It’s Not Me…It’s YOU

I read the article about Ebony putting Nene on the cover and her rebuttal about it….I am SOOOOOOOOO tired of BLACK STARS saying that Blacks don’t support their own….that is just half of the problem…

The PROBLEM is the amount of viewership given to these individuals who are PROBLEMATIC to the BLACK COMMUNITY….My issue is not with her story or whatnot, because I mean it is to be lauded and anyone in her position would take advantage…but i mean, there are many people who has been through much worse or even did MUCH MORE….

Also in this issue is Tyler Perry (of course) and Debra Lee (RIGHT)…

I attacked this issue when she put that boring flop of a show with TJ Holmes on Wednesdays instead of everyday citing ratings and how Blacks don’t support their own…No, the PROBLEM is the bad ass writing and rip-off of COLBERT and other shows of the like with LITTLE SUBSTANCE…. BET and others are not about the black experience and preserving Black culture than they are about profiting off of something happening in the black community at the time of their issue or launches…SO STOP IT…

Black communities are critical because we are CRITIQUED with a fine pen by society and have been for the past few decades, along with the fact there are VERY FEW showings of GOOD CHARACTER and QUALITY with the black experience where someone isn’t cooning it up for audience ratings…

The best thing BET has done is show reruns of Moesha (even though it was during the hours people are typically asleep…Who does this woman think she’s fooling.)

And Nene needs to just shut up and relish in the fact that she is doing well, instead of debating why people are so upset with her getting chosen for this and that because there are a PLETHORA of reasons why she shouldn’ t.

I swear BET, Ebony, Essence, TBS, VH1, etc. expect us to SWALLOW the dry pill of this BULLSHIT they put out about US and expect us to like it because we are black and they are our own… Hell Kerry Washington’s show is GREAT, but this issue came out around the SAME TIME RHOA debuted its new season….just like last month the election was on and they were on Ebony cover (it’s like I SEE what you are doing, i may have only interned for magazines or contributed, but i know a great deal in marketing to know you put her on the cover to capitalize on the season….fuck her story…)


I just was REALLY upset at Debra Lee, because she is DRAGGING HER FEET and being stingey with her COIN to put into GOOD programming….if you are going have wack ass writing and whatnot, just put up syndication of Moesha, The Parkers, Girlfriends, etc. until YOU GET GOOD WRITERS…and GOOD MOVIES THAT TEACH AND NOT MAKE US LOOK BAD….

Sinead O’Connor Speaks On Trayvon Martin, Hip-Hop, and the Black Community

I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Treyvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Treyvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.

For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’.. because you didn’t need it to be black any more where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said.. “You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well”. So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, its yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, its yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.

When you dishonor the the utter glory and majesty of black people, you lie. Your heart lies to you and you let it. Despite seeing every day, all your life, how you and your country would be less than wonderfully functioning and inspiring to the world, without the manifold and glorious contributions made by the descendants of African slaves, who did not by the way actually ask to go to America and leave their future families there to be disrespected for eternity.

What are you doing hating yourself by hating your brothers and sisters who daily show you nothing but inspiration and love, despite having NOTHING, in their own country? Despite having barely a chance of anything, because of racism. Despite being granted no ‘permission’ for proper self-esteem.

These beautiful people continue to believe in and even manifest Jesus Christ better than you do. That alone could stand as the greatest reason your racism is blasphemy, were it not for all the other reasons.

These people you hate and fear ARE the body of Christ, just as we all are. Every child, woman or man. And they know it. Maybe thats why you cant bear to look at them. Because you see Jesus Christ and you cant stand the light.

Stop this ridiculous and uneducated attitude. You would be dead without black people. Think of all the greatest music ever composed. The greatest songs. The greatest inspirational heroes.. Muhammad Ali, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Soujourner Truth, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield. So many absolute angels, sent from God.

Without the inspiration of these people many millions of so-called ‘white’ people, including myself would not have had the strength to pay the price of life.

And black youth in America. I’m talking to you here too. I love you. So I don’t mean to sound cross, I’m just being a mother.. Why are you killing each other? Why are you hating yourselves? You are the most important people God ever sent to this earth, every man, woman and child among you! Don’t let uneducated people win and take your self-esteem or your esteem for each other, and make you kill each other. over guns, drugs, bling, or any other nonsense.

