‘What are you?’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-02-19 00:25Z by Steven

‘What are you?’

Varsity
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2017-02-03

Gabrielle McGuinness


Being mixed race defies binaries and confuses people.
HILLARY

Gabrielle McGuinness talks about being mixed race

‘So, ummmm…what are you?’

‘I’m sorry, what?’ I say.

‘Like where are you from.’

‘Oh! I’m British’, I’ll reply enthusiastically, trying to end the conversation there.

‘No, I mean where are you really from?’…

Read the entire article here.

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Jordan Peele on a Truly Terrifying Monster: Racism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-18 20:10Z by Steven

Jordan Peele on a Truly Terrifying Monster: Racism

The New York Times
2017-02-16

Jason Zinoman


Jordan Peele, who is making his directorial debut with the horror film “Get Out.” Credit Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

The sketch comedian takes on racial politics and the “liberal elite” in his debut feature, the horror movie “Get Out.” Here, he talks about his life and work.

No serious fan of the sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” will be surprised that Jordan Peele (the shorter half of its starring duo) is making his directorial debut with a horror film. Their acclaimed Comedy Central series may have been best known for President Obama’s “anger translator,” but it often lampooned scary movies with a specificity that could come only from a connoisseur of things that go bump in the night. (No one has made a funnier parody of “The Shining.”)

In his new movie, “Get Out,” he plays the scares straight, writing and directing the rare horror movie that tackles racial politics head on. In a scenario that has been described as “The Stepford Wives” meets “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American photographer, is about to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time when he’s rattled to learn that she has not told them he is black. His anxiety increases when her father goes out of his way to tell him that he would have voted for Mr. Obama for a third term and when the forced smiles of the parents’ exclusively black servants start seeming a little uncanny. Racial micro-aggressions and ominous signs (bad dreams, dead animals) mount, as this fish-out-of-water story takes a foreboding turn…

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Black and French: ‘Mariannes Noires’ film explores the intersections of identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-02-17 21:08Z by Steven

Black and French: ‘Mariannes Noires’ film explores the intersections of identity

AfroPunk
2017-02-16

T. McLendon

The African diaspora reaches to every corner of the earth and in the Western world Black identity is often formed within the context of white supremacy, white nationalism, and white majorities. For Black people learning, growing and living in France, the intersections of race, class, immigration, and nationality all color their upbringing and everyday lives and new film “Mariannes Noires” aims to dive headfirst into these experiences. Directors Mame-Fatou Niang and Kaytie Nielsen follow seven French woman of African and Caribbean origins of various professions and try to extract what binds them beyond their Blackness…

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I’m A Mixed-Race Woman But Everyone Thinks I’m White — Which Hurts My Pride But Gives Me Privilege

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2017-02-12 21:29Z by Steven

I’m A Mixed-Race Woman But Everyone Thinks I’m White — Which Hurts My Pride But Gives Me Privilege

Bustle
2017-02-07

Danielle Campoamor


Source: Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor

“We can’t help you here,” was all the receptionist would tell me. I was 20 years old, living in Plainview, Texas, and trying to see a doctor — I was a week post-op from an invasive knee surgery, and my knee was red, swollen, painful, and starting to smell. I knew I needed to see a physician soon.

“Spell your last name for me again,” the receptionist asked. “C-A-M-P-O-A-M-O-R. Campoamor. You have my medical records,” I replied.

“I’m sorry, but we just can’t accommodate you,” was all the woman could manage to say.

“Look. I have insurance.”

“Oh,” she replied. “I’m sorry. I just assumed. Well, we can see you in an hour.”

“No, thanks.”

The woman — who couldn’t see me but identified my last name as Hispanic — assumed I didn’t have insurance. I knew it, she knew it, and in light of her racist assumption, I decided I would rather go to a hospital than sit in a comfortable doctor’s office. I waited, on crutches, for two hours at a local emergency room.

That story isn’t notable because I experienced discrimination. It’s notable because that was the first time I had ever experienced discrimination. In 20 years. While I am a Puerto Rican woman, I am very white-looking. Extremely white-looking, in fact. In high school my friends (most of whom were white) would call me the “tan white girl,” or the “Tropical Mexican.” It was in jest, to be sure, but the whitewashing of my ethnicity has been a constant throughout my life…

Read the entire article here.

