Diversity Headlines

Detroit's Maternal Death Rate Three Times National Average

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 13:36
Detroit's Maternal Death Rate Three Times National Average

Between 2008 and 2011, more than two dozen Detroit women died because of issues directly related to pregnancy or childbirth, reports The Detroit News. That maternal death rate is three times the national average, and the worst of major U.S. cities. Racial health disparities are squarely to blame, experts say.

Writes The Nation's Dani McClain:

The numbers make sense given the racial disparity in maternal mortality. Black women nationwide are at three to four times greater risk than white women. And since Detroit's population is 83 percent African-American and more than four in ten of its residents live under the poverty line, it's no wonder that the chance that pregnancy or childbirth will result in death is so high--higher than in Libya, Uruguay or Vietnam, the article reports.

Blame it on the prevalence of chronic health issues likely to put a new or birthing mother's life at risk, namely diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease. Black women are also twice as likely as white women to receive no prenatal care, or to receive it only in the third trimester.

Read more on new approaches to addressing racial health disparities from Colorlines' Miriam Zoila Pérez. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

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

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 13:10
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.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

New Video Series Honors Today's 'Queer Black Visionaries'

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:38

We know our black queer heroes. They're the Audre Lordes, Marsha P. Johnsons and Richard Bruce Nugents of the world. But filmmaker Katina Parker is on a mission to tell the stories of today's queer black leaders with a new web series called "Truth.Be.Told." The North Carolina-based filmmaker has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help raise money for the series, which has already featured powerfully told stories from poets, educators and filmmakers across the country.

Take a look:

Stacyann Chin, Tony Award-winning writer and mother

Kai M. Green, writer, filmmaker and transgender activist

Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, co-creator of the Mobile Homecoming Project

The fundraising campaign ends on August 9 at 11:59pm PST and is a truly refreshing take on the people who are fighting and living for justice in queer black bodies. To date, more than 50 people have committed to being interviewed for Seasons 1 and 2. Confirmed participants include the aforementioned in addition to Emil Wilbekin, editor-at-large for Essence magazine; Patrik-Ian Polk, creator of Logo TV's Noah's Arc; B. Slade, a singer formerly known as Tonéx; Toshi Reagon, singer/songwriter; Mia McKenzie, creator of the Black Girl Dangerous blog; Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler filmmaker/transgender rights activist; Karamo Brown, Oprah Winfrey Network host, model and actor and Justin Robinson, founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Are Children Working on Minnesota School Construction Sites?

New America Media - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:18
 The Laborers International Union has identified a second possible case of child labor being used on Minnesota construction sites and has alerted authorities at both the state and national level.A formal complaint was submitted Tuesday to the Minnesota Department of... TC Daily Planet http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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California Agriculture Faces Greatest Water Loss Ever Seen

New America Media - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:46
Image: Dry fields have become a common sight in the Central Valley, hit hard by three years of drought. (Credit: Gregory Urquiaga)A new report from the University of California, Davis, shows that California agriculture is weathering its worst drought in decades... Kat Kerlin http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Casting Call for 'Straight Outta Compton' Biopic is Really Racist

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 08:52
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.


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)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Dolores Huerta Talks About Becoming an Organizer

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:49

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.

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

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:20

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.


Categories: Diversity Headlines

U.S. Expands Sanctions on Russia, Microsoft Eliminating 18,000 Workers and Siberian Crater

Colorlines - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 06:47
U.S. Expands Sanctions on Russia, Microsoft Eliminating 18,000 Workers and Siberian Crater

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Youth Depression Thrives on Silence - California Data Show Shocking Impact of Mental Disorders

New America Media - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 01:00
photo: Valerie Klinker (center), a NAM videographer, presents a short film as part of a panel on youth depression.On the left is Sonya Mann, and on the right are Amber Cavarlez and Robert Cervantez. (photo credit: Zoe Kaiser)When Amber Cavarlez... Anna Challet http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Women Leaders Urge Congress to Address Abuse of Women and Children Migrants

New America Media - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:14
The Congressional Women’s Working Group on Wednesay called on Congress and President Obama to protect women and children who are seeking refuge from sexual violence, abuse, and human trafficking in their home countries. Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard, joined by Congresswomen Zoe... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Immigration Detention Quotas Have Kept Families Apart for 55 Million Nights

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:12
Immigration Detention Quotas Have Kept Families Apart for 55 Million Nights

A congressional mandate requires that the U.S. hold 34,000 unauthorized immigrants in detention every day, for an annual cost of $2 billion. (Unsurprisingly, gobs of money paid to for-profit prison corporations are involved.)

