For Colin Kaepernick, Writing Is Another Form of Activism

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2022-04-05 02:56Z by Steven

For Colin Kaepernick, Writing Is Another Form of Activism

Publishers Weekly
2022-03-29

Nathalie op de Beeck, Associate Professor of English
Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington

Colin Kaepernick, at 34, presides over a multimedia platform for Black and brown people’s empowerment. In 2016, inspired by civil rights heroes, the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback rocked the NFL by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, sparking protests and backlash. That fall, he and his partner Nessa (known by her first name only) established Know Your Rights Camp, a youth-focused organization with principles that echo the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program for communities, along with a downloadable set of educational resources, Colin in Black & White: The Kaepernick Curriculum. He went on to found Kaepernick Publishing, for which he edited a collection of essays by social justice leaders, Abolition for the People: The Movement for a Future Without Policing or Prisons.

Kaepernick Publishing and Scholastic have teamed up to publish Kaepernick’s debut picture book (as part of a multibook deal), the autobiographical I Color Myself Different, with illustrations by Eric Wilkerson, an artist known for his high-energy fantasy illustrations. Wilkerson’s paintings grace the covers of Nic Stone’s Shuri books and Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong series, and Kaepernick was familiar with his work; the author and illustrator spoke back and forth to fine-tune the images of a young Colin in I Color Myself Different. Kaepernick corresponded with PW about writing as a form of activism, recognizing the many elements that make up our identities, and finding strength in the history of social justice movements…

Read the entire interview here.

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Trailblazer with Amandla Stenberg

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2022-04-05 01:27Z by Steven

Trailblazer with Amandla Stenberg

Net-a-Porter
2021-02-08

Micha Frazer-Carroll

Photography: Miranda Barnes / Styling: Karla Welch

Ever since her breakout role in The Hunger Games, Amandla Stenberg’s career has gone from strength to strength. Here, the actor talks to Micha Frazer-Carroll about her involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement, how the pandemic has made her re-evaluate her life and why she’s keenly exploring other creative avenues

Speaking to Amandla Stenberg feels strikingly like hanging out with a close friend, as well as interviewing a compelling voice from Hollywood’s twentysomething cohort. As we connect over Zoom, the conversational ground quickly spans from grumbling about media depictions of Gen Z to lamenting the elitist hierarchies that have emerged at queer Zoom parties. She also laughs a lot.

The laughter subsides and Stenberg reflects on the turbulent times that 2020 brought. She’s been Airbnb-ing and short-term renting for two years now – between New York, LA, Paris and Copenhagen – and has felt constantly unsettled since the pandemic hit. “I think sometimes I forget the lens through which I’m looking at things,” she says. “I can kind of get stressed out, wondering why I have so much anxiety, or why I’m in a constant state of paranoia and fear – and then I remember the circumstances.”

There are things to be grateful for, too, of course – she stresses that she doesn’t want to sound all “the pandemmy’s been so hard”, particularly since the actor, whose father is Danish, spent three months of the past year in the rolling hills of rural Denmark. “The thing I’m grateful for is definitely the opportunity to move more slowly – like actually thinking about my habits, the way I move through each day and what my priorities are.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2022-03-29 01:39Z by Steven

Racism in Ireland: “I grew up feeling like I was born with some awful condition”

Her
2020

Taryn de Vere

From online abuse to comments in the Dáil, racism has come to the forefront of the national conversation in recent months. But who is suffering and just how prevalent is it? In a new series, Her asks women living in Ireland to tell us about their real life experiences…

“No one should want to bleach their hair or hide their skin because they’ve been told the way they were born looks ‘ghetto'”

Vanessa Ifediora says that growing up black in Northern Ireland was difficult. “Bullying was rife, mostly instigated by the parents who sent their kids into school with a script of what to say to me,” says the Belfast woman. “Children that young only parrot what their parents teach them.

“When I was 16, the manager at my part-time job showed me a picture of some blonde haired baby whose mother was mixed race, and told me: ‘Keep your chin up, when you marry a white guy nobody will even know your children are black.'”

Moving away from her home city as an adult didn’t put an end to these experiences. Vanessa was also subjected to blatant racism while living in Cork.”It was only seven years ago – I don’t know what it’s like now – but, then,  in Cork people would openly walk right up to me and insult me…

Read the entire article here.

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How Are We Still Debating Interracial Marriage in 2022?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2022-03-25 19:57Z by Steven

How Are We Still Debating Interracial Marriage in 2022?

The New York Times
2022-03-25

Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist

Mildred and Richard Loving, who won their case against a Virginia law that banned interracial marriage. Getty Images

“You would be OK with the Supreme Court leaving the question of interracial marriage to the states?”

“Yes,” said Senator Mike Braun of Indiana while fielding questions from local media on Tuesday. “If you’re not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you’re not going to be able to have your cake and eat it, too,” he said. “That’s hypocritical.”

