E is for Evelyn

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-01-19 02:48Z by Steven

E is for Evelyn

Adulting Whilst…
2019-01-05

Fiona Timba

E is for Evelyn, Evelyn Dove.

Evelyn Dove was born in London on 11 January 1902 and was the first black woman to sing on BBC radio. Although often referred to as the British Josephine Baker, Evelyn Dove replaced Josephine Baker in 1932 as the star attraction at the Casino de Paris and in a career that spanned over five decades she was a star of jazz and cabaret, embraced by the world.

Evelyn had West African and English heritage, her father being a barrister originally from Sierra Leone. It is reported that she had a privileged upbringing, attending private school before going on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1925 she became the first black woman to sing on BBC radio in 1925 at the age of just 24! Evelyn toured Europe performing with many of the great American jazz performers of the time before replacing Josephine Baker at the Casino de Paris. Coming from a privileged middle-class family, and with a parent of African heritage, you can only imagine the reaction her parents had to Evelyn donning Josephine’s revealing costume…

Read the entire article here.

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Lynette Linton: ‘Why are we not marching in the streets?’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2019-01-12 03:28Z by Steven

Lynette Linton: ‘Why are we not marching in the streets?’

The Guardian
2019-01-02

Bridget Minamore


Lynette Linton, incoming artistic director of the Bush Theatre in London, photographed during rehearsals for Sweat. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Fuelled by passion and outrage, the playwright and director is shaking up theatre with works about Windrush to an all-women-of-colour Richard II – and now she’s taking over the Bush in London

Lynette Linton is known for her deep love of Michael Jackson. The director and playwright has said that, in a parallel universe, her ideal job would be the King of Pop’s backup dancer. When I ask her why she loves him so much, she replies as though the answer is obvious. Jackson, she says, was a theatremaker. “If you watch his performances, that’s a show, it’s an experience. Everything from his toe to his eyebrow was activated, and you want your audiences to faint like they did when they saw him.” Does she want the audience for Sweat, her current production at the Donmar Warehouse in London, to faint in the aisles? Linton laughs, and points out that Sweat’s playwright, Lynn Nottage, has signed on to write the book for a forthcoming Broadway musical about Jackson. Everything, it seems, is connected.

To many in British theatre, Linton is one of the industry’s friendliest and most exciting figures. As an assistant director she has worked with Kwame Kwei-Armah and Michael Grandage; she has been an associate director of the Gate in Notting Hill, and she has written for both Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Arcola in east London, her plays exploring mixed-race identity (2017’s Hashtag Lightie), queerness (2013’s Step) and inner-city London’s chicken shops (2015’s Chicken Palace)…

…Much of Linton’s work has touched on who she is and where she comes from, with her forthcoming Windrush films a tribute to her mixed British Caribbean heritage. “My dad is from Guyana, and he sat me and my brother down [as children] and was like, ‘You are black, the world will see you as black.’” The Windrush scandal is something that has affected her deeply. “I spoke to theatre people, saying, ‘Why are we not responding to this? Why are we not in the streets marching?’ They’re sending families home. It makes me feel sick.” Linton’s voice shakes a little. “Even now, it chokes me. The people they’re targeting are elders, man. People are having heart attacks and have died because of this.” Still, her films – which are to be screened at the Royal Court in London – will have “a massive celebration at the core. It was really important to me that we took over a building and celebrated West Indian culture.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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Introducing Lynette Linton as our new Artistic Director

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-01-09 21:32Z by Steven

Introducing Lynette Linton as our new Artistic Director

Bush Green: Conversations, dispatches and ideas from the Bush Theatre
Bush Theater
Shepherd’s Bush, London, United Kingdom
2018-11-14

We are thrilled to announce that Lynette Linton will become our new Artistic Director in January 2019.

Lynette has made her name as a groundbreaking director and writer. She was previously Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse and Associate Director at the Gate Theatre from 2016 to 2017 where she set up the Young Associate company. She is currently directing the UK premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer prize winning play Sweat (Donmar Warehouse) and will then co-direct Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe) in early 2019. The production will mark the first ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage. She is co-founder of theatre and film production company Black Apron Entertainment who are producing Passages: A Windrush Celebration with the Royal Court, a project she also curated. As a writer her credits include Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre), Chicken Palace and Step (Theatre Royal Stratford East)…

Read the entire article here.

