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Jobs Report Still Bleak for Black Workers Under 30

Jobs Report Still Bleak for Black Workers Under 30

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month, according to the report.

The Labor Department breaks down the numbers by worker groups:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (23.4 percent), whites (7.0 percent), blacks (13.8 percent), and Latinos (9.7 percent) showed little or no change in January. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan organization advocating for Millennials ages 18-29, breaks down January jobs numbers for millennials. The data is non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and is specific to 18-29 year olds:

The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds specifically for January 2013 was 13.1 percent (NSA).

The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for January 2013 was 22.1 percent (NSA); the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for January 2013 was 13.0 percent (NSA); and the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old women for January 2013 was 11.6 percent (NSA).

The declining labor participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.

If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.2 percent (NSA).

“President Obama says America should be ‘investing in the generation that will build its future,’ yet four years of his government-driven economic policies have left us with record youth unemployment and an economy that is literally shrinking. My generation is suffering disproportionately,” said Terence Grado, Director of National and State Policy at Generation Opportunity, in a statement. “Instead of staying the course and doubling down on failure, we need a new strategy that encourages the private sector to grow, invest, and provide real opportunities for the millions of young people who have great skills, are ready to contribute, and have waited long enough.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Reviews ‘Girls,’ Calls Donald Glover Role ‘Some Jungle Fever Lover”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Reviews 'Girls,' Calls Donald Glover Role 'Some Jungle Fever Lover

Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar just published a review of the HBO series “Girls.”

And he might be the coolest 65-year-old ever. His review touches on race, sex, name drops “My So Called Life” and says filmmaker and artist Miranda July may be a more accurate “voice of a generation adrift.”

Seriously? Abdul-Jabbar knows who Miranda July is? And “My So Called Life”? Even if someone else wrote his review you have to give him props for stamping his name on it. I had to scroll up in the middle of his review to confirm that it was indeed Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA Hall of Famer, who was referencing a 1994 TV show about a 15-year-old white girl that only ran for one season.

Abdul-Jabbar was named a cultural ambassador last year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The goal of his position is to talk “with young people on the importance of education, social and racial tolerance, cultural understanding, and using sports as a means of empowerment,” according to the state department.

And that’s what he does in his review published in the Huffington Post yesterday, Abdul-Jabbar looks at “Girls” and deconstructs what his generation is learning from “Girls.”

Abdul-Jabbar starts out by noting the shows audience: 

In fact, 56 percent of the show’s audience is male. Some say it’s because of the frequent nudity and graphic sex. That doesn’t hurt. But the main reason to watch Girls is because the show obviously is struggling to be a voice of its generation, just as The Catcher in the Rye, Go Tell It on the Mountain, The Naked and the Dead, On the Road, Beloved, Generation X, The Joy Luck Club, Slaves of New York, Less Than Zero, and Bright Lights, Big City were voices of their generations.

He then goes on to point out the obvious, “their world is mostly white.” 

Last season the show was criticized for being too white. Watching a full season could leave a viewer snow blind. This season that white ghetto was breached by a black character who is introduced as some jungle fever lover, with just enough screen time to have sex and mutter a couple of lines about wanting more of a relationship. A black dildo would have sufficed and cost less.

I don’t believe that people of color, sexual preference, or gender need to be shaken indiscriminately into every series like some sort of exotic seasoning. If the story calls for a black character, great. A story about a black neighborhood doesn’t necessarily need white characters just to balance the racial profile. But this really seemed like an effort was made to add some color — and it came across as forced.

(More props to him for avoiding the term “minority” and going with “people of color.”)

Just in Time for the Super Bowl: An Op-Ed About Coca-Cola’s Racist History

Just in Time for the Super Bowl: An Op-Ed About Coca-Cola's Racist History

Need something to talk about during the commercials on Super Bowl Sunday?

This may come in handy right after a Coca-Cola commercials airs: University of Virginia history professor Grace Elizabeth Hale points out in a New York Times op-ed that Coca-Cola kept their products away from African-Americans for years. While Pepsi deliberately marketed to black customers.

In the NYT op-ed titled “When Jim Crow Drank Coke,” Hale writes about Coca-Cola co-founder Asa G. Candler and why the company kept its drinks away from customers of color:

TAGS: Coca-Cola

Black Women Least Likely to Binge Drink, But That’s Not True for Latinas

A new CDC study found binge drinking is reported by one in eight U.S. adult women and one in five high school girls.

