June 20, 2008
June 17, 2008
Six years have gone by since we first heard the allegations that R. Kelly had filmed himself having sex with an underage girl. During that time we have seen the videotape being hawked on street corners in Black communities, as if the dehumanization of one of our own was not at stake. We have seen entertainers rally around him and watched his career reach new heights despite the grave possibility that he had molested and urinated on a 13-year old girl. We saw African Americans purchase millions of his records despite the long history of such charges swirling around the singer. Worst of all, we have witnessed the sad vision of Black people cheering his acquittal with a fervor usually reserved for community heroes and shaken our heads at the stunning lack of outrage over the verdict in the broader Black community.
Over these years, justice has been delayed and it has been denied. Perhaps a jury can accept R. Kelly’s absurd defense and find “reasonable doubt” despite the fact that the film was shot in his home and featured a man who was identical to him. Perhaps they doubted that the young woman in the courtroom was, in fact, the same person featured in the ten year old video. But there is no doubt about this: some young Black woman was filmed being degraded and exploited by a much older Black man, some daughter of our community was left unprotected, and somewhere another Black woman is being molested, abused or raped and our callous handling of this case will make it that much more difficult for her to come forward and be believed. And each of us is responsible for it.
June 12, 2008
I am very proud to be a signatory to this statement, which supports my comrade in the movements to end violence against women and girls; and friend, social change agent Kevin Powell for his run, as a Democrat, for a seat in the United States Congress in the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York.
“There comes a time when women must stand together to accomplish difficult tasks. Election year 2008 is one of those times. We are faced with the challenge of reclaiming our country and the promise of equality that it represents. It is time to honor the sacrifices of our elders and keep the promises we made to our children by choosing ethical, visionary, active leadership for our country.
June 11, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Independent Documentary Filmmaker interviewed by Sonya Shields
“Aishah Shahidah Simmons and I met over ten years ago in Washington, DC when she was dating an old friend. We spent a Saturday night with friends dancing at the Hung Jury and talking about our future goals. I remember thinking that she was intensely passionate and I followed her career. I had not seen Aishah since that fun night until I ran into her this past fall when she attended the event to celebrate Katherine Acey’s 20th Anniversary with the Astraea Foundation. I knew that I wanted to talk with Aishah about her work and journey to becoming an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist living in Philadelphia…
What is your passion?
My passion is centralizing the margins of society. Making the invisible, visible. Documenting the lives of women of color globally. I am an activist. The camera lens is my medium to make social change irresistible.
June 11, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Oya Amakisi
amakisi @ gmail.com
After an exceptionally successful debut film festival in 2007, Amakisi Unlimited, LLC, will present the Detroit Women of Color International Film Festival for its sophomore run at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History (315 East Warren Ave., Detroit Michigan, 48201).
The festival will be held on Friday, July 11, 2008 from 6:00pm until 10:00pm and on Saturday, July 12, 2008 from 12:00pm until 10:00pm. Tickets are $15 for one day and $25 for both days.
June 9, 2008
Addressing the wounds between White feminists and feminists of Color
Dear Sisters ~
I’m writing self-identified second wave and third wave White feminists, who have expressed a commitment to ending sexism and racism, about their public uncritical support of Hillary Clinton. Granted my letter could be perceived as a moot point because she conceded on Saturday, June 7, 2008. However, for me, a hard core unapologetic third wave Black feminist lesbian (who’s the daughter of a second wave Black feminist), it’s not a moot point because while it is about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, for me it’s about my deep and profound betrayal that I’ve personally and politically experienced during the primaries, especially the last few months of the campaign.
I was appalled by the fact that when the going got very rough and tough, that Clinton and her campaign became blatantly racist. I was very alarmed when White feminists (not to be confused with women who supported Hillary Clinton) who supported Clinton didn’t publicly critique her racism, while continuing to support her campaign. I’m not talking about the pundits who didn’t support her and critiqued her. I’m not talking about feminists of all races who supported Obama who critiqued her. I’m talking about White feminists who supported Clinton critiquing her in a way to encourage her to be the best candidate that she could be, which I hope would mean not to run a racist campaign.