All Articles Tagged "black women"
Dear Lovely Dream Chaser,
Congratulations on your ferocity! If it were up to the world, you would be too paralyzed with fear to push into the unknown and too reliant on the comforts of routine to compromise your professional stability. But here you are—launching a business, pursuing a promotion, carving an entirely new position where there’s never been one before—fully immersed in the vision that takes up too much space in your heart to be ignored.
Mornings find you excited about advancements, however small, that entice you forward. Nights aren’t really nights at all, but a blur of working hours strung together with intense focus on the goal. You’re getting better every day and in the process, you’re getting closer. It’s happening as we speak.
When a woman is a go-getter in her professional life, she’s a go-getter all the way. Rare is she who can straddle the line of kinda sorta being passionate about her career. She either is or she isn’t. And when she is, she has where she wants to go clearly mapped out in her mind while she works an alternate plan in the meantime or she’s actively doing the thing, inching, stepping, maybe even rocketing toward the end game, but making some kind of movement ahead.
As exhilarating as chasing the dream is, it doesn’t come without potentially damaging sacrifices to your holistic health. Much attention is being paid to the benefits of physical care and that is inarguably essential. But your mind and your spirit, the core of who you are, also need to be preserved, even bolstered, as a gauntlet of unforeseen issues and problems challenge your internal peace. There’s no way you can weather the highs and lows of certain uncertainty and enjoy increasing levels of achievement when you’re offering your mental and spiritual health as a living sacrifice to the very objectives you need them intact to carry out.
Read more about ambition and energy at Essence.com
Last night Pharrell’s new album “Girl” streamed on iTunes radio, much to fans’ delight. By morning, though, any excitement for the producer’s new project was dimmed by concerns over his album cover and its lack of color — and by color we mean Black women. No matter how you feel about this particular situation, Pharrell is far from the first Black man to be called out on this issue. Check out this list of artists who offended plenty of fans by not featuring black women in their videos.
Since its inception in May 1970, pictured above, Essence has been a source of great pride for African American women and men. It was and still is a place where we can see our own stunning beauty reflected on glossy pages. There have been great moments from the magazine over the years. And today, in honor of Black History Month and in our constant celebration of black women, we’re featuring some of the most iconic Essence covers of all time. (Kanye voice.)
Zoe Saldana, Lauren Velez, Tatyana Ali, Melissa de Sousa and Gina Torres are the names of some of the most successful dark-toned Latinas making key appearances on the big and small screen. Women such as Judy Reyes, Dania Ramirez and the aforementioned actresses have helped to update the image of what it means to be Latina on television or in film. Nonetheless, difficulties for Afro-Latinas persist. Latina marketability in Hollywood is intertwined with colorism. Fairer Latinas not only earn more Latina roles, but Afro-Latinas are often pushed to solely play African-American parts, forced to stifle a part of their ethnic identity. Failure to devise more roles for Afro-Latinas in Hollywood is problematic because it perpetuates the social invisibility of Afro-Latinos, and isolates them by failing to promote the diversity of Latino skin tones and national backgrounds.
Hollywood homogenizes ethnic groups of color, simplifying race on screen by creating a sense of uniformity. Brown is brown, unless it’s Black. If you happen to both, then you are asked to choose between the two, because to be biracial or bi-national is apparent too complex.
Cuba, Panama and Columbia are only a fraction of Latin American countries that’s included within the African diaspora. Nonetheless, women who generally represent those nations on screen are no darker than Sophia Vergara; and Latina women who also identify as Black are slated to exclusively portray African American roles, and are excluded from roles that are advertised to Latinas. The “choose one” attitude of directors is one that has been reported by many Afro-Latina actresses, though the choice is usually made for them.
