Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture http://www.racialicious.com Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:00:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Netroots Nation Files: Daring To Internet While Female 2.0 http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/21/the-netroots-nation-files-daring-to-internet-while-female-2-0/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/21/the-netroots-nation-files-daring-to-internet-while-female-2-0/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39935 By Arturo R. García [View the story “NN15: Daring To Internet While Female 2.0″ on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The Netroots Nation Files: Feminist Future http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/21/the-netroots-nation-files-feminist-future/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/21/the-netroots-nation-files-feminist-future/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39932 By Arturo R. García [View the story “NN15: Feminist Future” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The Netroots Nation Files: An Interview With Jose Antonio Vargas http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/20/the-netroots-nation-files-an-interview-with-jose-antonio-vargas/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/20/the-netroots-nation-files-an-interview-with-jose-antonio-vargas/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39926 By Arturo R. García Not long after the #BlackLivesMatter protest during Saturday’s town hall event at the Netroots Nation conference, I interviewed journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who moderated the event, and talked about his experience being — literally — in the middle of the demonstration, as well as his views on how […]

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By Arturo R. García

Not long after the #BlackLivesMatter protest during Saturday’s town hall event at the Netroots Nation conference, I interviewed journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who moderated the event, and talked about his experience being — literally — in the middle of the demonstration, as well as his views on how both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley handled their responses.

Were you prepared for [the protest]?
JAV: I was up all night trying to figure out a great mix of questions. For Senator Sanders, it was about immigration, because many people feel that’s something that he hasn’t talked about specifically. Gun control was a big one. Senator Sanders had talked about marching for civil rights in the March on Washington. That’s why I asked that question of, “Is there a specific bill you can point to” that had benefited the African-American community. So I’m just frustrated and disappointed that we weren’t able to ask this variety of questions.

But, having said that, the urgency that people of color — that Black people, that brown people in this country — feel about not only race but immigration, about policies that criminalize and dehumanize people in this country. It’s an emergency, somebody said, and it is. That’s what we saw. And I wasn’t about to stop that. As a person of color, as a gay man, as an undocumented person, I wasn’t about to stop that. You can’t silence people who have been silenced for far too long. I was just trying to figure out how I could keep the conversation going. I kept thinking to myself, “Man, handle this with as much grace as you can.”

I cannot overstate the importance of #BlackLivesMatter and the intersection of these issues. Remember, when [Phoenix activist Tia Oso] got up there, she talked about immigration, she talked about LGBT rights, she talked about civil rights. That’s the kind of conversation that we’re not seeing nationally. And that’s why it’s imperative that they get to hold that state. I just wish we could have known about it ahead of time, because I could have maybe found a better way to facilitate it, just so we could have had more questions and not just platitudes. So I was disappointed in myself for that.

Was it surprising to see the candidates that taken aback?

JAV: Hey, if you’re running for the presidency of the United States of America, you’d better be prepared for anything and everything, especially in the social media age. It was actually interesting seeing the layers of identity on that stage: you had two straight white guys running for the presidency, and you have a room full of people — people of color, people who are gay, transgender, documented, undocumented.

That’s actually one of the questions I didn’t get to ask them. I was gonna ask them, “You’re straight, you’re white, you’re a man — how has your privilege gotten you to where you are now?”

What was your reaction when O’Malley said, “all lives matter”?

JAV: You know, I’m sure the governor wishes that he could go back on that stage what he said when he said, “All lives matter, white lives matter.”

[In fact, O’Malley later apologized for doing so during his interview with TWiB:]

But is it a concern when party leaders still can’t articulate their concerns without using phrases that effectively silence people of color?

JAV: That’s the thing now — you have a Black man, President Obama. You have a woman running for the presidency. If you’re a straight guy who happens to be white, what is your responsibility to these issues that may not be personal to you, but may be personal to many, many people? I don’t know what the governor said when he got off that stage, but when he said “all lives matter, white lives matter,” what did he mean by that, exactly?

The Sanders interview, did that end early?

JAV: It ended early because people around me were like, “end it, end it.”

So you were directed to end it.

JAV: I was directed to end it, yes. Believe me, if it was up to me, I had at least five questions that I wanted to ask. At that point, I thought the conversation was actually flowing better. So I wish that we could have just kept going.

There have been some concerns about his ability to outreach to communities of color.

JAV: That was something else I wanted to ask him: How many people of color does Senator Sanders have on his staff? I was gonna ask that question. I never got a chance to ask that question.

How do you feel he did today?

JAV: Under the circumstances, Senator Sanders has to be commended for addressing the root causes of inequality in this country. But when I asked, “I hear you there Senator, but there are people here who are talking to us about how much of an emergency race in this country is,” I don’t know if you caught his answer, but it was basically more of a non-answer.

Addressing a question of police brutality with economic policy seems like a dodge.

JAV: He was trying to connect the dots. But people need to hear more than that. They’re not [just] talking about somebody in the news. Yes, they are, but they’re also talking about themselves. When they say #SayHerName, it’s personal. And I think how politicians get up there and they get in their talking points — it doesn’t fit; it runs against this very visceral, guttural, urgent concern that people of color have in this country, who feel under attack.

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The Netroots Nation Files: #BlackLivesMatter Makes Its Presence Felt http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/20/the-netroots-nation-files-black-lives-matter-makes-its-presence-felt/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/20/the-netroots-nation-files-black-lives-matter-makes-its-presence-felt/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:00:33 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39923 By Arturo R. García The Netroots Nation progressive conference in Phoenix was marked this past Saturday by a powerful show of solidarity from #BlackLivesMatter activists, who effectively forced both the attendees and Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to talk about police violence against communities of color. I’ve included […]

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By Arturo R. García

The Netroots Nation progressive conference in Phoenix was marked this past Saturday by a powerful show of solidarity from #BlackLivesMatter activists, who effectively forced both the attendees and Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to talk about police violence against communities of color.

I’ve included a Storify under the cut with notes and images from the demonstration, as well as a follow-up discussion hosted by This Week in Blackness featuring, among others, the movement’s co-founder Patrisse Cullors. You can also read a synopsis of some of the day’s events from me at The Raw Story.

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Our histories, Our Selves: Poshida‘s Powerful Portrayal of LGBT Pakistanis http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/17/our-histories-our-selves-poshidas-powerful-portrayal-of-lgbt-pakistanis/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/17/our-histories-our-selves-poshidas-powerful-portrayal-of-lgbt-pakistanis/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:00:17 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39917 By Guest Contributor Sabah Choudrey To be honest with you, I was already a little won over. Before watching Poshida, a documentary on LGBT Pakistan I was already moved. As an LGBT Pakistani myself, I felt a connection with this film already, directed by an LGBT Pakistani person. I was feeling excited to rediscover Pakistan […]

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By Guest Contributor Sabah Choudrey

To be honest with you, I was already a little won over. Before watching Poshida, a documentary on LGBT Pakistan I was already moved. As an LGBT Pakistani myself, I felt a connection with this film already, directed by an LGBT Pakistani person. I was feeling excited to rediscover Pakistan and meet my “other” family. Maybe one day my families will meet. This film had already given me hope.

