Another week of some dramatic highs and lows in pop culture, news, and media — so let’s get to it!
This past week, Ruby Bridges celebrated her 60th birthday. Ruby Bridges is famous for being one of the first African American children to attend an an integrated school. She bravely went to school despite facing mobs and threats to herself and her family. Ruby Bridges is only 60 years old. It has only been 54 years since she first started attending William Frantz Elementary School at six years old. Take a minute to mull on that.
And for those who may think that racism is over (HOW CAN YOU THINK THAT?!?!?), the kids from #Ferguson have a message for you.
This video hasn’t been without its critics. The essential message the kids are delivering is great, but I agree that the selling of the t-shirts is tacky and manipulative as all heck. I’m just here for the kids. I think we can find better ways to spend on our money to support real tangible causes.
In an article in the Huffington Post, black women seem to be the only demographic whose unemployment rates haven’t improved. While some theorize that it is because they work in the public sector, which takes longer to recover, we have to remember that historically, women of color have always fallen behind in the wage gap. So historically, their demographic has always faced a struggle, regardless of their jobs. This is why intersectionality is so important. You can’t fix one aspect of the wage disparity, while the other remains broken.
On the flip side, a story in the New York Times says black women are finding a business opportunity in hair care. It’s great to see that thanks to the natural hair care movement, black women are taking it upon themselves to own and run businesses catering to their community. However, the article goes to state that they find it hard to run such business because of a community of mostly Korean-owned wholesalers.
Vogue continuing its long history of making grandiose statements about fashion while ignoring the racial, ethnic, and cultural implications of their words, declared big butts “in” this season. Twitter had some words about this. Vogue also announced the Met Gala theme for 2015: “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion,” which I’m sure will not end up as some Orientalist stereotype.
There have been two slightly older stories about violence against elderly Asian men in the news lately. The first story follows 70-year-old Wang Wei-Wang, who suffered brain trauma after being attacked in the Bay Area. He briefly gained consciousness last week, but is now back in a coma. Meanwhile, 84-year-old Kang Chun Wong, who was beaten by NYPD officers earlier this year, is now suing the city and NYPD for $5 million dollars, and is calling for greater accountability from NYPD officers.
Actress Danièle Watts was arrested wrongfully detained by police officers under suspicion of being sex worker. Her crime? Kissing her white husband. Watts and her husband believe they were targeted for being an interracial couple, and for the unjust criminalizing of black women, in general.
While not news in America, but in Canada, our neighbors up north, aboriginal women have launched an online campaign to apply pressure to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government to start a national inquiry into the murder and disappearance of indigenous women. You can find out more about why an inquiry is needed here.
But in a small triumph for indigenous rights, the handmade marketplace Etsy, has updated their policy to no longer permit the term “Redskins” or the Redskins logo in any of their listings. Their policy now states that “sellers are welcome to continue selling items that contain the team colors and location, but items containing the name or the logo will no longer be allowed.” In a great move of solidarity, the marketplace giant goes on to say, “we understand that fans wish to support their favorite football team, and we do not believe that fans who are attached to the mascot have any racist feeling or intent. We also understand that some fans view the name and mascot as an homage to Native Americans, and we do not doubt their noble intent, but the fact remains that Native Americans themselves find the term unacceptable.”
In sad celebrity news, Janay Rice has taken to Instagram to defend her husband Ray Rice, former Baltimore Ravens running back, after a video of him knocking her out in an elevator surfaced thanks to TMZ. Ray Rice was cut from the team and suspended indefinitely from the NFL after the video surfaced. Janay Rice claims the media has ruined their lives and that together they will continue to “show the world what true love is.”
Many have of course criticized this action. Because victim blaming is still a thing. Here’s hoping she receives all the love and support she needs.
In happier news, Serena Williams went on to win her 18th grand-slam last weekend. She is a force to be reckoned with!
Finally! Black and brown girls will have real options when shopping for nude lingerie thanks to brand new company, Nubian Skin. The new line of lingerie is set to launch in October.
Keke Palmer took the stage last Tuesday as the first black Cinderella on Broadway and she looks STUNNING.
Beyonce and Nicki Minaj also hit the stage to perform their Flawless Remix, and the internet lost control.
You can find blurry videos here.
Janelle Monáe visited Sesame Street to inspire her furry friends to keep trying and not give up with this inspiring song.
Feel free to contribute more news in the comments below!