Accusations of Reverse Racism on Hamilton: An American Musical

After taking home a record-setting 11 victories at the 2016 Tony’s, performing for the president at the White House multiple times, and selling tickets for record-breaking prices, there is no arguing that the success of the Broadway musical phenomena, Hamilton, has been revolutionary in its own right. However, these accomplishments have not come without controversy. Earlier this year, a casting call for Hamilton was released on social media, indicating that the producers were “Seeking NON-WHITE men and women…for Broadway and upcoming Tours.” This word choice received harsh criticism and accusations of “reverse racism” from those both inside and outside of … Read more…

When Law and Order Hits Close To Home

In “Law and Order SVU: Season 13, Episode 6“ there is an episode involving a complicated situation regarding race.  In this episode, a college-aged white girl is raped at gun-point by a black male.  Throughout the episode they begin to question the girls story, learning that she is dating her piano teacher and cheated on him with another black male the night before.  The lawyer hired to take on the rapists case is a black male, who claims that SVU is basing the investigation on stereotypes, and insisting that he did not commit the crime.  The episode ends with the … Read more…

Contesting White Feminism

In my feminist media studies class, we’ve moved into the topic of the representation of black women in the media and how mainstream feminism is essentially white feminism, and neglects to acknowledge women of color. Over the last few years however, Beyoncé has really been promoting feminist ideas in her work, becoming a strong feminist voice for women of color. She has always championed the strong and independent woman even back in her TLC days, but her feminist messages have recently become more explicit. This is most notable in her song Flawless, where she uses sound bytes of a speech … Read more…

Listen to Tupac. Really listen to Tupac.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. Tupac was a prominent hip-hop artist in the early 1990s well known for his deep, progressive lyrics in popular songs such as “Changes” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” However, he was more than just a rapper – he was a poet, a philosopher, and an activist. From a young age, he expressed incredible insight on contentious topics such as education, poverty, feminism, and police brutality. Recently, there has been a clear rise in national awareness and conversation about the roles of race and racism in modern … Read more…

The White Man as The ‘Boogie Man’

In the classroom, when we talk about who benefits from systems of power & privilege, the answer is usually White, straight, cis males. As I continue to have conversations about race with my White friends (males especially), this response is usually one not received well. I’m often met with anger and frustration – an emotional response to what has been described to me as feeling ‘attacked.’ As one male friend put it, “blaming everything on White guys makes us all out to be the Boogie Man – and not all of us are.” I think this sort of response is … Read more…

Racism in Comedy

Every first and third Tuesday, Brew Works in Bethlehem hosts an open mic night for aspiring comedians. I have attended several events, particularly because my friend is interested in becoming involved in the business. Good beer and good laughs – what could go wrong? Every first and third Tuesday, I find myself privy to the uncomfortable silence following racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes. Just this week, a man walked up to the stage and said “I hate women, they’re crazy. I also haven’t been laid in awhile.” He then proceeded to make a series of racist and homophobic comments, and … Read more…