Racialicious

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations. If you've been on the blog, you know how this Tumblr works, too. Including the moderation policy.
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Posts tagged "culture"

yagazieemezi:

POPULAR POST 2013:

African Artist:

Kehinde Wiley, a New York based portrait artist has been recognized over the last decade through his paintings that depict contemporary young black men. His paintings on African-American men threw him into the spotlight, but Wiley has since further embarked on more art projects portraying the everyday people of Nigeria, Senegal, Brazil and more. 

"For his latest exhibition, he’s ventured to Jamaica. The island has been muse to many artists, but JA is a place where moggling is a sport—a place perfectly suited to Wiley’s method, in which he casts for models literally on the street. The World Stage: Jamaica also differs from many of Wiley’s previous exhibitions in that it features a mixture of women and men— perhaps an acknowledgment of the assertive role females have always played in Jamaican society and public life.”

(via shadesoffantasy)

[M]aybe it’s the very fact that Chinese buffets are totally not about exoticized “authenticity,” and that the food is generic, predictable, and stubbornly resistant to culinary innovation, that make these restaurants so comforting — and in a way, as American as McDonald’s — to many immigrant diners. Added to all this, too, I suspect that the potentially infinite promise of food is an irresistible draw for those like my parents who’ve endured wartime poverty and hunger at some point in their lives. That’s why I try not to judge — at least not too much — when my folks insist on getting up one more time for that seventh plate of sushi, shrimp, and soft-serve ice cream. (You know what I’m talking about.) 

There may be a high price to pay for such cheap abundance, though.  Chinese buffet workers, often undocumented and lacking in the language and legal resources needed to challenge unfair labor practices, are frequently the biggest victims of the low-cost Chinese buffet system.  Many stories of exploitation of Chinese buffet workers across the US have been reported in the past decade, including in Chicago, where the owners of fourteen Chinese buffets were sued in 2002 by the U.S. and Illinois Departments of Labor for $1.5 million in unpaid back wages to their employees.  In a horrific recent case in Countryside, Florida, the owners of a popular buffet restaurant were sentenced for “harboring, transporting, and exploiting illegal aliens” following a two-year investigation by Homeland Security that found the restaurant’s twenty-seven employees living together in three cramped apartment units and working eighteen hour days, six days a week at a rate of $3 an hour. 

Over at Hyphen, Jenny Lee breaks down the social appeal and the societal cost of the ubiquitous Chinese buffet.

Image credit: Chris Busby at TheBollard.com.

I often feel invisible. When I tell people that I grew up on an Aboriginal reserve, they look at me like I’m a mythical unicorn, even though more than a million people in Canada identify themselves as First Nations, Métis or Inuit. I probably wouldn’t have thought we existed either if I hadn’t grown up on the Six Nations reserve in Southwestern Ontario. Back then, I only saw people who vaguely looked like me on CBC’s North of 60. It was slim pickings as far as cultural references were concerned.

But today, instead of homages rooted in realism like the CBC offered in the ’90s, all I see in the mass market is a shiny commercial version of “Native Americans” rooted in stereotypes from westerns, Disney cartoons and sports mascots.

It’s disheartening that so few people are aware that headdresses, bonnets and totem poles are still spiritually relevant to vibrant Native cultures. To glamorize—or make light of—the misuse of dated and cartoonish images is to support a legacy of genocide and racism. The after-the-fact apologies aren’t enough. While groups like No Doubt may say they never meant to “offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history,” they did.

How can anyone assume that referencing “Indian” motifs without care or caution wouldn’t be hurtful, trivial or, indeed, racist? I was dumbstruck when I saw the spring/ summer issue of AnOther Magazine. The biannual fashion and culture publication photographed Michelle Williams wearing black braids, a sad expression and what could arguably be considered redface. (Imagine your reaction if she’d been wearing blackface and cornrows.) In response to an immediate backlash, the magazine echoed those other apologies, writing “While we recognize the seriousness of this debate, the image in question in no way intends to mimic, trivialize or stereotype any particular ethnic group or culture.”

This is how you weeeeerrrrrrk!

(via newmodelminority)

You see, I think the current voting rights fight isn’t just about politics. Instead, I think of it as just one more battle within a larger war over who gets to be an American, and who among Americans gets to control the meaning of America. That war is not just about political rights, it’s about who controls our culture, and that’s something to be very concerned about.

Why? Because culture is at the heart of identity. Our identities, how we are defined, whether or not we are recognized as who we believe ourselves to be and found worthy, drives our politics. When our identities are threatened, we will do almost anything to protect ourselves.

