links for 2011-07-31

  • "The New York Times Co. is not attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention next year. "We are supporting Unity," Desiree Dancy, vice president, diversity and inclusion, told Journal-isms on Friday.
    "We're disappointed in the fact that NABJ pulled out of Unity and yet this is a time where the organizations are needed to come together more than ever," she said."
  • "The report presents a number of obvious yet unsettling statistics: 70% of hybrid owners in California are white, even though Californians of color are more concerned about air pollution than whites; 20% of hybrid owners are Latino and even fewer are African-American–even though the overall state population is 60% non-white. An impressive 92% of residents who buy EVs in the state have an income of $75,000 or higher…. For many of these potential customers, it's not about a lack of income–Latinos, for example, increasingly represent California's middle class. Even though 39% of California residents are Latino, the group makes up just 19% of hybrid buyers."

links for 2011-07-30

  • "I realise that many Aboriginal Australians who identify through the skin name system might not want to access Google+ (and, as one commenter pointed out yesterday, some who do are happy to have an “alternate” Western name form as well). However, it still seems somewhat limited to demand that identification be made in a Euro-centric way. Here’s hoping that gets changed as Google+ evolves."
  • "The Cuban government will soon cast a media spotlight on the issue of racism on the island, although some programs to improve the lives of black Cubans had to be cut because of economic restraints, a Havana official said Thursday.

    "Their unusually frank comments — for decades Cuba officially denied the existence of discrimination on the island — seemed to reflect the growing concern over race issues as the country drops some of its socialist policies and embraces more private enterprise."

  • "More than a century after the Emancipation Proclamation began the long and halting process of extending equal rights to African Americans, Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This landmark legislation, which ensured that all Americans could participate in government, came at a price. A heroic struggle unfolded in Alabama as civil rights advocates, both black and white, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought through peaceful means for the right to vote. You can follow in their footsteps today on the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail."

links for 2011-07-29

  • "Yesterday the first ever LGBT Town Hall meeting was held at the 102nd annual NAACP Convention in Los Angeles. But instead of a groundbreaking event that would have been a watershed moment for the entire African descended rainbow community, it's left hurt feelings in the bi and trans sectors of it and the sense that once again, transpeople don't matter..

    "That message is even harder to swallow in the wake of a transwoman being killed in Washington D.C.days before the convention started in the historic back yard of the NAACP and her vigil being held the first day of the convention.

    "When a trans free panel happens, one of the things that we transpeeps are most concerned about is when there are no transpeople at the table, it equals jacked up misinformation about transpeople around and emanating from the table

    "And that happened at yesterday's NNACP panel.

  • "Pressure is the first feature film directed by a black Brit. It bears the hallmarks of an early creative work, its running time is demanding, it is laboured in its messages, clumsy speechifying punctuates much of its action. None of this however dents my affection for it, I enjoy Pressure's awkward honesty. Now understood as an audacious political work and record of its time, the film was shelved for three years by its producers. The 70s were a more volatile time for race relations in Britain and the BFI were nervous about the film's frank discussion and depictions of racism. Pressure merits re-watching because it grapples with an eternal question.

    "How to belong?"

  • "Gentrification is always a delicate topic, especially in a city where it usually has meant well-to-do whites buying up affordable houses in predominantly black neighborhoods. The trend is reflected in recent census figures that show that the District is no longer a majority-black city and by ever-whiter neighborhoods such as Shaw and H Street Northeast.

    "But black gentrification is increasingly redefining the G-word and changing the economics of places like Anacostia."

  • I'm questioning the word "equilibrium" in this when the articles goes on and on about the increase of white people, especially white people with childran, in NYC and why. Thoughts?–AJP "New York City edged a baby step closer to racial equilibrium in the last decade, according to census results released this month. Compared with the 1990s, the numbers of Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers grew more slowly; blacks recorded their first population loss since the Civil War; and non-Hispanic whites, who registered their smallest population loss in decades, also logged the biggest gains of any group among young children.

    'As a result, according to the 2010 census, the city was 33 percent non-Hispanic white, 29 percent Hispanic, 23 percent black and 13 percent Asian. In 2000, the city’s makeup was 35 percent non-Hispanic white, 27 percent Hispanic, 25 percent black and 10 percent Asian."

  • "It's been well established that anti-Muslim self-proclaimed counterterrorism experts — often times funded by federal grants — have been giving advice to state and local law enforcement officers for years. But the fact that the nation's top law enforcement agency was pointing new federal agents to bigoted material as recently as 2009 came as a surprise to those who have seen this stuff before.

    "Mike German of the ACLU, a former FBI agent, told TPM that educating agents with that type of material can only lead to abuse down the road."