It’s still rare that we are allowed to take claim and pride over our culture. But no matter how hidden it is, pride is something that can still shine through. I think that the mainstream assumes that just because something is hidden, it is something to be ashamed of. Especially when it is involves a number of taboos – religion, sexuality and gender diversity, namely: Islam, Pakistanis and queerness.

It’s rare that we are allowed to write our own histories and document our own lives. To let others see us the way we see ourselves. To take control of the white Western gaze that is constantly dictating our not-so-happy endings. That is why this film is already so important, before even having watched it. I want to thank the director of this film for simply having made it. This is a milestone in our history.

Poshida really is a one-of-a-kind film. It is so different from any other LGBT documentaries I have ever seen, including ones on LGBT Pakistan. Poshida looks at the many different aspects and constructs of the identities of LGBT Pakistanis living there, and how these aspects all interlink with each other, reflecting the true colours of the queer umbrella. Here, the film maker tells us of stories through an intersectional lens.

The movie opens with the traditional story of an untraditional love between two men of different faiths. This old tale is recounted to us from the mouths of the locals at the Sufi shrine of Madho Lal Hussain where they rest. The narrator reiterates that Pakistan is a country of contradictions, and follows with something that is always missing from any documentation on LGBT South Asians: colonialization. The filmmaker exposes the root of homophobia and transphobia and how queerness became a sin and a criminal offence under the rule of the British Empire – and I feel a rush of validation. This history is never told. We are told our history began when the British set foot, when actually it was erased the moment they invaded our land.

Through the various tales of seven people, the film maker shows us the privilege of wealth and the reality of the class divide for LGBT Pakistani people just trying to survive, and what money can truly buy – the privilege of being “out” and safe. The director allows us to hear the honest stories of gay men, lesbians, trans women and trans men without the usual assumptions and stereotypes that shadow our understanding: “What did your parents say?” A shadow I can never escape from here in the UK, asked by those who already assume

I was rejected and misunderstood by my family. We are shown realities that are affected by what the community thinks, that are improved by financial status, and that are criminalized by the media. Soon after I came out as transgender to my parents, I dug through Pakistani media channels, looking for anything on trans men. I found a news article.

The only thing I could find was a piece on Shamial Raj, a transgender man. I showed it to my dad, but how does it help my case to say that this man was charged with lying to his wife and then the two were imprisoned. The film maker continues the story and tells us that Shamial and his wife has disappeared and gone into hiding for safety. It isn’t surprising then to hear that very few transgender men have come forward since.

The film maker interviews Malik, a trans man with a similar tale of being found out, forced to flee and threatened. For Malik, he was given a choice to either return to family or have his girlfriend kidnapped or murdered. I think this is the first Pakistani trans man I have seen on film, speaking in Urdu about coming out. It is the first time I am hearing someone talk about coming out as trans in a language so close to me. I have only ever learnt to speak about my own gender in English, using words of the people who invaded my country and colonised trans.

Poshida sticks to its aims, delving into the history of LGBT Pakistan, taking us right through to modern day culture, and what it is really like to be LGBT in Pakistan – a question that constantly crosses my mind, having spent a third of my childhood in Pakistan and a whole year in a secondary school in Lahore. I often catch myself thinking, “What if …?” I finally have a glimpse of what if. I have known that homosexuality and transgender people is not new to Pakistan’s history, but to see the shrine of Madho Lal Hussain in Lahore, a city where I spent hundreds of days questioning what I was and why Allah had made me this way, is life-changing.

This film has given me strength. Poshida has given me a reason not to hide.

“Poshida: Hidden LGBT Pakistan” is currently under consideration at a number of international film festivals. Like “Poshida” on Facebook and follow on Twitter for updates.

Sabah is a Pakistani trans activist with a passion for his community. Raised in West London, England. He migrated South to Brighton for queerer pastures, and has now returned for browner pastures. His tiny head is full of big ideas, having founded Trans Pride Brighton in 2012, the first trans march and trans celebration in the UK, the QTIPOC Brighton Network for queer, trans and intersex people of color, and desiQ for queer South Asian people in London/South East area. Living a glamorous London lifestyle, he works for Gendered Intelligence as a mentor and facilitator for trans young people of colour. He likes talking about his feelings and likes to write about them even more at www.sabahchoudrey.com. Tweet him @SabahChoudrey.

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Who Gets To Decide? Multiracial Families and the Question of Identity http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/15/who-gets-to-decide-multiracial-families-question-of-identity/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/15/who-gets-to-decide-multiracial-families-question-of-identity/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:00:09 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39909 By Guest Contributor Kristen Green After talking with a group of writers about my new book—part memoir, part history—I was approached by a white woman who questioned my use of the term multiracial to refer to my husband. “Is he Black?” she asked. When I said no, she firmly suggested that I “just call him […]

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By Guest Contributor Kristen Green

After talking with a group of writers about my new book—part memoir, part history—I was approached by a white woman who questioned my use of the term multiracial to refer to my husband.

“Is he Black?” she asked. When I said no, she firmly suggested that I “just call him American Indian.”

Since writing Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County, which outlines white leaders’ decision to close the schools in my hometown rather than desegregate, I’ve received unwelcome feedback about the way I describe Jason and our children, who are a mix of American Indian and white. My mom, tired of my use of the word multiracial, told me to “just let Jason be Jason.”

One person felt my kids were “so light” their race wasn’t worth mentioning. Another wondered how the race of my husband and children could be relevant to the story of my hometown since my husband wasn’t Black.

The comments, all made by white people, sting. Their feedback implies that my husband and children’s deeply personal racial identification is something they are entitled to have a say about. It also suggests they think they have an understanding of Jason and the girls’ lived experience. They couldn’t be more wrong.

The coverage of Rachel Dolezal’s decision to identify as Black, dishonest as she was, has put a laser focus on the topic of identity in this country. The issue at stake: who gets to decide how people of color refer to themselves?

For generations, whites have controlled these definitions of identity, stretching back to the one-drop rule, where anyone with a drop of “Black blood”—once called “Negro blood”—was forced by law to identify as black. The rule was used to justify slavery and Jim Crow segregation. Biracial children with one white parent could not claim any identity other than Black.

On the other hand, one drop of Indian blood has not historically made someone American Indian. The federal government has methods for classifying American Indians. In some cases, if their blood is too “diluted,” people of American Indian descent don’t qualify for land allotments or tribal membership.