Braun walked this back, of course, undoubtedly aware of the damage it could do if he let it stand. “Earlier during a virtual press conference, I misunderstood a line of questioning that ended up being about interracial marriage,” he said in a statement to NBC News. “Let me be clear on that issue — there is no question the Constitution prohibits discrimination of any kind based on race, that is not something that is even up for debate, and I condemn racism in any form, at all levels and by any states, entities or individuals.”

As damage control goes, this was unpersuasive. It’s not just that the questions he originally answered were clear; it’s that Braun’s answer was consistent with what he had said throughout the news conference. His argument to reporters was that the existence of certain rights, and the particular shape they take, was best left to the states. He used abortion and marijuana legalization as examples. It was then that a reporter asked if this applied to interracial marriage…

Read the entire article here.

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Artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi reveals—and defies—the white supremacist underpinnings of elite gymnastics

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2022-03-09 04:21Z by Steven

Artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi reveals—and defies—the white supremacist underpinnings of elite gymnastics

Document Journal
2019-11-07

Miss Rosen

As Simone Biles becomes the most decorated athlete in sports, Nkosi tells Document about the implications of Black girls’ success in elite gymnastics, which has historically been used as a tool of oppression.

When Simone Biles made history at the 2019 World Championships by becoming the most decorated gymnast of any gender, she single-handedly redefined one of the world’s most elite sports. As a Black woman in a traditionally white space, she surpassed all expectations, becoming an icon in the process.

For Johannesburg-based multimedia artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Biles’ success is a testament to Black power in the face of an establishment determined to undermine it. Earlier this summer Biles invented new skills and the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), the sport’s governing body, penalized her for the groundbreaking performance. The FIG reduced the degree of Biles’ signature ‘double double’ dismount (two twists, two flips) from the beam—out of concern, they claimed, about the safety of lesser gymnasts who might harm themselves while attempting it…

…Born in New York to a South African father in exile and a Greek-American mother, Nkosi’s family moved to Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1989 when she just was eight years old. “I get this rush of emotion when I think of the day we were watching Nelson Mandela being released from prison in 1990 on TV,” Nkosi says. “My parents were looking at each other like, ‘This is it, we are going to go.’…

Read the entire article here.

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Theaster Gates illuminates the dark history of Maine’s interracial exiles

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2022-03-09 00:12Z by Steven

Theaster Gates illuminates the dark history of Maine’s interracial exiles

Document Journal
2019-03-18

Ann Binlot

For his first solo museum exhibition in France at Palais de Tokyo, Theaster Gates explores America’s dark forgotten past through the interracial exile of Malaga Island.

“Nothing is pure in the end… A sea of wood, An island of debate. Can an exhibition start to shift the negative truths of the history of a place?”

Theaster Gates has exemplified the meaning of social practice in his work, creating new models for building community while bringing awareness to both the historical and present-day struggles of black America. In Amalgam, his first solo museum exhibition in France at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Chicago-based artist shed light on Malaga Island, a 41-acre island located at the mouth of the New Meadows River in Casco Bay, Maine. The island was a fishing hamlet, home to an interracial community born out of the Civil War until 1912, when the Maine governor Frederick Plaisted forced its poorest population, a group of about 45 mixed-race individuals, off the island. Some relocated in Maine, while others were involuntarily committed to psychiatric institutions. Ashamed to be associated with the island and the stigma that came with being from there, many of its descendants feared speaking about the incident, which stemmed from racism and classism…

Read the entire article here.

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“Black is Polish”: young black Poles create platform to discuss race in Poland

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2022-02-26 17:09Z by Steven

“Black is Polish”: young black Poles create platform to discuss race in Poland

Notes From Poland
2021-06-23

Zula Rabikowska

A year ago, an image of a black Polish girl protesting at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Warsaw helped to rekindle a long-running debate about language, racial identity and stereotypes in Poland. “Stop calling me Murzyn”, read her placard, referring to a Polish term for a black person that many say has come to hold pejorative meaning.

The Council for the Polish Language agreed with them in a recent declaration, saying that the word “Murzyn” “should be avoided in the media, official administration and at schools,” as it is no longer neutral, but “burdened with negative connotations”.

The #dontcallmemurzyn campaign, set up to fight against racial discrimination in the aftermath of the controversy, received domestic and international attention. To continue and broaden the movement’s work, its creators have now set up an educational platform called “Black is Polish”.

They say they hope to make racism a topic people understand and care about, to fight against what they see as deeply entrenched racism and inequality, and to bring about a long-needed transformation of Polish society…

Read the entire article here.

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21. Fredi’s Migration: Washington’s Forgotten War on Hollywood

Posted in Articles, Biography, Books, Chapter, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2022-02-22 21:07Z by Steven

21. Fredi’s Migration: Washington’s Forgotten War on Hollywood

Chapter in the anthology: Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History
Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano and Kalia Brooks Nelson (ed.)
(2019-09-12, Open Book Publishers)
Printed ISBN: 9781783745654
eBook ISBN: 9791036538070

Pamela Newkirk, Professor of Journalism
New York University

Fig. 21.1. Portrait of Fredi Washington. Courtesy of Schomburg Center, New York Public Library.

