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Viola Davis’ SAG Speech Shouts Out Segue Institute’s 91% Latino Student Body [Video]

Viola Davis' SAG Speech Shouts Out Segue Institute's 91% Latino Student Body [Video]

When Viola Davis won a SAG Award for Outstanding Female Actress in a leading role Sunday night her acceptance speech included a special note for the students at Segue Institute of Learning in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

“I have a special note to the kids in Central Falls, Rhode Island and Segue Institute of Learning—dream big and dream fierce,” Davis told students in her hometown.

Segue Institute for Learning serves Central Falls students grades 6-8. According to public records, 91% of the students are Latino and 9% are black. 57% of students are on reduced lunch.

Central Falls was one of the cities with a large Latino population that made headlines in 2009 when leaders in the Latino community urged them to not participate in the 2010 Census as a symbolic protest for immigration reform.

‘The Help’ Sweeps SAG Awards, Octavia Spencer Clear Frontrunner for Oscars

'The Help' Sweeps SAG Awards, Octavia Spencer Clear Frontrunner for Oscars

“The Help” took three of the top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night, turning it into the movie everyone else has to beat as the Oscar awards approach next month.

Viola Davis won the best actress trophy, while Octavia Spencer took the best supporting actress honor. “The Help” also won the best cast ensemble SAG award.

Spencer’s SAG award makes her a clear frontrunner for the supporting actress Oscar, considering she also won the Golden Globe in a similar category.

“The stain of racism and sexism is not just for people of color and women,” Davis said when she accepted the ensemble award on behalf of the cast. “It’s all of our burden, all of us.”

After accepting the award for best ensemble Davis went on to explain she’s learned a lot about herself during the promotion of ‘The Help’ because she’s had to defend herself for playing a role of a main.

“It’s kind of made me feel what Aibileen, Minny, all of them felt finding their own voices and not keeping silent anymore,” Davis said backstage.

Gov. Brewer and Her Wagging Finger: Your Best Captions

Gov. Brewer and Her Wagging Finger: Your Best Captions

bre-w.jpgThat famous picture of President Barack Obama being welcomed “intensely” by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer earlier this week made big headlines. And we knew Colorlines.com’s clever readers would have some good caption suggestions.

About 35 of you sent in submissions and below are some of the highlights. Thanks for participating!

“That better be a birth certificate in your hand or I’m calling Sherriff Joe to arrest you for criminal trespass!”

“Petrificus Totalus!” (Spell in Harry Potter that renders a victim completely immobile)

“Put the finger down and step slowly away from the President. Keep your racist hands where I can see them.”

“Don’t be taking cues on how to interact with Black people from Gangsta rap…”

‎”now you lesson here Boy”…..

“Does this smell funny to you?”

Get Ready for Big Freedia To Shake the U.S. with New Orleans Bounce [Video]

Get Ready for Big Freedia To Shake the U.S. with New Orleans Bounce [Video]

On Wednesday night Big Freedia brought bounce to national television with a performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live late-night talk show. Freedia performed two recent songs, “Excuse” (above) and “Na Who Mad” (below). You can watch the full episode on JimmyKimmelLive.com.

At a performance in Los Angeles Thursday night, Big Freedia said her phone has not stopped ringing since her television debut.

And to read more about Freedia read the NY Times 2010 profile on her.

Joe Biden Mocks Indian Accents During Outsourcing Speech

Joe Biden Mocks Indian Accents During Outsourcing Speech

During a speech in New Hampshire on Thursday, vice president Joe Biden slipped into an “Indian” accent when talking about “hundreds of thousands” of call center jobs going overseas.

At the 00:11 second mark you see Biden catch himself and stop the accent.

The New York Times ‘India Ink’ blog provides a bit more context:

The accent was so badly done that some commentators immediately speculated that it was supposed to be Russian - but still it brought to mind Mr. Biden’s 2006 Indian-American gaffe, when he was caught on microphone saying: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

Biden is no stranger to sticking his foot in his mouth. In 2007, an LA Times columnist said Biden had “uncontrollable verbosity” and called him a gaffe machine.

‘Slavery By Another Name’ Director Gets 2-Min Standing Ovation at Sundance

'Slavery By Another Name' Director Gets 2-Min Standing Ovation at Sundance

The Sundance audience at Sam Pollard’s documentary “Slavery By Another Name” gave the director a 2-minute standing ovation after the film premiere.

Merging testimonials, reenactments, and archival footage, Pollard’s film recounts the hidden existence of slavery decades after the Emancipation Proclamation when blacks were forced in to labor of because of ostensible “debts.” 

