Diversity Headlines

Questlove on Robin Williams: 'The Smallest Gesture Can Mean the World'

Colorlines - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:05
 'The Smallest Gesture Can Mean the World'

There's been an outpouring of grief since word spread that Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, died Monday of a suspected suicide. That sentiment also extends to the hip-hop world, as Questlove memorialized Williams on Instagram:

Man. The smallest gesture can mean the world to you. Robin Williams made such an impact on me and didn't even know it. He named checked all of us in the elevator during the 2001 Grammys. I know y'all think I do this false modesty/T Swift "gee shucks" thing to the hilt. But yeah sometimes when you put 20 hour days in you do think it's for naught and that it goes thankless. Grammy time is somewhat of a dark time simply because you just walk around asking yourself is it worth it or not: all the sweat and blood. I just felt like (despite winning grammy the year before) no one really cares all that much for us except for a select few. Especially in that environment I'm which people treat you like minions until they discover what you can do for them...if you're not a strong character you run the risk of letting it get to you.

This particular Sunday we were walking backstage and had to ride the elevator to the backstage area and we piled inside when suddenly this voice just said "questlove.....black thought....rahzel....the roots from Philadelphia!!!! That's right you walked on this elevator saying to yourself "ain't no way this old white dude knows my entire history and discography"....we laughed so hard. That NEVER happened to is before. Someone a legend acknowledged us and really knew who we were (his son put him on to us) man it was a small 2 min moment in real life but that meant the world to me at the time. Everytime I saw him afterwards he tried to top his trivia knowledge on all things Roots associated. Simply because he knew that meant everything to me. May his family find peace at this sad time. I will miss Robin Williams. #RIP."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Ferguson, WHO Approves Ebola Drugs and Detroit Flooding

Colorlines - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:01
F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Ferguson, WHO Approves Ebola Drugs and Detroit Flooding

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

  • More than two months after a crash that killed his friend, Tracy Morgan is still recovering
Categories: Diversity Headlines

This is How the South Organizes [Photos]

Colorlines - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 03:50
This is How the South Organizes [Photos]

About 200 low-wage workers from five southern states--Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia--gathered last weekend at a baptist church in a quiet northeastern corner of North Carolina. Organizers called it "Solidarity City"--a nod to Dr. Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign of 1968 and its six-week Washington, D.C., encampment for a living wage called Resurrection City. Street protests are one thing. But building community largely happens at intimate gatherings like this conference--one of many allowing low-wage workers time and space to learn about their common issues no matter the workplace. It's emblematic of how low-wage labor in the South is coming together--amongst themselves, first, and largely away from the media spotlight. 

SolidarityCity15.JPGOn and off for the past four years, Maria Garcia, 26 (left) has worked in a North Carolina tobacco field. Originally from Florida, Garcia earns $7.25 an hour and says pesticides are sprayed when she and other workers are in the field. "I'm the only one who seems to get sick from it," she says. But after meeting folks in other industries this weekend she says, "I see it's also bad for fast-food workers. I used to work at McDonald's a while back but the only problem I had was that my manager decided I'd be manager for the day while she did nothing." (All color photos by Raise Up)



Workers belonging to UFCW Local 1208 representing 12,000 workers at the Smithfield Plant in North Carolina, the largest pig slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in the world. Smithfield workers are considered veteran organizers, after winning a 16-year fight to unionize.

SolidarityCity14.jpgEddie Foreman drove up from Opelika, Alabama, with another fast-food worker, Shaniqua Norris. Foreman organized Opelika's first fast food worker protest this past May before joining national protests at McDonald's headquarters later that month.


Panelists (left to right) Nathanette Mayo (public sector), Lindsay Weir (fast food worker; Moral Mondays arrestee), Ty-Eisha Batts (fast food) and Keith Ludlum (slaughterhouse and meat processing) share personal stories of leading and participating in successful worker organizing. 