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‘To be black doesn’t have to mean anything more than what I already am’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-11 20:43Z by Steven

‘To be black doesn’t have to mean anything more than what I already am’

The Philadelphia Inquirer
2016-02-06

Sofiya Ballin, Staff Writer


Sonia Galiber, Director of Operations at Urban Creators
Michael Bryant

For Black History Month, we’re exploring history and identity through the lens of joy. Black joy is the ability to love and celebrate black people and culture, despite the world dictating otherwise. Black joy is liberation.

Sonia Galiber, 25, Director of Operations
Philly Urban Creators, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My high school was pretty segregated. As a biracial kid, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t black enough or Asian enough. That’s when I developed an inferiority complex.

Throughout all of this, I’m also dealing with needing to be Japanese enough. My mother’s family didn’t approve of my parents’ marriage. My grandparents got to know my dad, but there are some extended family members that I’m just meeting.

It was a motivating force for me. I went to Japanese school every Saturday from third grade to high school. That was an identity I was chasing in the same way that I was chasing blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-02-11 20:21Z by Steven

First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety
2017-02-08

Leo Barraclough, Senior International Correspondent


Courtesy of Tantrum Films/Pinewood Pictures

Variety has been given exclusive access to the first-look image from Amma Asante’sWhere Hands Touch,” which stars Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) and George MacKay (“Captain Fantastic”) in a story of forbidden love in Nazi Germany.

Fifteen-year-old Leyna (Stenberg), daughter of a white German mother and a black father, meets Lutz (MacKay), the son of a prominent SS officer, and a member of the Hitler Youth. “They fall helplessly in love, putting their lives at risk as all around them the persecution of Jews and those deemed ‘non-pure’ slowly unfolds,” according to a statement. “Does their love stand a chance amidst violence and hatred?”…

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A True Story of Love, Race and Royalty Gets Crammed Into A United Kingdom

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, South Africa, United Kingdom on 2017-02-11 19:57Z by Steven

A True Story of Love, Race and Royalty Gets Crammed Into A United Kingdom

LA Weekly
2017-02-06

April Wolfe, Lead Film Critic


Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

In director Amma Asante’s epic political romance A United Kingdom, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star as Seretse and Ruth Khama, the interracial royal couple who stunned the world when they fought to rule the country that would become the Republic of Botswana. The story’s a wildly interesting history lesson on African poverty, the rise of apartheid in the late 1940s and Britain’s passive role in separating Botswana’s blacks from whites. But here all that complexity plays more Disney than drama, with a script from Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky) that turns love into a montage and politics into a trite cartoon of good vs. evil.

The couple lindy-hops through courtship and right into an engagement in the early scenes, which are set to an American jazz soundtrack. They first lock eyes at a dance in London, where he’s a law student and she’s an office worker. In real life, the two met secretly for a year before Seretse even got the nerve to ask, “Do you think you could love me?” But the script ramming right through the early romance and into the marriage leaves so many open questions about the characters’ love; as portrayed in the film, they barely know one another when Ruth decides she’s going to move to Africa to be Seretse’s queen.

Against the wishes of their families — and the British and South African governments — Seretse and Ruth marry and travel to Bechuanaland so that he can ascend the throne and use his education to help his people. Soon after their arrival comes one of the film’s most poignant moments: Seretse’s aunt Ella (Abena Ayivor), who’s the current queen, drills right into the thin white woman before her to ask if Ruth knows what it would mean to be a mother to the nation and its predominantly black citizens. Ella has a good point: At a time when white people are swarming into Bechuanaland to turn black citizens into servants, how good an idea is a white queen? Later, Ruth sits in her room, practicing British queen skills such as waving and smiling, while the tribe’s women break their backs outside to get food to their families. But A United Kingdom doesn’t fully explore this cultural distance; the film’s structure requires that Ruth be quickly accepted into the tribe, so the story can move on to Britain’s treachery…

Read the entire article here.

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It’s Not Simply Black and White: Onscreen mixed-race romances (sort of) grow up

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-11 18:14Z by Steven

It’s Not Simply Black and White: Onscreen mixed-race romances (sort of) grow up

Film Journal International
2017-02-10

Simi Horwitz, Cultural Reporter/Features Writer
New York, New York

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, was not the first film to deal with an interracial love story, though it was the first to present “the issue” in the starkest terms. To wit: An exemplary son-in-law—a well-mannered, well-spoken doctor with a stellar future who happens to be black—sparks feelings of profound equivocation for the girl’s parents, otherwise the most fair-minded, tolerance-spewing champions one can imagine. The good doctor refusing to marry her at all without their blessing only makes it worse. He is a paradigm of virtue but still an African-American, and his race defines him.

