Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Last week The New York Times published an article entitled, "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery" by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor. The article shined light on Michelle Obama's roots, dating back to the institution of slavery. Michelle’s genealogy exposes the true patchwork heritage of America.
While the article was riveting and acknowledged the strong ties America--black America--has to slavery, our first reaction to this article was, "no duh!" Do we actually think that either our society is so far removed from slavery that black heritage in America no longer traces back that far? Or is it shocking that our first lady’s heritage can be traced back to such an oppressive institution? We are all educated individuals who took 7th grade history--blacks in America are proof of the injustices of the triangle trade and the displacement of Africans. Granted, Michelle is a testament of how far America has come from the days that relied so heavily on slavery for economic growth. But calculate the years, struggles and continued struggles of blacks dating back to the 17th c.—our society is more connected to slavery than our first lady’s heritage has to suggest. Racial tensions, inadequate social and economic equality, and a legacy as second-rate, lives today in black America. Not very pc but let’s get real, the chains of slavery have taken on a new form. Write articles, discuss, discover, reveal these chains.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So we love Broadway shows especially, the most popular of them all, Avenue Q--a quasi-Sesame Street show. Avenue Q was inspired by Sesame Street, but addresses issues mostly faced by adults--for those who have now grown out of Bert and Bernie. With an amazing soundtrack, we'd like to share one of the songs that perfectly illustrate the issues of race today. Everyone's A Little Bit Racist, asks listeners to acknowledge our "judgments based on race". We are all racist and as the song says, "it doesn't mean we go on committing hate crimes." And we agree that we MUST all face the influences of society. As Beverley Tatum argued, passive racists are standing still on the conveyor belt yet reaching the same destination--racism.
We are all a part of the problem, so start walking against the conveyor belt.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
While at the MOMA last week, we stumbled upon the infamous Jacob Lawerence 60 panel-series illustratting the migration of blacks to the North during the early 1900's. Only 30 of the panels are displayed at the MOMA--the odd numbers. The rest are living at the Phillips Collection in Washinton D.C. The series was painted following Jacob Lawernece's personal experience when moving from the South. Absolutely reviting and beautiful images from an artistic lens of a migrant. Check it out: The MOMA has free admission on Friday afternoons this summer!
Friday, August 14, 2009
We will never forget the 2008 elections--the election of the first President of African decent. It took two-hundred and twenty years and forty-four elections, but finally the American people have elected a president who: carries the product of a melting pot in the pigment of his skin, witnessed the economic struggles that very few of our precedent presidents have and most importantly--at least for the sake of this blog--he carries the consciousness of a minority in our, still, racially oppressive society.
We want to share our absolute favorite speech Barack Obama gave during his 2008 presidential campaign. "A More Perfect Union"--a speech that may be remembered by many as either Obama's speech on race or Obama's speech condemning Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist comments. We remember this speech as the day a political leader, with a national platform to share his ideals, finally illustrated the complex issue of race in modern America. The over-arching theme for us was the "union" of all races. Americans achieving "a more perfect union"--a union that still needs to overcome the economic disparities between blacks and whites and a union that will achieve educational equality beyond Brown v. Board of Ed.
Obama says, "We can tackle race only as spectacle--as we did in the O.J. trial--or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina--or as fodder for the nightly news." He goes on to call on Americans to take control," But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And another one. And nothing will change." Americans were given a chance to address race and we are still idle...
How can a society that has now elected a president who believes racism continues to oppress people of color, still believe that racism is an issue of the past?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
When will we finally agree that racism is alive and kicking? This week has been all about Gates, Obama's much needed response, then a bunch of talking heads trying to get the whole story. We are tired of discussing whether or not this was racism--it was. A Harvard professor who has dealt with race issues within academia and his own life was present at the event in question, so why are we still trying to get the whole play-by-play of whether this had to do with race or not? Must read OP-ED piece by Stanley Fish--much more compelling and persuasive: