“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity” – Viola Davis

Stereotypes of gender and race permeate our everyday discourses from classrooms to politics and throughout the media. When we aren’t viewing individuals through the impressions granted by stereotypes, we are commonly white-washing our outlooks across matters; from mental illness, physical health, poverty, education and so much more, we downplay the intersections of race and gender. There is typically little room in society for minority groups to speak up for themselves, to challenge the stereotypes allocated to them and to reinforce positive change; in the case that this does happen, societal ignorance hinders our ability to listen and understand. More often … Read more

Silence is a Luxury

The idea of white privilege is a very controversial topic for many, primarily because many white individuals do not acknowledge their race and its meaning, are not aware of the advantages and benefits they receive because of their race, and do not see how their whiteness affects their perception of society. However, white privilege and society have a large intersection because, “when it comes to privilege, it doesn’t matter who we really are. What matters is who other people think we are.” The existing societal norms decide who we are as people and where we are categorized. By being white, … Read more

Could Be “Crazy In Love,” But Only If You’re…

I recently read an article from the website Ebony that began circulating after the Grammy’s which features an interview with Mathew Knowles, father and former manager of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. The first part of the interview discusses Mathew Knowles’s internal struggle with “colorism”, which can essentially be described as prejudiced treatment or preferential treatment of individuals of one’s same race based on their skin color. I had personally never heard this word before, but have always wondered if this was ever an issue within minority groups. After reading further regarding this term and its significance, I imagine this is … Read more

Social Stigma Against Black Men and Mental Health

After engaging in an onstage rant and ending his concert prematurely, it was reported in November that rapper Kanye West had suffered a “nervous breakdown.” After going on a lengthy tirade about a personal conflict with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, West warned, “Get ready to have a field day press, ‘cause the show’s over,” dropped the microphone, and walked offstage. While the rapper’s antics have become rather commonplace and even expected, something was different this time. This time was different because he was immediately admitted to a hospital – reportedly for a psychiatric evaluation – thus, bringing about a nationwide conversation … Read more

Is History Something to Sing About?

This past week was the premier of the live re-creation of “Hairspray” on TV. The movie revolves around a mother, daughter pair that go through their typical ups and downs during the ‘60s. In addition, it revolves around a TV show that stars students, primarily white except for one day a month which is titled Negro day. The movie tackles the ‘60s and the difficulties between whites and blacks and the acceptance of those of color as being apart of society just as much as white individuals. I have seen the movie hundreds of times, and have memorized every song; … Read more

Common’s New Album is Anything But

This week, the rapper Common released an album titled Black America Again. It’s genius. Pure activist genius, right before Election Day. His music is complex and interesting, his lyrics exploring the nuances of systemic racism in the United States. He focuses on an array of issues, including mass incarceration, the injustices occurring in Flint, Michigan, and cultural stereotypes, which marginalize people of color and perpetuate systemic inequality. “The Day Women Took Over” highlights the accomplishments made by black women, from Michelle Obama to Rosa Parks to Maya Angelou. “Letter to the Free” focuses on the New Jim Crow laws, with … Read more

Directorial Racial Choices and their Implications

I grew up in a mostly-white suburban town.  However, I was a part of the musical Once On This Island multiple times.  The premise of this musical is that there is a peasant girl (who was traditionally played by a black, female actor) who falls in love with a rich man (traditionally played by a white, male actor). The entire show centers around how these two very different worlds are not allowed to associate and talk to each other, and definitely not fall in love.  She winds up sacrificing herself for him essentially. In the two productions that I participated in, all … Read more