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Sono Osato, Japanese-American Ballet Star, Is Dead at 99

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-12-29 02:39Z by Steven

Sono Osato, Japanese-American Ballet Star, Is Dead at 99

The New York Times
2018-12-26

Richard Goldstein


Sono Osato rehearsing a number from the Broadway musical “On the Town” with the show’s choreographer, Jerome Robbins, in 1944. It was one of two hit musicals in which Ms. Osato appeared in the 1940s.
Eileen Darby/Graphic House

Sono Osato, a Japanese-American dancer who toured the world with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, performed with the Ballet Theater in New York and then gained acclaim on Broadway in the World War II-era musicals “One Touch of Venus” and “On the Town,” was found dead early Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 99.

Her death was confirmed by her sons, Niko and Antonio Elmaleh.

In the 1930s, Ms. Osato was a groundbreaking presence in Col. Wassily de Basil’s Ballets Russes, the world’s most widely known ballet company. She was the company’s youngest dancer when she joined, at 14; she was also its first performer of Japanese descent…

…Although she was born and raised in the Midwest, Ms. Osato seemed an incongruous choice to play Ivy Smith, billed as the “all-American girl,” in “On the Town.” Her father, Shoji, was a native of Japan, and her mother, Frances, was of French-Irish background…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, History, Latino Studies, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2018-12-27 01:17Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective
University of Pittsburgh
2019-04-11 through 2019-11-13

Conference Convened by the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative

Contact: Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science,
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies; Director of the US Latina/o Studies Program
University of Maryland, College Park

The intersections of race, ethnicity, and representation have shaped historical and contemporary articulations of Afrolatinidad. As an expression of multivalent identity, both shared and unique, Afrolatinidad informs the experiences of over 150 million Afro-Latin Americans and millions more within diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond. The conference seeks to foster an international dialogue that addresses regional, national, and transnational links among the ways Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs create, sustain, and transform meanings surrounding blackness in political, social, and cultural contexts.

This two-day symposium aims to engage multiple depictions of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs – whether self-fashioned or imposed. The varied portrayals in the past and present reflect the ongoing global realities, struggles, vibrancy, and resiliency of Afro-Latin diasporas throughout the Americas and elsewhere. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland-College Park. Their work on Afro-descendant politics in Latin America and Afro-Latinx discourses of race, gender, and territoriality, respectively, will spark broader exchanges around Afrolatinidad and representation among presenters and attendees.

We invite submissions that address aspects of Afrolatinidad, particularly through ethnicity/race, gender, history, technology, and expressive culture, such as music, dance and art. We are especially interested in papers that analyze these themes across a variety of conceptual frameworks, including Africana Studies, Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Latin American Studies, Latinx Studies, Media Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.

Submissions need not be confined to these topics, but, if possible, please indicate at least two themes that correspond to your proposal.

Themes:

  • Slavery and Its Legacies in Latin America
  • Politics of Culture/Cultural Expression
  • Visibility and Invisibility
  • Theorizing Afro-Latinidad
  • Race, Gender, and Migration
  • Diaspora, Community, and Technology/Social Media…

For more information, click here.

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Exploring mixed race identity in CGI influencers

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2018-12-26 22:36Z by Steven

Exploring mixed race identity in CGI influencers

Dazed Digital
2018-09-26

Stephanie Phillips
London, United Kingdom

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From Lil Miquela to Lil Wavi, we look at why the majority of CGI influencers are being conceived as mixed race

Historically the It girls of the moment have reflected the true values of their time. 60s model Veruschka’s flowing blonde tresses and chiseled bone structure represented the decade’s youthful outlook. The 70s gave birth to the unconventional where powerhouse Grace Jones and avant-garde Donna Jordan came to life. Kate Moss started heroin chic in the 90s, and Brazilian Gisele Bündchen ended it. Today we have a new It girl to shape our confused and conflicted era.

With her constellation of freckles, millions of followers, and collection of side hustles that includes modelling and a pop career, 19-year-old Brazilian-American Lil Miquela, aka Miquela Sousa, could be your average beautiful, woke celeb crush except for one crucial fact; she’s not real. Created by the mysterious robotics company Brud, Miquela is one of a number of racially ambiguous CGI avatars taking over Instagram using a collage of mixed race identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-12-02 22:07Z by Steven

Chyrstyn Fentroy — First Black Woman To Join Boston Ballet In A Decade — Debuts As Snow Queen In ‘The Nutcracker’

WBUR 90.9 FM
Boston, Massachusetts
2018-11-30

Arielle Gray, Arts Fellow

Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)
Lasha Khozashvili and Chyrstyn Fentroy in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker (Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Boston Ballet)

Artificial snow falls gently from the top of the stage of the Boston Opera House, encasing the space in an ethereal glittering glow. Beneath it dances Chyrstyn Fentroy as the Snow Queen, entwined in an elegant flow of limbs and carefully choreographed steps with the Snow King. The Boston Ballet is rehearsing for its opening night of “The Nutcracker,” the other worldly production based off of E.T.A Hoffman’s novella. Fentroy debuted as the Snow Queen on Thursday evening and will star in the role again on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Fentroy makes a stunning Snow Queen, traversing the stage in a series of light, precise steps. The role is a notable milestone for Fentroy, who has been deeply involved in the world of dance since she was old enough to walk. She tells me she’s the first black female dancer to join the Boston Ballet in the last decade.

