These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2016-06-26 18:13Z by Steven

These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2016-06-26

Sharon H. Chang

sigh.

SIGH.

Siiiiiiiiigh.

Alright that’s done. I want (pause) — well I don’t want, but feel like I need to show you two TV ads recently posted to YouTube literally within days of each other. Both are out of east Asia, Japan and China respectively. The first is a Toyota commercial out of Japan. It portrays a shiny techno-future funneled through the nostalgic eyes of a white father and happy memories of his mixed race Japanese family/children:

Not super hard to read the messaging here right? Japan is changing. Got it. Changing for the better. Got it. Symbolized by this mixed race family. Got it. And importantly, symbolized by this mixed race family with a white father. Got it. Now let me pause and give nod to something super important here. It is rare to see mixed families portrayed at all in Japan, a nation with an impressive history of racial-ethnic purity rhetoric, xenophobia, violent discrimination and practice. So yes I completely get that this Toyota commercial is a step forward.

At the same time it isn’t.

Now, check out this second commercial for Qiaobi laundry detergent out of China which has been airing at least since April…

Read the entire article here.

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Dwayne Johnson – “Race Shifter” in a “Post-Racial” World?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-22 19:19Z by Steven

Dwayne Johnson – “Race Shifter” in a “Post-Racial” World?

Shadow and Act: On Film, Television and Web Content of Africa and Its Diaspora
2016-06-13

Sergio Mims


Dwayne Johnson

With “Central Intelligence” hitting theaters this weekend, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, a conversation worth having…

I’m sure we’ve all privy to all the chatter about how we’re now living in a so-called “post-racial” society. Though I think most of us would respond to that with a “Yeah right!” But things are changing, albeit slowly. And it dawned on me, with Johnson becoming one of Hollywood’s most dependable actors today, starring in blockbuster after blockbuster, and carrying some of them almost alone, that he’s the one person who could be an example of this “post-racial” utopia we’re supposed to be living in.

It should be very obvious by now that Johnson has been positioning himself to become a major movie star. He easily could have gone on to be a B-movie actor, content with taking supporting roles in action/exploitation films, and starring in direct-to-video movies, like some of his former WWE cohorts. But Johnson has much higher aspirations. And it’s not just the film projects that he’s attached himself to; either by design or by happenstance, it’s also how he’s been perceived racially by the public. He has become a “race shifter” for lack of a better word.

Through his obviously ethnic, but not clearly defined looks (he’s black Canadian/Samoan), he has managed to become “identified” as it were, by different audiences, as different things, and has used that to his advantage, whether intentionally or not. I should say that, of course, we identify him as a black actor here on S&A, or else we wouldn’t be covering him at all. And Johnson has never obscured, or refused to acknowledge his bi-racial heritage, unlike let’s say Vin Diesel, who has seemingly gone out of his way to not publicly acknowledge his mixed heritage, preferring to instead let people think he’s, perhaps, Italian…

Read the entire article here.

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Race in Post-War German Cinema in Drama ‘Toxi’ (Video)

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2016-06-12 21:39Z by Steven

Race in Post-War German Cinema in Drama ‘Toxi’ (Video)

IndiWire
April 2016

Sergio

For anyone interested in foreign films, one of the most interesting periods of German filmmaking was the post war period between 1946 to the mid 1960’s.

In effect, only two types of films were being made: pure escapist film such as musicals and comedies that were designed to make the audience completely forget the ugly events of the recent past. And then there were films like “The Lost One,” “Germany Year Zero,” and “Murderers Among Us” which explicitly dealt with the aftermath of the horrors of World War II and Germany’s guilt and repercussions.

But of all the films, one of the most fascinating, and worthy of rediscovery, is the 1952 film “Toxi,” co-written and directed by Robert Stemmie, who was a major and very successful director of the period. It was one of the very few German films made then, and even now, which seriously tried to deal with race. No doubt a very touchy and controversial subject considering Germany’s Nazi “racial purity” agenda.

For years the film was very difficult to see. I first saw it a few years ago during a film series of post-war German films. However, the film was eventually remastered and released on DVD and is available from the DEFA Film Library DVD series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The film centers around an abandoned German “occupation baby,” which was the term for children of U.S. soldiers (stationed in Germany after the war) and German women, who were abandoned by their parents. It was estimated that there were some 3000-5000 of these children, many of whom were biracial…

Read the entire article here.