You are now entering YOUR version of a sort of civil rights movement and you’re gonna see history being made in what has certainly the profoundest potential to become THE most wonderful country on earth. Because soon ALL ‘isms’ and ‘sits” will end. including racism, as the people of the earth begin to understand, we are all one.

We came from one mother. We are all brothers and sisters. And we CAN get beyond this ILLUSION of separateness. With prayer and love. It CAN change. It WILL change. And YOU guys (young people of all kinds) are the ones who are gonna GENTLY change it. And you know where it starts? With MUSIC.

Don’t be guided by rap. Gangsta or otherwise. Sure.. enjoy it.. adore it.as I do.. but realize this.. rap ain’t about your civil or spiritual rights, baby boys and girls. It.. along with most music nowadays.. is about falsenesses and vanities. Bling, drugs, sex, guns and people- dissing. Its giving you the message you ain’t ‘good enough’ if you don’t have bling and ting.. and money. Or if you’re not what it deems ‘sexy’.

(This is true of all popular music not rap alone. I know. Its tragically true of all popular youth culture the world over).

Poor Curtis Mayfield must be crying all day and night ALL day and night in heaven, every day and night.. To see what has been so successfully achieved by those who sent guns, drugs, and bling to squash the civil rights movement. Now you all don’t have to be murdered by racists any more.. you’re murdering each other FOR them! And your parents and grandparents are left crying.

Go back to strong black musical guides who left you information in the 60s and 70s. when they were living through the civil rights struggle. Curtis Mayfield. The Impressions. Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson. Sing back the Holy Spirit ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, as those artists did.

Forget bling. Forget “Get Rich Or Die Trying”. That is an evil message. Evil my dears is only life backwards. Turn it the right way up. With music. The messages American black youth are being given through music are not about the spiritual and therefore strong and conquering but PEACEFUL making of YOUR country into the wonderful place it secretly is and can be.. BECAUSE OF YOU, and BY YOU!!

You know not how you are adored, appreciated, valued, loved, cried for,smiled for, prayed for, all over the world. You know not how much inspiration and uplift-ment of heart you give to millions just by your presence on earth.

These musical guides will give you self-esteem. When you have self-esteem you can achieve anything. You can stand in the street as many did yesterday and change your country peacefully and with song. Chant down Babylon as the Rastas say. Rastafari will also give you self esteem. Investigate it.

You will notice, my beautiful sons and daughters, when you study, as you must, footage of all civil rights gatherings, how singing and music and sound and voice and the Holy Spirit were all employed and were so much part of the energy which moved things along.. just as running was in the South African gatherings I saw on tv in my own childhood, which inspired me to survive my own horrors.

What you listen to musically and whether or not you employ the Holy Spirit’s highest will for your life is whats gonna make you transcend all you’re having to suffer (the worst of which is low self-esteem.. or esteem based upon material ‘success’ or ‘sexiness’)) as a result of being the descendants of people who didn’t ask to be stolen and leave you where you are. Delete bling. Get conscious with your music. Demand conscious music from your artists. Go back to the artists who left you proper guidance.

This is some serious stuff and we (all manner of musical artists) are too silent on matters of enormous spiritual importance. Lemme ask you.. Jayzee and Eminem et al. Why was it always the black people only worked in the post rooms of record companies, which was always in the basement? Why was it that as each floor went up the skins got paler till it was fuckin ghosts at the top? And all us artists.. even me.. said nothing? Those buildings (record companies) always struck me as being a microcosm or painting of America, racially speaking. Christ almighty.. if its like that in the music business how is anything ever going to change?

We, musical artists are too silent on important stuff. And it is our job to be the gate-keepers of truth. ALL the people of this earth must come together eventually and see that we are one. ALL artists must stand up. Black, white, yellow, green, pink, fucking polka dot.. and be a light in these times.

The world is going to shift massively this year.. spiritually speaking. Musical artists are to be a massive part of that shift. Get up, lets all of us. And light Jah fire.. and BE lights.