The Sundance Film Festival describes the film:

Sam Pollard performs a remarkable act of historical reclamation in this documentary, recounting the many ways in which American slavery persisted as a practice many decades after its supposed abolition. It is a story impressive in its sweep and alarming in the way that its larger theme—an American moral failure—has been obscured in history.

Facing economic catastrophe under Reconstruction, as well as freed black citizens’ political and social ascendancy, southern states found effective tactics to continue forced servitude in new modes. Techniques such as peonage (forced labor to pay off debts), leasing convicts to private business, or forcing convict labor in state-run enterprises subjected newly freed American citizens to inescapable conditions that insidiously operated under more palatable names than slavery.

Pollard recounts this slowly evolving hidden history, including the activism that powerfully confronted it, with a stirring combination of photographs, reenactments, and the testimony of key historians, bringing to light many shocking details, but more importantly redefining “emancipation” in history and American political life.

The film will have it’s television premiere on PBS on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m., as part of the channel’s Black History Month programming.

Spike Lee’s Co-Writer: Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

Spike Lee's Co-Writer: Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

The reviews for Spike Lee’s film “Red Hook Summer” that premiered at Sundance earlier this week have not been good. His comments made after the premiere about Hollywood studios knowing “nothing about black people” made more headlines than the actual film.

An open letter published yesterday by “Red Hook” co-writer, James McBride, is sure to make even more headlines because he takes the film community to task and says “nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens.”

Below is an excerpt from McBride’s open letter on the 40 Acres and a Mule website:

Three days ago, at the premiere of “Red Hook Summer” at The Sundance Film Festival, Spike, usually a cool and widely accepting soul whose professional life is as racially diverse as any American I know- lost his cool for 30 seconds. When prompted by a question from Chris Rock who was seated in the audience, he blurted out a small, clear truth: He said one reason we did “Red Hook Summer” independently was because he could not get Hollywood to green light the follow-up to “Inside Man” - which cost only $45 million to make and grossed a whopping $184,376,240 million domestically and worldwide - plus another $37 million domestically on DVD sales. Within minutes, the internet lit up with burning personal criticism of him stitched into negative reviews of “Red Hook Summer” by so-called film critics and tweeters. I don’t mind negative reviews. That’s life in the big leagues. But it’s the same old double standard. The recent success of “Red Tails” which depicts the story of the all black Tuskegee Airmen, is a clear example. Our last film, “Miracle At St. Anna,” which paid homage to the all-black 92nd Division, which fought on the ground in Italy, was blasted before it even got out the gate. Maybe it’s a terrible film. Maybe it deserved to bomb. The difference is this: When George Lucas complained publicly about the fact that he had to finance his own film because Hollywood executives told him they didn’t know how to market a black film, no one called him a fanatic. But when Spike Lee says it, he’s a racist militant and a malcontent. Spike’s been saying the same thing for 25 years. And he had to go to Italy to raise money for a film that honors American soldiers, because unlike Lucas, he’s not a billionaire. He couldn’t reach in his pocket to create, produce, market, and promote his film like Lucas did with “Red Tails.”

But there’s a deeper, even more critical element here , because it’s the same old story: Nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens. And therein lies the problem of being a professional black storyteller- writer, musician, filmmaker. Being black is like serving as Hoke, the driver in “Driving Miss Daisy,” except it’s a kind of TV series lasts the rest of your life: You get to drive the well-meaning boss to and fro, you love that boss, your lives are stitched together, but only when the boss decides your story intersects with his or her life is your story valid. Because you’re a kind of cultural maid. You serve up the music, the life, the pain, the spirituality. You clean house. Take the kids to school. You serve the eggs and pour the coffee. And for your efforts the white folks thank you. They pay you a little. They ask about your kids. Then they jump into the swimming pool and you go home to your life on the outside, whatever it is. And if lucky you get to be the wise old black sage that drops pearls of wisdom, the wise old poet or bluesman who says ‘I been buked and scorned,’ and you heal the white folks, when in fact you can’t heal anybody. In fact, you’re actually as dumb as they are, dumber maybe, because you played into the whole business. Robbing a character of their full dimension, be it in fiction or non fiction, hurts everyone the world over. Need proof? Ask any Native American, Asian, Latino, Gay American, or so called white “hillbilly.” As if hillbillies don’t read books, and Asians don’t rap, and Muslims don’t argue about the cost of a brake job.

