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“The Broken Africa Stereotype” by Abagond

The Broken Africa stereotype is one of the main ways Americans picture Africa: a violent hellhole, savage and cruel, a place of war, genocide, famine, slums, disease, failed states, refugee camps, etc. Aids, malaria and Ebola. Mugabe, Idi Amin and now Kony. Rwanda and Darfur. Somali pirates. Corrupt government officials. Child soldiers. Black men raping virgins to spread Aids. The heroes of this piece? White saviours, like Bono and Miss Jolie.

“Trayvon Martin” by Abagond

Trayvon Martin (c. 1994-2012) was a 17-year-old black boy killed two weeks ago on February 26th 2012 by a 28-year-old white man, George Zimmerman, captain of the neighbourhood watch. Zimmerman had a gun, a car and instructions from police not to follow Martin. Martin had Skittles, an iced tea and a 140 pounds (63kg) body weight. Zimmerman claims self-defence. The police saw no reason to doubt that and let him walk free.

“Open Discussion: Things I Learned From TV” by Ars Marginal

Here are a few things I learned:

1. Bisexual means lesbian until the straight White guy comes along.

2. Only 2 types of people talk about race: neo-Nazi skinhead KKK mofos and paranoid militant Black people with chips on their shoulders.

3. All lesbians want sperm donors to make babies. Failing that, adopting a Chinese girl would do.

4. Disabled people don’t have lives like the rest of us. They exist to be symbols of the human spirit.

5. Everyone in NYC has glamorous media jobs that pay enough to live in huge Manhattan apartments that don’t have mice or roaches.

What did you learn from TV?

“Kony 2012’s Success Shows There’s Big Money Attached To White Saviors” by Colorlines

One of the most glaring omissions from the video is that it’s missing the perspectives of Africans as anything but victims.

“It’s propaganda for a western viewer,” says Tavia Nyong’o, associate professor of performance studies at New York University. “Any African watching it feels very strongly like we’re not in the picture—there’s no African complexity, and there’s certainly no African agency.”

Within days, Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire rose to the top of a chorus of African voices criticizing the campaign.

“Even Ugandan Victims of Kony Say Some ‘Kony 2012′ Methods are Offensive” by Colorlines

Nevertheless, I’m (as always) acutely aware of the amplification of male voices on the Kony 2012 campaign. Hence — and in the spirit of women’s history month — I’d like to highlight African women’s voices. The 5 women below aren’t just adding to the conversation, but inspiring critical thinking about how we can be more conscious about the media we consume, more humble in our efforts to provide support to fellow global citizens, and mindful of the gift social media has given us. Africans now have the power to combat harmful narratives about Africa simply by telling our own.

Oakland’s Townhall On Misogyny, Teen Violence & the Influence of Rap Music w/Too Short” by Davey D.

Last night (March 14th 2012) the Oakland chapter of 100 Black Men and Safe Passages, an organization from ‘Tha Town’ that is in the forefront of dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault, hooked up with members of the Hip Hop community to hold a town hall meeting inside City Hall.  The topic wasMisogyny, Teen Violence and the influence Rap Music has on our behavior..

“The ‘Reasonable Fear’ of the Black Male: The Trayvon Martin Tragedy” by New Black Man

In 2008, 20/20 conducted an experiment to examine how people would respond to criminal activity.  Inside a New Jersey park, three white youths gleefully vandalized a car. Without concern for the people walking throughout the park, they destroy the car with a bat and spray paint.  In the course of the experiment, only a few individuals call the police or even challenge the kids, with some even joking around with them.  When 20/20 swapped out the three white youth for three black youth, the public response was drastically changed, with many more calls to the police.  Highlighting the ways race and criminality interact through stereotypes and daily behavior, the most telling aspect of the experiment resulted from an unplanned development.  As the white youths wreaked havoc on the car, three black youth waited in another car.  These boys, relatives of one of the black actors who were taking part in the experiment, were asleep.  In the first instance, the caller suggests that the boys looked like they were going to rob someone.  In a case of ‘sleeping while black’ there were two 911 calls (compared to one 911 call about the white youth).

“Racialicious Crush of the Week: Son of Baldwin’s Robert Jones Jr. ” by Racialicious

Like his spiritual dad, novelist/essayist/critic/poet/activist James Baldwin, Jones brings the love, the pain, the rage, and the joy of being Black of 21st-century USA through his specific lens of a queer Black man born and reared in New York City. But Jones doesn’t regurgiate Baldwin like hip platitudes: it’s as if Jones sprung, Athena-like, from Baldwin’s head and reshaped Baldwin then-prescient ideas about the contours and everyday workings of racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism (among other -isms and -phobias) for this era.

“Undocumented Philly Activists Released” by Racialicious

Tania Chairez and Jessica Hyejin Lee, both of whom publicly identified themselves as undocumented college students, were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of highways after they sat in the middle of the street in front of the local Immigrations and Custom Enforcement offices.

“Where Were You When Rush Was Blasting Black Folks?” by Politic365 through Racialicious

See: it is all part of the Natalie Holloway/Kaylee Anthony/Chandra Levy/Yeardley Love –esque way that Americans select, with prejudice, whose crosses and battles to bear.  Indeed, we have a penchant for getting engrossed and engaged over ills, death and wrongs when done to certain victims … yet we tacitly and practically ignore others.

“O Captain, My Captain: A Look Back At Deep Space Nine’s Ben Sisko” by Racialicious

DS9 has your aliens and spaceships, and characters do occasionally say things like “set phasers to stun,” but theTrek cheese-factor is more often than not outweighed by the political storyarcs covered over six out of the show’s seven seasons, its criticisms of 20th century history, race relations in America, and lead actor, Avery Brooks, who stars as Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko–the first and only African-American captain to lead a televised Star Trek franchise.

“We Are Not Invisible: 5 African Women Respond To the Kony 2012 Campaign” by Racialicious

Nevertheless, I’m (as always) acutely aware of the amplification of male voices on the Kony 2012 campaign. Hence — and in the spirit of women’s history month — I’d like to highlight African women’s voices. The 5 women below aren’t just adding to the conversation, but inspiring critical thinking about how we can be more conscious about the media we consume, more humble in our efforts to provide support to fellow global citizens, and mindful of the gift social media has given us. Africans now have the power to combat harmful narratives about Africa simply by telling our own.

“Trayvon Martin and Truth About America” by Raving Black Lunatic

Those who think this country is truly concerned with justice and equality must examine those beliefs under the harsh glare of a case where an armed, adult white male accosts a smaller, unarmed, black teenager for no crime, but because he deemed the youth “suspicious.” This man demands that this child “present his papers” and when the child takes offense, they scuffle. This man is somehow bested by a child he outweighs by more than 100 pounds, and decides that his life is so endangered that he’s justified in killing the young man. That’s right, the larger more aggressive suspect who accosted the innocent bystander kills him and then claims it was self defense.

“Exquisite Women: Yetunde A. Odugbesan” by The Black Man Can

TheBlackManCan is back in the concrete jungle of New York City to bring you yet another Exquisite Woman. The woman we have the opportunity to spotlight this week has the power to unite and inspire people by her words. We bring to you a woman with many passions and has a personal life mission to pay it forward. It is our honor and distinct pleasure to introduce you too Yetunde A. Odugbesan CEO and Founder of Yetunde Global Consulting LLC. Yetunde sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss the Young Women’s Guide, major issues facing women today, her entrepreneurial endeavors and advice for girls of African descent.

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