Misty Copeland En Pointe

Posted in Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2016-12-26 17:30Z by Steven

Misty Copeland En Pointe

The Undefeated
2016-12-14

Kelley L. Carter, Senior Culture Writer

Photographs by Brent Lewis
Videos by Lois Nam, Senior Digital Producer

America’s most famous prima ballerina heads to Cuba to represent female athleticism. (Yes, athleticism.)

HAVANA, Cuba

Misty Copeland is at the barre.

She’s demonstrating a battement tendu to a group of ballerinas at a dance magnet school.

The dancers — all girls ages 15 to 17, all in black leotards, white tights and pointe shoes, and all with their hair pulled up into impeccable topknots — listen intently.

All eyes are focused on her. Copeland is speaking in English. The teen dancers only understand Spanish.

There is a language translator — Maria Luz Pereya, a former dancer herself, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina — and she offers at one point to bring a corded microphone toward Copeland and translate. Copeland quickly shakes her head, declining her assistance in this moment. This is, after all, Havana, the capital of Cuba, an island in the northern Caribbean where, as they say, the three languages spoken and understood by all are: Spanish, baseball and dance.

And Copeland, a groundbreaking ballerina — as well as author, and newlywed — who made history last year when she became the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history, happens to be fluent in the art of motion. “Sport and art and dance unify people,” Copeland said later, sitting on the rooftop of Havana’s The Saratoga — the same place Beyoncé and Jay Z spent their 2013 wedding anniversary. “It’s a language and a culture that people from everywhere, all over the world, can relate to, and understand, and come together for.”…

Misty Danielle Copeland got her start in ballet on the basketball court…

Read the entire article here.

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Rodney Harrison sorry for saying Colin Kaepernick is ‘not black’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-08-31 01:17Z by Steven

Rodney Harrison sorry for saying Colin Kaepernick is ‘not black’

ESPN
2016-08-29

Former NFL player and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison has apologized on Twitter after criticizing Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the national anthem while suggesting that the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is not black and doesn’t truly understand racism.

In an interview with iHeartRadio, Harrison said Tuesday that Kaepernick has the right to stand for what he believes, but he “has to understand there might be consequences and might be backlash to what he’s saying.”

“I tell you this, I’m a black man. And Colin Kaepernick — he’s not black,” Harrison said. “He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on an every single [day] basis. When you walk in a grocery store, and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something.

“You know, I don’t think he faces those type of things that we face on a daily basis.”

Kaepernick, the biological child of a white mother and black father, was adopted and raised by white parents. He has been outspoken on his Twitter account on civil rights issues and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Harrison took to Twitter later Tuesday to apologize for the remarks, saying he “never even knew [Kaepernick] was mixed.”…

Read the entire article here.

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2015 IMPACT25 Influencer: Misty Copeland

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-04 02:58Z by Steven

2015 IMPACT25 Influencer: Misty Copeland

ESPN W
2015-12-07

Dimity McDowell Davis, Special to espnW.com


From line sketches to pencils and final color, Marvel captured the essences of our IMPACT25 nominees and turned them into super versions of themselves. Behind Marvel’s IMPACT25 heroes »

“Every time I dance, I’m trying to prove myself to myself.” —Misty Copeland

Ballerina Misty Copeland’s year was, in all aspects, a grand jeté: the powerful ballet leap in which the dancer flies high above the stage in an impressive splits pose. Before this year, Copeland had already disrupted the classical world of ballet — she was the first African American to play the lead role in “Swan Lake” — and challenged millions to rethink their definition of an athlete through her Under Armour campaign. (Tutus and tiaras deserve as much respect as shoulder pads.)

In 2015, she continued to turn heads. Her muscular body landed on the cover of Time, and months later, she landed her biggest role to date. On June 30, the American Ballet Theatre promoted her to the role of principal dancer, making her the first African-American woman in the company’s 75-year history to hold that title…

Read the entire article here.

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Sage Steele Opens Up About Being A Biracial Woman In Sports Media

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-01-23 17:46Z by Steven

Sage Steele Opens Up About Being A Biracial Woman In Sports Media

The Huffington Post
2015-01-21

Justin Block, Associate Sports Editor

Juliet Spies-Gans, Editorial Fellow, HuffPost


Joe Scarnici via Getty Images
Sage Steele speaks onstage at the 2013 espnW: Women + Sports Summit at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort on Oct. 9, 2013, in Dana Point, California.

The ESPN host talks sexism, racism, NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC and that infamous moment with Bill Simmons

Picture the scene: It’s a sweaty, crowded NFL locker room a handful of miles from the heart of Baltimore, a little over a decade ago. There’s a scrum of reporters, trying to inch closer and closer to the prize interview: Ray Lewis. And as the voices shout over one another, urging the linebacker to look every which way, one journalist’s tone differentiates itself from the rest.

It’s the voice of Sage Steele, and as the only woman amid the horde of media members, the octave of her voice allows her to be the one to grab and hold onto Lewis’ attention.

Today, the 43-year-old Steele is known as both the face and the voice of ABC and ESPN’s NBA Countdown. Come Saturday, she’ll be speaking to millions of us through our TV sets, as the host of the new NBA Saturday Night on ABC package. And come June, she’ll ring in the NBA Finals as emcee of the biggest show of the season, working with names like Jalen Rose and Doug Collins to introduce and analyze the league’s marquee event.

