Why do black characters, in particular, black women of color, have to have some curated, Huxtable-like experience? Why can’t black women, like every other human on earth, be sexual, nerdy, outrageous, or flawed? Why aren’t we allowed to share our stories of affairs, unrequited love, career failures and sexual diversity on camera?
Posts Tagged: representation
In the existing ways that our fashion, speech and music are ripped from our bodies and plastered as spectacle, this otherwise radical platform becomes a tool of injustice and control. This is the shortcoming of inviting the white gaze. While many see visibility as a step toward progress, when we open our cultural products to folks with no access, their cultural power is cheapened.
Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) writes for Seven Scribes on the experience of discovering novels by black writers to act as a necessary complement to reading Harper Lee’s reductive portrayals of race in Mockingbird and Watchman:
These books, this canon, represented the exact opposite of what To Kill a Mockingbird meant.
After public pressure came to a head, Saturday Night Live finally added a black woman to its cast: Sasheer Zamata, a comedian, actress, and veteran of improv group the Upright Citizens’ Brigade.
I held my breath and hoped she was good enough while knowing, deep down, that for a woman in her position, there is no such thing as good enough.
This post by Soraya Chemaly looks at the numbers and finds that kid-lit books feature twice as many male protagonists as female ones (three times as many when the characters are animals), and about a bajillion more white protagonists than protagonists of any other race—and that’s just for 2012....more
As a queer woman of color who writes young-adult fiction, Malinda Lo “was a little bit taken aback by the sheer paucity of books I could find about queer characters of color.”
If you, too, have been seeking those sorts of books without much success, look no further: Lo has compiled a list, which, though (hopefully) not exhaustive, is a great resource for many young readers starving to see themselves represented in media of any kind....more
“Somewhere between the inaccurate and distorted media images of the black male super predator and the black male superhero, live the majority of black men.”
The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education has created a Tumblr dedicated to moving past media myths and representing “the everyday lives of black men.” Anyone can submit images with brief descriptions of “the boys, men and male-identified folks in your life.” Check out the blog’s archive....more