New Mexico Activists: Trans Men Have Babies, Too

New Mexico Activists: Trans Men Have Babies, Too

Media Literacy Project, an Albuquerque-based group, created a smart counter-ad to a popular Chicago campaign that played on some transphobic misrepresentations.

The original ad features what are presumed to be cisgender teenage boys who are very, very pregnant. The caption reads: “Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are.” Media Literacy Project countered by pointing out that, yes, some men can have babies.

See the ads after the jump.

TAGS: teen

Flaco Navaja Talks About ‘East WillyB’ and a Brooklyn for Locals Only

Flaco Navaja Talks About 'East WillyB' and a Brooklyn for Locals Only

If you haven’t already seen it, “East WillyB” is a hilarious and insightful Web series about Latino life in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s an important interruption in the narrative that we usually hear about North Brooklyn as home to the borough’s stereotypical hipsters. In essence, the series is paying homage to a still vibrant Latino community that doesn’t get a ton of attention. Here’s a quick blurb:

Shot on location in Bushwick, Brooklyn, “East WillyB” takes place along the historic Bushwick and Knickerbocker Aves. It is a story about the many faces that make up the Latino community of Brooklyn, and the ways in which their lives interconnect to create the extended family so integral to its character. Come meet the telenovela addicts, tamale slingers, salsa fiends, piragua purveyors, bomba players, plastic couch owners, & bodega CEOs that make the community of Bushwick unique.

Flaco Navajo stars in the series as Willie Jr. and not too long ago he talked about what drew him to the series. Check out some of his answers after the jump.

Here’s Your First Look at ‘The Queen Latifah Show’

Here's Your First Look at 'The Queen Latifah Show'

The Queen’s getting ready to debut her own talk show this fall. The show’s scheduled to premiere on September 16, 2013. Take a look.

(H/T Vice Magazine)

Because Even a Horrific Plane Crash Can Lead to Racist Asian Jokes

Because Even a Horrific Plane Crash Can Lead to Racist Asian Jokes

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed over the weekend at San Francisco International Airport. So far, two 16-year-old Chinese students on their way to summer camp have been confirmed dead, while more than 180 other passengers suffered injuries. Investigators are still trying to sort out what caused the crash, but all that mattered for the Internet’s racists was the fact that the plane originated in China. Cue a bunch of awful jokes mocking Asians.

(H/T Angry Asian Man)

A Teenage Girl Created a Beat for Jay-Z’s New Album

Canadian teen Ebony Oshunrinde, aka Wondagirl, is dope. Jezebel explains why:

Her story is insanely inspiring and impressive: after watching a video of Jay-Z and Timbaland working in the studio together at age 9, she began to download music software and teach herself how to use it by watching YouTube tutorials. “I wanted to do the exact same thing that [Jay-Z] did,” she recently told the Star. When she was 14, she made it to the quarter-finals of Toronto’s Battle of the Beatmakers. (FOURTEEN. I didn’t even know how to make a grilled cheese when I was 14.) She won the title the following year, because she is incredible, and went on to sign an exclusive management deal with Black Box.

The result? Wondagirl is credited as a producer on “Crown”, a track on Jay-Z’s new Magna Carta Holy Grail. Listen to the track after the jump.

Forget ‘The Lone Ranger,’ Here’s a Real Native Film

Forget 'The Lone Ranger,' Here's a Real Native Film

Did you watch “The Lone Ranger,” only to regret it? Do you already know you don’t wanna waste your money or your time on it? Then check out “Universal VIP.” It was written, produced, directed by Natives, and features a phenomenal all-Native cast (hello, Tatanka Means!)—all based on a short story by Gyasi Ross. 

TAGS: Films Native

Connecticut Bars Felony Arrests for School Zip Code Fraud

Connecticut Bars Felony Arrests for School Zip Code Fraud

Connecticut won’t be prosecuting parents for “stealing” their children’s public education anymore. Last week Gov. Daniel Malloy signed into law HB 6677, which prohibits felony arrests for parents who enroll their children in schools outside their zip code. 

The law addresses recent high-profile cases of counties arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating parents—most typically poor mothers of color—for falsifying information to enroll their children in better school districts. It is a common practice, not just in Connecticut, but arrests and criminal prosecutions for such maneuvers have typically fallen squarely on poor women of color. 

HB 6677 (PDF) explicitly says that falsifying information to obtain a “service” like public education for schoolchildren or those enrolled in public school districts will not count as larceny. Residency violations will now be dealt with by school districts themselves as a civil matter.