In 1968, just weeks after Dr. King's assassination an estimated 5,000 civil rights activists lived for six weeks in makeshift tents in what they called Resurrection City. Their demand: an Economic Bill of Rights. (Photo by Henry Zbyszynski/Wiki Commons/1968)


Ty-Eisha Batts, 28, has been on strike since the first fast-food protests in New York City, in November 2012. Because the cost of living was so high she moved from Brooklyn to Greensboro, North Carolina, four months ago. She now works at Hardee's earning $7.75 an hour. It's not enough so Batts is still fighting. "I moved down here, saw a flyer and thought, 'Hey, this is the same thing that's happening in New York,'" she says. "The South is the last to join the fast food strikes I believe but it's really big here, too. It's growing."


Parents brought their children to Solidarity City, which also provided daycare.

SolidarityCity18.jpgKeith Ludlum, 43, president of the union at the Smithfield Plant in North Carolina drove an hour and a half to First Union Baptist Church with 12 other plant employees. A veteran organizer, Ludlum said he was pleasantly surprised by the number of young people attending Solidarity City. "That's a real difference," he says, "and it'll give a shot in the arm to the labor movement."


Solidarity City participants voting "yes" on a resolution to do "whatever it takes to organize the South and win $15 and a union for all workers."


Demonstrators hold "Más dinero ahora" signs during a poor people's march down Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. in June 1968 (Photo by Warren K. Leffler/ US News & World Report/ Library of Congress)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

U.S. Media Fall Short in Covering African Summit

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:00
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – For decades, the mainstream American media has depicted Africa as a tortured continent beset by disease, famine and poverty. That image hasn’t changed despite dramatic changes sweeping the region – rapid economic growth, cutting-edge innovation and shifting... George White http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Robin Williams Dead at 63

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:37
Actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead Monday at his home in Tiburon, Calif. Although the cause of death is pending, the preliminary investigation by the sheriff's office suggests he died of suicide by asphyxiation. An autopsy is planned for... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Teen’s Killing Overshadowed by Reports of Looting

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:30
A Ferguson police officer killed Missouri teen, Michael Brown. But the media reports that followed strayed from that narrative to tell another. Protesters demanding justice for Brown and a stop to police brutality against Black men were painted in... Christine Killion http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Leaked Fed Report Alleges Dearborn Has Second Highest Number of Terrorists

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 14:00
DEARBORN, Mich. — Dearborn has the second highest number of "known or suspected terrorists" in the country, according to government classified documents published by The Intercept, an online news outlet that covers national security.However, 40 percent of people nationwide on... Ali Harb http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Cartoonists Who Paint a New Picture of Racial Justice

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:01
Cartoonists Who Paint a New Picture of Racial Justice

"We need diverse books. We need to make them, buy them, read them, review them, talk about them," award-winning cartoonist Gene Luen Yang told GalleyCat in describing his support for a social media campaign to diversify the publishing world. "Our world is colorful, so our books should be too." This summer, Yang teamed up with Sonny Liew to release a new graphic novel called "The Shadow Hero," based on a character named the Green Turtle who was first introduced by in the 1940s by pioneering Chinese-American cartoonist Chu Hing. The Green Turtle has since been dubbed the first Asian-American superhero by fans and prompted colorful dedications from artists across the genre. "Shadow Hero" is Yang's third book; his last one, 2011"s "Boxers and Saints" was nominated for a National Book Award. His "American Born Chinese" came out in 2006. Yang is one of a handful of working cartoonists whose work about identity has blown up in recent years. He suspects that at least part of the reason can be found in America's changing racial demographics. "I think [identity] is something we all deal with now," he told Colorlines over the phone. "I think that most of us have had some sort of experience when we've been some sort of minority for whatever reasons. It's difficult to grow up now in a mono-ethnic culture. People are now realizing that identity is something you have to actively construct when you get older." Outside of the heavily marketed superhero comics from Marvel and DC, graphic novels are, sadly, as bad in the diversity department as other sectors of the publishing industry. While people of color make up 30 percent of America's population, only 10percent of children's books -- which categorizes graphic novels -- contain multicultural content, according to an infographic from Lee and Lows. But, according to Yang, that's quickly changing. "The kinds of stories that are being in told have grown by leaps and bounds since I was a kid growing up in the '80s," he says.Here are a handful of graphic novels that deal with some aspect of racial justice, whether it's an individual identity or a community coming to terms with itself.


