New America Media - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 00:55
Robert Lopez made history when he won the Oscar® for Music (Original Song) at the 86th Academy Awards® for writing the music and lyrics of “Let It Go” from “Frozen” (along with his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez).Robert is only the twelfth... 8Asians http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 22:50
The Obama administration has a message for juvenile detention facilities: All kids—even youth with disabilities held in solitary confinement—are entitled to appropriate public education. That was the assertion made in mid-February by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 22:45
"12 Years a Slave" was one of the big winners at this year's Academy Awards, once again validating Solomon Northup's harrowing story of forced servitude. But it's also worth mentioning that while Northup's story may be relatively new to some of us, it was also a 19th century best seller. It was so successful, in fact, that the New York Times profiled Northup back on January 20, 1853.
Last week, Northup's descendant's talked about their now-famous ancestor and the impact that the film's had on his legacy. You can watch that discussion over at C-SPAN.
Colorlines - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 21:31
While some U.S. lawmakers consider a new Bracero worker program as part of a potential immigration reform package, a new traveling Smithsonian exhibit takes a look back at the benefits and pitfalls of the 1942 agreement between the United States and Mexico to allow 4.5 million Mexican workers to make livings in the United States for more than two decades. The exhibit is currently at Northwestern University.
(h/t Voice of America)
Colorlines - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 21:28
It's been nearly six years since "Slumdog Millionaire" became an international sensation, but the "Hollywood Reporter" recently got the film's young stars together in Mumbai for a little reunion. As Priya Arora points out at the Aerogram, "Now somewhat grown up, the actors reminisced about their first trip to Hollywood, the journey down the red carpet, life after the movie, and yes, even the somewhat controversial trust funds that were set up to fund their educations."
Hyphen Blog - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 20:50
Melany De La Cruz-Viesca remembers Alain Dang -- as committed advocate, skilled analyst, and cherished friend. Alain passed away in February at the age of 37.
New America Media - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:41
Foto: Al Punto / Univision Network News English TranslationNorma conoce prácticamente el infierno. Dice que lo ha vivido desde niña por el maltrato y pobreza extrema en el sur de Texas, de adolescente cuando fue obligada por su padrastro a entrar... Yolanda Gonzalez Gomez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:33
The cast and creators of "12 Years a Slave" walked away with three of the Academy Award's biggest prizes on Sunday night. Hollywood darling Lupita Nyong'o coined the term "Nairobi blue" and danced with Pharrell before winning the award for best supporting actress. Nyong'o is only the sixth black actress in the academy's history to win the award, and her acceptance speech was perhaps the most moving of the night.
Here's a transcript of the speech:
Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.
Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it's been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I'm certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.
Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon's story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you -- I could not be here without your work.
I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one's for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you're my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.
When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.
The film, directed by Steve McQueen, also took home the night's biggest award for best picture and dedicated his award to the victims of modern-day slavery, saying: "Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today."
And John Ridley, who adapted Solomon Northup's 19th century memoir and has written pretty controversially about race in the past, won the award for best adapted screenplay. He's only the second black screenwriter to win the award.
Another big winner at last night's Academy Awards was "20 Feet From Stardom," which chronicles the careers of back-up singers, won the award for best documentary. Darlene Love sang her way through one helluva acceptance speech.
While "12 Years a Slave" won the night's biggest award, "Gravity" swept the board with seven awards, including Alfonso Cuaron's for best director.
New America Media - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 12:00
Image credit: Al Punto / Univision Network NewsTraducción al españolNorma knows what it’s like to live through hell. She says she’s experienced it ever since she was a child, growing up in an abusive family in extreme poverty in South Texas,... Yolanda Gonzalez Gomez, Translated by Elena Shore and Yolanda Gonzalez Gomez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sun, 03/02/2014 - 19:04
Above: Ukrainians gathered in San Francisco in January for a rally in support of pro-European protestors in the Ukranian capital Kiev.Ed. Note: Protests in Ukraine sparked by former President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a trade deal with the European... Zdenek Kratochvil http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Sun, 03/02/2014 - 18:12
Update Sunday, March 2 at 10:09am: Emilio Fernández fled Mexico in 1925 and landed in Los Angeles. We do not know for sure that he was undocumented. We've changed the headline to reflect what we know for sure.
The Oscar statuette is one of the most recognizable figures in American pop culture. And, as it turns out, it's inspired by a Mexican model and actor named Emilio Fernández who went on to write indigenous characters in Hollywood.
