Review ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ follows Misty Copeland’s incredible rise in the ballet world

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-09 02:33Z by Steven

Review ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ follows Misty Copeland’s incredible rise in the ballet world

The Los Angeles Times
2016-02-08

Mary McNamara, Contact Reporter


Misty Copeland in the documentary “A Ballerina’s Tale.” (Oskar Landi / Sundance Selects)

If you think #OscarsSoWhite, consider the world of elite ballet. And if you want to understand why the current conversation over the lack of diversity among this year’s film academy nominees is just one thread of a much larger tapestry, watch Nelson George’s documentary “A Ballerina’s Tale: The Incredible Rise of Misty Copeland” on PBS on Monday night.

Watch too if you are a dance aficionado or a woman, if you have a daughter or for that matter a son, if you are a Southern California resident or just a thinking member of a culture that is changing, with various degrees of resistance, in almost every area.

It won’t take long, just 90 minutes that include several exquisite dance scenes, Copeland’s now-signature friendly frankness and none of the crazy-girl “Black Swan” pathology we have come to expect from tales of the dance world…

…”I think that people think that sometimes I focus too much on the fact that I’m a black dancer,” Copeland says in the film’s opening moments. “There’s never been a black principal woman … in the top companies of the world. In New York City Ballet, in New York City. I don’t think people realize what a feat it is, being a black woman. But that’s so much of who I am, and I think it’s so much a part of my story.”…

Read the entire review here.

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A Ballerina’s Tale

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, United States, Videos on 2016-02-09 01:59Z by Steven

A Ballerina’s Tale

By Nelson George | in Dance
Independent Lens
Public Broadcasting Service
Premieres 2016-02-08

Few dancers reach the highest levels of classical ballet; of that few only a fraction are black women. Against the odds, Misty Copeland has made history by becoming the first African American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, considered the pinnacle of ballet in the United States. A Ballerina’s Tale is an intimate look at this groundbreaking artist as she breaks through barriers and transcends her art.

For more information, click here.

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JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2016-02-09 01:58Z by Steven

JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

University of Nebraska Press
July 2016
192 pages
6 tables, 1 appendix
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-8565-1

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children.

JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American. Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt’s book explores the larger social dimensions of intermarriages to explain how these particular unions reflect not only the identity of married individuals but also the communities to which they belong. Using in-depth interviews with couples and the children of Jewish American and Asian American marriages, Kim and Leavitt’s research sheds much-needed light on the everyday lives of these partnerships and how their children negotiate their own identities in the twenty-first century.

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Jay Smooth: The Ill Doctrine, Underground Railroad & Disenfranchised cheese puffs

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-08 00:51Z by Steven

Jay Smooth: The Ill Doctrine, Underground Railroad & Disenfranchised cheese puffs

The Katie Halper Show
2016-01-20

Katie Halper, Host

On our first episode of the Live Katie Halper Show I front of an audience we talk to Jay Smooth, founder and host of The Underground Railroad and of the Ill Doctrine video series. His videos have garnered millions of views and praise from people like Rachel Maddow who has called his work genius. Find out what Jay Smooth’s favorite drink and snack are, what he thinks of gun violence, Empire, gentrification and what his grandfather said about The Beatles in the New York Times.

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Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-02-07 16:08Z by Steven

Episode 16: The Value of Diversity

Inflection Point: Conversations with women changing the status quo
2015-09-24

Lauren Schiller, Host

Companies are now paying consultants to increase the diversity of their workforce, with an eye on innovation and the bottom line. But is that the only motivation businesses should be considering?

We’ll talk with Joelle Emerson, a diversity consultant, and Allyson Hobbs, an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Stanford University and the author of “A Chosen Exile. A History of Racial Passing in American Life.” Hobbs argues that what is missing from our society is a deep understanding of the lives of others. The value of diversity. That’s our Inflection Point.

Listen to the episode here.

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The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Letters, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-02-06 21:17Z by Steven

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Alfred A. Knopf
2016-02-02
480 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0679446521
eBook ISBN: 978-1101946923

Patricia Bell-Scott, Professor of Child and Family Development and Women’s Studies
University of Georgia

Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

A groundbreaking book—two decades in the works—that tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist, granddaughter of a mulatto slave, and the first lady of the United States, whose ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, forged an enduring friendship that changed each of their lives and helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.

Pauli Murray first saw Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933, at the height of the Depression, at a government-sponsored, two-hundred-acre camp for unemployed women where Murray was living, something the first lady had pushed her husband to set up in her effort to do what she could for working women and the poor. The first lady appeared one day unannounced, behind the wheel of her car, her secretary and a Secret Service agent her passengers. To Murray, then aged twenty-three, Roosevelt’s self-assurance was a symbol of women’s independence, a symbol that endured throughout Murray’s life.

Five years later, Pauli Murray, a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer, wrote a letter to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt protesting racial segregation in the South. The president’s staff forwarded Murray’s letter to the federal Office of Education. The first lady wrote back.

Murray’s letter was prompted by a speech the president had given at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, praising the school for its commitment to social progress. Pauli Murray had been denied admission to the Chapel Hill graduate school because of her race.