With the population of brown people in the U.S. rising, the government, and the American public, will be forced to cede control of these definitions. Over the next four decades, people of two or more races are expected to be the fastest growing population of Americans. And there are more ways than ever for mixed-race people to define themselves.

My husband doesn’t have a cultural or tribal connection to his American Indian background. Yet his lived experience is as a brown person; his identity is tied to how the world views him and treats him. We know the same will be true of our two daughters.

I hear fear in the voices of whites that act as if they have some stake in how people of multiple racial backgrounds identify. When someone questions how I refer to my children, I think of the power whites have clung to by deciding how people of color are labeled.

When people challenge the terms we use, I hear this: there is so much power and privilege in being white, why would you undermine that? Why would you call your kids “mixed,” a term that many still associate with its historical reference to miscegenation, once widely considered shameful? There’s a lack of understanding that the definitions of mixed and multiracial no longer refer singularly to those who are white and black.

When a relative told me that I am placing a burden on my girls by referring to them as multiracial, I wonder what she would have me do instead. Let them try to pass for white? Why shouldn’t my girls proudly claim all that they are?

There is so much power in deciding how to identify oneself, and people of color rightly want to claim that power. This question of how people identify is increasingly relevant as more Americans marry and parent across racial and ethnic lines. People have the right to decide how to identify themselves and their children. They can call themselves mixed or biracial or multiracial. They can identify with one of their races or multiple races. It is a personal decision.

My husband and I want our daughter’s skin color, and their racial background, to be something they take pride in, something they are comfortable talking about. We want them to be aware that people have historically been discriminated against for the color of their skin.

As they get older, they will decide how they want to identify. I hope, by then, as people of color become the majority in this country, they won’t get so many unsolicited opinions from others about the way they refer to their own racial makeup.


Kristen Green (@kgreen) is the author of SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, published by Harper in June. The book, a hybrid of memoir and history, describes the decision by white leaders in her hometown to close the public schools rather than desegregate and examines her family’s role. She has worked as a newspaper reporter for 20 years, including at the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Boston Globe.

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The SDCC Files: Milestone 2.0 [Updated] http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-milestone-2-0-updated/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-milestone-2-0-updated/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39903 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: Milestone 2.0 ” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: The Black Panel 2015 [Updated] http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel-2015-updated/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel-2015-updated/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:00:49 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39900 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: The Black Panel 2015″ on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: Rep. John Lewis and March: Book 2 [Updated] http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-rep-john-lewis-and-march-book-2/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-rep-john-lewis-and-march-book-2/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:00:31 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39896 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: Rep. John Lewis and ‘March: Book 2′” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: Spotlight on Lalo Alcaraz http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-spotlight-on-lalo-alcaraz/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/14/the-sdcc-files-spotlight-on-lalo-alcaraz/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:00:43 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39893 By Arturo R. García [View the story “SDCC Spotlight: Lalo Alcaraz” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: Writing Transgender Characters http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-writing-transgender-characters/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-writing-transgender-characters/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 19:30:32 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39890 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: Writing Transgender Characters” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: Women of Color in Comics http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-women-of-color-in-comics/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-women-of-color-in-comics/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:30:28 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39887 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: Women of Color in Comics” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The SDCC Files: Super Asian America http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-super-asian-america/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/13/the-sdcc-files-super-asian-america/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 17:16:40 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39883 By Arturo R. García [View the story “The SDCC Files: Super Asian America” on Storify]

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By Arturo R. García

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The Racialicious Preview For San Diego Comic-Con 2015: Saturday + Sunday http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/08/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-2015-saturday-sunday/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/08/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-2015-saturday-sunday/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39840 By Arturo R. García Now that we’ve combed through the first half of the con, here’s the home stretch! As Kendra said, you can follow each of us not only on Twitter — at @aboynamedart, @wriglied, and @racialicious — but on Instagram: @racialicious. I’ll also be posting images from the weekend at my own IG […]

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By Arturo R. García

Now that we’ve combed through the first half of the con, here’s the home stretch!

As Kendra said, you can follow each of us not only on Twitter — at @aboynamedart, @wriglied, and @racialicious — but on Instagram: @racialicious. I’ll also be posting images from the weekend at my own IG account, and all of our posts will be shared at The R’s official Facebook page.

With the formalities out of the way, let’s dive in to the second half of SDCC!

SATURDAY

MARCH with Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, 10 am, Room 23ABC: The civil rights icon returns to preview March: Book Three, which will cover the Freedom Summer in Mississippi, as well as the march from Selma to Montgomery. And as was the case during his previous SDCC visit, the story is all too timely.

From Bollywood to Hollywood: Going Global: 12pm, Room 25ABC: Finally, the ultimate Hollywood trade show — and let’s not kid ourselves anymore about that — gets a shot of Bollywood. This panel will include footage from both US and Indian action movies, with Bollywood represented by studio exec Ishmael Kahn, actresses Pooja Batra, Radhika Chaudhari, and Shekah Kapoor.

Diversity: We Demand Diverse Books: 1pm, Room 28DE: As mentioned in our creators of color round-up, this panel (which takes its title from the movement of the same name) will follow the push to bring more diverse characters and perspectives to the YA literature world.

The Kaiju Kingdom Podcast: 1pm, Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library: This off-site offering is a live broadcast of the Kaiju Kingdom Podcast, with co-hosts Jessica Tseang and Chris Eaton bringing not only gifts for attendees, but a discussion with Godzilla comic writers Cullen Bunn and Chris Mowry.

Milestone 2.0 + Spotlight on Reginald Hudlin, 4-7 p.m., Room 9: There’s a one-hour break in between both panels, but it’s worth it for you to stick around, since Hudlin will be part of the Milestone Entertainment alum session which is teasing updates on the new Static Shock series. Former Crossfire host Van Jones will also appear to host Hudlin’s spotlight panel.

Gays in Comics 28: At the Intersection of Comics and Life: 6pm, Room 29AB: Hosted by Prism Comics, this panel addressing how queerness intersects with not only race but religion and family ties will serve as the prelude to Prism’s annual mixer and silent auction benefiting the organization, a longtime outlet for LGBTQ creators and readers.

We Are All Heroes: The Changing Landscape of Comics, Geekdom, and Fanboy Culture: 7pm, Room 14A: Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler — mistakenly listed in the official program as having directed Dope — and Michael Jai White highlight this panel, which also features former Everybody Loves Chris star Tyler James Williams and Arrow’s Kristina Law, as they tackle representations (and misrepresentations) of POC in Hollywood.

SUNDAY

Normalizing Publishing: 12pm, Room 32AB: This diversity panel will feature cartoonist Nilah Magruder, who won the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity this year for her webcomic M.F.K.

