Race, Culture, Ethnicity


My rage as a black person witnessing yet another moment in the endless cycle of racism in the US prevents me from engaging in “level headed” conversations with people who see this terribly unjust Ferguson ruling as just another news story to banter about at the water cooler. I need you to step up in a major way.

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If my detest for words and definitions stems from anything at all it’s the “allies” I’ve experienced in both my personal life and my work as an activist. I’ve met hundreds of “white allies,” for instance, many of who profess their “consciousness” via some digital channel (e.g. an overly serious twitter bio or utopia-inspired vision statement) or, in person, via some self-congratulatory speech masquerading as a relevant anecdote… especially when surrounded by women of color.

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As a follow up to my last piece about how media can help facilitate “coming out” or facilitating important conversations about sexuality over the holidays, I’ve compiled a list 10 of my picks for books, film, and music created by queer people of color that would make excellent gifts! If you’re an ally who’s interested in learning more about the diverse landscape of LGBT (people of color), this list is a great starting point for you too. Enjoy.

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I don’t doubt for one second that criticism of Hollywood plays an important role in keeping Hollywood accountable. But black women owe it to each other to more frequently use our voices to highlight our resistance, our power, ways in which artists of color have been resourceful, increasing support and visibility for the projects that will get us closer to the future we wish to see, because it is possible.

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In case you missed it, Hollywood is gearing up to release a biopic of Nina Simone, an African-American singer, pianist, and civil rights activists whose music was highlight influential in the fight for equal rights for blacks int he US. Zoe Saldana, a light-skinned Dominican actress has been cast to play the role (replacing Mary J. Blige), causing controversy about depictions of Black women in Hollywood. But this debate is completely missing the point.

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