Where’s the fire gone from music? Where is the love? the oneness? The knowing that music CAN and WILL move things in the right spiritual direction without hatred or violence? We must box clever. Sing the devil to sleep at your feet. Thats what Curtis teaches. He is the master of ALL musical masters. forget, forget, forget and forget again bling and guns and drugs and the worship of fame and money. Its time to wake up. We KNOW the power of music. Why aren’t we using it to change anything important?

Musicians all over the world should now gently demand this child’s killer be arrested immediately and the family of Treyvon Martin be immediately apologized to upon bended knee. Frankly. I myself would like an apology! America is a country I love and adore. what this man has done is un-American in the most horrific extreme.

Him not being arrested is extremely embarrassing and does absolutely NOT paint the true picture of of a country and a people who for the 90% majority are the kindest, most loving, intelligent, and wonderful people you could know.

Please.. ALL Americans should deplore this crime. As should ALL people of ALL nations. And deplore the fact this man has not been arrested. All Irish people should do the same. And I ask that we here in Ireland should express through our American embassy that we would like to see this man arrested this very minute. Because racism is not acceptable. Nor is vigilantism. And this was very clearly in no way at all a case of self-defense.

I leave you with some lyrics of Curtis Mayfield’s which I feel are appropriate for this situation. I am certain Curtis would have wanted to contribute to discussion on the issue of Treyvon’s murder and the condition of young black people in America today.. so here goes.. the song is called This Is My Country.. from the album of the same name.

Some people think we don’t have the right
to say its my country
before they give in
they’d rather fuss and fight
than say its my country
I’ve paid three hundred years or more
of slave-driving sweat and welts on my back
This is my country

Too many have died in protecting my pride
for me to go second class
We’ve survived a hard blow and I want you to know
that you must face us at last
And I know you will give consideration
shall we perish unjust or live equal as a nation? 
This is my country. 

This year’s symposium emphasizes the complex ways in which the concepts of “Black” and “Geography” inform each other and shape the formation of individual and community identities by examining the relationships between “Geography” and “Race” in historical and contemporary diasporic space and through the lived and imagined experiences of diasporic communities

 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: KRISTA THOMPSON

Krista Thompson (Ph.D., 2002, Emory University; Associate Professor) researches and teaches the history of art and visual culture in the Africa diaspora, with an emphasis on photography. She is author of An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque (Duke University Press, 2006), which was recognized as one of the Caribbean Review of Books’ “books of the year” in 2007. She has published in African Arts, The Art Bulletin,American Art, The Drama Review, Representations, and Small Axe (where she serves on the editorial collective), and has contributed to exhibition catalogues, most recently on the contemporary art of Kehinde Wiley and Glenn Ligon.
She has curated and co-organized exhibitions internationally and co-edited special journal issues on “New World Slavery and the Matter of the Visual” and “Caribbean Locales/ Global Art Worlds.”

For more information regarding this year’s Symposium Please Visit: http://www.indiana.edu/~afroamer or email us at hchs@indiana.edu

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Young Model Leomie Anderson Opens Up About Racism In The Fashion Industry


Model Leomie Anderson has penned an open letter to the Sunday Times in the UK about what it feels like to be a black model in the fashion industry and the overt and passive racism she experiences.  Read the eye-opening letter inside…..

We’ve all heard fashion experts and industry insiders talk about racism in the industrywhether its on the runways or in the magazines.  But now a true insider, 19-yr-old Leomie Anderson, is speaking about her own experience.  In an open letter published in the UK’s Sunday Times, Leomie says that racism is very much a part of her everyday struggle, forcing minority models to work twice as hard as their white counterparts.

Leomie adds that until the fashion houses begin to embrace a wider range of “beauty” and cater to a more diverse demographic of fashion consumers, the issue will persist.  But Leomie also says that she knows things MUST change and she uses the racism factor as motivation to work harder.  And she says the struggle makes her journey mean so much more.Read the entire letter here:

“I have been working as a model for more than three years. I’ve been photographed for Italian Vogue, Dazed & Confused and ID. I’ve modelled at Paris, New York and London Fashion Weeks, but I haven’t done Milan Fashion Week. I’ve heard from other black models that it’s much harder to get work in Milan. The successful black girls don’t even bother travelling there for castings, because they know they won’t do as well, even if they’ve walked for great designers in all the other cities. Even people from Milan will say that the fashion market there is very behind. They’d rather stick with what they know.