Growing up as the daughter of two dancers in Los Angeles, Fentroy spent a lot of time in the dance studio. “’The Nutcracker’ specifically is something that’s kind of been a part of my life forever,” Fentroy told WBUR. “I grew up watching my mom do the Sugarplum Fairy variation and spent so many years in the wings watching performances.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Writer and actor Indigo Griffiths: ‘Mixed-race identity is not reflected in theatre, so I wanted to explore that’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2018-11-26 02:45Z by Steven

Writer and actor Indigo Griffiths: ‘Mixed-race identity is not reflected in theatre, so I wanted to explore that’

The Stage
London, United Kingdom
2018-11-22

Giverny Masso

Writer and actor Indigo Griffiths. Photo: Michael Wharley
Writer and actor Indigo Griffiths. Photo: Michael Wharley

Actor Indigo Griffiths started writing to address the lack of roles for mixed-race performers. She tells Giverny Masso about her first full-length play, Passing, which is to receive a rehearsed reading on a West End stage as part of the Masterclass Trust’s Pitch Your Play competition.

How did you get into theatre?

Theatre has always been something I’ve done. As a kid I was always in youth groups and I knew early on I wanted to be an actor. I studied drama and English literature at the University of East Anglia, which gave me an amazing grounding. I then did a postgraduate course at Drama Studio London, which I graduated from in 2016. Since then I’ve been working as an actor, before I started writing…

Tell me about Passing?

Passing is the first full-length play I’ve written. It’s part of a trilogy of mixed-race themed plays I have been working on. It’s set in 1940s Chicago and is about the lives of three mixed-race siblings. The play explores how lives change when you make the decision to pass as a white person. Passing as a concept is something that fascinates me…

Read the entire interview here.

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Helping My Fair-Skinned Son Embrace His Blackness

Posted in Arts, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-21 18:38Z by Steven

Helping My Fair-Skinned Son Embrace His Blackness

The Atlantic
2018-11-21

Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer
Zero to Three, Washington, D.C.


Ashley Seil Smith

He identifies as African American, but it’s a constant struggle to get his peers and teachers to see him that way.

I recently confessed to my son that I would have to miss back-to-school night for a work trip. Most parents can expect one of two reactions from their children to this news: relief or a guilt trip. My son’s response was of the second variety, but with a particular twist. “You can’t miss back-to-school night!,” he said. “How else will my new teachers know I’m black?”

For me and my husband, back-to-school night is not only about establishing what kind of parents we will be for the coming school year—it is also about establishing our son’s racial identity and sense of belonging.

I am a black woman married to a white man. Our 13-year-old son looks white—blonde-haired, blue-eyed, straight-nosed, thin-lipped, fair-skinned white—but he identifies as black. Our daughter is much lighter than I am, and is often mistaken for Middle Eastern or Latina, but I cannot help but see traces of my paternal grandmother’s high cheek bones and wide nose in her round face.

Some queer people talk about the existence of “gaydar”—the ability to identify one of their own, whether they are out or closeted. As the child of a white mother and black father, I have whatever the equivalent is for being able to spot black people no matter how fair their skin or European their features. I could always claim my people, I thought. But when our son was born, I realized that no special power was going to help me see his African heritage. My husband thought our newborn was albino the first time he cradled him in his arms. He was that white…

Read the entire article here.

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Pitch Your Play: Passing

Posted in Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2018-11-13 04:54Z by Steven

Pitch Your Play: Passing

Masterclass
Theatre Royal Haymarket
18 Suffolk Street
London SW1Y 4HT, United Kingdom
Friday, 2018-11-23, 14:30Z

Indigo Griffiths, Playwright
Gemma Aked-Priestley, Director

Masterclass presents Pitch Your Play 2018: A series of staged readings.

Chicago. 1941. Joey, John and Eliza are siblings, but their lives are about to take different paths. Joey is embracing the New Negro Movement, John is breaking barriers at college and Eliza is preparing to pass as white. In a world where everything is determined by race, what can you gain by concealing who you are, and more importantly what can you lose?

Passing is a new play that exposes the controversial practice of “racial passing” – the use of skin colour as a form of social currency.

This epic family drama provokes thought on identity, race and feminism through powerful language, live music and unforgettable characters. It is the only script of its kind that gives the mixed-race experience centre stage.

For more information, click here.

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