But it hasn’t always been like this for Steele. A self-described army brat bullied throughout high school for her biracial background, Steele has dealt with a unique blend of discrimination in her time. One day she’s too white, the next she’s too black. Her curly, un-styled hair is considered either an asset or a detriment, depending on the week. And even as she has received rave reviews for her work with ESPN, she’s anticipating the day when her increasingly grey locks age her out of her job in a way that simply wouldn’t happen to a man.

In a word, she’s surrounded on all sides by -isms. Ageism, sexism, racism — you name it, Steele has felt it. But today, in her 21st year in the biz, the longtime journalist is able to reflect on her time on studio sets and in locker rooms, and decipher where and when those constant currents of isms, don’ts and can’ts have made her stronger, sharper and more apt for the job.

Steele recently spoke with The Huffington Post about everything from the discrimination she’s faced to her relationship with Stuart Scott, from the importance of having thick skin to that GIF of her and Bill Simmons. She’s spent the last two decades in the trenches — those grimy, Gatorade-stained locker rooms of Indianapolis and Baltimore — and now she’s explaining how she was able to stay on her feet through it all, remaining humble, hungry and happy, no matter what…

Read the entire interview here.

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True Colors: Charlie Villanueva and Others Explain the Afro-Latino Experience

Posted in Autobiography, United States, Videos on 2015-10-16 20:28Z by Steven

True Colors: Charlie Villanueva and Others Explain the Afro-Latino Experience

ESPN
2015-09-10

Charlie Villanueva knows that life in the United States for many still means being judged by one’s skin color, but he’s not shy about challenging such preconceived ideas, boldly asking if the public can know who he really is by just a surface assessment.

His experience defies easy categorization partly because as an Afro-Latino, Villanueva’s culture is a mix of influences that have shaped him as an individual.

ESPN’s One Nacion takes a closer look at some of the stories that are an integral part of the tapestry of Latino-America.

Watch the video here.

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Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and racial identity in sports

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-11 20:55Z by Steven

Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and racial identity in sports

ESPN
2015-09-05

Mike Wise, Senior Writer

Mike Wise writes that Serena Williams has embraced her blackness and found a spiritual home while Tiger Woods has been proudly biracial and found a perhaps unintended kind of isolation

You can’t miss the term “black excellence” pulsating through Claudia Rankine’s provocative story on Serena Williams in last week’s New York Times magazine. Though Serena never goes there herself, the acclaimed poet and professor takes the journey for her, living vicariously through Serena’s sass and brass. “Serena’s grace comes because she won’t be forced into stillness; she won’t accept those racist projections onto her body without speaking back.”

Rankine’s affection for Serena’s defiance is so deeply personal, she almost channels John Carlos and Tommie Smith, raising their black-gloved fists into a Mexico City summer night some five decades ago.

Step off, backward white folk.

Between black excellence and her picture next to the Twitter hashtag #BlackGirlMagic, Serena is clearly playing for more than herself and history at the US Open this week.

Meanwhile, a term not found with a Google search: “Cablanasian excellence.”

This is possibly because Tiger Woods has not won a major since the Bush administration, and he has been careful not to singularly co-opt any one part of his multiracial identity (African-American, Thai, Caucasian, American Indian, Chinese and beyond).

But now that we’re routinely taking stock of two seminal athletes of color, both of whom dominated their Downton Abbey-white sports at different times in their careers, it’s fair to delve into how they both handled race and ask a simple question:

Is the importance of a strong racial identity — especially being viewed as authentically black — something to fall back on during career and life struggles?…

Read the entire article here.

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Derek Jeter embodies MLK’s dream

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-17 05:26Z by Steven

Derek Jeter embodies MLK’s dream

ESPN New York
2012-01-16

Wallace Matthews

Biracial Yankees captain a symbol of the America Martin Luther King once envisioned

When the average person thinks of Derek Jeter, he or she is likely to think of the 3,000 hits, or the five World Series rings, or the highlight reel full of great plays he has made over the past 16 years for the New York Yankees.

They are likely to linger on the countless clutch hits he has delivered in key moments, or the 2000 World Series MVP, or the fact he has been captain of the Yankees for nearly a decade and the face of the franchise for considerably longer than that.

It is a safe bet that for most people, one of the last things they think about when they think about Derek Jeter is his race. Or, more correctly, his races.

To all the remarkable accomplishments Jeter has achieved in his Cooperstown-bound baseball career, add one that few of us ever bother to think about—that Jeter is the product of a mixed-race marriage, a happenstance that at one time would have caused him to suffer hardship, if not scorn, from many, but now is just another fact in the Derek Jeter biography.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, it is important to understand that of all the things Derek Jeter is, one of the most significant is that he is a symbol of the kind of America Dr. King hoped one day to live in…

…Jeter, always wary of discussing topics outside of his comfort zone—the baseball diamond—declined a request to be interviewed for this story.

 But Dr. Harry Edwards, a sociologist and black activist of the 1960s who has spoken and written extensively on the subject of race and professional athletics, explained Jeter’s appeal as a combination both of his unique attributes as an athlete and individual, and as a sign that the United States, throughout its history often bitterly divided along racial, ethnic and territorial lines, is moving toward an era of diversity and inclusion.

“I think it’s absolutely appropriate in the 21st century that a Derek Jeter should be the face of the premier baseball team in this country,” Edwards said. “When you talk about leadership and production and consistency and durability over the years, what he has achieved and what he has accomplished, and more than that, the way that he has done it is just absolutely phenomenal. He is one of our real athletic heroes and role models to the point that his race or ethnicity does not matter.”…

Read the entire article here.

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