African-American

‘Dear White Academics …’ | Vitae

“Wow, you’re so articulate.”
“Are you the cleaning lady?”
“Do you have a Ph.D.?”
“James? What’s your real Asian name?”

Dear White People

You’ve heard or heard of statements like these. Students and scholars call them “microaggressions”—casual, everyday comments and questions that might not rise to the level of a verbal altercation or a physical beatdown, but are rooted in stereotyping and racially-biased assumptions nevertheless.

Some microaggressions are obvious. But it can take a well-tuned ear to perceive the subtleties and nuances in others. The people delivering coded comments might actually intend them as compliments, not realizing that they are holding on to stereotypes that are invisible to them.

As a returning African American and retired Systems Engineer student, after 20 years absence from academia, these microaggressions, not only by whites but surprisingly from other African American professors, raised my blood pressure. The first two weeks with an unfamiliar professor was a tight rope walk between maintaining respect for their proficiency and battling their cultural and class ignorance.

I must add to the author’s short list of microaggressions with these.

The patronizing African American father,
“I know your struggle. We were so poor…”

First day of class,
“You might want to take an easier class.”

The Master’s research meeting,
“We may want to refer to … for more information on the local drug scene, street life, …”

Your eyes bulge, but hopefully not enough to be that one person every African American does not want to stereotype at these venues. The Angry Black Woman or Man. So you recline, count the hours until you can make a hasty retreat, count up how much you are spending for this abuse, open your books at night and push the demons away to let in empirical evidence that this is all not a waste of time. This article places the response to these microaggressions better than I ever could.

“The greatest microaggression, some say, is that they feel unable to express their displeasure. That’s because they don’t want to be perceived as “angry” people of color who constantly play “the race card.” A few others say they’ve learned not to get angry or paranoid: Microaggressions, they say, reflect the flaws of the people dishing them out. Better to invest their time and energy on working on things they can change.”

In business, there is the option of consulting attorneys in the worse cases. Academia does not afford students this option. Students are locked in by a financial and personal investment. These perpetrators know this and find no need to leash their ill-behaviors.

The article points to a book, a supplement to the film “Dear White People,” “Dear White People: A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in ‘Post-Racial’ America,” which hopefully all academic professionals and students will absorb. If they cannot find the time, there is also a chart or shortlist to guide them through their internal war with their past and present demons toward a more cultured future.

via ‘Dear White Academics …’ | Vitae.

Link to Dear White People: A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in ‘Post-Racial’ America  by Justin Simien, Ian O’Phelan on Amazon.com

Book_DearWhite People

‘Dear White People’ Director on Making a Comedy About Race and Spike Lee’s Heroism | #OYRchallenge

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Justin Lowe interviews 31-year-old writer-director Justin Simien on his journey to produce “Dear White People” due to hit nationwide theaters on October 24, 2014. Already, the film’s various samplings circulating social media is causing the necessary buzz to go blockbuster. But is this all buzz and no bear? We’ll see next week.

Excerpt:

When you’re writing and directing a satire like Dear White People, how do you blend narrative content and social commentary so that they effectively inform one another?

For me, the thing that I always try to do is to decide very early on what it is the movie’s about at its core. If a scene that says a bunch of things I want it to say can’t hang on the core of the film, then it doesn’t belong there. For me, I felt like the film was really just about the conflict between a person’s identity and their true selves. Everything that happened in a scene has to hang on that conflict and specifically has to hang on that conflict in relation to the arc of the four main characters.

via ‘Dear White People’ Director on Making a Comedy About Race and Spike Lee’s Heroism.

Wendell Pierce on white violence, entitlement and racial messaging – Real Time with Bill Maher – YouTube | #OYRchallenge

Wendell Pierce addresses white violence, entitlement and racial messaging in the middle of one Bill Maher‘s race discussions. Pierce is an actor and activist in New Orleans. His discussion cut across liberal and conservative perspectives. What was most notable is that Bill Maher, who promotes himself as an educated liberal resorted to the same lip talking points of most media anti-racist. Why do Black people beat their kids? It is a southern thing. Pierce redirects the conversation back to violence and its originating with white’s first introduction on American soil, slavery, and the modern day sanctioned murder of Black men. Good job, Wendell! Feed it to them until they understand or shut up. #OYRchallenge

Wendell Pierce on white violence, entitlement and racial messaging – Real Time with Bill Maher – YouTube.

