These two essays perfectly frame the emotional and social debacle of publishing and diversity today. They begin with this stat: “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people,” according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin. The wide world of literature in general, and by no coincidence, the publishing industry itself, suffer from similarly disastrous numbers.

When Christopher Myers asked his uncomfortable questions about the apartheid in children’s lit, the industry hid behind The Market. The publishing industry, people often say as if it’s a gigantic revelation, needs to make money and as such, it responds to The Market, and people don’t buy books about characters of color. This is updated marketing code for “you people don’t read,” and it’s used to justify any number of inexcusable problems in literature. “The Market is so comfortably intangible,” Myers writes, “that no one is worried I will go knocking down any doors. The Market, I am told, just doesn’t demand this kind of book… because white kids won’t buy a book with a black kid on the cover—or so The Market says, despite millions of music albums that are sold in just that way.”

(via kellysue)

comicbookwomen:

Last one by Bill Sienkiewicz.

wrench-wench Dani Moonstar of the Cheyenne People

policymic:

How an 11-year-old girl helped McDonald’s stop gender stereotyping

A Connecticut teenager has forced McDonalds to finally address the casual sexism that has long been a part of Happy Meals.
This impressive narrative comes courtesy of Antonia Ayres-Brown, who first approached the fast food chain five years ago when she was barely a tween. She wanted to know why the chain automatically assumes a girl will want a doll-type toy while a boy will want something more stereotypically masculine, like an action hero. In December, she finally received an answer — from the chain’s corporate office, no less.
Read more | Follow policymic
policymic:

How an 11-year-old girl helped McDonald’s stop gender stereotyping

A Connecticut teenager has forced McDonalds to finally address the casual sexism that has long been a part of Happy Meals.
This impressive narrative comes courtesy of Antonia Ayres-Brown, who first approached the fast food chain five years ago when she was barely a tween. She wanted to know why the chain automatically assumes a girl will want a doll-type toy while a boy will want something more stereotypically masculine, like an action hero. In December, she finally received an answer — from the chain’s corporate office, no less.
Read more | Follow policymic

policymic:

How an 11-year-old girl helped McDonald’s stop gender stereotyping

A Connecticut teenager has forced McDonalds to finally address the casual sexism that has long been a part of Happy Meals.

This impressive narrative comes courtesy of Antonia Ayres-Brown, who first approached the fast food chain five years ago when she was barely a tween. She wanted to know why the chain automatically assumes a girl will want a doll-type toy while a boy will want something more stereotypically masculine, like an action hero. In December, she finally received an answer — from the chain’s corporate office, no less.

Read more | Follow policymic

(via verolynne)

Lupita Nyong’o Is People Magazine’s Most Beautiful and Has Great Perspectives On Beauty Politics

gradientlair:

Lupita Nyong’o is on the cover of People as the most beautiful person for 2014 in their annual “50 Most Beautiful” issue. This is the first time that anyone of her complexion has made the cover and she’s only the third Black woman to make the cover, other than Halle Berry (2003) and Beyoncé (2012). 

image

She shared some insights on beauty in a behind the scenes video for the shoot for this cover. She made some really wonderful statements, some of which I included below:

The first person to tell me that I was beautiful was definitely my mother. She said that a lot, especially when I felt the least bit beautiful which is, you know, as an adolescent you go through times when you feel ugly in general. But my mother always said I was beautiful and I finally believed her at some point.

She’s regularly cited her mother as one of her main supporters in terms of fostering her self-esteem in her beauty, inside and out. She mentioned the importance of being content and I truly believe a part of her allure is her joy. It comes through in her every action and it’s beautiful where it just compliments her glorious dark skin, emotive hopeful eyes, adorable nose, incredible smile, and edges of the gawds, all on a remarkable symmetrical face. 

I feel most beautiful when I am content. That for me is more important than my physical presentation because it’s through inner contentment and happiness that I care about my presentation.

In the behind the scenes video, she also mentioned the role of laughter in her adult life and this definitely connects to the previous quote in terms of internal contentment being the origin for feeling beautiful.

