Tag Archives: african-american

Mocking Black Names in Covina: How “Liberal” are Our Youth?

by Guest Contributor Joe R. Feagin, originally published at Racism Review


There seems to be no end to mocking of the language and speech of people of color by whites. A Los Angeles Times article recounts some mocking of the names of black high school students, likely from a white high school student:

Administrators at Charter Oak High School in Covina are investigating how a student on the yearbook staff was able to get fake names for Black Student Union members, including “Tay Tay Shaniqua,” “Crisphy Nanos” and “Laquan White,” into the published yearbook.

Beyond this hateful racist mocking there are deeper issues. Whites and some others do not seem to understand that many working-class and middle-class black parents provide their children with nontraditional first names to provide them with something special and distinctive–and not with the “white” first names that are commonplace in society. (Adia has made this point to me in discussion.) Such naming is often a type of resistance to whiteness and white folkways. Historically, whites have done a lot of mocking of the language and speech of all Americans of color–African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and others—and name mocking in the Covina case seems in this tradition of negative racial framing of Americans of color. Mock Spanish and mock Black English seem to be esp. popular these days, including on the Internet. There are many websites mocking the speech of other Americans of color. Whites often say such mocking is “just joking,” but as we have known since Freud, racist joking is often far more than joking. Continue reading

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Homicide When the Patriarchy is Enough

by Guest Contributor M. Dot, originally published at Model Minority

These days and times are trife for Black women. You will rarely hear me speak from the stance of victim-hood, as I try my hardest to keep agency on mines.

My rationale is that as long as you are reactionary, someone else will always be setting your agenda and you will not gain any sustainable traction.

However the skin issues, sexual access issues have been on my bird lately.

The sexual access issues arose at the DJ Spinna Party on Saturday. I was standing with Filthy near the bar debating how long it is going to take Spinna to play Shook Ones or Who Got the Props. There were two clusters of white women there. In each group there was one women wearing a veil. They were toasted. Light-weight Girls Gone Wild toasted.

For the past six or seven years, New York City clubs have been making extra cake by throwing bachelor/ette parties earlier in the evening from 8-11pm with the regular party running from 11-3am. However there tends to be carry over, which is what I think happened Saturday. My homie K-boogie confirmed this later that night as she went to a bachelor party at the same spot last week.

So, I am standing there, minding my own business and a woman walks by me to order a drink. She apparently was a bachelor/ette party attendee, stripper or both. Either way she was lit, blond, and hootered out.

The first time she passed me she complemented my earrings.

(My earing game is mean.)

Second time she rubbed past me.

The third time, I was leaning over talking to Filth, so his ear was toward me, and she kissed me near my other ear. Continue reading

Where Are All the Good Black Men? They’re Busy, Fixing Problems

Spotted this on the La Chola blog:

*The statement below was forwarded to me by friend, colleague and comrade William Jelani Cobb. Please feel free to add your name to the statement and to forward it to others.*

The Online Petition (currently holding 377 signatures)

–Mark Anthony Neal

*Statement of Black Men Against the Exploitation of Black Women*

Six years have gone by since we first heard the allegations that R. Kelly had filmed himself having sex with an underage girl. During that time we have seen the videotape being hawked on street corners in Black communities, as if the dehumanization of one of our own was not at stake. We have seen entertainers rally around him and watched his career reach new heights despite the grave possibility that he had molested and urinated on a 13-year old girl. We saw African Americans purchase millions of his records despite the long history of such charges swirling around the singer. Worst of all, we have witnessed the sad vision of Black people cheering his acquittal with a fervor usually reserved for community heroes and shaken our heads at the stunning lack of outrage over the verdict in the broader Black community. Continue reading

The Tyra Show Asks “Where Have All the Good Black Men Gone?”

by Special Correspondent Nadra Kareem


The club. The street. The grocery store.

These are the places good black men can be found, according to the group of black male panelists featured on the “Tyra Show” May 23. I saw a clip of the show rather than the entire program, but the segment I did see (found below) was pretty underwhelming.

First off, I took issue with the show’s name—“Where Have All the Good Black Men Gone?” It implies that good black men are either on the brink of extinction or a breed we’ve heard about but never had the chance to actually see. Good black men, it would seem, are as hard to come by as el chupacabra, a bag of magic beans or a pot of gold.

