Andre Robert Lee’s documentary, The Prep School Negro, about the experience of black students at an elite Philadelphia prep school, begins in the West Elm neighborhood of Philadelphia, which he refers to as not the most dangerous neighborhood but still not the safest.
“Everyone says I got a Golden Ticket,” says Lee, narrating the introduction. When he was nine, his father left the family, leaving his mother to raise both him and his sister; his intelligence and penchant for talking and reading rather than fighting or playing sports marked him as different from a young age. Though he would come to receive a free tuition at Germantown Friends, he says, ”there was still a great cost. As soon as I set foot in [Germantown Friends] I started to go in a different direction from my family.”
by Guest Contributor Jen, originally published at Disgrasian
Gossip Girl and ethnics don’t mix. It’s been well-documented by DISGRASIAN since the first episode, when the Black Chick and the Asian Chick (aka The Haragossip Girls) were mutely paraded around in matching outfits, that non-white characters tend to be used on the show like accessories. After the writers’ strike, when the actress who played the Asian Chick decided to go back to Brown to study neuroscience instead of returning to the hit show where she had more headbands than lines (I know…how Asian), the Mutasian was replaced by another Asian Chick, whose character turned out to be a royally drippy–and tragically uninteresting–Nerd.
It’s only when the show stopped all of its tokenizing whatthefuckery that it actually got good. Season 2 opened with a “White Party” in the Hamptons (Diddy was nowhere to be seen), a fitting metaphor for what Gossip Girl is really about: pretty, rich white people trapped in a particular ring of hell where life is one neverending party that you can never leave. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World