TV Channel Globo, one of the largest television networks in Brazil, is broadcasting a series called “Sexo e as Nega”. The series is an adaptation of Sex and the City, but this time with four Black actresses. The series has been written by the famous White actor, writer and producer Miguel Fallabella.
The very title of the series is itself hugely problematic, not only because race is the primary signifier of the women, but also because the terms are full of racist and gendered connotations, such as the venacular Brazilian expression “I’m not your niggaz “. In racist discourses, Black women are those who work for sex, while the white woman is the woman who is worthy of romantic love, kindness and respect.
While the statistics may suggest otherwise, my own personal experience is that the creative industry has always been a relatively level playing field – where ‘race’ is overtaken by ‘revenue’ every time. If you have the creative talent and commercially exploitable skills, then colour doesn’t come into it.
However, the problem is getting your foot in the door to showcase your skills in the first place. In a world where ‘who you know’ can make a world of difference, that’s not so easy if you don’t know anyone in the industry. And this is where the issue of ‘under-representation’ is a major problem.
It is easy to wonder why those who are not white cannot connect as readily with white characters if it is your identity that has systematically monopolised standard templates for fiction and more: White, the go-to-guy. Perhaps this was Mathew Klickstein’s problem when his interview with Flavorwire took a turn for the absolute worst. Promoting Night of Nickelodeon Nostalgic Nonsense! for which he was event moderator, the resentment for a pitiful handful of TV characters who were not white, took grip and dominated a horrendous read. “That show is awkward,” he said of Sanjay and Craig, “because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian.”
While schools may mark Black History Month, it is important to remember that we cannot rely on them to teach us about black history.
There are other avenues, resources and people that can provide us with an abundance of knowledge, particularly during this month.
One example is Filmmaker and founder of Visionnary Arts, Troy James Aidoo who to mark Black History Month has created a short film series titled More Than Melanin.
In one fail sweep Judy Finnigan has laid bare the prejudice and ignorance faced by rape survivors. Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women programme on the case of convicted rapist, Ched Evans, Judy noted that because there wasn’t violence during the rape and the woman was drunk at the time, it didn’t cause “bodily harm.” Therefore, the footballer having served his sentence should be allowed to return to play in his team, Sheffield United.
Two weeks ago the media reported that the Kenyan Government have offered a free holiday to the family of a 15 year old American tourist who was ‘harassed by a police officer’ because he mistook her for terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite. If it was a Somali family holidaying in Kenya and their son had been mistaken for Abu Ubaidah the new leader of Al-Shabaab would the same courtesy have been offered? I highly doubt it.
The concept of white privilege is associated with predominantly white societies such as the United States of America and Great Britain
Now we know for sure. After their stunning, and literally historic victory in the Clacton by-election and unexpected success in the North West on the same day, there is now electoral ‘proof’ – if any were still needed – that UKIP are likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the general election in May 2015.
So what does this mean for minority ethnic communities in Britain, as the political centre of gravity drifts to the right?
Much talk has centred around the NFL’s, “Rooney Rule” as a panacea, which ensures that at least one person of colour must be interviewed when a head coaching position becomes available. It’s said that such a measure could offset the paucity of managers of colour in English football.
More recently, Sir Trevor Brooking, the former Director of Football Development at the FA said he was against such a regulation, offering choice quotes such as, “Some black coaches say they’re not given a chance, but I do think a lot of them have to get themselves in that position”, and, “There is a reluctance from people sometimes and they feel it should be handed to them.”
Millions of Muslims around the world, both in Western nations as well as others, experience Islamophobia every day as a lived reality. A genuine discussion of what really IS Islamophobia is beyond the scope of a standard, blog-length article. Suffice to say that Islamophobia, if understood as structural oppression of Muslims, is a form of racism. WHOAH – comes the response – Muslims are not a race, so how can Islamophobia be racism? This binary, and/or question appears to have left Muslims in a kind of limbo, where they end up excluded by their oppressor (generally the White Western hegemon) whilst simultaneously being separated from their co-oppressed (e.g. Jews or Black people) in their struggle for equality and justice.
by Jagdish Patel In the UK, many photographers have used photography to examine their own identity, whether this identity rests in being black, their class, gender, sexuality or disability. In the period […]