The Shadow Hero (2014)

Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew

In 2013, when Yang's "Boxers and Saints" was nominated for a National Book Award, he ruminated a bit on what he's learned from his characters, almost all of whom are Asian and grappling with their identity. "You learn something about yourself every time you write," he told William Alexander of the National Book Foundation. "I think that's what storytelling is. You're trying to figure out what it means to be human. Identity, culture, and belief crop up again and again in my comics. I don't consciously choose to write about those themes. They just sort of... emerge."

A Most Imperfect Union (2014)

Ilan Stavans and Lalo Alcaraz

imperfectunion_080814.jpgThe New York Times called "A Most Imperfect Union" a "witty alternative history of the United States." And it's no wonder: Authour Lalo Alcaraz has built up a well-earned reputation as a genius. "Our heritage is complex and sometimes confusing," . co-author IIan Stavans told the Times. "But then so is the history of this nation." 

The Silence of Our Friends (2012)

Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, Nate Powell

silenceof_080714.jpgTelling the story of segregated Houston in 1968 was no easy task. But Nate Powell and Mark Long, two white authors, felt compelled excavate this part of their own Southern histories in order to show their stake in the fight for racial justice. "It was a unique time of upheaval and self-discovery," Long told Graphic Novel Reporter about witnessing the Civil Rights struggle as a child in 1968.

March (2013)

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell


Rep. John Lewis wants to make sure that younger generations know his story--he was a rabble-rousing young organizer with the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement. So he took an unconventional step in 2013 and released a graphic novel detailing his role in planning the movement's iconic marches. "As much as this is a story about the civil rights movement ... it allows young people who read it today to shake off that mindset that they are powerless," Lewis told Roll Call.

Demon (2014)

Jason Shiga

demon_080814.jpgIn a review of "The Shadow Hero," Jason Shiga wrote on this blog, "It's a great children's comic, but also a great story about Asian-American identity and the immigrant experience," noting that growing up, "my heroes were never Asian." The main character of his new webcomic "Demon" probably isn't all that heroic and not exactly a role model for kids, but it was called "hilariously ghastly" by Lauren Davis at iO9. "Demon" follows Jimmy Yee, a guy who keeps trying, and keeps failing, to kill himself. It's painfully good stuff. 

Zots: Serpent and Shield (2013)

Daniel and Jorge Parada

zots_080814.jpgThis story focuses on the brutal beginnings of America, namely the 16th century Spanish invasion and decimation of the Mayans. "I tried to get away from [the stories of human sacrifices] and show other parts of the culture, the philosophy, the poetry to give it a context and not be biased," Parada told Mission Local of Zots.  


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Star of Oscar-Winning Short Doc Shares Immigration News

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:59

Inocente Azucar is an undocumented Latina artist whose story of struggle won people over when it was packaged into an Oscar-winning documentary last year. After years of living in the U.S. under the threat of deportation, Inocente announced that she's been granted permanent residency and is now the proud owner of a Green Card. She'll now be able to travel to Mexico to see family she hasn't seen in more than 15 years.

// Post by Inocente!!!

(h/t Latino Rebels)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Full Trailer for 'Dear White People,' Co-Starring Actress Naomi Ko

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 11:36
 Dear White People has been garnering buzz ever since it sold out all of its screenings at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and with the release of the first full trailer, we can get a taste of what... Koream Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Grandmother Assaulted by CHP Officer Breaks Silence

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 11:31

In a video that went viral in July, a white California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer Daniel L. Andrew, is seen chasing, knocking down, straddling and repeatedly pummeling a black woman on the side of a freeway. That woman, 51-year-old grandmother Marlene Pinnock, is now speaking out to media in Los Angeles. 

In an interview with ABC-7, Pinnock she was walking down a Los Angeles freeway when Andrew assaulted her. She says that she has no idea why Andrew assaulted her. Pinnock is still recovering from the beating--she's still in pain from swelling and slurs her speech.

The CHP, which says it's prioritizing the investigation into Pinnock's beating, refused to name the officer involved, but has taken him off patrol. A federal civil rights lawsuit names him as Daniel Andrews. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Indian Rape-Themed Fashion Photo Sparks Major Controversy

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:42
 Let the record show that here at Audrey, we have no problem with creative editorial fashion shoots that showcase photographers and designers who think outside the box. We do however, have a major issue with offensive photo shoots that depict... Audrey Magazine http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

'Aunt Jemima' Heir Sues Quaker Oats for $2 Billion in Royalties

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:03
'Aunt Jemima' Heir Sues Quaker Oats for $2 Billion in Royalties

Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup is one of the most ubiquitious brands in America, which makes it hard to remember that it's based on a caricature of several black women -- but one in particular. 

Anna Short Harrington was selected for the role of "Aunt Jemima" in 1935 and Quaker Oats trademarked her image and likeness in 1937. According to For Harriet, she was selected because of her own pancake recipe, which was then recreated for store shelves. When Harrington died in 1955, her family says that Quaker Oats was listed on her death certificate as her employer, but the company denies that she was an employee.

Her great grandson, D.W. Hunter, is now suring Quaker Oats for $2 billion plus punitive damages because the company has refused to their share of royalties for using Harrington's recipe and image.

From The Wrap:

The suit further alleges a racial element to the exploitation of Harrington and the other women who portrayed Aunt Jemima, going so far as to accuse the company of theft in procuring 64 original formulas and 22 menus from Harrington. It further alleges that Harrington was dissuaded from using a lawyer, exploiting her lack of education and age, so that thecompany could not pay her a percentage of sales from her recipes.

Read more at For Harriet and CNBC.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Black Men Show Little Signs of Progress in 40 years

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:42
 WASHINGTON (NNPA) — Black men are no better off than they were more than 40 years ago, due to mass incarceration and job losses suffered during the Great Recession, according to a new report by researchers at the University of... NNPA http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Atlanta Schools Cheating Trial Begins

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:28
Atlanta Schools Cheating Trial Begins

Starting today, a dozen Atlanta Public Schools educators will face trial over whether they turned to cheating on their students' tests in order to win bonuses and to meet federal and state education standards. Former principals, school administrators, teachers and testing staff have been charged with racketeering, and some have been accused of lying to state investigators and swaying witnesses, AP reported. 

The 12 who face trial today are just a fraction of the nearly three dozen educators who were indicted in a massive cheating scandal which rocked the nation, and the more than 200 teachers and principals that Georgia state investigators found involved in the cheating scandal. In 2011, Georgia investigators confirmed teacher cheating on student tests dating back to 2005 at 44 of 56 Atlanta Public Schools they investigated.

The trial could last months, Reuters reported.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Michael Brown’s Death Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:27
 Michael Brown should be starting freshman orientation at Vatterott College today. Instead, his body is laying in a St. Louis-area morgue pending an investigation into what drove a police officer to shoot and kill the unarmed 18-year-old on Saturday.Residents of... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Outrage Over Killing of Unarmed Teen, Ebola Exposure Quarantine in North Carolina and Supermoon

Colorlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 06:58
Outrage Over Killing of Unarmed Teen, Ebola Exposure Quarantine in North Carolina and Supermoon

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

  • Ferguson, Missouri's black community holds vigil after police shoot and kill unarmed teen Mike Brown.
  • Tensions are increasing between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Obama administration. 
  • U.S. Missionaries returning from West Africa who may have been exposed to Ebola are being quarantined in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Amputation More Likely for Poorer Diabetics

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 01:30
Traduccion al españolIt's no secret that poverty is bad for your health. Now a new UCLA study demonstrates that California diabetics who live in low-income neighborhoods are up to 10 times more likely to lose a toe, foot or leg... Elaine Schmidt http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

La amputación es más probable para los diabéticos más pobres

New America Media - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 01:30
 EnglishNo es ningún secreto que la pobreza es mala para su salud. Ahora, un nuevo estudio de UCLA demuestra que los diabéticos de California que viven en barrios de bajos ingresos son hasta 10 veces más probables de perder un... Elaine Schmidt http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

God is the Guardian of Undocumented Children

New America Media - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 01:00
Lea en españolSILVER SPRING, Md. – While children cross the border alone, their parents in the United States are going through intense anxiety -- and the only thing they can do is pray to God to protect their kids along... Andrea Acosta, Translated by Elena Shore http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines
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