“Binge drinking increases the chances of breast cancer, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and many other health problems,” the CDC said in its report, released in early January. “Women who binge drink do so frequently—about three times a month—and have about six drinks per binge.”

White and Latina women, and those with incomes over $75,000, are more likely to become binge drinkers, according to the study.

Black women and girls were least likely to binge drink, with only 10 percent reporting that they drink excessively.

Women who did not graduate from high school had the lowest prevalence of binge drinking (8.5%), but those who binge drank had the highest frequency (4.2 episodes) and intensity (6.2 drinks) relative to women with higher educational levels.

CDC infographic:

NY Border Patrol Agents Got Home Depot Gift Cards As Bonus For More Arrests

NY Border Patrol Agents Got Home Depot Gift Cards As Bonus For More Arrests

A new report from Families for Freedom (FFF) in collaboration with New York University (NYU) Immigrant Rights Clinic found U.S. Border Patrol agents are encouraged to apprehend immigrants through various incentive programs.

FFF, a New York-based defense network by and for immigrants facing deportation, obtained data from the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) station in Rochester, New York and the Buffalo Sector through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

According to the report this is the first public data on USBP discretionary bonus programs that include cash bonuses, vacation awards, and distribution of gift cards to border patrol agents from Home Depot and Macys. Data shows bonuses reached up to $2,500 a year per agent.

The report also found close to 300 cases of wrongful arrests have been reported, the vast majority are people of color from Africa, South and East Asia, and the Caribbean.

Below is a summary of key findings from the report “Uncovering USBP: Bonus Programs for United States Border Patrol Agents and the Arrest of Lawfully Present Individuals [PDF]:

Man Who Killed Latino For Pulling in to Wrong Drive Way Out on Bail

Man Who Killed Latino For Pulling in to Wrong Drive Way Out on Bail

Phillip Walker Sailors, the man who shot and killed 22-year-old Rodrigo Diaz for pulling in to his driveway is out on bail.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details: Phillip Walker Sailors, 69, of Lilburn, was released after posting $11,200 bond, according to Gwinnett County jail records. Sailors was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with murder in the death of Rodrigo Diaz of Duluth.

Friends of Diaz said he pulled into the driveway after his GPS directions led him to believe that was his friends house.

Win, Fail or Racist? 5 Super Bowl Commercials For You to Chime in On

Win, Fail or Racist? 5 Super Bowl Commercials For You to Chime in On

More than 111 million people tuned into the 2012 Super Bowl, the most-watched program in television history. Super Bowl 2013 is expected to be another record-breaker.

The commercials that air during the game are becoming a large part of the Super Bowl experience and companies will pay top dollar to be included. CBS sold out its ad inventory for Super Bowl XLVII at prices averaging between $3.7 million and $3.8 million for each spot, according to Ad Age.

The commercials will make some people laugh, some people cry and infuriate others. 

Take a look at the commercials below and tell us if you think they’re a win, a big fail or racist. 

After you vote share this post with your friends and we’ll publish the results Sunday.


Volkswagen

New York Times columnist Charles Blow said this Volkswagen ad is like “blackface with voices.” But Jamaica’s minister of tourism celebrates the commercial. What say you?

 

Watch Jamaicans React To Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Ad [Video]

Watch Jamaicans React To Volkswagen's Super Bowl Ad [Video]

Volkswagen’s new Super Bowl ad doesn’t star any black actors but it does feature a happy-go-lucky white man speaking with a Caribbean accent. The ad has received criticism for stereotyping the island’s people and mocking their dialect. 

“I don’t like it all. It’s like blackface with voices. I don’t like that,” CNN correspondent and New York Times columnist Charles Blow told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday.

Christopher John Farley, a Jamaican-born journalist, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the accents reminded him of the ‘Star Wars’ character Jar Jar Binks, who used a Caribbean accent and broken English for comedic effect.

“The Jamaican aesthetic-shaped by such Jamaican-born notables as Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey and the revolutionary Nanny of the Maroons-is founded on positive vibration, not mindless happiness.”

(The U.N. World Happiness Report ranks Jamaica as number 40 out of 156 nations studied.)

“What happens in this ad is that the culture becomes a punch line, and that is offensive,” Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief hispanic marketing strategist at Walton Isaacson, told USA Today.

Still dozens of publications have reported Jamaican’s embraced the ad because the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment sent out a press release celebrating the ad.

“I think this is a very creative commercial which truly taps into the tremendous mass appeal that brand Jamaica and its hospitable people have globally,” said Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment.

