All Articles Tagged "race"

Black Woman Berates White Girlfriend In A Harlem Barber Shop, What Would You Do?

December 9th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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What Would You Do

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If you’re familiar with the show “What Would You Do?” You know they put people in tight, yet realistic situations that test people’s moral fiber. And even have you asking yourself what you would have done in the same situation. In one of the latest episodes, an actress “Rachel” is pretending to be a stylist in the popular Harlem barber shop Denny Moe’s. She’s giving eyes to one of the male customers, a black guy, when all of a sudden his white girlfriend walks in. And instead of playing cool or sucking her teeth and rolling her eyes on the low she begins to question the black man for his choice and out and out disrespect the white girl in the place. I mean, she goes in.

Take a look at the video to see how the women and men in the shop respond in this scenario. And then ask yourself–though you could never know until you’re in it–what would you have done in this situation?

15 Celebrities Most People Don’t Know Are Black

September 18th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Celebrities Most People Don't Know Are Black

Image Source: WENN.com

Race politics can be complicated and bi-racial stars often find themselves on one side of the Hollywood divide. Unsurprisingly, for the stars in this list that side tends to be the white one, with most people not even realizing these actors, actresses, and public personas are in fact mixed — and for all intents and purposes, black.

The Food-Race Connection: Does Race Play A Factor In Access To Healthy Food?

August 26th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Since race is an issue in most all aspects of life it seems, does it also play a factor in getting access to healthy food?

“The connection is not explicitly based on race; socioeconomic factors play a major role in access to healthy food,” reports the Huffington Post.  Take free lunches for children in public schools. The decision on who qualifies is based on socioeconomic information. Still, larger percentages of African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. were living below the poverty line in 2011 than whites or those identified as “other.” Because of these stats, more children who are of Hispanic or African-American backgrounds need free or reduced-priced school lunches.

And being able to get healthy food is vital for long-term health benefits.

At a recent town hall meeting in West Oakland, Nikki Henderson, executive director of People’s Grocery discussed race in the Bay Area and pointed out the connection between food and race. She said this connection “lives very presently because Trayvon Martin was going to the liquor store to get Skittles and iced tea. That’s what he was doing when he was out late at night. That’s what many of our kids do.”

People’s Grocery is more than a place where people come to get food, but also a place that is well-lit, so that children coming to get food are not putting themselves in danger, simply by being outside at night, reports HuffPo. It is a community food store that offers fresh foods, affordable groceries, health services.

This discussion isn’t really new. The debate has been going on for decades but now it has hit the national forum.

“For decades, low-income communities of color have suffered as grocery stores and fresh, affordable food disappeared from their neighborhoods. Advocates have long drawn attention to this critical issue and crafted policy solutions, but access to healthy food is just now entering the national policy debate,” according to a report by The Food Trust organization.  The report, “The Grocery Gap,” found that many low-income communities, communities of color, and sparsely populated rural areas do not have sufficient opportunities to buy healthy, affordable food.

The result is those communities suffer more from diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes than those in higher-income neighborhoods with easy access to healthy food.

On one point we’d like to ask: What do you think of the connection between access to healthy food at safe locations and the Trayvon Martin case? Is that too much of a stretch?

It’s A Black Thing: 50 Cent Lawsuit Ruling Went Against Him Because Of His Race

August 18th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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50 Cent is not happy about a recent ruling against him and it may not have anything to do with money.

According to TMZ, 50 recently lost a lawsuit he filed against Sleek Audio. He said the company owed him $261,00 but they disagreed with that. In the end, an arbitrator sided with Sleek and it is assumed they had to pay considerably less money.

But 50 is not taking this ruling lying down and is in the process of appealing it.  In a new claim that he’s taken to federal court, 50 says the arbitrator (whose name has not be identified) sided against him because he’s black, associates with controversial black figures and because he’s a rapper.

In addition, 50 claims the arbitrator never looked at any of his evidence and didn’t cross-examine any of the witnesses. He wants the ruling thrown out and is asking for a brand new hearing.

Sleek Audio says 50 is reaching with this claim and is trying to get his way, which would be a trial in front of a judge.

No word on when the federal court will hear this case and make a ruling.  If what 50 says is true, he may have found a way to get a new hearing, whether it be in front of a judge or a new arbitrator.