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The Agonies Of “Passing” – Considering the Murder Mystery ‘Sapphire’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, Videos on 2016-06-12 01:06Z by Steven

The Agonies Of “Passing” – Considering the Murder Mystery ‘Sapphire’

IndieWire
July 2014

Sergio

The Agonies Of “Passing” – Considering the Murder Mystery ‘Sapphire

Starting in the late 1940’s, and continuing through to the end of the ‘50’s, Hollywood seemed to be obsessed with the concept of “passing” –light skinned black people passing for white. Though it wasn’t new, of course, somehow it caught Tinseltown’s attention and a slew of films were made, almost all them dealing with women in particular, who passed for white and the tragedies and sorrow that they encountered.

Elia Kazan’sPinky,” “Lost Boundaries,” “Imitation Of Life,” “Band of Angels,” “The Night of the Quarter Moon,” “I Passed for White,” and the would-be “Gone with the Wind” rip-off, “Raintree County,” with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, which, technically may not be a “passing” movie, though it deals with a pre-Civil war, antebellum Southern belle (Taylor), who goes slowly insane because she believes her real mother was a slave, who was her father’s lover (turns out that she wasn’t, but Taylor dies anyway for all her grief).

But, for my money, the real doozy of the passing-for-white films wasn’t from Hollywood, but came instead from the U.K.

I’m referring to the 1959 British mystery detective film “Sapphire,” directed by Basil Dearden, who specialized, during the late 50′s and 60′s, in films with controversial subject matter, such as his 1961 film “Victim,” which dealt with a successful and closeted gay barrister who is being blackmailed, and fights back against his tormentors. It is credited for being the first movie in which the word “homosexual” was actually used in a film.

But “Sapphire” is in another realm altogether…

Read the entire review here. Watch the entire film, Sapphire here.

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This web series asks black women around the world to explain what beauty means to them

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2016-06-04 23:46Z by Steven

This web series asks black women around the world to explain what beauty means to them

Fusion
2016-06-02

Tahirah Hairston


Courtesy of Un-Ruly

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that’s not the impression you’d get from flipping through a fashion magazine. The images we see in mainstream media every day suggest that there’s only one way to be beautiful: white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, thin body. Not only do these ideals exclude women of color altogether, but they also reinforce the troubling idea that you should change your hair, skin color, or body to be a part of the club.

But thanks to social media and the internet, there are new gatekeepers changing the conversation about what it means to be beautiful, practicing inclusive representation, and creating places to explore, talk, and educate. Antonia Opiah is one of them. In 2013, she started launched her hair blog and e-commerce site Un-ruly, which has everything from hair commentary, styling tips and recommendations for products to buy. It was in creating this website that Opiah became comfortable in her own skin and hair…

Read the entire interview here.

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‘A Change of Heart’: Racial Politics, Scientific Metaphor and Coverage of 1968 Interracial Heart Transplants in the African American Press

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-30 16:40Z by Steven

‘A Change of Heart’: Racial Politics, Scientific Metaphor and Coverage of 1968 Interracial Heart Transplants in the African American Press

Social History of Medicine
Published online: 2016-05-26
DOI: 10.1093/shm/hkw052

Maya Overby Koretzky
Johns Hopkins Institute for the History of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

This paper explores the African American response to an interracial heart transplant in 1968 through a close reading of the black newspaper press. This methodological approach provides a window into African American perceptions of physiological difference between the races, or lack thereof, as it pertained to both personal identity and race politics. Coverage of the first interracial heart transplant, which occurred in apartheid South Africa, was multifaceted. Newspapers lauded the transplant as evidence of physiological race equality while simultaneously mobilising the language of differing ‘black’ and ‘white’ hearts to critique racist politics through the metaphor of a ‘change of heart’. While interracial transplant created the opportunity for such political commentary, its material reality—potential exploitation of black bodies for white gain—was increasingly a cause for concern, especially after a contentious heart transplant from a black to a white man in May 1968 in the American South.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Race, revolution and interracial relations: Revisiting rapper Emicida’s video ‘Boa Esperança’, the most courageous video of 2015

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, Videos on 2016-05-29 17:09Z by Steven

Race, revolution and interracial relations: Revisiting rapper Emicida’s video ‘Boa Esperança’, the most courageous video of 2015

Black Women of Brazil
2016-04-25

Note from BW of Brazil: Get ready! Today’s piece is one of those long articles in which you must read every word in order to get the full significance. The rapper known as Emicida is perhaps the most popular rapper in Brazil right now and his star continues to rise. Last year, the rapper released the video for his song “Boa Esperança”, one of the most discussed music videos of last year and for good reason and you will no doubt agree.

