links for 2011-01-11

  • "In the South, slave tastes defined the cooking repertory in a wide arc that extended from the rice and seafood belt of the Carolinas to the Creole and Cajun lands of Louisiana. Elsewhere, blacks brought new flavors and dishes to white America in restaurants and markets, or on the sidewalk from food carts. As the United States expanded westward, they extended their reach, working as cooks on the chuck wagons that accompanied the great cattle drives and on the Pullman cars that carried passengers all the way to California and the Pacific Northwest. In the process, unsuspecting white Americans learned to appreciate African-derived spices and pungent flavors, to regard Southern dishes like gumbo and fried chicken and red beans and rice as part of the national heritage, to elevate macaroni and cheese to a place high in hipster heaven."
  • I'm not sure about this one. Thoughts, anyone?–AP

    "Which leads me to wonder: Why do we despise performance in blackface and celebrate performance in drag? Is blackface considered an insult and drag a joke because of some inherent difference between them, or because African-Americans won’t tolerate ridicule while the women’s movement is still trying to prove we have a sense of humor?"

  • "LGBT establishments have a complex history with the gentrification of cities. At a glance: In response to discriminatory zoning laws and social ostracization, gay bars traditionally set up shop in underdeveloped urban areas with lower rents and looser regulations. Around these establishments, LGBT neighborhoods formed, later attracting more well-to-do members of the community—and eventually, more affluent straights, too. The gentrification of a gay village signaled a certain mainstream social acceptance of gays—but it also meant pushing less affluent members of the LGBT community back on the social fringes. Straight gentrifiers of gay villages may be willing to tolerate wealthy gay yuppies, but they can also facilitate the marginalization of others in the LGBT community."
  • "Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things.

    "But now some see a new 'digital divide' emerging – with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It's tough to fill out a job application on a cell phone, for example. Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment."

  • "No matter how positive, any portrayal of a marginalized group will face the problem of exemplarity: how to strike the balance between being a representative example without being too exemplary and dismissed as an exception to the stereotype."