A project of the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU
(Source: Media Education Foundation) - Filmmaker Daphne Valerius's award-winning documentary The Souls of Black Girls explores how media images of beauty undercut the self-esteem of African-American women. Valerius surveys the dominant white, light-skinned, and thin ideals of beauty that circulate in the culture, from fashion magazines to film and music video, and talks with African-American girls and women about how these images affect the way they see themselves. The film also features powerful commentary from rapper and activist Chuck D, actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill, cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis, and others. More information.
By Brandi Collins & Joseph Torres
(Aug. 4, 2016 | FreePress.Net) - The National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists held a joint convention in Washington, D.C., in the first week of last month (August) at a moment when the Movement for Black Lives is challenging structural and institutional racism . . . Read more
By John Eligon and Robert Gebeloff
(Aug. 20, 2016 | The New York Times) - Their daughter was sick and they needed family around to help care for her, so JoAnne and Maanaan Sabir took an unexpected detour.
They had spent years blowing past mileposts: earning advanced degrees and six-figure incomes, buying a 2,500-square-foot Victorian with hardwood floors. Yet here they were, both 37, moving to a corner of town pocked by empty lots, cramming into an apartment above Ms. Sabir’s mother, in the very duplex that Ms. Sabir’s grandparents had bought six decades earlier. Read more
By Sydney Ember and Nicholas Fandos
(July 2, 2016 | The New York Times) - For the black community in Chicago and elsewhere, Johnson Publishing Company represented a certain kind of hope.
The company’s magazines, most notably Ebony and Jet, gained prominence during the struggle for civil rights — Jet published graphic photos of the murdered black teenager Emmett Till that helped intensify the movement — and made it their mission to chronicle African-American life. Read more
By Danielle James
Word choice. Image choice. Coverage choice.
(June 28, 2016 | Inside Sources) - Black media outlets concerned with Facebook’s growing influence over online news media are calling on the federal government to regulate the social network, which has grown into a major driver of news consumption in recent years. Read more
By Shantell Jamison
(June 14, 2016 | Ebony) - You know it. I know it, but one of the most influential, constantly accessible entities needs to be reminded.
For every example of an authentic, strong, loving Black family portrayed in the media, there are several louder, more consistent images of dysfunction. Turn on any television station, especially cable, and trust me, you’ll witness an abundance of programs that show you just how bad it is to be Black and in love. Read more
By Sheryl Estrada
(July 7, 2016 | DiversityInc.) - Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, a Black man shot and killed on Wednesday in Minnesota by a police officer during a traffic stop, used her cellphone to tell her version of the incident, while Castile sat bleeding to death in the driver’s seat beside her. Read more
- Police shoot Black Man point blank while restrained on ground (DiversityInc. | July 6, 2016)
By Danielle Jennings
(June 16, 2016 | HelloBeautiful.Com) - It’s been an eventful week for Black media with outlets Ebony, Jet, and The Grio being sold to new ownership.
First up, Johnson Publishing sold Ebony magazine (est. 1945) to a large Texas equity firm, Clear View Group, according to an announcement Tuesday. The sister publication Jet magazine (est. 1951) has also been sold, although it has been exclusively digital since 2014. It is the first investment into publishing for Clear View, which is a Black-owned company. Read more
By Breanna Edwards
(June 15, 2016 | The Root) - Johnson Publishing announced Tuesday that it has sold Ebony and Jet magazines to an Austin, Texas-based private-equity firm, bringing to an end more than seven decades of ownership by Johnson Publishing, the Chicago Tribune reports. Read more
By Wade Henderson
(June 14, 2016 | The Root) - The possible loss of Howard University’s PBS affiliate could be a tipping point toward the extinction of black-owned broadcast media, but the Federal Communications Commission has no sense of urgency to fix the problem. Read more
By Ken Meyer
(May 30, 2016 | Mediaite) - Brian Stelter had W. Kamau Bell on Reliable Sources yesterday, where the CNN host/comedian gave a thorough perspective on how and why much of the media is too hesitant when it comes to addressing racism in America. Read more
(May 29, 2016 | New Pittsburgh Courier Online) - In an unpredictable, disruptive media environment featuring new ways for consumers to receive video content over Wi-Fi, apps and live streaming, established media companies are bracing for a future driven by big tech and consumer choice with new profit models. Read more
By Hari Ziyad
(May 27, 2016 | PasteMagazine.Com) - The public conversation about media representations of marginalized people has been ongoing for as long as I can remember. If underrepresented folks are not decrying the terrible and ceaseless failures at achieving adequate diversity behind and in front of the camera, we are lauding limited successes and celebrating those finally breaking through glass ceilings in their artistic fields. 2016 has already been both the year of one of Hollywood’s whitest major awards shows as well as the racial “revolution” that is one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Read more
By Shaundra Selvaggi
(May 2, 2016 | Atlanta Black Star) - Two Black women filed a class action lawsuit against the New York Times on April 28, alleging the newspaper discriminates on the basis of race, sex and age.
