Tag Archives: Viola Davis

Links Roundup 2.14.13

Richard LaGravenese forbade us from reading the book. He said, “Do not touch the book.” I got the book. I read half of it and then I put it down, because Amma is a maid, and I just said, “OK, there’s nothing I can learn from this.” This is a total re-imagining of the character, and I like it. I’m going to be confident and bold and say I like it because, listen, I understand and I respect the book, and I think the book is wonderful, but this is 2013, and I think that when black people are woven into the lives of characters in 2013, then I think they play other roles than maids. I think that that needs to be explored, and I hope that the audience is willing to suspend their disbelief and embrace what Richard LaGravenese has given them.

For a few years, the Kansas City Star has referred to the Washington NFL team as such. Last year, Washington City Paper held a “re-naming” contest and settled on “Pigskins.” Around that same time, DCist, unannounced, started using the shorthand “‘Skins” as a means of dancing around the official title. It’s not the first time this website has teased the team about its name; in March 2011, after the team threatened to sue The Washington Post because the paper’s pro football blog included the team’s name followed by the word “Insider,” we responded in support of Post by referring to the team as the “R*******.” (The Post’s other sports blogs—Nationals Journal, Wizards Insider, and Capitals Insider—exist with no known acrimony from the respective franchises they cover.)

But in reality, the football team’s name continues to be out there. Last week, at a Smithsonian event in which panels of academics, activists, and journalists debated the impact of the use of Native American imagery and nicknames in professional sports, the Post’s Mike Wise and USA Today’s Erik Brady were unsparing in their criticism of the Washington football team’s name, and made no secret of their discomfort of sometimes having to write it in their columns. Meanwhile, two of Wise’s colleagues in Metro—Courtland Milloy and Robert McCartney—have written in the past week that it is long past time for the local NFL squad to change its branding. The Post’s ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, joined that chorus yesterday.

Unfortunately, as Wise said at the National Museum of the American Indian last week, the only way team owner Dan Snyder will even consider authorizing a name change is if the team’s financial success hinges on such an action. “If one athlete can kick Dan Snyder in the pocketbook, I believe he will begin to look at the issue differently,” he said.

A top assistant to a Univisión news boss trashed Sen. Marco Rubio on his aide’s Facebook page, calling the Republican lawmaker a “loser” and “a token slave boy.”

It’s the latest attack in a lengthy feud between the Florida senator and the powerful Spanish-language network that conservatives charge is anti-GOP and anti-Rubio.

The latest incident began Wednesday night after Rubio’s spokesman, Alex Burgos, announced the high-profile Florida senator would give the GOP’s first-ever bilingual rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

That led Univisión employee Angelica Artiles to let loose a string of partisan criticisms.

“Oh. wow, the loser is going to speak after our President,” Artiles wrote on spokesman Alex Burgos’ Facebook page at 9:33 p.m. Wednesday. “Anything to get publicity. Ask him to do us a favor and stay home that night.”

Just as New York area transwomen were extremely ticked off about the transphobic reporting of the New York that came to a head in the story that was done on Lorena Escalera, our West Coast sisters are highly pissed off about the transphobic reporting in the West Coast’s paper of record that has now come to anger raising levels with Sam Quinones’ recent LA Times article about Hollywood’s sex workers that focused on the murdered Cassidy Vickers.

The Quinones article disrespectfully referred to Vickers and the other trans sex workers as “male hookers dressed as women” and “men with women’s breasts and clothes”.

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Barbara Jordan

By Andrea Plaid

Barbara Jordan. Via fashionmodeldirectory.com

Watching last night’s vice presidential debates, I thought about which woman I’d could easily see shredding Congressman Paul Ryan’s arguments with as much–if not more–aplomb than Vice President Biden. Of the many I thought of, I came up with the late congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

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All Things Old Hollywood: Blackface At The Oscars

Courtesy Franchesca Ramsey and Jezebel.com

By Guest Contributor Kendra James

Another Monday, another post-awards show morning, another day of waking up and asking myself if I really just saw what I thought I saw. Because there’s absolutely no way that I really saw Billy Crystal in blackface on national television the night before.

And for all I know, maybe I didn’t. No one’s talking about it. It didn’t seem  to have made any morning news show headlines. I didn’t hear Kelly Ripa and Neil Patrick Harris mention it and I missed seeing what the women of The View had to say, but given Whoopi’s track record with the hot topics of the day I’m guessing I wouldn’t have been impressed.

Oh, but wait, a quick dive into the comments section at Jezebel (why do I do this to myself?) confirms that I did not, in fact, dream up what I saw last night. Not only did it happen, but it seems to have already been rationalised by the general public. You see, blackface is apparently no longer offensive, especially if it’s not being done to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. We’re in post-racial America! These things no longer carry the weight they once did. There’s no need to analyse it to death. It was just a sketch!

Foolishness like this is making it really hard for me to get my fill of pretty red-carpet dresses.

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Choosing between The Help or Faces at the Bottom of the Well: On Reproducing Racially-Easy Work or Constructing Courageously

By Guest Contributor Blanca E. Vega, cross-posted from Race-Work Race-Love

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.” — Frederick Douglass

Writer’s block. This is how I woke up this morning. Confronted with the realities of beginning a dissertation and working full time as a college administrator, I came up with two words:

Writer’s Block.

I write about race and education. I research racial incidents on college campuses. Every day, in my inbox, I see some article about another racist incident, form of harassment, example of violence – I go to sleep with this, I wake up to this, I eat with this racial narrative.

I wonder about those folks who are color-blind. How do they wake up every morning?

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Where is the Black Julia Roberts? Part 1: Top Actresses 2000-2010

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, cross-posted from Televisual

The “black actress” stepped into the spotlight last year, as Nia Long called out Beyoncé Knowles and other singers for taking roles; Tyler Perry released yet another film starring newcomer Taraji P. Henson; and Precious gave its stars, especially Mo’Nique, a chance to shine.

The November 5 release of Perry’s For Colored Girls puts the issue of black women in cinema back into the national conversation — even if it fails to redeem Tyler Perry. So I decided to posit an answer to the question: where are all the black leading ladies? Below: 1) why this question?, 2) a list, 3) the state of the black leading lady, and 4) how I came up with the current crop.

I. Where is the Black Julia Roberts? One Route to an Answer

Easier asked than answered! The question is really more provocation than anything. At a certain point, comparison between races is irrelevant: is Will Smith the “white” anyone? He’s Will Smith! The question, however, does open up an interesting discussion. Julia Roberts, like Meryl Streep, can do a lot: from Duplicity and Eat Pray Love to, now, August: Osage County. Roberts can choose her roles and she almost always plays the lead. What black actress could do the same, now or in the near future? The real issue leads us to ask: of the potential black leading ladies today, who is on top, who isn’t panning out, and why?

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