Nearly eight decades before #OscarsSoWhite focused attention on the dearth of roles for Blacks and other people of color in Hollywood, actress Fredi Washington became one of the most vocal critics of the industry’s racial bias. But despite her trailblazing work on stage and screen beginning in the 1920s, Washington has largely been forgotten as one of the pioneering African-American leading ladies, and for her noteworthy civil rights activism.

The eldest of five children, Washington was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1903 and relocated to Philadelphia aged eleven following the death of her mother, a former dancer. In 1919 Washington launched her own career as a chorus girl in Harlem’s Alabam Club, and, in 1926, landed a coveted role in the landmark Broadway play Shuffle Along. When the show closed she sailed to Europe to tour with her dance partner Al Moiret. Two years later she returned to the United States and starred in a string of successful films and plays including the short film Black and Tan Fantasy with Duke Ellington (1929); Black Boy starring Paul Robeson (1930); Emperor Jones with Robeson again (1933); and Drum in the Night (1933); with an equal number of plays, including Singing the Blues (1930), Sweet Chariot (1930) and Run Lil’ Chillun (1933).

Washington’s stardom was secured with her performance as Peola, the tortured bi-racial daughter who passes for white in Imitation of Life, the 1934 feature film starring Claudette Corbert and Louise Beavers. However, after achieving critical acclaim for her performance Washington was routinely passed over for lead roles. This was in part due to Hollywood’s Hays Codes, which, beginning that year, explicitly prohibited the depiction of miscegenation in film. The Hays Codes made life especially challenging for Washington, whose green eyes and pale complexion rendered her too light to be cast in films with all-Black casts. In 1937 her skin was darkened for her co-starring role in One Mile from Heaven with Bill Robinson

Read the entire chapter here.

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Wishaw twins open up on racism and urge people to support Black Lives Matter protest

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2022-02-21 02:35Z by Steven

Wishaw twins open up on racism and urge people to support Black Lives Matter protest

Daily Record
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
2020-06-10

Michael Pringle, Reporter

Wishaw twins Aleisha and Lauryn Omeike (Image: Stuart Vance/Wishaw Press)

Aleisha and Lauryn Omeike have spoken out about the racism they endured as children and called for better education on the matter in Scottish schools, as the BLM movement gathers momentum with protests in cities across the world.

Craigneuk twins who grew up wishing they were white are urging more people to support the Black Lives Matter movement and help change racist attitudes.

Aleisha and Lauryn Omeike have spoken out about the racism they endured as children and called for better education on the matter in Scottish schools, as the BLM movement gathers momentum with protests in cities across the world.

The mixed-race 19-year-olds’ dad Steve is Nigerian and their mum Pamela is Scottish.

They have revealed they wanted to be white so they didn’t have to be different while growing up in Wishaw.

“I blew out my seventh birthday candles and wished to be white so I wouldn’t have to face constant abuse and being attacked because of the colour of my skin,” Lauryn said.

“It was just so I wouldn’t be different anymore…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Fredi’ Washington: Savannah’s Civil Rights Starlet

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2022-02-15 18:50Z by Steven

‘Fredi’ Washington: Savannah’s Civil Rights Starlet

Freeman’s Rag
2018-06-16

Michael Freeman
Savannah, Georgia


Fredi Washington

Savannah has been home to many celebrities. Whether it be Academy Award winner Charles Coburn, Stacey Keach of Mike Hammer fame, Johnny Mercer, the Lady Chablis, or Paula Dean, Savannah has never been without a dash of the famous. But Fredricka Washington (Fredi) was probably the celebrity known most for her groundbreaking ways. She was born in 1903 here in Savannah. She lived here until she was thirteen when her mother died. At that time she was sent to live with her grandmother in Pennsylvania.

At the age of 16 she went to New York where she was discovered by Josephine Baker. Baker hired Fredi for a cabaret show called the Happy Honeysuckles. Fredi was a talented entertainer and quickly created a dancing career. She danced with her partner Al Moiret throughout the world. Her film career did not start until she was in her thirties. In 1926, Washington was recommended for a co-starring role on the Broadway stage with Paul Robeson in Black Boy. This was a big break in her acting career. In 1934 she appeared in the film ‘Imitation of Life’. She played the part of a black woman who passed for white. The film would earn an Academy Award Nomination for best picture. Time magazine would rank the film one of “The 25 Most Important Films on Race”. Because of her light colored skin many people thought she would actually want to ‘pass’ and was ashamed of her black heritage. In 1945 in response to a question on the subject she said:

“You see I’m a mighty proud gal, and I can’t for the life of me find any valid reason why anyone should lie about their origin, or anything else for that matter. Frankly, I do not ascribe to the stupid theory of white supremacy and to try to hide the fact that I am a Negro for economic or any other reasons. If I do, I would be agreeing to be a Negro makes me inferior and that I have swallowed whole hog all of the propaganda dished out by our fascist-minded white citizens.”…

Read the entire article here.

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