The Guardian reports Ernestine Grant, 62, and Marjorie Walker, 61, accused CEO Mark Thompson of instating a policy of “deplorable discrimination” in the suit, filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Read more
By Richard Prince
(April 27, 2016 | The Root) - The outpouring of pixels, print and video memorializing Prince continued unabated on Monday with testimony about the superstar’s allegiance to the black community and especially to black media.
In an interview published Sunday with Shenequa Golding of Vibe magazine, publicist Terrie Williams described how she met Prince, who died at 57 on Thursday, through the late jazz legend Miles Davis. Read more
By Reniqua Allen
(May 20, 2016 | The Nation) - Last week The Washington Post published a piece about black millennials and voting, the headline of which boldly declared: “Despite Black Lives Matter, young black Americans aren’t voting in higher numbers.” The headline and the story were both unsurprising and frustrating, a disturbing affirmation that, for all of the talk about young black America in the media, we’re still far from understood. Read more
By James Wright
(May 18, 2016 | Afro.Com) - The trade associations for Black-owned and Latino-owned newspapers are making a push to get more advertising dollars for their members from the federal government. On April 29, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) was joined by leaders of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, chairman of the board Denise Rolark Barnes and the president/CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis and the National Association of Hispanic Publications president and CEO Martha Montoya on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to support the release of a letter written by the delegate to the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). The AFRO is a member of the NNPA. Read more
By Mark Anthony Green
(May 17, 2016 | GQ.Com) - Like Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan, Maverick Carter has his office on the Warner Bros. studio lot. Once you get past security, you drive by pinup western storefronts to a section of cookie-cutter houses with vinyl siding. (Gilmore Girls was filmed here.) Even the grass looks like it's from Milwaukee. Outside one of the houses are reserved parking spots that read: “M. Carter” and “L. James.” That and the shiny silver Maybach parked out front are the only tells that inside this unassuming house, the future of sports marketing and entertainment is being crafted. This is where Maverick Carter gets to work. Read more
By Sheryl Estrada
(May 11, 2016 |DiversityInc.) - The U.S. Military Academy at West Point announced Tuesday evening that an inquiry into the photo of the 16 cadets in a photograph with raised fists found the women did not violate Department of Defense or Army regulations and no punitive action will be taken. Read more
By Christopher McKittrick
(April 12, 2016 | About Entertainment) - Diversity in film casting has been a topic of discussion in recent years, and in particular the debate over the lack of opportunities for African American actors and filmmakers in Hollywood films especially escalated after the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced and very few of the nominees were minorities. However, in April 2016 – just a few weeks after the controversial 2016 Oscars – five films starring African American actors in lead roles are being released to theaters, and several of them are also written and directed by African American filmmakers. Read more
By David Cohen
With no women scientist heroes onscreen or minorities running studios, industry has a long way to go.
Hollywood’s lack of diversity is hot topic, and that has prompted some companies to set up programs to expand minority hiring. Read more
(April 4, 2016 | Westside Gazette) - Nielsen recently published its award-winning report, Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse: African-American Consumers – the Untold Story which explores the economic evolution of upper-income Black Americans.
