Colorlines

Eric Garner and Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’

Eric Garner and Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing'

What’s become clear in the aftermath of Eric Garner’s death is that NYPD chokeholds, though officially banned, happen all too often. There have been more than 1,000 complaints of officers using the tactic in recent years. But its influence in our cultural memory is strong, as Spike Lee demonstrated when he edited footage of Garner’s death with the pivotal scene in his 1989 film “Do the Right Thing” when cops kill Radio Raheem.

Over at Shadow and Act, Tambay A. Obenson wrote that the video is “essentially holding up a mirror to reality, emphasizing how much his art seemingly imitates (or maybe I should say, reflects) real life - still, some 25 years later, since that film’s release.”

 

Saul Williams Opens Up About ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ on Broadway

Saul Williams Opens Up About 'Holler If You Hear Me' on Broadway

Saul Williams, the star of the musical “Holler If You Hear Me,” spoke with Rolling Stone this week about why he thinks the show wasn’t a success. The show closed after only one month and 55 performances on Broadway. But Williams was quick to point out its accomplishments:

Could you foresee at all that Holler If Ya Hear Me would close this early or was it a surprise?
We’ve known what was going on all along. Every day at rehearsal, Kenny Leon was saying, “Let’s be very clear with the fact that this play is probably going to be hated coming out the gates.” We see how full or empty the house is every night. Twenty-six thousand people have seen the play and, of those people, we’ve had fucking standing ovations every night and tremendous support from the people that have seen it. But the producer, Eric Gold, said to me, “We expect that the first two months are going to be really difficult.”

Why do you think more people didn’t come out to see it?
One of our producers came in really angry because he had spoken to one of the TKTS people [who man Broadway ticket-selling booths] — not saying she was a producer — and asked them, “What about Holler? Should I see that?” And the response of the person who is supposed to guide tourists to plays was like, “It’s a bit of a downer. It’s not necessarily as fun as” whatever other play they mentioned. Then she approached another one and that person was like, “Oh, it got really bad reviews.” We started a street team at the last minute to counter those TKTS people who are really supposed to be promoting everything on Broadway. I also cannot go without saying that there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play. 

Read more at Rolling Stone. 

African Dances, From A-Z: The Best Thing on the Internet Right Now

African Dances, From A-Z: The Best Thing on the Internet Right Now Play

Because it’s Wednesday, and we all need something fierce to look at, watch this awesome video of contemporary African dances. 

(h/t BoingBoing)

TAGS: dance video

A Look at the U.S. Marches Calling for and End to Violence in Gaza

A Look at the U.S. Marches Calling for and End to Violence in Gaza

Across the United States, thousands of people have taken to the streets to call for an end to the Israeli war in Gaza that’s claimed more than 600 Palestinian lives. Here’s a look at what’s happened already in three cities.

Chicago

gaza2_072314.jpg

Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty Images

gaza3_072314.jpg

Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty Images

gaza4_072314.jpg

Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty Images

San Francisco

gaza5_072314.jpggaza6_072314.jpg

Photo credit: @Savannahh_h_
gaza8_072314.jpgPhoto credit: @SafeenS

Detroit

gaza9_072314.jpgPhoto credit: @ewajasiwicz

gaza10_072314.jpgPhoto credit: @hdgremix

gaza11_072314.jpgPhoto credit: @aarifah_asifee

An Asian-American Woman is Coaching in the NBA’s Summer League

An Asian-American Woman is Coaching in the NBA's Summer League

Meet Natalie Nakase, a former UCLA women’s basketball standout who’s spending her summer breaking down some of the NBA’s gender barriers. From the New York Times

Nakase, the Clippers’ assistant video coordinator, is trying to earn credibility in the coaching profession the same way: by proving her worth. She landed a spot as an assistant coach on the Clippers’ bench during the two-week N.B.A. Summer League here, a first according to the Clippers and a step toward her goal of becoming an N.B.A. coach — something no woman has ever accomplished.

“I don’t want to just coach,” Nakase said. “I want to win championships.”

There’s only been one woman to coach professional men’s basketball in the United States, Nancy Lieberman, who coached in the NBA’s developmental league in recent years. Read more

TAGS: Gender NBA Sports

Janet Mock Clarifies New Role at Marie Claire, Won’t Be ‘Trans Correspondent’

Janet Mock Clarifies New Role at Marie Claire, Won't Be 'Trans Correspondent'

Janet Mock made news this week when it was announced that she’d accepted an offer to become a contributing editor at Marie Claire. So what, exactly, does that mean? Mock explained to Poynter

“I’ll also give my perspective on beauty, and pop culture, and politics, and not just be thrown into a corner as the trans correspondent,” Mock said in a phone interview. Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider said that Mock will be writing about her own experiences but won’t be limited to them. She was drawn to Mock, she said, because she’s a “phenomenal writer, speaker and thinker.”