The video takes on the realities of race and class in modern day Brazilian society that date back all the way to the colonial era; a colonial era in which masses of Brazilian Indians were massacred and millions of imported Africans were forced to endure unthinkable conditions of cruelty, exploitation and death. As we have seen in numerous posts in the past, many black Brazilians still make references to the Casa Grande (big house/slave master’s home) to describe race relations in modern day Brazil, even as the institution of slavery officially ended in 1888, making Brazil the last country in the Western world to abolish this practice…

Read the entire article here.

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White is Right, But Light-Skin is the Next Best Thing

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-28 03:17Z by Steven

White is Right, But Light-Skin is the Next Best Thing

Media Diversified
2016-05-23

Shane Thomas

The arrival of summer means a number of things: Intermittent sunshine, music festivals where at least one white person gets their cultural appropriation on; and superhero movies. Lots of superhero movies. Box-office takings are the engine of established Western cinema, and few things fuel that engine more than a superhero tale.

Last week saw the release of the latest adventure in the rebooted X-Men series; X-Men: Apocalypse, which introduced Ororo Munroe to the franchise, better known to comicbook fans as Storm – one of the few black women characters in the mainstream superhero oeuvre.

A black woman at the hub of a major Hollywood movie should be cause for us to break out our best Sophina DeJesus impersonation, but one’s joy has to be rationed, as Alexandra Shipp was cast as (the discernibly dark-skinned) Storm. Shipp is black, but dark-skinned she is not

Read the entire article here.

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Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2016-05-21 00:59Z by Steven

Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film

University of Minnesota Press
2007
200 pages
24 b&w photos, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN 978-0-8166-3412-5
Cloth ISBN 978-0-8166-3411-8

Cindy Patton, Canada Research Chair in Community Culture and Health
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Though largely forgotten today, the 1949 film Pinky had a significant impact on the world of cinema. Directed by Elia Kazan, the film was a box office success despite dealing with the era’s most taboo subjects—miscegenation and racial passing—and garnered an Academy Award nomination for its African American star, Ethel Waters. It was also historically important: when a Texas movie theater owner showing the film was arrested for violating local censorship laws, his case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the censorship ordinance unconstitutional.

In Cinematic Identity, Cindy Patton takes Pinky as a starting point to meditate on the critical reception of this and other “problem films” of the period and to explore the larger issues they raise about race, gender, and sexuality. Films like Pinky, Patton contends, helped lay the groundwork for a shift in popular understanding of social identity that was essential to white America’s ability to accept the legitimacy of the civil rights movement.

The production of these films, beginning with Gentleman’s Agreement in 1947, coincided with the arrival of the Method school of acting in Hollywood, which demanded that performers inhabit their characters’ lives. Patton historicizes these twin developments, demonstrating how they paralleled, reflected, and helped popularize the emerging concept of the liberal citizen in postwar America, and in doing so illustrates how the reception of projected identities offers new perspectives on contemporary identity politics, from feminism to the gay rights movement.

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The Construction of Whiteness: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Race Formation and the Meaning of a White Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-05-19 01:38Z by Steven

The Construction of Whiteness: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Race Formation and the Meaning of a White Identity

University Press of Mississippi
April 2016
256 pages (approx.)
6 x 9 inches
introduction, 8 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496805553

Edited By:

Stephen Middleton, Professor of History and Director of African American
Mississippi State University

David R. Roediger, Foundation Professor of American Studies and History
University of Kansas

Donald M. Shaffer, Associate Professor of African American Studies and English
Mississippi State University

A critical engagement with the origins, power, and elusiveness of white privilege

Contributions by Sadhana Bery, Erica Cooper, Tim Engles, Matthew W. Hughey, Becky Thompson, Veronica T. Watson, and Robert St. Martin Westley

This volume collects interdisciplinary essays that examine the crucial intersection between whiteness as a privileged racial category and the various material practices (social, cultural, political, and economic) that undergird white ideological influence in America. In truth, the need to examine whiteness as a problem has rarely been grasped outside academic circles. The ubiquity of whiteness–its pervasive quality as an ideal that is at once omnipresent and invisible–makes it the very epitome of the mainstream in America. And yet the undeniable relationship between whiteness and inequality in this country necessitates a thorough interrogation of its formation, its representation, and its reproduction. Essays here seek to do just that work. Editors and contributors interrogate whiteness as a social construct, revealing the underpinnings of narratives that foster white skin as an ideal of beauty, intelligence, and power.

Contributors examine whiteness from several disciplinary perspectives, including history, communication, law, sociology, and literature. Its breadth and depth makes The Construction of Whiteness a refined introduction to the critical study of race for a new generation of scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students. Moreover, the interdisciplinary approach of the collection will appeal to scholars in African and African American studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, legal studies, and more. This collection delivers an important contribution to the field of whiteness studies in its multifaceted impact on American history and culture.

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