The Jamaica Gleaner went out and asked the Caribbean island’s citizens how they felt about the ad and found some didn’t agree with the minister of tourism.

“If they want use a Jamaican dialect then they should definitely get a Jamaican then,” said one man interviewed by the Gleaner.

Tim Mahoney, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Volkswagen of America, said on CNN that the company consulted with 100 Jamaicans and used a speech coach on-set to ensure that the accents were accurate.

‘We obviously did our homework to make sure that we weren’t offensive,’ he said.

Volkswagen will run a second ad that features a real Jamaican. Both ads will cost an estimated $7.6 million to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl, according to CNN.

Louisiana Cuts Health-Care for HIV Patients, Low-income Moms and Children

Louisiana Cuts Health-Care for HIV Patients, Low-income Moms and Children

On Friday Louisiana will end cut health-care services for HIV patients and low income moms and children. The cuts are part of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rebalancing of the budget to close a midyear deficit.

State officials say they only cut programs that were also available through other federally funded programs but acknowledged some residents will lose care:

The Town Talk has more details:

Scheduled for elimination are programs that provide behavioral health services for at-risk children, offer case management visits for low-income HIV patients and pay for at-home visits by nurses who teach poor, first-time mothers how to care for their newborns.

The Medicaid program will no longer cover physical therapy and speech therapy rehabilitation services for nursing home residents. Dental benefits to pregnant women through Medicaid will be cut off. Hospitals and doctors will be paid less when they care for Medicaid patients. 

[…] 

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said he targeted programs that were duplicative, costly and optional under the state’s participation in the state-federal Medicaid program.

Greenstein said in many instances, people can get the care they’re losing through other government-funded programs. But he acknowledged that won’t happen in every case, meaning some people will simply lose the services or receive reduced services.

Meet RJ Brewer, the Anti-Immigrant SB1070-Loving Lucha Libre Wrestler

Meet RJ Brewer, the Anti-Immigrant SB1070-Loving Lucha Libre Wrestler

ABC’s “Nightline” profiled ‘RJ Brewer,’ a white guy who is a lucha libre wrestler and brags about his powerful mother to work up the mostly Latino crowds.

Yes, ‘RJ Brewer’ — real name, John Stagikas — says his mama is Arizona governor Jan Brewer.

The ‘RJ Brewer’ character was created two years ago by the Mexican American wrestling promotion company Lucha Libre USA. And he’s selling out arenas even though his fans think he’s a racist.

The L.A. Times quoted a fan at wrestling match: “Es un racista!” said Cristian Sanchez, a 19-year-old clutching a green mask, screaming himself hoarse. “I know he’s a racist! … viva Mexico!”

Chicago Leads Nation in Murders, With Young People Under 25 Dying Most Often

Chicago Leads Nation in Murders, With Young People Under 25 Dying Most Often

Chicago leads the nation in murders and young people under 25 are often the ones who die. Last year the windy city experienced 100 more murders than New York City, even though NYC has three times as many residents.

The Chicago Reporter, a publication that has been investigating race and poverty since 1972, just published an investigation that looks at the 21 leading communities for youth homicides in the city.

Chicago Girl Who Performed at Obama Inauguration Events Killed in Shooting

Chicago Girl Who Performed at Obama Inauguration Events Killed in Shooting

It seems like 2013 is on pace to be another heartbreakingly deadly year for Chicago’s youth of color. 2012 was the first time since 2008 that the city’s homicide rate totaled more than 500, the vast majority of those being young black and Latino.

A 15-year-old Chicago girl who reportedly performed with her school’s marching band at several events for President Obama’s inauguration last week was shot and killed on Tuesday afternoon.

NBC Chicago has more details: 

Police say Hadiya Pendleton died after she was shot in the back while hanging out with a group of teens in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park about 2:30 p.m.

Pendleton was taking shelter from the rain under a canopy, when an unidentified man or boy jumped a fence and ran toward the group and opened fire, police said. The shooter then fled in a vehicle. The man fled the scene in a vehicle. No arrests have been made.

More young people are killed in Chicago than any other U.S. city. 

Since 2008, more than 530 youth have been killed in Chicago with nearly 80 percent of the homicides occurring in 22 African-American or Latino community areas in the city’s South, Southwest and West sides, according to the Chicago reporter.

“Well, it’s a terrible tragedy — anytime a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them, and we see it far too often,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, speaking about the murder.

