This is Hawa Aden Mohamed who on tuesday won the Nansen Refugee Award for her work towards women’s rights in Somalia. She’s co-founded the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) which educates thousands of women and girls.
According to Unicef, since GECPD began its work the percentage of girls receiving education in the surrounding district has reached 40%, the highest enrolment in Somalia.
And also campaigns against female genital mutilation among other things.
She’s an extraordinary woman and you can read more about her in this article at the Guardian.
The Toronto groups were positive about the image of an Asian woman because “it is seen to represent diversity or multiculturalism.”
In Quebec, however, “the inclusion of an Asian without representing any other ethnicities was seen to be contentious.”
One person in Fredericton commented: “The person on it appears to be of Asian descent which doesn’t rep(resent) Canada. It is fairly ugly.”
Wow. Thanks so much, Canada.
I understand that it seems unfair to show just one ethnicity instead of multiple ones, but guess what? Changing an image that looks like (and was not meant to be) a racial minority so that they’re undisputably Caucasian looking is not how you fix it. I don’t care if it means more work incorporating other ethnicities into the rest of the bill designs. Just fucking do it.
Also, shame on the person from Fredericton. Fuck you.
Wait, so their answer to a lack of diversity is…less diversity? That makes a ton of sense.
“Willow Smith, you’re 11 years old. Nobody needs advice about ‘being themselves’ from you. Call us back when you get your period” was tweeted and retweeted hundreds of times last night and Monday morning.
Considering what black children learn about blackness, subtly and openly, in the media and in American culture, don’t we want them to have the strength and resilience to say, “I am not your stereotype, but I am me”? Don’t we want them to feel comfortable in their skin? Don’t we want black children to be as free as other children? Don’t we want to inoculate little girls against the onslaught of shitty messages about black femaleness?Perhaps we don’t.
I can’t help but set reaction to Willow Smith next to the plethora of young male performers who brag about swag and girls and money without raising so much as an eyebrow. But a little black girl sings “your validation is not that important to me,” and all hell breaks loose.
Much reaction to Willow Smith also confirms the way women are expected to perform femininity. One person live tweeting the BET Awards offered that Willow Smith was “turning into a little lesbian,” and that wasn’t the only message speculating on the 11-year-old’s sexuality or questioning her gender. Another tweeter snarked that rapper Tyga and Willow are one in the same.
There would be nothing wrong If Willow were to identify as a lesbian or a boy, but what narrow parameters are we placing on girls and women if simply wearing our hair short, sporting a button down over skinny jeans, and daring to mount a skateboard dictates all anyone needs to know about who we are and who we love?
What’s the problem? If I had a little girl, I would be excited as all get out if she were like Willow Smith. I wish I had been more like Willow at 11. (But then, I don’t have multimillionaire parents, which makes some difference, yes?). We lament the presence of strong role models for our children. They could certainly do a lot worse than idolizing a seemingly smart, engaging, self-assured, quirky black girl. That so many of us don’t recognize that says a lot about our society — none of it good. | The Willow Text: What the Reaction to Willow Smith Says About Us (x)
Live chat is Beat’s online service where you can talk to others who are in a similar situation in real time. The chance to talk online in a safe environment can be a really useful and positive experience. The Live chat is facilitated by an experienced Beat moderator who checks everything that is posted before it is shared.
We have just launched weekly live chats for young people under 25 offering support to men, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite and transsexual (LGBTT) individuals and the black and minority ethnic community (BME).
BME and LGBTT young people: join us every Tuesday 6.45-8pm
Young men: join us every Thursday 6.45-8pm
The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marraiges and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.”
Article written by castenmiller on ontd-feminism.livejournal.con
It uses blackface as a plot device.
In author Victoria Foyt’s futuristic world, no one wants to mate with white people—or “pearls”—considered to be the ugliest humans oppressed by people of color. In order to survive, they must put on blackface make up to be attractive to the ruling class of “coals.” Hoyt explains: “their stunningly dark skin that carries the greatest amount of melanin…makes them the strongest, most powerful race alive.” The protagonist is a white girl who must smear her face with “midnight luster” make up in order to protect herself from radiation and in order to look beautiful to the oppressive “coals” in hopes that they will mate with her.
The rule in Eden’s post-apocalyptic world is: the darker the skin, the higher the mate-rate. Other factors calculated into one’s mate-rate include wealth or employment status. For example, Ronson Bramford, a handsome Coal titan of industry, is at the top of the heap with a mate rate of 98%. At age twenty-two, he only has two years left in which to mate—or else he’d probably have a 100% mate-rate. Tiger’s-Eyes, or Latinos, usually rate above Ambers, or Asians, in the future race wars. White-skinned Pearls offer little resistance to The Heat, and therefore, are at the bottom. Only a Cotton, or Albino, would be lower.”