Is He Still Hating? Tavis Smiley Takes Issue With President Obama’s Speech On Race

July 22nd, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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PNP/WENN.com

I find it terribly sad that even in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, blacks can’t seem to come together in our outrage over the George Zimmerman verdict. And then when we all agree that there is an issue, there are those who want to argue and divide ourselves in the ways we seek to alleviate the problem. Many of us have noticed this trend all up and down our Facebook and Twitter timelines and now, it’s showing up with our political pundits and talking heads too.

You might not be surprised to know PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley took issue with President Obama’s remarks on Friday about Trayvon Martin, the Zimmerman verdict and race in America. Shortly after the president spoke, Tavis tweeted this:

Naturally, black twitter was outraged. People called him pathetic and one MSNBC contributor even said she was sending the transcript because he’d clearly missed something. Another person said it was shameful for Tavis “to politicize and further his own ends at the expense of Obama and now Trayvon…”

Two days later, on Sunday, Smiley appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and took a more subtle approach but still made it very clear that he expected more from the president.

“He had still not answered the most important question, where do we go from here. What’s lacking in this moment is moral leadership. The country is begging for it, they’re craving it… I don’t want the President to look back and realize, David, he didn’t do as much as he could have in this critical moment.”

There were several other members on the panel. President and CEO of the Urban League, Marc Morial and Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree disagreed with Tavis saying that the president pushed the conversation in a meaningful way.

Congressional Black Caucus chair and Ohio Rep., Marcia Fudge believes the president needs to have several conversations because the recent actions and politicians and judges are attacking poor and minority communities.

RNC chairman, Michael Steele said he tended to agree with Tavis that the president not only needs to have the initial conversation but needs to continue to inspire change by not letting the issue fall by the wayside in the way he did with gun control after the Sandy Hook tragedy. He did say though that this is a conversation we need to have in the community instead of letting it rest solely on the shoulders of the president.

Watch Tavis’ “Meet The Press” appearance on the next page. 

Is This Fair? Mostly White, All Female Jury Chosen In Zimmerman Murder Trial

June 20th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Getty

Six women have been chosen for George Zimmerman’s murder trial. Zimmerman is being charged with second degree murder in the killing of unarmed, 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

The trial, which is set to begin Monday, has been highly anticipated since Zimmerman, 28, killed Martin in February of last year.

The issue of race has been at the forefront of this case, so naturally the ethnic makeup of the jury is important to many.

Five members of the six person jury are white and one is Hispanic. Some sources claim the Hispanic woman is half black and half Hispanic.

Zimmerman is white and Hispanic.

The jurors who are also all women, were chosen from hundreds of potential jurors over nine days. These six women will remain sequestered throughout the duration of the trial.

Four alternate jurors, a Hispanic man, a white man and two white women, have also been selected.

We don’t know the identities of the jurors but information about their experiences with guns, crime and violence was discussed during the interview process.

One woman, known as juror B37, said she used to have a concealed weapons permit but let it expire. She said it was too easy to obtain this type of permit.

Two other jurors say their husband or son own guns.

One woman said she was a victim of domestic violence and at least one juror is a mother.

When juror B29 was asked about self defense she had this to say: “It’s not a decision you weigh. It’s a split second reaction. I think everyone is entitled to protect your life.”

Zimmerman told Judge Debra Nelson that he approved of the jury selection.

What do you make of the jury selection? Based on what we now know about these jurors, do you believe they’ll be able to come to just verdict?

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Can You Change Your Race? New Study Looks At Societal Factors and Racial Assumptions

June 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Racial associations are made almost unconsciously. And a new study from Gender & Society found that observers take into account a wide range of factors in determining the race of people they see, including what they know about someone’s income, home address or marital status.

For example: Picture a single mother on food stamps. Now picture a married mother shopping for her family in the suburbs. What is the race of each woman? Many Americans would imagine the first mother as black, even though the majority of women on food stamps are white.

Sad assumptions, but a real insight to how people associate race.  The study, “Engendering Racial Perceptions: An Intersectional Analysis of How Social Status Shapes Race,” revealed that people tend to pile on a set of descriptions—like single, mother, and welfare-dependent—to build their most persistent stereotypes.

And in another study that looked back at how survey interviewers racially classify people over the course of their adult lives, sociologists Andrew Penner (University of California-Irvine) and Aliya Saperstein (Stanford University) found that from one year to the next, some people’s race appeared to change. Penner and Saperstein call these changes in classification “racial fluidity,” and the researchers wanted to know what affected how a person’s race was perceived.