She wrote in her letter of 1938:

“Does it mean that Negro students in the South will be allowed to sit down with white students and study a problem which is fundamental and mutual to both groups? Does it mean that the University of North Carolina is ready to open its doors to Negro students . . . ? Or does it mean, that everything you said has no meaning for us as Negroes, that again we are to be set aside and passed over . . . ?”

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to Murray:

“I have read the copy of the letter you sent me and I understand perfectly, but great changes come slowly . . . The South is changing, but don’t push too fast.”

So began a friendship between Pauli Murray (poet, intellectual rebel, principal strategist in the fight to preserve Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, cofounder of the National Organization for Women, and the first African American female Episcopal priest) and Eleanor Roosevelt (first lady of the United States, later first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women) that would last for a quarter of a century.

Drawing on letters, journals, diaries, published and unpublished manuscripts, and interviews, Patricia Bell-Scott gives us the first close-up portrait of this evolving friendship and how it was sustained over time, what each gave to the other, and how their friendship changed the cause of American social justice.

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Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

Posted in Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-06 21:04Z by Steven

Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

WUSF News
WUSF Public Media
Tampa, Florida
2016-02-03

Naomi Prioleau


Evelin Diaz is Afro-Dominican and a Spanish teacher’s assistant at Lennard High School in Ruskin.
Naomi Prioleau/WUSF

When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind.

Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson.

The difference between these pairs of Latina actresses isn’t one of talent or fame. Saldana and Dawson also happen to identify as Black – a reality some Tampa-area Afro-Latinas say is difficult to navigate.

“People respect our (Latino) community but for the Afro-Latinas, people just like to group us as Black and stuff and want to deny that we’re Spanish,” said University of South Florida student Jessica Roberts, who is Puerto Rican and Dominican. And Black.

Roberts said she doesn’t speak Spanish, and as a result is told that she’s not “truly” Latina. People say she should only identify as Black…

…However, it’s not so easy to break down the number of Afro-Latinos here – or elsewhere. The U.S. Census doesn’t currently give the option for Latinos to identify as another race, meaning even if someone is Afro-Latino or Asian-Latino, they can only mark Latino.

USF sociology professor and author Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman said the inability to count Afro-Latinos isn’t the big problem. Latinas who are also Black struggle to find acceptance in both the Latino and Black communities, as well as with themselves…

Read and listen to the story here. Download the story (00:04:19) here.

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Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-02-06 20:46Z by Steven

Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community

University of Washington Press
June 2016
176 pages
1 bandw illus, 2 tables
6 x 9 in
Paperback ISBN: 9780295998503
Hardcover ISBN: 9780295998077

Andrew J. Jolivette, Professor and chair of American Indian studies
San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

The first book to examine the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, Indian Blood provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQtwo-spirit” identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact – and religious conversion – attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco’s two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.

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I thought I was a gorgeous kid until I learned I was just ‘pretty, for a black girl’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-06 20:41Z by Steven

I thought I was a gorgeous kid until I learned I was just ‘pretty, for a black girl’

The Guardian
2016-02-04

Rebecca Carroll

My white birthmother told me that the idea that I was gorgeous was a fiction inflicted upon me out of a sense of white liberal guilt

When I was a little girl, I thought that I was gorgeous. Maybe I kind of was; maybe all little kids think they are, until they don’t. But growing up black in an all-white town, I was also a generally accepted kind of pretty: white adults saw my blackness as an addition to my cuteness; their white children stared at my brown skin and afro with genuine wonder as opposed to judgement and fear. I wasn’t ugly, so it was OK to stare.

It wasn’t until I was 10 that it occurred to me that I wasn’t pretty-pretty, after my fifth grade teacher told me that I was “pretty, for a black girl”. After that, I knew I was beautiful with a caveat; I was attractive with an asterisk. The precocious and outgoing girl that I had been, who loved to pose and perform and tell stories and make art, became emotionally fluent in the art of self-doubt…

Read the entire article here.

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I’m protective of my blackness because I had to find it myself

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-06 20:36Z by Steven

I’m protective of my blackness because I had to find it myself

The Guardian
2015-11-12

Rebecca Carroll

I was dogged in my determination to evolve outside the narrow margins of the small white world of my beginning and into another more racially familiar one

I spent the first 20 years of my life internalizing white beauty standards, intellectual values and cultural sensibilities. By the time I was a freshman in high school I had, like many of my white female peers, embarked upon an ongoing war with my body. I was never diagnosed as anorexic or bulimic, but I intermittently starved myself and took laxatives in an effort to be skinny and hipless without any sense whatsoever that my curves might be considered a thing of beauty in black culture.

I abandoned my 11-year-old crush on Michael Jackson (with whom I became almost preternaturally smitten after seeing him in The Wiz) in favor of the young white male stars that adorned the covers of Tiger BeatRick Springfield, Lief Garrett, Rob Lowe. I was guided by college counselors to consider New England state schools and maybe long-shot universities – historically black colleges and universities were not on anyone’s radar…

…It took a long time to find my blackness, find my people and my relationship to black culture, despite my own (albeit limited) self-awareness regarding race at a very young age. “I am a black child” reads the first sentence of a short personal essay I wrote when I was eight or nine years old…

Read the entire article here.

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