links for 2010-01-05

  • In which Special Correspondent Jessica Yee continues to rock.

    "We try to incorporate everything, from environmental justice to violence prevention, that you wouldn't typically see within a sexual reproductive health mandate," says Yee.

  • Western models, it seems, are everywhere these days in the People's Republic of China: on department store display ads, in catalogues for clothing brands, on billboards, in commercials and on the runways at fashion shows. They are blue-eyed American and Canadian blondes like Vos, sultry Eastern European brunettes and hunky male bodybuilders with Los Angeles tans and six-pack abs selling products from jeans to underwear.
  • Having seen Jesse Lu’s recent call-out of AT on Everyday Object and considering its regrettable campaign of championing Knitta, Please in 2006, 2008 and 2009, I wanted to take a comprehensive look at how this important site has treated race and class, pointing out a history problematic posts.
  • "I’m not sure jazz and hip hop are perfectly analogous, but I wrote all of this to ask a question: I wonder where hip hop is on its trajectory to becoming America’s second great musical art form?"
  • "So I think that Judith Butler at least circa 2004 is making room for race, but she also brings in a layer that I haven’t mentioned before—legibility. You have to be recognized as belonging to a certain group before you are understood fully or as fully human. Like in the movie “Precious” when the main character gets angry at the social worker, asking her “what type of black are you?” because her skin was so light. This concept of legibility presumes a sort of lexicon, a set of signifiers for a given race, sex, or gender. "
  • In the 1970s, amidst rapid social changes along racial and gender lines, the comic book industry began to incorporate black superheroes into their comics. Readers of the era had mixed reactions. Some objected to this darker-skinned presence in their all-white superhero fantasies, while others bemoaned depictions that were stereotypes at best and racist at worst. But how could the depictions be otherwise? These characters were borne out of the imaginations of men whose understanding of black life lacked form, insight or nuance. And if that character happened to be both black and female, the results were doubly insulting because the writers' understanding of women's issues also left much to be desired. Nowhere were those combined deficiencies more apparent than in the figure of Nubia, "the black Wonder Woman."