Category Archives: Media

I’m normalizing TV.

I am making TV look like the world looks. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people equal WAY more than 50% of the population. Which means it ain’t out of the ordinary. I am making the world of television look NORMAL.

I am NORMALIZING television.

You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe. And your tribe can be any kind of person, any one you identify with, anyone who feels like you, who feels like home, who feels like truth. You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe, see your people, someone like you out there, existing. So that you know on your darkest day that when you run (metaphorically or physically RUN), there is somewhere, someone, to run TO. Your tribe is waiting for you.

You are not alone.

 

–Shonda Rhimes at the humanrightscampaign Gala in Los Angeles. You can read her entire speech on “normalizing TV” here.

(via because i am a woman)

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You do not have to trigger yourself into “proving” you are a real “activist” by hyper-consuming Black death via State violence day after day, especially since it is the most violent myth that said perpetual consumption is necessary for “awareness” of what you are already aware of, no less. You can take a break to value Black life. You can value Black life as radical praxis, actually. You do not have to center non-Black people over your own survival to “prove” your “progressiveness” while tolerating their anti-Blackness and erasure as their “praxis.” You are not their microphones. You do not have to toleratemicroaggressive/abusive and violent White allies when you feel safer and healthier being away from them. There is no solidarity/allyship where there is anti-Blackness. I know people on Tumblr/Twitter/Earth think Blackness is in a perpetual state of arrears where our labor and our very bodies as representative of labor/products/services are all we are worth and what we perpetually owe them.

I am truly tired of Black bodies, Black labor and Black hypervisibility being viewed as a resource to be excavated and consumed by non-Black people. If you make a blog that is all goddamn selfies and that is every single post, I am here for it.

[…]

Do you know that the first act of self-care for us as Black people might be recognizing that we deserve to be cared for in the first place? Seen as human? Especially Black women. Because we more than anyone encounter the idea that our only “worth” as people is finite and measured by how much people can use and consume us. And by self-care, I do not mean solely consumption in a capitalistic sense (though that is not non-Black people’s place to critique how you self-care, especially since many of them refuse to examine how anti-Blackness shapes their perception of what is “hyper-consumptive” or “capitalistic,” and how comfortable they are with Black people suffering), but simply realizing that you can say “NO.”

“No, I won’t consume specific images of Black death on a permanent media loop as everyone uses our bodies to further their careers.” Or “no, I won’t co-sign using Black bodies as rhetorical devices to recenter non-Black people.” Or as a Black woman/Black LGBTQIA person, “no, I simply do not want to attend a particular community event this evening about State violence since no one does anything to secure my safety from intraracial street harassment or sexual violence while there.”Or, “no, you cannot use my content to further your career as you slander my actual methods of discourse on social media.”

“No” is radical self-care. Self-care is not selfish.

Gradient Lair | Saying “No” as Black Self-Care

This feels appropriate to reblog immediately after coming home from seeing The Vagina Monologues

intoasylum:

 ”We get in trouble all the time on the show for saying vagina [even though it’s a medical show]. You can say penis but not vagina, it’s a whole ‘Standards and Practices’ thing. They have more of a problem with the word vagina than with the word penis. So of course Shonda Rhimes puts it 45 times in one script.” -Ellen Pompeo

As Cliff Huxtable, Bill Cosby seemed like the most charming, loving dad in the whole world. When he needed to impart some kind of wisdom or discipline, he did, but there was always warmth and humor in everything he did. Claire Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad, was sassy and independent but maternal and loving. She had it all—a satisfying career as a lawyer and a rich home life. Cliff and Claire were still in love after many years of marriage and five children. The kids were funny and charming and they bickered the way my brothers and I bickered but also loved each other in a familiar, fierce way. Here, on our televisions, week after week, for years, was a glorious display of a happy black family, black love, and black success. The importance of The Cosby Showcannot be understated.

The show’s importance no longer matters. It cannot matter.

[…]

I can’t remember when I first heard these accusations but it has been many years. I’ve always believed these women but I have struggled because The Cosby Show meant so much to me. That episode, the one where Theo tries to prove he is independent and has to learn a life lesson about money? Classic. This is the pernicious trap a man like Bill Cosby has created. He believes his artistic legacy will absolve his criminal behavior. It cannot. We have to say enough. We have to stop implicitly or explicitly supporting Cosby. We cannot justify our fondness for him any longer. We have to demand that his show be taken off the air. We have to stop supporting any of his endeavors. His art does not absolve him. Art is nothing compared to humanity, nothing at all.

Roxane Gay, “Art or Humanity: Thoughts on Bill Cosby” | The Butter

When Christian, heterosexual, cisgender, white men worry about not seeing enough people who look like them in popular media, they call it a “loss of conventional values.” But when people of any minority status express the same worries about their own lack of representation, those Christian, heterosexual, cisgender, white men call it an “obsession with political correctness.

We’re Here, We’re… Look, We’re Just Here, All Right?

(via Blog of a Caged Kitty)

I said, “The only way I can play someone this hard is for something to be peeled away each week, and the first thing that needs to go is the wig.” I just wanted to deal with her hair. It’s a big thing with African-American women…You start when you’re just a young girl. Do you twist it? Do you leave it natural when it’s so hard to take care of? Then you start wearing wigs but every night before bed you’ve got to take the wig off and deal with your hair underneath. And it’s a part of Annalise that I needed the writers to deal with because I’ve never seen it, ever, on TV and I thought it would be very powerful. It’s part of her mask.

Viola Davis

(via The CSPH)

She removes her wig, her eyelashes, her makeup, never breaking eye contact with the reflection of her natural self. It’s an intimate, powerful moment television doesn’t often show: A black woman removing all the elements white supremacy tells her she has to wear to be beautiful, successful, powerful. And let’s not forget that that wasn’t just Annalise taking it off: It was Davis, too—Davis, who remains brave in a world where a New York Times critic can get away with calling her ‘less classically beautiful.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

(via happinessruns…)

Actually, it was Davis’s idea, according to a tweet I saw being shared around Tumblr.

It is the representation of black lesbian lives, not simply its analysis and deconstruction that has the most immediate, broad-based and long-lasting cultural and historical impact. Only by telling our stories in the most specific, imagistic, and imaginative narratives do the lives of black lesbians take on long-term literary and political significance.

–Jewelle Gomez “But Some of Us Are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction”

(via Racialicioius)