Newly unveiled Afro-emojis make some people on the internet a little upset.
As an avid user of the mobile app Whatsapp, texting for me these days just isn’t complete with the use of emojis. I’m an expressive being and some times, when limited for space, the use of a picture or an emoji really does say a thousand words. Other times, it simply animates the conversation.
That being said, despite having a vast range of emoji’s to choose from, from the app that I installed on my phone, the only non-white emoji comes in the form of a brown-skinned grey-eyed emoji wearing a turban. In the world of emoji’s, dark-skinned and black people don’t exist. Heck, even in the food and geographical categories, there is nothing distinctly African there. No pap, no plantain, no pounded yam, no poulet yassa, not even a potjiekos. I’ve updated my emoji app with every new notification from Apple and yet not single African flag has been featured. This is why I was glad to hear that Mauritius-based mobile company Oju* Africa has heard the cries of us darker-skinned folk, spearheaded by MTV journalist Joey Parker, and come to our rescue beating Apple in the process. So far, the app is only available on Android devices. As soon as it moves in to the iOS market, I’ll be the first to download it.
Despite the warm welcome its received from people all over the continent, this sort of tech diversity is something that some white people just can’t get with. The underlying cause of most of the criticism of these Afro-emojis comes from whether or not the emojis are indeed white or simply neutral, being that they are yellow. Some people think that because emojis are yellow, they have ‘no colour’ and are therefore applicable to everyone regardless of skin colour. In the same vein, this twitter user believes that by introducing Afro-emojis, this is simply a case of people trying too hard to push a racial agenda where there is none.
Regardless of whether you see the yellow emojis as non-racial, if you feel threatened by brown skinned emojis then that’s an issue you need to deal with internally. There’s no harm in representation, especially for those of us who’ve too long felt ignored by the wider Western world.
With time, hopefully the app will include more and more Africa-specific icons to their emoji range.
*(oju means ‘faces’ in Yoruba).
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All Africa, All the time.
SF based Iranian Artist Taraneh Hemami talks to us about her current projects, upcoming conference, and the role of arts in education. Her simultaneously emotive and educative artworks have been exhibited across the Middle East, Europe, America, and Wikipedia. She is presently working on Fabrications, a running project of memorializing and communicating the alternative histories found in an archive of dissent from the Iranian Student’s Association at Berkeley detailing banned books, propaganda, and student activism.
white supremacy, genocide, slavery, oppression, rape and the racism that still goes on today can still NEVER break or take away our history and the fact that Mexica women are strong, Mexica women are brown, Mexica women are beautiful, Mexica women are proud , Mexica women will fight and mexica women will rise. The future is ours. Liberation through education. Timexicah, We are mexica.
-(a tribute to Mexica women)- josesleepydiaz
Not Latino not Hispanic, we are Mexica (mesheekah) - people of Mexican, “native american”, and “central american” decent. One people One nation.
The photo source states that this is Victoria Spivey, but this is actually Harlem toe dancer, Honey Brown with director King Vidor and actor/singer, Daniel L. Haynes on the set of Hallelujah! (1929).
Honey Brown was the original choice to play the role of “Chick” in Hallelujah! Many factors contributed to Ms. Brown being replaced by Nina Mae McKinney. You can read about it here in a post by the Hollywood Filmograph (a research site dedicated to Film Restoration).
The post is a lengthy read, but it provides detailed information on the making of the film, gives some insight on what work was like for black performers on an early Hollywood film set, and includes some rare photos.
- yoko ono: survived world war II
- yoko ono: started making feminist avant-garde in the 50s/60s
- yoko ono: released feminist songs that are considered hymns of the movement
- yoko ono: turned john lennon into a activist for women's rights and non-violence AND also inspired him for lots of his songs
- yoko ono: had her daughter taken away from her and was strong as fuck to live with it
- yoko ono: fights against fracking 'cause she worries about people's health
- yoko ono: is frickin 80 years old and still perform and dance and write songs
- yoko ono: supports gay marriage
- media: remembers her as a "japanese bitch" who broke up that beatles band or whatever
April 09, 2014 3:33 AM ET
Seventy-five years ago, on April 9, 1939, as Hitler’s troops advanced in Europe and the Depression took its toll in the U.S., one of the most important musical events of the 20th century took place on the National Mall in Washington. There, just two performers, a singer and a pianist, made musical — and social — history.
At 42, contralto Marian Anderson was famous in Europe and the U.S., but had never faced such an enormous crowd. There were 75,000 people in the audience that day, and she was terrified. Later, she wrote: “I could not run away from this situation. If I had anything to offer, I would have to do so now.”