At the height of the Civil Rights movement, the Stanley Kramer film was a controversial groundbreaker. The brilliant casting didn’t hurt: Sidney Poitier as the romantic lead, Dr. John Prentice, with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as old-time liberals Matt and Christina Drayton, whose daughter Joey (Hepburn’s real-life niece Katharine Houghton) is engaged to Prentice.

Naturally, it all ends happily enough (Did I mention it’s a comedy?), with Tracy delivering a long, very long speech asserting that love is what matters and while the young couple will face obstacles in a bigoted world, they must get married. To fly in the face of their love is a violation and morally wrong.

The film’s treatment of race relations is clearly dated. Not coincidentally, its depiction of women is also thesis-worthy, let alone its portrait of a black housekeeper (Isabel Sanford, years before “The Jeffersons”) who embodies a host of racial, gender and class stereotypes. Enraged and horrified at the prospect of Joey marrying a black man, she sputters, “Civil Rights are one thing. But this is something else.”

Still, it was a bellwether, landing an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and winning its screenwriter William Rose a statuette…

Read the entire article here.

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Paradox: Identity and Belonging

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-11 17:57Z by Steven

Paradox: Identity and Belonging

Ceramics Monthly
March 2017

Heidi McKenzie, Ceramic Artist
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I was in the room when Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates delivered his keynote speech at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2014. Among many things, he spoke about his sense of isolation working as a black artist in an otherwise white-dominated creative milieu. He asked people in the audience who self-identified as African American to stand up. When fewer than 40 people in a room of 4000-plus stood up, I was shaken. I recognized that this was a physical expression of a deeply rooted sense of disenfranchisement, on both collective and personal levels. Gates put the discomfort of race on the table. It was a call to action.

I organized a panel of mixed-race ceramic sculpture artists whose work speaks to issues of race and identity titled “Paradox: Identity & Belonging” for NCECA’s 50th anniversary conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last spring. Fellow Canadian, Brendan Tang, as well as Americans Jennifer Datchuk and Nathan Murray joined me on stage. Their words cut deeply into the personal journeys of many in the audience who stayed and shared with us for over an hour after the panel discussion, a conversation that moved onto a gathering of more than 20 at a local eatery. The synergies, revelations, and resonances were powerful, walls came tumbling down, and for a moment in time there was a collective sense of empowerment, a feeling that we’re all in this together, sifting through the paradox of mixed race…

Read the entire article here.

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Trevor Noah, Colorism and The Unexpected Role He Plays In Expanding the Divide

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2017-02-11 03:27Z by Steven

Trevor Noah, Colorism and The Unexpected Role He Plays In Expanding the Divide

Atlanta Black Star
2017-02-05

Jared Ball, Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

“He’s out to neutralize, not to awaken.” – Willa Paskin

The leadership of our School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University has encouraged that professors like myself find ways this semester to incorporate into our work the new book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Noah is the South African-born, biracial, Colored comedian and host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Copies have been distributed to students and faculty alike and I anticipate there being a flurry of engagement for courses in media studies as Noah’s book has plenty to offer.

Immediately we can start with critiques of false balance and Western politicized notions of objectivity, both of which were in play during Noah’s recent extended exchange with the aggressive right wing commentator Tomi Lahren. Many know of Noah’s nightly television work and it appears many more know him now after the straw woman performed her role in enhancing Noah’s credibility and right in time to coincide nicely with his book’s launch. What liberal aspirant to the throne of legitimacy wouldn’t want her as an interlocutor? Even in the silly film Pop Star Conner Friel (Andy Samberg) made sure his entourage consisted of a “perspective adjuster” whose sole function was to make the star look better by comparison. Muhammad Ali’s legend wasn’t born by his fights with Henry Cooper and Brian London. It were the fights with Liston, Frazier, Foreman and the federal government that told us he was the greatest.

We can also as a class ask, what is happening semiotically with the book’s cover? It read to me from the first like the perfect symbolic display of Noah’s entire political function as celebrity.  Noah’s beige face, askew, askance even – especially – with that grin, hand touching his head, painted on a tattered township wall, imposing, top-down upon a faceless Black African woman, almost saying, in an aloof, twisted version of the Old Spice commercial, “aww-shucks, look at me. Now look at you. Now look at me again. Now look at you. And back to me. I’ve made it and you can to? Never mind that. Look at me!” Its reminiscent of any billboard falsely advertising an exclusive lifestyle of which most onlookers can only dream…

Read the entire article here.

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