EYE: Chinyere Ezie Educates Prada On Why Fat Red Lips On Black Bodies Are Not Good Trinkets In America

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The best paragraphs in Robin Givhan’s WaPo commentary “Seriously, Prada, what were you thinking?: Why the fashion industry keeps bumbling into racist imagery” isn’t the narrative around Prada’s utter stupidity in their SoHo window display of items from their Pradamalia collection.

AOC readers know that we do not hop on the bandwagon of every alleged act of fashion industry cultural appropriation or racism. But Givhan is correct and we concur: what in goddesses name were you thinking Prada?

Let’s take a different approach here because Givan has done a superb job of also telling the experience of Chinyere Ezie’s reaction upon seeing the Prada store window in Soho. We will quote liberally in a moment, but let’s back up even further and introduce Prada to this woman. From her website:

Chinyere Ezie (Cheen-Yer-Ray Ay-Zee-Ay) is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and social justice activist who specializes in constitutional litigation and anti-discrimination work. In 2016, Chinyere was named one of the country's Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. 

Chinyere is a 
Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights where she focuses on racial justice, gender justice, and LGBT rights work. Chinyere previously worked as a Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center LGBT Rights Project, where she was lead counsel for transgender rights activist Ashley Diamond in her suit against the Georgia Department of Corrections. Chinyere also worked as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she successfully represented employees who had been subjected to discrimination--securing a $5.1 million dollar trial verdict. 

Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she served as President of Columbia Outlaws and Editor in Chief of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. 

She also clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and worked as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton LLP in New York City.

In her free time, Chinyere enjoys photography, graphic design, and spending time with her wife and puppy.

Based on her stellar credentials, Chinyere Ezie more than qualifies as Prada’s target customer, although she is not one. Now, via Robin Givhan’s narrative, we share Ezie’s experience on meeting up with Prada’s SoHo window. Personally, I think all the great African goddesses were her spirit wings in this painful life episode, quietly hopping as invisible spirits on her shoulders when Ezie left DC’s National Museum of African American History and Culture for the return trip to New York.

Life In A Heavy Space

Kaywin Feldman Becomes Director Of National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

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The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has named Kaywin Feldman as its new director, replacing Earl “Rusty” Powell III, who has led the National Gallery since 1992 Feldman will be the fifth director—and the first ever female director—at the 77-year-old American institution with annual visitors of more than 5.2 million visitors . Feldman, who has been director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) since 2008, will take up the new position in March 2019.

artnet News writes: “Under her leadership, attendance at Mia has nearly doubled, from around 450,000 in 2009 to more than 700,000 in 2018 to date. She has also expanded the museum’s digital presence—something the NGA has been conspicuously slow to invest in—and championed equity and social justice in the museum’s program. Earlier this year, the museum announced the launch of its Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts, a think tank dedicated to exploring how museums can build a more just society.

She is also not afraid of experimentation. Last year, for example, the Mia unveiled an unorthodox overhaul of six of its 17 period rooms designed to highlight the power structures behind them. (The fact that one of the room’s previous inhabitants was a slave owner was made explicit, as were his ties to the local Native American community.)

As Feldman moves to lead a DC organization mired in partisan politics, her principled, diplomacy skills will be tested fully by Congress and line staff.

'Beale Street' Director Barry Jenkins Is Crazy In Love With Nancy Pelosi's Ravishing Red Max Mara Coat

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Barry Jenkins is in the news as Director of ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Film. Jenkins was also nominated for screenplay, along with Regina King for supporting actress.

Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name, ‘Beale Street’ tells the 70s love story of a young black Harlem couple, Tish and Fonny. Devoted to each other since childhood, the young lovers are torn apart when Fonny is falsely accused and jailed for rape.

In a smile-worthy move, Jenkins had other matters on his mind after Nancy Pelosi’s epic TV performance at the White House Tuesday, when Donald Trump tried to negotiate a budget deal live before the American people. It did not go well for the US president, although Trump’s supporters surely disagree, especially if you like to see Trump constantly interrupting the next Speaker of the House and the most formidable woman in US politics.

Queen Rania Speaks To Topic of 'Fake News' + 'Truth' At Arab Social Media Awards In Dubai

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HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan was honored in Dubai on Monday, presented with the Influential Personality of the Year Award at this year’s Arab Social Media Influencers Summit. by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Queen Rania seized the moment to deliver a stirring keynote address during the third annual summit, urging attendees to use digital platforms for the good of humanity, in an era of “fake news”.

“Online, the plain truth is not appealing enough to be circulated and liked or to command power in the virtual world, despite the fact that it has never been more accessible than today. The truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors,” Queen Rania stated. “We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating, but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word.”

Queen Rania launched her first official social media pages back in 2009, and AOC celebrated it. The royal reminded her audience that it is estimated that the average person will spend over five years of his or her life on social media. “Social media has achieved much of what we had expected from it, but unfortunately, we still managed to transfer our human barriers to this world,” HM added, exploring the ways in which digital platforms have changed from spreading hope and connecting humans in a barrier-free landscape. “We now listen not to communicate, but to respond, closing ranks and isolating ourselves among those who resemble us and confirm our own convictions.”

Moving from the downside to the positive opportunity of social media, Queen Rania urged influencers to maintain a steady focus on positive change.

Adrienne Jüliger + Kim van der Laan In 'Riders of Destiny' By Tom Craig For Vogue Japan January 2019

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Models Adrienne Jüliger and Kim van der Laan are styled by Aurora Sansone in Dior Resort 2019 for ‘Riders of Destiny’, lensed by Tom Craig for Vogue Japan January 2019./ Beauty by Daniel Rull

Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by the Mexican tradition of Escaramuza for her Dior Resort 2019 collection called Diorodeo. Chiuri brought over a band of female riders from Phoenix, Arizona to celebrate the choreographed equestrian sport performed by women in traditional costumes, when she unveiled the collection at France’s Chateau de Chantilly.

A few weeks ago, AOC featured Jennifer Lawrence appearing in the Dior Resort ad campaign, a spread that ran into pc headwinds.

Phoebe Robinson, comedian and host of the “2 Dope Queens”podcast, criticized the ad for its location and for not including a Mexican model.

“Lol. Wut?! Sooooooooo, #Dior & #JenniferLawrence wanna celebrate traditional Mexican women riders thru a ‘modern lens’ …by having a rich white woman named Jennifer be the face of this campaign?” she wrote alongside a re-post of the campaign video.

“And like they couldn’t think of a better landscape to shoot than in California?! Hmm, I dunno, maybe…like…shoot…in…Mexico…with …a…Mexican…actress like Salma Hayek, Karla Souza, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Eva Longoria, or many others. But I guess they were all unavailable, so you had to go with Jennifer Lawrence,” Robinson wrote.

She said that using ‘modern’ to describe the campaign was, “ignorant and gross,” and asked her followers to comment with names of Mexican designers she could lend support to.