From NEO•GRIOT Kalamu ya Salaam’s information blog: James Baldwin

HISTORY + VIDEO: James Baldwin on Baldwin’s Nigger – NEO•GRIOT.

From NEO•GRIOT

Kalamu ya Salaam‘s information blog:

Filmed by Horace Ove‘ – British filmmaker, painter and writer and one of the leading black independent film-makers to emerge in Britain since the post-war periodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Ove

James Baldwin and Dick Gregory talk about the Black Experience in America and relate it to that of the Caribbean in contemporary Great Britain. Filmed at the West Indian Student Centre of London.”

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REVIEW: Movie-Shuffering and Shimiling: Race,Degradation,Apathy in Netherlands [racism/sexism triggers]

REVIEW: Movie—Shuffering and Shimiling: Race, Degradation and Apathy in the Netherlands by Shantrelle Lewis.

Reading this review reminds me of the recent Spanish magazine cover featuring a depiction of Michelle Obama as a topless, head-wrapped slave.  I am also reminded of the ways in which Black women living in the so-called Western world have been and continue to be exploited, objectified, humiliated, and dehumanized in the name of “free speech,” “artistic license/freedom,” “being hip.”

I am also reminded of conversations I’ve had with some European men and women who proclaim the United States as less sophisticated than continental European countries with regard to race relations and acceptance of cultural differences.  Given my own experiences traveling through parts of Western Europe, I propose that what some people label as “sophisticated” may be in fact just more spin on a very visible and ugly legacy of hatred/fear of the Other.  Think of it as a reheating of a long brewing stew of racism with its base being the bones and marrow of European colonialism and enslavement of Africans and Asians.  In other words, to borrow from bell hooks’ essay “Eating the Other,” our bodies and our cultures continue to be (mis)categorized, commodified and consumed by those motivated by hegemonic forces who wish and need to see a perpetuation of eurocentric, phallocentric ideologies that dehumanize, silence, and ultimately disappear so-called racial/ethnic others through racist and misogynist discourse.

Is it any wonder I don’t go to movies anymore?  But we know that the movie industry is but a small part of a much larger problem when it comes to media, race, and gender.  I am not surprised at the persistence of racism and sexism/misogyny in Europe or the United States.  Simply put, I am tired of it.  I am tired of being subjected to the lasting impact of isms on the quality of my life.  I am tired of explaining to folk why having a Black president does not make the Western world free of its own racist poison, why having a Ph.D and a career as a professor does not give me immunity to the sexism and racism casually thrown at women of colordaily.

This is but one more example of how far the West has not traveled away from its legacy of slavery and colonialism, and in fact, seems unable to wrest itself from a dependency on othering and exclusion in order to define and distinguish itself.  It is a shallow and useless relationship based on lies and delusion, one that has no basis on reality, but continues to seek ways of feeding the addiction through the perpetuation of racist myths and stereotypes.  Meanwhile, the population of the planet continues to grow in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and the West continues to “brown” and “blacken.”

As such, the practice of using racist scripts and images in mass media and entertainment in the West is not only unsophisticated, but small-minded.  We who are Black and Brown do have power, in that our wallets and our voices make a wonderful pair to reinforce how tired we feel about encountering racism and sexism in pop culture.  It is time to start using our power.

DC Slave Revolt: The Flight of the Pearl

H-Net Discussion Networks – DC Slave Revolt.

Know your history.  Washington, DC, long known for its past as a part of the slave-owning South, was shocked one fateful morning in 1848 when seventy-seven slaves disappeared from their posts and were later discovered to have escaped via ferry up Chesapeake Bay headed north towards freedom.

The past, present, and future have a habit of crossing paths more often than one would like to admit, especially in these troubled times.  Lest you forget those ancestors who lived in the midst of that great evil “that pecular institution,” read the post I provided for you, and think about those who persist in invoking that same evil in the name of politics and racial hatred (we have politicians on the Right who seem to think that enslaving Africans was beneficial for my ancestors).  Calling forth those ancestors to protect us from that evil from reemerging on the land is also Afrofuturism.  Ashe!

 

DO BLACK PEOPLE REALLY DO THIS STUFF? Cosplay and the building of a Black World « chroniclesofharriet

DO BLACK PEOPLE REALLY DO THIS STUFF? Cosplay and the building of a Black World « chroniclesofharriet.

Of course we do.  We are in the now, and we are in the future.  We imagine and build ourselves into the very fabric of what we call “world” with not only scientific study and research, but with words, music, beauty, and art.

Imagine that.

14 Books About Love | The Stone Center Library [Shameless Plug for my book!!!]

SCL Picks for Valentine’s Day, or, 14 Books About Love | The Stone Center Library.

I’m still giddy about seeing my book show up on someone else’s pick list–and better yet, a list featuring “go-to” books about love.

Love’s got everything to do with it, from sun up to sun down, from get up to get down.

Peace and Love