“I’m certainly not discounting her transgender identity; I think that’s really important and that’s what makes it so topical right now and what’s given it a lot of attention,” Fulenwider said, “but at the center of this is the story of a woman finding herself, and those are the stories that really resonate with young women.”

Mock’s first piece in her new role will be a personal account of the women and girls she’s met while on the road promoting her memoir “Redefining Realness.” It’ll appear in the magazine’s print issue this fall. 

Writers of Color Have the Best Advice For You

Writers of Color Have the Best Advice For You

Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton over at Buzzfeed put together a list of 39 tips from journalists and writers of color and it’s awesome. Look:

1. “Don’t stress out about ingratiating yourself with The Media Scene.”

Read a lot of what interests you, and don’t feel bad if what interests you isn’t the cover of the New York Times every morning. Obviously you should keep up with world events, but don’t think that being able to speak at length about every A1 Times story is necessarily important. Write more than you read. Do things/go places that make you feel scared. Don’t be afraid to be passionate and earnest; detached irony is dead. Treat interns and HR people and everyone else in your office with the same level of respect you give to your direct colleagues and boss. Be as kind as your constitution will allow to everyone both in and outside of your office. Get into the habit of talking to people and asking them questions about their life, and don’t do the thing where you zone out of conversations until it’s your turn to speak — actually listening to people and the world around you is like 35 percent of being a good writer. Don’t surround yourself only with other writers/journalists/media people; self-imposed insularity is the fastest way to smother your creativity. And don’t stress out about ingratiating yourself with The Media Scene. A lot of the parties suck.

Cord Jefferson, writer

2. “Don’t feel like you have to do the ‘racism beat.’”

Be tenacious. This applies to everyone, but especially to young journalists of color: Make yourself indispensable. Dispel any rumors, however quiet, that you are just there for a “quota.” When you grow bolder: Challenge the status quo. Nearly every major newsroom is overwhelmingly white and male: Do something about it. Refer your capable friends to positions. Push that job openings be made public. Leave the door open for others like you. Don’t feel like you have to do the “racism beat”; advocate for stories about race and privilege, but don’t feel obligated to write them — journalism should teach both the writer and the reader. Write what’s important to you. You’re not the grand poobah of all things Asian/Latino/black/mixed-race. Your colleagues are journalists; they need to know how to figure it out themselves. There are communities out there for you — you just have to find them, and it takes a little work. Never hesitate to reach out to someone, over any medium, for advice or, sadly, commiseration. Don’t collude, collaborate: Your voices are important, and together they are stronger and louder. Start projects that get your words out there. Surround yourself with people who get it.

—Anonymous, editor at news website

There are 39 tips in all, and you should totally read them

TAGS:

Angela Davis on Palestine and the Prison Industrial Complex

Angela Davis on Palestine and the Prison Industrial Complex Play

Late last year, Angela Davis was honored by the anti-poverty organization War on Want in Great Britain and gave a speech in which she called for the boycotting of the transnational security agency G4S because of its presence in Gaza. She quoted Nelson Mandela, who’d recently died, in saying, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

If you’ve got an extra half hour to spare, it’s worth listening to Davis as she makes the connections between the violence in Gaza and the struggle for racial justice. 

Jon Stewart Outlines the Trouble With Talking About Gaza in the U.S.

Jon Stewart Outlines the Trouble With Talking About Gaza in the U.S. Play

Over the weekend, Bejamin Wallace Wells published a must-read piece in New York Magazine on why the American media seem to suddenly be sympathetic to the hundreds of Palestinians who are being murdered in Gaza:

The story of the conflict between Israel and Palestine looks a little bit different this time around. Social media have helped allow us to see more deeply inside war zones — in this case, inside Gaza — and allowed viewers much fuller access to the terror that grips a population under military attack. America’s changing demographics (the country’s Muslim population has skyrocketed in the past decade and is now as much as half the size of the U.S. Jewish population) have meant both a more receptive audience for sympathetic stories about Palestinians and more Americans like Abu Khdeir, with connections back to Palestine.

But, as Jon Stewart pointed out last night, it’s still tough to report on the subject if you seem even remotely sympathetic to Palestinian lives. Watch the clip above. 

