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January 5th 2020

10 Ways Ava DuVernay owned the decade

Founded in 2010 ARRAY is a film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women directors. Now in its ninth year, ARRAY Releasing focuses on grass-roots distribution of feature narrative and documentary work by varied voices. Non-profit ARRAY Alliance expands on the organization’s deep roots in independent film with disruptive social impact and education initiatives. ARRAY Creative Campus serves as an epicenter for production and programming dedicated to marginalized voices. ARRAY Filmworks is the production company responsible for When They See Us, Queen Sugar, The Red Line and 13TH.


Ava DuVernay (click)

Ava DuVernay (click)

November 26th 2019

White People: What they get wrong about 'People of Color'

People of color

The phrase itself has experienced an interesting trajectory, historically speaking. Early on, identifying nonwhites conveyed a more violent othering: You were simply colored or a colored person—a stain on the white purity America told itself it needed to uphold. (The term hasn’t totally disappeared; in 2015 Benedict Cumberbatch mindlessly referred to black actors as colored.) 

Eventually, that phrasing morphed into popular science mumbo jumbo: You were a minority, but soon even that term fell out of favor as minorities became a majority.

People of color originates in black discourse, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a professor of feminist theory and theoretical physics at the University of New Hampshire, tells me. It was first used to refer to lighter-skinned people of mixed race, someone who was perhaps “mulatto.” As it’s grown in popularity, its meaning has become more twisted, misshapen. 

Prescod-Weinstein says that this has resulted in a shift in how we understand it; we are now at a point where much of what is written about the phrase today doesn’t “excavate the historical importance and necessity of multiracial antiracist solidarity ... particularly in the '60s and '70s when the term took on something close to its contemporary definition.”

No Two LatinX's are the same


But for Afro-Latinxs, it is this racial and ethnic double marginalization in the U.S. that can make some question their identity or even feel alienated from certain parts of their identity. Though conversations surrounding Afro-Latinidad may be difficult to have,  community members say persistence in having them is a step toward recognizing and ending the erasure of black narratives in the Latinx community. 

DePass decided to do this by writing about her Afro-Latina identity in her college application to NYU. In her personal statement, she wrote about what it means to be Afro-Latina, how it felt to not know her place in the world and her eagerness to do what she can through academics to ensure that other Afro-Latinxs don’t experience the same difficulties. 

“Academia has always been a safe-haven for me, especially when it comes to writing, because in these spaces I [can] share how I feel with little construction,” DePass wrote. “My identity [as an Afro-Latina] and my education is who I am as a person and that shows up in my school work.”

There needs to be more Recognition of Afro-Latino Culture

Black Latin Women

Mexico just included its Afro-Latinx population in its national census in 2015, and in the US more than 1.2 million Latinos identify as black compared to the 389,000 in 1980. Of that, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are the largest black-identifying groups, and more Latinos are identifying with their black roots. as the Afro-Latino community pushes for more advocacy of deep-rooted issues they face as a community.


The Pew Research Center found that Latinos with roots in the Caribbean are the most likely to identify as Afro-Latino. During the slave trade, more African slaves were taken to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the islands than to South America and what is now the United States. 

Unfortunately, many enslaved Black women were raped by slave owners, and the result is a very complicated legacy of racial identity for the ethnic group that would eventually be called Latino. And one result of that painful history is many Latin American descendants ignore, or at worst reject, their African roots. 

Why won't the UK talk about slavery?

UK won't talk about slavery

Today, you’d sooner find Britain turning its sights to the US and its own debate on slave history than the fight ongoing in its own (and former) back yards. Should the US pay reparations to African Americans? Well, that same question is glaring right back at us across the Atlantic from our own “commonwealth", including the advice of Hilary Beckles, chairman of the Caricom Reparations Commission, to US congress on this issue last month. 

While Democratic senators are using their position to move this debate forward, the British government can’t even get it together to respond clearly and compassionately to the Windrush scandal. West Indian victims of the “hostile environment” have been routinely failed by the Home Office.

Opinion: 'Watchmen' Dares to Imagine a Black Vigilante


I’ve left out a lot of details, but this is the heart of the narrative. And more than anything else in the series so far, it’s an attempt to grapple with the questions Moore and Gibbons pose in the original comic. Again, What kind of society produces masked vigilantes? Who takes on the mask?

The answer? A society shaped by profound injustice, where the victims have little recourse. Reeves could have been killed as a child in Tulsa; he could have been lynched as an adult in New York. Nothing would have been done, because nothing was ever done. In the show (as well as our own world) there were few consequences for racial violence and terrorism..

