Archive for October, 2010


Rainbow flags at the end of the gay, lesbian, ...

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I always have a problem finding an image that represents bi-racial pride. There is no one iconic image that represents pride in this culture/subculture. Are we still a subculture then? We have no country as our ascendants come from various countries. The face of our culture is so varied, with many hues and origins. We don’t have an agenda other than recognition as a race, so would I call us an institution? Not really? It can be argued that we have a political gain in challenging the U.S. Census Bureau and winning the battle for “Black” and “White” only boxes to the option now to check “all that apply”. This is a political nightmare. Districts, funds and resources are allocated on race through the data collected by the U.S. Census bureau. With the racial lines becoming less distinct, what will this mean for the government in the decision-making process in the future?

This week we discussed John Fiske and his views on popular taste as it relates to art. I would like to use the lack of or the future representation of a logo for bi-racial pride for my example. Seeing as there is not one right now, I found a few that are circulating.

Boo.

So vanilla.

So plain.

No umph.

Next…..

I guess….

Fiske would want this graphic to be historically specific. So how would that apply here? Must we incorporate the history of miscegenation born from slavery in this country into somehow?

blah….

Fiske says to selectively pick out what you need and like, and I’m not impressed with any of these.

The above rainbow flag is already taken….

I remember seeing Black Pride patches on jeans and denim jackets in the Seventies and thinking “Yeah man!”….

with these bi-racial bland tees…….not so much.

The art has to be functional according to Fiske, so I think it safe to say that for today, right now, there is no brand, icon, image or logo which, to me, represents the bi-racial community.

Something to consider….

This week we watched footage on how major corporations learn what teenagers like and then regurgitate it back to them in the forms of “The Mook” and “The Midriff”; two gender-based caricatures of what they feel are the aspirations of teens today.

As it relates to my blog, I have a somewhat similar feeling concerning mixed-race women, specifically, and the sudden wave of desire for them in music videos.

I am not a fan of Kanye West the person, he makes good music but he’s an attention whore who is seemingly working through some things psychologically. But even before his mother died, he was an asshole.

“If it wasn’t for race mixing there’d be no video girls. Me and most of our friends like mutts a lot. Yeah, in the hood they call ‘em mutts”. – Kanye West

How appalling.

Then he goes on to “discover” stripper-turned-video-chick Amber, who he names Amber Rose. They begin a torrid lust affair and jet set around the globe and to various award shows, etc, etc. She is one of the “mutts” he adores so much, being half Cape-Verdean and half Italian, she is as exotic as they come. Over the past two years he has molded her into Amber Rose and she has been a willing participant in the transformation from stripper to video vixen to Kanye’s jumpoff to “model”.

Kanye’s mother Dondra West was a professor of English at Clark University. I KNOW he was raised better and I’m sure his mother equipped him with better social skills.

But we are individuals of free will.

I grew up when watching BET afterschool was the thing to do to get the hottest videos and styles. Watching Donny Simpson and Sherry Carter was a treat. The videos “back then” were more of a narrative to compliment the song, a mini-movie in a sense. Over the years, especially after Nelly’s Tip Drill POS (Piece of shit) where he swipes a credit card down a video chick’s ass crack, I stopped watching music videos like I used to.

As of recently, I would say within the past ten years, a growing trend has come about of looking for exotic women to grace the misogynistic mini-movies which no longer have story lines but show men surrounded by fancy cars, plenty jewelry and these so-called “mutts”. This is the new tend in hip-hop culture. So much so that to see a dark-skinned sister or more, or placed as the Feature Girl, the one who is rapped to”, is pretty uncommon. Black women have voiced their disdain for it. Spelman College sent representatives on Oprah to speak on it. It is deplorable.

I think of the dark-skinned African-American women who were highly sexualized in the early part of this country’s history. They were “the forbidden fruit”, their shapely bodies made them easy targets of objectification by both black and white men. There is an African woman whose body was put on display at either a museum or a carnival (I forgot but will find it) for those who had never seen a “phat ass” to pay money and gawk.

“Video Hoes”, as they have come to be called, since after Superhead’s tell-all book about her life as one, are known for hooking up with the artists on set. Mostly in exchange for expensive gifts like shoes, handbags, and/or money.

I hope this “trend” ends soon…right along with asses hanging out of/over pants.

Just my thoughts……