Day: July 20, 2008

Condoleezza Rice Politics Race Matters

Condolezza: U.S. Has Come A Long Way

Condoleezza Rice has expressed approval of Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, saying it’s a remarkable accomplishment that shows the U.S. has come a long way.

The Secretary of State, who is only the second black person, after Colin Powell, to achieve such a high position in the American government, said in a TV interview over the weekend that she knows which candidate she will vote for in the fall–but will not reveal it to the public.

Rice is still not considering a role as Vice President, but is planning to write a book about America’s foreign policy at the end of Bush’s term.

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Michelle Obama ObamaNation Politics Race Matters

Black Sorority Sister Calls Characterization of Michelle Obama “Nothing New”

Having read Sunday’s Washington Post, Blindie felt the urge to post an excerpt from a column titled, “ONE OF US: Black. Female. Accomplished. Attacked.”

Referencing the The New Yorker‘s controversial cover of the Obamas, the writer–a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority–calls the characterization of Michelle Obama as an “Angela-Davis-Afro-wearing, machine-gun-toting, angry, unpatriotic” black woman “nothing new to professional African American women. We endure this type of labeling all the time”:

Welcome to our world.

We’ve watched with a mixture of pride and trepidation as the wife of the first serious African American presidential contender has weathered recent campaign travails — being called unpatriotic for a single offhand remark, dubbed a black radical because of something she wrote more than 20 years ago and plastered with the crowning stereotype: “angry black woman.” And then being forced to undergo a politically mandated “makeover” to soften her image and make her more palatable to mainstream America.

PHOTO: AFP

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Ga Ga Music

Ga Ga: Black Kids’ New Album Out July 22

Black Kids’ highly-anticipated debut LP, Partie Traumatic, will be out on Tuesday, and the Jacksonville-based band is loving the buzz they’ve attained from blogs.

“We were literally just plucked from Jacksonville and thrown in front of a crowd,” drummer Kevin Snow tells Billboard of their rise to Internet stardom (blog chatter increased 900% after they were mentioned in the New York Times). “And it just kept going. At this point, we haven’t been home in nearly a year.”

“There are still lots of people just discovering the band,” says Jason Hradil, the group’s marketing manager at Columbia. “They will certainly be able to develop an audience beyond bloggers.”

Black Kids’ debut, Partie Traumatic, which was recorded with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, was released July 7 in the U.K., debuting at No. 5. The singles, “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” and “Hurricane Jane,” reached Nos. 11 and 36, respectively, on the U.K. Singles chart, according to Billboard.

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Accolades Art

Two Decades of Atlanta’s National Black Arts Festival

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Atlanta’s National Black Arts Festival, which begins Friday and ends July 27. More than five million people have attended the festival since it began in 1988.

“That’s the beauty of culture,” executive producer Stephanie Hughley told the AP. “It’s always being influenced and is influencing. I think the festival offers a safe environment to examine cultural connections and influences, provoking and inspiring self-reflection.”

This year’s festival, which is themed, “Our Gift of Creativity to You,” will include performances by Oprah Winfrey’s production of The Color Purple, and conversations with authors Alice Walker and Pearl Cleage.

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Michelle Obama ObamaNation Politics Race Matters

ObamaNation: Michelle ‘Normalizes Black Women’

michelle-barack-REUTERS

A group of black women business owners in Detroit are rejoicing over Michelle Obama, whom they say “normalizes black women,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

“This whole thing about Michelle Obama being a mad black woman is utterly ridiculous,” says Mandisa Smith, a jewelry designer and fine arts appraiser who belongs to the Spiral Collective.

Adding that black women are often paid less than any other demographic, regardless of credentials, Smith says, “But as far as I’m concerned, black women have a right to be mad.”

The Detroit-based group says Obama knocks down old stereotypes of black women, from the Sapphire (the angry black woman) to Mammy (the nurturer).

“So Michelle comes along and she completely dispels all that,” Janet Jones says. “She represents someone who came from humble beginnings to achieve a high level of education. She has a strong self-identity as a female.”

PHOTO: Reuters

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