so I just binge watched the entirety of Dear White People on Netflix
and wow. I’m gonna need more people to make gifsets of literally every single line of dialogue, so I can reblog them stat.
but watching this has motivated me to make something clear.
as an first generation Ethiopian American, I’m not truly part of the Black experience. my family is not descended from slaves; I didn’t grow up with the knowledge of oppression and segregation; my parents more or less voluntarily left Ethiopia in 1980 because of the Communist revolution. so Black people don’t treat me like I’m Black, which is fine, I’m not - and yet everyone else does, because my skin is just dark enough to lump me in. part of my growing up has been me coming to terms with the fact that even though I don’t see myself as Black with a capital B, I can’t quite separate myself from that identity either, because the world won’t let me.
I understand Sam’s character. I understand wanting to stand up for what’s right but not truly knowing how my identity fits in with the identity of those around me. not really fitting in one group or the other. I understand walking into a classroom and knowing I’m the only dark-skinned girl there - hell, I went to a private school where I was one of only TWO dark-skinned girls in all 12 grades, period. I understand Coco’s character. I understand growing up around white girls who say (implicitly or explicitly) that my natural hair looks matted and dirty, my skin looks muddy and ashy, and “it’s a cute top, but that color just doesn’t work on you, it clashes with your…well, you know,” and after hearing it all your life, wanting desperately to fit in. so for years I straighten my hair, I smile, and I separate myself from my skin color. I understand Lionel’s character. I understand hiding behind the written word because I don’t think I’m brave enough to speak out loud. …. I could go on, but you get the idea.
so what I’m trying to say is … Dear white people: not all black people are Black, but racism doesn’t care about technicalities.
Dear white people: watch this show, and understand that this is a show about race, but also about identity - do you know who you are and what you believe in? then do something about it. while you’re at it, let us be who we are and stand up for what we believe in. if you’re going to help, that’s great. if not, fuck off.
These are almost all off the top of Lia’s head, or from our roleplay’s potential fc list, so this is by no means thorough. We will be updating this as we go, and publishing various FC lists in the future. This is just a severe head shake at those who claim it’s harder to think of POC FCs (only those that use it as an excuse). Representation isn’t hard.
so I want to start a tag! It’s for Jewish Africans (and Jewish african descent): Amazigh, Ethiopian, Sephardi, Igbo, black American, converts, mixed and more! Upload pics or your art, and tag it as #jewfroday on Monday, November 27th! let’s lift each other up!
plz rb to spread the word, I rlly want this to be a thing!
As I walked past them in a restaurant, a couple, on what must have been a first or second date, flagged me down from their table. From their broad, eager smiles, I already knew what they wanted.
“We have a bet,” the woman explained. “He thinks you’re from South America,” she said, gesturing to her date. Her money was on Pakistan.
I am a dulce de leche-colored woman, browner still in the summer. Tallish, with large eyes the color of Coca-Cola. My hair winds into curls at the hint of rain clouds. My lips are brown. “Like the president’s,” someone noted once, trying somehow to square Barack Obama’s multiculti look with my own.
My ancestors hail from the southern part of India, on the Bay of Bengal, which I mention only because the sea once had a way of washing up all varieties of conquerors and marauders on our shores. Lineage is messy.
But in 2017 America, my particular jambalaya of “features” frequently has me mistaken for Ethiopian. Trinidadian. Colombian. African American. It depends on which city I’m in, what I am wearing and, more often than not, who is doing the asking.
Now here was this couple, both white, asking the question I increasingly stumble over.
What am I?
Just another dark-featured, dark-haired woman in a vast sea of immigrants’ kids, I want to tell them.
Or more simply, I am brown. Because the more brown America gets, the more mutable ethnicity — mine, others — is becoming.
32 Musical Artists You Can Support if You Care About Media Representation
Alright, we can all have endless debates about whether Taylor Swift is feminist or not, but the best way to make sure we see progressive representation in music is to actually listen to and support marginalized artists. I have a massive music library, so here are a few musicians I’ve picked out for people looking to support artists who are LGBTQ, racial/religious minorities, disabled, or otherwise underrepresented in their various genres. Please feel free to pass it around and add to it!
I don’t listen to these artists because they’re [insert marginalized status here], I listen to them because I believe each of them is a talented musician deserving of exposure and each of them has at least a handful of excellent songs. Some of them create art that specifically deals with minority status. Some do not. I cannot guarantee that none of them have said or done awful things any more than I can anyone else who I only know through listening to their music; I also cannot say that they haven’t done great things.
A project by Odd Future collaborators Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians, The Internet is a hip-hop neo-soul group, slickly produced and with huge, foreboding atmospheres. Syd tha Kyd is an openly gay woman of Jamaican descent. Their most recent album, ‘Ego Death’, was released this year. Listen to: “Get Away”
At the age of only 23, Angel Haze already has an extensive discography of mixtapes, on which they rap with dexterous flow and fierce conviction with pop-friendly choruses. Angel most famously did their own cover of Eminem’s ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ in which they detail their childhood sexual abuse in gut-wrenching detail. They are a genderqueer artist of African and Native-American descent. They have a new mixtape, Back to the Woods, coming out September 14th. Listen: “Werkin’ Girls”
Antony & the Johnsons/Anohni
One of the most prominent transgender musicians in the indie scene, Antony’s milky, dolorous voice has been her calling card for her erudite chamber-pop since 2000. She is currently working on an album under the name Anohni. Listen: “Hope There’s Someone”
Samantha Crain makes plaintive and delicate music that straddles the line between folk and alt rock while telling detailed stories of the American working class. Her new album, 'Under Branch & Thorn & Tree’, came out this year. She is of Choctaw heritage. Listen: “Elk City”
Brooklyn artist Torres’ new album, Sprinter, is a nine-song tour de force about religion, adulthood, anxiety and homoeroticism. She is currently touring with Garbage. Listen: “Strange Hellos”
FKA twigs is a British musician and dancer whose sparse, sensual electronic music is at the forefront of a new incarnation of R&B. She is of Jamaican and Spanish descent. She recently released an EP titled 'M3LL155X’. Listen: “Two Weeks”
Eritrean soldiers during the 30-year long Eritrean War of Independence between Eritrean forces and the Ethiopian government. Women made up 30% of Eritrea’s army of 100,000 soldiers and were a popular symbol of the liberation effort.
Eritrea won its independence in 1993 women were given 30% of the seats
in parliament and gained new legal rights. However some complained that
they were treated more respectfully as fighters than they were as
“I had to learn how oppression works in the music industry, specific to my experience as a queer black woman. The default setting is created for white men, and perhaps in this day and age, black men, to succeed” – Kelela, 2017
Kelela is our fave singer/artist this week! Her first album debuted this year, a total labor of love and determination. She was born in the U.S. and counts herself a second generation Ethiopian American. Her music is primarily electronic R&B with Afrofuturistic influences and she boasts critical praise from the likes of Solange Knowles and others.
We love the determined yet carefree attitude she has when it comes to the music industry. She’s here for Black artists gaming the system and profiting and so are we! If you listen to one thing today (forget ur lectures lol), let it be her debut album Take Me Apart!!