Trayon Christian, who alleges he was arrested for legally purchasing an item at Barney’s New York. Courtesy msn.com
Mark Lee, CEO
Barney’s New York
660 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Re: “Shop and Frisk”
October 31, 2013
Dear Mr. Lee:
You might remember me from such recent purchases as a pair of Robert Clergerie boots and Céline sunglasses ($350). I write to inform you and everyone else who reads this open letter that after 21 years as an enthusiastic Barney’s customer, I will no longer be patronizing your Madison Avenue store, Coop stores, outlets, Warehouse Sale, or online sites.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 31, 2013
Photo courtesy of Paolo Gianfrancesco
A current issue affecting Afro-Cubans today is the desire for religious tolerance. Pope Benedict XVI, in his visit to Cuba this year, declined to meet with any leaders of the Santería religion. Pope Benedict met with leaders of institutional, monotheistic faiths in Cuba, but with no Santería priests. This is a pretty hurtful slight considering the fact that as many as 80 percent of Cubans observe some form of Santería or other Afro-Cuban religion. In the article, writer Andrea Rodriguez quotes a Santero priest, Lazaro Cuesta, on the issue: “we live in the basement, where nobody sees us… “We have already seen one pope visit … and at no moment did he see fit to talk to us”.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 29, 2013
Image courtesy of Afriky Lolo
Urban dictionary defines twerking as “rhythmic gyrating of the lower fleshy extremities in a lascivious manner with the intent to elicit sexual arousal or laughter in ones intended audience.” Recently, twerking has received considerable notoriety, thanks to a much (much, much) discussed awards show performance by pop star Miley Cyrus. The incident is a sad reminder that much of White America’s knowledge of Black culture comes through media imagery. In Cyrus’s case, that imagery includes parading around using Black women as props, in a misguided attempt to shed her Disney Channel roots and acquire some “street cred.” What has been lost in many of these conversations about Cyrus, twerking and perceptions of Black culture in the U.S. is the extent to which dances like twerking are deeply ingrained in African and Afro-diasporic history and traditions.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 26, 2013
The Progressive Pupil team recently came back from Chicago for the Critical Ethnic Studies 2nd Conference Decolonizing Future Intellectual Legacies and Activist Practices. Held over three days from Thursday September 19th – Saturday, September 21st and hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago and The Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy Thursday, this year’s event was a unique conference that sought answers outside the academy to challenge today’s issues.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 24, 2013
- Black Panther Party co-founders, Chairman Bobby Seale (left) and Minister of Defense Huey Newton (right) standing in front of the first office for the Black Panther Party, The Oakland Poverty Center in Oakland, California, 1966.
As a child, I was always fascinated with fiction – I loved stories about ordinary people faced with challenges that forced them to rise to the occasion and become superhuman to achieve the impossible. As I grew older my fascination with heroes did not waver, but I was able to find inspiration outside of comic books and in real life heroes like Bobby Seale.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 22, 2013
Photo courtesy of drizzydrake.org
Is my black beautiful? This is the question that plagues Black people across the globe, young and old. Although J. Cole recently asserted that his success is attributed to his complexion, I disagree with this statement when studying the way the African American male is perceived and valued as successful within not only rap culture, but also in mainstream media as a whole. There have been a plethora of artist, in particularly in the hip-hop community, that have failed the, “paper bag test”, and have still been able to obtain success .Diddy, the Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Tupac, Outkast, and so on and so forth. Often times for African American males their dark skin helps to personify their image as thuggish and dangerous and acts as an affirmation that they are stronger and more powerful than the average man (an assumption that is not reserved solely for Black men) while their fairer counterparts often perceived as being “soft” or emotional.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 19, 2013
Image courtesy of documentarychannel.com 2012
Being a student is a hard enough task on its own. Put aside the toil of maintaining good grades, and you are left with the inevitable adolescent social obstacles of peer pressure, fitting in and trying to be cool. But what happens when juggling classes and extracurricular activities becomes the least of your worries and, instead, you find yourself confronting issues of race and discrimination in the classroom?
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 17, 2013
Image courtesy of : Imperfect-black.blogspot.com
40 years ago, Sam Greenlee’s novel and 1973 film adaptation, The Spook Who Sat by the Door, examined racial issues in the United States; many of its key points remain relevant today. At the time, very small gestures were being made in an attempt to appease the Black community. Token representatives were granted access to high level positions in the U.S. government as “proof” that the country was equal for all. In the film, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is forced by an image-conscious senator to accept a group of Black recruits. The protagonist, Dan Freeman, is the only member of the group to pass all of the tests, despite White agents’ numerous attempts to sabotage him.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 12, 2013