Meet Beyoncé the Riveter

Meet Beyoncé the Riveter

When you manage to release a secret album in the middle of a world tour while parenting a toddler, I guess you’re allowed to brag. 

<iframe src=”//instagram.com/p/qwWCsgPw7N/embed/” width=”612” height=”710” frameborder=”0” scrolling=”no” allowtransparency=”true”></iframe>

All hail Queen Bey. 

TAGS: beyonce

Demolition of Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz to Begin in August

Demolition of Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz to Begin in August

5Pointz, the graffiti mecca that was shockingly white-washed last year, will be demolished next month. Jeff Wolkoff, the owner of the building, told DNAInfo that the destruction will begin in mid-August.

Nearly a year ago, Wolkoff and his brother were granted permission by the New York City Planning Commission to turn the graffiti shrine into condos. Late last year, the building’s graffiti was completely painted over sending shockwaves through New York City’s vibrant hip-hop scene and sparking a big backlash online. 

The owners insist that the new condos will allow graffiti writers the freedom to create new masterpieces. “I’m going to bring the artists back,” Jerry Wolkoff said. “They’ll have walls, they’ll have a place for years and years to express themselves.” 

(h/t Complex)

Zendaya Says Aaliyah Decision ‘Had Nothing to Do With Haters’

Zendaya Says Aaliyah Decision 'Had Nothing to Do With Haters'

Zendaya Coleman, the 17-year-old Disney star who was criticized for agreeing to play Aaliyah in an upcoming biopic, says that her decision to leave the project was due to her concerns that the project was doomed before it began. 

The Lifetime biopic is based on Christopher Farley’s bestselling 2004 biography “Aaliyah: More Than a Woman.” Zendaya’s casting initially caused an uproar in part because critics said that the actress, who is biracial, wasn’t black enough for the role. 

The reason why I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters or people telling me that I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t talented enough, or I wasn’t black enough,” the performer said in an Instagram video. ”The main reasons were that the production value wasn’t there, there were complications with the music rights, and I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation.”

Actress Alexandra Shipp has been cast to play the role instead, with Zendaya offering her some advice: “I only hope she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let’s practice motivation and love — not discrimination and hate. All right?”

Asian-American Artists Celebrate Ai Wei Wei’s NYC Roots

Asian-American Artists Celebrate Ai Wei Wei's NYC Roots

Ai Wei Wei is often described as a Chinese artist which, technically, is true. He was born and raised in the country and has made an international name for himself with work that deals intimately with Chinese culture and politics. But an often forgotten part of his biography is the fact that he spent a big chunk of his formative years as a young adult in New York City.

A group of Asian-American artists are now out to explore that part of Ai Wei Wei’s career with a new spoken word mixed media performance called “Ai Wei Wei: The Seed.”

The show goes up Thursday, July 24 at the Brooklyn Museum. The creative behind the performance includes some of our friends, like Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (Creative Direction, Spoken Word, Video), Jessica Chen (Choreography), Jason Kao Hwang (Music), Adriel Luis (Spoken Word, Video, Music), and Kit Yan (Spoken Word).

Here’s more:

Ai Wei Wei: The Seed

Thursday, July 24
7:00pm - 9:30 pm

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy
Brooklyn, New York 11238

AI WEI WEI: THE SEED is a live music, video, dance and spoken word performance mash-up about the early roots of political artist Ai Weiwei and his emergence as one of the world’s foremost artists and thinkers. The show tracks the artist’s life from his childhood in exile with his political poet father Ai Qing to his formative decade in NYC (1981-1993) as a street artist in Williamsburg and the East Village, where he also befriended poet Allen Ginsberg.

by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (Creative Direction, Spoken Word, Video), Jessica Chen (Choreography), Jason Kao Hwang (Music), Adriel Luis (Spoken Word, Video, Music), and Kit Yan (Spoken Word)

Tickets $18 available via Museum Tix (http://bit.ly/TBZTLK) or Visitor Center. Free for Museum Members.

Doors 6:30 PM. Show 7:30 PM. AI WEI WEI: THE SEED will be performed in the Iris B. & Gerald Cantor Auditorium.

Ticket includes admission to AI WEI WEI: THE SEED performance, Ai Wei Wei exhibit, and all Art Off the Wall events throughout the museum including Asian American Oral History Collective workshop, Wildcat! dance performance, and a calligraphy workshop. 

For more info, check out the event’s Facebook page and look for more at the Brooklyn Museum

aiweiweitheseed01.jpg

Here’s a Teenage Kanye West Rapping at Historic L.A. Record Store

Here's a Teenage Kanye West Rapping at Historic L.A. Record Store Play

Because it’s Friday, here’s a flashback video of Kanye West freestyling at Fat Beats in Los Angeles back in 1996. He was 19 years old.

(h/t Stereogum)

The New Captain America is a Black Man From Harlem

The New Captain America is a Black Man From Harlem

The wait for a new Captain America is finally over. Here’s Stephen A. Crockett Jr. at The Root:

On Wednesday, Marvel Comics announced just such a promotion as Falcon, the African-American character born and raised in Harlem, will become the new Captain America. (Comic book aficionado and The Root’s Grapevine editor, Yesha Callahan, does not believe that Falcon’s rise to Captain America makes him the first, since she notes that Isaiah Bradley, widely regarded as “Black Captain America,” held that position.)

“It’s about time,” Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort told the New York Daily News. “In 2014 this should be a thing that we shrug off. It shouldn’t be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”

Seattle Revival of ‘The Mikado’ Insists on Bringing Yellowface Back With It

Seattle Revival of 'The Mikado' Insists on Bringing Yellowface Back With It

mikadoposter_071714.jpgYellowface is nothing new. But people seem unable to leave it behind as an embarrassment of the past. The Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a production of the operetta duo’s classic “The Mikado.” Except, writes Jeff Yang over at CNN

It is the most frequently staged of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas and a perennial favorite of the Society. Every time, they have done it the same way: As a photocopy of the Victorian original, with Caucasian actors wearing garish facepaint and outfits that cartoonishly approximate traditional Japanese garb.

[T]hese “traditional” productions — yellowface productions — of “The Mikado” have to end.

They are the deep-drilled root of the yellowface weed: the place from which the scourge keeps springing back, even when its surface expressions are plucked. There are older examples of yellowface in entertainment than “The Mikado,” but none so popular, and certainly none that have been as popular among mass audiences for as long — 129 years and counting.

I want to be clear that I’m not saying that “The Mikado” shouldn’t be performed at all.

Its biting satire and splendidly silly stage play make it quite possibly Gilbert and Sullivan’s greatest work. But when it is performed by an all-white troupe of actors dressed and made up as Asians, it shifts from a brilliant comedy of manners to, as Asian-American actress and blogger Erin Quill says, a “racist piece of crap.”

Read the rest of Yang’s piece at CNN.

TAGS: yellowface

Casting Call for ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Biopic is Really Racist

Casting Call for 'Straight Outta Compton' Biopic is Really Racist

The casting call for an N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” was released yesterday, and it’s awful:

SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80’s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT - You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show - and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in.

SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES - PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:

A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair - no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS

B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS

C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS

D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS

This is how bad films are made. 

(h/t Gawker)

Dolores Huerta Talks About Becoming an Organizer

Dolores Huerta Talks About Becoming an Organizer

At 84 years old, Dolores Huerta has spent the better part of 50 years working and supporting community organizers. In this recent interview with a San Diego news station, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers shows that she’s still approaching life with the same strategic thinking that’s made her one of the most well-known labor leaders in the country.

Video: Bruce Lee Meets the Guy Who Got a Groupon for Karate Class

Video: Bruce Lee Meets the Guy Who Got a Groupon for Karate Class Play

From Angry Asian Man:

Check out this hilarious short, animated by Dilara Karabas, in which comedian Ian Edwards asks some of the hard questions about Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon.

 

Brooklyn 8th Grade Metal Band Lands $1.7 Million Record Deal

Brooklyn 8th Grade Metal Band Lands $1.7 Million Record Deal

Yes, you read that headline correctly. Three Brooklyn 8th graders — guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, bassist Alec Atkins and drummer Jarad Dawkins — got together to form Unlocking the Truth, and  Sony has signed the tweens to a two-record deal worth $1.7 million. 

Here’s more from Consequence of Sound:

According to the NY Daily Newsthe group was discovered performing in Washington Square Park back in 2012 by Steve Jordan, drummer for Eric Clapton. That led to gigs playing across the country, including opening for Guns ‘N’ Roses in Vegas, a current spot on the Vans Warped Tour, a gig with Queens of the Stone Age next weekend, and even an opening slot on Coachella’s main stage. “What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this,” said Dawkins’ mother, Tabatha. “It’s been one great thing after another.” For you concerned mothers out there, don’t worry; Dawkins said the boys are all solid students. “School work comes first. If their school work is not done, they don’t play.”

What makes this story unique is that these kids are young. Really young. But they’re also black musicians in a genre that’s long been seen as mostly white. Let’s just hope that the pressure to produce doesn’t get the best of them. 

 

 

TAGS: Kids music
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20