So they drew on nearly 20 years of longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and found changes in racial classification occurred for six percent of people each year. Over the course of the study, 20 percent of those interviewed switched racial classifications at least once. These changes were not random and were related to both social status and gender.

“We often talk about racial stereotypes as affecting people’s attitudes in the sense that knowing a woman’s race can change what you think about whether she is on welfare. Our study shows the opposite also happens–knowing whether a woman has ever received welfare benefits affects what you think about her race,” explained Penner.

The study also found that men and women had similar levels of racial fluidity overall. Other things that factored into this were where the people lived. People were more likely to be classified as white if they lived in the suburbs, while the opposite was true for people living in the inner city.

But other factors that triggered changes in racial classification. Poverty made men and women less likely to be classified as white, but the effect was stronger for men. And women, but not men, who have received welfare benefits are less likely to be seen as white and more likely to be seen as black. This despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that in 2010 70 percent of welfare recipients are not black.

What are your thoughts on this study?

Duh! Study Finds White Girls Are More Likely To Abuse Alcohol Than Black Girls

June 14th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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A new study from Yale University found that African American college aged “girls” (read: women) are less likely to develop drinking problems than white girls because of cultural and environmental factors.

The study cited parental disapproval, a more conservative attitude toward drinking and higher church attendance as reasons why there is such a stark difference between the two racial groups. The New Haven Register summarized the findings like this:

The study, published Thursday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, focused on 3,500 female twins, both identical and fraternal, “to look at the relative contributions of genetics vs. environment on (the) age of first drink and problem drinking,” Sartor said. 

What we found is that there’s no shared environmental effects” in African-American teens who abuse alcohol, Sartor said. “Family environment is not playing a role in problem drinking.” For black girls who drink heavily, genetics and individual experiences, such as different friends or traumatic events, are more relevant, she said 

At a community and cultural level, European-Americans are not doing as good a job at protecting their girls from problem drinking as African-Americans are.” 

Interestingly enough, this is not something we needed a study to tell us. As someone who attended a predominately white university, when girls were being carried home, throwing up in elevators or falling out in the street they were white. Not that black girls didn’t get wasted but the numbers didn’t lie.

While the study cited church and less importance placed on drinking etc, after some discussion about the issue in our office we also concluded that black people are less carefree when we go out partying. Many of us are keenly aware of the fact that if we get too intoxicated to take care of ourselves and end up causing some type of disturbance, we’re less likely to get the benefit of the doubt. We just might be interacting with the police. And if have to interact with the police that just might mean we’ll endure abuse, mistreatment or in some cases even death. If we get too drunk and end up lost or missing we know there won’t be national searches looking to ensure that we’re returned to our families safely.

It’s a sad tale; but for many of us, we don’t even leave the house on the same level of abandon or “carefreeness” that white women do. In addition to the safety issues, we know that if we’re in a mixed crowd many of us are also worried about how we’ll be perceived if people who aren’t black see us out here acting a fool.

But that’s just our theory. What are some of the reasons you think African American college-aged women drink less than white women?

Hiring Based On Race Is Not Only Right, But Necessary

May 29th, 2013 - By CAP
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Shutterstock

As a hiring manager, being completely impartial and non-biased may be unrealistic, if not downright impossible. When searching for the best candidate many times we already have in our minds what that person looks like, whether it’s a female nanny, a male contractor, or a business associate of the same racial background.

It has been shown that many whites hire other whites. The research conducted by Nancy DiTomaso indicates that whites with hiring power hired within their networks, and most times their networks happened to be primarily comprised of other whites. The research did not necessarily make the claim that whites intentionally hired other whites and excluded other races, but rather,  whites have not yet expanded the diversity of their networks to include other races, which leads to the exclusion of other races from the conversation. But is it wrong to hire specifically based upon the racial group you are a part of? My answer to this may seem biased and certainly like a double standard, but it is worth understanding.

Currently the overall unemployment rate is at the lowest it has been in years at 7.5 percent, but the unemployment rate for blacks is slow to move from the low teens (13.2 percent). This number shows that blacks need a bit more assistance. Even the government agrees; there have been initiatives like affirmative action in place since the 1970s, which were meant to help underrepresented groups with finding jobs, among other things. (Though affirmative action is constantly under fire.)

Although the gap is closing regarding racial equality in the work place, African Americans are still in need of preferential treatment when it comes to hiring. Whites and Asians are generally more educated, have higher incomes, and lower unemployment rates. These groups seeing a recovery from The Great Recession, with unemployment levels dropping, contrary to the conditions of other races.

If companies are not going to focus on hiring blacks, then it is up to other African Americans to do so. The US Census reported that there were 1.9 million black owned small businesses in 2007 and that they employed over 921,000 workers. A survey that same year by Gazelle Index determined that 64 percent of employees in black-owned businesses were black. So as these black businesses grow and their workforce capacity expands there should certainly be a focus on hiring African Americans to support the continuous need of employment in the black workforce. Not just purely based on showing favoritism within your own race, but also in order to help the overall economy.

In many areas like education, skill building, and employment African Americans are not on par with other races and continue to add to the overall lag in the economic recovery. We should use whatever influence we have to make a positive contribution to the growth of our nation, and if African Americans and others want to make it their duty to focus on hiring blacks, I don’t see one thing wrong with that.

‘I Don’t Want To Need Things… I Don’t Need Anybody:’ Zoe Saldana Tells ‘Latina’ A Man Is Not A Necessity

April 3rd, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Colombiana actress Zoe Saldana looks stunningly fabulous on the May 2013 cover of Latina Magazine. Her brightly colored, bold ensemble seems quite fitting for the occasion, as Ms. Saldana comes off rather audacious and a tad bit feisty in her interview. The 34-year-old Star Trek Into Darkness star touched on everything from her alleged mental breakdown to the reoccurring discussion of why she should not have been cast to play Nina Simone in the forthcoming biopic. Peep some of what she had to say below.

On her mental meltdown following filming for Avatar:

“That was completely blown out of proportion. That was so exaggerated and so ridiculous. It’s no different than what a child does after you’ve had a birthday party for a child. The child has been so stimulated by everybody, in every direction, consistently, you feel depleted. You use so much serotonin that you feel, not empty, but you feel a little tired and depleted and you have to fill your well of energy and of happiness and you have to pay attention to you. That downtime was very welcoming and very beautiful, but it wasn’t like I got f****** depressed and I just wouldn’t get out of bed. That has never happened to me! I hate when you say something and then it’s like, ay dios mio…”

On whether or not she was affected by the Nina Simone Controversy: 

“Yes, of course. I’m not made of metal. Things will resonate in you and they will move you whether good or bad, but you can’t let that define who you are and you can’t let that dictate the path that you’re going to take in your life. The reality is that nobody knows the story as to why this collaboration came to be—nobody knows the full story—and at the end of the day all I’m going to say is that every person that is a part of this project came together for no other reason than the unconditional love for Nina Simone’s music, her persona, her life, what she did, what she left for us, what her music still continues to do not only to women, but to Americans, and African Americans, and also people of color, just everything. On all spectrums, Nina Simone’s story is worth telling and with the members that it came to be, like it’s just…you have to give it a chance…Watch it and then make up your mind. I’m happy that we all held together and we went for it. No regrets.”

On growing up “color-blind:”

“I grew up in Queens and the Dominican Republic. It wasn’t easy, s*** was going on. But the kind of world that we had indoors, that my mom created for us, makes more sense to this day than what is out there. I would come home from school and go, ‘Mami, what am I? You know, cause I’m getting all kinds of things and people are mean.’ And Mami would look at me and go, ‘You’re Zoe.’ And I’d go, ‘I know, Mami, but what am I?’ and she would look at me and say, ‘You’re my daughter, your grandma’s granddaughter, you’re Zoe.’ My mom wouldn’t go, ‘tu eres una mujer de color [you are a woman of color] and always remember it, this world is going to be rough.’ My mom never f****** told us that, why would she? Why would she stop my flight before I even take off?”

On not needing a man:

“I don’t want to need things. I need water, you know what I’m saying? I need to exercise, I need to eat. To be with a man, should be a want. I don’t need anybody. And the people that I do need are just family, tu entiendes [you understand]? But a man is something that I want, I want be with a partner, because this partner is going to add or I’m going to add to this partner.”

 

Turn the page for more fabulous flicks from Zoe’s colorful photoshoot.