Tag Archives: racism

Former Black Panther Assata Shakur Becomes First Woman On FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List

Assata Shakur, an ex member of the Black Panthers who escaped from prison and fled to Cuba in 1979, has officially been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, making her the first woman ever. Shakur — born JoAnne Byron (married name Chesimard) — was a member of the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army when she was convicted of killing a New Jersey police officer in 1973. In 1979, she managed to escape from prison and fled to Cuba, where she was granted political asylum and has been ever since. Since 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and has offered a $1 million reward for her capture. Yesterday, the 40-year anniversary of the New Jersey Turnpike shootout, they upgraded her to the 10 Most Wanted List. Keep reading »

Yes, Blackface Is Still Offensive, Vogue Netherlands

You might have been sitting at your desk at work wondering to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if it’s a good idea now for fashion magazines to hire Caucasian fashion models and smear their faces in blackface paint.” I am here now to put your mind at ease. No, it’s still not a good idea.  You got that, Vogue Netherlands?

The magazine’s May 2013 issue depicted light-skinned, Dutch model Querelle Jansen wearing a dark black face as she poses in homage to dancer Josephine Baker (right) and model/actress Grace Jones (left). (Both were inspirations to Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton collections, fall 2008 and spring 2009 respectively.) Yet instead of hiring actual, you know, black models, the magazine used a white model in blackface.

Vogue realizes that actual black models do work in the fashion industry, right? It’s not like they are unicorns. [Clutch Magazine]

Brad Paisley & LL Cool J’s Song “Accidental Racist” Is All Kinds Of WTF

America On Racism
She was once asked to wear "whiteface" in a role. Read More »
Schooled on Racism
How I learned to question my beliefs. Read More »
Racism At The RNC
A black camerawoman was mocked by two RNC attendees. Read More »

The South. It’s a beautiful but haunted kind of place, filled with the vestiges of the Civil War, slavery and romantic longing for a “different way of life.” You may ask, “What does this Jewish girl living in Brooklyn know about the South?” but I actually lived there as a kid, in Fort Worth, Texas. It is something of a different world down there. And later, when my parents moved us to Southern New Jersey, I experienced a different kind of south — because the tip of New Jersey is below the Mason-Dixon line, there is a contingent of people who live in New Jersey who consider themselves southerners. They have “southern pride.” Is this crazy? Perhaps.

But whether you’ve lived there or not, it’s clear that there are still some rather mighty problems when it comes to race and the South. I mean, there are still segregated proms in Georgia.

Enter Brad Paisley’s new track, “Accidental Racist,” featuring LL Cool J. Keep reading »

Was Kerry Washington’s Skin Lightened On The Cover Of Entertainment Weekly?

kerry washington Entertainment Weekly

Fresh off a week of the Internet wondering whether singer Indie.Arie lightened her skin on the artwork for her new single, there’s a new Black woman looking awfully light-skinned. “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn posed in flagrante on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly and if you aren’t distracted by Goldwyn’s chest hair peeking out from underneath his shirt, you’ll notice Washington’s looking a lot lighter-skinned than her usual gorgeous chocolate brown skin. The reason, I suppose, is probably the same reason as it was for Indie.Arie: the set lighting and camera flashes wash her out. Given all the attention paid to magazine covers by an art department staff (and trust us, there is a ton of attention paid — covers are what move magazines), we know the choice to leave it that way is deliberate. I think Kerry Washington looks gorgeous no matter what. But I also think women of color are beautiful no matter the darkness or lightness of their skin. I wish our culture, including our pop culture, didn’t privilege the light-skinned and lighten darker women. [Entertainment Weekly]

India.Arie's Light Skin
India Arie skin bleaching
"I have no desire to bleach myself," says India.Arie. Read More »
L'Oreal Lightens Freida
Freida Pinto's skin looks so much lighter in this L'Oreal Paris image. Read More »
Beyonce Lightened
Beyonce skin lightened ad
Whoa, this doesn't look like Beyonce at all. Read More »

India.Arie Responds To Skin Bleaching Accusations: “I Have No Desire To Bleach Myself”

India Arie skin bleaching

Has India.Arie been bleaching her dark skin to a lighter color?!?! That didn’t sound right to me when tongues started wagging last week that the famously self-accepting singer behind the song “I Am Not My Hair” might have either used skin bleaching creams — which is notoriously terrible for skin — or purposefully been lightened through the magic of Photoshop a la Beyoncé or Freida Pinto.

The alleged evidence was the artwork for her new single “Cocoa Butter” off the album Songversation, in which Indie.Arie is leaning against a beige wall and her normally-Serena-Williams-colored skin is more of a Kim Kardashian hue.

