- Tupac Shakur Musical, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me,’ Set To Begin Casting (Huffington Post)
While Leon previously revealed to The Huffington Post that he has held small workshops with Shakur’s mother, Afeni, he also mentioned during an interview with PBS that he has always wanted to direct a production inspired by the rapper’s illustrious discography.
“The idea was always to make a musical inspired by his music and not to do an autobiographical approach to his life or anything like that,” he said. “And because I always thought that Tupac was a prophet and I thought if everybody could hear his words and hear his stories, they would see what I see. So we are going to probably do a big workshop in New York this summer and I’m going to try to bring it to Broadway in the next Broadway season.”
- Navajo Sues Urban Outfitters Over Product Names (ABC News/Associated Press)
The lawsuit filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico alleges trademark violations and violations of the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which makes it illegal to sell arts or crafts in a way to falsely suggest they’re made by American Indians when they’re not.
The tribe has about 10 registered trademarks on the Navajo name that cover clothing, footwear, online retail sales, household products and textiles. Tribal justice officials said they’re intent on protecting what they believe are among the tribe’s most valuable assets.
“The fame or reputation of the Navajo name and marks is such that, when defendant uses the ‘Navajo’ and ‘Navaho’ marks with its goods and services, a connection with the Navajo Nation is falsely presumed,” the lawsuit states.
Urban Outfitters set off a firestorm of criticism last year with its line of Navajo-branded clothing and accessories — particularly underwear and a liquor flask, which the tribe said was “derogatory and scandalous,” considering the sale and consumption of alcohol is banned on the reservation that spans parts of northeast Arizona, southeast Utah and northwest New Mexico. The company removed the product names from its website after acknowledging receipt of the cease and desist letter.
- ColorOfChange Black History Month Series: Remembering Troy Davis (Jack and Jill Politics)
The racial disparity in the application of the death penalty is staggering. In 96% of states where studies on race and the death penalty have been conducted, there was a pattern of discrimination based on the race of the victim, the defendant, or both. When race factors so heavily in whether or not someone will be sentenced to death, we know we are dealing with a biased, unjust system. People of color face inequality and discrimination at every step of the criminal justice system. African Americans and Latinos make up an overwhelming majority of those who are stopped and frisked in New York City and elsewhere around the country. We also know that White prisoners are four times as likely as people of color to be granted Presidential pardons. Troy Davis’ death is a recent, heartbreaking reminder of the tragic consequences of a racist system.
The fight to save Davis’ life showed the power of Black Americans and our allies. We worked with partners at Amnesty International, the NAACP, the ACLU and Change.org to gather online petitions. More than 100,000 ColorofChange members signed petitions, and we raised more than $30,000 to run radio ads in Atlanta asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to halt the execution. Some ColorOfChange members wrote letters to the editor to help spread the word about all of the doubt surrounding Davis’ case, and others involved in the effort led rallies and vigils all over the country. Together we were able to show that the world does care about what happens on death row and that we are watching.
- Purdue Discussion: ‘Racism Is Very, Very Prevalent’ Here (BoilerStation)
Turner said the recent vandalism reminded him of a cartoon about reparations that ran in The Exponent near the end of his freshman year. The cartoon was deemed racist by most black students.
“That was even more upsetting because people who are supposed to be educated thought that it was OK to print that,” Turner said. “Again, I don’t think they hate black people, but their lack of experience with black people made them ignorant to the fact that we would be offended.”
For some black students, even making the decision to come to Purdue is difficult because of the assumption that the area is behind the times when it comes to race relations.
“I’m from New Jersey, and when I was looking at schools the Midwest wasn’t even an option,” freshman Brandon Davis said. He ended up at Purdue thanks to the Business Opportunity Program founded by Bell. “The stigma in Jersey and on the East Coast is that the Midwest is kind of racist. That’s just kind of what we think.”
- “Saving Face” May be a Saving Grace for Women Victims of Acid Attacks (Muslimah Media Watch)
The women are 39-year-old Zakia and 25-year-old Rukhsana. Zakia’s husband threw acid on her after she filed for divorce, and Rukhsana’s husband and in-laws threw acid and gasoline on her and then set her on fire, simply because her husband didn’t want to hear her speak anymore. Despite the trauma they have faced, the women enlist the help of the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) in Islamabad, as well as sympathetic policymakers, in an attempt to bring their assailants to justice by pushing the Pakistani government to enact new legislation that imposes stricter sentencing of perpetrators of acid attacks.
The film also follows Dr. Muhammad Jawad, a Pakistani-Born, London-based plastic surgeon, as he journeys back to Pakistan to perform reconstructive surgery on these two women. Dr. Mohammad Jawad returns to his home country to volunteer his skills and assist victims of what he calls his society’s “disease.”
Acid burn attacks, prevalent in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, are just what they sound like. The victims, usually women, are doused or sprayed in the face with acid, resulting in permanent physical and emotional injury. According to the Acid Survivors Foundation, which aims to eradicate the practice in Bangladesh, acid attacks are a gender specific crime resulting primarily from disputes regarding dowries, land, property, money, marriage, and sex. The organization estimates that from January to October of 2010, in Bangladesh alone, there were 118 victims of acid violence. According to ASF statistics, victims tend to be females from 25 to 34 years old, although there are some cases of male and children victims.