The book Negra & Beautiful: The Unique Challenges Faced By Afro-Latinas quoted Panamanian writer, poet, activist, and Founder and Director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, Yvette Modestin, saying: “It doesn’t help that despite the high-profile black Latinas making it in Hollywood and other industries, black Latinas are rarely seen as such in movies (many black Latina actresses play African Americans on screen) and in ads, which generally depict Latinos as light-brown hued. The effect on Afro-Latinas, Modestin says, is the creation of a “very schizophrenic world” in which many are not understood or accepted.”
Dominican Judy Reyes, who played the Dominican nurse Carla on Scrubs helped to modernize the perception of Latinos and Afro-Latinos in Hollywood. She remains committed to her dual identity as both Black and Latina. Lauren Velez, one of the few Black Latinas in Hollywood to have a prolonged career, indicated that initially she couldn’t get Latina roles because she was Black, but forced her way into those roles. As a result, however, it has become impossible for her to acquire African American roles, because she has somehow transitioned into being seen as Latina due to certain success.
Latinas being hiring based on skin color is not an act perpetrated by white directors, but Latino directors as well, which Afro-Panamanian actress Melissa de Sousa once attested to. She once stated many Latino directors don’t want to cast Latinas who are darker than Jennifer Lopez or Shakira.
The internalized racism orchestrated by members of the Latin community and the Black community works to cripple an effort to get the American public to see the diversity within Black, Latino and Black Latino cultures; particularly at a time when successful directors of color are becoming more apparent in Hollywood –and have an opportunity and access to realistically display ethnic experiences.
“Did Y’all See?” is a new MadameNoire video series featuring commentary from MN’s editors on the biggest news of the week, including all the drama that goes down on the hottest shows on television.
In this week’s episode of “Did Y’all See?” MN editors discuss the drama that erupted on Essence.com’s Facebook page this week when they posted photos of three Houston naturalistas. Instead of focusing on the ladies’ hair, some of the readers began to criticize one of the women for wearing red lipstick, remarking that it was ugly and unbecoming because of the size of her lips and the color of her skin. MN’s editors ask why Black women keep doing this to one another while steadily becoming irate over white people who do the same thing.
In this segment we also discuss Jennifer Hudson’s criticism of sex in music today and ask, should she really be opening her mouth at all? Watch and join in.
Bravo’s latest reality show, “Blood Sweat And Heels” which follows six women navigating their professional and personal lives in the Big Apple premiered a couple of weeks ago becoming the highest-rated series premiere in Bravo network history, with 2.5 million total viewers. We’ve been tuning in each Sunday at 9/8c and we couldn’t help but notice the ladies’ fashion picks along the way.
We spoke exclusively with cast member and style and pop culture journalist Geneva Thomas, who just recently launched her own digital agency, 1530 Agency, to learn her style and hair secrets and why she decided to do reality television. Check out what she had to say. We’ll also be speaking to the other cast members in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
StyleBlazer: What inspired your join the cast of “Blood Sweat and Heels”?
Geneva Thomas: I was approached by production and they wanted to look at African American women who were career driven. The show was a departure from what we normally see on reality TV. For us [the cast members], it’s all about the hustle. In New York City, it’s a struggle even when you’re at the top. It shows you how to get there, and people can relate to us.
SB: Were you friends with the other cast members before the show?
GT: We were all familiar with each other but not friends and had crossed similar paths. We are a group of very opinionated, educated group so there’s always going to be conflict when you bring us together but there is a still an incredible level of respect for one another.
Read more of Geneva Thomas’ interview on StyleBlazer.com
Sex: We all like to believe that there are signs that can guarantee that we’ll get some and the getting will be good. I thought sex stereotypes for most people died in their undergrad dorms, but apparently there are still fully functional adults that believe race and gender somehow place you at an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to what you’re working with in bed.
At one point or another, I’m sure you’ve overheard someone make some generalization on sex based on one or two experiences they’ve had, or more likely, what someone else has told them, but in all honesty they usually just don’t apply. Take a look at some common sex stereotypes people like to throw around that have no factual basis whatsoever:
Have you ever seen those classical paintings from Europe where a white woman, man or child of prominence is perched looking regal, while a black person, usually a servant, is in the background hustling around to provide some type of service to the prominent white person? Ya’ll know what I mean right? I remember looking at these paintings in my humanities class in college, listening to the professor speak more about the color choice than the fact that there was another subject, another person, a black person, on the canvas. It wasn’t hard to tell that those black servants were just ornamental. Often times they were hard to miss as they were often depicted as a part of the setting. And the fact that we never talked about how effed up that was really bothered me.
I was met with that same annoyance when I stumbled across the picture above on Clutch.
This photo, taken very recently, features the image of Russian socialite and Garage Magazine Editor-In-Chief, Dasha Zhukova, sitting on top of a black, female mannequin fashioned like a chair. The picture of Zhukova was taken for an interview she recently completed with the Russian artist, Miroslava Duma, for her site Buro 247.
Though the “woman” Zhukova is using is just a mannequin, the imagery is still painful. Here we have yet another instance of the black body being used as an ornament, less than human.
And again, considering that this woman is topless with nearly knee high boots on, it’s just another way in which the black woman’s body is objectified as merely a sex object.
Apparently, this mannequin was either inspired by or part of a collection of furniture by Allen Jones that features mannequins dressed as strippers. Except Jones’ collection features white mannequins, from what I can see.
The whole thing is problematic really. It’s the intersection of racism and sexism. Why feature scantily clad women as furniture? As a woman I’m wondering how Zhukova, a woman, could sit on the chair comfortably without feeling a tinge of apprehension. Perhaps she did. Maybe she wouldn’t have if the mannequin had been white and more relatable to her as a Russian. Who knows. Either way, she posed for the photograph.
The image caused controversy after Duma, posted the picture on her Instagram account. She was met with backlash and decided to remove it. But at the time of publishing this piece, it’s still on Duma’s site.
Artists love to call themselves pushing the envelope and often times they don’t adhere to or even consider the morality of their audience. They’re not thinking about how yet another image of a black woman being dehumanized might affect people who don’t look and live life the way they do. Or maybe they do consider it but think the art statement justifies soliciting painful emotions.
The lack of morality is the biggest issue. But aside from that, from an artistic standpoint, when will folk realize that there’s nothing avant garde or particularly innovative about objectifying the black body. It’s been done for centuries, it’s still being done everyday on television, in movies, in fashion…everywhere. If you don’t care about morality and the social ramifications of such an image, fine… but at least do something we haven’t seen being done to death.
“I Eat White Dirt Every Day”: Documentary “Eat White Dirt” Exposes Southern African American Tradition
Last week we reported the bizarre addiction a woman has to sniffing and chewing diapers. This week we’re starting the week off on a similar note, with a little known tradition of eating white dirt — which is actually a rock called kaolin — among African American women in the south.
According to Daily Mail, kaolin can be found along the Atlantic Coast Fall Line in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. The substance is used in medicine to treat diarrhea, dysentery and cholera and it can also be found in paper, paint, fiberglass, porcelains, china and toothpaste. While health officials don’t recommend kaolin for eating purposes, some have openly shared that it has health benefits.
Director Adam Forrester of the documentary Eat White Dirt came across this phenomenon known as geophagy — the practice of eating earthy or soil-like substances — while shopping at his local grocery store where he noticed small Ziploc bags of white chalky rocks. When he asked the sales clerk what the rocks were for, the clerk said he wasn’t sure but knew they were for eating purposes so Forrester decided to dig a little deeper.
Anthropologists believe the practice of eating kaolin derived from sub-Saharan African slaves who came to the United States during slavery. When Forrester interviewed several women for his documentary, most of whom live in rural areas, some revealed they eat white dirt every day. Tammy Wright, who is a part of the documentary, also stated by eating kaolin every day, she has lost over 60 pounds. Might be worth a thought, huh?
Eat White Dirt is set to premier this summer. Check out the trailer for the documentary below. What do you think?