Race, Riot Grrl, the Black Rock Movement, and Nirvana: The Teen Espirit Revisited Overflow

Teen Espirit Revisited

This all started with J*Davey.

The first sunny morning I experienced in San Francisco, right before I went to hang with the Wikipedians, I checked my email and was treated to a free download of Jack and Brook’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit“.

Little did I know that later in the year I would get a chance to try to contextualize the impact of Nevermind, and Nirvana, and I would do it in the pages of Spin thanks to my awesome editor Charles Aaron. (The magazine is on newsstands now, page 45, and in digital form.)

My pitch for a piece exploring the 90s, and cultural angst was accepted, and the opening paragraph of my pitch was so well received it ended up as the opening for the article. But when I sat down to research, I realized I was making some assumptions about writing on culture that weren’t going to bear out. And after interviewing J*Davey, Jeff Chang, Laina Dawes, Allison Wolfe, Simon Tam, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Frannie Kelley, and Felix Contreras, I realized I had an 8,000 word draft that had to fit into a 2,000 word space. So a lot of really amazing thoughts – especially thoughts that veered a bit too far from the angst theme we eventually settled on – ended up on the cutting room floor. What’s the deal with Generation X? What did NWA and Nirvana have in common? How did corporatization impact the grunge movement? Did the grunge movement push out black rockers? I could have written a dozen other articles based on the stories people told me, but alas, print has space limits.

Still, I wanted to share with you all a bit of the overflow. Fun quotes and discussions after the jump. Continue reading

Ignite Talk: Hacking Diversity, Part 1 – How Do We Define Culture?

Back in June, I participated in an experimental journalism unconference called Spark Camp. The conversations were great and the other attendees were amazing, but one of the highlights of the conference were our ignite sessions. An ignite talk is when presenters agree to create a five minute talk on any subject, accompanied by twenty slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds. This was a bit nerve-wracking for me, since I’m an extemporaneous speaker by nature, and it takes me about five minutes to get warmed up enough to relax (and to slow down my naturally quick speech pattern.) But it turned out fairly well. Took me a while to get into the rhythm though. I decided to do my first ignite talk on Nirvana and how we define culture, since I spent most of June working on the Spin article out in this month’s issue (More on that later). So here’s the video – transcript after the jump:

Continue reading

links for 2011-07-28

Wednesday Announcements – Multiracial Youth and Parenting Study, APIA Spoken Word/Poetry Summit

Multiracial Youth & Parenting Study Needs Participants

From Jen Chau and Susan Lambe:

Are you the parent of a multiracial youth between the ages of 3-22? Participate in an online survey for the opportunity to win one of two $100 Amazon gift certificates! Get started here.

Are you the parent of a multiracial high schooler (9th-12th grade)? They may be eligible to participate in an in-person 1-1 interview and a short survey that last approximately 60 minutes, and will be given a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate for their participation. E-mail Susan Lambe at for more info.

Go to their website for more information.

Check out the APIA Spoken Word Poetry Summit (Minnesota)

Friend of the blog Bao Phi sent this in:

The Asian Pacific Islander American Spoken Word Poetry Summit 2011 takes place in the Twin Cities August 4-7! It is a biennial gathering of Asian Pacific Islander American community artists and activists.

The Summit is a space intended specifically for artists and activists who self-identify as Asian American, Asian, and/or Pacific Islander. These definitions are inclusive of West Asian (Middle Eastern), South Asian, LGBTT and Multi-Racial peoples.

You do NOT have to be a spoken word artist to register! If you are an APIA community member who is interested in arts and activism, you’ll love the Summit.

Registration is required for all events except Saturday’s show, which we will sell public tickets for. *But* if you register, the cost includes *all* Summit events including Saturday’s big show!

Here’s what the $25 registration gets you:

*Admission to all three Summit showcases
*Admission to all Summit workshops and plenaries
*Admission to the two after-parties featuring food, wine and beer cash bar, and music by DJ Nak!

The Summit includes workshops, performances, and participation from Lawson Fusao Inada, Brenda Wong Aoki, Joe Kadi, David Mura, Beau Sia, Regie Cabico, Parag Khandhar, Kelly Tsai, YaliniDream, Robert Karimi, Ed Bok Lee, Tou Saiko Lee, Guante, Juliana Hu Pegues, San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Jane Kim, Christy NaMee Eriksen, Catzie and Michelle of Yellow Rage, DJ Nak, Sahra Nguyen, Bao Phi, Giles Li, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and many, many more.


If you’d like to volunteer for Summit in exchange for free registration, please contact Eva at

For more info, go to