Day: August 3, 2008

Health Race Matters

The ‘Emotional Labor’ of Being Black At Work

Sociologists Marlese Durr and Adia Harvey Wingfield presented research on the ’emotional labor’ black professionals endure in the workplace at the American Sociological Association’s 103rd Annual meeting Monday in Boston.

The study, entitled “Keep Your ‘N’ In Check: African American Women and the Interactive Effects of Etiquette and Emotional Labor,” finds that black professionals undergo two types of emotional performance: general etiquette and racialized emotion maintenance as they fulfill the expectations of white colleagues in the workplace.

They illustrate their point with this quote from a black woman in the workforce: “Keep your Negro in check! Don’t let it jump up and show anger, disapproval, or difference of opinion. They [white co-workers] have to like you and think that you are as close to them as possible in thought, ideas, dress and behavior”

Durr explains that emotional labor is “a crucial part of black women’s self-presentation in work and social public spaces” and these efforts to fit in can make black women feel isolated, alienated, and frustrated.

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Books Race Matters

In The Shack, God is Black and Female

A small book, independently published by two former pastors, The Shack by William P. Young, has turned into a surprise bestseller–even though the author views God as an African-American woman.

The novel, about a grieving father who meets God in the form of a jolly black woman, made its debut at No. 1 on the New York Times trade paperback fiction bestseller list in June–and has remained there.

Of course, depicting God as black and female has come with its set of friction. The Reverend R. Albert Mohler Jr, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called The Shack “deeply troubling,” saying it undermined orthodox Christianity.

But it’s the novel’s word-of-mouth power that has propelled it onto the bestsellers list. “Everybody that I know has bought at least 10 copies,” Caleb Nowak, who bought the book in March, said. “There’s definitely something about the book that makes people want to share it.”

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Media ObamaNation Politics

Maureen Dowd Compares Barack Obama to Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy

In her latest column, the New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd likens Barack Obama to “a modern incarnation of the clever, haughty, reserved and fastidious Mr. Darcy” of Jane Austen’s masterpiece Pride & Prejudice. Blindie finds this to be brilliant!

“Obama can, as Austen wrote, draw ‘the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien,'” Dowd writes of Obama, citing Austen’s work, pointing out that Obama’s high manners, like Darcy’s, “gave a disgust…for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased.”…

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Music ObamaNation Politics

Outkast’s Big Boi Gets Political with “Sumthin’s Gotta Give”

After Ludacris’ Obama driven song spawned headlines last week, Outkast’s Antwan “Big Boi” Patton makes headlines of his own with his first single, the politically-themed “Sumthin’s Gotta Give” featuring Mary J. Blige, off his solo album, Sir Luscious Leftfoot … Son of Chico Dusty.

“I chose this song first because being in the game, I feel a responsibility to entertain but also lecture about life,” Big Boi told Billboard of his song which speaks out on universal health care, the recession, the war in Iraq, and the historical election. “I’d rather get people to vote instead of running to the strip club.”

In addition to tapping into the frustrations of today’s political climate, Big Boi’s music video also opens with a quote by the man who will hopefully take us out of the darkness, Barack Obama: “If you’re walking down the right path, and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

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