“The president has more than once when he talks about gun violence in America referred not just to the horror of Newtown or Aurora or Virginia Tech or Oak Creek but to shootings on the corner in Chicago or other parts of the country,” Carney said. “And this is just another example of the problem that we need to deal with.”

Former 49ers Player Outed After Domestic Abuse Court Charge

Former 49ers Player Outed After Domestic Abuse Court Charge

Former NFL player Kwame Harris has been charged with allegedly attacking his ex-boyfriend outside a California restaurant. Harris was the San Francisco 49ers’ first-round pick in 2003 and played offensive tackle for five seasons. He also played for the Oakland Raiders for one season in 2008.

Harris was due in court Tuesday to face charges.

The argument started over a silly issue but ended in real violence that required medical care, the Peninsula’s Daily Journal reported.

According to court documents, Harris and Geier were at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park when “Plaintiff (Geier) put soy sauce on a plate of rice, which upset Defendant (Harris).”

The documents continue to state the following: [PDF]

“Defendant argued with Plaintiff over the incident for approximately seven minutes and then proceeded to exit the restaurant. Plaintiff stayed inside the restaurant and continued eating. A few minutes later, Defendant returned and informed Plaintiff he would not drive him to the airport and informed Plaintiff that he was going to throw Plaintiff’sbelongings out of his (Defendants’) car. Plaintiff agreed to take a cab to the airport and informed Defendant that he would remove his belongings from Defendant’scar.While exiting the restaurant, Defendant began to push Plaintiff and tried to pull Plaintiff’s pants down, accusing Plaintiff of stealing his (Defendant’s) underwear. Plaintiff tried to leave the restaurant and Defendant followed Plaintiff into the parking lot outside, where the Defendant continued to push Plaintiff and attempted to pull Plaintiff’s pants down.”

Statistics on domestic violence in same sex couples is limited but a study found domestic abuse occurs in gay and lesbian relationships at a level comparable to that of heterosexual couples—but most LGBT communities across the country have few if any services to deal with the problem.

The most comprehensive study of same sex domestic violence was conducted by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs more than two decades ago. The study compiled accounts of domestic violence reported by twelve different organizations which monitor anti-gay violence. It estimates that between 25% and 33% of same sex relationships involve physical or psychological abuse.

Georgia Man Kills Latino After GPS Sends Him to Wrong Driveway

Georgia Man Kills Latino After GPS Sends Him to Wrong Driveway

Phillip Walker Sailors, 69, has been charged with malice murder in the killing of Rodrigo Abad Diaz, a 22-year-old Latino man who mistakenly pulled into his driveway due to faulty GPS directions. Phillips Sailors’ lawyers claim their client shot the young man because he felt threatened.

Phillips Sailors’ lawyers may be gearing up to use Georgia’s “stand your ground law” as part of their defense.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more details:

According to his lawyer, Phillip Sailors was a frightened retiree who fired his .22 revolver at Rodrigo Diaz because he feared for his life.

But Diaz’s girlfriend painted a more menacing imagine of Sailors as a elderly vigilante who shot without asking questions. According to Angie Rebolledo, after he shot Diaz, the 69-year-old Vietnam vet pointed the gun at her.

The couple, accompanied by two other friends, had pulled into Sailors’ driveway by mistake, thinking it was the home of another friend. The group had planned to go ice skating.

Rebolledo, 17, was sitting next to her boyfriend in the front seat when he was struck in the side of the head. As she tended to Diaz, she said Sailors showed no remorse and offered no assistance.

Phillip Sailors’ lawyers argue their client shot and killed Diaz because he “thought he was going to get run down.” But the police report indicates that the vehicle was leaving Sailors’ property when Diaz was shot.

Phillip Sailor’s lawyers may be preparing to defend their client with Georgia’s ‘stand your ground law,’ a law similar to the one used by George Zimmerman’s defense team in the Trayvon Martín case.

‘Stand your ground’ laws were introduced in Georgia for more than a century ago.

Georgia’s Supreme Court wrote in 1898 — and many times since — there is no requirement that a victim of an attack first try to escape before using deadly force to stop an aggressor, the Atlanta Journal Constitution point out.

*This post has been updated since it was originally published.

A Painfully Ironic Day For Boy Whose Dad Awaits Deportation

President Obama’s landmark speech on immigration came on the same day 11-year-old José Garcia’s father was scheduled to be deported.

Two weeks ago Garcia was getting ready to go to school when ICE agents raided the family’s home to take his father, Puente Arizona reports. According to organizers, Garcia’s father, Edi Arma, has no criminal background yet he is still facing deportation.

