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

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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Call For Papers: Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema

Posted in Anthropology, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2016-01-16 03:33Z by Steven

Call For Papers: Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema

Salvador Jimenez Murguia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology
Akita International University, Akita City, Akita Prefecture, Japan

The volume Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema, takes up the topic of racism in American Cinema from its early days of film production to the present. Covering over 400 entries that include films, producers, directors, actresses, actors, genres, and critical interpretations, the breadth and depth of this volume may generate some highly significant material for both academics, as well as general audiences. The first of its kind (indeed there are no other encyclopedias that cover this topic anywhere on the market), the Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema would be a timely pop cultural companion to the ever-growing field of critical race studies. Additionally, as Americans become more well versed in the complexities of race, navigating current events that conjure up a sense of importance with regard to racial formations, and the implications of racism in their daily lives, a volume such as this can only add to the understanding of how race and racism operate on screen and serve to inform, influence and reinforce notions of racial divisions off screen.

This volume is under contract with Rowman and Littlefield to be published in late 2017. In this way, I will be requiring very quick turn-arounds.

If you’re interested in contributing, please send me an email with the subject line “Racism in Film,” and I’ll forward the list of entries (it is not a comprehensive list and I’ll be open to further suggestions). Entries will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Although I’m happy to receive brief curriculum vitaes, they are not required. I would like to cast the net wide in attracting authors from a variety of disciplines and professions. Advanced undergraduates, graduate students and junior faculty are particularly welcome to contribute.


  • African-American Studies
  • American
  • Bibliography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Ethnicity and National Identity
  • Film and Television
  • Gender Studies and Sexuality
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Popular Culture

Salvador Jimenez Murguia, Ph.D.

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The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television by Zélie Asava (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive on 2016-01-12 01:15Z by Steven

The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television by Zélie Asava (review)

Black Camera
Volume 7, Number 1, Fall 2015 (New Series)
pages 267-270

Isabelle Le Corff

Asava, Zélie, The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television (Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang, 2013)

The Black Irish Onscreen makes an original contribution to the field of Irish film studies. Author Zélie Asava has gone to great lengths to confront the political hierarchies of black and white in Ireland and question the links between visual culture and social reality. Pointing at Ireland’s long history of cultural and ethnic heterogeneity, the general introduction shows how, although Ireland has shifted from a land of emigrants to one of immigrants, it continues to consider foreigners as people who come to work rather than to settle permanently, the immigrant probably reminding the nation of its own migrant past and present.

Challenging the idea that “being Irish is still often seen as a question of being the product of two Irish people descended from a long line of Irish ancestors,” Asava describes her familial and cultural roots in Ireland and explains that her politics as a heterosexual mixed-race woman have been deeply influenced by the cultural productions of Ireland. As an Irish woman with dual citizenship, her experiences of misrecognition have framed her intellectual interrogation. She can thus assert that the personal is highly political, and stress the importance of using art to challenge socioeconomic and cultural norms.

Since the emergence of the Celtic Tiger and mass immigration as a new phenomenon, there have been enduring problems of racism and acceptance in Ireland. Asava ironically observes that Irish identity now expands to include the seventy million of the diaspora but still excludes non-Europeans living in Ireland, the majority of whom are African. Questioning the link between reality and onscreen representations, she insists that despite a marked increase in the visibility of gay, lesbian, minority-ethnic, and socially excluded characters on the Irish screen, it is still extremely difficult nowadays to find images of mixed-race or black people in Irish visual culture, and the existing representations are frequently stereotyped and prejudiced. Asava cherishes the hope that, with more focus on commonalities than differences, the black and hyphenated Irish may come to be seen as part of the nation rather than as a fractional ethnic group defined as “Other.” Being critical of the way Otherness may be referred to in cultural products is imperative. Different aspects of Irish public culture are pointed out as a means of de-legitimizing the Irishness of anyone who isn’t white or the product of Irish ancestors. Such aspects range from the constant media references to the men of 1916 to the focus on parochial origins, which inevitably position all hybrids as foreigners, albeit foreigners born and bred on Irish soil. Asava’s book is the first in Irish film studies to consider Ireland as a black mixed-race country and explore manifestations of Irishness which challenge the concept of Irish identity as a static, homogeneous ethnicity, seeking to produce a more inclusive and far reaching vision of Irish identity. It complements Debbie Ging’sGoldfish Memories? On Seeing and Hearing Marginalised Identities in Contemporary Irish Cinema,” published in 2008.

The Black Irish Onscreen is divided into six chapters. The first chapter is devoted to Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game (1992) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005), two Irish films featuring mixed-race protagonists. Jordan’s work was among the first to explore racial narratives in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and to draw parallels between the political situation in Northern Ireland and interracial and queer/trans* love. His film Mona Lisa (1986) is also cited for starring Cathy Tyson and comparing mixed-race Great Britain and white Ireland. In this chapter Asava briefly refers to Diane Negra and Richard Dyer’s pioneering works on racializing whiteness and showing how representations of gender, sexuality and race have been shaped by the film industry. Sexuality and race are thus equated as alien in an Irish screen culture characterized by major gender imbalances, male directors and male protagonists dominating an industry that favors historical and gangster genres.

