Inside the Biracial Advertising Boom

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-12 02:34Z by Steven

Inside the Biracial Advertising Boom

The Daily Beast
2018-02-05

Hallie Golden
Salt Lake City, Utah


State Farm

Biracial couples and families are becoming increasingly common. Companies are using them in advertisements to reflect that reality, and to sell to those who value diversity.

Infiniti USA recently released an advertisement featuring a dad repeatedly heading out to grab more food for a holiday meal with his wife and two daughters.

First it’s sweet potatoes, then shrimp, and finally the wife takes over to get a pecan pie. It’s a fairly straightforward 30-second advertisement riffing off of the idea that the husband and wife love to drive their cars so much they look forward to these types of trivial errands.

The unique part has to do with the actors who play this adoring family: The father is white, the mother is black, and their teenage daughters are biracial.

By casting the ad in such a way, Infiniti has joined a growing list of companies selling everything from breakfast cereal to cars to clothing that portray the American family in TV advertisements as more than a single race.

But why are all these companies jumping on the diversity bandwagon?…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama Tapped His Inner Krazy Kat When He Taught Us to Embrace Mutts

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-01-25 20:43Z by Steven

Obama Tapped His Inner Krazy Kat When He Taught Us to Embrace Mutts

The Daily Beast
2017-01-18

Michael Tisserand

Michael Tisserand is the author of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White.

A self-described ‘mutt,’ Obama encouraged us to think about race in ways that erased the color line. But George Herriman, another mutt, and his creation Krazy Kat were there first.

A listing of President Barack Obama’s statements about race might start with his campaign speech “A More Perfect Union,” when the self-described son of a “black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas” said that the idea that this nation is greater than its parts is seared into his genetic makeup.

During his presidency itself, there were the elegant “remarks by the president on Trayvon Martin,” when Obama imagined aloud how the slain Martin might have been his son, and the stirring eulogy for the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, slain during the South Carolina church shooting.

Yet history should not neglect a more offhand comment delivered in late 2008 when the then president-elect was chatting with reporters about the family’s search for a family pet. At the time, the Obamas were considering adopting a dog from an animal shelter, although due to Malia Obama’s allergies they eventually accepted a Portuguese Water Dog from Senator Ted Kennedy

Read the entire article here.

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‘Barry’ or How Barack Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love His Blackness

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-27 01:11Z by Steven

‘Barry’ or How Barack Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love His Blackness

The Daily Beast
2016-12-20

Marlow Stern, Senior Entertainment Editor


Netflix

The new Netflix film ‘Barry’ explores young Obama’s days at Columbia University, torn between the world of his rich white girlfriend and the African-American community.

There’s a scene in Dreams From My Father, the memoir of Barack Obama, that illuminates how the future president struggled to feel at home in white America. Obama, 22, has paid a visit to the family estate of his white girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, 25. It’s a beautiful autumn day in Norfolk, Connecticut, and, after traipsing about the foliage-strewn woods, he finds himself in the family library. There, he observes an assemblage of photographs depicting his lover’s grandfather, a wealthy man of great import, posing with presidents, foreign dignitaries, and titans of industry.

“Standing in that room, I realized that our two worlds, my friend’s and mine, were as distant from each other as Kenya is from Germany,” wrote Obama. “And I knew that if we stayed together I’d eventually live in hers. After all, I’d been doing it most of my life. Between the two of us, I was the one who knew how to live as an outsider.”

That push-pull between these two sides of Obama, white and black, is explored in the new film Barry, now streaming on Netflix. Directed by Vikram Gandhi, it dramatizes the years Obama (played by Devon Terrell) spent at Columbia University in 1981 New York City

Read the entire review here.

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I Loved My Bigoted Uncle, and He Loved Us

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-11 00:09Z by Steven

I Loved My Bigoted Uncle, and He Loved Us

The Daily Beast
2016-10-09

Goldie Taylor, Editor-at-Large

My late Uncle Buster, a barrel-chested white man raised in the woody bowels of Louisiana and a self-professed bigot, opened his life, his home and his heart to me. Wendell “Buster” Carson was ours by marriage but, even as he rests in his grave, our bond remains as indelible as the etchings on his marble tombstone.