Latin American Comic Arts: The Case of the Chilean Graphic Novel: 12pm, Room 26AB: This Comics Arts Conference session will examine Chile’s surging graphic novels market, and how the genre is helping new readers explore their culture and their history.

WOC in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium: 12:30 pm, Logan Heights Library, 567 S 28th St.: How’s this for a shame? A program featuring women of color that’s not part of the convention. As such, this off-site event is open to the public. According to the San Diego Free Press, the panel lineup is as follows:

Artist/creator Delia Gable, webseries creator/writer Vanessa Verduga, literary educator Vanee Smith-Matsalia, Black Girl Nerds founder & blogger Jamie Broadnax, artist/webcomic creator Leen Isabel, and professional cosplayer Jay Justice. The discussion will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner, Regine Sawyer.

Hip Hop Comics Connection: 1pm, Room 28DE: This panel will center around Ed Piskor, who has chronicled the links between comics and hip-hop in the Eisner Award-nominated Hip Hop Family Tree, which recently became Fantagraphic Comics’ first monthly offering.

Comics at the Crossroads: Culture, Identity, and Narrative Technologies in the EthnoSurreal: 1:30pm, Room 26AB: This is one academic offering where we’re going to let the panel summary do all the talking:

Comics are inherently surreal, juxtaposing images, text, and word and thought balloons to create layered stories consisting of a multiplicity of perspectives and states of being. EthnoSurrealism focuses on culture (cultural notions, cultural practices, and cultural theories) to explore those moments where culturally bound interpretations of images and story converge at the crossroads of everyday life. It seeks to make these images, stories, and their making co-present. EthnoSurrealism embraces the tenants of surrealism while examining them through a cultural lens. Stanford W. Carpenter (Institute for Comics Studies), John Jennings (University at Buffalo), and Jeremy Love (Bayou) will examine the cultural artifacts, imaginaries, and stories that intersect at the crossroads of everyday life and how the notion of the crossroads is itself infused throughout the New World Black Culture. Adilifu Nama (Loyola Marymount) moderates.

Queer Imagery in Animation: 3pm, Room 28DE: Prism Comics hosts this panel, as well, which will delve into gender identity using critically-acclaimed works like Bob’s Burgers, The Legend of Korra, and Steven Universe, among others, as touchstones.

Super Asian America: 3pm, Room 29AB: Our friends at Racebending will host this panel, featuring Agents of SHIELD’s Chloe Bennet, Action Comics writer Greg Pak, and Nerds of Color editor-in-chief Keith Chow, among others.

Top image via Flickr Creative Commons

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The Racialicious Preview For San Diego Comic-Con 2015: Thursday + Friday http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/08/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-2015-thursday-friday/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/08/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-2015-thursday-friday/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 12:00:10 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39859 Well, it’s that time of year again. As this posts Arturo and I will be gearing up for the five day sprint of geek culture (and alcoholic beverages) that is San Diego Comic Con.  Like our past two years of tag teaming the giant convention you can expect  our preview posts, con observations and panel live tweets […]

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Well, it’s that time of year again. As this posts Arturo and I will be gearing up for the five day sprint of geek culture (and alcoholic beverages) that is San Diego Comic Con.  Like our past two years of tag teaming the giant convention you can expect  our preview posts, con observations and panel live tweets from @aboynamedart, @wriglied, and @racialicious), possible tumblr updates, and –new this year– daily updates from our Instagram account, also @racialicious.

As usual, Art and I have taken a moment to highlight a few panels that spotlight diversity, Creators of Colour, and any POVs generally marginalised in fandom, entertainment, and creative spaces.  These are also the panels you’re most likely to find us livetweeting from over the next few days, so tune in and if you’re attending, don’t be afraid to say hello! I’ll be cosplaying (Peggy Carter on Thursday, Rey from The Force Awakens on Friday and Saturday, and Margaery Tyrell on Sunday), but we’ll both be recogniseable by our haggard visages and overly caffeinated shaking limbs.

Panels for Thursday and Friday are listed below, with Saturday and Sunday soon to follow! The official schedule is also posted here.

THURSDAY

Grant Morrison and Graphic India: Myth, Magic, and Monsters; 10:00am – 11:00am; Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront:Legendary creator, Grant Morrison (Batman, All Star Superman, 18 Days, The Multiversity) discusses storytelling, global mythology, mysticism, the rise of Indian superheroes and his latest comic launch, 18 Days: The Mahabharata. Morrison will also announce his latest groundbreaking, mythic/sci-fi project with Graphic India for the first time.

CBLDF: Why Are Diverse Books Banned?; 1:00pm – 2:00pm; Room 30CDE: When the American Library Association released their latest annual list of the most challenged books, a disturbing trend was noted: Books that increased the diversity of what is available to readers were more likely to be challenged. What is it about diversity that seems to encourage censors? Join CBLDF and library and education professionals Candice Mack(president, Young Adult Library Services Association), Erwin Magbanua(programming & special events coordinator, San Diego Public Library),Carla Riemer (librarian, Claremont Middle School, Oakland, California),Carol Tilley (associate professor, University of Illinois), and more for a discussion of why diverse books are challenged and how we can defend them. Moderated by CBLDF editorial director Betsy Gomez.

Comics Are for Everyone: Helping Every Student See Themselves in the Medium1:00pm – 2:00pm; Shiley Special Events, San Diego Central Library: While the cultural footprint of comics has increased immensely, minorities, women, and the LGBT community have only recently begun to see an increase in representation in mainstream comics. This panel seeks to explore the cultural, societal, and educational ramifications of this recent shift and discuss possible future implications. Educators Ronell Whitaker (Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, Blue Island, IL), Eric Kallenborn(Alan B. Shepard High School, Palos Heights, IL), Adam Huggins (Miras International School, Almaty, Kazakhstan), and Dr. Katie Monnin ( Teaching Graphic Novels, Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning), led by moderator John Shableski (Udon Entertainment), discuss the impact of diverse characters in comics.