Fortunately, some of the guests on the panel debunked this myth by saying that good black men are spread out and can be found anywhere—from coffee shops, to school, to church, anywhere it’s easy to make conversation. Continue reading

LA Times Explores Being Gay at Morehouse

by Latoya Peterson

A while back, I read Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America. Written by Keith Boykin, the book is an answer to J.L. King’s On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of “Straight” Black Men Who Sleep with Men. Boykin sets out to debunk a lot of the myths about the down low as put forward in King’s piece, but one part of his argument stands out in my mind.

In analyzing what makes a good black man, he poses multiple scenarios about men, their community contributions and their personal lives. In one synopsis, Boykin seemingly describes the perfect, community involved black man with one catch – he’s gay.

Does his sexual orientation disqualify him from being “a good black man?”

I’ve been puzzling over that question for two years now. While it would make sense that a man’s deeds, not his choice of partner, should determine his standing in the black community, it is obvious that the ideal we would like to get to is far from reality as it stands today.

So, when reader Jafari sent in an article from the LA Times about being gay at Morehouse, I hoped that the article would lead me to some answers.

The piece begins with a tantalizing tagline:

The ‘Morehouse man’ is a paragon of virtue and strength, a leader destined for great things. But can he also be gay?

Continue reading

When to Confront a Stranger: A Question of Authority

by Special Correspondent Nadra Kareem

The odd thing about the word “nigger” for me is that as much debate as I’ve heard about the term, my exposure to it in adulthood is fairly limited. I grew up in the Chicago area in a mostly African American family, but a few of my black relatives, all transplants from the South, insisted on complaining about “no-good niggers” and such, despite the fact that I took issue with their use of the word.

Now, as a grown woman who lives far from family and far from the inner-city (the other place where I’ve often heard the word spoken), I’m most likely to hear “nigger” in a rap song or a film than I am in person. That’s why during a recent visit to a Target in an L.A. neighborhood where the upwardly mobile clientele likely dub the store “Tar-zhay,” I froze when I heard a voice cry out, “It’s over there, nigger!”

After stopping in my tracks, two things struck me: the voice belonged to a female and the female in question was probably not black. Continue reading

OJ Simpson is NOT a Litmus Test For Black People!

by Latoya Peterson

Continuing the Spike Lee/Clint Eastwood Discussion, I received an email from reader Elton alerting me to an exchange on the Hannity & Colmes show.

Leo Terrell, a civil rights attorney came on the show to debate the merits of Lee’s position. The conversation starts out fine:

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST:[...]Look, doesn’t Clint have a point, Leo? He was making about a movie about the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. There were not African-Americans as part of that. There were African-Americans who served in the military, but that wasn’t the focus of the Eastwood film. He was trying to be historically accurate. Isn’t that the issue?

LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: No, because he didn’t show one black face during the entire four hours of that movie. I saw that movie.

Alan, there were 900 black men who fought in Iwo Jima. Fourteen of them got the Silver Star. There was a poor depiction — the fact that there was not a single African-American there, in the case that Clint Eastwood did not correctly tell history.

COLMES: But this was about the raising of the flag. That’s what this was about.

TERRELL
: No, no. It was also about who was there, not just the raising the flag. But look at that movie, look at that clip right there. There were black men who served and died in Iwo Jima.

And then, the co-hosts decide to take the argument away from the original context and throw in some background information about the Lee/Eastwood feud:

COLMES: You know, look, Leo, he made a movie about Charlie Parker called “Bird.”

TERRELL: That’s not the issue. Continue reading

History Has an Interesting Sense of Timing

by Latoya Peterson

Marc Lamont Hill writes*
:

August 28, 1955 – Emmitt Till is murdered in Mississippi

August 28, 1963 – Martin Luther King gives his I Have A Dream Speech

Augist 28, 2008 – Barack Obama officially moves toward the White House

When confronted by these dates, I finally understood the historical significance of Barack’s candidacy. For the first time, I understood how much Barack’s candidacy means to oppressed people around the globe. For the first time, I fully appreciate how the idea of a Black presidency serves to sustain the hope and faith of a diasapora marked by suffering, oppression, and dislocattion. For the first time, I was proud.

He goes on to say:

Does this mean that I support him? No. Do I think that he will help the condition of black and brown people? No. But maybe, at least for today, that’s not the point. Today, I am merely going to bask in the joy of knowing that anything is possible for our people..

Fair enough.

*Pictures added for emphasis.