a good education. This is not the end, but just the beginning of the fight for better futures and better educations for all races of students.

~ Students of the South Philly High boycott ~

So it’s back to school. While the district has made a lot of assurances that it’s be taking steps to put a stop to the violence, I imagine this isn’t much comfort to the students who were on the receiving end of the attacks on December 3, or the students who have endured antagonism and apathy for years — often from the teachers and administrators. More here: Asian students ‘suspend’ boycott of South Philadelphia High.

However, in the comments to our original post, Asian Metal Chick dropped a link showing this isn’t just a problem at SPHS – it’s the whole district:

“If Chinese students don’t go to school, it’s a big problem—they don’t learn,” says Xu Lin, a Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation staffer who mentors Asian teens. “But it’s a bigger problem if they go to school and get beat up.” Read the Post News Updates – South Philadelphia High School, Amanda Knox

December 24, 2009 / / Uncategorized
December 24, 2009 / / media

By Guest Contributor Jenn, originally posted at Reappropriate

(Hat-tip: Gawker)

So, let’s say you’ve got to buy Christmas presents for a friend of yours, but you just don’t know what to get her. A gift certificate from the local steakhouse? The latest 50 Cent CD? A gag gift from Toys ‘R Us? A new crockpot?

But what a minute! Your friend is Latina! Surely, that’s a hook to get her the perfect Christmas present! But, gosh, you just don’t know anything about Latina heritage. Well, New York Times has the perfect gift suggestions for you: how about a children’s book on Sonia Sotomayor? How about Iman’s book of beauty tips for women of colour? And, of course, there’s always a “Wise Latina” t-shirt! (Because apparently the hot thing for Latinas this year are Sotomayor-related products.)

And what if you’re buying me a present? Well, clearly, because I’m Asian American, I simply must have a copy of “Asian Faces“, a book that tells Asian women how we’re applying our eye makeup wrong, and how to do it right.

The New York Times isn’t exactly known for its racial sensitivity, but what moron green-lit this racist stereotype-perpetuating gift suggestion feature?

The assumption made here is that people of colour somehow need “race-related” presents, because our race is the be-all and end-all of our identities (and Christmas gift wishes). Not only that, but NYT readeres are encouraged to typecast their friends of colour to find “race appropriate” gifts — so, the friend is no longer just a friend, she’s “the Asian friend” or “the Latina friend” or “the Black friend”, and gifts should be bought reflecting your brand-spanking new racial categorization. Meanwhile, your White friends don’t need to be Otherized, since obviously they don’t have racial identities to contend with, so you can get them meaningful and non-offensive presents!

(Which makes me wonder what you do if you have mixed race friends? Do they just get multiple racist gifts? Or do you just pick the gift most in-keeping with the race you think they look the most like?)

Read the Post How to Otherize Your Friends for Christmas

December 24, 2009 / / race & representations