Fernández fled Mexico in 1925 and lived in exile in Los Angeles for a decade. Studio 360 has the rest of the story:
It wasn't long before Fernandez fell into extra work in Hollywood, where he was first called "El Indio" by the silent film star Dolores Del Rio. The nickname wasn't exactly a compliment, but Del Rio would eventually help Fernandez become the most famous man in Hollywood.
Del Rio was the wife of MGM Art Director Cedric Gibbons. Shortly after the Academy was founded in 1927, Gibbons was tasked with designing an award statuette. He'd sketched a figure of a knight holding a sword and standing on a reel of film and was looking for a suitable life model. Del Rio suggested Fernandez. She asked, he agreed.
Fernández went on to become one of the most celebrated directors of Mexico's Golden Age of Cinema. He died in Mexico City in 1986 at the age of 82. As Jorge Rivas pointed out back in 2012, the irony in all of this is that only 11 out of 2,809 Oscar trophies have been awarded to Mexicans-- and they're mostly behind the scene awards. Only 2 percent of the academy's voters are Latino.
(h/t Studio 360)
New America Media - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 11:05
In the wilds of Butte County's foothills, where I live on an off-grid ridge, there used to be semi-abundant wildlife: skunks, raccoons, coyotes, bear. It was impossible to raise chickens on this ridge; the predators could break through any security... Allan Stellar http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 00:14
Cesar Chavez (not to be confused with, um, Hugo Chávez!) is probably best remembered as an incredible labor and civil rights leader. Along with the United Farm Workers—the union he helped found—he organized in innovative ways to lead a farmworker strike and grape boycott that brought California’s agriculture kings to their knees. Chavez is also credited with popularizing the Spanish language phrase, “Sí, se puede,” which can be translated to mean, “Yes, [we] can.”
During a massive farmworker strike that first started in 1965, farmers sought to bring in undocumented laborers from Mexico. Those laborers, who were strikebreakers, were often called “illegals” and “wetbacks” by strike supporters—including by Cesar Chavez himself. Chavez himself was not an immigrant; his mother was brought to the United States as a newborn, and his father was born in Arizona. Most striking farmworkers were also Mexican-American, and the slurs could easily have offended those workers as well.
A copy of video of Chavez making these remarks on San Francisco public television station KQED in 1972 is now resurfacing, just a few weeks before the release of a major Chavez biopic staring Diego Luna and Rosario Dawson.
Colorlines - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 21:17
Over on The South Lawn, the excellent group blog about all things Southern and progressive, black labor organizer Doug Williams begins: "suffice it to say that when a city councilman named Chokwe Lumumba announced that he was running to be the mayor of Mississippi's capital city, I was skeptical."
Williams, a third generation organizer recounts not only how Lumumba won him over during the 2013 mayoral race but also the change he portended for communities of color throughout the South:
Jackson was a majority-white city as late as the 1980s. But when the last vestiges of Mississippi's particularly virulent strain of Jim Crow were dismantled in education, housing, and employment, white residents began fleeing to [the surrounding] suburbs. ... As the city emptied out...the economic and political power shifted along with it [and the] new suburbanites managed to maintain a measure of control over their former neighbors through their ownership of local businesses. ... But while Jackson had seen sixteen years of unbroken Black leadership, there was little to show for it in the way of concrete policy change for its Black citizens. Nearly 50 years after we first gained free access to the franchise, it is no longer enough that we simply seek descriptive representation; we must seek substantive representation of our interests and aspirations.
Enter Chokwe Lumumba. Williams drum rolls Lumumba's early and game-changing policy initiatives, saying:
Seeing Chokwe's initial successes in Jackson gave me hope that I would live to see a day that Southern progressives would not be faced with the same meaningless choices that we are constantly confronted with when we close that drape behind us and participate in our democracy. ...
I will never understand why God chose to take Chokwe at a time when his voice is so crucial to everything that I hold dear as a Southerner, a leftist, and as a Black man; none of us will. But it is at times like this where my faith is a crucial component for my ability to move on. And not my faith in God; but rather my faith in movements and communities.
Be sure to read Williams's excellent remembrance of Chokwe Lumumba, 1947-2014.
(h/t The South Lawn)
Colorlines - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 19:44
Pharrell's new album "G I R L" isn't even out yet and it's already drumming up controversy. The album's cover was released this week after it became available for streaming on iTunes, and many people quickly pointed out its lack of color. Pharrell responded, noting that one of the women in the photograph is indeed a light-skinned black woman from Wisconsin.
