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Are Michelle Obama or Gabourey Sidibe our only role models?

On September 8, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to New Orleans to participate in a game of flag football with some kids and even caught a pass.  She has teamed up with the NFL’s Play 60 clinic, a program that promotes up to 60 minutes a day of exercise for children to curb obesity.  NFL […]

Originally published on NewsOne Image is everything. Whoever said that was apparently right, especially in the Los Angeles area, home of the movie industry, the recent Academy Awards and the annual Wadsworth Elementary School Black History Month parade. All have been in the news lately highlighting the continuing controversy over representations of blackness. The controversy […]

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“Clarity” is one of my favorite John Mayer songs, and given the troubling comments in his forthcoming interview with Playboy Magazine, a little clarity is what we all need.  Mayer’s broad cross-over appeal has been construed by some as a “hood pass.” Laudably if inelegantly, he rejects such a notion:  “If I really had a […]

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If you aren’t up on U.S. slang, a “hood pass” (more often called a “ghetto pass”) is usually a verbal expression of approval by a person of color toward a white person. It is intended to convey that the white person has enough positive rep or credibility to come to “my” neighborhood and hang out with “my” people. It’s a nice compliment because it signifies acceptance and trust, but, of course, it has absolutely no meaning to anyone other than the person giving out the “pass” and the one receiving it, at least not for those of us without Mayer’s fame.

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White Man’s Burden Redux: The Movie!

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Eurocentric history curriculum and Hollywood’s “white saviour” films both serve as boosterism for white people while both reinforcing white privilege and perpetuating the archaic paradigm of the “white man’s burden.”

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Enough about hair!

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With Chris Rock and his movie, Tyra Banks and her real hair reveal and “fake hair academy,” and Wendy Williams and her wigs, it seems that all anyone can talk about these days is hair. Don’t get me wrong, I am no stranger to having an hour long discussion about the virtues of one hair […]

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Five mistakes filmmakers make in depicting race

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Originally published at Psychology Today’s Between the Lines blog (original post) Every so often, Hollywood produces a film about racial issues that is so honest, so truthful, so powerful that I wish every person could see it. Do The Right Thing (1989) is one such film. Crash (2005) is another. It’s not that these are […]

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  The first nine months of Barack Obama’s presidency have witnessed accomplishments (pulling the economy back from the brink) and disappointments (the broken promises to the gay and lesbian community). If you are of a certain age, you have seen this strange and often dispiriting first-year blend of callousness, courage, and concession before, and it […]

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