1. News & Issues
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.
Nadra Kareem Nittle

Nadra\'s Race Relations Blog


Follow me on:

Maya Angelou Dies at Age 86

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Author and activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. She's arguably most famous for her coming-of-age memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and for "On The Pulse of The Morning," the best-selling poem she read at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in January 1993.

Her son, Guy Johnson, released a statement about her death on her official website. It said:

"Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love." Read More...

Have You Seen The New Film “Belle?”

Monday May 26, 2014

There's been a glut of films about slavery and racial segregation in recent years, so much so that some African Americans have decided to skip these movies when they debut at the box office. Instead, these individuals want to see contemporary images of people of color rather than depictions of blacks as chattel or domestics. I understand such concerns, but that didn't stop me from checking out the latest film to open in this genre--"Belle," which film critics have compared to a Jane Austen novel with a heavy helping of social consciousness.

Set in the 18th century, "Belle" is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race woman born to a slave mother, Maria Belle, and an English nobleman, Admiral Sir John Lindsay. Read More...

New TV Sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat” Sparks Controversy

Monday May 19, 2014

A new sitcom about an Asian-American family has sparked controversy because of its title. "Fresh Off The Boat," based on Eddie Huang's memoir of the same name, has a title rooted in xenophobia. The term "fresh off the boat" has long been used as a putdown of newly arrived Asian immigrants to the U.S. It's such a common racial insult that such immigrants are commonly referred to as FOBs. But Huang, a producer on the new sitcom to debut in fall on ABC, is defending the show's title, especially from his critics in the Asian-American community.

"There are people in every race who try to speak for everybody and try to legislate what you can think and what you can't think, with no understanding of what it means to interpret an experience," Huang told BuzzFeed. "It's 'fresh off the boat.' That's a term that Asians call each other and we claim it and it's worn with pride." Read More...

Donald Sterling Denies Being a Racist

Monday May 12, 2014

Disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling tried to redeem himself in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper airing tonight. During the chat with the host of "AC360," Sterling not only took no responsibility for his hurtful remarks but also played the victim.  "When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that," Sterling said. "... I don't know why the girl had me say those things."

Is V. Stiviano innocent in this debacle? Absolutely not. She knew what kind of views Sterling had and made sure to record him making such remarks. That said, Stiviano did not make him say that she should not be pictured with African Americans. Read More...

SNL Writer Leslie Jones Stirs Controversy With Slavery Joke

Monday May 5, 2014

"Saturday Night Live" writer Leslie Jones is in hot water after making a joke about slavery during the comedy program's "Weekend Update" segment. Jones, who is black, suggested in the joke that her romantic prospects would've been better during slavery.

Jones prefaced the joke by discussing People magazine's choice to name Lupita Nyong'o's as its Most Beautiful Woman for 2014.

"The way we value Black beauty has changed," Jones said. "I'm single now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I'm 6 feet tall and I'm strong. Look at me, I'm a Mandingo." Read More...

Donald Sterling Draws Widespread Criticism For Racist Comments

Sunday April 27, 2014

Donald Sterling has drawn criticism from everyone from President Barack Obama to Snoop Dogg since TMZ Sports on Friday posted a recording of the Los Angeles Clippers owner allegedly telling his biracial girlfriend not to "broadcast" her associations with black people, including Magic Johnson.

On the tape, the 80 year-old who's been married for more than 50 years, reportedly tells his "mistress," V. Stiviano, that Magic Johnson is an admirable man but urges her to do admire him privately. Read More...

Cliven Bundy Unsuccessfully Tries to Backtrack From Racist Comments

Friday April 25, 2014

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has deepened the hole he dug himself in on Wednesday after openly wondering if blacks would have been better off as slaves. In early April, Bundy surfaced as a hero among conservatives because of his ongoing dispute with Bureau of Land Management officials. The government began impounding his cattle because the 67-year-old rancher owes "$1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties for continuing to let his cattle roam free on land near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas," according to ABC News.

Bundy reportedly continued to defy the law even after the government "established the area as a protected habitat for the endangered desert tortoise in 1993 and slashed Bundy's cattle allotment," ABC News reports. When his dispute with the government recently turned into a standoff thwarted by Bundy's many supporters, the previously unknown cattle rancher became a "folk hero" of sorts, drawing the support of prominent Republicans such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. It also resulted in Bundy, a Mormon father of 14, giving his views on a number of topics, including race. Read More...

People magazine names Lupita Nyong'o as Most Beautiful

Wednesday April 23, 2014

In a move that's widely being hailed as groundbreaking, People magazine chose actress Lupita Nyong'o to grace the cover of its "Most Beautiful" issue. Given that Nyong'o is a dark-skinned East African woman with short natural hair, People's choice for "Most Beautiful" certainly stands out. It contradicts the legacy of colorism and the blonde-blue-eyed Western notion of conventional beauty. As a result, the magazine is already drawing a backlash.

Commenters on the magazine's website argue that blondes such as Blake Lively or Jennifer Lawrence would have been better choices and that political correctness drove People to choose Nyong'o. I know I shouldn't be shocked, but I find it shocking that some people have such a narrow standard of beauty. I happen to think that Nyong'o is better looking than both Lawrence or Lively, but I also find blonde actress Diane Kruger to be very attractive. In today's diverse society, isn't there room for all kinds of beauty? Why does highlighting one example of beauty have to be a threat to conventional notions of beauty? Read More...

Jared Leto Describes Life in The South as Oppressive

Monday April 14, 2014

Actor Jared Leto has sparked a debate by criticizing life in the South during a recent interview with FourTwoNine magazine. Leto was born in Louisiana but grew up in various regions of the United States.

"We escaped early on," Leto said of his Southern roots. "It's very oppressive. ...We would go back for the summers and stay with our grandmother, though. So the culture was always there that we returned to." Read More...

Chinese-American Group Criticized For Affirmative Action Stance

Monday April 7, 2014

The affirmative action debate is typically framed as a black-white issue. In California, however, one of the nation's most diverse states, the affirmative action debate is seeing Chinese Americans square off against Latinos, not to mention fellow Asian Americans.

A constitutional amendment called SCA5 seeks to restore affirmative action in California where the practice has been banned in public universities and other government entities since 1996. While Latinos largely support the measure as do a number of Asian ethnic groups, a Chinese-American group called the 80-20 Initiative has come out strongly against the amendment, even suggesting that Asian Americans, who predominantly lean Democrat in the state, vote Republican because of the issue. The Chinese-American activists don't oppose affirmative action in hiring but in higher education. Read More...

Top Related Searches

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.