Buster never hid his views on race from me or anybody else. He saw it as an anathema born of economic tension at our nation’s founding. But, it was my uncle who taught me about the strictures of race, gender and class. Over plates of skillet-fried venison backstrap, smothered in flour gravy made with the grease drippings, he altered the way I saw myself and the world.

A plainspoken man, who had raised my now former husband as his own and who I met for the first time nearly three years into our marriage, Buster taught me that water is sometimes thicker than blood and that, despite the complexities of ethnic heritage, deeply rooted family ties grow and strengthen where you least expect them…

Read the entire article here.

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The Strange and Ironic Fates of Jefferson’s Daughters

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2016-09-18 18:14Z by Steven

The Strange and Ironic Fates of Jefferson’s Daughters

The Daily Beast
2016-09-17

Sally Cabot Gunning


Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast

Martha Jefferson was Virginia elite. Her half-sister Harriet, though seven-eighths white, was deemed a slave at birth. No one could have predicted their fates.

Martha Jefferson was born in 1772, just as Monticello was rising above her, promising a life surrounded by beauty, luxury, and pampering. For the first ten years of her existence this promise held, but in 1782 Martha’s mother died, leaving a father incapacitated by grief, but still a father in pursuit of his daughter’s future happiness. He set out a stringent regimen of study which included reading, writing, literature, languages, music, art, and dance.

Two years later, Martha and her father traveled to France, joined later by Martha’s younger sister and her enslaved maid, Sally Hemings. In France Martha boarded at a convent school and received a formal education few other American women of the day would acquire in their lifetimes. At her father’s Paris residence, she received another kind of education, conversing with world leaders and learning, among other things, that there are countries where slavery was illegal. “I wish with all my soul that the poor Negroes were all freed,” she wrote her father from school. She listened eagerly as her father and his secretary, William Short, talked of plans to set up their slaves as free tenant farmers when they returned to Virginia. But the 17-year-old Martha listened eagerly to William Short for another reason—she had fallen in love and her father had taken note; he abruptly took Martha, her sister, and Sally Hemings—who was pregnant with Thomas Jefferson’s child—back to Virginia.

There the realities of the Virginia way of life and her father’s new preoccupations with Monticello, politics, and dare she imagine it—Sally—convinced Martha it was time to claim a life for herself.  After three short months at home, with her father’s whole-hearted blessing, Martha married her distant cousin, Thomas Randolph, a man determined to make his way in Virginia “without dependency” on the institution of slavery…

Read the entire article here.

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The ‘Human Computer’ Behind the Moon Landing Was a Black Woman

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-04-11 01:50Z by Steven

The ‘Human Computer’ Behind the Moon Landing Was a Black Woman

The Daily Beast
2016-04-07

Nathan Place


Image of Katherine Johnson at NASA Langley Research Center in 1971.

In an age of racism and sexism, Katherine Johnson broke both barriers at NASA.

She calculated the trajectory of man’s first trip to the moon, and was such an accurate mathematician that John Glenn asked her to double-check NASA’s computers. To top it off, she did it all as a black woman in the 1950s and ’60s, when women at NASA were not even invited to meetings.

And you’ve probably never heard of her.

Meet Katherine Johnson, the African-American woman who earned the nickname “the human computer” at NASA during its space race golden age…

Read the entire article here.

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Trevor Noah Blasts Ben Carson for Claiming President Obama Was ‘Raised White’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-26 20:33Z by Steven

Trevor Noah Blasts Ben Carson for Claiming President Obama Was ‘Raised White’

The Daily Beast
2016-02-25

Matt Wilstein, Entertainment Writer

The Daily Show’ host hits back at the low-in-the-polls neurosurgeon for claiming Obama can’t relate to the ‘experience of black Americans.’

Believe it or not, Ben Carson is still running for president. And this week, he made some news by claiming in an interview that President Obama was “raised white” and therefore can’t identify with the “experience of black Americans.”

Trevor Noah isn’t having it. ”Like a glitched character on a video game, Ben Carson is just off facing the wrong direction,” The Daily Show host said Wednesday night. “Yeah, he is not attacking Trump or the other Republicans, but rather he’s chosen to attack President Obama. And it’s not for his policies and it’s not for his record. It’s for not being black enough.”

“So Ben Carson is saying that because Obama didn’t grow up poor, he didn’t grow up black,” Noah said after playing the clip of Carson’s comments. “That is such a bullshit argument. Being poor isn’t what makes you black.”…

Read the entire article here.

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James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-13 02:40Z by Steven

James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

The Daily Beast
2015-09-10

Tomás Ríos

Bill Bratton said race ‘had nothing at all to do’ with tennis star James Blake’s wrongful collaring and arrest. The numbers tell a different story.

What does a non-white person have to do for the police to leave them alone? The ready answer is that you have to be more famous than former tennis star James Blake.

Blake was leaving his Midtown Manhattan hotel to make corporate appearances at the U.S. Open when five white, plainclothes New York City police officers tackled and handcuffed him on Wednesday.

The real answer, of course, is that not being white means there is no escape from the consequences of not being white.

Among those who buy into the mythic moral righteousness of our police forces, there is a belief that people of color need only be perfect little humans to cancel out the realities of a racist society. Go to college, smile, pull up your pants, don’t smile at white women, and the prescription for transcending race goes on and on.

It seems not even James Blake—who attended Harvard, overcame scoliosis and a broken neck to become a world-class tennis player, and is now a cancer research philanthropist—can be that perfect. The numbers on incarceration make that much clear…

Read the entire article here.

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Can ‘Belle’ End Hollywood’s Obsession with the White Savior?

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-05-15 04:56Z by Steven

Can ‘Belle’ End Hollywood’s Obsession with the White Savior?

The Daily Beast
2014-05-04

Keli Goff

The black characters in films like ‘The Help’ and ’12 Years A Slave’ always seem to need a white knight. But the black protagonist in ‘Belle,’ a new film about racism and slavery in England, takes matters into her own hands.

The film Belle, which opens this weekend in limited release stateside, is inspired by a true story, deals with the horrors of the African slave trade, and its director is black and British. For these reasons, comparisons to the recent recipient of the Best Picture Oscar, 12 Years a Slave, are inevitable

But there are some notable differences.

Among them, Belle is set in England, while 12 Years a Slave is set in America. 12 Years a Slave depicts—in unflinching detail—the brutalities of slavery, while Belle merely hints at its physical and psychological toll. But the most significant deviation is this: whereas 12 Years a Slave faced criticism for being yet another film to perpetuate the “white savior” cliché in cinema, in Belle, the beleaguered black protagonist does something novel: she saves herself.

Belle marks the first film I’ve seen in which a black woman with agency stands at the center of the plot as a full, eloquent human being who is neither adoring foil nor moral touchstone for her better spoken white counterparts,” the novelist and TV producer Susan Fales-Hill told The Daily Beast

Read the entire article here.

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Are the Tsarnaevs White?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-24 22:31Z by Steven

Are the Tsarnaevs White?

The Daily Beast
2013-04-24

Peter Beinart, Senior Political Writer and Associate Professor of Journalism
City University of New York

also Editor-in-chief
Open Zion

In a word, yes. But why is this so hard for Americans to grasp? Peter Beinart on our country’s long track record of conflating religion and race.

The day after last week’s attack in Boston, David Sirota wrote a column for Salon entitled “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American,” arguing that this would limit the resulting crackdown on civil liberties. At first, conservatives were appalled. Then, when police fingered the Tsarnaev brothers, they were triumphant. “Sorry, David Sirota, Looks Like Boston Bombing Suspects Not White Americans,” snickered a headline in Newsbusters. “Despite the most fervent hopes of some writers over at Salon.com,” added a blogger at Commentary, “the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing are not ‘white Americans’.”

But the bombers were white Americans. The Tsarnaev brothers had lived in the United States for more than a decade. Dzhokhar was a U.S. citizen. Tamerlan was a legal permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship. And as countless commentators have noted, the Tsarnaevs hail from the Caucasus, and are therefore, literally, “Caucasian.” You can’t get whiter than that.

So why did conservatives mock Sirota for being wrong? Because in public conversation in America today, “Islam” is a racial term. Being Muslim doesn’t just mean not being Christian or Jewish. It means not being white…

Read the entire article here.

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