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April 10th, 2014
thesmithian

There are border crossings and hyphenations. Dominican, but not. Haitian, but not. Black Latino. Father. Poet. One of the fiercest writers…One of the most tender. Back-and-forth between Spanish and English. Rakim name-dropped alongside Ravitch. Some references cited and explained—Paolo Freire, for example – but the hip hop lyrics aren’t; it’s up to the reader to decode, not to Vilson to translate. That flips the rules of power and culture and literacy…

more.

There are border crossings and hyphenations. Dominican, but not. Haitian, but not. Black Latino. Father. Poet. One of the fiercest writers…One of the most tender. Back-and-forth between Spanish and English. Rakim name-dropped alongside Ravitch. Some references cited and explained—Paolo Freire, for example – but the hip hop lyrics aren’t; it’s up to the reader to decode, not to Vilson to translate. That flips the rules of power and culture and literacy…

more.

April 10th, 2014
thesmithian

'Many African Americans object to the term “Uncle” (or “Aunt”) when used in this context, as it was a southern form of address first used with older enslaved peoples, since they were denied use of courtesy titles.'

more.

March 26th, 2014
thesmithian

'What is it about Obama that bothers people like Rumsfeld? He might ask himself, for a moment, why the idea of Obama—the President of the United States—speaking out of turn bothers him so much, and why the word “ape” sprung to mind.'

March 23rd, 2014
thesmithian

'A tone-deaf inquiry into an Asian-American’s ethnic origin. Cringe-inducing praise for how articulate a black student is. An unwanted conversation about a Latino’s ability to speak English without an accent…'

…not exactly the language of traditional racism, but in an avalanche of blogs, student discourse, campus theater and academic papers, they all reflect the murky terrain of the social justice word du jour—microaggressions—used to describe the subtle ways that racial, ethnic, gender and other stereotypes can play out painfully in an increasingly diverse culture.

more.

March 22nd, 2014
thesmithian
Enough already about Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, concussions and the N-word. I turn on ESPN to get away from the stress of everyday life, to relax with my friends, to share some family time with the kids. Why do you keep shoving that stuff in my face?
March 21st, 2014
thesmithian
Paul Ryan’s claim to have made a mistake will be granted because he is white and male. The errors of prominent (as well as rank and file) African-Americans for example, are never excused away or viewed as aberrations or outliers. No. When black folks are ‘inarticulate’ or ‘misspeak’ the white racial frame deems such moments as indications of incompetence, or proof that people of color are somehow ‘not qualified’ or as ‘intelligent’ as white people. The white gaze does not view black Americans as individuals. When a black person makes a mistake it becomes the focus of a ‘national conversation’ about the black community, one in which ‘black leaders’ are forced to publicly explain and condemn the actions of other black people. There is not an equivalent ritual for white people. White conservatives and the white community will not be forced to condemn Paul Ryan.
March 18th, 2014
thesmithian
Am I proud of my Irish heritage? Sure…up to a point: We’re all born with something, and I was born with a name no one can spell or pronounce, which is specific to a few townlands in County Clare…I inherited some of my Irish-raised dad’s snobbery about the hopelessly Americanized character of St. Patrick’s Day, which a serious alcoholic like him could only view as amateur hour. I don’t miss Irish-America’s dishonest relationship to Irish violence (although the worst offenders in that department were almost always the racist and homophobic old guard). But I’d put up with many choruses of “Danny Boy,” and many rounds of green-label Budweiser, to get back that feeling we briefly had of being an immigrant group that was trying to confront its history, and to see the prison of whiteness for what it really is.
March 9th, 2014
thesmithian
Due to my bearded look, the filmmakers cast me as an overseer in two scenes, shattering me out of my comfort zone. Surrounded by production-placed cotton and sugarcane, they gave me a prop whip and directed me to snarl, grunt and shove at extras playing slaves. Racial slurs were plentiful to ensure realism. Everyone participating knew what they had signed up for…
actor Jordan Sudduth, of 12 Years a Slave
March 1st, 2014
thesmithian

…when [she] asked her daughters to make a list of the hurtful things that have been said to them, the girls remembered things that their mother didn’t, making it clear that the comments were staying with them.

more.

February 28th, 2014
thesmithian

…favorite topic revolves around the names. There’s a Tyrone and a Leroy on the show, and that both characters are white astounds him.

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February 23rd, 2014
thesmithian

jesusandcarmex:

thechanelmuse:

Phylicia Rashad Speaking Spanish and Her Audition Tape From ‘The Cosby Show’

"That was a wonderful character element that unfortunately didn’t stay. I don’t know why." - Malcolm Jamal Warner. Oh, we know why…

"There are a wealth of Spanish speaking African Americans who share my passion for the language.  One is one of America’s sweetheart Ms. Huxtable who learned Spanish when her family moved to Mexico during her childhood. I encourage my African American brothers and sisters to learn Spanish and Portuguese to connect across the diaspora.” - Black Girl, Latin World

She’s literally an angel

[look of the hour]

Reblogged from Salaam et Paalam
February 16th, 2014
thesmithian
It makes sense that I should have [contacted authorities]. We didn’t. I can’t tell you why.

Michael Dunn

…who is white…[he] opened fire on four black teenagers in November 2012 because they were listening to what Dunn called loud “thug” music; he continued to fire at the vehicle as it fled the scene. Three of the 10 bullets Dunn fired hit Davis, who was brought to a local hospital and pronounced dead. After the incident, Dunn drove to his hotel room and ordered pizza. He did not call the police. He was arrested at his home the next day.

February 12th, 2014
thesmithian

'…American athletics, in basketball and football, depend on young black men for their bread and butter. Yet, these organizations from the NCAA on up feel no responsibility to create contexts free from racial assault in which these players can play. Not only that, but they demand that black folks “grin and bear it,” when mistreated. White people are not without power in this situation. What might it have looked like for Marcus Smart’s coach to come out not only to testify about Smart being a stand-up guy but also to condemn the grown-ass man who viciously taunted him?'

…That is what support for the players who make your job possible looks like. That is what it means for white folks to confront racism. Marcus Smart is the same age as Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis would have been if they had both reached their 19th birthdays this month. These young men, all born at the end of the 20th century, share at least one major sensibility in common. They did not automatically offer deference in the face of white audacity. They met disrespect with disrespect, which in my estimation is the supreme litmus test for whether America deserves its post-racial bona fides. 

more.

February 11th, 2014
thesmithian

'The issue is how, not whether, to invest more in preschool, mindfully preventing learning disparities before they emerge. Poor youngsters enter kindergarten already four to six months behind their middle-class peers in oral language and preliteracy skills. Nor is the issue whether the nation can afford to lift poor children: Americans spend more than $53 billion each year on their pets, far more than family and government outlays for child care and preschool.'

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