Detention Watch Network, in partnership with MIT's Codesign Studio, brings to life the human impact of all those nights detainees spent locked up with a new website Bedtime Stories, lauched today. Altogether it adds up to more than 55 million nights since the quota was put in place--nights when parents might have been tucking their children into bed, or readying for the next workday have instead been spent behind bars.

The website pulls out personal accounts from immigrant detainees of their detention experiences, like this one from a detainee in Arizona's Pinal County Jail: 

"The only way to have a visit with our families is by way of a televised screen and a telephone[...] which makes our stay here more depressing and affects us psychologically, since in circumstances such as these, we need all the support of our families."

Visit Bedtime Stories for more.

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New America Media - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:57
English?????????????????????Helen Kao???????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????“?????Housecalls Program?”???????????????????? “????????”????????????????????????????????????????????????U.S. News & World Report’s????????10????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????65?????????????????????????????????????????????????????Louise Walter???????????????????????????????? ??75????? ????????????????????????????????????????????Michael Steinman????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????“???????????????????”?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????80??????????????????????????????????75??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“???????????”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ??????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????“????????”??????????????2001?????????????????????????16????2011?????26?????????????????????????????????????160??????????????????????????“????????”?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“????????”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????... Anne Kavanagh http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Brooklyn 8th Grade Metal Band Lands $1.7 Million Record Deal

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:59

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. 



Categories: Diversity Headlines

Study: Pets a Prescription for Health, Happiness Among Elders

New America Media - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:28
LOS ANGELES--As UCLA researchers went about gathering data on how care and services should be delivered to California’s poor and elderly, they stumbled upon an unexpected finding: for some, pets play a key role in keeping them healthy and happy.That... Viji Sundaram http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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'Holler If Ya Hear Me' Musical's Broadway Run Cut Short

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:09
'Holler If Ya Hear Me' Musical's Broadway Run Cut Short

"Holler If Ya Hear Me," the Broadway musical directed by Kenny Leon that is based on the life and music of 2pac, is ending its run on Sunday after lackluster sales.

From the New York Times:

In a statement on Monday night, one of the lead producers, Eric L. Gold, blamed the show's closing on "the financial burdens of Broadway" and added, "I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway." Mr. Gold also recently told Variety that he made a "rookie mistake" by underestimating the amount of capital necessary to keep the $8 million show running.

While some Broadway shows rely on budget reserves to muddle through slow weeks, "Holler" struggled from the outset. The production never brought in more than $175,000 a week in gross revenues, becoming one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years. Last week the show grossed $154,948, or 17 percent of the maximum possible amount, and only 45 percent of its seats were occupied.

It's sad news, but especially troubling for what this could mean for the future of hip-hop on Broadway. "If we don't succeed, it's going to be difficult to do another rap or hip hop show on Broadway," Gold said in an interview with Times. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

All-Star Game to Pay Tribute to Glenn Burke, First Openly Gay MLB Player

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:57
All-Star Game to Pay Tribute to Glenn Burke, First Openly Gay MLB Player

There are now enough openly gay professional athletes in America that the phrase "LGBT Sports Movement" has entered our cultural lexicon. Britney Griner, Jason Collins, Michael Sam -- they're all pioneering black gay athletes whose bravery deserves attention. But so too does Glenn Burke, a Major League Baseball player who came out of the closet during the 1970s. Now, 40 years after Burke's coming out and 20 years after his death from AIDS, Major League Baseball will publicly honor him at this year's All-Star Game.

"He was a pioneer, and should be recognized," said Major League Baseball spokesman Pat Courtney, speaking to the New York Times.

But that recognition was a long time coming.  Burke's career was cut short by injury -- and ignorance. "Deep inside, I know the Dodgers traded me because I was gay," he said in a 1982 Inside Sports profile about being traded from Los Angeles to Oakland. 

Al Jazeera's Gregg Levine noted:

Glenn Burke was also gay. He wasn't "out" by any definition -- certainly not a contemporary one -- but he didn't do some of the things other closeted players at the time would do. He didn't go out "girl hunting" with teammates on road trips. He didn't marry a woman for appearances (even though the Dodgers offered to help him financially if he did). He didn't avoid the spotlight, though he once said, looking back, he thought it would be easier to be a mediocre player that few people recognized.

Burke, instead, wanted to excel. Beyond his natural competitive spirit, he reportedly hoped his success and fame would be big enough to allow him to live openly as a gay athlete.

The league has invited Burke's family to this year's All-Star game in Minneapolis, where they'll witness the first official dedication to the movement that he started. 

(h/t The New York Times)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Ariz. Congressional Candidate Confuses YMCA Campers for Migrant Children

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:54

A self-described conservative Republican candidate running for a seat in Congress joined a protest against migrant children in Oracle, Ariz., on Tuesday, where it was rumored that children would be dropped off in a shelter. Adam Kwasman, who currently serves in his state's House of Representatives, saw a yellow school bus full of what he thought were child migrants and tweeted--and later deleted--"Bus coming in. This is no compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law."

The politician later told Phoenix's 12 News Brahm Resnik that he "was able to see some of the children in the buss, the fear in their faces." Resnik broke it to Kwasman that the bus was full of YMCA campers--not migrant children:

Kwasman later tweeted that he was apparently grateful to God that the yellow school bus in question wasn't carrying migrant children:

Last tweet not the bus of illegal immigrant children. Thank God.

-- Adam Kwasman (@AdamKwasman) July 15, 2014

Kwasman faces his party's primary election in August.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Aaron McGruder and Adult Swim Team Up for 'The Hooligans'

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:50
Aaron McGruder and Adult Swim Team Up for 'The Hooligans'

Aaron McGruder is one busy man. The creator of the hit comic and animated series "The Boondocks" announced this year that he's also working on a new show on Adult Swim called "Black Jesus." Now comes news that there's another show in the works, this one the "Hooligan Squad" about an American insurgency in Japanese-occupied San Francisco.

"With 'The Boondocks' and the upcoming "Black Jesus" series we consider Aaron very instrumental in the success of Adult Swim and this deal is the continuation of a great partnership," said Mike Lazzo, executive vice president/creative director of Adult Swim.

For his part, McGruder noted that "it's a rare thing to have a network home. Even more rare is a home that wants to see you grow and expand as a creator. Adult Swim is headed to new horizons and I'm happy to be along for the ride."

Earlier this year there was some talk of trouble between McGruder and the network after it was announced that he wouldn't be involved in the last season of his signature show "The Boondocks." But it looks like all is well. Get ready to laugh.

(h/t Shadow and Act)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Study: Black Men No Better, Sometimes Worse Off Than in 1960s

Colorlines - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:33
 Black Men No Better, Sometimes Worse Off Than in 1960s

Those are the sobering, if unsurprising, conclusions from University of Chicago economists Derek Neal and Armin Rick,  who picked up the work of earlier researchers to examine the economic progress of black men since the 1980s. What Neal and Rick found is that despite major educational and economic gains blacks made between 1940 and 1980, in recent decades mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on black men have stalled and sometimes reversed economic progress made decades earlier. "The growth of incarceration rates among black men in recent decades combined with the sharp drop in black employment rates during the Great Recession have left most black men in a position relative to white men that is really no better than the position they occupied only a few years after the Civil Rights Act of 1965," the authors write in their abstract.

Neal and Rick write

Since 1980, incarceration rates among both black and white men in most age groups have increased by factors of two to three... On any given day in 2010, almost one in ten black men ages 20-39 were institutionalized, and rates of institutionalization were actually slightly higher among black men in 2000. Further, because turnover among prison populations is quite high, these results suggest that far more than ten percent of prime age black men will serve some time in prison or jail during a given calendar year.

The impact is severe. Black men between the ages of 25 and 29 without a high school diploma posted a higher incarceration rate in 2010 than an employment rate. 

Ultimately, evidence shows that "prison spells harm [for] the future labor market prospects of arrested offenders, and black men likely now face worse labor market prospects relative to white men than they faced when policy shifts in the late 1970s and early 1980s ignited the prison boom," the authors wrote.

For more on the welfare of black men, check out Colorlines' ongoing series: Life Cycles of Inequity.

via WashingtonPost

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