What Do Women Want? Female Gaze in Manga; 3:00pm – 4:00pm ; Room 29AB: What do women want to read? While comics in North America has been mostly a “boy” thing, in Japan, manga and anime for women have been a major force in the comics market for many years. From shojo manga to boys love manga to reverse harem “otome” video games and anime filled with delectable guys, these media have been catering to the tastes of female fans in Japan. These stories are reaching readers and inspiring comics creators worldwide more than ever. See what manga publishing pros Leyla Aker (senior vice president, publishing, VIZ Media), JuYoun Lee (editor-in-chief, Yen Press), Lillian Diaz-Pryzbyl (head of comics, Sparkler Monthly), and manga creator Jamie Lynn Lano (The Princess of Tennis, Denkiki) have to say about “female gaze” in manga, why it sells, and why it matters. They’ll also share their picks for your next must-read manga that’ll make you swoon. Moderated by Deb Aoki (Publishers Weekly, Manga Comics Manga)

Writing Transgender Characters; 5:00pm – 6:00pm; Room 28DE: As transgender representation in comics grows in the mainstream, the indie scene, and on the web, creators are bringing the triumphs and challenges of the trans experience to a new readership. What is the best approach to writing transgender characters? How should creators balance the demands of authenticity, advocacy, and entertainment when representing this diverse and often misunderstood community? Join Prism Comics and moderator Tara Madison Avery (Gooch, Prism Comics board member) for a lively discussion of these and other issues with panelists Knave Murdok (Transcat), Ronnie Ritchie (Gqutie), Kat Blaque (illustrator, animator, blogger), Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Dax Tran-Caffe (Falling Sky, 2015 Eisner nominee and Gillian Cameron(Calogrenant).

LGBTQ Geek Year in Review; 6:00pm – 7:00pm; Room 28DE: Media diversity is in the news now more than ever. The past year has been filled with key moments in comics, TV, movies, and animation that every queer geek should know about. Join Prism Comics and moderator P. Kristen Enos (Prism Comics board member, Web of Lives) as they discuss the significance of these key events to the greater LGBTQ community with panelists Diane Anderson-Minshall (The Advocate, Queerly Beloved),Amber Garza (Geeks OUT, Flame Con), Matt Kane (GLAAD), Chelsea Steiner (After Ellen), and Sean Z. Maker(Bent-Con).

Hip-Hop and Comics: Cultures Combining7:00pm – 8:00pm; Room 29AB: Hip-Hop and comics intersect in many ways; rappers and graffiti artists utilize superheroic imagery and adopt larger-than-life alter-egos, while comic creators incorporate references to music, dance, and fashion, and draw on Hip-Hop’s rich visual vocabulary. Patrick A. Reed (Depth of Field, ComicsAlliance) brings together a group of graphic artists and musical innovators to discuss the ties between these two creative cultures.

FRIDAY

The Black Panel: 10:00am – 11:30am; Room 5AB: This year’s panel consists of Ne-Yo (Ghost: The God Killer, Non-Fiction), Joe Illidge (writer, columnist, The Ren),Karen Hunter (The Karen Hunter Show, Karen Hunter Publishing, Pulitzer Prize winner), Eric Dean Seaton(Disney Channel director, creator, Legend of the Mantamaji) and last but not least, Don McGregor (2015 Bill Finger Award recipient for Excellence in Comic Book Writing). The focus of the panel is the lack of unity among many in the Black pop culture space and opens the floor for ideas on how we can change that. Also, a sea change occurs as the panel realizes an end of an era. Moderated, as always, by Michael Davis.

Push Boundaries Forward: Gender, Diversity, and Representation in Comic Books; 10:00am – 11:00am; Room 4: The face of comics is changing. A diverse panel examine what indie/web publishing has been doing right, how mainstream comics can catch up, and what creators and fans can do to be heard. Moderator Amy Chu (Girl’s Night Out) leads panelists Maigrhread Scott (The Third Witch, Lantern City), IDW Publishing editor Sarah Gaydos, Derek Charm (The Powerpuff Girls: Super Smash-Up!), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Arkham Sessions podcast), Christian Beranek (Validation), and BOOM! Studios brand communications manager Christine Dinhand BOOM! Studios associate editor Chris Rosa in a sincere, thoughtful discussion on the topic of gender, diversity, and representation in mainstream comics

CBLDF: Comics and The Real World: Using Graphic Novels as Tools of Tolerance; 1:00pm – 2:00pm; Room 30CDE: Jimmy Gownley (The Dumbest Idea Ever, Amelia Rules!), Jonathan Hennessey (The United States Constitution, Gettysburg), Aron Steinke (The Zoo Box), Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware, Dragons Beware), Eric Kallenborn (Alan B. Shepard High School Palos Heights, IL), Betsy Gomez (CBLDF), Tracy Edmunds (Reading With Pictures), and moderator Meryl Jaffe, Ph.D. (Raising a Reader! How Comics and Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Learn to Read) demonstrate how graphic novels can be used to teach and empower students to feel, access and comprehend historical and cultural events, as well as more fully understand diverse figures in history and fiction and even grasp concepts in science and math. There will be lesson and reading suggestion handouts and time for Q&A.

Diversity and Queer Gaming: 2:00pm – 3:00pm; Room 28DE: Diversity remains a hot topic in the media, and the year in gaming is no exception. How are new gaming platforms giving a voice to underserved groups of players? How does the “Gaymer” identity spill beyond the tabletop, and what role do minorities have to play in an industry that still doesn’t reflect its audience? Join Prism Comics and moderator Josh Trujillo (editor, Death Saves-Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table) for a wide-ranging discussion of diversity and roles in gaming, covering everything from Dungeons & Dragons to Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Panelists include Matthew Michael Browne (video game product manager), Matthew Conn (filmmaker, Gaming in Color), Philip Jones (filmmaker, Gaming in Color) and Jenni Villarreal (Loot Crate).

Lucasfilm; 5:30pm – 6:30pm; Hall H: Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan, and special guests provide a special look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Comic Conga 6pm – midnight; Centro Cultural de La Raza, Balboa Park, 2004 Park Blvd: This off-site event spotlighting Latino artists like Lalo Alcaraz is free for SDCC pass holders, and $13 at the door. It will also feature live music and an art exhibition curated by Mario Torero that is slated to run until Aug. 2.

The Gay Agenda in Horror: Terrifying Subtext; 7:00pm – 8:00pm; Room 28DE: The horror genre is based on our fears of the unknown, fear of “outsiders,” and the attraction and repulsion of giving in to transgressions and forbidden passions. These elements have also been associated with the LGBTQ community mostly in a negative sense. All the way back to horror stories of the late 1800’s, Dracula, Dorian Gray, and more, the subtext of gay and lesbian characters and themes was unspoken, hinted at, or inferred. But in the last few decades subtext has become “text.” In novels from Anne Rice and others, to films and TV shows like The Hunger, True Blood, Hellbent, and American Horror Story, the queer side of horror has come out into the light. Join Prism Comics and moderator Michael Varrati (Tales of Poe, Sins of Dracula) as they discuss the history of this popular genre from a queer perspective. Panelists will include Mark Bessenger (Bite Marks, The Last Straight Man), M.A. Fortin (The Final Girls), Andy Mangels (Nightmares on Elm Street, Childs Play, Star Trek, Star Wars Comics), Bart Mastronardi (Tales of Poe, Vindication), Joshua Miller (The Final Girls) and Mark Patton (star of Nightmare of Elm Street Part 2).

