Why We Need Seats at the Table

photo: Dario Calmese What did you see when you first saw this July/August Vanity Fair Cover shot? Yes, Viola Davis is stunning. A Hollywood Icon, as the cover states. The dress is magnificent. Her hair a crowning glory. Her words evocative. And the cover is unusual- in the 35 years between 1983 and 2017- only 17 Vanity Fair covers have featured images of Black people, so a wonderful landmark to celebrate. But did you also see the image below in your mind's eye? Peter Gordon c 1863 I did. Until this issue, Vanity Fair had never hired a Black photographer to shoot the front cover. Vanity Fair might be fashion forward and steeped in pop culture, but I do not think anyone could have cal

Yes, given the choice, I'd choose to be Black again.

My site will not let me lead with video, so the Jane Elliot video I intended is not the hook image. But just stay with me here. Planned this post for after What We're Up Against Part 2, but in response to the recent Trump claim that teaching children about racism is "child abuse", here goes. Jane Elliott's career as a social justice crusader began with the 1968 assassination of The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. She was in the midst of ironing a TeePee for her next days lesson on Native Americans when the news flashed on the television. She remembers seeing a reporter shove a mic into the face of a local Black leader demanding, "When our leader (JFK) was killed several years ago, hi

The Stories We Learn

“Whose stories do we believe in? We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, but still imperfect picture.” From Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi (Quilt, Faith Ringgold, Dancing at the Louvre 1991) Interestingly, last Sunday, my blog had the most unsubscribes to date, surpassing even the negative responses to my Independence Day post. This week’s,

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San Rafael, California
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Website created 2017 by Diane Barnes and Mariano Diaz