Day: July 31, 2009

Fashion Race Matters

Italian Vogue Reprises 2008 ‘All-Black’ Issue With Black Barbie Tribute

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Italian Vogue‘s editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani made a bold statement when she featured only black models in the 2008 July issue, and follows it up with a feature on Black Barbies in the 2009 July supplementary issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barbie.

“Barbie has been an icon for wole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie,” Sozzani said.

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Introduced in 1967, the first black doll from the Barbie collection was Francie, a friend to Barbie. The first Black Barbie wasn’t introduced until 1980. This fall Barbie launches a line of black dolls called the So in Style collection with more ethnic or “black” facial features such as fuller lips, distnctive cheekbones, a wider nose and curlier hair.

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The 2008 all-black Italian Vogue served as an example of the virtual exemption of black models in the beauty and fashion industry and the need for diversity. So what will Vogue‘s Black Barbie issue achieve? Perhaps, the elevation of black female aesthetics to Barbie’s iconic status. Or at least young girls like Sasha and Malia will have some great dolls to play that will reinforce their self-image as beautiful black women.

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Newsy ObamaNation Politics

Obama Invites Gates and Cambridge Police Sergeant Crowley To White House For ‘Friendly’ Talk Over Beers

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As promised, President Barack Obama invited Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, who recently arrested Gates in what has been criticized as a racial incident, to the White House on Thursday for some beers and a “friendly, thoughtful” conversation. Oh yeah, Vice President Joe Biden was there -probably throwing in his two cents.

The four men convened in the Rose Garden in what is now being referred to as the “beer summit, “where they spent a lot of time discussing the future,” said Crowley.

“I think what you had today was two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue,” Crowley told reporters.

Gates stressed that they must use the opportunity “to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand.”

Obama was apparently pleased with his spin control beer session, especially after inciting media outrage with the comment “Cambridge police acted stupidly” and said in a statement, “I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart.”

“I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode,” Obama went on to say.

The beer of choice for the group: Bud Light for Obama, Blue Moon for Crowley, Sam Adams Light for Gates, and a nonalcoholic Buckler for Vice President Joe Biden.

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