About two years ago April Reign decided to encapsulate her frustration at yet another slate of white Academy Award nominees by launching the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The hashtag turned into a rallying cry for increased diversity not just in Oscar nominations but throughout the film industry.
And yet last year’s slate of nominees similarly lacked diversity in the four major acting categories, and people of color were virtually absent from all the other categories as well. That led to a new hashtag: #OscarsStillSoWhite.
When a number of celebrities considered boycotting the Oscars, President Barack Obama decided to weigh in. His remarks reinforced the idea that the Oscar nominations matter because they are part of a larger network of social institutions. Obama said the key question is “Are we making …
I usually don’t pay much attention to the Academy Awards unless African American actors are nominated and win or unless African American themed films have an opportunity. This year, I am paying much attention, what with Fences, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight among the nominees for Best Picture, and with Denzel Washington (Fences), Ruth Negga (Loving), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) up for best actor/actress or supporting actor/actress roles. To be sure, I think that there should have been more nominations for Hidden Figures, and that Denzel should have been nominated for a directing award. But we all know the Academy “ain’t fair”. Let’s see what the outcomes are.
One of the more difficult choices may be the choice for Best Documentary. Two films that rocked my world have both been nominated. Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro was riveting and …
There is an increasing sense among those most thoughtful and active among us that the important issues raised and the struggle rightfully waged against the tragedy and catastrophe we call Trump, marginalizes and misses the major issues that define and drive our own righteous and relentless struggle as a people. Also, it seems that too often we find ourselves supporting groups that don’t support us in a similar manner and don’t involve us in the planning and leadership on critical issues of concern to all.
Such problematic practice and behavior leaves us with equally problematic options: passively supporting others without reciprocal support; struggling with reputed allies and coalition partners for rightful representation in planning and leadership and even presence and position on stage—or not participating in initiatives around issues of shared interests and not building necessary alliances and coalitions.
Clearly, non-engagement in the issues that affect our destiny and daily …
By Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chicago Sun-Times
Donald Trump’s first three weeks in office have left Americans reeling from what Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan called his “cloud of crazy.” His cabinet nominees seem intentionally perverse: an education secretary who has no clue about public schools; an energy secretary who wanted to eliminate the department; a treasury secretary from Goldman Sachs who ran a home foreclosure factory. So when a white nationalist sympathizer, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, was confirmed to be attorney general, it passed by as just another absurdity.
The coverage of the confirmation battle focused primarily on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s outrageous muzzling of Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she tried to read a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King criticizing Sessions.
The muzzling was an unforgivable indignity. Lost in the furor was the thrust of King’s letter. She was writing to urge the Republican-led Senate of the time …
By Basil Wilson, Carib News
When Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency in 2008, there was some evidence that America had entered into a post-racial zone. But the election of Obama in 2008 and 2012 was only part of what was occurring in America. At the same time that the Democratic Party was being successful in Presidential elections, reactionary forces at the state level and in congressional districts were moving in the opposite ideological direction.
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 represents the re-racialization of American politics. We presumed that Jim Crow is in the burial ground but Jim Crow has re-surfaced in the form of Scare Crow politics. America has experienced centuries of uninterrupted democracy, but concomitantly, American democracy has forever been plagued with concoction of the bogeyman and in today’s America, it is Hispanics and Muslims.
Southern society could not envision living without having black slave …
Trump is the symptom; racism is the sickness.
I know enough about this country to know that Donald Trump is not a fluke. I know that Trump is not really un-American, not if we’re talking about what America actually is as opposed to what it pretends to be. Forget about emails and Russian hacking and James Comey and the beer test, forget uselessly relitigating the election ad infinitum. Almost 63 million people voted for Donald Trump, a man who never even tried all that hard to pretend he was moral or cared about politics or held democracy in anything other than contempt. Those ballots were reimagined as tickets to a virtual time machine, and mostly cast by people desperate to quell the insecurities and self-doubts roused by having the innate supremacy of whiteness questioned. Call your senators, march a thousand miles, …
I love Black History, and so revel in Black History Month. Not that Black History should be constrained to a month. Indeed, when I wrote my book Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History in 2010, I hoped that some folks would touch the book each day and talk about the many ways African American people have shaped our nation’s economic life, from building this country, to being the basis of our bond system. Despite my work, and that of others, Black History Month celebrations seem to center on the men in our history, and on the familiar names. Our 45th President has lifted up Frederick Douglas, touting his many accomplishments, as if he is still living. Omarosa, don’t you give this man talking points? He needs to be locked into the Museum of African American History and Culture, and then forced to watch Raoul Peck’s I Am …
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout
“Ignorance is Strength.”
— George Orwell
In a strange but revealing way, popular culture and politics intersected soon after Trump first assumed the presidency of the United States. On the side of popular culture, George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, surged as the number one best seller on Amazon both in the United States and Canada. This followed two significant political events. First, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s advisor, echoing the linguistic inventions of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, coined the term “alternative facts” to justify why press secretary Sean Spicer lied in advancing disproved claims about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd.
Second, almost within hours of his presidency, Trump penned a series of executive orders that compelled…
If we are to know ourselves rightly, honor our history, radically improve our present and forge a future worthy of the names African and human, then we must reaffirm and renew our moral and social vanguard role, and wage righteous and relentless resistance to evil and injustice everywhere. And put forth in plan and practice a new history and hope for our people and humankind. In the months of February and March, which we of Us have designated as Black History Month I (General Focus) and Black History Month II (Women Focus), our people have set aside time and space to celebrate ourselves “in history” and “as history.” For we are producers and products of this sacred narrative, and the subject and center of this awesome record and struggle, the most ancient of human histories.
In this sacred narrative which we tell and teach as African history, we speak poetry …
By Jesse Jackson
January 31, 2017
President Donald Trump’s most recent provocation — suddenly issuing an order banning the admission into the United States of refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries — created chaos and fury that had to be expected.
Airports across the world were engulfed with demonstrators. Judges issued emergency orders staying enforcement of parts of the order. Families found their children studying abroad unable to return home, or their loved ones attending a funeral stranded in an airport. Translators who had risked their lives for American soldiers in Iraq suddenly found their green cards useless and their lives at great risk. Both intelligence professionals and State Department diplomats have protested the order.
Trump clearly revels in this chaos. He proves to his voters that he’ll fulfill his campaign promises, despite opposition. He shows them that he’s getting things done. He postures strong on securing Americans …
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