May 2nd, 2007


Can't Miss Stories in the Media

Orlando Patterson of Harvard University contributed "The Root of the Problem," a revealing look into the birth and building of slavery in America to this week's TIME magazine (May 7, 2007) highlighting the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.

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And these two stories by LaMont Jones, fashion editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, are s-l-o-w-l-y making their way into other newspapers across the country (both were featured prominently in the Chicago Sun-Times today). The main story, "Black and Beautiful: African-American Women Haven't Had an Easy Time in the Fashion World," is a sharp, knowledgeable indictment of society's overall mistreatment of black women (in the Sun-Times and other sources, the story carries the title, "Dehumanized, Rarely Glamorized"). And its accompanying sidebar, "Are Black Men Dressed as Women Just A Drag?" spotlights the negative images of black women in pop culture, including those created by black men--"Big Momma," "Norbit," and Tyler Perry's Madea.

Now the only point on which Jones and I would box is his lumping Flip Wilson's Geraldine character in with Jamie Foxx's Wanda and Martin Lawrence's Sheneneh; Geraldine wasn't self-deludedly panting over anybody and was really "her" own character, whereas I'd mark Wanda and Sheneneh as tiresome, ugly, one-dimensional caricatures.

In reading these two stories, all I could think about was last week's episode of The Game (which I happened to see on its Sunday afternoon rerun), which was called "The Big Chill," and focused on Tasha, a black female character that's in her 30s, and talking about how she has so much anger and showing how that impacts on her relationships with her boyfriend, her friends, and her family (you can actually watch the episode online over at All throughout the episode it's like, why are black women so angry? Well, reading this article would head you toward a clue--!

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