The influence and growth of this community can be attributed to the surge in Black immigration from the Caribbean, Africa and some European countries. In fact, the number of foreign-born Blacks in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1980, accounting for 3.8 million of the nation’s current population. Even more intriguing is the fact that foreign-born Blacks report substantially higher incomes – about 30 percent higher – than U.S.-born Blacks. Read more
By Jeffrey Collins
(April 20, 2016 | ABC News) - In four years at Clemson University, the rotting bananas hanging from an African-American history banner on campus weren't the most racially offensive thing biology major Brendan Standifer has seen. They were just the latest. Read more
By Gwen Pierce
(Jan. 20, 2016 | San Diego Free Press) - Roland S. Martin, host and managing editor of News One Now held a teleconference on January 8, 2016, with “The Chocolate Voice” and a select group of other Black media outlets. Martin shared his insight and analysis on covering stories that are largely ignored by mainstream media. Read more
By Elizabeth Winston
(Jan. 21, 2016 | The Daily Pennsylvanian) - Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of the three founders of #BlackLivesMatter, spoke at the Zellerbach Theatre in the Annenberg Center Thursday night as part of the 15th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture in Social Justice. Read more
By Davina Hamilton
(Jan. 21, 2016 | The Voice) - Jada Pinkett-Smith’s call for black actors to boycott this year’s Oscars, due to the event’s lack of diversity, stirred me up, slightly.
Idris Elba’s address to Parliament, calling for greater diversity in television, stoked my fire a bit more. Read more
By Gregg Kilday
(Jan. 14, 2016 | The Hollywood Reporter) - If last year’s minority-free acting nominations led to the protest hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, this year’s all-white lineup is sure to trigger a fresh expression of outrage, #OscarsStillSoWhite.
Once again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not nominate any black actors to any of the 20 slots in the four acting categories. Read more
- Academy Board endorses changes to increase diversity in Oscar nominees and itself. Goal was to double the number of female and minority members by 2020. (The New York Times | Jan. 22, 2016)
- Jada Pinkett-Smith, Spike Lee to boycott Oscars for failing in diversity (Diversity Inc. | Jan. 19, 2016)
- Lupita Nyong’o says Oscar nominations made her ‘think about unconscious prejudice’(Latino Fox News | Jan. 20, 2016)
- #OscarsSoWhite Morphs Into #JournalismSoWhite (Richard Prince's Journal-ism | Jan. 22, 2016)
By Sheryl Estrada
(Jan. 21, 2016 | DiversityInc.) - Scholastic Publishing is stopping the distribution of a controversial children’s book about George Washington’s enslaved cook, Hercules, and his daughter, Delia, after being highly criticized for illustrating slavery as joyful. Read more
By Yohana Desa
(Jan. 22, 2016 | Mashable) - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis want to talk to you about white privilege.
The duo released a new single — "White Privilege II," featuring Jamila Woods — on Friday. The track will be featured on the upcoming album The Unruly Mess I've Made. It's a sequel of sorts to Macklemore's 2005 "White Privilege" song, which also grappled with issues of racism.
"You're Miley, you're Elvis, you're Iggy Azalea/Fake and so plastic, you've heisted the magic/You've taken the drums and the accent you rapped in/You're branded 'hip-hop,' it's so fascist and backwards," Macklemore raps. Read more
Click here to watch this CNN story (Jan. 22, 2016).
By Taryn Finley
(Dec. 22, 2015 | The Huffington Post) - This year was filled with thought-provoking, page-turning, nail-biting and "aha" inducing literature.
From fiction to non-fiction, there were some undoubtedly moving books by black authors that deserves a spot on everyone's bookshelf or Kindle. The poignant words of Ta-Nehisi Coates, who won the National Book Award, are all too vital given today's racial climate, while producer extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes makes overcoming a personal obstacle as simple as saying "yes." These along with Toni Morrison's God Help the Child, Mat Johnson's Loving Day and Joy-Ann Reid's Fracture have made this a great year for black authors. Take a look at some of our favorites. Read more
By Christopher Ingraham
(Dec. 28, 2015 | The Washington Post) - On Monday, a grand jury in Cleveland declined to bring criminal charges against the two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November. Cuyahoga County District Attorney Tim McGinty has already drawn sharp criticism from Rice's family and on social media for his handling of the case. Read more
By Adia Harvey Wingfield
(Dec. 15, 2015 | The Atlantic) - In his new book, The Scholar Denied, the sociologist Aldon Morris writes that contrary to the discipline’s preferred origin story, the field of sociology was actually founded by W.E.B. DuBois, the first black person to receive a Ph.D. in the United States. DuBois earned his degree from Harvard, but due to rampant racial segregation at the time, he was shut out of many employment opportunities. He ended up working at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), a historically black college with few resources, but still managed to do pioneering work in the field of sociology. Read more
By Paula Wissel
(Dec. 22, 2015 | KPLU.Org) - When does a posting on a social media site go beyond free speech to become a hate crime? That’s one of the questions that comes up when you talk about Washington’s hate crime statute. Earlier this month, suspended Western Washington University, Tysen Campbell, was charged with felony malicious harassment, Washington's hate crime law. Two high school students in Edmonds, Washington were recently arrested for allegedly violating the same law. In both of these cases, the perpetrators allegedly posted racist threats online. Read more
By Lisa Capretto
(Nov. 16, 2015 | Huff Post OWN) - At 45 years old, Shonda Rhimes has made a firm declaration: Marriage isn't for her.
It might not sound like a bombshell of a statement, but during a particularly revealing conversation with Oprah on OWN's "SuperSoul Sunday," Rhimes explained how it's actually a pivotal moment for a woman of a certain age to declare publicly, out loud, "I don't want to get married." Read more
By James Clingman
(Nov. 9, 2015 | New Pittsburgh Courier) - In war, one of the first things the enemy does is destroy his adversary’s ability to communicate within its ranks. Chaos likely ensues if a fighting force cannot communicate internally. Individual soldiers end up doing their own thing, left to their own devices; they make decisions based on their individual situations and in their individual interests. Read more
- South Florida Black-owned media companies team up to address advertisers (Oct. 29, 2015 | Westside Gazette)
By Catherine R. Squires
(Nov. 12, 2015 | The New York Times) - When I was asked why many African-American youth distrust mainstream news media, I began making a list. This list could have been written 10, 20 or 50 years ago, as those who have read the Kerner Commission Report would be able to testify.
It is hard to trust an institution that ignores you unless you are perceived as causing a problem for "the rest of us." Read more
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
(Oct. 21, 2015 | New America Media) - Ebony Magazine stirred a mini-firestorm of rage when it dredged up an old photo shot of the TV Cosby show family, plopped it on its November cover, and then fractured the picture. The obvious point being that embattled comedian Bill Cosby not only disgraced his legacy but disgraced the hitherto near sacrosanct image and legacy of the celebrated Cosby TV show family, the Huxtables. Read more
By Chauncey K. Robinson
(Nov. 5, 2015 | People's World) - The trial of Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer charged with sexually assaulting and raping 13 black women, began this Monday, and it unsurprisingly has gone under the mainstream media's radar. Read more
- Michelle Malkin: Media move on when Black Church burnings narrative goes sideways (Noozhawk | Nov. 8, 2015)
By Cathy Burk
(Nov. 10, 2015 | NewsMax.Com) - Former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain is warning Ben Carson about a liberal media that "resents" black conservatives "for leaving the Democratic plantation."
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Cain, who topped the polls a year before the 2012 election — and, like the retired pediatric surgeon, was a political outsider who shot to the front of the GOP pack on the strength of his life story — said Carson is doing well handling a firestorm over his personal biography. Read more
By David Love
(Oct. 6, 2015 | AtlantaBlackStar.Com) - Just about everyone is linked to social media and taking part in online discussions. But not everyone is talking about the same thing, as the topic of discussion could depend on the race of the participants. Read more
- Black college students can find solace in this social media movement (Nov. 10, 2015 | Huff Post Black Voices)