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

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

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

Mitch Landrieu Launches E Pluribus Unum Fund For Racial Reconciliation With Backing By Emerson Collective

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Mitch Landrieu Launches E Pluribus Unum Fund For Racial Reconciliation With Backing By Emerson Collective

The removal of the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in New Orleans, was the second of four Confederate monuments scheduled by then New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu for relocation in advance of the city’s 300 anniversary. The larger-than-life image of Davis atop an ornate granite pedestal roughly 15-feet high was erected in 1911, nearly 50 years after the end of the war, and commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association.

A month earlier workers dismantled an obelisk that was erected in 1891 to honor members of the Crescent City White League who in 1874 fought in the Reconstruction-era Battle of Liberty Place against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia.

Two other works were also removed in the summer of 2017: a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E Lee that has stood in a traffic circle, named Lee Circle, in the city’s central business district since 1884, and an equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general. 

Former Alabama Senator and Attorney General in the Trump Administration Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III bears the Confederate general’s name.

Protests on both sides of the Confederate statue debate were fierce, prompting Mayor Landrieu to make an eloquent, emotional and gifted speech on the subject of removing the Confederate monuments on Friday, May 19, 2017.

The full text of Landrieu’s speech was published by The New York Times. I consider it to be one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard — from its sweeping beginning to its soul-wrenching end.

Thank you for coming.

The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way — for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans — the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Colorix, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more. Read on.