The second chapter focuses on black or mixed-race women on Irish television. Different television programs such as Prosperity (RTE, 2007), Love is The Drug (RTE, 2004), and Fair City (RTE, 1989–) are considered for the way they portray black or mixed-race female protagonists. While…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Why I’m Over The White-Washing Of ‘The Bachelor’ Every Season

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-10 22:28Z by Steven

Why I’m Over The White-Washing Of ‘The Bachelor’ Every Season

Elite Daily

KiMi Robinson
Los Angeles, California

I just cyber-stalked my ex and his new flings — except I never dated the guy, nor will I ever have that opportunity.

In other words, I went through all 28 contestant’s profiles from the upcoming season of “The Bachelor” to judge who I think will be the best fit for our Colorado sweetheart, Ben Higgins.

No matter how much I pride myself on being an independent, educated woman, I’m also a slave to this cruel franchise…

…Don’t get me wrong; I’m just as obsessed with the latter two couples as the next person, but I’m starting to get tired of the predictability of it all.

As a mixed-race child of Japanese and Caucasian parents, I’m eager to see things spiced up in the “Bachelor” franchise. In other words, when am I going to get to see an interracial couple?…

Read the entire article here.

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What’s the Difference with “Difference”?

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-09 20:48Z by Steven

What’s the Difference with “Difference”?

University of Washington
Kane Hall, Room 120
4069 Spokane Lane
Seattle, Washington 98105
2016-01-14, 19:30 PST (Local Time)

Ralina L. Joseph, Associate Professor
Department of Communication
(also adjunct associate professor in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
University of Washington

Language is power. The words we use and the names we say count, both individually and institutionally. This is particularly true when it comes to minoritized, identity-based nomenclature, such as the language of a racialized and gendered naming. The movement from “colored” to “negro” to “black” to “African-American” signifies important historical shifts in the state and community-naming processes. In other words, the words we use matter in terms of how we assess, frame, and ultimately understand difference.

But what about the naming of “difference” itself? Difference is a term that late 20th and early 21st century scholars of race, gender, and sexuality have claimed and yet left largely untheorized. We use the word difference almost reflexively. Difference replaces—or rather revises—diversity, multiculturalism, or a long-connected string of descriptors such as race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and ability. But what does this shift in language mean and why is it significant for the ways in which we assess, inhabit, and perhaps even change our world? Does a change to “difference” lead to a change in identity and inequality?

Registration opens December 2015.

You do not need to be an alum of the University of Washington to attend or register.

For more information, click here.

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Obama’s skin looks a little different in these GOP campaign ads

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-12-31 02:12Z by Steven

Obama’s skin looks a little different in these GOP campaign ads

The Washington Post

Max Ehrenfreund

A new study shows that negative ads targeting President Obama in 2008 depicted him with very dark skin, and that these images would have appealed to some viewers’ racial biases.

The finding reinforces charges that some Republican politicians seek to win votes by implying support for racist views and ethnic hierarchies, without voicing those prejudices explicitly. The purported tactic is often called “dog-whistle politics” — just as only canines can hear a dog whistle, only prejudiced voters are aware of the racist connotations of a politician’s statement, according to the theory…

Read the entire article here.

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Bias in the Flesh: Skin Complexion and Stereotype Consistency in Political Campaigns

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-12-30 23:44Z by Steven

Bias in the Flesh: Skin Complexion and Stereotype Consistency in Political Campaigns

Public Opinion Quarterly
First published online: 2015-12-17
DOI: 10.1093/poq/nfv046

Solomon Messing, Director of Data Labs
Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C.

Maria Jabon, Senior Software Engineer
LinkedIn, Mountain View, California

Ethan Plaut, Postdoctoral Fellow
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Researchers manipulated the tone of President Obama’s skin to measure viewers’ stereotypes. (Courtesy of Solomon Messing / Political Communication Lab, Stanford University)

There is strong evidence linking skin complexion to negative stereotypes and adverse real-world outcomes. We extend these findings to political ad campaigns, in which skin complexion can be easily manipulated in ways that are difficult to detect. Devising a method to measure how dark a candidate appears in an image, this paper examines how complexion varied with ad content during the 2008 presidential election campaign (study 1). Findings show that darker images were more frequent in negative ads—especially those linking Obama to crime—which aired more frequently as Election Day approached. We then conduct an experiment to document how these darker images can activate stereotypes, and show that a subtle darkness manipulation is sufficient to activate the most negative stereotypes about Blacks—even when the candidate is a famous counter-stereotypical exemplar—Barack Obama (study 2). Further evidence of an evaluative penalty for darker skin comes from an observational study measuring affective responses to depictions of Obama with varying skin complexion, presented via the Affect Misattribution Procedure in the 2008 American National Election Study (study 3). This study demonstrates that darker images are used in a way that complements ad content, and shows that doing so can negatively affect how individuals evaluate candidates and think about politics.