Here's his interview with the Breakfast Club:
He told the Young, Black and Fabulous:
I'm standing by a black woman. My business is run by a black woman. My mom partially looks after my business and she's a black woman. I'm married to a black woman. I'm confused. I guess once you get the album you will look inside and see she's a black woman. I'm sorry that from that vantage point you can't look at her hair and tell that she's black.
My intentions are...this album is an ode to woman. It's not necessarily an ode to a shade, it's an ode to women. And to people who are confused by that, you have got to know me better than that. Look at the "Frontin" video.
And here I am trying to put ordinary, beautiful girls on the cover...not no models. I didn't go to 29 agencies looking for runway models. I wanted ordinary people because I don't think celebrities or models are the stars anymore. I think pedestrians are the stars. And I think beautiful pedestrians will run the world and that's what I consider myself, like a pedestrian.
I understand it. Hopefully when they see, they'll see.
But, as Jamilah Lemeiux writes, colorism is still real.
And I am SO disgusted at the almost excitement on the part of some of the Black men who want to throw P's statement (especially the fact that he mentions his Black wife and Black female business partner) in our faces. Because the fact that one of those women is Black changes WHAT? Colorism is real. Light skinned preference is real and I have encountered far too many people who have been HURT by it. And I have read too many statistics that speak to how it impacts employment, education and dating to sit here and act like it doesn't matter because we have a Black president or whatever fallacy you want to throw in the air to protect yourselves from the truth: if it doesn't hurt you, you can't be bothered.
Pharrell's new album will be released on March 3.
Colorlines - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 18:36
San Francisco's Mission District is home to many things: a still-surviving Latino community, Google buses and plenty of Ellis Act evictions. But, sadly, it soon won't be home to the area's iconic gay Latino bar Esta Noche, which announced this week that it's shutting its doors after an inspired Indiegogo campaign failed to drum up the necessary support to help keep them open.
Emmanuel Hapsis wrote at KQED about what the closing means:
Something about this news feels personal. A bar dedicated to the gay Latino community in what used to be a predominantly Latino neighborhood is wiped away for a vaguely pornographic-sounding cocktail lounge for fancy straight people who like house music. It's a slap in the face, like when they replaced Cafe Gratitude, the beloved meeting place for vegans, with the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. More and more, it's starting to feel like whoever is holding the San Francisco marionette strings is trolling us all.
Why is the closing of Esta Noche so personal? I grew up as a first-generation closeted gay kid stuck in an all-white Catholic school. When I first discovered Selena, I became obsessed with herjoie de vivre and her dedication to being exactly who she was. She was proud of her heritage, a feeling I hadn't come to yet. I kept all of this secret from the kids at school; their mocking me for not taking the same communion was enough. The idea that there was a place where you could be exactly who you are and jam out to Selena was inconceivable to me.
Hapsis also posted this video of the bar's popular Selena drag night:
Colorlines - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 18:27
Hollywood darling Lupita Nyong'o is in Beverly Hills this week gearing up for this weekend's Academy Awards, where's she's one of the favorites to win best supporting actress for her role in "12 Years a Slave." But at Essence Magazine's 7th annual Women in Hollywood Luncheon this week, the actress opened up about some of the obstacles she had to overcome while growing up as a dark-skinned girl in Kenya's middle class suburbs around Nairobi.
"I got teased and taunted about my skin," Nyong'o began, on stage in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before."
Nyong'o said she tried to bargain with God by vowing to stop eating sugar cubes and to never lose her school sweater again, if she could only see a change in her skin tone. It wasn't until she discovered Sudanese British supermodel Alek Wek that she began to believe in her own beauty.
"She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways," Nyong'o said. "My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn't believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn't help but bloom inside of me."
Colorlines - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 18:10
Move over, Beyoncé. Bay Area-based artists Reggie White and Adrian Anchondo are here to show that there are few things more important than a person's relationship with their food.
(h/t KQED Pop)
New America Media - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 17:56
Ed. Note: Thanks to the adoption of Common Core, the push for more tech-centered classrooms is now getting a boost. Many states are already using Common Core curriculum. Now many districts are preparing to begin the related computer-based assessments—and for that... Irene Florez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Hyphen Blog - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:12
The Things We Learn about Life Susan Choi's My Education is about relationships. But it is far from being just another tale of a young twentysomething who endures a slew of sexual awakenings. This novel transcends those tired storylines and, instead, achieves an unusual level of emotional complexity. The protagonist, Regina Gottlieb, is entering her first year as a graduate student in literature. The object of her affections is Professor Nicholas Brodeur, a man of many dualities: brilliant yet offbeat, sexy, desired, attractive, and the subject of a sexual harassment rumor mill. Regina, and many of her peers, are quickly drawn to his looks and his aura. She changes outfits for an appointment she has with Nicholas and falls victim to his intelligence by telling him she's not suited to be his teaching assistant. In this early part of the novel, Regina has little confidence in herself as a student--or as a person.It seems inevitable that Regina is preparing herself for an affair with Nicholas. In the meantime, she has several sexual encounters with her roommate, Dutra, who fulfills the many roles of friend-with-benefits, ally in troubled times, and the kick-in-the-butt when Regina needs it. Dutra is an intellectual too intelligent for his own good. Generally, the men we meet in Regina's life are quite compelling, but often adhere to the archetype of the quirky, cerebral academic. And then we meet Martha, Nicholas' wife. Regina first notices Martha from a distance. Regina is immediately curious, primarily because Martha adds to the mystery and enticement of Nicholas and his private life. The first real conversation between Regina and Martha is a bit awkward. Martha is under the assumption that Regina is another TA that must be sleeping with Nicholas. Regina is awestruck and fumbles her chat with Martha. Their first conversation involves Martha’s speculations about the racial and ethnic backgrounds of Regina’s parents: “I'll guess [your father was the] shy, quiet type. Germanic, obviously. Military? He must be, but I can't guess which branch. He meets Miss X while he's posted in Fill-in-the-Blank. For the hell of it I'll say Jakarta. Miss X is vivacious – she's going to spend her later years running around Palestine – and of course she must be beautiful. I'll guess Mr. Gottlieb is adequately handsome – perhaps he's not a heartthrob, but he has the kind of face that people like. An odd couple, they wed, and find enviable happiness, if it doesn't last quite long enough. Their – two? – children are very fond of them. So how did I do?” Martha’s quick reaction and assumptions regarding the mixed race experience is a major turnoff (this exchange is notably, one of the only passages in the novel about race). However, Regina confirms that Martha, in fact, got it right. Regina swaps Jakarta for Manila and is impressed with Martha's read of her. The scene sets the dynamic for the rest of their relationship. Regina's character is unable to break loose from Martha’s control and willingly–perhaps uncontrollably–surrenders herself to the physical and emotional need of Martha, the source of her education and painful longing. Thus begins an incredibly tempestuous, steamy, and confusing affair. Regina falls hard for Martha and their relationship is the heart of this novel. Regina is very young when her affair with Martha begins, only in her early twenties, and Martha is fourteen years older. Regina expresses her love for Martha physically and in often very needy gestures. Martha reciprocates, but continually reminds Regina that she knows nothing about love: “You 'love' me, you want to come set up house? You 'love' me…You want to pay half my mortgage? You want to bake little pies every day? What is this bullshit? What more do you want? You have me. Quit the 'gimme’.” For Regina, love should be straightforward, exclusive, and fully consuming--Martha can accommodate some of that, but not all of the time. Despite all of the friction, you still want to root for them even though there is a sense that the relationship was doomed from the start.While reading My Education, I felt anxiety, self-loathing, nauseated (more like indirectly hungover, a lot of alcohol is consumed by the characters), inspired, infuriated, hopeful, and exhausted. Susan Choi’s style projects emotion and embattled inner dialogue that helps the reader connect with Regina in an in-depth and complicated way. The strong emotional reactions can be much attributed to Choi's fearless voice as a writer. In one scene, Choi’s voice is especially potent. Regina is trying to navigate her day normally, but her mind races with a sense that Martha is omnipresent, watching her: “[Martha] saw me at home, grimly watching my printer saw out the accordion pages of three end-of-term papers that were each, in distinctive ways, brilliant and overly long and excessively weighted with footnotes and for good measure handed in early, and destined to be skimmed and rewarded the cursory A.” Throughout the story there are long sentences such as this one, all which potently drive home Regina's anxiety, trepidation, and, most acutely, a wisdom that comes from such heightened self-awareness. It’s certainly not news that relationships are complicated. Choi’s My Education asks: When relationships end, what can be learned from them? Do the lessons make us better people, or worse? Choi reminds us of what it means to be young, inexperienced and uneducated. What she teaches us is the importance of a kind of self-awareness, an honesty that does not evade uncomfortable truths. Andrea Kim Taylor lives in Seattle and works in the city's Chinatown-International District.
Susan Choi's My Education is far from being just another tale of a young twentysomething who endures a slew of sexual awakenings.
Feb 13, 2014 - Mar 08, 2014
Feb 13, 2014 - Mar 08, 2014
May 18, 2014 - May 21, 2014
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