Before HB 6677 became law, Connecticut convicted Tanya McDowell, a black woman, of first-degree larceny for enrolling her son in the school district of Norwalk. She was eventually sentenced to twelve years in prison for, along with other charges, “stealing” an estimated $15,000 in public education, Connecticut’s WFSB reported. McDowell is not alone. Before her, Kelley Williams-Bolar was sent to jail for ten days for using her father’s address to enroll her daughters in a neighboring school district in Akron, Ohio.

But larger issues remain. Every child in the country may have access to public education, but a high quality public education is a privilege instead of a right. And it’s too often out of reach for the poor and families of color. A high quality education has become a private good, something a family must be in the correct tax bracket, or zip code, to deserve. 

An Obscenely Hilarious Take on Bay Area Gentrification

An Obscenely Hilarious Take on Bay Area Gentrification

Presenting Miss Persia and Daddie$ Pla$tik with “Google Google Apps Apps.”

(H/T Nia King)

Just In Case You Weren’t Already Waiting for Janelle Monáe’s New Album

Just In Case You Weren't Already Waiting for Janelle Monáe's New Album

Here’s the video for her latest single, “Dance Apocalyptic.” Notice that Monáe is going without her signature pompadour and bowtie. Still cute. The album hits stores on September 10, 2013.

Twitter Reacts to City College of San Francisco’s Accreditation Woes

Twitter Reacts to City College of San Francisco's Accreditation Woes

San Francisco was dealt a huge blow earlier this week when a private panel announced the stunning decision to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation, citing, among other things, fiscal mismanagement. Since California law prohibits taxpayer money from going to unaccredited institutions, the decision may mean the college — a vital lifeline to 85,000 immigrant, working class, and elderly students — may be forced to close its doors. The decision could take effect on July 31, 2014 but will likely be appealed by the college.

“This announcement clearly shows that the (accrediting commission) is an out-of-control, rogue institution that must be stopped by the (U.S.) Department of Education,” Wendy Kaufman, an engineering instructor and leader of the Save City College Coalition, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

You can read the Accreditation for Community and Junior College’s (ACCJC) decision here.

Meanwhile, people reacted on Twitter with shock and outrage at the decision. Check out some of the chatter after the jump, and stay tuned to Colorlines for news and analysis.

Add Azealia Banks and Pharrell’s New ‘ATM Jam’ to Your Summer Playlist

This new Azealia Banks track with Pharrell is hot. Banks performed “ATM Jam” live at Glastonbury last week and then New York radio station Hot 97 debuted it to their listeners on July 2. Here’s the radio edit, which is still a banger. Enjoy.

(H/T Billboard)

TAGS: Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti: ‘I knew I never wanted to be just like my father.’

Femi Kuti caught up with Wax Poetics recently to promote his new album No Place for My Dream. The son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti told the magazine’s blog, “I was being groomed to be like my father, even in the way I dressed. That wasn’t what I wanted. I needed something more challenging. I wanted to break away.”

Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t. But this new track, “Nothing to Show For It”, shows that the apple clearly doesn’t fall very far from the tree. And in this case, that’s a good thing.

Sabrina Fulton on the Stand: ‘My son is Trayvon Martin. He’s in heaven.’

Sabrina Fulton on the Stand: 'My son is Trayvon Martin. He's in heaven.'

Trayvon Martin’s family is on the stand this morning in a Florida courtroom, where George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. The prosecution’s first witness today was Sabrina Fulton, who testified early on, “My youngest son is Trayvon Benjamin Martin. He’s in heaven.”

Fulton went on to state that the screams heard on the 911 call are most certainly Trayvon Martin’s. Her son, Jahvaris Fulton, is also on the stand this morning. The prosecution will likely rest its case later today.

You can read details about what happened this morning at the Orlando Sentinal.

Jay-Z’s New Album Pretty Much Knows Everything About You

Jay-Z's New Album Pretty Much Knows Everything About You

After a few initial hiccups, Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail was released this week by way of an exclusive app for Samsung customers. But Adrian Chen over at Gawker points out that the app itself is a massive data mining opportunity:

Occupy-supporting Atlanta rapper Killer Mike noted on Twitter yesterday that when he tried to download the Magna Carta app—which has racked up more than a half million downloads, according to Billboard—it requested some oddly intrusive permissions from your Android phone. Why does Jay-Z need your GPS location? Is he going to cruise by on a platinum-coated jet ski, personally chucking out copies of the album to people who downloaded the app?

