Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (2.28.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, 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, Op-Eds, and Essays:

An article from From Harriet on how there should be more representation of black women in the media, and how respectability politics should be ignored. Excerpt: “A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2010 offered the thesis that black women are socially invisible. The study had two conclusions: first, black women are more likely than black men or white men and white women to go unnoticed by others in a group or social situation; second, comments made by black women are more likely to go unheard when made to a largely white audience. Both experiments also highlighted that for many of the participants, black women are seen as relatively interchangeable. This means that as black women, dealing with the double burden of race and gender, we have to fight twice as hard to stand out and have our individual and unique voices heard.”

An op-ed from The Root on having identity issues when you are multicultural. Excerpt: “With a biracial president (who identifies as black) and a fast-growing mixed-race population, most Americans understand that racial identity can be complex and that it requires people to make hard, highly individual choices. But deciding on and explaining cultural identity can be complicated, too. Especially when you can claim birth and upbringing on various continents and in various countries and cities—and when the way you have to explain how you identify changes depending on where you are at the time and on who’s asking.”

An article from Salon on the silencing and omission of work done by black feminists when it came to fighting for reproductive rights. Excerpt: “Antiabortion activists think themselves clever when they compare abortion to slavery, but reams of historical records prove their narrative to be rooted in quicksand. They have ignored the stories of men and women being raped, beaten, starved and worked literally to death and the reverberating effects of that most inhumane of institutions. It is indeed preposterous to assert that a free black woman deciding her own fate as her ancestors have done for centuries (including within the context of slavery) is a perpetrator of the crimes from which she continues to suffer.”

A long read from AlterNet.org on the struggle of colorism between black people across the Diaspora when it comes to representation. Excerpt: “Debates and discussions around colorism and shade in America are often cyclical and absolute — light skinned equals privilege, light is Hollywood leading lady, light is the chosen one; dark equals rejected, ugly, undesirable, unimportant. That is indeed a truth, but it is one of many truths. That is the framing of complexion narratives, and that of the legacy of untreated trauma of America’s history where enslaved Africans had babies by slave masters beginning the panorama of complexion on these shores. Historically, the closer to white you were, the better the treatment you received.”

Another article from Salon on how the post-racial reality doesn’t exist, especially when it comes to the recent Stand Your Ground trials in Florida for the deaths of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. Excerpt: “Given her particular kind of black embodiment, Creshuna Miles’ decision carries great weight in an American populace that deeply wants to believe in the myth of a colorblind system. The problem here – the lie of post-racialism, to be more precise – is that Miles’ rejection of the racial elements of this case hold more weight precisely because she is a black woman.  Essentially, finding the biggest and blackest of black women to say that there was no miscarriage of justice in this case helps assuage any white guilt.”

An article from the Village Voice on Lorraine Hansberry’s private struggles with her identity and sexuality. Excerpt: “In a steady, eloquent voice, Hansberry points out that “the most oppressed group of any oppressed group will be its women, obviously,” concluding that those who are “twice oppressed” can become “twice militant.””

An article from PolicyMic on a list of 22 thoughts on what means to be black in America. Excerpt: “But in the end, being black in America today means different things to different people. Some black people will even insist that racism hasn’t played a prominent role in their lives.”

**NOTE: Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be on hiatus until Friday, March 14th, so catch up with the previous weeks until then!!

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