If you have never heard of Jane Elliot, she’s a tough-as-nails former teacher who gives unbelievably powerful talks and workshops on racism around the world. She deserves massive respect for the work she’s been doing for decades upon decades. She’s been on Oprah and on a UK television program called “The Event.” This is a program you’re not likely to ever see re-packaged for US audiences (unless it’s on daytime talk TV).
Here it is, again, very powerful and worth a double-take. Can you imagine a high school sociology class (or even a college class) watching this? How many heads would roll? Very powerful and we dare you to watch and get engaged with it.
Black beauty (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter). There’s no way this woman could be considered beautiful, right?
Gotta love YouTube. After watching the heart-breaking documentary “Dark Girls” about how prevalent self-defeating brain-washing is among black people and black women in particular, we found out it’s offering on YouTube for free, and for watching wherever and whenever you want. What if interracial and black women meetup.com groups around the world could watch this and openly discuss it? How many eyes would be opened?
It’s a powerful documentary to say the least (albeit with a tacky website full of ads for skin lightening cream ironically enough). But here is the documentary in full. Watch it, tell us what you think, get active and tell others about it. Time to stop the lies about black feminine beauty.
According to a recent article, (link here), there is an “interracial dating revolution” going on and we owe it all the Olivia Pope, the character on the justifyingly-popular television program “Scandal,” about a brilliant, beautiful young black woman who advises political power-brokers on how to save their asses week after week.
The chemistry isn’t (in my opinion) sizzling hot, but it’s there, and for television, it’s believable enough and absolutely shocking to see a popular, well-written TV program featuring a black woman as the star who is not a stereotype – in fact, far from it.
The article says that the program itself is stirring an interracial dating revolution (which we hope is true). It goes on to say that (what a surprise) Star Jones (of all people) called the character of Olivia Pope “a whore,” who should be dating black men. Many other black women feel the same way: white men should leave them alone, do not and could not ever find them attractive, are “too different” or too culturally different, it’s just not right, on and on. Meanwhile black men with white woman has become such a part of American culture that we see it in magazines at every check out line (just open “Black Enterprise” or “Jet” to any page or look at the ads on TV on any given night). Interesting.
But the show’s popularity has done great positive things; such as increase the dialogue, garnered attention to the topic on a national scale, and increased the number of similar TV programming with “Deception” starring Meagan Good as a police detective under cover and the upcoming Angela Basset series.
It’s gotten to the point where “The Root” is comparing “Deception” to “Scandal,” and attempting to critically judge which television program portrays a more accurate (meaning agreeable to them) depiction of realistic race relations in America.
Of course, that’s a silly argument to make in the first place, comparing a fictional TV show to real life when most bipeds with a functional cerebral cortex have enough sense to know TV doesn’t accurately mirror reality.
And yet TV does influence reality. Look at what the success of “Scandal” has already done. It’s pissed people off, encouraged others, created TV copycat shows where none existed if its ilk before.
Neither “Scandal” nor “Deception” come close to portraying reality (at least not my reality), but they hit the bulls eye when it comes to inspiring and giving little black girls something new to see on the cathode tube mind-duller than big-mouth Star Jones preening for attention (while she provides nothing of substance) or the demeaning black characters (like “The Help”) typically seen on network TV fare. At least now little black girls, if they see Olivia Pope on TV at all, will see a woman who doesn’t back down, is incredibly resourceful, attractive, dating whomever she wants (as opposed to being steered by society into the acceptable norm of either being single or dating someone who is more socially acceptable), has a good job, dresses professionally, is articulate and literate, and (very) well-connected.
Hooray for some interracial dating on TV between black women and white men, but I’d say that the exposure of these two TV shows pales (pun intended) to the exposure of black men with white women in print and TV ads (which I would suggest vastly outnumbers the hours of these two shows airing).
Ultimately any interracial dating and diversity on national television is a positive change in perceptions, especially when said characters, however fictional, are not stereotypes. What’s your take?
English: Kerry Washington at Metropolitan Opera’s 2010-11 Season Opening Night – “Das Rheingold” (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Yes, ma’am.
Tony Goldwyn in Denver in August 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Tony Goldwyn looking startled.
I recently came across this series of videos on YouTube and thought they would be relevant and interesting.
It just seems that my Nubian queens out there can’t catch a break. But do they actually want that proverbial “break?” Both parties seem to have valid points, and it’s tough to argue with the young lady in the final video. She’s an attractive articulate African-American woman and why does she feel as she does?
What do you think of this program as a whole?
Do you feel the program raises valid perspectives or it’s totally baseless?
And finally, in conclusion, as an epilogue, what do you think of this young lady’s opinions as the conclusion to this series? Does she not have some legitimate points?
Do the hosts of the program present a logically-argued focal point here or is it fund-chub gibberish? On the one hand we’re told that Africa is a modern city with contemporary tolerance, while on the other hand we are presented with an argument that would seem illogical or counter advancement?
Map of the REC Pillars of the African Economic Community (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In this hour and three minute video program from the BBC, June Sarpong (currently working on Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” program) presents (as Devil’s Advocate, perhaps?) that multiculturalism and diversity are simply not needed in England.
It’s interesting (in a subtle way) that the producers of the program should select an African-American (in this case African-English) woman to present the case that diversity is a huge drag on their system and just is no longer needed.
Watch this and tell us what you think? Is there a strong basis of truth in this presentation and argument?
This article is dedicated Robin Gibb, to honor his memory and legacy.
Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE of the superstar group the Bee Gees died on May 20, 2012 at the age of 62.
The outpouring of kind sentiments since his death shows that Robin was and is a much loved man for a variety of reasons.
Whether it is love of the Bee Gees music, Robin’s music as a solo artist, his sense of humor, or tremendous humanitarian spirit, many can find a reason to send blessings his way.
When you first think of Robin Gibb, you may not think of him as having an interracial musical legacy. However, if you listen closely to some of the things he has said over the years, it is clear to me that he did. Recently, I had the pleasure of watching a 2010 documentary on the Bee Gees called In Our Own Time.
During a segment of this documentary, Robin commented on the period of time during the 1970’s when the Bee Gees recorded one of their famous hits, Jive Talkin’. He mentioned the pressures that white bands, especially white American bands, had at the time to not go into so-called black areas of music.
However, as a British band, Robin commented that they did not feel the same pressures or fears. According to Robin, “Because we were English, we were less self-conscious about exploring the no-go areas…” He then goes on to say, “We didn’t think that there was any “no go” areas, it’s music!”
I could not agree more. Within this quote lies the heart of Robin Gibb’s interracial musical legacy.
I thought and felt so many things when I heard Robin say this. First, I was so grateful that he, his brothers and producers had the courage to see music this way. Imagine how many Bee Gees songs would have never been released if they had thought otherwise. It has always been a shame to me that racial segregation has crept into and corrupted something so universal as music.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating and acknowledging the racial and ethnic origins of music. The Bee Gees were fantastic at acknowledging the black American roots of their music and openly confessed their admiration of artists such as Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding.
But why should artists be banned from performing a certain type of music if they are not from a particular race or ethnic group? To do this is to cut off the creative energy that groups like the Bee Gees want to express.
There are no “no go” areas when it comes to performing music or listening to music as a fan. As a black American woman, there have been many times in my life where black friends and acquaintances would raise an eyebrow at my diverse taste in music.
If I had the audacity to express my fondness of a band such as U2 or REM, I would be met with disapproval clearly indicating I was some kind of social oddity. I guess I’m not supposed to like them according to some people because I’m black and I owe some kind of strange loyalty only to black musicians.
Well, their narrow-mindedness and racism is their problem, not mine. They are missing out on some good music. It’s too bad I didn’t have Robin’s quote handy at the time. When it comes down to it, music is an art that can take many forms, evoke a wide range of emotions and does not have a race or color, unless someone chooses to see it that way.
By 1976, “The Bee Gees’ music had successfully spanned several generations, and they were also popular with both black and white audiences, an accomplishment that is rare in rock history.
Virtually no group has enjoyed such mass popularity with such a diverse audience…” (Source- Bee Gees: The Authorized Biography by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb as told to David Leaf, March, 1979).
For this reason, I will always celebrate, admire and enjoy the interracial legacy of Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees, my all-time favorite rock group.
Thank you, Robin, for sharing your gifts with the world. You will never be forgotten.
I recently came across the following video on YouTube.
It made me feel sick to my stomach, and I could recall how Malcolm X had said long ago that the true war going on was in the minds of black people; how they had been led to believe that they could not run their own communities, run their own businesses, make their own incomes, or believe in themselves as being worthy.
Malcolm X (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ultimate joke was that black people saw themselves as less than equal, doing the slave master’s job by themselves on their own. This is why, I’m sure Brother Malcolm would concur, some black women do not believe their natural hair is beautiful and must be “conked” or “permed” or bleached. This is why so many black men prefer white women, because they’ve been told the standard of beauty is the white woman and they are socialized to “achieve.”
I’m sure this video would make Brother Malcolm sick, as it would Cornell West. I don’t know if they’d agree with my feelings, but we would all agree that regardless of the cause, the effect is apparent and extremely disheartening to say the least.
