Tag Archives: black women

Kerry Washington Helps “Saturday Night Live” Address Its Diversity Problem

Kerry Does Her Best!

After weeks, nay, months … nay, yeaaaaars of complaints from critics, viewers and cast member about the lack of any Black female cast members on “Saturday Night Live,” the comedy show final addressed its diversity problem on last night’s episode, hosted by “Scandal”‘s Kerry Washington (the first Black woman to host the show since early 2012). In the cold open, Washington played both Michelle Obama and Oprah, requiring her to change off screen in a direct nod to cast member Kenan Thompson’s recent refusal to continue playing any Black female characters in drag. The opener cheekily made use of the show’s bounty of white male cast members, sending out six of them as a bunch of Matthew McConaugheys. It was a funny start to what was otherwise a lackluster and at times cringeworthy episode. While Washington did her best with the material, the episode underscored “SNL”‘s need not only for a more diverse cast, but a more diverse writing team as well. Never was it more painfully obvious that the writer’s room at “SNL” is stocked with thirtysomething white dudes. That pageant sketch? Lord, help me. Keep reading »

Kerry Washington On Lesbian Rumors: “There’s No Reason To Be Offended”

“It’s interesting how much people long to fill in the gaps when someone in the public eye doesn’t share their personal life. I understand their frustration. I like how people will post pictures of me with other women that I adore, hugging on red carpets, and say, ‘See?’ Are we so uncomfortable with love between two people of the same gender that we immediately label it as sexual? But I’ve never been bothered by the lesbian rumor. There’s nothing offensive about it, so there’s no reason to be offended.

“Scandal” star Kerry Washington is notoriously private about her personal life. She married in secret in June and has not publicly commented on the rumor, according to Us Weekly, that she is pregnant with her first child. And, she notes on the Advocate‘s blog, people are all too happy to speculate that because she isn’t showing off her man all around town, it must mean she must be a lesbian.  Being a lesbian is fine, of course, but don’t people realize there’s more than one reason a celebrity might ask for privacy?

After the jump, here’s Washington on reaching African-Americans about issues facing gay couples through “Scandal,” as well as the similarities between ‘passing’ as white and being in the closet: Keep reading »

Black Comedienne Nyima Funk Is Not Ready To Be On “Saturday Night Live”

nyima funk
Watch Nyima Get Ready

Earlier this week, Kenan Thompson from “Saturday Night Live,” spoke to TV Guide and explained why he puts on a dress and plays all the roles of Black women on the show instead of, you know, hiring one. The lack of Black women is a “tough part of the business,” Thompson said. “Like in auditions, they never seem to find ones that are ready.”

Comedienne Nyima Funk, who is a Black alum of Second City, could not agree more. So, here is she getting ready to be on “SNL.”  I hope you’re watching, Lorne Michaels. [Jezebel]

Artist Endia Beal Photographs “Black Hairstyles” On White Women

  • Check out these photos by artist Endia Beal, who got white women to get so-called “Black hairstyles” and then pose for portraits in a series called “Can I Touch It?” Beal, who is Black, said she wanted to challenge the notion of what baby boomers consider to be a professional appearance in the workplace.  [Colorlines, Slate]
  • House Republicans. Government shutdown bullshit. Birth control. I just can’t with these people anymore. [RH Reality Check]
  • There are actually Malala Yousafzai conspiracy theories, like she’s a plant for the CIA. Yup. Uh huh. [Atlantic Wire]
  • Did a sexual assault occur in public during Ohio University’s homecoming last weekend while everyone took pictures?  [imagery NSFW] [BuzzFeed] Keep reading »

Kickass Woman Of The Day: Warsan Shire Is London’s First Ever Young Poet Laureate

Kickass: Power Lifter
This grandma is no delicate flower! Read More »
Kickass: Antoinette Tuff
Antoinette Tuff School Shooting
Her brave words stopped a school shooting. Read More »
Kickass: Movie Titan
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Cheryl Boone Isaacs is the new president of the Academy. Read More »
Kickass Woman Of The Day: Warsan Shire Is London's First Ever Young Poet Laureate

Warsan Shire, 24, has just become London’s first ever Young Poet Laureate. The Kenyan-born Somali poet writes about both English and African culture, exploring war, sex, culture, love, and everything in between with a great depth and sensitivity. She expresses her worldview with an honest vulnerability that most would shy away from. Her first book of poems, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, was published in 2011. She has a BA in creative writing and even teaches workshops on using poetry to heal trauma – and she’s not even halfway through her 20s yet. Warsan was chosen from six young finalists, and she will now undertake a residency at the Houses of Parliament and spend the next year creating work that reflects on London. Carol Ann Duffy, London’s current poet laureate, announced Warsan as the winner as part of National Poetry Day. Her willingness to be candid and speak her truth in her work is something we could all stand to learn from. ”It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district,” said chief executive Dennis Hone, “and Warsan as the first Young Poet Laureate for London will play a key part in that transformation.” Congratulations! [BBC; Well & OftenWarsan Shire]

Tulsa School Sends 7-Year-Old Home From School Because Afros, Dreadlocks Are “Unacceptable”

Oprah's Afro
O magazine Oprah's afro
Check out Oprah's huge-ass Afro on the cover of O Magazine. Read More »
Afro Puffs Banned
girl with Afro
Questionable school dress code bans Afro puffs as a hairstyle. Read More »
On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
girl with Afro

What kind of racist bullshit is this?! A charter school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sent a seven-year-old Black girl named Tiana Parker home from school because her dreadlocks were considered “unacceptable.”

