Black America

The Grio

  1. New spotlight, new baby for Oscars-bound Mahershala Ali - LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mahershala Ali's universe is expanding, personally and professionally...
  2. Beyoncé takes to social media to support LGBTQ students -

    The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it would walk back protections put in place that would protect transgender students from discrimination, and the move has caused outcry from several different celebrities and politicians, including Beyoncé.

    The superstar singer took …

  3. Laverne Cox slams trans bathroom lift: ‘We’re more than the sum of our parts’ - Laverne Cox is speaking out after the Trump administration walked back previous laws allowing trans students to use the bathrooms of their gender identity.
  4. ‘How to Get Away’ star Billy Brown joins Taraji P. Henson in ‘Proud Mary’ - Billy Brown is set to star alongside Taraji P. Henson in the upcoming Screen Gems thriller Proud Mary.
  5. White House expects Justice crackdown on legalized marijuana -

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration’s strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as …

Black America Web

  1. HUGGY LOWDOWN: And The Bamma Of The Week Is… - 2/24/17- Find out who the Celebrity Snitch named as this week’s Bamma and find out who almost took the crown! Listen to him countdown the contenders below.
  2. Ellen, Wal-Mart Give Scholarships To School’s Senior Class - LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres has handed out college scholarships to the entire senior class of a New York City charter school. DeGeneres surprised the 41 students from Brooklyn’s Summit Academy this week at her California studio during the taping of Thursday’s episode of her chat show . The four-year scholarships paid for by […]
  3. Pablo Francisco Nails Donald Trump & Arnold Swarzenegger Impressions - Comedian Pablo Francisco is performing at Gotham Comedy Club this weekend, but before he takes the stage he talks to the Tom Joyner Morning Show about where white Latinos hang out and does a killer Donald Trump and Arnold Swarzeneggar impression! Be sure to catch Pablo at Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo, NY next weekend. Click the […]
  4. Charles Barkley Drops Curse Word On ‘Inside The NBA’ - ATLANTA (AP) — Charles Barkley accidentally used a curse word on-air when describing the New York Knicks’ play on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” During highlights of the Cavaliers’ 119-104 win over New York in Cleveland on Thursday, Barkley used a synonym for excrement in reference to the Knicks. Host Ernie Johnson immediately chided Barkley, who […]
  5. Fat Man’s Corner: Double Stuff Pork Apple Slices - 2/24/17- Have you ever had a caramel pork apple? Yeah, we haven’t either. Find out how Lavell Crawford makes this never heard of dish before. Listen below.  

The Root

  1. Miss. Newspaper Announces Plans for ‘Gangbangers’ Rodeo’: ‘Bang, Bang, You’re Dead’ - Peter Rinaldi, owner and publisher of Miss-Lou Magazine and the Natchez Sun, has caused wide-spread anger with a racist column calling for black youth in Natchez, Miss. who may be involved in gang activity to go to a local park and murder each other for the amusement of observers. In Miss-Lou Magazine’s January 11-24, 2017 print […]
  2. The Art Speaks for Itself - Every year, our congressional representatives hold an art contest for students in their districts, with the prize being a yearlong exhibition at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It typically does not cause a murmur. This year’s unanimous winner in Missouri’s 1st District was my friend David Pulphus, a quiet, gentle, unassuming student. David’s painting […]
  3. Fla. High School Students Protest to Make African-American History a Full-Year Course - Students at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Fla., staged a sit-in earlier this week demanding a change in the way African-American history is taught in Duval County Public Schools, Action News Jax reports. The organizer of the sit-in, Angelina Roque, said that she and her other classmates wanted to protest because they believed that […]

Huffington Post – Black Voices

  1. Oprah Winfrey Says 'I Wouldn't Have Been A Good Mom For Babies' -

    Oprah Winfrey has been a mother of sorts to millions of TV viewers ― but the magnate and activist said having children of her own wouldn’t have been a good idea.

    I wouldn’t have been a good mom for babies,” the 63-year-old former talk show host said in an April issue preview of Good Housekeeping U.K., posted Friday. “I don’t have the patience. I have the patience for puppies, but that’s a quick stage!”