Seems like these kids have fairly developed senses of humor and can take things with a grain of salt.
So I applaud them for the clever video that pokes fun at so many perceived hang-ups about dating interracially.
I mean, really, how many times have I heard (as a big, bald, Jewish man with ivory skin) that a sista wanted to date me “but was afraid of what the brothas might think.” Hey, let me worry about them. You worry about me.
Or that “those people” behave a certain way. (Haven’t noticed any real consistency yet, at least not among “races,” only among genders.).
To paraphrase The Big Daddy Kane (and yes, we tried to interview him for InterraceToday.com and his agent/booker never responded)…
Some people will say “I’m not racist. I can’t be racist because I have a black friend or co-worker.” And they may really mean it. But before someone can know whether or not they’re racist, they have to be able to define just exactly what it means to them to be racist. Does being a racist necessarily mean that you call people of minority groups unfair epithets? Does it mean that you unconsciously pre-judge people based on factors beyond their control, such as color of skin or accent or place of birth?
Is this racist soda? It sure as heck could be perceived as that.
Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, are racist in one way or another. They may have a preference that goes unstated. They may have dating preferences or socialization preferences, things they’re not even aware they’re doing to shut others out of their lives or sphere of influence.
Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with the way people (even animals) behave without knowing why they do or feel as they do. We know humans can be hypnotized, directed and manipulated by media programming and marketing (there’s a science to it worth billions). In the current onslaught of political campaign ads we are forced to see daily, we’re bombarded with subliminal programming – from how a candidate is positioned or holding a pointing finger.
Well, I recently stumbled upon this strange website link from the geniuses at Harvard, that seems to test bias on multiple levels.
I haven’t had time to take one of the tests all the way through, or attempt to contact whoever put these tests together, but here is the link. Let us know if you take a test and find out more.
When I was an adorable little white Jewish boy growing up in New York, I always had trouble with my hair.
Couldn’t comb it, couldn’t part it, couldn’t make it lay down any which way you can imagine.
Welcome to my Jewfro: Able to withstand coconut tcb, olive oil spray, johnson’s magical jerry juice, and whatever else you might throw on it.
My hair-dream, as you might imagine, was to have hair like everyone else. I wanted hair that was bright blonde, that would stand out like somebody standing behind you and holding a flashlight.
I wanted to get that attention and be on all the sports teams, be “cool.” I wanted to feel accepted and that I was able to fit in. Hair had something to do with that, certainly. Especially when it stood straight up at times, and then looked like a flock of birds had attacked it, other times.
My hair was what I later learned was called (lovingly enough, of course) a big ol’ “jewfro.” It was a tangled, thick, natty, mess of black cord that couldn’t be combed (unless you wanted to rip hair out by the roots, which wasn’t happening then and sure ain’t happening now).
As I matured and got older, the jewfro only grew out more, and got more difficult to manager. Nothing worked to make it workable. Coconut TCB, olive oil, black gel protein, cocoa butter. They smelled good, but didn’t do anything for the hair.
I recall vividly once trying some kind of new tuity-fruity spray that I had purchased at a beauty supply store in downtown Norfolk, Virginia a long time ago. It smelled of candy but accomplished absolutely zilch. I still had an unmanageable jewfro mop of black wire strands, only now it smelled like bubble gum ice cream. Great.
It wasn’t until much later, as a teenager, that I learned the wonders of Vaseline from my friend Joe (who came from a very large black family to rival anything out of Tyler Perry‘s imagination).
His afro was very similar to my jewfro. The only difference was that he had somehow figured out how to manage his. Yes, the jerry juice dripped down all the time like a mini-waterfall, yes it stained the back of wherever he sat, and yes, he was always spraying it with the stuff and picking it with a giant, bright red plastic pick that was (also) always dripping wet. But, hey, he was the epitome of tough and cool, and his hair worked. Mine stood at attention.
Eventually, I learned to use Vaseline combined with black protein gel (and repeated applications of the concrete-like mixture) to make my hair manageable. But by then, it was already beginning to thin.
Now, I slap a handful of liquid soap atop the ol’ dome, run a razor across it, and put on a few drops of African’s Best and I’m off to the races with a shiny, smooth dome that smells like baby powder, and my beautiful black wife says is dead sexy. I feel tougher than John Shaft and more confident than Kojak.
What’s my point with the back-story you ask?
Just this: No matter how you cut it, no matter how you compare people or types of people, we all share very similar stories, struggles, and triumphs. By learning about black hair, I learned how to manage a wild jewfro. And by learning to love black women, I learned to empathize more with people from all walks of life.