By Guest Contributor Spectra; originally published at Spectra Speaks
By Guest Contributor Spectra; originally published at Spectra Speaks
by Guest Contributor Shane Thomas, originally published at Media Diversity UK
There are few names as globally recognisable as Nelson Mandela. And likely even fewer whose name generally invokes strong feelings of warmth and goodwill.
Mandela was recently in the news as a result of his ill health, with elements of the online world and news networks partaking in an emetic game of “Nelson Mandela death watch”. Mercifully, at the time of writing, Madiba is still with us, and he has become a talking point again by proxy, due to the release of the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
The aforementioned is a movie biopic, traversing Nelson Mandela’s life. Early indications suggest that it is being positioned as strong contender for the 2014 Academy Awards. If the release date of January 3rd next year isn’t a sign to this effect, then the fact that the film’s production company is The Weinstein Company certainly is.
On face value, this would seem to be a positive sign for diversity in Hollywood. After all, it’s a film where black characters are front and centre, without – as Jamilah King succinctly put it – needing a “white co-pilot”. And if you don’t think that this is an issue, more often than not, when films are made about communities of colour, the proviso is that a white character is a key cast member. Continue reading
By Guest Contributor T. F. Charlton; originally published as Grace is Human
A couple nights ago I made an offhand comment on Twitter about the conflation of “Black” with “African American” – the two aren’t synonymous – in response to a tweet referring to Nelson Mandela, y’know, the Xhosa, South African Nelson Mandela, as “African American.” It touched off a long and really interesting conversation about race, ethnicity, and identity, which is Storified and shared below.
A conversation on blackness, ethnicity, nationality, and identity. Not in strict chronological order – somewhat rearranged so the conversation flows more logically.
By Andrea Plaid
This photo of literary/cultural African American female icons got lots of love this week:
This video of Os Kuduristas, a troupe of kuduro dancers from the Angolan diaspora, caught my soul–like, it’s-on-replay caught.
According to Okay Africa, Os Kudurista (the people dressed in blue and gray) just performed in NYC and will be in Washington, DC at the Tropicalia Club, 2001 14th Street NW, on Friday, 12/21. I say, if you’re in DC and if possible, give yourself a treat and see them…
…and check out what other treats Racializens love on the R’s Tumblr!
By Guest Contributor Rama Musa
The legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland once wrote, “Have I ever showed you my little blackamoor heads from Cartier with their enameled turbans? I’m told it’s not in good taste to wear blackamoors anymore, but I think I’ll revive them.”
A blackamoor head is a bejeweled bust of a dark-skinned African wearing a pseudo-Oriental turban. Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana recently caused a firestorm for featuring blackamoor imagery in their spring 2013 runway collection. Rapper Azealia Banks went on Twitter to boycott the brand. In its defense, D&G claims that the collection is inspired by Moorish imagery on Sicilian majolica ceramics. That’s a plausible rebuttal. The 9th-century Moorish invasion of southern Italy was so cataclysmic that it’s immortalized in Sicilian arts. But, the ornamental use of blacks in European luxury culture has a more complex history.
To close out our coverage of Facing Race 2012, here’s the two plenarie sessions from the second day, Nov. 17. (Note: Slightly NSFW – occasional curse words)
First up is “”Race and Gender in the 21st Century,” moderated by the founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion, Maya Wiley, a discussion that starts with the question, “How is race constructed, and why do we construct it?”
On the panel are:
The plenary closes with a performance of “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic,” by Amirah Sackett and Khadijah and Iman Sifterllah-Griffin. Via the great Avory Faucette, here’s an excerpt:
The final plenary, “Culture Trumps Politics: Or Does It?,” is moderated by Applied Research Center’s Rinku Sen, and features:
As Chang asserts in a video clip early on, cultural change is often a harbinger of political shifts, but even as he agrees, Varga says the current cultural landscape has led to a redefinition of what constitutes a “minority.”
By Guest Contributor Sayantani DasGupta
I just saw the most problematic image on Facebook. It was a photo of four blonde female pilots in combat gear with the caption, Hey Taliban, look up in the sky! Your women can’t drive, but ours CAN!
Despite the issues I have with militarism, or this country’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m all for cheering for female pilots (yea, bada&& flying ladies!). What I can’t just can’t stand by and let slide is this “your women are oppressed, but ours are awesome” rhetoric, a rhetoric which only illuminates how–both actually and metaphorically–racism, xenophobia, and imperialism so often play out on women’s bodies around the world.
To me, this photo represents how blithely and blindly women from the Global North allow ourselves to be used as (actual and metaphorical) weapons of war against women from the Global South. In fact, that offensive caption isn’t significantly different from comments I’ve been hearing this week like, “These are countries where women have very little value.”
Sadly, the place where I’ve been hearing such phrases isn’t on some conservative TV program or website (where I think that all-woman pilot photo originated), but rather, on the PBS film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, a well-publicized neo-liberal “odyssey through Asia and Africa” hosted by everyone’s favorite white savior New York Times reporter, Nikolas Kristof.
The public-media premiere for Jarreth Merz’s An African Election is finally here! So, what’s happening tonight?
As you may know, we’re really hyped about the people WGBH, Boston’s public TV station–in collaboration with Racialicious and the National Black Programming Consortium‘s (NBPC) AfroPoP.TV–scheduled to appear in-studio and on Skype to have a roundtable discussion about the documentary and the issues regarding voting and democracy in both Ghana and the US:
That kicks off at 8PM EDT on PBS’ WORLD channel. We encourage you, Racializens, be a part of the Twitter discussion that’ll take place at the beginning of the panel. You just might have your pithy question or comment read on the air.
Then, at 8:30PM, the film rolls, and so does the live-tweeting! Please feel free to join the R (@racialicious) and (NBPC (@BLKPublicMedia) and our guest tweeters:
The hashtags for tonight are #AfricanElection and #AfroPoPTV.
See you in eight hours!