Like Tyler Perry’s oeuvre (with which it shares a histrionic streak), Scandal’s place in black popular culture is way outsized because of the paucity of other black faces in their ecosystem. The work of Perry and [Shonda] Rhimes becomes shorthand for Where Black America Is Today. But where Perry’s work is deeply polarizing, in part, because of his apparent distrust of career-oriented women, Scandal’s popularity is fueled by the many professional black women who, like Olivia, are less likely to be Firsts (but may be still Onlys). They are ambitious and careerist and hypercompetent and well-compensated and unapologetic about all of it.
…Is [Shonda] Rhimes not aware of these conversations that happen between black men and women on message boards and twitter? Does it simply not matter to her? “Scandal” counts some of the brightest African-American thought leaders as fans, Melissa Harris-Perry, Marc Lamont Hill and Roland Martin (not to mention Michelle Obama) just to name a few, so it’s hard to believe that my friends are the only ones who wrestle with the racial undercurrents of a manipulative and powerful married white man carrying on an affair with a supposedly strong black woman. So are…Rhimes’ milquetoast views on race and “Scandal” because she doesn’t know the show’s problems, or doesn’t care; or it is something else? I suspect it’s “something else…
…on behalf of the dance world, permit me to apologize for the mess you’re entering into. It’s insane. But it’s *incredibly* exciting. The world you thought you were entering into is long dead, and none of the old (anti-intellectual, super-sexist, super-classist and SUPER-racist) rules of dance history need hold true for you. So go forth. The search for new ways of moving, dancing and sustaining a career is ON. Read some books. Eat your Wheaties. Learn your dance history, and get out there and make our shared dance future.
It’s a much more complex world than it seems. And it always was. People are like: ‘Well, you know what black people are like.’ You don’t know what black people are like. Or what white people are like. You have to take people one at a time. And Easy [Rawlins], because he’s a detective, literally has to do that because otherwise he’s never going to understand what’s going on. He can’t prejudge because he is trying to find out what happened. Whenever you write about a detective, that’s how it is.
“I disconnected myself to shield myself from people who would sway to my songs in the club and call me ‘nigger’ in the street. They were too busy seeing their own preconceived image of a Negro woman. The image that I chose to give them was of a woman who they could not reach and therefore can’t hurt.” —Lena Horne
she died on this day in 2010.
art: photo of Horne by Charles “Teenie” Harris, 1944
This milestone shows the power of strong, strategic organizing…It also shows what happens when politicians threaten the rights of current and future African American voters. Across the country, we witnessed a variety of attempts by local, state and federal officials to…make it harder for Black Americans to vote. In response, starting a year before election day, we raised awareness of suppression efforts from the statehouses to the courthouses, organized with other faith and civil rights communities, and turned out at the polls to proclaim victory for our hard-won rights.