The claim: “TURNS THE TABLES ON RACISM”
The reality: No it doesn’t.
If you’ll notice:
|*| White ppl? Pearls - A pretty precious/semi-precious gem
|*| Asian ppl? Ambers - Another pretty semi-precious gem
|*| Latin@s? Tiger-eyes - Another pretty semi-precious gem. One striped w/ dark and light.
|*| Black folk? Coals - Something to be used; something which pollutes, something that rubs off on you, something not precious.
And yes, I did this list in this order on purpose. It’s the author’s chosen names, I only organized it according to current valuing of the materials.Turns the tables on racism my left tit. All this story does is expose the writer’s racism in stark, honking, stinking relief and their belief that anyone in the minority SHOULD be doing everything possible to appeal to the majority and fit in with them.
I’m not even touching a world full of PoC who’re obsessed with mating at an early/young age. Someone else can deal with that. My blood pressure says no.
Also there’s this, from Huffingtonpost (always trust Huffingtonpost to bring the RaceFail)
“Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash. The first young African American reader who responded to me loved the book. But then, she’s the kind of free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category. Or perhaps — and this is what I hope — the YA generation sees race in a way that is unique to them, unique in our history. After all, they have arrived on the scene decades past the integration of schools and Jim Crow, even well past the days of The Cosby Show. Soap-mouth-washing words that were forbidden in my youth now populate rap songs so often I wonder if, happily, they have lost their vile connotations.”
First of all, it does a great job of romanticizing oppression. and it goes from ignorant to what seems like concious hostility - saying that the coals (black people) are the “federation of free people.” It ACTUALLY seems like this book is suggesting that this is what our future is destined to become. Like groups aimed at justice are actually going to become so big that white people are going to be wiped from the planet. I’m glad we’re selling this book to kids.
Second, its clearly intended to conntect to an audience that never faced oppression but *really wants to know what it feels like* and wants to serve as that voice.
Third, there’s a video where this pearl is like falling in love with a coal. I stopped the video when I realized his name was Jamal. IDK if its just me, but I feel like names like Jamal are the “go-to” coded names that white people use when trying to make a joke about black people without saying “black people.” Like I’m PRETTY SURE the actor playing Jamal isn’t even black but his name is Jamal so the audience would believe it. I didn’t even think they would use modern names in a POST APOCALYPTIC SCI-FI NOVEL.
I hope this trash doesn’t end up a best-seller with a cult-following, I’ve already seen quite a few people say this book is promoting “Utopian” ideologies.
Joneka, a teen girl of color, had to go 78 pages into her copy of Teen Vogue to find a girl who looks like her.
Her message to the magazine: #keepitreal
I absolutely hate TeenVogue. For this reason, and for reasons that they pretty much promote fat hate and anorexia. They published where a teenage guy supposedly said “I think it’s sexy to see bones.” Um I’m sorry… that shit is dangerous.
But this definitely adds to why I refuse to have anything to do with this magazine. They should put pictures of ALL girls, to represent the fact that all girls look different. And it doesn’t matter what race you are, or what size you are. All girls are beautiful.
Those magazines should just rename themselves, putting “Skinny and White” in front of each name, because that’s what they really fucking are: for skinny white girls who fit in the white supremacist patriarchal standard of beauty.
This is for glinda, who is excited about queerlit50 but has expressed frustration because it’s too much to handle alongside the very wonderful 50books_poc (which was the 2nd comm’s inspiration). She asked for recommendations for books by queer people of color.
I thought, I’m sure I can come up with 50 books by LGBT people of color. So I did.
Thus far it’s 32 authors and 66 books. This list is obviously partial—it skews American, Anglophone, African-American, and bisexual, just to start, because of my own experiences, though I haven’t read every book on it myself. I would really love to add to it, and welcome additions. Sadly, at the moment I think it’s only a list of books by LGB people of color, and I’d be particularly interested in works by trans authors. (Also, if any of these books are transphobic, I’d like to flag that, too. Let me know.)
Like queerlit50 this list is about the author’s identity, rather than content, so it includes books in which everyone is white (Giovanni’s Room) and no one is obviously queer (A Raisin in the Sun). If I have inadvertently identified anyone incorrectly (for example, including someone of Cuban descent who doesn’t consider themselves of color, or calling someone queer who doesn’t identify that way), please let me know and I will be happy to amend.
Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls. Autobiography of a gay Cuban man.
James Baldwin, Another Country, Giovanni’s Room, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone (novels), The Fire Next Time (essays). Highly recommended.
Octavia E. Butler, Fledgling, Kindred, Bloodchild and Other Stories, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago, many others. Highly recommended.
Staceyann Chin, The Other Side of Paradise. Memoir about growing up poor, half-black and half-Chinese, and lesbian in Jamaica.
Christina Chiu, Troublemaker and Other Stories. Short stories.
Samuel R. Delaney, Dhalgren, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, many other novels and short stories and The Motion of Light in Water (autobiography). Delaney identified as bisexual for a long time but now calls himself gay.
Farzana Doctor, Stealing Nasreen. Muslim Gujarati lesbians in Canada.
Mayra Lazara Dole, Down to the Bone. YA novel about a Cuban-American lesbian in Miami. Warning for biphobic sentiments voiced by characters and left unchallenged.
Jewel Gomez, The Gilda Stories. Black lesbian vampire lives through much of American history. Fascinating remaking of vampire mythology and a key text of 1970s lesbian lit. Warning for biphobic stereotypes.
Angelina Weld Grimké, Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimké. Like Nugent below, Grimké wrote about erotic attractions to both women and men during the Harlem Renaissance, but homophobia kept her from publishing during her lifetime.
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (play). To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. The very talented Hansberry identified as a lesbian, but after her death her ex-husband/literary executor did a lot to obscure the fact.
E. Lynn Harris, Invisible Life, Just As I Am, And This Too Shall Pass, Any Way the Wind Blows, A Love of My Own. Novels about African-American gay and bisexual men. Often explicitly erotic.
Langston Hughes, The Big Sea (autobiography) and numerous collections of poetry.
June Jordan, Soldier: A Poet’s Memoir. And her poetry too, obviously.
Jackie Kay, Trumpet (a novel about a black trans jazz musician), Other Lovers (poetry) and many collections of poetry. Also Bessie Smith, her biography of the blues singer.
Thi Diem Thúy Lê, The Gangster We Are All Looking For. Author identifies as bisexual. Autobiographical novel about a Vietnamese immigrant family in the US.
Felicia Luna Lemus, Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties, and Like Son. Novels about Chicano genderqueer or trans protagonists. IMO the first one is much better.
Malinda Lo, Ash. YA fantasy involving fairies; a lesbian retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale.
Lani Ka’ahumanu, co-editor (with Loraine Hutchins), Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out. Edited collection.
Yukio Mishima, Confessions of a Mask. Famous novel about a closeted gay man by the giant of 20th-century Japanese literature. He wrote 39 other novels, plus plays, short stories, and essays before his even more famous public suicide.
Mary Anne Mohanraj, Bodies in Motion. Short stories about two linked Sri Lankan families, including gay, lesbian, and bi characters. Also two collections of erotic short stories: Torn Shape of Desire and Silence and the Word. Author identifies as bisexual (and has kindly provided more info in the comments below).
Richard Bruce Nugent, Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Richard Bruce Nugent. It’s debated whether Nugent was a gay man, or a bisexual one whom later historians have forced into the gay mold. But he bravely wrote openly about male same-sex desire in the black community in the 1920s.
Achy Obejas, Days of Awe and Memory Mambo (novels about Cuban-American lesbians), We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This? (short stories)
Nina Revoyr, The Necessary Hunger and Southland (novels about Japanese-American and African-American communities in Los Angeles), The Age of Dreaming (novel about a Japanese-American silent film star). Highly recommended.
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, The Dirty Girls Social Club and other novels. Author identifies as bisexual, but handled coming-out in public badly.
Sean Steward Ruff, Finlater. Two young boys, one black, one Jewish, fall for each other in racially segregated Columbus. Too sexually explicit to be considered YA. Highly recommended.
Alex Sanchez, Rainbow Boys, Rainbow High, Rainbow Road, The God Box, So Hard to Say, Getting It, Bait. YA fiction about teenager boys, many of whom are gay or bisexual.
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. Novels that feature gay Sri Lankan men; the last is YA.
Linda Villarosa, Passing for Black. Fun, fluffy story about a black middle-class woman coming out. Warning for attempts to be a trans ally that fall short.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Anything We Love Can Be Saved, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart, many other novels and short stories.
Rebecca Walker, Black White and Jewish and Baby Love. Author identifies as bisexual. Warning for much less talent than her mother.
Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. A must-read for anyone who cares about identity. Highly, highly recommended.
Update 1 (because I hope there will be more)
Craig Laurance Gidney, Sea, Swallow Me. Short story collection, mostly fantasy, some horror, more focused on black gay men. Some explicit sex.
Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring (post-apocalyptic voudon!Toronto), Midnight Robber (Caribbean-colonized planet and its alternative dimension), Skin Folk (incredible short stories), The Salt Roads (the goddess Ezili connects the lives of a lesbian in pre-Revolutionary Haiti, a bisexual woman in 19thc France, and a prostitute in Roman Egypt), The New Moon’s Arms (Caribbean-set fantasy/sf). Also the editors of So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mojo: Conjure Stories, and Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction.
I’m tempted to put Nisi Shawl, author of the sci-fi short story collection Filter House, on this list, but I’m afraid it might be a misrepresentation of her identity. If anyone has info on how she self-identifies, I’d welcome clarification.