George Floyd Protests Prompted a Reckoning Over Colorism, Afro-Latinx Identity

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-06-09 20:38Z by Steven

George Floyd Protests Prompted a Reckoning Over Colorism, Afro-Latinx Identity

Teen Vogue

Zoë Watkins

Racial Reckoning is a series produced by student journalists reflecting on how the national uprisings after the police killing of George Floyd affected their generation. It was produced in collaboration with Dr. Sherri Williams’ Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting class at American University.

Alé Headley, 24, an Afro Panamanian living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, attended over 20 marches and rallies last summer to protest the death of George Floyd. Headley, who is Black, Afro-Latina, and queer, identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them and ella. They say they were “immediately” driven to join movements demanding justice for Black and brown lives lost to police violence.

Their decision to get involved was multifaceted and deeply personal: They had witnessed police officers mistreat unhoused people in their neighborhood, thought of their younger brother who regularly endures police harassment, and their own experiences with racial profiling. “It’s disgusting to see how other people are treated, and then experiencing it for yourself,” Headley tells Teen Vogue. “It’s a different level of empathy.”

While navigating dual identities, many members of Afro-Latinx communities got involved in last summer’s uprisings against systemic racism. Many often found themselves in an uncomfortable tug of war with their identities. As they protested and heard personal stories of racism, some realized that their identification with their Blackness had been muddied throughout childhood, and their dual identities were never allowed to fully shine…

Read the entire article here.

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Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s Refashionista

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-09-05 00:20Z by Steven

Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s Refashionista

The New York Times Magazine

Jazmine Hughes

Elaine Welteroth
Credit Erik Madigan Heck for The New York Times

The editor in chief has taken on a seemingly impossible task: reinventing the glossy magazine for a hyperempathetic generation.

If you are, like me, a person with no sense of style and a stomach paunch, you might understand why dressing for a fashion show would be a psychological challenge. The day before my first one, I begged my best-dressed co-worker to chaperone my visit to a fast-fashion outlet. I’d coveted a pleated gold-foil skirt I’d seen on the store’s website. My co-worker had approved the skirt on the model. I tried it on. She did not approve it on me. In person, the gold foil looked cheap, the waistband of the skirt unflattering. Instead, she picked out a rose-colored accordion skirt that I would never have thought to buy. I put it on the next morning. Four hours later, I spilled steak juice all down my front.

Maybe another person would have given up at that point, but I was on my way to meet Elaine Welteroth, the editor in chief of Teen Vogue. Hired at 29, she is the youngest-ever editor in chief of a Condé Nast publication, and only the second black woman to hold the title there. Since taking over the magazine last year, she has become a personality of sorts, appearing as herself on ABC’s ‘‘black-ish’’ and being photographed cuddled up to celebrities: the Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, the actors Gabrielle Union and Aja Naomi King. As I headed to the Coach fall show this February, I found myself growing increasingly nervous to meet her. It wasn’t that she was famous, really. But I spent a significant portion of my adolescence fantasizing about running my own teen magazine, and, like her, I am a young, black New York-based editor with curly hair and myopia. She was famous to me…

Read the entire article here.

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President Barack Obama Was Black and Imperfect

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-03-10 20:42Z by Steven

President Barack Obama Was Black and Imperfect

Teen Vogue

Ashley Reese

Saul Loeb

A nation built on black subjugation elected a black man to be the president of the United States of America.

In this op-ed, writer Ashley Reese explores the nuanced legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency and what it means to her as a black woman.

I briefly met Obama in October of 2010. MTV was hosting a live question and answer session targeting young voters in an attempt to garner interest in the upcoming midterm election. The studio was filled with no more than a couple hundred young college students from the Washington D.C. area — Georgetown students mingling with Howard students, people who shared the same city quadrant but still managed to be worlds apart — looking dapper and polished as we asked the president about everything from war in the Middle East to gay marriage. During the live segments we were poised, poker-faced statues who wanted to make sure the president knew just how engaged we were. The commercial breaks were a different story. We were all abuzz with anticipation, waiting for our chance to have Obama shake our hands, give us a nod, acknowledge our existence. We weren’t allowed to have phones on us, so selfies were out of the question. It wasn’t about the photo op — though, God, I wish I had one for a #TBT at the very least — it was about the experience.

I shook his hand. He smiled. I introduced myself. His hands were soft.

So soft, in fact, a young black woman a few rows behind me vocally echoed my thoughts. “What lotion do you use?” she asked.

Cetaphil!” he said…

Read the entire article here.

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Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress”

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2017-03-05 22:16Z by Steven

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress”

Teen Vogue

Lincoln Blades

This is an important Black History Month PSA.

In the black community, many different opinions abound regarding the usefulness of Black History Month. For some, it is viewed as a necessary and critical tool for cultural celebration and propagating the importance of our collective historical achievements, which otherwise would go unnoticed. For others, it feels like a reductive display of forced lip service conducted during the shortest and coldest month of the year, in lieu of providing us with a more sustained and inclusive role in the everyday curriculum. But what we all can agree on is that presenting our history in a wholly accurate and factual manner delivered with the correct context is of the utmost importance, which is why we react so strongly to inaccurate and/or misrepresentative claims.

That irritation was inflamed this past weekend when The Washington Post published an article about a restoration that would be occurring at Monticello, the plantation of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, which is operated as a museum. The restoration to be completed will involve unmasking a bathroom installed in 1941 just steps from Jefferson’s bedroom to reveal what the room really was: Sally Hemings’s bedroom…

Read the entire article here.

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How Our February Cover Star Amandla Stenberg Learned to Love Her Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive on 2016-01-10 21:55Z by Steven

How Our February Cover Star Amandla Stenberg Learned to Love Her Blackness

Teen Vogue

Solange Knowles

Edited by Elaine Welteroth

Photograph by Ben Toms

She tells all to Solange Knowles in our latest issue.

I have a confession to make: I didn’t prepare for my interview with Amandla Stenberg. Though we had never met, from the outside looking in, I recognized her so deeply that I didn’t think I’d need to. There’s a secret language shared among black girls who are destined to climb mountains and cross rivers in a world that tells us to belong to the valleys that surround us. You learn it very young, and although it has no words, you hear it clearly. You sense it when you walk into rooms with your hair in full bloom, each coil glorious, your sway swift and your stance proud. You feel it like a rhythm you can’t shake if you even dared to quiet the sounds

Our conversation quickly reveals that Amandla knows it all too well: “I think that as a black girl you grow up internalizing all these messages that say you shouldn’t accept your hair or your skin tone or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart,” she says. “I feel like the only way to fight that is to just be yourself on the most genuine level and to connect with other black girls who are awakening and realizing that they’ve been trying to conform.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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