Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!
This long weekend is also a major weekend of political resistance and action in Ferguson. Thousands of people have mobilized in St. Louis to protest police brutality and continue to draw attention to the many young black lives that were ended too soon. You can continue to follow the protests via Tumblr and Twitter. You can also donate to the organization supporting the protests here.
A North Carolina black teen was pepper sprayed in his own foster home after neighbors called police on him when they saw him entering his house. When DeShawn Currie told police it was his house, they didn’t believe him because the pictures on the mantle were all white.
“I had moved into my room, and I’m feeling like I’m loved,” he said. “And then when they come in and they just profile me and say that I’m not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad.”
Jamal Jones is suing Indiana police after he was tasered at a “routine” traffic stop.
And during a report on CNN about the story, legal analyst Sonny Hostin calls out the inherent racism involved in such an act.
You might have heard about Raven-Symoné putting her foot in her mouth this past weekend when she said that she wasn’t African-American but instead just American and “that is a colorless person.”
Oprah tried to rescue her from herself, but she went ahead and denied the African-American label.
She claimed that because she can’t trace back her bloodline to a country in Africa but she can trace back to Louisiana, that she’s just American. It’s sad when a celebrity whose fame comes from being on a groundbreaking show about an African-American family like The Cosby Show and has had many people of color love and support her to see her turn around and deny such an essential part of herself/the characters she’s portrayed.
Salon’s Brittney Cooper better explains why Raven-Symoné’s refusal of the label is so damaging:
Why then is the identity of “American” figured as the site of freedom and liberatory identity? To see one’s “dark” skin as limiting bears all the marks of the anti-black thrust of white supremacy.
In a move that surprises no one, People magazine and Getty Images mistook Awkward Black Girl star Issa Rae for Orange is the New Black fave, Danielle Brooks because all black people look alike. Danielle Brooks took to Instagram to call the media out for its casual racism and pointed out the problem with “colorless.” (cough Raven-Symoné cough.)
The film Dear White People (coming out in theaters this Friday!) sparked a trend on Tuesday called #TokenTuesday to give insight of what it looks and feels like to be a “token” in a monochromatic white space.
One of the stars of Dear White People, Teyonah Parris, talks to The Hairpin about her work on the movie and on Mad Men.
bell hooks and Laverne Cox sat down at New School and had a conversation about race, gender, and surviving the patriarchy. For those of us who sprained their ankles (seriously) and had to forfeit their tickets to see this in action, luckily there is the Internet. Bitch Magazine has a write up of the event and you can watch the whole thing on the New School site.
Dear musical theater people, LEA SALONGA IS BACK. So Miss Saigon might be questionable in content as it furthers exotic Asian women tropes and white savior narratives, but it’s the anniversary gala concert and Lea Salonga is wonderful, so do with that what you will.
In sadder news, Native actress Misty Upham has been reported missing. Upham was last seen onscreen in August: Osage County.
Beautiful unicorn Viola Davis continues to be wonderful and amazing using her moment at Variety’s Power of Women event to bring attention to her Hunger Is initiative and issue that is extremely personal for the actress. You can watch her whole speech below.
That’s all for this week. Keep the news flowing in the comments!