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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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Spicy White & Morehouse College Gets Dragged On Twitter For “Being A White Student At Morehouse” Documentary

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Vice had the Twitter streets dragging them and Morehouse the last couple of days thanks to a documentary they did with Tiago a white student at supposedly black space. Some weren’t feeling and others had their capes out.

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All of This is Yours, The Series, Takes Off!

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Discover the world through the eyes of the children who live in its four corners!

In an era plagued by hatred and hyper-nationalism, an ebullient teacher takes young viewers on a global journey. Along the way, she’ll share the ways that children in vastly different cultures live, learn and experience their world. Costa Rica to Capetown. 13 episodes/13 international destinations. Adventure, learning, hilarity and joy ensue in the global community.

Short Summary

All of This Is Yours provides young audiences with the educational tools they need to begin creating the world they want to live in as global citizens through an episodic journey filled with unique cultural experiences and practical lessons that children can use in their everyday lives. The campaign will raise money for a pilot episode which will take Robin to San Jose Costa Rica where she will meet Amanda, a young girl ready to share her life, and her extended family, with the world.

Robin Hancock has been an avid traveler all her life. While working on a doctorate in education, she got the idea to create a series that blended her love for travel with her passion for early childhood ed. Her life’s work examines the ways that identifying as a global citizen can empower children to walk in the world with confidence, pride in their communities and awareness of their positions as members of a large and vibrant global community.

This is Robin’s passion project and her heart’s desire for the last ten years has been to make this series a reality. Your contribution to the creation of the pilot episode will contribute to a field desperately in need of new and exciting voices. No gift is too small (or too big)!!

The Impact

Nowhere on television is there a travel series that is  1) hosted by a woman of color 2) geared towards educating children and 3) focused on teaching global citizenship. The travel genre remains a deeply segregated space and very few series in the genre are created intentionally for children. This series will counter the negative messages of division and hyper-nationalism that are so prevalent in our society. Our goals for the series are to:

– Provide the (near absent) representation of central characters of color in the travel show genre.

– Provide a travel series that is geared towards young children in a genre that is tailored almost exclusively to adults.

– Create an educational platform for children to learn about the world through observing the experiences of other children like them who live in and negotiate that world as well.

– Create a context where children are learning the primary tenets of Global Citizenship early in life.

– Challenge the messages of separation and division currently being taught through our government, media and social spaces.

Ways You Can Help

DONATE!!!!

Please make a LOT of noise about this project. You can do that in a number of ways:

  • Post this on all of your social media pages
  • Circulate it to ALL of your friends and social networks
  • share in your frequently visited spaces
  • Stand on corners and knock on doors (just kidding…kind of…)

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Alleged Abuser Rapper XXXTentacion Pronounced Dead

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Broward Co. Sherriff Department pronounced controversial rapper XXXTentacion dead today in Miami. Witnesses say that he had no pulse at the scene. The shooting happened while he was shopping for motorcycles and things took a turn for the worst. People on the scene reported seeing a black SUV leaving the scene of the crime.

According to the dispatch call the suspects were described as 2 black males wearing hoodies, and the shooter was wearing a red mask.

The car has been confirmed as a black Dodge Journey, with dark tint and black wheels.

2:14 PM PT — Witnesses told cops a Louis Vuitton bag was taken from XXX’s vehicle.

1:57 PM PT — Additional dispatch audio has revealed XXX was transported as a “Level 1” trauma patient … dispatchers described him as comatose. via TMZ

Audio of the 911 dispatch has been obtained by TMZ.

XXXTentacion was experiencing a lot of commercial success even with his troubled past being brought to light. In an interview with Grandmaison’s YouTube podcast, No Jumper, we were given a bit of insight into just how violent his past really was. In this interview, the rapper details how he almost killed his cellmate who he assumed was gay because he was staring at him.

XXXTentacion: So I’m like strangling him, and he’s like leaking, leaking, leaking type shit, and I’m strangling him so he doesn’t scream… Don’t think I’m trying to be cliché or a fucking weirdo when I say this, but I was going crazy. Like, I smear his blood on my face, in my hands, I got it in my nails, bro, I had it all over me.

Grandmaison: War paint. That’s tight.

 

A year ago he tweeted this.

“Next time make sure you kill me so I can’t talk shit.”

 

 

 

 

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO AHEAD!

 

 

 

Will you be mourning his death?

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