Food, especially food that “swings American,” is a great gauge of American culture and identity. For instance, we think of hamburgers as an all-American food. But hamburger is named after Hamburg, Germany. The hotdog also has German roots. But these are, truly, American foods. Just as American as choy suey, General Tso’s chicken, and fortune cookies, all also invented in America but that we, nonetheless, think of as Chinese.

I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, back when that La Choy commercial was considered about as offensive as selling water softener as an “ancient Chinese secret.” That was a much more naive time for whites. That naivete was rooted in the unquestioned dominance of whiteness. In fact, so dominant were whites that American was synonymous with Caucasian.

But the racial equity movements of my childhood would soon shatter that naivete, pulling whites into a struggle to maintain their cultural dominance that made the contours and vulnerabilities of whiteness visible to whites, perhaps for the first time. Until then, being the assumed racial and cultural norm of America was fundamental to white identity and to the ethos of American exceptionalism.

But when white cultural advantage was challenged, white folk mobilized. KKK membership grew, White Citizens Councils formed, and the Republican Party stepped in to provide a political vehicle for white backlash that is still in effect today.

And now, as the racial demographics of the U.S. and the world turn to the increasing numerical advantage of non-whites, the backlash movement that peaked in the 1990s is resurgent. Membership in racist Patriot groups and vigilante border patrols is on the rise, and Tea Parties and groups like True the Vote are wreaking havoc on our political process. And they’re not nearly done yet. The global scale of white conservative ambitions can be measured by the body count in what increasingly appears to be a permanent war against the so-called Muslim world, the popular support for which is founded in Islamophobia.

It is in this context that the current voter suppression efforts we are seeing around the country should be understood. Overcoming these efforts in this election cycle is only one among many battles. Unless we see that battle as connected to the battles for immigration rights, religious freedom, racial equity and gender equity, reproductive and sexual freedom, and the battle to curtail the ambitions driving the expansion of American empire, we are missing the dynamics of the larger war and may soon find much more than voting rights among its casualties.

Scot Nakagawa, “Voting And The Battle For White Cultural Dominance,” RaceFiles 9/28/12

jalwhite:

deluxvivens:

Powwow tiny tots. Cuter than a flock of hipsters. More powerful than their appropriation.

dance little ones, dance!

Reblogged for the cuteness and the pithy commentary.

(via nishnabin)

biggadjeworld:


Rather than wrongly lump all nomadic peoples under the umbrella term, “gypsy”, here is a guide of appropriate terms to use.

Terms to not use when referring to nomadic people or nomadic sub-ethnic populations:

gypsy [jip-see] noun
Usage note: The term gypsy is a degrading pejorative for persons who belong to the Romani ethnic population. 
A member of a nomadic Indo-Aryan people of generally dark complexion who migrated originally from India & Pakistan, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.

vagabond [vag-uh-bond] adjective
1. Wandering from place to place without any settled home.
2. Leading an unsettled carefree life.
3. Disreputable, worthless, shiftless.

vagrant [vey-gruhnt] noun
1. A person who wanders about idly and has no permanent home or employment.
2. An idle person without visible means of support, as a tramp or beggar.

drifter [drif-ter] noun
1. A person who goes from place to place, job to job, etc.
2. A boat used in fishing with a drift net.

hobo [hoh-boh] noun
A tramp or vagrant.

tramp [trӕmp] noun
1. A person who travels about on foot, usually with no permanent home, living by begging, doing casual work.
2. A long hard walk.
3. An iron plate on the sole of a boot.
4. (slang) A prostitute or promiscuous girl or woman.

pikey [paiki] noun
Usage note: A slang pejorative used in the United Kingdom to describe members of the Pavee sub-Irish ethnic population; commonly known as Irish Travellers.
1. A vagrant.
2. A member of the underclass (possibly derived from the term turnpike).


Words you should use when referring to nomadic people or nomadic sub-ethnic populations:

nomad [noh-mad] noun
member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply.


ROMANI
An Indo-Aryan people who migrated from the Rajasthan & Punjab regions of India & what is today part of the nation-state of Pakistan following the invasion of the Persian Muslims and now live primarily in Europe and the Americas.





DOMARI
An Indo-Aryan people who migrated from the Rajasthan & Punjab regions of India & parts of what is now the nation-state of Pakistan shortly after the invasion of the Persian Muslims who now live throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and across North Africa. Very closely related to the Romani.





HADZA
An ethnic group living in north-central Tanzania in the Great Rift Valley. The language of the Hazda is most closely related to the Khoisan language family, though they are genetically isolated from neighboring ethnic populations. 
 




BANJARA
An ethnic people from the Rajasthan region of India. They live primarily in north-west Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and the Eastern Sindh province. They are divided into two tribes; the Maturia & the Labana.