    Winfrey now uses motherly instincts to direct her Leadership Academy boarding school in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has 172 girls enrolled ― 20 of whom attend college in the United States and use her residence as a home away from home.

    “When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children,” she told the magazine. “Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age 2, 10 or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.”

    Winfrey, who lost a child just weeks after birth when she was 14, has opened up previously about forgoing parenthood. “If I had kids, my kids would hate me,” she said in a 2013 interview. “They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”

    H/T People

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  2. Jack Black Calls On Hollywood To 'Talk More S**t' About Trump At The Oscars -

    Jack Black, for one, hopes to see a repeat of that powerful Golden Globes speech during the Oscars on Sunday. 

    “Is Meryl Streep in the audience tonight?” Black asked an audience of celebrities at a benefit concert in Los Angeles on Thursday night, warming up the crowd before diving into a song from “School of Rock.” 

    “I just hope she wins the Oscar and talks some more s**t about that asshole,” he added, with a reference to President Donald Trump that prompted cheers. The group assembled at Los Angeles’ No Name included director Paul Haggis, musicians Moby and Jenny Lewis, and actors Jeff Bridges, Rita Wilson and Jeremy Renner, per The Hollywood Reporter.

    He added: “So, if she doesn’t win, to the winners in here, I hope you do the same, ya know?” 

    “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, that’s just liberals patting themselves on the back,’” Black said about the reaction to Streep’s comments, which inspired a couple tweets from the president himself

    “I don’t agree. I thought it took balls. Thought she was very brave. I was very inspired by it. To get up there and tell the truth about the president of the United States in front of a billion people — that takes courage, and it’s very inspiring.”

    Others in Hollywood wholeheartedly agreed

    While host Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t seem keen on making a grand political statement, we can’t know what to expect from the night’s biggest winners. 

    The Oscars will kick off with red carpet coverage on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  3. Why On-Screen Representation Matters -

    The conversation about diversity in Hollywood often centers on fairness. It’s unfair that just over a quarter of speaking roles went to people of color in 2015’s top movies ― that Asians and Latinx nabbed tiny slivers. It’s unfair that women made up less than one-third of protagonists in top movies in 2016. It’s unfair that black, Asian and Latinx actors were completely left out of acting categories in the Academy Awards last year, and the year before that.

    It is unfair. Although the Academy announced a small list of Oscar nominees featuring more black actors in 2017, for years, researchers have counted and recounted the vast population of bodies making up content in TV and film, only to find, again and again, that the industry’s struggle to represent people of color, women and other groups the way we see them in real life ― as people with likes and dislikes, habits and whims, hopes and fears ― is endemic.

    But it’s not just unfair. Even if we don’t stop to think much about the summer blockbuster we watch to sit in a cool theater on a hot day, or the show we turn on while we’re making dinner, entertainment media saturates our lives. And for decades, researchers have worried over the effect those stories have on viewers. 

    “We’re pretty confident that, the more TV you watch, the more media you consume, the more likely it is that media ― almost like radiation ― builds up,” Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, told The Huffington Post. “And the accumulated effect is to make you feel that what you’re seeing is somewhat normal.”

    “What you see often becomes a part of your memory,” echoed Ana-Christina Ramón, assistant director of the Bunche Center, “and thus a part of your life experience.” 

    It can even serve as a proxy for experiences audience members haven’t actually lived, shaping their views on people of color and women ― and shaping the way those people view themselves. 

    “There’s this body of research and a term known as ‘symbolic annihilation,’ which is the idea that if you don’t see people like you in the media you consume, you must somehow be unimportant.”
    Nicole Martins of Indiana University

    We spoke to several sociologists and researchers about the power of representation, and what the lack of it might mean for people who don’t see themselves up there on the screen. Since the 1960s, research has found expressions of unequal power in media that, according to Michael Morgan, can be “very dangerous” and “very damaging” to people watching.

    “I think the moral argument is self-evident. Stories matter,” Morgan, former professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of dozens of reports on media effects, told HuffPost.

