“I don’t want to spend my life thinking about all the impossibilities I face when I wake up in the morning. But the reality is, I’m a woman of color in America. That itself is enough for you to wake up and go, “Oh, f—!” … My balls are pretty big. There’s a confidence that my sisters and I were raised with. After my dad died [in a car accident, when she was nine years old], my mom moved us from Queens back to the Dominican Republic. A very macho sort of place. But my mom raised us to know that we are equal to anyone.”
Zoe Saldana has always struck me as the best kind of interviewee: someone who will sound off openly and honestly and say things that make you want to be her friend. Scratch that, I want both Zoe and Mama Saldana in my corner.
In this interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Zoe also talked about the controversy around her role in a biopic about Nina Simone. Some people, including Frisky contributor Erica Watson, complained that Hollywood whitewashed Nina’s story by casting a lighter-skinned woman of color like Zoe for the role. Nina Simone was a darker-skinned Black woman who was very proud of her Blackness. Here’s what Zoe — who has addressed the controversy before — has to say about that: Keep reading »
I recently read a piece written by Kimberly Foster titled “Why I Will Not March For Eric Garner.” The author plainly states her argument: she refuses to rally in support of Eric Garner — who died of cardiac arrest after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer — because she does not believe Black men equally support Black women in their struggle against oppression. In her own words directed to Black men: “I’m not settling for anything less than reciprocity. If you refuse to hear our calls for help, then I cannot respond to yours.”
Many were offended that the author used the untimely death of a man to launch a discussion about sexism in the Black community and I shared that sentiment. Yet the piece sparked a huge discussion about gender inequality amongst myself and a group of coworkers — who happened to be Black men — nonetheless. Keep reading »
A new film called “Dear White People” swept accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and is making its way to theaters this fall. To market the comedy, a trailer was released recently that has since been viewed over a million times on YouTube and has also received thousands of comments. I mistakenly read through some of them.
Since I did and was horrified, I wanted to extend a piece of advice to The Frisky readers: cease and desist from writing a comment about the “Dear White People” movie trailer before reading this list. I urge you to do this, not at my behest, but to save yourself from looking like one of the most ignorant, rude and possibly racist individuals to exist in the 21st century.
Without further ado: “15 of the Most Outrageously Stupid Responses To The ‘Dear White People’ Movie Trailer (And Smart Responses To Them).” Keep reading »
In last week’s Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for “abandoning” her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post that Harrell is Black, prompting a few folks to ask why I needed to note her race. Instead of penning my own response, I thought it would be a good idea to hear from women of color who are mothers. We gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss Harrell’s situation and explorehow race impacts motherhood in the United States today. Meet:
Our conversation begins after the jump: Keep reading »
A world without abortion is unsustainable for Black women. The barriers that exist to basic healthcare make it a fundamental necessity to have the constitutional right and unobstructed access to terminate a pregnancy we cannot carry to term. If you hold the belief that a person should not exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy under any circumstances, I challenge you to read to the last paragraph. Open yourself up to the possibility that there is more room for discussion, more opportunities for compassion, and that a world can exists where allowing Black women to choose for themselves, devoid of judgment, when to be pregnant.
Every day we make dozens of decisions: what to wear, what to eat, and with whom to spend our precious time, among other things. Some of us are privileged to have more decision-making power than others. And all decisions are made in the context of our everyday lives; where we live, what we look like, into which circumstances we were born, etc. One consequence of decision-making is being given the benefit of the doubt by the people around you; that is, being trusted that you are deciding for yourself the best thing to do. Unfortunately, this value isn’t extended to everyone, especially not Black women who still bear the burden of genuine mistrust. Keep reading »
I previously wrote a piece for The Frisky that briefly detailed the racism I discovered while working on a research thesis on prostitution in New York City. I explained to readers that in the sex work industry, White, Asian and Hispanic women receive higher payments than their Black counterparts and often times, many Black women are blatantly discriminated against. I also stated that the racist reality Black women face in sex work simply offers a glimpse into the world of racism that women of color face daily, in mainstream society. Many rushed to criticize that piece, claiming that such disparities in pay are as a result of “individual preference,” not because of racism, since we are after-all, “post-racial.”
However, as I stated previously, sometimes racism rears its head in such an ugly way that it can no longer be denied. Such an instant arose recently when Sande Alessi, a White female casting director posted this casting call (which has since been removed) or a new upcoming film “Straight Outta Compton.” The ad read:
SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80′s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in. Keep reading »