I think the older I get, the more I laugh. I think I’ve laughed a lot in ways; I wish I remembered to laugh like that when I was a teenager.

This made me think of the carefree Black girl conception that many Black women talk about and it made me happy to hear her discuss the role of laughter. An internal source of joy and confidence in appearance are radical acts for Black women in a society that regularly denies us joy and beauty. I am acutely aware of how people hate Black women and also want us to hate ourselves. This dehumanization isn’t just emotional and interpersonal but is a foundation on which oppressions such as misogynoir and colourism rest on. There are people invested—deeply in fact—in not only Lupita being invisible but that no one find her beautiful. They’re terrified that the status quo may shift even a little. And it wouldn’t be a complete shift. Lupita is still very well educated, from a Black immigrant middle class two-parent family and is thin in accordance with most Hollywood standards, so there are elements of privilege as well.

Even so, that beautiful dark skin on the cover will be a problem for many. There have been Black men heavily invested in making sure no one believes she’s beautiful. This isn’t completely about the cishet Black male gaze in a sexual context, though a factor, but also about how it shifts some cishet Black men’s worldview where they may have nothing but “at least” they aren’t Black women. If Black women are to be loathed, Black men can justify their misogynoir as simply being what everyone else feels about us, and it is what everyone else feels about us. Black men did not invent the hatred of Black women nor do they enact it alone. However, if Black women are not to be loathed and some are even deemed beautiful and valuable—even the ones who don’t meet every Eurocentric bullet point in terms of what “beauty” is—then it shifts the ground for many Black men whose choices and gaze are shaped by misogynoir that remains unchecked. This presents a conflict for them and some have lashed out because of it.

There’s also the issue of the White Gaze where even suggesting that a Black woman is beautiful upsets Whites who think that then means White women are being called “ugly.” They purposely ignore the structural power and privilege difference and even the exposure scale differences in the mainstream for White women versus Black women. When I wrote Yeah, Black Women Are Great. Fin., I made it clear that Black women need the space to celebrate our beauty (and not just aesthetically, though yes, that matters as well when our exterior and interior qualities are degraded on the hour) without the White supremacist notion that not reifying Eurocentric beauty standards at every moment means Black women are somehow “harming” White women or any non-Black women. (The latter can be anti-Black at times and placed “above” Black women, as non-Black women of colour, in terms of beauty, but placed “below” White women. Then there’s the intraracial manifestation of colourism where some light skinned Black women may also reject this cover or dark Black women being considered beautiful as well.)

I’m also aware of those among us Black people who think this cover is as simple as “White approval” yet do not understand how visibility as fully human and recognition matters in the mainstream even as Black people create our own media. This is not an “either/or” situation but a “both/and” one. Representation among the mainstream—as it shapes media, politics and culture, which means it has a great deal of power—is not the desire for interpersonal White favor. It’s the desire for the affirmation of humanity so that we are not punished for not being viewed as human. We may not need Whites’ “approval” of us in the mainstream but we most certainly cannot afford Whites’ dehumanization of us in the mainstream. 

While I am not a fan of People and I most certainly don’t read it regularly, I’m also aware of what representation means. Lupita mentioned the importance of representation for Black girls, especially, in a previous speech at Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon:

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shame in Black beauty.

Representation as human, as beautiful and as relevant matters for Black women, especially dark Black women (in this case; in other cases Black trans women, fat Black women etc.). Lupita can have this moment without the suggestion that it somehow “harms” Black men (as if their gaze has to matter to Black women at all times) or White women (as if they cannot love themselves unless Black women hate ourselves; well…hmm), without the suggestion that it means Black people no longer care about the media and content that we create ourselves (because let’s be crystal clear here, the mainstream pilfers Black creativity and culture anyway) or any other nonsensical or cruel suggestion meant to harm Black women that everyone was taught to hate. Lupita is clearly at a point of a great deal of self-love. A lot of Black women are. And we deserve to be. 