I’ve only had one racist comment made directly at me. I’d gone to a casting for a London fashion designer, I can’t say who. They just said: “We only want pale-skinned girls to be in our show.” To be honest, I didn’t feel emotional about it. I just thought: “Well, it’s not my fault. That’s their opinion. They are out of date, and in time, they’ll have to change; they can’t continue with that perspective.”

When I started at Premier Models, Carole [White, the founder] warned me that some designers would have outdated views, and that it’s not personal. Annie [Wil­shaw, her booker at Premier] is bored with it: she says black girls have to work twice as hard to get picked up. Actually, it made me feel better that they raised the issue with me, that they weren’t awkward about it. And Annie is right: it is a lot harder for us. If a show uses 20 girls, there’ll only be space for two ethnic minorities — if that. There’s nothing to stop a fashion designer using only white girls in a show. There’s no union representation for models, and a designer can do whatever works for them.

Even though it may not be right, fashion portrays what people want to be; it reflects society, it’s the world we live in The preference for white skin seems to happen especially if a designer has been in the industry for a long time. But it’s a generalised mentality among fashion houses — they used to have mostly white customers, so it made sense to have white models, but now there are many more eastern Europeans, Asians and women from the Middle East buying fashion. The houses are struggling to adjust to the new market. It’s also possibly recession-related. In any time of rapid social change, people stick to what they know, and in fashion that’s the white girl.

“Shadeism” definitely exists: there are different attitudes to different shades of black. Lighter-skinned models are used more than darker-skinned ones, and if darker models are used, it tends to be for a traditional African look.

When designers create an African or tribal print, they’ll get a black girl to model it. I’d say I was in the middle of the spectrum — I’m dark-skinned, but I don’t have traditional African features, so I tend not to be stereotyped. There can also be problems with hair and make-up. Hair stylists never pack black hair products, because they don’t expect to see black girls. They can be scared to work with our hair. I wouldn’t call it racism; it’s just that finding real black hair is rare. Make-up is improving — girls such as Jourdan Dunn and Ajak doing well has helped — but sometimes, when my make-up is finished, it doesn’t look as nice as it does on white skin. They don’t know how to adjust to our skin tone.

You’ll find bitchy models, but it’s not because of race, it’s just their personality. I’ve never had any comments that have made me feel uncomfortable. Once you’ve got the job, everyone just behaves normally. I read about James Brown’s comments. [He repeatedly called the black presenter Ben Douglas a nigger and his female companion a nigger’s bitch, following the Baftas ceremony.] Maybe he was trying to be funny, but using that word is not cool, and it’s pretty out of date to find it funny. I’ve actually met James Brown — he was nice and asked me about my mother. He didn’t seem racist to me. When people are drunk, they say things they don’t mean. Things always go wrong when people aren’t in their right mind. Especially if you’re in the public eye, you’ll always get caught out. And if you’re in the public eye, you have a responsibility not to offend.

Even though it may not be right, fashion portrays what people want to be; it reflects society, it’s the world we live in. The idea of fashion looking better on white skin is associated with an old sense of elitism, yet society has become much more diverse. In time, I think fashion will change.

Fashion is always outrageous, though, and famously politically incorrect. The bitchiness is part of that outrageousness. If fashion stuck to the rules, it wouldn’t be such a big industry. Even if racism went away completely, they would find something else to be outrageous about. I would like to see fashion be more open and less prejudiced to different ethnicities, but it is the way it is because it’s such an exclusive world. Its exclusivity is why people want to be in it. If fashion had a broader perspective of beauty, would there be such a thing as a supermodel?

As it is now, if a black girl does well, it’s seen as more of an achievement. That’s what drives me to succeed. I don’t think talking about racism in fashion will change anything. Even if fashion changes, it’s not going to change the world. I’d rather just have a positive attitude. If I were feeling discriminated against, I might go into a casting thinking I’m not going to get this job. It’s negativity that will disadvantage me.”