Read the full letter at Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule website .

Migrants Making Journey Through Mexico ‘Desperately Need Socks’

Migrants Making Journey Through Mexico 'Desperately Need Socks'

A new campaign by Amnesty International highlights the plight of thousands of Central American migrants traveling across the region every year by calling for donations of a particular, humble item of clothing.

When Amnesty International asked migrants what one thing they would take if leaving the country, the answer was: “socks.”

“Most migrants told us that they had no possessions with them at all because they expected to be attacked and robbed on the journey and that anything of value would increase their chances of kidnap,” Rupert Knox, Mexico researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement. “Much to our surprise, the migrants did tell us that one thing they desperately needed on their journey were socks. On journeys that can be up to hundreds of miles, untreated blisters risk lives and a fresh pair of socks can make all the difference.”

In a three-minute campaign video filmed in Mexico, members of the public are asked: “If you had to leave your country and could only take one thing, what would it be?” Residents of Mexico City gave answers ranging from “identity cards” to “Tabasco sauce.”

Their responses starkly contrasted with those given by migrants, whose request for socks has led to the launch of a website - sendsocks.org - where the public can watch the campaign video and make donations.

There are no official figures for the numbers of migrants travelling illegally through Mexico but 60,000 were detained and repatriated in 2011. More than nine in every 10 are Central Americans, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua, according to Amnesty International.

Obama Says Brewer Wagging Finger ‘No Big Deal’

Obama Says Brewer Wagging Finger 'No Big Deal'

A tense airport exchange with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, in which she wagged her finger in his face, was blown out of proportion, President Barack Obama said in an ABC News interview on Thursday.

“I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me. … But this was really not a big deal,” Obama said. “Last time we met, she wasn’t fully satisfied. But, you know, I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion.”

According to Brewer, Obama “turned that conversation immediately to my book ‘Scorpions for Breakfast’ and was immediately somewhat distraught, disappointed about the way that he was portrayed in that book,” she told CNN Thursday. “Let me say that I respect the office of president, and when I went to meet him at the tarmac, I went with a happy heart,” Brewer went on to say.

Looks like Brewer ends up winning in this one though.

Brewer’s book on Thursday skyrocketed up to become the 8th best seller on Amazon and #1 in three different political categories. The book, released in November, ranked 276,665th in sales on Amazon.com before the airport showdown

Ten Undocumented Youth Arrested in San Bernardino for Civil Disobedience at DHS Office

Ten Undocumented Youth Arrested in San Bernardino for Civil Disobedience at DHS Office

On Tuesday ten undocumented immigrant youth were arrested in San Bernardino, Calif. after practicing non-violent civil disobedience by holding multiple “sit-ins” in front of the Department of Homeland Security building in town.

The youth say their actions were driven by the steady pace of detention and deportation orders that undocumented immigrants and young people in particular are facing in Southern California.

“Here in the Inland Empire area a lot of undocumented youth and people are turned over to ICE and processed because of 287g and secure communities, we are here demanding and end to these programs and policies,” Maria Rodriguez, an undocumented youth from Riverside attending Pitzer College, said in a statement.

The students were all released from jail by the next morning, Nico Gonzalez with the Immigrant Youth Coalition confirmed with Colorlines.com’s immigration reporter Julianne Hing.

“The Immigrant Youth Coalition, like many immigrant youth activists, are employing their civil disobedience tactics to call for an end to enforcement programs like Secure Communities and 287(g) that are sweeping the community up into the country’s deportation machine,” Hing said.


We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to submissions@colorlines.com, and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.

To see other Love posts visit our Celebrate Love page.

Azealia Banks Performs at Karl Lagerfeld’s House in Paris [Video]

Azealia Banks Performs at Karl Lagerfeld's House in Paris [Video]

I wrote about 21-year-old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks last Wednesday, the day she signed on to Universal Music. And just one week later she’s in Paris during couture week. And performing in Karl Lagerfeld’s house (to a tough crowd.)

Video was uploaded to YouTube earlier today by Derek Blasberg, Editor at Large of Harper’s Bazaar.

Bulldogs Lose Recruit as Georgia Demands He Prove Immigration Status

Bulldogs Lose Recruit as Georgia Demands He Prove Immigration Status

When Chester Brown learned he had been recruited to University Of Georgia’s football team he was so excited that he got the commitment date tattooed on his left forearm. That tattoo will now also serve as constant reminder of the date the Samoan-born offensive lineman had to decommit himself because he couldn’t prove his immigration status in the United States.

An anti-immigrant measure passed by the state Board of Regents in 2010 requires “the verification of a student’s lawful presence in the United States” in order to enroll in any of the state’ public universities. Brown’s family is unable to produce any documentation, according to ESPN’s college football blog.

And it gets more complicated because most people didn’t know Brown was undocumented and he suffered humiliation when he decommitted. More details from ESPN:

Brown, who attends the Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., initially cited “personal reasons” for decommitting, saying that he didn’t want “anything bad to happen to me, anything bad to happen to my family and most of all I don’t want anything bad to happen to Georgia.”

But Brown had no choice, said a family spokesperson, who added that the decision left him heartbroken after developing relationships with Georgia recruits, coaches and members of the team. He had been talking up the Bulldogs to other would-be Georgia commitments for the Class of 2012 for months.

“It has been rough on Chester,” the Brown family spokesperson said Tuesday night. “He went to school today and he just got bashed from all of these teachers calling him dumb and stupid for decommitting. He came home and just cried. And they don’t know the situation.”

Brown’s family emigrated from Samoa in the mid-1990s and lived in Long Beach, Calif., upon arriving in the United States. “They moved to Hinesville in 2004, attempting to escape the crime and gang activity that was prevalent in their community,” ESPN reports.

“As far as inside the state of Georgia, there is no way. It is just going to run into a dead end. There is nothing else we can do,” a family spokesperson told ESPN about Brown’s college options. “What I am hearing, and (what) coach Ball told Chester today, was, ‘Get ready, because big-name colleges are coming after you. You will see what I am talking about.’ “

Georgia is the second state, after South Carolina, to enact a ban on undocumented students at public colleges.

Caption Contest: What Did Brewer and Her Wagging Finger Tell Obama?

Caption Contest: What Did Brewer and Her Wagging Finger Tell Obama?

bre-w.jpgThe picture of President Barack Obama being welcomed “intensely” by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday has gone viral. And it’s begging for a good caption.

And if the New Yorker can have their caption contests, so can we. Comment below (or via Facebook or Twitter) and we’ll post the best captions tomorrow.

PS: Keep it classy! (That means don’t post any misogynist captions because your comments will likely disappear.)



Univision to Obama: Explain to Latinos Why You Didn’t Keep Immigration Promise [Video]

Univision to Obama: Explain to Latinos Why You Didn't Keep Immigration Promise [Video]

Univision’s María Elena Salinas asked President Obama yesterday to explain to Latinos why he didn’t keep his immigration promise to them.

“It’s very simple. We couldn’t get any republican votes. Zero. None.”

Even though he couldn’t keep his promise, Obama says he’ll win the Latino vote no matter who he runs against because of his stance on issues that matter to Latino like the economy, healthcare and the DREAM Act.

“On a whole range of issues, whether it’s Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Santorum or wherever else they might decide to select they represent a fundamentally different vision of America and it’s not the bold, generous forward-looking optimistic America that I think built this country,” Obama said.

Latinos still favor President Obama over all the Republican candidates by a wide margin, according to a new poll conducted by Latino Decisions for Univision News and ABC News.

While some Latinos have complained about Obama’s failed promise to take up immigration reform and bring down the country’s unemployment rate -53 percent say they are less excited about Obama than they were three years ago — for the most part they remain supportive of the president.

Junot Díaz to Keynote at Colorlines.com’s Facing Race 2012 in Baltimore

Junot Díaz to Keynote at Colorlines.com's Facing Race 2012 in Baltimore

Facing Race is the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, and activists on racial justice. It’s taking place November 15-17 in Baltimore, and yesterday, Colorlines.com’s publisher, Applied Research Center, announced the keynote speaker is Junot Díaz!

ARC’s mission to popularize racial justice led to the selection of celebrated Dominican-American author Junot Díaz as Facing Race keynote speaker. From his Pulitzer Prize-winning, NYTimes bestselling novel, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to his short stories and essays, Díaz is renowned for his bold, nuanced depiction of immigrants and people of color, moving far beyond stereotypes to deal with different degrees of historical and intergenerational trauma, issues of diasporic displacement, and immigration. Through Díaz’s writing, the impact of internalized and structural oppression is revealed in a way that makes a discussion about racial justice accessible and engaging.

Join Colorlines.com and the Applied Research Center and be part of the discussion. Define justice. Make Change.

Visit arc.org/facingrace for more information and to register to attend Facing Race in Baltimore November 15-17.