I hope Lupita continues to thrive in her career (the acting one); I look forward to seeing her in any visual media (even as small as her Instagram). This People announcement as “Most Beautiful” made Lupita happy, as she tweeted, so I am (and many people are) happy for her. Congrats to Lupita Nyong’o. 

Related Essay Compilation: On Beauty Politics

Related Post: Black Women Do Not Have To Reject Any Mention Of Beauty To Be Womanist/Feminist

(via g0dwithablog)

Q

Anonymous asked:

Just curious, what's wrong with the casting of those female superheroes? Besides Halle Berry needing longer hair, I don't really see anything wrong...?

A

thetallblacknerd:

i-was-a-teenage-anarchist:

ilikechildren—fried:

i-was-a-teenage-anarchist:

thetallblacknerd:

vegetatears:

thetallblacknerd:

be-blackstar:

thetallblacknerd:

Did you not see the films? Halle Berry is supposed to be Storm…who is African, Halle drops the accent in the 2nd film, has no presence, doesn’t exude power and is just a bad choice. Storm is an Omega level mutant who lead the X-Men and became queen of Wakanda, Halle possess none of those qualities.

Mary Jane is a hot supermodel who loves Peter yet has her own life, Kristen Dunst is not MJ. Yes I’m factoring in her looks because its important, I do the same for male ones too.

Jfc Elektra is Hispanic so they fucked up off the bat with Jen, her acting was terrible, she never looked like a ninja assassin to me and the movie was just awful.

Like I said, casted with no respect to the source material

Like I want to scream your Halle response from the rooftops. I thought I was alone until tumblr, now I’m surprised that anybody could think she is/was a good fit. 

Lol you must be a new follower then

Lol halle as catwoman

She’s banned from hero flicks

Am I the only one that liked that Catwoman? She’s no Selena but I still found it fun.

Although the club scene and the jewelry heist scene were super cheesy.

if you give Halle well written material bitch will knock it out of the park

unfortunately catwoman was ass crumbs and the writing for storm’s character has been weak as all fuck

I think the X-Men directors all just decided “fuck the others and character development, Wolverine is where it’s at.” Because after the second movie, it’s all been about Wolverine. Enough is enough. It’s X-Men, not Wolverine. He has his own franchise for God’s sake.

Also, I want a Storm movie. I’ve been reading her backstory and stuff and I really wanna see a live action of it. Maybe her origin story. Who wouldn’t wanna watch a movie about a woman revered as a goddess? There’s so much they can work with there.

Halle Berry does not embody Storm at all. A young Angela Bassett or Gina Torres is the type that needs to be Storm. Fantastic Four had bad writing but Evans and Chiklis were great in their roles because they pulled off the characters.


I’m over Wolverine. So over him, he has gotten like 5 films about him and they don’t develop anyone else. I liked first class because it didn’t focus on him but the sequel is now going back to that.

I saw a petition to get Lupita recast as Storm and it was getting some signatures. Thought that was an interesting idea.

txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again
by Michael Keller
We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis. 
"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 
Read More
txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again
by Michael Keller
We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis. 
"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 
Read More
txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again
by Michael Keller
We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis. 
"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 
Read More
txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again
by Michael Keller
We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis. 
"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 
Read More
txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again
by Michael Keller
We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis. 
"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 
Read More

txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again

by Michael Keller

We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.

The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis

"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."

To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 

Read More

(via emergentfutures)

thetallblacknerd:

connoririshwright:

thetallblacknerd:

wmkoot:

hotbitchesanddragons:

thetallblacknerd:

Who is your favorite female superhero?

Captain Marvel although Spider-Woman is a pretty close second.

Beyonce

Y’all need to stop this tired ass Beyonce response

Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan

Damn already? Lol that’s fast

Haha I can give a long explanation if you like but I have a lot of reasons based off the first two issues.

thetallblacknerd:

wmkoot:

hotbitchesanddragons:

thetallblacknerd:

Who is your favorite female superhero?

Captain Marvel although Spider-Woman is a pretty close second.

Beyonce

Y’all need to stop this tired ass Beyonce response

Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan