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Amandla Stenberg & Colorism: Problematic or Nah?

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*Note: Amandla Stenberg reportedly identifies as non-binary. Although I do not know her chosen pronoun, I will use they/their/them. I hope this is sufficient and respectful of their gender identity. 

A few days ago, Teen Vogue posted the article entitled, “Amandla Stenberg Reportedly Stepped Away From Black Panther Due To Her Beliefs About Colourism”. Stenberg is known for their vocal ideas on gender, race and identity. They have starred in The Hunger Games trilogy, and the 2017 movie Everything, Everything. They will also star in the upcoming film The Hate U Give, which is based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Angie Thomas.

In a nutshell, Amandla says they went through the process of auditioning for Black Panther and got pretty far, but then decided to not proceed. Their reasoning: ‘These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same colour as everyone else in the movie.’

Personally, I have two problems with Amandla’s method of “saving and creating space for dark skinned black people”. First of all, there are lighter skinned people who live in Africa, so that was a pretty ignorant comment. Secondly, if you truly value and want to legitimately save space for people who are oppressed, why mention it? Their discussion of it seems to actually overshadow the ‘goodness of the act’.

Some people were glad that Amandla acknowledged colorism and their privilege as a bi-racial person and praised them for speaking so candidly about it. On the other hand, some people are calling it a backhanded compliment. It can be interpreted as Amandla saying the person who portrayed the role she auditioned for was chosen as a second best since they dropped out of the running.

Here’s one of my favorite tweets about Amandla’s statement. The person responded to a tweet by Now This News that mentioned the Teen Vogue interview (the tweet has since been deleted):

All in all, people with privileges often try hard to demonstrate that they are an ally. Often times, they/we fail to realize that being an ally is not about calling attention to yourself as an ally. It’s about giving space and using your privilege to elevate marginalized and oppressed persons. As a cisgender, heterosexual person, going to a Pride parade and holding up a giant neon green poster that says, “Hey, I’m straight and I’m here to support you and give you space” does nothing for the movement nor does it elevate the LGBTQ+ community in any way. I know it’s not exactly the same, but hopefully you understand where I’m going with it!

What do you all think about Stenberg’s comments? Do you think it was commendable or tasteless?

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Frank Ocean Clarifies Cease & Desist on Travis Scott “It Wasn’t about the Music it was about the LGBT Community”

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Travis Scott’s “Astroworld” has caused its fair share of controversy, more-so the one-sided beef with Nicki Minaj. This past week the “Sicko Mode” rapper had to deal with a cease and desist letter from the hands of Frank Ocean. Rumors started swirling that the “Pyramids” singer didn’t like the effects that Scott added to his vocals on “Carousel.” Frank Ocean took to Tumblr to clear up the rumors and give his side of the situation. Ocean says,

“I think the song sounds cool, I did it in like 20 minutes and the mix sounds the way Travis wanted it to sound for his record. I also approved it before it came out so the cease and desist wasn’t about 🔊 it was about 🏳️‍🌈. Me and Travis resolved it amongst ourselves weeks ago. 💖”

The pride flag emoji symbolizes how transgender, Amanda Lepore, was removed from Scott’s album cover. Now that the issue was resolved between the two musicians, Scott posted his own response to the situation, via Instagram.

It’s great to see that the two settled their issues outside of the courtroom. Shoutout to Frank for fighting for LGBT rights and now standing down. Let’s hope the two will continue to make great music together.

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Showing Up and Showing Out! :Take a Look at all of the Black Excellence at the Emmys

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Last night was the 70th Primetime Emmys and black people did what we do best and stole the show. Take a look at how some of our stars decided to dress up for the occasion.

Jennifer Lewis dedicated her look to support Colin Kaepernick. What a great way to use her platform!

Tracee Ellis Ross is serving us Pink Friday teas on a Monday Night

 

Emmy winner, Tiffany Haddish, remixed the parachute game from gym class and turned it into a cute ensemble.

Leslie Jones is showing the world that any and every color looks beautiful on dark skin

Grownish star, Yara Shahidi, is giving us a 2-for-1 combo of style and personality

There’s nothing insecure about Issa Rae as she struts down the runway in a sky blue jumpsuit

Yvonne Orji is all smiles as she serves us black excellence on the red carpet

Sterling K. Brown and wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, get our award for Cutest Couple of the night

Lakeith Stanfield is looking crisp in the classic black and white suit

Last but not least queen, Angela Bassett, is showing the girls that black don’t crack and vibranium ain’t cheap

Those are some of the best looks at the 70th Primetime Emmys. The Emmys was not ready for all of that melanin! Notice how no one was afraid to shy away from bright colors and how black people really do look great in all shades. Whose look was your favorite? Did we forget any of your faves? Let us know in the comments below?

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Get the Strap: Wanda Smith’s Husband Apparently DID NOT Pull a Gun out on Katt Williams

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Last Friday a clip of Katt Williams roasting Atlanta’s V103 radio host, Wanda Smith, went viral. While there was obvious tension during the interview no one was expecting it to take the turn that it did. According to 11 Alive“Katt Williams told police that Wanda Smith’s husband, Lamorris Sellers, pulled a gun on him and pointed it in his face outside the Atlanta Comedy Theater.” On September 15th at around 9:30 p.m, Katt Williams said that he and Wanda Smith were arguing about the interview that was conducted the previous day. During the argument that’s when Smith’s husband, Lamorris Sellers, pulled out a gun on Katt.

Now Sellers recalls the event differently. He says that Katt was the aggressor in the verbal altercation and that he indicated that he wanted to fight. As Sellers chased him down he admits that he had a gun but his gun fell out of his waistband. He denies pointing his gun at anyone.

The Gwinnett County Police Department has reviewed the footage from that night and unfortunately where there were standing was not under surveillance.

The Atlanta Comedy Theater wants to clear their name in the altercation and released this statement:

“There is a lot of speculation and misinformation on the Internet about the incident with Katt Williams and Wanda Smith’s husband. The verbal altercation took place outside in the parking lot and NOT inside the Atlanta Comedy Theater. One of our security guards witnessed the incident as well as helped quickly de-escalate the situation, and reported he saw NO gun at anytime. We are an upscale comedy club and employ in-house security as well as off-duty officers at every show. We admire and respect both Wanda Smith and Katt Williams for their work in the standup comedy field and this is just an unfortunate incident with two clashing personalities. It is our understanding Mr. Williams stated he did not want to press charges so all the talk seems to be much ado about nothing.”

 

What do y’all think? Should Katt get the strap or is Wanda bugging? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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