Lydia Guzman, an immigration activist with Respect/Respeto told New America Media “the Obama administration should stop the deportations precisely because there is a meaningful national debate happening.”

“We know that every single day (people) are being deported, and they’re probably sitting in the bus listening to the conversations that Obama is having on immigration reform, wondering what would happen if I had a few more days, a few more hours,” Guzman told New America Media..

The Obama administration has deported close to 400,000 people each year he’s been in office, a rate higher than any previous president.

A 2011 Colorlines.com investigation found that at least 5,100 children whose parents are detained or deported are currently in foster care around the United States.

Obama did not address deportations during his speech Tuesday.

Obama Immigration Speech Wordcloud: Undocumented vs. Illegal

Obama Immigration Speech Wordcloud: Undocumented vs. Illegal

President Barack Obama laid out his plan for immigration reform on Tuesday.

He referred to immigrants without papers as “illegal immigrants” once throughout the speech. He used the term “undocumented immigrants” four different times.

Take a look at the word cloud below that illustrates which words were used most often during the speech.

wordcloud-12-immigrationspeech.png

Obama Delivers Predictable Immigration Speech, Silent on Easing Record Deportations

Obama Delivers Predictable Immigration Speech, Silent on Easing Record Deportations

President Obama delivered a much awaited speech on immigration reform today before a crowd of cheering supporters in Las Vegas. The speech included few surprises in terms of content. He called for fast congressional action on a bill that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, increased border and workplace enforcement and new avenues for legal immigration.

“The good news is that, for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution,” Obama said.

Obama’s speech launches the immigration reform push into high gear. Though he voiced support for a vison similar to the one offered by a bipartisan group of eight senators yesterday, the president said that if Congress does not act quickly, he will send his own legislation to the Hill.

The speech was thin on details about what such a bill would look like and functioned mainly as a rallying call to push for reform. He said he supports a plan that includes additional border and workplace enforcement and a clear path to citizenship.

Obama claimed as accomplishments his track record of record numbers of deportation and expanded border security. The crowd cheered when he mentioned DREAMers and his administrative decision to grant young immigrants temporary protection from deportation.

Advocates in recent days have notched up calls on the president to act administratively again to slow deportations while the reform deliberations move ahead. The Obama administration has deported about 400,000 people in each of the last four years, a rate higher than any previous president.

“The President should immediately follow his speech with an order suspending deportations as the first step to open a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” said Pablo Alvarado, the director of the National Day Laborers Network, in a statement. “Demonstrating that all 11 million undocumented people deserve the same relief given to the Dreamers will set the debate in the right direction and remove divisions between ‘us and them’.”

Advocates for gay and lesbian immigrants sent similar demands. Currently, the federal Defense of Marriage Act bars gay and lesbian couples from sponsoring undocumented partners to get green cards.

“We need President Obama to show real and tangible leadership on immigration issues, and to immediately call for a moratorium on deportations,” Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, of the LGBT immigrants rights groups GetEQUAL, said in a statement. “Hundreds of thousands of LGBT immigrants like myself would benefit from that call in enormous ways while we want for Congress to act.”

The president has said he supports language in a law that provides bi-national same-sex couples with rights like those of straight couples but has refused to halt the deportations of non-citizen partners. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the law that blocks same sex couples from federal benefits like marriage rights.

Republicans have voiced opposition to equity for same-sex couples in an immigration bill. Sen. Lindsay Graham, a key Republican supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, said earlier today that GOP support for a reform package would wither if it includes provisions about gay couples. Other conservative immigration reformers have said the same, and the bi-partisan framework for immigration reform released yesterday by Graham and seven other senators includes no mention of the issue.

Members of Congress will now begin to craft language for an immigration bill. Who will be included and who left out becomes a central question moving forward.

Obama Immigration Plan Fact Sheet

Obama Immigration Plan Fact Sheet

President Obama announced his vision for a comprehensive immigration reform plan in Las Vegas Monday.

His plan includes four parts:

1) “Strengthen borders” 

2) “Crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers.”

3) “Hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. 

4) “Streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.”

Below you’ll find a more detailed fact sheet provided by the White House.

15 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Fruitvale’ Director Ryan Coogler

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Fruitvale' Director Ryan Coogler

“Fruitvale,” the drama based on Oscar Grant’s last 24-hours won the Sundance Film Festival’s top prizes on Saturday night. Here’s a look at what sets director Ryan Coogler apart from other filmmakers working in hollywood.

