Friday’s Looks, Listens, & Reads (2.07.14)

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles/Essays:

A long read from Alternet.org on how America is still operating under institutional policies/programs that could be considered racist.
Excerpt: “The impatience that characterizes discussions of race and racism in our so-called color-blind society has its roots in the momentous  legislative changes of the 1960s. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965, and 1968 reached into nearly every aspect of daily life—from segregated facilities to voting to housing—and represented a long overdue re-installation of the equality principle in our social compact. The question was what it would take—and from whom—to get to equality.”

An interesting read from the Atlantic by writer Ta-Neishi Coates on the role President Obama plays with African-American identity. Excerpt:  “And if you see someone who is black like you, and was fatherless like you, and endures the barbs of American racism like you, and triumphs like no one you’ve ever known, that too sends a message. And this messenger—who is Barack Obama—becomes something more to black people. He becomes a champion of black imagination, of black dreams and black possibilities. ”

An news article from the University of Texas that focuses on mental health and African-Americans, which is normally taboo in our community. Excerpt: “While mental health care has improved dramatically in the intervening century, Davis says that African Americans are still diagnosed with severe mental illness more than any other demographic group.”

A short article from Thinkprogress.org on why racism is a public health issue. Excerpt: “Just the fear of racial discrimination can trigger stress-related responses, which means that many people of color who live within a society defined by racism are constantly under increased biological stressors.”

An article from one of our local newspapers Weld for Birmingham that connects President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address to issues that still plague our community. Excerpt: “Black History Month seems an appropriate time to begin such an examination, both because poverty is a societal force with roots in history and because the entire history of black people in America, in Alabama and in Birmingham has been inextricably bound up with the plight of the poor. Not just the conventional wisdom, but the numbers, tabulated and reported by various agencies, bear this out.”

A short, concise piece from The Nation on the following excerpt: “It’s not enough that Zimmerman killed Trayvon in cold blood, not enough that he walked away from it without being arrested immediately, not enough that it took thousands of people across the country marching and protesting to bring charges against him, not enough that he was acquitted and not enough that he remains free to accumulate more domestic violence charges. No, he has to also become a celebrity, built on his “career” of killing black children and abusing women.”

A photoset from PolicyMic showing blackness in different and diverse varieties of people. 

An amazing read from The Feminist Wire on black female sexuality, from Janet Jackson to Academy-Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o. Excerpt: “If Nyong’o is a “success” for black women, does that indicate other black women are “failures”? And will this failure always be located in black female sexuality that exists outside of white, heterosexual, and/or middle-class norms?”

Sites You Should Know:

http://www.hyphenated-lives.tumblr.com/

http://www.blackgirlstalking.com/

http://www.ourblackproject.tumblr.com/

http://www.gradientlair.tumblr.com/

http://www.sonofbaldwin.tumblr.com/

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