But Indie.Arie responded on Twitter on Friday and told us all to chill: Keep reading »

L'Oreal Lightens Freida
Freida Pinto's skin looks so much lighter in this L'Oreal Paris image. Read More »
Sammy Sosa Bleaches?
It looks like Sammy Sosa has bleached his darker skin lighter. Read More »
Beyonce Lightened
Beyonce skin lightened ad
Whoa, this doesn't look like Beyonce at all. Read More »

The Soapbox: It’s Impossible To “Not See Color,” No Matter What Kim Kardashian Says

Kimye Procreates!
These two are having a baby. Not cool. Read More »
Schooled on Racism
How I learned to question my beliefs. Read More »
My Interracial Marriage
What it's like being in an interracial marriage. Read More »

As most people already know, the ubiquitous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting a baby. I’m happy for them. Unlike most people, I don’t mind Kim Kardashian. She makes an obscene amount of money for being herself (or the version of herself she wants us to see). I’m someone who’d be happy to make an obscene amount of money the same way.

Despite being here for the media blitz surrounding the Kimye bebe, a recent statement the mom-to-be made gave me to pause. And, no, I’m not talking about that weird fake tweet.

In an interview with BET, Kim Kardashian said, “I have a lot of friends that are all different nationalities, and their children are bi-racial. So they have kind of talked to me a little bit about it, what to expect and what not to expect. I think that the most important thing is how I would want to raise my children, is just to not see color. That’s important to me.” Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Should White Women Be On The Cover Of ‘Black Magazines’?

Racism In Modeling
Chanel Iman has been told "We already found one black girl." Read More »
Black "Bachelorette"
Misee Harris
Dr. Misee Harris wants to be the first-ever black "Bachelorette." Read More »
Know About Black Women
10 things every non-black person should know about black women. Read More »
essence

The always-inquisitive Jada Pinkett-Smith recently posed a question that has many people scratching their heads and some folks outright upset. In short, she’s wondering if black women ask to be represented in mainstream media, on the covers of magazines like Vanity Fair, shouldn’t white women be represented on the covers of traditionally black magazines like Essence, Ebony and JET?

The answer? Yes and no. Keep reading »

Chanel Iman Talks Racism In Modeling Industry: “We Already Found One Black Girl”

"Girl Model" Documentary
This movie pulls back the curtain on underage modeling. Read More »
Blackface Again?
african queen blackface
Nope, blackface is still a bad idea. Please just hire a black model. Read More »
I'm A Nude Model
nude modeling
Confessions of a nude model on Model Mayhem. Read More »
  • Just in case you thought racism was over and solved forever, here’s model Chanel Iman talking about how the fashion industry is not immune to the “one is enough” idea when it comes to diversity. “A few times I got excused by designers who told me ‘we already found one black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged. When someone tells you, ‘we don’t want you because we already have one of your kind, it’s really sad,” Iman told the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine. This is especially troubling given how magazines will book light-skinned models and put them in blackface instead of just hiring black models! [Clutch Magazine]
  • North Dakota’s state Senate advanced a “fetal personhood” bill which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks. [Washington Post] Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Getting A Black “Bachelorette”

Race Discrimination
"The Bachelor" sued for racial discrimination. Read More »
Silly Diversity Ideas
What "The Bachelor" really needs is an A-cup or a freegan. Read More »
Guy Talk: Race
Why this guy dates outside his race. Read More »
Misee Harris

Pediatric dentist Dr. Misee Harris of Kentucky is petitioning to become the first ever Black “Bachelorette.” This prospect means a lot is surfacing for me regarding the harmful stereotypes reinforced by women of color on reality television. How would she be received? If she did get an opportunity to be on the show and chose a non-black man, what would the social implications of that be? But more than that, I feel disheartened because I know that this reality reflects how America feels about who deserves to be happy and who doesn’t. Keep reading »

10 Things Every Non-Black Person Should Know (By Now) About Black Women

On Interracial Dating
Madame Noire and The Frisky discuss interracial dating. Read More »
Lisa's Racist Tweet
Her schtick abuses the art of comedy. Read More »
On The N-Word
Madame Noire asks why some white people want to say the n-word so bad. Read More »

We’re more than a decade into the 21st century. I’d hoped — in vain — that some basic understandings of how non-Black people should interact with Black people could be something I could take for granted. But no. Somehow there are “those people” who remain entirely clueless, so much so that they will call a 9-year old the c-word, or paint a white model bronze-Black, or not even, as so-called, journalists, bother to learn the pronunciation of an Oscar nominee’s name. This is unacceptable.

Recently, I read the comments section of a post on Clutch where a male reader was baffled as how to initiate a conversation with Black women and asked for some rules. Several helpful women obliged. In the same spirit of combating ignorance, I offer rules for non-Black people to engage Black women without causing offense. If you can manage NOT to do the following, you can probably come across as a decent human being.

Humbly, I submit a basic list, my rules of engagement, and ask you NOT to do the following (and encourage Black women to add to the list in the comments)… Keep reading »

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