But dreads aren’t the only  hairstyle that’s not A-OK with Deborah Brown Community School: according to Raw Story, the school policy states that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen; Feminism Is Not Black And White

On Hugo Schwyzer
The Soapbox: On Hugo Schwyzer, Personal Essay Writing & Redemption
Schwyzer's fall and what it says about redemption narratives. Read More »
Schwyzer's Meltdown
Hugo Schwyzer Has What Appears To Be Major Manic Episode On Twitter
Manic episode or more manipulative bullshit? Read More »
Soapbox: Colorstruck
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? Read More »
The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, Race & Feminism

The Internet exploded in feminist calamity yesterday over the racist, sexist, patriarchal, abuse-laden behavior of Hugo Schwyzer, an allegedly a self-described* mentally ill (former) professor of women’s studies at Pasadena City College. Schwyzer divulged information that is classically tucked away behind the buttressed walls of systemic white privilege. Anecdotally, it’s akin to the ENRON scandal, the ACORN scandal and the unprecedented shit show that was the financial collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Thematically each of these exposed, in an exceptional way, the clandestine systemic privileges that sustain long-term oppression: economic, racial, civic or otherwise.

Schwyzer, a self-identified male feminist made his claim to Internet fame by reworking and packaging up modern male feminism and selling  it to online publications like The Atlantic and Jezebel, for whom he was a paid contributor, and Feministe, which featured an interview with him. Two of these three are notorious for their insensitivity and, on more than one occasion, outright disregard for the importance of intersectional feminism – that is the focal point where feminism and another powerful system meet, say for instance, race. These cyber tropes, which have staked claim as the premier source for all things feminist, prioritize clicks over everything else, as beautifully explained by blogger Flavia Dzodan. In matters of the heart, their feminist ideology dematerializes – often at the expense of women of color and other marginalized women.

Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone

Oprah's Afro
O magazine Oprah's afro
Check out Oprah's huge-ass Afro on the cover of O Magazine. Read More »
"I Love My Hair"
Watch "Sesame Street" school black girls on the beauty of their hair. Read More »
On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone

For the last several years, natural hair “trends” have been on the rise for African-American and other women in the U.S. Just last week, Oprah graced the cover of O Magazine donning an enormous Afro, much bigger than the one she wore in the late ’70s when she first started on primetime. Oprah’s gesture pays tribute to the millions of women who have tossed relaxers and weaves to the side and embraced their own hair — their natural hair.

As I wrote last spring, women of African decent, and some others too, sometimes use a product called a perm to make their hair “more manageable.” These began as a trend in the 1920s so blacks (both men and women) could more readily assimilate into white culture and evade the detriments of racism. If you’ve ever read or watched The Autobiography of Malcolm X, you’ll remember the scene in which he dunked his head in a toilet bowl to find reprieve from the smoldering “conk” (what a perm used to be called) he was using to straighten his hair.

Oprah’s hair was a wig designed by lock guru Andre Walker but the idea of it still persists – Afros, and other natural hairstyles are here to stay … or are they? Keep reading »

Oprah Winfrey To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

todays lady news
  • Oprah Winfrey is among this year’s honorees to receive the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for civilians. Winfrey will be one of four Black recipients of the medal. Astronaut Sally Ride, the first woman in outer space and the first known gay astronaut, will posthumously receive a medal. [The Root, LGBTQ Nation]
  • One in three young women are using withdrawal as their contraceptive method, according to a new study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. LADIES! Do y’all want to get pregnant? NOT A RELIABLE METHOD! [US News & World Reports]
  • Comic bros says sexism is no big deal. [Think Progress]
  • Here are some possible new rules the Pentagon has come up with to curb sexual assaults in the military and hold perpetrators accountable. [New York Times] Keep reading »

Kickass Woman Of The Day: President Of The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Jodie On Female Directors
Jodie Fosters says studio execs see female directors as a risk. Read More »
Casting The Film
My picks for who should be in the movie. I was ignored. Read More »

The film industry is one that desperately lacks female influence, so Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ election as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a particularly cool victory. In its 86-year history, the Academy has only had two other female presidents — the most recent being almost 30 years ago. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is also the first ever African-American president for the Academy. Keep reading »

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