Read the entire article here.

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A More Perfect Union: Black Freedoms, White Houses

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-12-29 03:06Z by Steven

A More Perfect Union: Black Freedoms, White Houses

Public Culture
Volume 28, Number 1, January 2016
pages 63-87
DOI: 10.1215/08992363-3325016

Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

President Barack Obama signifies both the power of the institutional presidency and the legacy of black freedom struggles. His post in the White House provides an opportunity to think through the process by which these themes became intertwined and the manner in which the US presidency became a site for resolving the black freedom struggle. This essay traces the routes through which the US state, in the form of the presidency, appropriated black images to suppress autonomous black freedom struggles and promote less threatening racial narratives. It critiques the production and reproduction of black freedom imagery for state utility. The materials investigated reveal the value of black visibility to state interests at key moments in US race relations—namely, during slavery, enfranchisement, and national elections.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Making Blackness, Making Policy

Posted in Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-12-26 19:01Z by Steven

Making Blackness, Making Policy

Harvard University
178 pages

Peter Geller

Doctoral Dissertation

Too often the acknowledgment that race is a social construction ignores exactly how this construction occurs. By illuminating the way in which the category of blackness and black individuals are made, we can better see how race matters in America. Antidiscrimination policy, social science research, and the state’s support of its citizens can all be improved by an accurate and concrete definition of blackness.

Making Blackness, Making Policy argues that blackness and black people are literally made rather than discovered. The social construction of blackness involves the naming of individuals as black, and the subsequent interaction between this naming and racial projects. The process of naming involves an intersubjective dialogue in which racial self-identification and ascription by others lead to a consensus on an individual’s race. These third parties include an individual’s community, the media, and, crucially, the state. Following Ian Hacking, this process is most properly termed the dynamic nominalism of blackness.

My dissertation uses analytic philosophy, qualitative and quantitative research, and historical analysis to defend this conception. The dynamic nominalist process is illustrated through the media’s contribution to the making of Barack Obama’s blackness, and the state’s creation and maintenance of racial categories through law, policy, and enumeration.

I then argue that the state’s dominant role in creating blackness, and the vital role that a black identity plays in millions’ sense of self, requires the United States Government to support a politics of recognition. The state’s antidiscrimination efforts would also improve through the adoption of a dynamic nominalism of blackness. Replacing the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission’s inconsistent and contradictory definitions of race with the dynamic nominalism of blackness would clarify when and how racial discrimination occurs.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Making Blackness Across Disciplines
  • Chapter One: The Dynamic Nominalism of Blackness
  • Chapter Two: Barack Obama and the Making of Black People
  • Chapter Three: The State and the Centrality of Black Identity
  • Chapter Four: Definitions of Race and Antidiscrimination Policy
  • Conclusion: Making Use of Making Blackness
  • Bibliography

Read the entire dissertation here.

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White Latino Racism on the Rise: It’s Time for a Serious Conversation on Euro-Diasporic Whiteness

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2015-12-24 23:30Z by Steven

White Latino Racism on the Rise: It’s Time for a Serious Conversation on Euro-Diasporic Whiteness

Latino Rebels

Wiliam Garcia

A common misconnection that exists today rests on the notion that there are no racial hierarchies in Latin American countries or within the Latino communities in the United States. In other words, Latino (or Hispanic) is itself a race. For many, this conversation is a pointless squabble that halts the true need for unity amongst marginalized groups in the United States. Unfortunately, overlooking the importance of this issue has in fact delineated separation and a lack of interest in each other’s problems.

The shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by a half-Peruvian and half-White man named George Zimmerman, the rise of so-called Hispanic conservatives like Ted Cruz, Al Cardenas and Marco Rubio, and the examples of racist comments by Latinos in the media like Rodner Figueroa, have made it impossible to have a conversation of Latinos and race. It is becoming clear that Whites from Latin America, although marginalized by Anglo-Whites, have been able to pass as honorary Whites and benefit from the inequalities formed by White Supremacy. This is not new, and it has a history.

Many people who neglect to explore the history of Latin Americans in the United Sates fail to analyze people like the famous white Cuban Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), who penetrated the American television series “I Love Lucy” (1951) at a time when Black people were not even allowed to perform next to White actors. Lucy (Lucille Ball) was Arnaz’ real wife, and both enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the film industry. In 1954 Arnaz was even able to get a role as the famous Don Juan

…While many invoke the idea of mestizaje (racial mixing) and the one-drop rule, it did not determine Latin American identity racially. The false idea that you were non-White if any of your ancestors was not White has been a common belief that undergirded racial categories and Whiteness as passing in the United States. Regardless if Arnaz was considered White or not, his Whiteness allowed him to pass and have access to Hollywood. Arnaz benefited from the system of White Supremacy. While Arnaz was able to remain Cuban (while also being marginalized), Hernández was not able to be Puerto Rican because he was Black…

Read the entire article here.

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