Some Minority voters chafe as democratic Candidates abandon charter schools

Black charter schools

Some charter school supporters and donors have privately questioned the wisdom of confronting Democrats instead of focusing on ousting President Trump. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the Democratic candidates were raising important questions about whether more charter schools were warranted. The candidates, she said, “looked at the evidence, which shows that charters are not a panacea for what people said they were started for.”

But Mr. Fuller — whose ties to major charter school donors like the Walton Family Foundation, financed from the fortunes of Walmart, has made him a lightning rod in the debate — said he was acting on parents’ sense of urgency.

November 4th 2019

Nigerian women say "Me-Too" but critics say 'Prove it'


After years in which silence around rape and sexual harassment have been the norm, West Africa is seeing a wave of #MeToo proclamations.

Accusations have come from a Gambian beauty queen who said the former president raped her; a former presidential adviser in Sierra Leone who said she was sexually assaulted by a church leader; and a Nigerian journalist with the BBC who captured hidden camera footage of university professors soliciting sex in exchange for admission and grades.

The footage shook the region, drew outrage from political leaders and led to the suspension of at least four lecturers.

But many women who have come forward in recent months have also experienced a fierce backlash, including attacks on their reputations and accusations that they’ve lied about the assaults. While their critics said they are merely applying appropriate skepticism to unproven allegations, their supporters said that the hostile reaction reveals just how difficult it is for women in the region to speak out about abuse.

Wow: Buffalo wild wings fire employee who ask (Black) customers to Leave because a white customers d


Riley told the station he answered with his own question: “If they don’t value us as people, as human beings, would you want to pay them?”

Still, the incident seemed to weigh on some of them. Ethan Vahl, 10, would later tell the TV station, “No one should experience what we experienced that day with racism.” His friend Dereon Smothers, also 10, said he had been thinking about the incident all last week.

“That was the most troubling thing for me,” said Riley, who is also their basketball coach. “To have my children go through that, it brought me to tears."

He reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings, which later told the Sun that it was “in direct communication with the guest to understand their account of what happened and to offer our deepest apologies for any unacceptable behavior.”

Eugene Jacques Bullard


While a black pilot was unprecedented in 1916, accepting challenges and overcoming obstacles was nothing new for Eugene Jacques Bullard. Born on October 9, 1894, he was the youngest son among 10 children, three of whom died in childbirth. His father, Octave Bullard, was the son of a black slave. His Creek Indian mother, Joyakee, died when he was 6. Living in Columbus, Ga., young Gene grew up dealing with Southern bigotry, but he was inspired by tales his father told him of a faraway land where a man’s social prospects were not limited by his skin color: France.

In 1904, determined to reach France and begin a new life, 10-year-old Gene began a rambling odyssey that led to his stowing away aboard a merchant freighter—only to be caught and put ashore in Aberdeen, Scotland. After taking a variety of jobs, he became a bantamweight boxer in Liverpool at age 16 and by age 17 had become a lightweight champion.

Black security guard getting his job back


On Monday, district officials informed the union that Anderson would be reinstated immediately. The union is continuing to seek changes to the zero tolerance policy, and has asked school leaders to work with staff and students of color as it considers changes.

In a statement Monday, Board of Education president Gloria Reyes said the district would also review its racial slur policy, which had been created in an attempt to take a stand against hateful language.

“It is important that we do not harm those that we are trying to protect,” she said.

Reyes also thanked students in particular for voicing their concerns about the policy and holding school leaders accountable.

I hesitate: two SEMINARIES prompt a greater debate with Princeton and virginia reparations ENDOWMEN


In an interview with NPR, Mohler questioned whether setting aside scholarships for African-American students should actually be seen as paying reparations.

[W]e're not doing it in the form of reparations.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler

"You're taking a percentage of your own funds and then designating that for scholarship assistance, to be paid to your own institution," he says. "It comes right back in the form of tuition payments. It's just prioritizing certain scholarship recipients."

Mohler notes that his seminary has established scholarship assistance for African American students in its doctoral program, with the goal of building "intellectual leadership both for African American churches and for leadership in the larger evangelical community." Such assistance, Mohler notes, is similar to what the Princeton and Virginia seminaries are now establishing.

"In our own way we're doing that," he says, "but we're not doing it in the form of reparations."

Black and Hispanic college grads feel the need to "code Switch"


In addition to educational differences, age plays a role when it comes to code-switching among black Americans. Younger black adults are more likely than their older counterparts to report feeling the need to switch how they express themselves when they are among people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

This age gap is particularly apparent among black adults with college degrees: 53% of black college graduates under age 50 say they often or sometimes change how they express themselves around people with different racial and ethnic backgrounds, compared with 38% of black college graduates ages 50 and older.