Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Good Hair"

So, we came across this movie called "Good Hair". This movie was inspired by Chris Rock's daughter asking him why she doesn't have good hair. The fact that his daughter asked him this question deeply saddened us. What happened to the Afrocentric pride? "Black is Beautiful" no longer seems to be instilled in the youth of America.

While this appears to be a comedy, it seems slightly twisted, why are black women still spending so much money to have straight hair like barbie? We have specifically done research and papers about this issue. The self-hatred in the black community unfortunately continues as beauty is still defined in a Euro-centric way. Maybe this movie will lead to a wider understanding, but we feel it is more likely to create it into a joke. Will Chris Rock's light-hearted approach prove to be beneficial to American society?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jacob Lawerence: The Great Migration

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

Flashback: Obama on Race

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?

...for Ashley

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Continuing the Economic Disparities

In an article in the New York Times on Saturday, the topic of privilege and the opportunities it opens up was apparent. This summer many college students I know, including myself, have been unemployed, unable to even find unpaid internships where their skills could be put to use. The hard economic times are not the subject of this post though---the realization that many internships (and jobs) require connections and knowing people is. In the job world that we are now finding ourselves a part of there are many unexpected obstacles. I believe part of this has evolved out of many feeling they can do anything if they really put their minds to it, an American dream element has infiltrated many of our childhoods. This would not be so problematic if agencies like those mentioned in the article did not exist. These companies become the middlemen, obtaining jobs for college students who have the money to pay for their services, leaving out the majority of hard working students who do not have the means nor the connections to secure positions, even for the summer. The fact that some have spent $5-8,000 on getting their internships widens the gap between rich and poor. As these students attain these internships, they begin to secure future jobs, making it harder once again for lower class students, even those who have been lucky enough to get scholarships to top schools, to ensure employments in their future. Do you think that services like these should be allowed to step between students and internships?