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Kind of Blue

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Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Member since: Fri Aug 29, 2008, 10:47 AM
Number of posts: 8,709

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Calling in Black.

Satirical but really not. I know that I need a mental holiday.

Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc.

Came across this the other day, http://www.euroamerican.org based in New Jersey. It seems chockful of good information, especially their blog http://www.euroamerican.org/wordpress

"The Center for the Study of White American Culture (CSWAC) was founded in April 1995 by Jeff Hitchcock and Charley Flint, an interracial couple with a lifelong interest in matters of racial justice and equity. The founders continue to serve the organization. Jeff is Executive Director and Charley is President of the Board of Trustees. Shortly after its founding CSWAC incorporated as a nonprofit and applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status which it obtained and continues to hold.

The founders envisioned an organization that would raise consciousness about the role whiteness and white American culture occupy in the racial structure of United States society. In 1995 this topic was not discussed in mainstream public settings. In 1996 CSWAC organized the National Conference on Whiteness, the first event of its kind ever held. That same year we launched www.euroamerican.org, the first outpost of white-identified anti-racist advocacy on the internet which, even then, had already seen the appearance of several white supremacist sites.

Today conferences on whiteness and white privilege are more common, and the white anti-racist presence on the internet has grown substantially. CSWAC welcomes this growth, and continues to contribute leading ideas and works. In 2010 we published the book Accountability and White Anti-racist Organizing, the first book to delve into this crucial topic for racial justice advocates in depth.

White culture forms the central values of our society, and yet is often treated as invisible, normal, and outside the discussion of race. If, as a nation, we are to develop a truly multiracial society centered on multiracial values, we need to discuss whiteness and white culture along with other racial and cultural groups. White people need to think about how white culture and values can find expression in non-dominant and non-oppressive ways."

Epic shade of the Donald Trump

"The woman who defiantly read a book during Donald Trump‘s rally in Springfield, Ill. on Monday has been identified. Now she’s speaking out about why she attended the campaign stop in the first place, as well as what motivated her to ignore the Republican presidential candidate and read a book instead.

Johari Osayi Idusuyi, a student at Lincoln Land Community College, told local ABC affiliate WCIS she had no interest in Trump. 'But if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?'

So Idusuyi and a few friends went to the rally and found several seats unaccounted for in the area located just behind the podium. When the group inquired about the vacant seats, volunteers told them they were reserved for VIPs. That’s when they were approached by a campaign worker who offered them the empty chairs immediately behind the stage.

'I think we were chosen for obvious reasons. We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there,” Idusuyi told Jezebel. 'He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.'"



Playwright Reacts to the White Casting of MLK in The Mountaintop


“I remember he had the prettiest skin I had ever seen. Flawless. So chocolate you could see yourself reflected in it,” Carrie Hall, my mother, recounted wistfully. On March 28, 1968, she had caught a glimpse of Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Memphis, Tenn., to lead a march for sanitation workers. It quickly descended into a police-provoked riot fueled by tear gas and bullets. My mother remembers fleeing for her life to the safety of her home, mere blocks from the Lorraine Motel. Seven days later, King would be murdered at that very motel, a sniper’s bullet piercing his flawless brown skin.

My mother’s brush with history became the bedrock of my play The Mountaintop, a reimagining of King’s last night on earth before his assassination. A conversation between the civil rights leader and a hotel maid named Camae weaves through the night as King wrestles with the weight of his legacy.

Imagine my surprise when, on Oct. 4, 2015, at midnight in London, I received an email from a colleague sending me a link to Kent State University’s amateur production of the play. The actor playing King stood there, hands outstretched, his skin far from chocolate but a creamy buff. At first glance I was like, “Unh-uh, maybe he light-skinned. Don’t punish the brother for being able to pass.” But further Googling told me otherwise.

Director Michael Oatman had indeed double-cast the role of King with a black actor and a white actor for a six-performance run at the university’s Department of Pan-African Studies African Community Theater. Kent State had broken a world record; it was the first Mountaintop production to make King white."


"For his production, under the auspices of the African Community Theatre at Kent State, Michael Oatman who is the company creative director this year, said that he had double cast the role of Dr. King, with a black actor performing for three shows and a white actor performing for three shows. In an interview on the university website, Oatman explained his concept":

"I truly wanted to explore the issue of racial ownership and authenticity. I didn’t want this to be a stunt, but a true exploration of King’s wish that we all be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin,” said Oatman about his non-traditional cast. “I wanted the contrast . . . I wanted to see how the words rang differently or indeed the same, coming from two different actors, with two different racial backgrounds.”

We’re not going to see a repeat of this particular case unless Katori Hall says it’s OK. And maybe we’ll see much more specific character descriptions in scripts in the wake of this incident – but hopefully we’ll also see playwrights making clear when they not only allow, but encourage, racially diverse casts, as a signal to directors that diversity and indeed variety is desirable."

From the first article, Ms. Hall says it's not OK.