 

The facts that set him apart:

 

The basics:

Name: Ryan Coogler

Age: 26 

Hometown: Oakland

 

Coogler’s last short film was about sex workers. 

via Filmmaker Magazine:

Fig, the latest, has been on the festival circuit, and it’s a heartbreaking tale of a prostitute trying to leave the life and keep her daughter. It has a shattering conclusion, of which Coogler says, “That film is from deep research. I spent Christmas break on the streets and got a lot of stories. I never want to shy away from the truth.”

 

Coogler says the most difficult part of making “Fruitvale” was during the editing process. 

via Buzzfeed 

“The difficult thing about this was that I had to write this character dying; I had to watch this character dying. I’ve seen this dude die probably tens of thousands of times throughout this process,” Coogler says.

 

He was working security at a rave when Oscar Grant was shot: 

via Entertainment Weekly

I was home for Christmas break from USC. I was working security at a rave called Sea of Dreams in San Francisco. I was just working the door for extra money. I got a call: somebody had been shot at the BART station in front of like a 10-car train full of people. He had no gun on him and the cops shot him. I was like, “That’s crazy.” And by the time I got home, maybe like 10 a.m., he had already passed away. It was already all over the internet.

 

He’s currently working on a ‘graphic novel.’
via Entertainment Weekly

“I’m working on a graphic novel right now and also a young adult novel.

 

Coogler’s father almost bled to death in his arms. 
via Filmmaker Magazine

Ryan Coogler remembers the first moment it occurred to him to become a film director. Having grown up in Oakland, Coogler was on a football scholarship to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., where he had to take a creative writing class. The assignment was to write about a personal experience, and Coogler wrote about the time his father almost bled to death in his arms. He handed it in, and the professor called him into her office. What did Coogler want to do with his life? “Play ball, become a doctor and be a positive influence in my community,” he replied. He remembers her saying, “I think you should become a screenwriter. You can reach more people.” Coogler thought she was crazy. “But I was always thinking about stories, so maybe there was something to it.”

 

Coogler went to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., on a football scholarship and had to transfer after they canceled their football program. 
via Filmmaker Magazine

“The young wide receiver got another scholarship, this time to Sacramento State.”

He was semi-homeless for a week. 
It’s been widely reported Coogler was homeless for a semester but not really. 

Coogler explains to Democracy Now:

Yeah, that’s also something that kind of—I saw on the news it kind of got bloated a little bit. I’ve never been homeless in my life, always had a home. When I first went to film school, however, because it was such a sporadic thing, I went down the Los Angeles, you know, and I didn’t have anywhere to stay yet. So I kind of had to jump-start in classes and things like that. So, for a few—I would say, for about a week and a half, you know what I mean, I was getting dressed in my car, spending most of my time in school, you know, until I found a place. But I bumped around quite a bit. I stayed with some Jesuits, you know what I mean, with a group of Jesuits that were in training, basically. I stayed with like a distant relative for a day or two. But I found my car to kind of be a safe haven for a little bit, you know, before I got an apartment.

Kerry Washington Talks Race, Art and James Baldwin in New Short Film

Kerry Washington Talks Race, Art and James Baldwin in New Short Film

Kerry Washington is part Vanity Fair’s 2013 Hollywood Portfolio.

As part of the issue’s launch photographer Bruce Weber shot short films of some of the stars. Washington’s 3.5-minute focuses on her appreciation for the arts and discovering James Baldwin’s “middle road,” race in the U.S., and the artists who inspire her. 

“His work [James Baldwin] is so important, I remember stumbling upon him at a time when I was sort of grappling with who was right—Malcom or Martin—y’know, who had it right?”, Washington says in the film. “Is it about turning the other cheek is it about any means necessary and then James Baldwin came along in my brain and I thought: exactly, there is a middle road of anger for purpose and dignity.” 

Washington stars in the ABC drama “Scandal” that premiered in April 2012. She’s the first African-American female lead in a network drama in almost 40 years. (The first was Diahann Carroll starring as a widowed single mother working as a nurse in the 1968 series “Julia.” A second show, “Get Christie Love,” starring Theresa Graves as an undercover cop, had its debut in 1974.)

According to Nielsen “Scandal” is the highest rated scripted drama among African-Americans, with 10.1 percent of black households, or an average of 1.8 million viewers, tuning in during the first half of the season.

Bruce Weber, the photographer who shot the short film, is responsible for Abercrombie and Fitch’s iconic black and white photography.You can watch his short film on VanityFair.com.

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