‘F*ck it, I quit’: TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion – Lists – Weird News – The Independent | #OYRchallenge

KTVA’s Charlo Green took the #OYRchallenge to new heights and PUBLIC.  Her methodology left station execs reeling, and the desk reporter scrambling to recover. The Machine’s usual cover story came readily despite the worldwide broadcast that proved otherwise. “She was terminated!” No fool, she QUIT!

The news reporter, Charlo Green, is also the owner of Alaska Cannabis Club that connects legal cannabis prescription cardholders with area cannabis suppliers. In the current era of marijuana law reform and the growing number of states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use, Green’s enterprise should prove quite lucrative.

There is also Green’s steadiness in her mission to consider. Few African Americans have the fortitude to cut ties with employment security after long struggles. We are not that strong as yet. Then again, few have moved beyond public and their employer’s expectations to cultivate their talents and abilities. Public opinion seldom takes second place to personal integrity. So if a few well-placed expletives deterred your vision from power at its best, you might want to rethink what your life truly stands for and the stands you have failed to make out of box. Build, empower yourself, then empower others. That is the ideology of the #OYRchallenge. So long, KTVA – hello life.  Congratulations, Charlo Green!

Excerpt:

In a jaw-dropping twist to the end of a segment she was presenting, she said: “Now everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska.”And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
via ‘F*ck it, I quit’: TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion – Lists – Weird News – The Independent.

Links:

Alask Cannabis Club – http://www.akcannabisclub.com/

Ferguson Rapper Tef Poe: Barack Obama Has Forsaken Us, But We Will Not Stop Fighting Injustice | #OYRchallenge

“In the blink of an eye, I felt as if I were living in 1963. A week before all of this madness, I never thought I would see German shepherds and sniper rifles directed toward children and adults alike with my very own eyes.”

Ferguson Community Continues To Demonstrate Over Police Shooting Death Of Michael Brown

TIME

We’re now a month out from the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, and a month away from when a grand jury is likely to decide whether or not to indict him. Yet we still have no answers and no respect in the state of Missouri.

In Saint Louis County, the police have a history of racial profiling and abusing the power of the shield. Racial profiling in North County has transformed into a problem of monstrous proportions. Young black men and women have sadly realized that the police are here to do us more harm than good. We don’t drive certain places in our very own community after a certain time of night. We avoid suburban communities as much as possible because we fear being unjustifiably locked up and thrown into jail. In Saint Louis County all of the cards are stacked against young black…

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The Final Solution; Slavery’s Back In Effect | #OYRchallenge

#OYRchallenge

Youtube presentation:

Uploaded on Oct 25, 2009

Music video by Sister Souljah performing The Final Solution; Slavery’s Back In Effect. (C) 1991 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

9 Things Everyone Needs to Stop Saying to Black Women Immediately – Mic | #OYRchallenge

9 Things Everyone Needs to Stop Saying to Black Women Immediately – Mic. by Erika Turner

Below is a 2012 comic video by chescaleigh, where she mimics microaggressions Black women are subjected to daily.

It’s not that talking to black women should be hard work, but people need to make a sincere effort to undo several years of unchecked, subtle racism and sexist microaggressions. And in the interest of elevating the conversation beyond the ridiculous tropes, here are a few of the most common statements that everyone should strongly consider avoiding while speaking with a black woman. 

#OYRchallenge

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR

Alain Locke

Alain Locke, September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954

I became an official devotee of Africa American sociology and literature after reading Alain Locke’s “The New Negro.” Studying our great post-slavery philosophers, artists, and writers, in no way prepared me for this text. They all asked questions, stumbled about with fear, not quite grasping the ground they stood. Locke provided answers to who they were in the moment. They were no longer the offspring of slaves but men and women established in their humanity and history beyond race.

Funeral - Alain Locke

[Alain] Locke compiled many of the answers in an anthology called The New Negro. Published in 1925, it was an instant success and included work by Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois.”This book is the standard-bearer for how the 20th century African-American is going to see themselves,” Jones says. “This volume is dedicated to the younger generation: Oh rise, shine, for thy light is a coming.”

via Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR.