Last night, thousands of people protested the failure to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. Photo by David Bledsoe.
One hundred and twenty-two years ago, Ida B. Wells, an African American journalist who reported on the horrors carried out by white lynch mobs against Southern blacks, penned a oft-pronounced slogan that still rings true today: “This is a white man's country and the white man must rule.”
If you managed to abstain from social media and television last night, you missed the strange awards sideshow that was the Golden Globes. There were some great moments on stage—Emma Thompson was the coolest person in the room as she presented an award barefoot, holding her high heels in one hand and a martini in the other and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had some genuinely funny jokes—but I came away from the night thinking more about who wasn’t on stage: many people of color.
What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott (below left), a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi (below right) decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.
In mid-November in the Netherlands, Dutch families take to the streets of Amsterdam to celebrate the arrival of their favorite winter guests, Sinterklaas and his whimsical helper Black Pete. The air is crisp and cold. Pepernoten, bortsplaat, marzipan, and other sweet holiday fill the pockets of onlookers. When the adored duo comes into town (they sail in on a ship from Spain), they are greeted with a city-wide, family-friendly parade.
However, what is different and potentially shocking to many non-Dutch onlookers is that during the traditional parade, Sinterklaas is escorted by hundreds of white people in blackface. Smiling Dutch folks in blackface bike, walk, and rollerblade through the town, waving at children in celebration.
New York artist Donna Choi wanted to create a “weird, memorable way” to discuss fetishization of Asian women, so she put together a satirical series about how to diagnose Yellow Fever—the specific obsession many Western men have with Asian culture.
The over-the-top series is a discussion of race crafted for the attention span of the Internet.
Before I saw those pictures of her online Monday morning I didn’t know who Julianne Hough was. Even after Googling her, I’m still not entirely sure. Ballroom dancer and country music singer? Which is it, Julianne, did you have a hit song or were you just on Dancing With the Stars?
When I spoke to Mikki Kendall on August 14, just two days after she started the nationally trending Twitter hashtag#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, she was tired. The discussion started on Twitter had spurred much-needed and long-ignored conversations about the treatment of women of color by Big Name Feminism.
A dialogue between two siblings highlights the messages internalized from growing up as an "other" in America.
"Growing up, I really hated being Chinese. I had so many feelings I couldn't explain- shame, guilt, discomfort. More than anything else I felt the painful desire to be normal, to be completely accepted as American. And it hurts me now to see my brother going through same thing as I did."