Posing Beauty

Looks like a very interesting book, published in 2009:

POSING BEAUTY: African American Images From the 1890s to the Present (Norton, $49.95)

Read the (very positive) NYT Review here.

With “Posing Beauty,” Willis has for­ever changed the conversation about beauty in American life. After centuries of exclusion and segregation in which African-­American beauty existed on the margins of the culture, Willis offers readers a thoughtful and nuanced consideration of the relationship of beauty and power. She invites us to marvel at the glamour and elegance contained in the photographs, and in the process instructs us on how to expand the definition of beauty within our national imagination.

In the pages of “Posing Beauty,” readers can appreciate African-American men and women as dandies and debutantes, models and beauty queens, politicians and clubwomen across the generations. The book is a treasure, a triumph and a singular achievement that invites fresh and enduring insights with each viewing.

Blackface or a black face?

Black face costume

 

Gawker: Julianne Hough Makes a Very Bad Halloween Costume Decision

 

The comments are the most interesting part of this gawker post.  One commenter said,

“Its not blackface if you are doing a certain person. It is a black face.”

Another said,

“Exactly. Intent is everything here. Black face was racist because it was racist in practice. Dressing up as a black character isn’t racist unless it is offensive and is meant to be racist. Dressing up as a black character you admire isn’t racist, it’s a compliment.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Is intent everything?

 

Miley Cyrus and the West African Origins of Twerking

Sadly, yes. I did feel that including Miley Cyrus in the title and tag of this post would garner more attention. Here is one of several thoughtful pieces I’ve seen – not about misguided Miley’s image – but about how the dancers that surrounded her were used “as props.” It also provides a brief history of twerking – a dance I found awkward and mystifying in Miley’s performance.  We owe it to twerking to read this.  – Posted by Connie http://www.xojane.com/issues/the-origins-of-twerking I doubt Miley grasps what she’s doing. Miley thinks she’s just “turning up” with some “cool” black girls behind … Read more

Voting Rights Act Struck Down by Supreme Court

While we celebrate the Supreme Court’s momentous decisions on DOMA and Prop 8, we must not overlook their decision on the Voting Rights Act.

Read Mother Jones Story here:   http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/supreme-court-voting-rights-act-decision

What other facts and findings suggest we still need policy and laws like the Voting Rights Act?