According to Mitt Romney, God Created the U.S. to Lead the World [Video]

According to Mitt Romney, God Created the U.S. to Lead the World [Video]

At the second and final “Meet the Candidates” event organized by Univision on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told news anchor Jorge Ramos the role of the US is to be a leader in freedom among nations.

Romney told Ramos the U.S. is “a leader in freedom and in the free world and I believe that’s a mantle that still rest on the shoulders of United States of America.”

Groups Want NYPD Chief’s Job Over Anti-Muslim Propaganda in Trainings

Groups Want NYPD Chief's Job Over Anti-Muslim Propaganda in Trainings

On Thursday, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition held a press conference is front of City Hall calling for the NYPD Chief Raymond Kelly’s resignation after news surfaced that an anti-Muslim documentary he appears in was being was being played on a loop at police trainings. According to documents uncovered by the NYU’s Brennan Center, the NYPD showed the anti-Muslim film to nearly 1,500 officers during its training curriculum, reports The New York Times.

According to the film, the goal of “much of Muslim leadership here in America” is to “infiltrate and dominate” the United States.

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told Times on Monday that the filmmakers had relied on old interview clips and had never spoken with Kelly, but on Tuesday Browne admitted the police chief had personally cooperated with the filmmakers of “The Third Jihad” — a decision the commissioner now describes as a mistake.

The film, according to the documents obtained, was shown on a “continuous loop” for between three months and a year to officers receiving antiterrorism training. The film, amid images of assassinations, bombings and executions, portrays many mainstream American Muslim leaders as closet radical Islamists, and states that their “primary tactic” is deception.

“It has become increasingly clear in recent years that the NYPD is engaged in systemic and unapologetic practices of surveillance and racial and religious profiling of Muslim communities. The practices have long raised serious civil rights and civil liberties concerns and create a climate of fear in New York’s Muslim communities,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigation reporter.

“Relations between police and the diverse Muslim community are already tense after The Associated Press uncovered aggressive surveillance of Muslims, including American citizens. The propaganda of this film will only damage those relations further and make law enforcement more difficult,” the New York Times editorial board wrote on Tuesday.

Along with the call for Kelly’s resignation, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition this morning demanded that the City Council institute an independent community control and oversight mechanism for the NYPD. They also called on the NYPD to retrain all 1500 officers who watched The Third Jihad during cadet training.

2-Year-Old Black Scientist is Here to Give You a Physics Lesson [Video]

2-Year-Old Black Scientist is Here to Give You a Physics Lesson [Video]

Thoughtful little Scientist Romanieo Golphin Jr., 2.5 years old, reviews subatomic particles with his dad in the video above. Below he aces an astronomy pop quiz.

(h/t News One)


We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to submissions@colorlines.com, and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.

To see other Love posts visit our Celebrate Love page.

Racist Tabloid Wednesday: Heidi Klum Divorcing Seal Due to his Inability to Control Temper

Racist Tabloid Wednesday: Heidi Klum Divorcing Seal Due to his Inability to Control Temper

This is a public service announcement, some of the most racist stories that are mostly based on stereotypes are available at your local grocery check stand.

In this edition of racist tabloid Wednesday Heidi Klum is divorcing Seal largely because she has had it with his “volcanic temper.” It’s unclear what the details are or if the reports of the divorce are even true but what’s clear is that everyone is painting Seal out to be a jealous, drug and sex addicted black man that can’t control his anger.

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According to US Weekly Heidi Klum is in “private hell” because Seal has mood swings that stem from jealousy of her fame and fortune. And it doesn’t help that she’s an “upbeat, happy person,” while Seal has a troubled, sad background.




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He’s a cheater too, according to inTouch.


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And a bully, y’all!


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Star is alleging there was actual fight between Klum and Seal.

But if Klum and Seal thought they had it bad, Angelina Jolie has the ultimate disaster combo, according to Star she’s “98 lbs, pregnant and headed for rehab!”


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And then there’s the National Enquirer…they’re reporting Seal is sex crazed and drug addicted.

The Enquirer loves themselves some Oprah and Star Jones. (Sometimes Whitney Houston too.) This week they’re reporting Ms. Winfrey was saved by Hinduism.

No mention that Oprah’s bodyguards beat a few Indian photographers though …because that’s actually true.


Artist Reimagines ‘The Help’ Poster: ‘White People Solve Racism’

Artist Reimagines 'The Help' Poster: 'White People Solve Racism'

British movie review site TheShiznit.co.uk has taken the advertising for ‘The Help’ to a whole new level.

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