Do Hollywood stereotypes of blacks matter? Some say no, of course not, because everyone knows that Hollywood films and television shows are make-believe, that they are not true to life – not even the so-called reality shows. Others say yes, that they still affect how whites see blacks and even how blacks see themselves. I say yes and no…
The main difference between slavery and invention is that one is considered immoral, the other not. One was also more widely practised than the other: there were far more slave owners than inventors.
But in many ways they are the same: both helped to make America rich, a wealth it has built on and still enjoys. Both largely took place in the past and yet have shaped society in ways that affect America still.
In 2003, I was fortunate enough to travel to Africa as a student learning about Human Rights. It was a journey that had many meanings for me. On one hand it meant reconnecting with the land and the people on the continent where my father’s descendants lived. It also meant being actively connected with young people struggling for progress in their respective nations in the spirit of Pan Africanism. Lastly, it meant an incredible summer as a 20 year old fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time.
Some Black people wish they had more money. They wish for bigger houses, nicer cars, better schools for their kids, and less overall harassment and drama from society. Some of us wish we’d gone to college longer. Some of us wish we’d gone to a better university. Some of us wish our families were better connected and our communities more united. And while some of us envy these things in other people, we generally don’t envy the people themselves.
Our friends over at The Root have compiled an awesome list of young African American innovators.
The 2012 Young Futurists are a diverse group of intelligent and engaged young people between the ages of 16-22 that are doing amazing things for our world,specializing in fields as diverse as green innovation, science and technology, arts and culture, social activism and business enterprise.
People don’t often sit at museums, but on a Saturday night last January a crowd of at least a hundred people gathered in front of a video installation at Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday. To be sure, the event was the venue’s monthly anomaly—a popular “First Saturday” event at which admission is free, drinks are served and live bands and DJs entertain guests. The people in question were gathered on the second floor, crowded around a small black sofa. On the four screens in front of them, black men—young, aged, of the academy and of the street—asked each other questions that ranged from “Do you really feel free?” to “Why wouldn’t you be happy with your son being gay?
Over the last week, there has been significant discussion about how race is playing out within the media and fan reception of Jeremy Lin. Focusing on anti-Asian slurs, prejudice, and stereotypes, the media narrative has not surprisingly provided a simplistic yet pleasurable narrative. Imagining racism as simply bias that can be reduced through exposure and education, the media discourse has erased the powerful ways that sports teaches race and embodies racism. As Harry Edwards argues, sports recapitulates society, whether it be ideology or institutional organization.
The Loving Story, a documentary film, tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in Virginia in the 1950s, and their landmark Supreme Court Case, Loving v. Virginia, that changed history. This short clip (under 1 minute) tells a bit more…
Actor/entrepreneur Laz Alonzo doesn’t set limits on his potential. He’s constantly building his life brick by brick, treating failures along the way as little blessings in disguise.