    “Stories affect how we live our lives, how we see other people, how we think about ourselves.”

    That sentiment was common among the researchers we spoke to, although all of them noted that the sociology of representation is a topic infrequently covered specifically. It comes down to a problem common in academia ― the problem of finding subjects and funding, as mentioned by Glenn Sparks of Purdue University and Nicole Martins of Indiana University. Simply put, it’s costly to look into media effects in a large enough group of people over a long enough period of time.

    Martins managed to co-author one study, however, about television’s effect on self-esteem with Kristen Harrison of the University of Michigan, published in 2012. Focusing on children, the pair found that TV made subjects feel good about themselves ― if those subjects were white boys. Girls and boys of color, on the other hand, reported lower self-esteem as they watched. 

    “We feel pretty comfortable that it’s this lack of representation that could be responsible for this effect,” Martins said. 

    “There’s this body of research and a term known as ‘symbolic annihilation,’ which is the idea that if you don’t see people like you in the media you consume,” she explained, “you must somehow be unimportant.” (In a 1976 paper titled “Living with Television,” researchers George Gerbner and Larry Gross coined the term with a chilling line: “Representation in the fictional world signifies social existence; absence means symbolic annihilation.”) 

    In Ramón’s words, “You may wonder, ‘Do I matter? Does society value me as a person?’”

    The cathartic experience of finally relating to a character on screen has inspired heartfelt essays. As part of a HuffPost series called “When Representation Mattered,” our own Zeba Blay, who is black, explained how she felt empowered by the Spice Girls’ Melanie Brown. “She was unapologetically loud and unapologetically fierce in a way that (in my mere 10 years) I had never seen a black girl have the permission to be,” Blay wrote. HuffPost’s Carol Kuruvilla, whose family hails from India, described how the soccer flick “Bend It Like Beckham” made her feel less alone by not forcing its Indian protagonist to conform to a trope. “Jess wasn’t just the nerdy best friend, the submissive shy girl, or the exotic temptress (all tropes that are far too common for Asian women),” Kuruvilla explained.

    Character tropes ― molds that shape dialogue and casting decisions to produce the nerdy Asian math student, the sassy black sidekick, the icy female boss ― do their own damage, too. 

    For the underrepresented, seeing a character who looks like them can have a limiting effect if that character is restricted to behaving only in certain ways, which don’t reflect the breadth of their life’s experience. If you are a black, Asian or Latinx person who sees an “inauthentic” or “one-dimensional” version of yourself, Ramón explained, you “may wonder if that is all that is expected of you in society.” 

    “Visual media teaches us how the world works and our place in it,” she said.

    “When you don’t see people like yourself,” Morgan echoed, “the message is: You’re invisible. The message is: You don’t count. And the message is: ‘There’s something wrong with me.’”  

    “Over and over and over, week after week, month after month, year after year, it sends a very clear message, not only to members of those groups, but to members of other groups, as well,” he said.

    To all viewers, on-screen representation serves as an important (if undervalued) way to glean information about the world. Hunt pointed to decades-old research out of the University of Pennsylvania that showed a correlation between a range of topics as presented on TV ― violence, integration, women’s rights ― and how people thought about those issues in real life. Over time, they found that people who watched more TV embraced what they called the “TV view of the world.”

    “And if the ‘TV view of the world’ was violent, then people assume that the world was more violent,” Hunt said.

    And perhaps they would, say, vote for a presidential candidate who claims the nation is drowning in a wave of violent Latinx trespassers because that’s how they look on screen. Or believe that America is mostly over racism because there are secondary black characters in films. Or continue to live their lives not realizing Asian men are, indeed, quite attractive.

    “Entertainment provides the seeds under which these things make sense to people, because they’ve seen a thousand images of ‘Latinos are violent,’ or ‘Asians are invisible,’ or ‘blacks are this’ or ‘women are that,’ so it is so easy to exploit,” Morgan said, “because it’s a knee-jerk reaction. It’s this, ‘Oh yes, yes, of course. I know that.’”

