December 8, 2008
John L. Jackson Jr. is an associate professor of communication and anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (2008), Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (2005), and Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (2001). He will be writing about racial politics, religion, and contemporary popular culture.
November 16, 2008
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 14, 2008) – Civil rights groups today filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to stop the enactment of Proposition 8 because it would mandate discrimination against a minority group and did not follow the process required for fundamental revisions to the California Constitution.
November 16, 2008
I have always been a fan of comedienne, voice and TV actress, and author Wanda Sykes. For those of you who don’t know who Wanda Skyes is, she is well known for her “take no prisoner” observations on current events. She has received multiple prime time Emmy-awards and has been called “one of the funniest stand up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America.
In response to the passage of a same-sex marriage ban -Proposition 8- in California, Sykes has recently come out as a proud Black gay woman. Here is a clip of Skyes’ surprise appearance at a rally in Las Vegas. She was in town performing at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
November 13, 2008
Addressing Multiple Oppressions Simultaneously
I can’t believe that in response to the despicable racism of the mainstream White LGBT community that (some) Black queer folks are trying to say that marriage “isn’t our issue”… Sun Dawtah’s response (please read below) addresses this insanity…
I get that Black folk only make up 6.7% of California’s population; and as a result are not responsible for the passage of Prop 8. I feel strongly that, once again (and again and again) White LGBT folks must be CALLED OUT and CHALLENGED on their ongoing and relentless racism. And yet, if we, Black folks (regardless of our sexual orientation), don’t CALL OUT and CHALLENGE homophobia and heterosexism in our non-monolithic communities, then Black LGBT folks will still not be safe.
November 13, 2008
Celebrating Obama While Mourning Proposition 8…
I still find myself pinching myself to see if this is in fact real. I haven’t felt this way since I was an international observer for the elections in 94 (exactly 30 years after my mother, Gwendolyn Robinson/Zoharah Simmons, at the age of 19, went to Missisissppi in 1964 where for 18-months she was the project director of the Laurel Project) when Nelson Mandela became president. I turned 25 during that his/herstoric time in South Africa. While I will never ever forget what I experienced (consistently overwhelmed with emotions)/witnessed there…I must share that this feels just as if not all the more special and I know it is because I am an African-American woman.
I am also very reminded that as a Black feminist lesbian I must work very hard, in concert with so many others, to dismantle patriarchy and heterosexism in both my own non-monolithic community as well as in the world. I’m a bit alarmed about the (community) conversations about Black manhood… Black masculinity (in the absence of Black womanhood) as it relates to President-Elect (love it!) Obama.
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.