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Charlamagne the Colorblind, Colorism Ain’t Dead

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Recently, Amara La Negra, an established Afro-Latina musical artist, graced The Breakfast Club with an interview (watch here). Instead of being able to focus on her new contract and her thriving career, she was dragged into discussing colorism barriers for the umpteenth time.

If you let Uncle Charla tell it, he’s woke. He’s aware of the systems of oppression that are in place to keep disenfranchised minorities in the lower echelon of society. He even supports several movements that stand for the preservation of black lives, black businesses, and a strong black economy. Despite all of this, he’s unable to see how colorism effects Afro-Latina women because of Cardi B’s success. If he can’t see how it divides the Latin community, he isn’t going to see how it divides the Black community, but why? Having directly benefited from the success of Cardi B, who earned a platinum plaque in December 2017 for Bodak Yellow, you’d think Charlamagne would have discussed colorism with her. She’s easily navigating the Latin/US entertainment markets. We’ll save why Amara has to continue to champion for her people for another day, but let’s get to what we know.

Colorism is real and it affects everyone that's a product of the diaspora, including Charlamagne tha God and Cardi B. Click To Tweet

Say It Loud!

Colorism is real and it affects everyone that’s a product of the diaspora, including Charlamagne tha God and Cardi B. However, it impacts her positively because she is racially ambiguous. Whether she appreciates that or not is debatable. She’s gone on record to say that she thinks her natural hair texture is “fucked up” and she hopes her future children don’t inherit it. Cardi has called dark skin women roaches, which is another indicator that she was raised to think negatively of African features. She’s admittedly unable to stop saying the n-word although she identifies as Latina and not Afro-Latina. Colorism is what prompts Cardi to be ashamed of her blackness while simultaneously benefitting from its culture. She had the opportunity to accept her Afro-Latinidad heritage and proclaim it loudly but chose to separate herself from blackness, exploiting her racial ambiguity to make herself appealing in foreign markets. These same markets are often heavily laced with anti-black imagery by featuring predominantly fair-skinned people in positions of beauty or authority and dark-skinned people as criminals like Amara says in her interview with The Breakfast Club. Jamaica is on the list where this is an unfortunate truth.

Ozuna’s La Modelo, a Spanish collab that features Cardi, was set in Jamaica which has been in the center of a bleaching epidemic. Inhabitants of the aisle were the subject of a telling documentary in 2013 that showcased just how “fairer” skinned people were finding better wages and more reputable positions as dark-skinned people were relegated to work outdoors and frequently lived in slums. This also takes place in the Dominican Republic, Amara’s homeland, where 90 percent of the island has black ancestry. Perhaps Charlamagne’s newfound colorblindness is because he too lightens his skin. Let’s all hope that someone decides to put the flash on Cthagod so he can see we still live in a world where whiteness and everything that mimics it is still celebrated before he finds himself in the Sunken Place.

Charlamagne the God Bleaches his Skin

50 Shades Lighter

 

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For The Culture

LeBron James Opened an $8 Million School?!

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TIME

LeBron James just opened an $8 million public school called I Promise, where kids will have access to free bikes, free meals, free uniforms, free transportation within 2 miles, and much more! The school is for at-risk students in Akron, Ohio who are usually overlooked.

Twitter loved this news. A few even called for LeBron to replace Betsy Devos, the current Secretary of Education.

While many celebrated the opening of this school, many also rightfully noted that no one person should have access to that much money or be in control of the lives of that many students. This led to many discussing socialism and what this type of school could look like if not funded by a private citizen.

 

What are your thoughts on the school? This is overall a great thing, but do you think celebrities, or any rich person, should be able to hoard enough money to do this on their own?

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Huffington Post’s ‘Black Voices’ Gets Called Out For Having White Writers

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Lara Witt-Twitter

Lara Witt—editor of the feminist publication, Wear Your Voice Magazine—pointed out on Twitter that majority of the writers for the Huffington Post’s Black Voices editorial are…white.

The editor for Black Voices, Taryn Finley, is a Black woman, a Delta, and a Howard University graduate. How is it that the company felt comfortable enough hiring what seems like a token Black person to run the site, but did not feel the need to pay other Black writers to be a contributor? Black Voices claims to be sharing “our news” and “our voices,” but this cannot be true when it is non-Black people who are writing the stories. No matter how much Taryn edits for them, the stories are still not ours.

We have seen time and time again how white people will slap the word “Black” on a source of entertainment and feel justified in keeping their voices centered in that space. We’ve seen it with Viacom through BET and now we see it through Black Voices, which is owned and, apparently, operated by white people. If Huffington Post wants to fix this, they need to hire Black writers. There is nothing else to it.

 

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A Black President Before A Black Photographer: Vogue, This Ain’t It

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126 years and Vogue has never had a black cover photographer… The United States of America and all of its racism elected a Black president before Vogue allowed a Black photographer to shoot for their cover.

I’m not sure if this is even something we should celebrate. Congratulations to Beyoncé for getting on the cover of the September issue of US Vogue and reportedly having “unprecedented access” to create whatever she wants apparently. But had it not been for this, when would Vogue have decided it was time for a Black photographer?

The United States of America and all of its racism elected a black president before Vogue allowed a black photographer for their cover. Click To Tweet

Come to find out this may be Anna Wintour’s last cover as CEO, according to Huffington Post. Beyoncé has hired Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old from Atlanta, GA. He will be the first Black photographer to shoot a cover in Vogue’s 126-year history. The photographer and filmmaker has worked with several known brands from Mercedes Benz to Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. This is an amazing opportunity for Mitchell and I’m confident that he will shake the f*ck out of the table in September.

To learn that he will be the first is a proud and sad moment for me. When first hearing the news and the details, I was ecstatic and wanted to know what Bey would be cooking up for the girls this fall, but then I sat in my bed and read some of the titles again and “first Black” and “126 years” kept coming up. I sent a quick text to Taryn Myers—an editor and writer for KingofReads.com—and told her how I felt. It didn’t come to her at first, but the wheels started to turn and she shared something important: “Vogue has been one of the primary messengers about what beauty, wealth, fashion and culture is right?” So to know that they’ve been pushing what is beauty for many years, even in this supposedly “progressive” state we’re in now, and we’re just now getting a Black photographer cover in 2018 speaks volumes.

“The First Black” I expect when we’re talking about government, since America has been ran and founded by white men. I shouldn’t be surprised since most of the publications are ran by those who are for Black and Brown people when capitalism calls them to it. These companies don’t truly care about us because and I don’t think they all of the sudden got it or it hit them. The beautiful Beverly Ann Johnson was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974 and even she probably wasn’t allowed to hire a Black photographer.

Nonetheless, Beyoncé and Tyler will create some Black magic for the September cover and Vogue will think that they have done something “progressive” to help them sleep in their white sheets at night not realizing that given tardiness is about as damaging as white sheets with two holes in it.

 

 

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