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"The Real Truth About Blacks and Unemployment…"

Yolanda Spivey was unemployed for two years, but job offers only started coming in after she changed her race - and name - to White. She wrote about her experience; she's also been interviewed by The Current's Young Turk (video).
posted by jb on Apr 11, 2013 - 101 comments

"I will never straighten out my wrist."

Navigating Masculinity as a Black Transman.
posted by klangklangston on Apr 5, 2013 - 30 comments

"Our city is under siege right now."

The Chicago Public School system has announced it will close 54 elementary and middle schools before next year. [more inside]
posted by Phire on Mar 27, 2013 - 62 comments

"The American Revolution is not a story just for white people."

"We’ve coined a term," said Katrinah Lewis, the actress who typically interprets Lydia. "Post-traumautic slave syndrome." The Washington Post reports on African American actors who interpret the lives of slaves at Colonial Williamsburg.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 11, 2013 - 38 comments

"I am a prime example of American unacceptablility."

Civil Rights is a slam poem performed at last year's Brave New Voices festival. There's a transcript here, though it's worth noting that the page gets the poem's title wrong.

Written and performed by Shanita Jackson and Dakota Oder, it becomes even more impressive when you realize that both women are still teenagers...and from the looks of it, Jackson was only fourteen at the time.
posted by MeghanC on Mar 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Django, in chains

Actor and producer Jesse Williams has written an article about the issues he has with Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained, including the ahistorical portrayal of slavery and the lack of agency shown by the movie's black characters. He expands the argument on his blog (image NSFW).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 27, 2013 - 95 comments

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is an interesting documentary that features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 23, 2013 - 30 comments

"surely the most disastrous president’s column ever written"

In the winter edition of Emory Magazine, Emory President James Wagner wrote a column about compromise, and cited the Three Fifths Compromise as a positive example. The column has since been amended with a clarification, which precedes the column in italics. The Emory Wheel and Inside Higher Ed have both written overviews about the controversy. On Wednesday, the Emory Faculty voted to censure the President.

(An extensive list of media coverage and commentary on Wagner's column is available here.) [more inside]
posted by crocodiletsunami on Feb 22, 2013 - 62 comments

Why have the white British left London?

"With a time-lapse camera, it would appear that London is pulsing as generations and ethnic groups move up and move out." The BBC reports that something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out. [more inside]
posted by iffley on Feb 20, 2013 - 47 comments

There are no Black comics writers at Marvel or DC

"As near as I can tell, throughout DC Comics' more than 75-year history, the publisher has only ever hired two black women writers on monthly titles: Felicia Henderson on Teen Titans and Angela Robinson on The Web, both in 2009. That should be put in some perspective: If those numbers are accurate, it would mean that DC has more white women writing monthly books for them right now than they've had black women in the same role in more than three quarters of a century. That said, they are potentially doing better than their principal competition: Try as I might, I cannot find a single black woman who has ever written a monthly ongoing comic for Marvel in the publisher's history." -- Joseph Hughes talks about the lack of Black comics writers at Marvel and DC both right now and historically. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 7, 2013 - 50 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

The Shukla Test

I’ve been thinking about the Bechdel test for films where a film must have a) two or more main female characters who b) talk for five minutes about c) something other than men. It’s amazing to see that not many films pass this test. So, I’m initiating this now (unless it’s already been done…): The Shukla Test, for books, films and television where a) two main characters who are people who of colour b) talk for five minutes without c) mentioning their race. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 24, 2013 - 68 comments

Hey, you've got your black people in my American TV show!

'I'm a White Girl': Why 'Girls' Won't Ever Overcome Its Racial Problem-an article from The Atlantic with several interesting links on the larger issue of including (or not) black characters into American television.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 23, 2013 - 189 comments

Fastnet, Force 10

The Fastnet Race is a biennial sailing race from Cowes to Fastnet Rock to Plymouth, in England. In 1979, it was the venue for one of the most famous storms and greatest disasters in yacht-racing history. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 5, 2013 - 9 comments

Taxco 2012

Test run through Taxco, Mexico, home of the ultimate urban downhill mountain bike race.
posted by atomicmedia on Dec 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Slow Motion Flyball

Slow motion video from the 2011 Czech Flyball Championship: Athleticism, speed, caught balls, missed balls, clean passes, misjudged passes, and really astonishing streamers of drool. If you're wondering "What is flyball?", the short documentary What Is Flyball? might address that question. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 17, 2012 - 11 comments

Race matters

Manhattan District leader Mark Levine plans to run for a city council seat in 2013, for District 7. The problem? Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a Harlem activist who is also running for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat, circulated an e-mail late on November 26th in an attempt to plan a “private meeting” to “discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 29, 2012 - 9 comments

