Race

Rue From ‘The Hunger Games’ Understands Something About Racism That So Many Americans Don’t

Her gorgeous performance as Rue from The Hunger Games attracted a cascade of racist responses on social media, but now teenager Amandla Sternberg is becoming a public voice on the topics of race and culture, thanks to a Tumblr video that has gone viral. In a few short, well-produced moments, Sternberg answered one question that American media consumers and creators fail to understand, and raised another that we’d all do well to seriously consider. And she did it all as history class project, with the help of a friend. … Read More

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Reif Larsen’s ‘I Am Radar': Art and Race in 2015’s First Big, Messy Novel

Am Radar begins in darkness: the title character, Radar Radmanovic, is born to his mother Charlene during a hospital blackout. Charlene’s husband, Kermin Radmanovic, is tinkering with a transceiver radio in the delivery room, waiting to “announce his child’s arrival to the world.” But when the lights come on the doctor is holding on to her newborn child, a baby “so dark it shimmered purple in the beam of light, like an eggplant.” … Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’s’ Donna Meagle Is the Fat Heroine of My Dreams

Parks and Recreation ends its seven-season run Tuesday night on NBC. To celebrate the show’s unforgettable characters, Flavorwire is publishing a series of tributes to our favorite Pawnee residents. Click here to follow our coverage.

The most shocking thing a fat woman can do is to have a loving boyfriend — especially a loving boyfriend who finds her genuinely attractive, instead of merely developing an affection for the quirks of her misshape in the way one finds a crooked nose or awkward birthmark sort of adorable over time. … Read More

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50 Essential African-American Independent Films

While there are still too few African-American voices being recognized in Hollywood, recent films like Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus speak to a vital tradition of black independent filmmakers. Many pioneering African-American directors, like Melvin Van Peebles and Julie Dash, were trailblazers who found funding for their fiercely idiosyncratic visions. They defied expectations and proved that there was an audience for films about black characters as told by black artists. In celebration of Black History Month, Flavorwire has compiled a list of 50 essential African-American independent… Read More

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It’s Not Just About Beck and Beyoncé: Grammy Album of the Year Is a Flawed Award

By now you may have heard Kanye West’s thoughts regarding last night’s Album of the Year Grammy win for Beck, that Beyoncé was robbed again at the hands of a white music industry that’s “disrespectful to inspiration,” that “smack[s] people in their face after they deliver monumental feats of music.” These are salacious sound bites indeed, and they’re only enhanced by Kim Kardashian’s, “Uh oh, don’t let this be another ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people’ moment” face. And really, Kanye isn’t wrongnot even Beck thinks so. … Read More

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What Do We Really Know About Hae Min Lee, ‘Serial’s’ “Beautiful” Dead Korean Girl?

Like countless other obsessed fans of Serial, the addictive true-crime podcast where This American Life host/producer Sarah Koenig investigates a murder, I was first drawn in by the dramatic possibility Koenig presented: Adnan Syed had been wrongfully accused and imprisoned for killing his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. With each episode, Koenig circles around the case. She paints a vivid portrait of Adnan’s life, presents conflicting reports of the events of the day Hae was killed, the strange turns of police investigation, missteps made by Adnan’s defense lawyer, and an entire episode devoted to Jay, the former friend whose testimony cemented Adnan’s fate. … Read More

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Let’s Be Real: The Grammys Have Always Relegated Beyoncé to the R&B Category

If you’re searching for proof of the Beygency’s hold over pop culture, look no further than the outrage that emerged Friday over Beyoncé’s six Grammy nominations this year. She was nominated for Album of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Song, Best Music Film and, um, Best Surround Sound Album, ending up tied with Sam Smith and Pharrell for the most nominations. It wasn’t enough. Maybe people have short attention spans, or perhaps it’s that Bey has reached new levels of cultural dominance in this last year, but the conversation surrounding Beyoncé’s perceived lack nominations hinted at a racial bias on the part of the Academy. … Read More

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Indispensable Quotes From James Baldwin on Race in America

This week marks the anniversary of James Baldwin’s death, which occurred twenty-seven years ago in Paris. This week, James Baldwin: The Last Interview and Other Conversations (Melville House) appeared on my desk, a feat of timing that felt resonant during a week where the concept of justice, the idea that Black lives matter, felt very far away as protests broke out — “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” — in New York and across the country after another miscarriage of justice; when a grand jury failed to indict the Staten Island police officer whose chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death, a case that is just one in a tragic line of unarmed black men unfairly targeted by the police force. … Read More

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“White People Were Crazy. Now They’re Not As Crazy”: Chris Rock Has a Valuable Perspective on Race in America

Chris Rock’s new movie, Top Five, premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival to utterly charmed reviews (The Guardian called it “winning”) and the promo that comes with winning the festival buzz by landing the splashiest distribution deal. A meta-comedy about a very famous comedian (Rock) who spends the day giving an interview to a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson), the film is small, indie, and Woody Allen-ish, according to Rock. … Read More

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