Tag Archives: race

The Soapbox: Piper On “Orange Is The New Black” Is The Poster Girl For Privilege

Reasons To Watch "Orange"
"Orange Is The New Black" is the best show on TV. Read More »
Meet Laverne Cox
laverne cox of orange is the new black on being pretty enough
Trans actress Laverne Cox speaks about "Orange Is The New Black." Read More »
Q&A: Piper Kerman
The author of "Orange Is The New Black" talks about being behind bars. Read More »
Piper in prison on Orange Is The New Black

It’s safe to say that Netflix’s latest original series, “Orange is the New Black,” is nothing short of binge-worthy. I devoured the entire first season in under 96 hours (seriously). Groundbreaking on many levels, the show openly displays queer female sexuality and features a uniquely complex portrayal of a black transgender woman (played by the brilliant black trans actress Laverne Cox). What’s more, the vibrant cast of diverse characters offers viewers a rare exploration of what privilege is and how it works. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the show’s main character, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a perfect lesson in privilege.

I can’t stand Piper. I find her whiny, entitled, possessive, incredibly self-obsessed, an emblem of unchecked privilege. But I actually think that’s intentional; Piper would be the character we all root for, when in reality, she seems to be one of the least liked. As Salamishah Tillet noted over at The Nation, the main character of “Orange” probably had to be white and college-educated for the show (and memoir upon which it’s based) to get picked up, and this is a valid point. But with Piper, we’re also forced to come face to face with her privilege, and we can’t stand what we see. [Spoilers after the jump!] 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 »

DVD Cover For “The Sapphires” Puts Chris O’Dowd Front And Center, Aboriginal Women In The Background

Girl Group Playlist
The Sapphires
Weekend playlist: our fave girl groups! Read More »
Chris Eats A Fly
chris odowd eats fly on graham norton
Chris O'Dowd eats a fly on TV. Well, sort of. Read More »
O'Dowd's Date Rapey Joke
chris odowd amaretto
The actor jokes about slipping his wife booze. Read More »
Drunk O'Dowd
Chris O'Dowd Drunk
It looks like Chris O'Dowd has consumed a lot of booze. Read More »
america canada sapphires chris odowd

“The Sapphires” is reportedly one of the very best films of the the year. It’s won all kinds of awards! But the DVD cover is … problematic. The flick stars Chris O’Dowd as the manager of a ’60s girl group in Australia comprised of four Aboriginal women, including “Australian Idol” runner-up Jessica Mauboy. Based on real events, “The Sapphires” is a love story that also tackles the racism these women faced in their native Australia. Alas, the U.S./Canada DVD cover for the film (above) plops O’Dowd front and center while the four women — their darker skin tones appearing blue along with the graphic design — smaller, behind him in the background. Keep reading »

Oprah Got Her Friends To Stop Using The N-Word

On The N-Word
Madame Noire asks why some white people want to say the n-word so bad. Read More »
Tweets The N-Word
Gwyneth Paltrow photo
Why did Gwyneth Paltrow tweet the n-word at a concert? Read More »
Rihanna Called N-Word
Jackie magazine refers to Rihanna as "N----Bitch." Read More »

“You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”

– Oprah Winfrey stars in the upcoming Lee Daniels film “The Butler,” about a Black man who works in the White House, and explained in an interview with Parade how she got Daniels to stop saying the N-word, as he put it, “quite a bit.” I don’t think Oprah’s opinion about that slur are showing her age; instead they show her commitment to social justice. Elsewhere in the interview, she is asked about what young people know about the civil rights movement today: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat!” [Parade] [Image via Fame/Flynet]

How To Help Marissa Alexander, Jailed In Florida For Firing A Warning Shot At Her Abusive Husband

todays lady news
Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander mug shot
Marissa Alexander of FL sentenced 20 years for firing warning shot. Read More »
  • We haven’t forgotten about Marissa Alexander, an African-American mother of three who fired a warning shot at a wall — not a person — to scare off her abusive husband. Her husband had a restraining order against her, yet she was sentenced in May to 20 years in prison. Did I mention she is from Florida? You know, the state that just let a man who killed an unarmed black teenage boy walk free? Courtesy of Feministing, here are eight things you can do right now to help Marissa Alexander fight this bullshit. [Feministing]
  • Women of color and feminism: a history lesson and a way forward. [RH Reality Check]
  • Female legislators from the Texas House and Senate tell tales of their male colleagues hitting on staffers, openly ogling, and watching porn on iPads and state-owned computers. [Texas Observer] Keep reading »

Bananas Thrown At Cecile Kyenge, Italy’s First Black Minister

Obama On Trayvon
"He could have been me 35 years ago." Read More »
Paula's Racism
Paula Deen racism
She allegedly paid black people in booze instead of money. Read More »
On Sex & Racial Slurs
racial slurs in bed
What would you do if asked to use a racial slur during sex? Read More »
bananas thrown at cecile kyenge of italy

Paula Deen Called Her Black Cook Her “Soul Sister”

Paula's Racism
Paula Deen racism
She allegedly paid black people in booze instead of money. Read More »
Deen Loses TV Show
paula deen fired from food network
Food Network didn't renew their contract with Paula Deen. Read More »
Paula Deen Loses Book Deal
Paula Deen Dropped By Target
Her publishers have canceled her five-book publishing deal. Read More »
  • Paula Deen’s longtime cook for her restaurant Lady & Sons, a black woman named Dora Charles, has come out with new allegations that Deen is just as racist as suspected. She called Charles her “soul sister,” used racial slurs when speaking to staff, and wanted Charles to ring a dinner bell and yell, “Come and get it!” to customers. (Charles refused.) [NY Times]
  • California police said Amanda Bynes won’t be charged for a crime, despite trespassing and committing arson in a stranger’s driveway. She is currently being held on a 5051 psychiatric hold and her parents are allegedly applying for conservatorship. [TMZ]
  • So sad: Cory Monteith was planning a birthday surprise for Lea Michele before he died from an overdose on heroin. [US Weekly]
  • Jason Sudeikis confirmed he is gone from “Saturday Night Live.” Bummer, dude. [People] Keep reading »

Girl Talk: I Refuse To Call Myself “Light-Skinned”

Soapbox: Colorstruck
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? Read More »
Good Hair Vs. White Hair
The ladies of Madame Noire chat with The Frisky about hair. Read More »
Guy Talk: Race
Why this guy dates outside his race. Read More »
Not Light Skinned

When you grow up in a relatively small town in suburban New Jersey, being the only person of color in your class, you’d understand why I had no idea that other members of my race consider me “light-skinned.” Where I grew up, there was no such thing. You were either black, white, Spanish or Indian. No one paid much attention to the shade of your skin or where your blackness/whiteness originated –at least not in my circle. You only cared about what you saw. Sure, some racism and stereotyping existed, but there was no in-depth analysis or scrutiny about the shade of your skin.

In some ways that method was great. It erased the turmoil experienced by many other African-Americans and allowed everyone to just be accepted for who they were. On the other hand, my peers and I were ill-prepared for the real world. We grew up a bunch of colorblind individuals who believed in treating everyone equally regardless of historical implications and racial indifferences. We were ignorant. Keep reading »

Forbidden Words: On Sex And Racial Slurs

"Slut" In Bed
short skirt photo
Why Jessica likes being called a "slut" in bed. Read More »
On Dirty Talk
What's the weirdest thing a partner has asked to be called during sex? Read More »
"Daddy" in bed?
To say it or not to say it ... in bed. Read More »
racial slurs in bed

We were walking down the street when Colin asked me if I’d ever feel comfortable saying that word. Colin — 24, biracial in the way that is still largely read as black — and me, a Jewish but let’s be serious, white, girl on the edge of 30; and Colin wanting to know whether I, with my intelligent, progressive world view, would ever say that one word that white people are not allowed to say.

I paused before responding. “Well,” I said finally, “on the one hand, I think that words on their own are completely meaningless, and only ‘offensive’ because we, as a society, imbue them with meaning and power. On the other hand, I understand the painful history behind that word, and I don’t think that arguing for my supposed right to be able to say it is a battle worth fighting.”

“Have you ever said it?” he asked.

I had. Years before, as a younger and more naive me working at an after school program serving low-income (and predominantly Black and Latino) high school students, I’d said it during a class. I forget the point I’d been trying to make; but I remember assuming the affect of one of my students and saying that word, though, of course, with a soft a at the end. The stunned, uncomfortable silence that resulted was enough to deter me from ever saying it again.

“Yeah,” I said. “And I didn’t feel good about it.” Keep reading »

Real Talk: Mothers Of Sons Respond To The George Zimmerman Verdict, Part 3

This Is Shameful
This Is What's Shameful
Amelia's response to the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
Juror B37 Reacts
juror b37 on anderson cooper
Juror B37 thinks George Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place." Read More »
Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
trayvon martin

In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict this past weekend, I wanted to gather a group of parents to discuss the jury decision as well as the larger impact of Trayvon Martin’s murder. I especially wanted to hear from fellow mothers of boys, in hopes of fostering dialogue about how we as mothers can move forward given what happened. I gathered an incredible group of women and over the next couple of days, I welcome you to read our conversation. Part one of our conversation ran on Wednesdaypart two ran yesterday, and this piece is the conclusion.

The participants:

  • Jamila Bey hosts the radio program, “The Sex Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila.” The show can be heard in NYC, DC, Miami and Chicago and online. Find her on Twitter.
  • Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer living in Western Massachusetts. Find her on Twitter.
  • Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer, writer and single mother of two who publishes the blog CarolynEdgar.com. Her work has been featured in a variety of outlets, including Huffington Post and CNN.com. Follow her on Twitter.
  • Denene Millner is a New York Times-bestselling author of 21 books and the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a blog that measures the intersection parenting and race.
  • Shay Stewart-Bouley is a non-profit administrator, freelance columnist who writes on issues relating to diversity for the Portland Phoenix, and blogger at BlackGirlInMaine.com where she muses on race, motherhood and middle age.

Read on, after the jump: Keep reading »

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