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Entries in racism (10)

Monday
Nov182013

Would Frantz Fanon Agree With Orville Lloyd Douglas & His Essay 'Why I Hate Being A Black Man'?

Seeing these images of Marcelia Freesz, lensed by Fernando Louza for Marie Claire Brazil’s November issue got me thinking about Cuba and America. Paulo Martinez styles Marcelia in sheer, tropical elegance with utilitarian touches for a hard soft effect in ‘Havana Club’.

This weekend I caught Canadian Orville Lloyd Douglas on CNN, talking with Don Lemon about his essay ‘Why I hate being a black man’. His comments have caused both a backlash and an uproar — and also interesting dialogue like Douglas’ discussion with Lemon.

The issue of black self-hatred is something I am supposed to pretend does not exist. However, the great French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote about this issue in his ground breaking book Black Skin White Masks in a chapter called “the Lived Experience of the Black Man”. According to Fanon, the black man is viewed in the third person, and he isn’t seen as a three-dimensional human being. The black man internalizes the perspectives of white society and its negative thoughts about blackness affect his psyche. In the chapter, Fanon discusses a white child calling him the “N word” and how he becomes cognizant of how he is different and viewed as someone people should fear.

Posting ‘Havana Club’ coincides with Sunday’s New York Times ‘Opinionator’ column A Lesson From Cuba on Race. I was researching Cuba’s health and education statistics like infant mortality rates — where Cuba’s is lower than America’s. It’s rates of vaccination and even education are equal to or better than ours. See Cuba; see America.

Written by Alejandro de la Fuente, director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and the author of “A Nation for All: Race, Inequality and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba.”

De la Fuente’s words echo those of Orville Lloyd Douglas and Frantz Fanon:

In other words, despite Cuba’s success in reducing racial inequality, young black males continued to be seen as potential criminals. Perceptions of people of African descent as racially differentiated and inferior continued to permeate Cuban society and institutions. The point is not that issues of economic justice and access to resources are irrelevant. Eliminating massive inequality is a necessary step if we are ever going to dismantle racial differences. There is, as Gutting argues, a deeper issue of access to basic resources that does need solution. But the Cuban experience suggests that there are other equally deep issues that need to be addressed as well.

Those issues relate to what another writer here, George Yancy, in writing about the Trayvon Martin case, referred to as a “white gaze” that renders all black bodies dangerous and deviant. Unless we dismantle this gaze and its centuries-strong cultural pillars, it will be difficult to go past the outrage on race.

As for Cuba’s relations with the US, Reuters reported yesterday that a new mood of cooperation — “a surprise warming” is “raising expectations of possible agreements to bring the two countries closer after more than 50 years of hostility.”

And who said that fashion isn’t relevant in provoking conversation! ~ Anne

Related reading: Jay Z breaks Barneys silence, says he’s going forward with fashion line deal and promises to personally tackle racial profiling allegations.

 

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Saturday
Aug312013

The Cinematic Art World Hustles For Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave'

From Telluride, Colo by Scott Feinberg and The Hollywood Reporter

12 Years a Slave, a drama based on the remarkable true story of a free black man from the north who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century America, had its world premiere Friday evening here at the Galaxy Theatre. The film was greeted with thunderous applause when its end credits began to roll; moments later, the audience offered a standing ovation as its director, Steve McQueen, and principal stars — the British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, McQueen regular Michael Fassbender, Kenyan newcomer Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt, who is also a producer of the film — were introduced for a brief Q&A. The film, which will next screen at the Toronto Film Festival, will be released by Fox Searchlight on Oct. 18.

Clarification from Anne: The Film Society Lincoln Center will now present ‘12 Years a Slave’ on Oct. 8.

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Monday
Mar042013

Numéro's 'African Queen' Controversy Raises Legitimate Questions About How Many White Women Are Enough

Anne of Carversville is back, after an intense four days of opening our two new shops at Building Character in Lancaster, Pa. I’ll share the details soon … sort of a “best laid plans of mice and men” story. But we are open for business and will soon be a jewel!!

Meanwhile, back at the digital ranch there was quite a brouhaha last week over Numéro magazine’s ‘African Queen’ editorial. I weighed in when the controversy first broke out and again today. Trying to move the conversation out of topics of quotas, fashion industry racism, reverse racism, and the creative egos of libertarian men — I look at the controversy from the standpoint of the Smart Sensuality women: smart, sexy and with heart. After all, she is a large consumer of these brands and products. ~ Anne

Ondria Hardin Plays ‘African Queen’, Lensed by Sebastian Kim for Numéro 141 AOC Sensual Rebel

When I ask myself if I would ever use a Caucasian woman in black makeup to sellGlamTribale jewelry, the answer is clearly ‘no’. Even though I do believe strongly that we are all African queens because humanity began in the Omo Valley, I don’t need to wear black skin to celebrate my heritage. I am Caucasian for official purposes and also wear the privileges and stereotypes associated with that skin color. I simply can’t go into the mindset of an African woman — or an African American woman — because of my inexperience.

Is White Models Going Black for Fashion’s Sake What Luxury Customers Desire? AOC Sensual Rebel

Charlotte Cowles wrote:

No black models walked in A.F. Vandevorst’s show in Paris today, but several of the light-skinned girls appeared on the catwalk with their arms and hands painted black. Obviously, this looks bad. (When will fashion LEARN?) If the Vandevorst designers really wanted that visual effect, why not just have everyone wear gloves?

Is it ‘lame’ as FC suggests to point out this fact? No. It is never ‘lame’ for people to question the relationship between branding, marketing, images and their real-world impact on peoples’ psyches and especially the female psyche which is bombarded daily by the business strategies of mostly white men worldwide. 

Bernard Arnault Explores Luxury Brands & Smart Sensuality Values 

Arnault is known for having patience with a designer’s creative vision, even if—as with Dior—the financial results are mixed.

“Designers are closer to artists than to engineers,” Arnault says. “They’re not like normal managers, and you have to balance their creativity and rationality. John, Karl, Marc, they’re genius. You can’t put them into a rational environment. They’re sometimes late, and you have to accept that if you work with them, you have to be understanding with them.”

Also:

Cultural Creatives Now 35% of US | 10% In Transition

Cultural Creatives often describe themselves as ‘bridge people’ between the Traditionalsand Moderns, ‘trying to make a ‘cultural synthesis’ that moves the world beyond its polarized opposites.