So, in the chilly April dusk, Anderson stepped onto a stage built over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and began to sing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Her first notes show no sign of nerves. Her voice is forceful and sweet. And the choice of music — that opening song — is remarkable, given the circumstances. The NBC Blue Network announcer explained the unusual venue this way: “Marian Anderson is singing this public concert at the Lincoln Memorial because she was unable to get an auditorium to accommodate the tremendous audience that wishes to hear her.”
That was hardly the story. According to Anderson biographer Allan Keiler, she was invited to sing in Washington by Howard University as part of its concert series. And because of Anderson’s international reputation, the university needed to find a place large enough to accommodate the crowds. Constitution Hall was such a place, but the Daughters of the American Revolution owned the hall.
"They refused to allow her use of the hall," Keiler says, "because she was black and because there was a white artist-only clause printed in every contract issued by the DAR."
Like the nation’s capital, Constitution Hall was segregated then. Black audiences could sit in a small section of the balcony, and did, when a few black performers appeared in earlier years. But after one such singer refused to perform in a segregated auditorium, the DAR ruled that only whites could appear on their stage.
One of the members of the DAR was first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Outraged by the decision, Roosevelt sent a letter of resignation and wrote about it in her weekly column, “My Day.” “They have taken an action which has been widely criticized in the press,” she wrote. “To remain as a member implies approval of that action, and therefore I am resigning.”
The DAR did not relent. According to Keiler, the idea to sing outdoors came from Walter White, then executive secretary of the NAACP. Since the Lincoln Memorial was a national monument, the logistics for the day fell to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. It was Ickes who led Anderson onto the stage on April 9, 1939.
'Of Thee We Sing'
She began with “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” — also known as “America” — a deeply patriotic song. When she got to the third line of that well-known tune, she made a change. Instead of “of thee I sing” she sang “to thee we sing.”
A quiet, humble person, Anderson often used “we” when speaking about herself. Years after the concert, she explained why: “We cannot live alone,” she said. “And the thing that made this moment possible for you and for me, has been brought about by many people whom we will never know.”
But her change of lyric — from “I” to “we” can be heard as an embrace — implying community and group responsibility. Never a civil rights activist, Anderson believed prejudice would disappear if she performed and behaved with dignity. But dignity came at a price throughout her 25-minute Lincoln Memorial concert. Biographer Keller says she appeared frightened before every song, yet the perfect notes kept coming.
"I think it was because she was able to close her eyes and shut out what she saw in front of her," Keiler says. "And simply the music took over."
After “America,” she sang an aria from La favorite by Gaetano Donizetti, then Franz Schubert's “Ave Maria.” She ended the concert with three spirituals, “Gospel Train,” “Trampin'” and “My Soul is Anchored in the Lord.”
On that stage, before a bank of microphones, the Lincoln statue looming behind her, iconic photographs reveal Anderson as a regal figure that cloudy, blustery day. Although the sun broke out as she began to sing, she wrapped her fur coat around her against the April wind.
Anderson’s mink coat is preserved at the Anacostia Community Museum in Washington. It’s kept in a large archival box in cold storage and stuffed with acid-free tissue to preserve its shape. The lining of the coat is embroidered with gold threads in a paisley pattern, and the initials M A are monogrammed inside.
Whether wrapped in that coat or gowned for a concert hall, Anderson, Museum historian Gail Lowe says, touched everyone who heard her: “Her voice was a very rich contralto and so those kind of low notes … can resonate and match one’s heartbeat.”
Conductor Arturo Toscanini said a voice like Anderson’s “comes around once in a hundred years.”
'Genuis, Like Justice, Is Blind'
When Ickes introduced Anderson, he told the desegregated crowd that stretched all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, “In this great auditorium under the sky, all of us are free. Genius, like justice, is blind. Genius draws no color lines.”
And genius had touched Marian Anderson.
Anderson inspired generations and continues to do so. An anniversary concert will take place at Constitution Hall, which denied Anderson 75 years ago. A few featured performers are Jessye Norman, Dionne Warwick, American Idol winner Candice Glover, bass Soloman Howard and soprano Alyson Cambridge.
Cambridge first heard about Anderson while a young music student in Washington. “They said she was the first African-American to sing at the Met,” Cambridge says. At 12 years old, Cambridge was just beginning voice lessons but she knew that New York’s Metropolitan Opera was it for an opera singer.
These days, Cambridge finds she has to explain the great singer to others. “Some people sort of look at me with a raised eyebrow — ‘Who’s Marian Anderson?’” Cambridge says. And she continues, “She really broke down the barriers for all African-American artists and performers.”
