October 08, 2014

Colorless is the New Black: Does Wealth Misinform Black Celebs' Views on Race?


Recently actress Raven-Symon√© caught up with Oprah during a segment of Where Are They Now? Where she talked about how she’s been spending the bulk of her time from under the scrutiny of pop-culture’s critical eye. 
Raven discussed the ways she’s been able to side-step the pitfalls of fame many other child stars succumb to, how excited she is to be enrolled in college, and reflected on the things that make her So Raven. But it was when the star started rambling about eschewing labels while addressing questions about her sexuality (and then, her racial identity), that the masses heard the sound of a record screeching to a halt. 

September 14, 2014

TV Diversity Report: Networks Decide to Embrace Color This Fall

For years  networks and TV writers have made half-hearted attempts (if any) to diversify casts of popular cable and network shows or to create ethnic characters that deviate from tired racial TV tropes; and when prompted to do so they relent, practically kicking and screaming the entire way, or have fallen flat … leaning heavily on stereotypes or sloppily developed rhetorical devices to prop up popular white cast members or to merely silence TV viewers looking for stories that aren't white-washed.  

Save for well-scripted shows of yore –Living SingleGirlfriends, A Different World and, of course, The Cosby Show and today's steady diet of contrived shenanigans cranked out by the ‘Reality’ TV machine, and until very recently, prime-time network TV’s diversity landscape had been bleak, notwithstanding that Black people surpass the general public in TV consumption, social media and buying power. 

July 02, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Struggle for Equal Opportunity

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act (of 1964). Though the law marked many fundamental and necessary changes and is a landmark piece of legislative history in civil rights, let's not forget that there’s still, currently, work that needs to be done to uphold the law.
The Civil Rights Act made it illegal to openly discriminate against people based on their race, religion, skin color, gender, or country of origin; it also threw out erroneous voter registration requirements and desegregated schools, the workforce, and public facilities. 

However, the system continues to struggle to uphold many aspects of the law. How? Let's take inventory...

June 25, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o and Mass Media's Conditional Terms for Black Beauty

Note: another version of this post is published on All Digitogracy.



Amid chatter about the time limit imposed on her fame following an Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave, and whether or not her allure amounts to nothing more than fetishistic curiosity for an enthralled white media machine, actress Lupita Nyong’o has proved that she’s here to stay and that she’s more than just an impeccably dressed red carpet darling and non-normative 'It girl.' When the buzz surrounding Lupita’s award-winning breakout role waned a bit, skeptical culture pundits wondered whether or not Lupita had the chops to offshoot with a varied film career, following her memorable portrayal of a slave named Patsey.