Imagine a frozen ocean

"Entering into one of the fiercest competitions in existence, I found art."
Sixteen mushers. 120 dogs. An adventure across one of the longest mushing trails in the world: the Beringia, a dog sled race stretching 683 miles across eastern Russia. Twilight on the Tundra [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 28, 2012 - 8 comments

In his own voice

You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-----, n-----, n-----.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-----”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-----, n-----.”
The full audio of Republican operative and Karl Rove mentor Lee Atwater's infamous 1981 interview has been obtained and published by The Nation. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 16, 2012 - 144 comments

Everyone else is expendable

'The Walking Dead' has become a white patriarchy. (Spoilers/Salon) [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Nov 11, 2012 - 143 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Custom Culture

"swiss cheese dirt moto3 bruce brown snowflakes digger zebra candy flake dust speed master rigid k180 smiley firestone barn find swap meet junk tempter ape 2 stroke soup magneto sumo triple dubble white wall twin garage build amal webco roses beehive bates sissy air head bahnburner bacon slicer baloney bob bone shaker bonnie continental circus cowhorn dog bone hole shot mouse trap new york steak pancake rice rocket sharkfin trumpet" [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Oct 31, 2012 - 19 comments

Who writes this crap?

The 4th Estate corrects its numbers - "That journalism struggles with racial diversity is old news, but a study released on Thursday by The 4th Estate tried to quantify the magnitude of the problem. The organization released an infographic showing that, among the 38 most influential newspapers in the country, 93 percent of front-page articles about the 2012 election were written by white reporters. The infographic received a host of coverage." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 29, 2012 - 44 comments

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit and other soundies

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit
Dorothy Dandridge - Cow Cow Boogie
Dorothy Dandridge, the Nicholas Brothers & Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo
Hoagy Carmichael - Lazybones
A very young and very beautiful Dorothy Dandridge, exploding with talent and charisma... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 26, 2012 - 12 comments

White History Month

Why America needs a White History Month
posted by Artw on Oct 10, 2012 - 123 comments

Feel the burn

The hardest 400m race in the world? Planica in Slovenia is known for its ski jump. In the summer, 164 runners from around Europe race up it.
posted by jontyjago on Oct 5, 2012 - 46 comments

Chicago gang violence

Chicago's WBEZ has created an interactive map of the city and where its various gangs operate, using data provided by the Chicago Police Department. Chicagoist considers the map and its implications while Progress Illinois discusses the changing nature of gang violence.
posted by shakespeherian on Sep 25, 2012 - 48 comments

Getting Muddy

American Gladiators: "The masochistic sport of obstacle racing has exploded in popularity. Nick Heil tries to understand why so many are signing up for the misery." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 16, 2012 - 49 comments

Black is the color of my true love's hair.

Recently, it was announced that Zoe Saldana has been cast to play Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic. Objections to this casting decision include references to Simone's own embrace of her own dark-skinned appearance and have brought up colorism, which has been noted in other recent films, such as Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, where Harriet Tubman was depicted by Jacqueline Fleming, a biracial actress. Colorism is more than the warped preferences of the Hollywood star system, but an issue that affects the daily lives of black American women. Highlighting the effects of colorism is a short documentary film made by a teenage girl in 2007, "A Girl Like Me," which features different girls' takes on, among other social issues relating to black women, the role of skin tone in beauty standards. Simone herself touched on this issue in her song, "Four Women." [more inside]
posted by palindromic on Sep 13, 2012 - 125 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

Fear of a Black President

Fear of a Black President. 'As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.' An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
posted by Spinneret on Aug 23, 2012 - 134 comments

WE’RE YOUR BEST GIRLFRIEND AND YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

Right now Baltimore, MD plays host to FemmeCon, a biannual gathering for those who "seek to explore, discuss, dissect, and support Queer Femme as a transgressive, gender-queer, stand-alone, and empowered identity and provide a space for organizing and activism within Queer communities". Some of the issues faced by queer femme culture include femme invisibility in larger queer culture, the lack of non-stereotypical role models, being classed 'femme' by default, dismissal as "too much", as well as intersectional issues of femme with race, gender, and disability. In the meantime, femme subcultures such as tomboy femme, hard femme, and FEMME SHARKS as well as femmes in specific regions come together for inspiration, expression, power, creativity and support from each other - as well as from appreciative butches.
posted by divabat on Aug 18, 2012 - 111 comments

Bank of Canada bans image of Asian-looking woman from new $100 bills over ethnicity criticism

The Bank of Canada has changed the design of its new $100 bill after receiving numerous comments from focus groups that the woman pictured looked like she was of Asian descent. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Aug 18, 2012 - 150 comments

There Will Be No Racial Vilification Laws Under A Government I Lead

The man likely to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has used a lunchtime speech to the conservative think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to call for Australia's racial vilification laws to be wound back. Section 18C makes race hate speech unlawful, but not illegal. Abbott's calls come in the same week that Facebook has been in the firing-line over hosting the controversial "Aboriginal Memes" page. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 10, 2012 - 121 comments