TURKMEN
A sub group of the ethnic Turkic people who live primarily in Turkmenistan & Afghanistan, northeastern Syria, Iran and Iraq. The language is Turkmen, of the Oghuz dialectal branch of Turkic. It is closely related to Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqui, Gagauz, and Salar.





NUKAK
An ethnic people who live between the Guaviare & Inirida rivers within the Amazon basin in the nation-state of Columbia. The Nukak are seasonally nomadic. Their language is a dialect of the Nadahup language.





PAVEE
Commonly known as Irish Travellers, the Pavee are a sub-ethnic group of Irish who live mostly in the Republic of Ireland & the United Kingdom. The Pavee speak a dialect of the Shelta language, as well as Irish Traveller Cant; which derives from Gaelic.






BEDOUIN
An Arabian sub-ethnic population who live mostly throughout the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in Egypt. The Bedouin are divided into various tribes, each of which generally speaks one of three Arabic dialects; Najdi, Hassaniya, or Bedawi.





YUPIK
The Yupik are a people indigenous to regions of Alaska and the Russian far east. They include the following tribes; Alutiiq, Central Alaskan Yu’pik, Siberian Yupik, and the Nuakan, Chaplino, and Sirenik. The Yupik language is still widely spoken in both Alaska & Russia. There are five Yupik dialects.





HMONG
The Hmong are an ethnic population living in regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, & Thailand. The Hmong have many ethnic sub-divisions & speak their own language; Hmong.





MAASAI
A sub-ethnic group of the Nilotic people living in Kenya & Tanzania. The language they speak is Maa, which is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Many Maasai also speak Swahili & English fluently.





LORI
The Lori are an ethnic population who live in Pakistan & Iran. They are divided into two sub groups; the Sarmas-Lori & the Zabgisgahi. The Lori are speculated to have migrated from India. They speak the Balochi language.





This in no way accounts for all peoples who were ever once or are still nomadic by culture, tradition, oppression, or necessity. Each nomadic population belongs to a certain ethnicity. Certainly, not all nomadic peoples are related, and thus, we cannot be placed under umbrella terms & misappropriated words.

It is most respectful to always ask what a particular individual prefers to be called. Self identification is important to all human beings no matter to which race or ethnicity we belong. Ascribing English adjectives, derogatory terms, or pejoratives from the English language to various nomadic peoples is insulting & ignorant.  

We are more than nomads. We are people; human beings with emotions who identify with & embrace a particular heritage & culture. Please respect us as such.

tianw:

thegang:

Azizah, a film by Hanifah Walidah & Olive Demetrius  

Azizah translated means “My powerful beloved”. Azizah looks at the lives or Black American Lesbians who were raised in Islam. This is a documentary currently in development. To support this documentary please go to www.iloveupeople.com (click on upcoming projects)

I love the attention this project is getting. I hope Hanifah continues with it. I loved when I saw it years ago and was waiting for there to be more.

(via seanpadilla)


I hereby announce that today February 2, 2012 is First Lady Michelle Obama Appreciation Day! Why? Well, because our First Lady is awesome and she deserves a day of appreciation. Further I think as a feminist space we need to just take a moment to reflect on the wonderful and positive example that has been set by the First African American FLOTUS.
Whether she is looking stunning in pastels on Jay Leno or doing (25!)pushups on Ellen, her charm and smarts and genuine concern for the health of American children and military families shines through.
February is also Black History Month and yesterday President Obama issued a proclamation to honor African American women. The special message is meant to highlight and pay tribute to influential African American women that impacted culture and history.
It’s certainly a historic moment for African American women in the era of Michelle Obama and while she still has to occasionally deal with the same old stereotypes and misconceptions, she is setting a wonderful example for us all.

—Zerlina Maxwell, First Lady Michelle Obama Appreciation Day!, Feministing 2/2/12

I hereby announce that today February 2, 2012 is First Lady Michelle Obama Appreciation Day! Why? Well, because our First Lady is awesome and she deserves a day of appreciation. Further I think as a feminist space we need to just take a moment to reflect on the wonderful and positive example that has been set by the First African American FLOTUS.

Whether she is looking stunning in pastels on Jay Leno or doing (25!)pushups on Ellen, her charm and smarts and genuine concern for the health of American children and military families shines through.

February is also Black History Month and yesterday President Obama issued a proclamation to honor African American women. The special message is meant to highlight and pay tribute to influential African American women that impacted culture and history.

It’s certainly a historic moment for African American women in the era of Michelle Obama and while she still has to occasionally deal with the same old stereotypes and misconceptions, she is setting a wonderful example for us all.

—Zerlina Maxwell, First Lady Michelle Obama Appreciation Day!, Feministing 2/2/12