    Viewers might not think that the shows and films that enrich our lives and let us happily escape after a day or week of the usual routine may affect our view of our neighbors, fellow citizens, or people around the world. And it’s true that Middle Ages fantasy with a reputation for bloodshed or a tap-dancing couple in a sunny dreamland, on their own, might not have too much of an impact. But they are part of a much larger force that consistently dilutes the richly diverse experiences of lives enjoyed by people of color and women. 

    “We can sit by as this continues for another decade,” wrote some of the researchers who diligently record the makeup of the on-screen population, in a recent report, “or can act to ensure that equality and inclusion are the hallmark of entertainment in the years to come.”

    Because it’s not just “not fair.” It’s not right.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  4. Watch Ellen DeGeneres Give College Scholarships To A Whole Senior Class -

    This shows you should never take higher learning for granted.

    On her show Thursday, Ellen DeGeneres surprised an entire high school senior class of students from Brooklyn, New York City, with college scholarships provided by Walmart.

    The reaction of all 41 kids from Summit Academy Charter School will stay with you for a while.

    The host had previously given a check of $25,000 to the school when its founder, Natasha Campbell, and principal, Cheryl Lundy Swift, appeared on “Ellen” Feb. 9. But this time, DeGeneres and Walmart went one better and rewarded a school whose first graduating class boasted a 93 percent college enrollment rate despite being located in a neighborhood in which just 4 percent of adults have gone to college, according to the administrators. 

    The scholarships total $1.6 million and apply to any state university in New York, DeGeneres said.

    At least we think that’s what she said. We’re still tearing up over the video.


    H/T NBC New York

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  5. Is China A Partner Or A Predator In Africa? It’s Complicated. -

    Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China.

    Depending on who you speak with, China’s engagement in Africa is often described in extreme terms as either the best thing to happen to the continent in the post-colonial era or just the latest foreign predator coming to pillage Africa of its resources. With China’s presence in Africa now stretching across nearly all 54 countries where an estimated 1 million Chinese immigrants now live and hundreds of billions of dollars pass in annual trade and investment, the relationship between these two regions is extremely complicated.

    So when critics want to showcase the negative consequences of China’s presence in Africa, there are countless examples of labor abuses, illegal logging and wildlife trading, corruption and so on. Furthermore, low-cost Chinese imports are placing huge pressure on African companies, which now have to compete at much lower prices. Then there are the human rights concerns where Chinese companies have been accused of exporting equipment used for torture, weapons sent to unstable countries or technology for repressive governments.

    While the negatives are valid and well-documented, they only tell part of the story. The positive side of Chinese engagement in Africa is equally compelling. The fact is that while many people complain about how China’s massive infrastructure building boom in Africa is being built and financed, not to mention concerns about quality, money from some traditional donors in the West is drying up. African governments really do not have a lot of options when it comes to financing billions of dollars in rather risky infrastructure projects. So the thousands of miles of new rail lines, new digital networks, hospitals and ports that are being built would not have happened on anywhere near the scale without the support of the Chinese.

    Beijing’s commitment to African infrastructure development is a central part of the government’s “win-win development” agenda, also a key message in its propaganda campaign that emphasizes China’s “peaceful rise” to superpower status.

    So is China a partner or predator? The short answer, according to numerous leading Sino-African scholars, is that this vast complex relationship is not binary and cannot be reduced to either “good” or “bad.”

    It is the same in Africa as it is for China’s relations with other regions: “Both approaches offer oversimplified understandings of the complex interaction among the economic, geopolitical and security dimensions of China’s relations with the rest of the world,” said Matt Ferchen from the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in a new paper on the perception gaps surrounding China’s economic and military rise.

    Matt joins Eric & Cobus ― in the podcast above ― to explain why he thinks views about the Chinese are so polarized in Africa and elsewhere and what impact the Trump revolution in the United States will have on China’s engagement in Africa.

    Join the discussion. Do you think China is making a positive contribution in Africa or do you feel that Beijing is simply following the abusive example set by the continent’s former imperial powers? Share your thoughts:


    Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Print Friendly