“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 »
Last week, the mainstream media suddenly remembered racial profiling exists after a series of high-profile incidents in New York City. Unconnected to each other (as far as I know), several young Black people came forward about having been detained by police after shopping in department stores after they were accused of not reeeeally being able to afford the pricy items they bought.
Two were college students who were detained after they shopped at Barney’s, one for buying a Ferragamo belt and another for buying a handbag; another was actor Robert Brown from “Finding Forrester” and the TV show “Treme,” who was detained after he shopped at Macy’s. (He has subsequently filed a lawsuit against them.) Even male supermodel Tyson Beckford spoke up about being racially profiled and “followed all the time, any time I go to a store,” including Barney’s.
In response, Barney’s agreed last week [third item] to meet with civil rights leaders to discuss the allegations of racial profiling. However, many folks were waiting on Jay Z, who sells a high-end collabortion through the store, to respond. He also became a target last week of a Change.org petition with over 16,000 signatures asking him to end his partnership with the store.
This weekend, Hova finally released a statement, although it is perhaps not what everyone would have liked to hear. Keep reading »
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like racism!
A popular Facebook page is determined to uphold the longstanding Dutch tradition of wearing blackface for Christmas celebrations. Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” is Santa’s helper in Dutch folklore, and while the character began in the 1700s as a demonic servant, nowadays he’s pretty much just Santa’s bud. Santa’s… black bud. Who’s only ever been portrayed by white people. Read more at The Gloss…
Looking for a new tee shirt? Maybe you’ll find a nice one on Etsy.com, where you could pick up tees reading “Five-Year-Old Slut Seeking Sugar Daddy,” “I’m A Sensitive Guy, I Only Rape Pregnant Women,” “My Daddy Loved Me Right Even Paid For The Abortion,” “Playing My Tambourine On Main Street Leering At Little Girls,” “Autumn Is Perfect For Date Rape,” “In Many Asian Cultures Poor Driving Is A Sign Of Fertility,” “Saving Myself For A Skanky Loose-A00ed Ivy League Grad,” “Invite Me To Your Gala, I’ll A-0-0-Rape Everybody,” or “Stalking You Because Nobody Else Will.” Each is available for $12.99 from the seller F Your T.
If you think that racist and sexually violent tee shirts don’t belong on Etsy.com, you can sign this Change.org petition to address Etsy’s community management. And stop shopping on Etsy. [Change.org]
Racial profiling — it’s so in this season!
On April 29th, Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old from Queens, New York, got paid from his work-study job at New York City College of Technology, so he decided to go shopping. The teen made his way to Barney’s New York, an upscale department store on tony Madison Avenue, to buy a belt he’d seen on a favorite rapper. The Ferragamo belt cost $349, which he paid for with his debit card and showed his ID, as per usual when you pay with debit. Happy with his new belt, Christian left the store with his purchase … only to be stopped by two New York Police Department officers, accusing him of using a fake card. Keep reading »
The only thing more facepalm-y than holding an “African-themed” birthday party — whatever that even means, it’s an entire continent, people! — is how she took to Tumblr to defend the photographs of her friends in blackface, “tribal paint,” and a KKK costume.
Now the whole world knows an Australian woman identified by Huffington Post as Olivia Mahon is an racist idiot. Keep reading »
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]
I like Kenan Thompson a lot. He’s probably my favorite actor on “Saturday Night Live” right now. But what the heck was he thinking when he spoke to TV Guide about diversity on “SNL”? The show hasn’t had a Black woman on the cast for six years, despite having numerous other performers of color, including Thompson, Jay Pharoah (who is Black), and Nasim Pedrad (who is both Iranian and a woman). Yet when asked why “SNL” hasn’t cast a Black woman, Thompson suggested that there just aren’t enough funny Black ladies:
“It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Keep reading »
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 & Often; Warsan Shire]
I have been a symbol of sex my entire life. As a black woman from a poor, single-parent household, I know the script that is written for me far too well. Black women are always more appealing as strippers or “hoes.” Before I even hit puberty, this script was shoved in my face and I was forced to memorize it.
When I was 11, I lived in a predominantly underprivileged, black neighborhood in Houston, Texas. Everyone knew each other. My mom worked nights at the local hospital, so often I was home alone with my brother, sister and an older cousin. My mom thought the high fences that surrounded our complex kept us safe from what was on the outside. Little did she know, what was on the inside tormented me daily. Keep reading »