During his big media splash before the album’s released, the business savvy rapper said that his unconventional deal with Samsung was motivated in part by his belief that the Internet is the “wild, wild West” and that we — users — have a chance to rewrite the rules. I guess all of that is true except when it comes to your privacy.

Native Appropriations Sees “The Lone Ranger” (Now, You Don’t Have To)

Native Appropriations Sees

SPOILER ALERT: Adrienne Keene, over at Native Appropriations, doesn’t like it. But don’t take our word for it, here’s part of her review, which draws attention to the many, many problematic stereotypes featured in the film:

The Lone Ranger fails the Bechdel test. There are not two (named) women, who speak to each other, about something other than a man. The portrayals of the Chinese laborers who built the railroad are super problematic too, they have them in rice paddy hats, and the only time they speak is to tell the bad guys they won’t go in the tunnel because there are “Indian spirits” in there. Then that guy gets shot. The only Black characters are one of Rebecca’s employees (who gets shot defending the house), and the driver/bouncer of the “House of Sin” where Helena Bonham-Carter works. This is also supposed to be Texas, but I can’t actually think of any Latino characters, besides a “Spaniard” (bad guy), and another of Rebecca’s employees.

And that’s just a tiny bit. You can read the review in its entirety here.

Still feel like you want to see the flick? Make sure you take Keene’s Lone Ranger bingo card with you. She was kind enough to create it for “all your cliched stereotype needs.”

TAGS: Lone Ra

Federal Judge Needs Evidence Louisiana Prison Gets Extra Hot in July

Federal Judge Needs Evidence Louisiana Prison Gets Extra Hot in July

A federal judge denied a preliminary injunction filed by attorneys for death row inmates in Louisiana’s notorious Angola state penitentiary who are suing the prison for subjecting the prisoners to cruel and unusual punishment due to extreme heat conditions there. The Promise of Justice Initiative attorneys were simply asking for Angola prison officials to control temperatures to more tolerable levels. In 2011, the heat index rose as high as 195 degrees.

The judge’s denial of having the prison turn up the fans is temporary, and contingent upon the attorney’s bringing him evidence that the prison will, in fact, get unbearably hot this month. Judge Brian Jackson asked the inmates’ lawyers and prison officials to record temperature data from inside the facilities over the next three weeks.  

Lawyers for the prison said heat complaints were “not scientifically valid,” according to a report, and based on “generally incompetent evidence.” 

On death row, the inmates, who all have hypertension, remain in cells for 23 hours a day experiencing dangerous and potentially life threatening heat conditions in the summer — this according to two experts on thermoregulation and environmental safety provided by the inmates’ attorneys. 

Federal courts have already ruled that extreme heat conditions count as cruel and unusual punishment, as seen recently in lawsuits successfully filed against Texas prisons. It’s also a matter of fact that American cities that currently suffer heat waves are expected to suffer even more of them, and at higher intensities, throughout the century according to the best available climate change information. 

Queering Immigration: ‘Citizenship Is Not the Answer to Everything’

Queering Immigration: 'Citizenship Is Not the Answer to Everything'

Check out this thought-provoking video by Sowjanya Kudva in which LGBT folks talk about their definitions of immigration, borders, and citizenship.

‘The Lone Ranger’ Inspires Fashion Trend

'The Lone Ranger' Inspires Fashion Trend

Anchor Vincent Schilling of the Vincent Schilling YouTube News Channel talks to Vincent Schilling about the new Johnny Depp fashion craze, based on Tonto from the “The Longer Ranger”. It’s as brilliant as it is hilarious. 

Watch the Ghost of Frederick Douglass Star in This 1970’s Afro Sheen Commercial

Watch the Ghost of Frederick Douglass Star in This 1970's Afro Sheen Commercial

Too much. But still a little something for your afternoon lunch break.

The KKK’s TV Show for Kids Is As Awful As You Can Imagine

The KKK's TV Show for Kids Is As Awful As You Can Imagine

Startin’ ‘em young on white supremacy. From the Huffington Post:

Andrew Pendergraft is the grandson of Thomas Robb, the modern-day Ku Klux Klan’s national director. As a young boy with floppy blond hair and a slight speech impediment, Pendergraft hosted a number of short episodes of his very own amateur talk show, “The Andrew Show,” which presents the Klan’s ideology in a format aimed at kids — more specifically, white kids.

The episode above appears to have been shot around 2009.

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