Showcasing the Best in Korean Comics7:30pm – 8:30pm; Room 26AB: A team of Korea’s prolific artists and animation studios, represented by Jongmin Shin (CEO of EGA Studios), showcases the latest and greatest trends in Korean comics and animation. They will also showcase their recent and upcoming productions on some of today’s hottest comics. Join Jongmin and crew for this Q&A session moderated by Austin Osueke (publisher of eigoMANGA).

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]]> http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/08/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-2015-thursday-friday/feed/ 0 The SDCC Files: A Quick Primer On Some Creators Of Color To Follow http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/07/the-sdcc-files-a-quick-primer-on-some-creators-of-color-to-follow/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/07/the-sdcc-files-a-quick-primer-on-some-creators-of-color-to-follow/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:00:28 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39861 By Arturo R. García As ever, we keep an eye out for creators of color during San Diego Comic-Con, but for the second straight year, we’re getting the ball rolling a little early with some folks to watch going into the event, covering not just superhero comics, but television and the YA novel world, all […]

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By Arturo R. García

As ever, we keep an eye out for creators of color during San Diego Comic-Con, but for the second straight year, we’re getting the ball rolling a little early with some folks to watch going into the event, covering not just superhero comics, but television and the YA novel world, all under the cut.

Lalo Alcaraz

Nearly 20 years after launching his seminal comic strip La Cucaracha, large swaths of America are about to meet the San Diego State University alumnus. Alcaraz will be the focus of his own Spotlight panel on Thursday morning, during which he will showcase not only his cartooning work, but glimpses of Bordertown, the Fox animated show he’s been writing for. You can probably expect a joke or two about Donald Trump along the way.

Cover art or “Andre The Giant: Closer To Heaven,” by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri.


Brandon Easton

On the heels of the #DiversifyAgentCarter campaign, the Eisner Award nominee was recently named to the show’s writing staff, a promising development. He’s also fulfilling a dream assignment for most old-school pro-wrestling fans in writing the Andre The Giant biography Closer to Heaven, featuring art by Denis Medri. He will also be part of the Writer’s Journey panel on Friday evening, alongside Concrete Park co-creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear and Geoffrey Thorne, who’s coming off a run on TNT’s Librarians fantasyesque-adventure series.

(L-R) Milestone Entertainment characters Icon, Rocket, Static & Hardware.

Milestone Entertainment

It’s been just over eight months since word got out that a live-action Static Shock webseries was in the works. Now, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, and Reginald Hudlin sound like they will have some answers in a Saturday afternoon session. Will this be the year the fans’ hopes for the Milestone Universe’s return are finally validated?

“Heroes & Bandits Gothic Country Poster,” by Rocky Olivares, via DeviantArt.

Rocky Olivares

Olivares was recommended to us as part of our open call a little while back. After a brief hiatus, Olivares will be promoting her newest work, the Goth Country-influenced Heroes & Bandits, and she’ll be in the Small Press area in booth K-06.

Preview image for Greg Pak and Mirko Colak’s “Kingsway West.”


Greg Pak

Pak is having a good moment in each major realm of the comics world: besides promoting his work on DC’s Action Comics, he’s been announced as the writer for Marvel’s new Totally Awesome Hulk series, and he’s also debuting his first creator-owned miniseries, Dark Horse’s Kingsway West, a collaboration with artist Miko Colak that blends sword-and-sorcery with the Old West.

Cover for Cindy Pon’s latest book, “Serpentine.”


Cindy Pon

Pon will be promoting her upcoming third book, Serpentine, in which a 16-year-old handmaiden deals with physical changes that point her toward a destiny she has to avoid. The author, who co-founded Diversity in YA with fellow young adults fiction writer Melinda Lo, also contacted us to give us the heads-up on a Saturday afternoon panel tied in to the We Want Diverse Books movement, which will also feature Cece Bell, Mariko Tamaki, and Soman Chainani, among others.

Remember, we’ll keep spotlighting more talented POCs as the weekend goes on, so check back on the page throughout SDCC weekend!

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Images: Chicano-Con And The San Diego You Won’t See At Comic-Con http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/06/images-chicano-con-and-the-san-diego-you-wont-see-at-comic-con/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/06/images-chicano-con-and-the-san-diego-you-wont-see-at-comic-con/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:00:04 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39845 By Arturo R. García While San Diego Comic-Con has become linked with the city’s economy, it’s worth pointing out that one reason other cities probably feel they have a shot at wresting it from San Diego’s grasp is, there’s very little inside the event that actually reflects the city. Over the weekend, the Chicano-Con exhibit […]

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By Arturo R. García

While San Diego Comic-Con has become linked with the city’s economy, it’s worth pointing out that one reason other cities probably feel they have a shot at wresting it from San Diego’s grasp is, there’s very little inside the event that actually reflects the city.

Over the weekend, the Chicano-Con exhibit began putting more of the “San Diego” back into this sphere. The event, a pair of two-day art exhibitions inside Barrio Logan, a neighborhood less than a mile from the convention’s high-rent district that formed its identity in the early 1900s with the infusion of refugees from the Mexican Revolution. Brent E. Beltrán, highlighted this disparity in the San Diego Free Press:

Comic-Con International recently bought a building at 16th and National in Barrio Logan. Yet no official events are scheduled to take place here.

There’s not even a shuttle bus stop yet there will be Comic-Con buses running every twenty minutes down Cesar Chavez Parkway heading towards the freeway. And there will also be countless attendees using this community as a parking lot to escape the outrageous parking fees.

Yet no official activities take place here. No outreach has been done to incorporate a low income, mostly Latino community impacted every year by Comic-Con. And that is unfortunate.

We love comics and the popular arts as well. We’re even known for our art. Yet, Comic-Con ignores us.

There are more events on tap in the area during SDCC weekend, which we’ll highlight in our upcoming convention preview. But this past Saturday, we went to Border X Brewing for the Chicano-Con exhibition, and you can see most of the artwork on display under the cut.

While most of the displays were two-dimensional, artist Cesar Castañeda lent two more sizable works to the collection:

"Quetzalcoatl Roots, no. 2 of 3" by Cesar Castaneda

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

"Rise of Quetzalcoatl," by Cesar Castaneda. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

"Batman is a Cholo" #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

There were also individual comics on display, but at a glance, Wonder Woman — first played on TV, of course, by a biracial Latina, Lynda Carter — got the most individual attention:

#Latina #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

Wonder Woman is the member of the Trinity getting the most shine at #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

More Diana love #ChicanoCon #wonderwoman

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

As one might expect, Lucha Libre was also well-represented at the exhibition, with a particular emphasis on Mexico’s all-time best attraction, El Santo:

Growing up in Mexico, Kaliman (left) & El Santo were more popular than Superman or Cap. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

El Santo, joining the fray. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

Promo art for "Santo In The Wax Museum," 1964. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

#ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

During the 80s, "Aguila Solitaria" was the name of a prominent masked luchador. No "Native" motif, though.

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

For the sake of comparison, here’s Aguila Solitaria, the wrestler:

Blue Demon preparing for #luchaunderground? #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

Some of the featured works took on more political messages:

"Murderer State" #ayotzinapa #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

"Comandante Chicomencoatl," by Mario Chacon. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

American comic hot take. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

The Joker meets Cepillin. Truly frightening. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

El Chapulin Colorado's last fight. #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

The Pachuco emerges from the underworld #ChicanoCon

A photo posted by Arturo R Garcia (@aboynamedart2) on

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Last Call For The Racialicious SDCC Creators Of Color Round-up http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/last-call-for-the-racialicious-sdcc-creators-of-color-round-up/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/last-call-for-the-racialicious-sdcc-creators-of-color-round-up/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:00:50 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39801 If you missed our first call, don’t sweat — we’re still looking to hear from any creators of color heading to San Diego Comic-Con next week. To recap: If you’re going to be an exhibitor or presenter during the convention, or know someone who is, drop us a line in the comment thread here, or […]

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If you missed our first call, don’t sweat — we’re still looking to hear from any creators of color heading to San Diego Comic-Con next week.

To recap: If you’re going to be an exhibitor or presenter during the convention, or know someone who is, drop us a line in the comment thread here, or at team@racialicious.com and we’ll boost the signal as part of our SDCC preview, which will also our looks at the programming. Just let us know where to find you both at the event and online.

Also, stick around during the con, as Kendra & Arturo bring you live-tweets and images throughout the weekend!

Top image by Kevin Dooley via Flickr Creative Commons

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Art as Remembrance and Creative Resistance: John Sims’ Flag Funerals http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/art-as-remembrance-and-creative-resistance-john-sims-flag-funerals/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/art-as-remembrance-and-creative-resistance-john-sims-flag-funerals/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39774 By Guest Contributor John Sims We live in troubled times. This story started many scores of years ago with the founding fathers, some of whom may have recognized the toxic contradictions that would poison the future of this great land. Our history reveals constant resistance to social justice and respect: the sabotage/abandonment of Reconstruction, the […]

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By Guest Contributor John Sims

We live in troubled times. This story started many scores of years ago with the founding fathers, some of whom may have recognized the toxic contradictions that would poison the future of this great land. Our history reveals constant resistance to social justice and respect: the sabotage/abandonment of Reconstruction, the compromised Civil Rights Movement, thwarted Black Power, silenced affirmative action, with countless lynchings, injustices, and instances of police and state brutality along the way. We are in haunted times, where race and Blackness are debated and presented with sleight of hand, tricking our best minds to think we are in a post-Black/racial epoch. We are in war times: white supremacy, privilege and denial on one side, black poverty, mass incarceration, double-consciousness on the other. Welcome to an American Civil War that started long before General Lee was born.

The wounds of the Civil War continue to sting after 150 years, along the lines of geography, race, and regional heritage, compromising national healing and sometimes civility. In the late 1990s in South Carolina, tensions flared over the placement of the Confederate flag on the capitol dome. Mass demonstrations and counter-demonstrations across the South revealed deep rifts in the reading of the Civil War and its aftermath, how greatly divided we really are as a country, and how this war continues.

In war, flags are important signifiers that mark social, cultural and historical space. While some may believe the Confederate flag is about heritage and not hate, its history and present reality speak otherwise. This flag can never represent the rich diversity and dynamic heritage of Southern folk, where the African American experience has played a central role. To continue to fly this flag is more than passive-aggressive and disrespectful; it promotes visual terrorism. If Black people and sympathetic allies are not in constant resistance and protest of such symbols, we run the risk of sending the wrong signal: that everything is fine and that we don’t matter. So we protest.

If we cannot resolve the issue of the Confederate flag, something we can see and touch, how can we as a nation process the complex things we cannot see? There are cemeteries for Confederates soldiers; where are the national memorials to the victims of slavery, to descendants of African slaves who built the economy that made this country a world power? What can we make of the fact that in WWII, white American soldiers often treated Nazi prisoners of war better than their African American compatriots? The Confederate flag flying, the Fergusons, the Eric Gardners, and the Freddie Grays of America are forceful reminders of this nation’s consistent lack of respect for Black people. And where there is no respect, there is no justice, and there can be no peace.

“Recoloration Proclamation” and “#BuryBuryFlag Artist John Sims.

To mark both the 150th anniversary of the end of Civil War and the conclusion of Recoloration Proclamation (my fifteen-year multi-media art project concerned with the Confederate flag, visual terrorism and the ownership of Southern heritage), I organized The Confederate Flag: 13 Flag Funerals. This was a funeral/burial group performance in each of the 13 states represented by the 13 stars on the Confederate flag. These events, held on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, were intended to create a space of ceremonial reflection on the desire for the death, burial, and perhaps the burning of all the Confederate flag represents: a symbol of terror, treason, supremacy, a bearer of the message that history is rewriteable, visual terrorism is sustainable and Black Lives Don’t Matter.

Then weeks later, South Carolina happened.

Contrary to much media reporting, this incident is far from unbelievable. It is a product of American racism. The time is now for the Confederate flag to come down in South Carolina, Mississippi, and other places where it flies high. The time is now for federal law prohibiting the use of the Confederate flag in state flags or on governmental property. The time is now to demand that taking the flag down be more than a mere consolation prize, for the time is now to address head on the foundational issues that undermine social justice and respect for all Americans.

The Confederate Flag: A Call to Burn and Bury. Courtesy John Sims.

The Confederate Flag: A Call to Burn and Bury. Courtesy John Sims.

So in response to Charleston as an artist and concerned citizen, I am extending the 13 Flag Funerals Memorial Day project to a countrywide call for the collective burning and burying of the Confederate flag on July 4th, 2015. I am asking all Americans to join together on Independence Day to demonstrate that this symbol of slavery, segregation, subjugation, and a lost war will not divide us further and that the this great American Civil War must come to an end.


John Sims is a multi-media political math artist who creates projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance, and political-media activism.  #BurnBuryFlag

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On Shia LaBeouf And Appropriation: This Is What Happens When Nobody Knows Your Name http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/on-shia-labeouf-this-is-what-happens-when-nobody-knows-your-name/ http://www.racialicious.com/2015/07/01/on-shia-labeouf-this-is-what-happens-when-nobody-knows-your-name/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=39796 By Guest Contributor DJ Kuttin Kandi Nearly 20 years after the film Nobody Knows My Name by documentarian Rachel Raimist many of us can still relate to the many stories of the wom*n in Hip Hop that were told in the film. We, the Anomolies crew can most definitely relate as we are just a […]

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By Guest Contributor DJ Kuttin Kandi

Nearly 20 years after the film Nobody Knows My Name by documentarian Rachel Raimist many of us can still relate to the many stories of the wom*n in Hip Hop that were told in the film. We, the Anomolies crew can most definitely relate as we are just a few of the thousands upon thousands of names you never knew existed.

Anomolies originally started off as an “all female Hip Hop” collective back in 1995 with over 26 members. In the last few years, we have evolved to be inclusive to being a gender justice collective. So, we don’t appreciate the assumptions and the misgendering of any of our crew members. We came together to create a safe space for ourselves within Hip Hop so that we can be all that we are and do what we love without having to worry about ridicule, judgement and overall oppression that many of us so often receive within many patriarchal-dominated Hip Hop spaces. Anomolies’ intentional goal was to support one another and to offer our support to many of us within Hip Hop who are so often marginalized and underrepresented. We started Anomolies because we knew that we had to be our own agents of change because if we didn’t, who else would?

The dictionary definition of the name aNoMoLIES is 1. To deviate from the norm. or 2. Something that occurs once in a lifetime. When you break down the name it spells out No Mo Lies (no more lies). Anomolies dispels myths about our identities in Hip Hop culture. We are proud to deviate from the “norm”, we are proud to question and to challenge myths.

Beyond our own Hip Hop crew, so many of us are Anomolies — trying to break gender norms, defying myths and trying to use Hip Hop as a platform to be heard.

So many of us are local to global wom*n-identified, wom*n of color, black and brown bodies, indigenous, queer, trans, two-spirited, gender non-conforming, disabled, adoptees, (im)migrants, non-working to working class Hip Hop artists and communities that you never knew had skills. So many are the voices that many have never heard of because either they are pretending we don’t exist or they are pretending to be us. We’re either the ones many want to “rachelize” or we’re the ones they want to call “old skool” b*tches and not give us our due props. We’re the ones you would never know about until an actor like Shia LaBeouf shows up on video footage somewhere in the woods reciting some of our verses from one of our songs and “fake the funk” like he was actually freestyling.

But we are more than just any of this …

We are more than just rappers/lyricists/battle mc’s, DJs & turntablists, producers, graffiti writers, and Bgirlz. We are more than just “independent Hip Hop”. We’re not just from that “true hip hop” cypher we so often call the “underground”. No, we are more than just all this …

Because we also practice the 5th element of Hip Hop which is knowledge, we’ve got knowledge of self. Because we have knowledge of self we know our roots and where we come from. We know the realities of the world and we are aware of the struggles that we face. We are conscious and because of this consciousness we know that even as I write this, many will still never know our name or care about us.

Because we are the marginalized, underrepresented, and the oppressed; we know that many will never know what it feels like to have been around for more than 2 decades to then have a few of our lyrics which was written and recorded in 1999 to be used in a cypher by a famous white cisgender-male privileged famous actor like Shia LaBeouf as though he “freestyled” it himself. We know that many will not even care to understand what it’s like to be attacked by random people defending his “freestyle” by calling us “b*tches” and to tell us that he was doing us a favor by biting our verses. We know that many will tell us it was only a few bars and that we should move on but yet only true Hip Hop heads will know this is disrespect. We know that many will not know what it feels like to now have white amerikkka watching over us and reaching out to our personal lives just to attack us with misogynist threats and even our children just because we were trying to speak up for ourselves. Because we are from the “underground” and are about that “true Hip Hop” we know that Hip Hop has reached suburb America into white backpacker homes who all love to rap Hip Hop, BE Hip Hop, and be us but yet never want to BE us.

Because we are all Anomolies and nobody knows our names – we know that after the buzz feeds and hashtags fades away, we will once again be forgotten and only those of us who truly know and love Hip Hop Culture; will continue to salute and honor us. We know that after all is said and done; we will continue to feel unsafe and unprotected as many will continue to troll the feeds with their racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist and overall oppressive comments just to protect the Rachel Dolezal’s, Iggy Izalea’s and Shia LaBeouf’s of the world – because we are the often imitated, the often erased, and the often oppressed.

But it had been our dearest friend, black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde that has taught us that our silence will not protect us. While some of us may not call ourselves feminists, some of us know that it is because of Audre Lorde that we know that Anomolies is our form of feminism. In the troubled times that we are currently facing and have been facing — from continuously being sexually assaulted, raped, harassed, to Rachel Dolezal’s blackface to Ferguson and to Charleston, to the hurtful attacks against Jennicet for demanding that trans women be released from detention centers – we know that now is not the time to retreat and be afraid of our rage for we know that our silence will not save us.

So, while to some this is just “Hip Hop” and a few bars off our track the “Perfectionist”, to so many of us this means so much more — for Anomolies is our family. nomolies is our ANSwer to speaking truth to power. We’re not here to do anything but to speak our truth because we know that this is bigger than us. We know that all this will just come and go, so we really don’t have time to continuously check the privileges of white cisgendered men of mainstream America because there are far more relevant issues going on in the world. We’ve got work to do and we are working hard to get more organized. As we organize, we know that we need to say our names and say it loud for we are proud to be more than just your average “norm”.

We are not the first to have our music and lyrics bitten, we are not the first to have our h*stories and our lives erased, nor are we the first to be culturally appropriated. But we know we at least said something and did something. We called out whom we needed to call out. We are done.

The rest is up to you all —- We are NOT going to do interviews on this subject because we got work to do. So, we’re going to let our media justice friends do that, should it be done. Btw, a big shout out to all of our fans/supporters/families who all brought this to our attention and who have had our back in responding to all this unnecessary business.

If any of you all wanna continue supporting — then support our work, support our lives, support our movement, support organizations that are doing grassroots gender rights work, call out those only all male hip-hop line ups, buy our music because some of us pay our rents and feed our families with all this, organize in your community, speak out against gender injustice when it needs to be called out — if you don’t know, then learn — not just about Anomolies but support all wom*n, wom*n of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming with all shapes and sizes, (dis)abilities and ages. Don’t wait for us till we’re no longer here. Do this now —- for again, this is bigger than us — this is not for some “spotlight”. 20 years later you think we care about all that? Nah —- THERE ARE IMPORTANT STRUGGLES GOING ON IN THIS WORLD, we don’t got time for this unwanted attention based off of Shia LaBeouf. SO LET’S ORGANIZE. This is all that is asked to be done to speak and say our names — all of us from the “underground” to all over this world. Say that we are here … speak our names into existence for we are more than just the Anomolies… we are the family you never knew existed.

DJ Kuttin Kandi is a member of the Anomolies hip-hop collective, as well as a poet and activist.

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