Kids Who Die, Langston Hughes

A Tribute to the Movement (Narrated by Danny Glover)

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together

Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.
Posted by Kind of Blue | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:15 PM (0 replies)

The Legacy of Morehouse College

"I am proud to be a Morehouse Man Class of 98. Morehouse has over a century of tradition and legacy. Each new class stands on the shoulders of Giants. This year is the largest Freshman Class in history with 750. Here is a sneak peak at how we are 'Inducted' into Morehouse College ~ Brandon Ivey

The Forgotten Story of Orson Welles' All-Black 'Macbeth'

Okay, last one and I'll stop bombarding the forum!

"What if I told you that, as a part of a federal stimulus package, the federal government once wrote a 20-year-old director a check to stage Macbeth to fight Jim Crow? Don’t worry — it gets weirder. This young director set his version of the Shakespeare masterpiece in Haiti, and based it loosely on the life of a former slave-turned-revolutionary-turned-king named Henry Christophe, and cast only black performers. The year was 1936, the director was Orson Welles, and the New Deal was fly as hell, y’all.

Even before its debut, the play faced rebuke. New Deal opponents had already declared that the Federal Theater Project was a waste of tax dollars, yet another in the long line of Roosevelt’s excessing spending programs. Seeing federal money going to produce such “radical” works, Percy Hammond of the Herald Tribune called the Negro Theater an “exhibition of deluxe boondoggling.” FTP productions like Welles’ Macbeth were so controversial, in fact, that Hallie Flanagan was eventually called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused of using the Federal Theater Project as a front to spread communist and socialist propaganda.

Many African-Americans were upset that Welles, a white director, was chosen to lead an otherwise all-Black production. The play coincided with the height of the Harlem Renaissance: writers, poets, and playwrights like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, and Claude McKay were producing some of their best work (Hughes’ The Mulatto had just opened in Harlem to rave reviews). Most of the building blocks for the Negro Theater Unit were already in place due to McClendon founding The Negro People’s Theater a year earlier. There was already a wealth of experience and talent in the African-American community, especially in Harlem, but a significant lack of funding and opportunity. Why hand the reins of such a well-funded, potentially ground-breaking project to a white guy from the Midwest?

An integrated crowd of more than 10,000 people gathered to attend the opening at Harlem’s historic Lafayette Theater. When the play ended, it was reported that there was a 15-minute standing ovation. This is important, because at that time, even in northern cities like New York, most venues were still heavily segregated. Even George Gershwin’s legendary production of Porgy and Bess, which debuted a year earlier, was performed in front of all-white audiences. After the 10-week run at the Lafayette, and another shorter run in Manhattan, the troupe toured to cities like Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Boston, performing Macbeth to sold-out, integrated crowds across the country."

The article mentions that the Federal Theater Project launched Welle's career.

Welle's interview and clip of the production, as well as some great photos here https://www.inverse.com/article/7139-the-forgotten-story-of-orson-welles-all-black-macbeth-production

An African Spiritual Art Form Caught In Time-Lapse, MoCADA, Brooklyn

"On September 12th, the Ori Inu team held a party at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn to celebrate the release of the film’s stunning first trailer. Not surprisingly, the night served as a platform for creatives in the diaspora to showcase their ideas on spirituality. That evening, Nigerian visual artist and musician Laolu Senbanjo performed Yoruba Ritual Body Art as a spiritual ceremony on rising Ghanaian musician Azizaa. The entire piece was filmed by Mariona Lloreta, who turned the performance into a time-lapse that we’re excited to premiere here today.

Laolu performs Ritual Yoruba Body Art on Azizaa at MoCADA in Brooklyn on September 12, 2015.
Music by Laolu Senbanjo and the Afromysterics.
Azizaa has got to be one of the freshest and unapologetic singers I've heard in a while. Her video, Black Magic Woman, I won't post here for concern of offending anyone in this group, but you can find interview/video here http://www.thefader.com/2015/09/02/azizaa-wanlov-interview "How Ghanaian Artist Azizaa Is Challenging Christianity's Grip On Ghana"
Posted by Kind of Blue | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 02:32 PM (0 replies)

Hilarious, "White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining"

Sympathy is for white people...

Sympathy is for white people: The “60 Minutes” segment that highlights America’s startling double standard on addiction

"60 Minutes” segment “Heroin in the Heartland.” was an exposé on the human cost of drug use, the families destroyed and the lives lost. It was also an example of how, in the War on Drugs, black and brown people receive hefty prison sentences, while white people are shown, above all else, sympathy. Lady Justice is not blind.

Host Bill Whitaker began the segment as follows:

“You might think of heroin as primarily an inner-city problem. But dealers, connected to Mexican drug cartels, are making huge profits by expanding to new, lucrative markets: suburbs all across the country. It’s basic economics. The dealers are going where the money is and they’re cultivating a new set of consumers: high school students, college athletes, teachers and professionals.

“Heroin is showing up everywhere — in places like Columbus, Ohio . The area has long been viewed as so typically Middle American that, for years, many companies have gone there to test new products. We went to the Columbus suburbs to see how heroin is taking hold in the heartland.”


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