The Lincoln Memorial concert made Anderson an international celebrity. It overshadowed the rest of her long life as a performer — she was 96 when she died in 1993. Eventually she did sing at Constitution Hall. By that time, the DAR had apologized and changed its rules. Anderson rarely spoke of that historic April day, and Keiler says when she did, there was no rancor.
"You never heard in her voice, a single tone of meanness, bitterness, blame, it was simply lacking," he says. "There is something saintly in that. Something deeply human and good."
Some Basic Serial Killer Statistics
- The USA has 76% of the world’s serial killers.
- Europe in second, has 17%. England has produced 28% of the European total; Germany produces 27%, and France produces 13%.
- California leads in the US with the most Serial Homicide cases that have occured. Texas, New York, Illinois, and Florida follow shortly behind.
- Maine has the lowest occurence of serial murders - none. Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Delaware, and Vermont each have had only one case of a serial murder.
- 84% of American killers are caucasian.
- 16% are black.
- Men make up at least 90% of the world wide total of serial killers.
- 65% of victims are female.
- 89% of victims are white.
- 44% of all killers start in their twenties.
- 26% start in their teens.
- 24% start in their thirties.
- Out of all the killers, 86% are heterosexual.
I notice those magic words “serial killers” really piss off the MRAs. I see why now.
Look at all this white on white crime
These photos are from Black Dogs Project Tumblr page. The photographer Fred Levy is not a poc artist but the exploration of this area is interesting because -
Pet racism: The sad fate of black dogs in the shelter system
Yes, we have a black family in the White House, but that might not be as progressive as another fact: That black family has a black dog.
In the world of pet adoption, there is some serious color-ism going on.
Stereotypes and myths about our dark-furred friends abound. Believe it or not, these superstitions and misunderstandings actually make it less likely for them to get adopted. Shelters call this ”Black Dog Syndrome.:
Part of the problem is simply the fact that black pets are harder to photograph. People perusing Petfinder and the like often make decisions on which pet to adopt based on photos that show the animal’s facial expressions. A bad photograph can make people skip over them in an instant.
Thankfully, over the past few years, there has been more awareness about the plights of animals with dark fur who are brought to shelters. Organizations like Black Pearl Dogs have made it their mission to get people to take a look at these pets and have managed to help spread the word.
The Best Friends Animal Society is on a similar mission, and is currently in the midst of its annualBack in Black national adoption month. Their goal is to help black cats and dogs find homes. The organization has dedicated the month of May to black homeless animals for the second year in a row. Last year, their campaign helped 900 black animals find homes. This year, their goal is to get a thousand animals adopted around the country. Hundreds of shelters are offering to waive or reduce their fees on the adoption of black pets for the next three weeks.
Personally, I’m color blind. My dog Weezy is black, and I adopted him without knowing any of these issues. I saw several pictures of dogs online before I physically went to the shelter, but once I saw him, there was no way I was leaving with any other puppy. Here is an example of a picture of him taken without giving any second thought to the the lighting in the room, and another one that was taken more carefully:
To me, the top picture could be any dog, while the bottom one perfectly shows Weezy’s personality and his cute, lopsided ears.
At TheDogs’ HQ, Annie has two black pets- Amos the dog and Sylvia the cat. So between the two of us, we can definitely vouch for all those homeless black pets out there. Black power!
Jennifer Bristol of the website That Touch of Pit, is the former head of adoption at the Animal Haven shelter in Soho, let us in on what lengths shelters go through to make the darker animals stand out. It is important for them to be wearing colorful collars so that there is something to stand out against their fur, she said, Some shelters will even put boas or bandanas on their animals to achieve this to a greater extent. She believes that “it’s exceptionally important to write descriptions that detail so much of their personality (all truthful, of course). And, if possible, photos of the dogs with people, in homes and with other animals if they are inter-species friendly.”
If you’re thinking of adopting a pet soon, don’t discount any dark animals based on the pictures you see online- go ahead and meet them in person. And if you are unable to adopt a black pet, consider helping them out by sharing Best Friends’ Pets of the Week on Facebook, tweet about the campaign, or go down to one of the shelters and volunteer. Best Friends has a listing of adoptable black pets all around the country.
And here in the UK we have www.dogsblog.com and all the different local rescue centres…
That is, I stop to look where texts take tropes like women-as-flowers, women-as-water, women-as-sugar cane, invented to justify keeping Caribbean women and territories in someone else’s control, and redeploy these same tropes to imagine a landscape belonging to Caribbean women and Caribbean women belonging to each other.
Michael Jackson - They Don’t Really Care About Us