Just about 3 seconds

How fast are today's Olympic runners? Pretty darn fast. But maybe not as fast as you think?
posted by cthuljew on Aug 6, 2012 - 76 comments

Vixen, Virgin, Victim

In a controversial piece for the New York Times, Jere Longman argues that US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones garners publicity based "not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses."
posted by Apropos of Something on Aug 6, 2012 - 113 comments

Rebranding Diversity

Colorblind Racism Inside the U.S. Advertising Industry. A dissertation by Chris Boulton. [15:13 Vimeo] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 25, 2012 - 14 comments

A Conversation With Neesha Meminger and Ibi Zoboi

Two writers discusses race, class, feminism and its intersections in this wide-ranging discussion about what feminism can mean for women of colour. Refreshingly substantive.
posted by smoke on Jul 22, 2012 - 20 comments

A black Harvard student, running at night to catch a bus, hears, ‘What did you steal this time?’

Is America a post-racial society? Not yet, says Kenny Wiley. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Jul 17, 2012 - 102 comments

A rainbow indeed

Moises Kaufman can kiss my a** The La Jolla Playhouse production of Broadway-bound "The Nightingale", about the Emperor of feudal China, will boast zero actors of Chinese descent. Actress Erin Quill responds.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 11, 2012 - 153 comments

Interesting aspects of the American Civil War

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 8, 2012 - 49 comments

You eat too fast, and I understand why your antidyspeptic pill-makers cover your walls, your forests even, with their advertisements.

In 1891 author and lecturer ”Max O’Rell” (being the pen name of one Léon Paul Blouet) published an amusing account of his travels through the States and Eastern Canada - "A Frenchman In America" - that, along with the charming illustrations, reflect on then popular national stereotypes and character and is presented on Project Gutenberg in its entirely. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 7, 2012 - 16 comments

What are you? The ubiquitous question.

The Race Card Project by Michele Norris of NPR.
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 3, 2012 - 17 comments

"Yeah, she thought Chicago schools were still legally segregated. That was around 2003."

Chicago students reflect on 13 years of segregated schools
posted by nebulawindphone on Jun 30, 2012 - 22 comments

Nissan build the Batmobile

Nissan's Batmobilelike DeltaWing in collaboration with Dan Gurney's All American Racers and others is car initially made to be the new IndyCar but ultimately made to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly American Le Mans using half the amount of tyres and fuel as any car. It managed to run for 6 of the 24 hours before being taken out in the race.
posted by juiceCake on Jun 18, 2012 - 37 comments

"Niggas" in Practice

"Niggas" in Practice Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, and when white people can say the word. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jun 12, 2012 - 297 comments

Proposition 1803

In the early 19th century, a man named Charles Fanaye and his lover Marie-Hélène sought to wed in Southern France. He was a former Napoleonic soldier, back from the Campaign in Egypt. She was an Ethiopian woman who had rescued him from the Mameluks and followed him to France. Like many other interracial couples, Charles and Marie-Hélène begged for an exception to the 1803 decree that banned marriage between blacks and whites. It was only after 16 years, when the ban was silently lifted in 1819, that they could finally marry. A (long) paper by Jennifer Heuer on the arbitrary definitions of race in post-Revolutionary France and on "the persistence of certain couples in legitimizing their bonds".
posted by elgilito on Jun 10, 2012 - 22 comments

Opinions on health care reform, taxes, and even the president’s dog come down to racial bias

It all comes down to race. Michael Tesler, expanding upon the research of his mentor David Sears, has found racial bias to be a strong indicator of people's opinions on a myriad of political and other issues. The effect extended even to issues that normally would be the most stable and to opinions that would seem divorced from politics. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Jun 2, 2012 - 34 comments

An interview with MaryBeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues

...The cult of and luster for country blues among these record collectors came about because not only were recordings by Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Robert Johnson not successfully sold to African Americans, but other record collectors were not interested in them either. There were so many collectors of New Orleans jazz that not only did the recordings became too expensive to collect, they also didn't want them -- they wanted to find something that required more energy to uncover, and more energy to actually appreciate. Anyone who has ever listened to Charley Patton knows that you have to learn how to listen to him, you have to really struggle -- it is a work of archeology, really, to make out what he is saying. It is powerful, and I don't want to deny its power, but you have to learn how to hear that power, and African Americans, when these records came out, didn't necessarily hear that.
From an interview with Marybeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 26, 2012 - 13 comments

Teach them well and let them lead the way

According to the U.S. census bureau, from July 2010 to July 2011, more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups, a first for the United States. [more inside]
posted by cashman on May 16, 2012 - 59 comments

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