Representation

We’re Team Stacey Abrams

Your DGB for today is to check out Stacey Abrams, fall as in love with her as we have, and support her in any way that you can.

Stacey Abrams is a serious breath of fresh air in stagnant white male political scene. She is running for Governor of Georgia and when (we can’t even think about if) she wins, she will not only be the first female Governor of Georgia, but she will be the first black female Governor of any state in the US. You can learn more about Stacey on her website, but we also suggest you listen to her guest appearance on Hellbent Podcast: Episode 46.

Once you have gotten to know Stacey, we want you to help her get elected. You can do that by getting the word out about her, donating to her campaign, or volunteering. You can sign up to volunteer for her here: https://secure.staceyabrams.com/page/s/Volunteer. They are looking for people to knock on doors, make phone calls, host a party, be a digital ambassador, or anything you could think of to help get the word out.

Support Stacey Abrams and encourage more women to run for office. Hell, if you can, run for office yourself! We have Donald Trump as President; anyone can win.

 

Combat Colorism

Your DGB for today is to educate yourself on colorism, and support the fight against it by purchasing a t-shirt for a kid you know. If you don’t know any kids of color, consider buying one to donate to the next clothing drive in your community. Everyone deserves to feel good about the skin they’re in.

According to Alice Walker, colorism is the “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” The effect is devastating, especially on young girls. After being bullied for her dark skin at school, 10 year-old Keris Rogers started her own line of t-shirts, Flexin’ In My Complexion. Her positive message about skin color has the potential to inspire and empower other kids. 

We adults can’t just stand by and let little girls save the world all by themselves. We must make fighting colorism a part of our commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism. Let’s make sure every girl knows she’s beautiful, fierce, and perfect just the way she is.

 

13 is an Unlucky Number

Your DGB for today is to contact Senator Mitch McConnell and demand they add some women to the group of 13 men who are drafting the Senate’s version of the new AHCA bill.

Senate Republicans are showing their misogyny by forming a group of 13 men to draft the new AHCA bill. Not a single woman is in the group, despite the fact that women make up half of this nation’s population and the AHCA bill will directly affect them, oftentimes more than men since the simple fact that you are a women typically tosses you into the pre-existing condition category.

The group is lead by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, so we are asking you to contact him and demand female representation. His nickname is Turtle, so don’t be surprised if he hides in his shell when you try to call him out. You can find his different office locations and phone numbers on his page, as well as a contact form, if you choose to email him. You can also tweet him @SenateMajLdr. We suggest using the DGB hashtag #McConnellingHealthCare. Want to go even further? Contact a female senator from your state or a neighboring state and ask them to demand they be added to the group drafting the AHCA bill. Women make up 50% of the nation’s population, why aren’t women represented by those writing laws that affect our health?

 

Watch a Documentary About Race in America

Your DGB for today is to fire up your flat screen or head to the movie house, and catch one of the documentaries by and about Black Americans that’s up for an academy award this year. 

If you’ll recall, last year’s very pale nominee list spawned an understandable #OscarsSoWhite protest across social media, the entertainment world, and beyond. This year the Academy has done somewhat better, and nowhere is that more clear than in the Documentary category, where 4 out of the 5 nominees for best full-length film are helmed by Black directors:  I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck); Life, Animated (Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman); O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow); and 13th (Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish). 

Better still, three of those four make Black lives their focus:

 

I am Not Your Negro is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished civil rights-era manuscript, “Remember This House,” but manages to be a commentary on race and race relations in the present day. It is still in theaters, so check your local movie times.

O.J.: Made in America is about O.J., the trial that riveted America, and how inextricably tangled up in race both the legal case and the public perceptions of it were. It’s available on many of the streaming services.

13th is a gut-wrenching look at the mass incarceration of Black Americans since the passing of the 13th Amendment, which ostensibly abolished slavery. It’s available on Netflix.
 

The Academy Awards air on February 26th, so watch one or all of these extraordinary films and get ready to root for your favorite.  


 

Read Books Authored by People of Color

Your DGB for today is to find a book written by a person of color and check it out of your library (check e-collections, too!), buy it from your favorite bookstore, or use Amazon Smile.

This is probably going to come as a shock to you, but racism is alive and well in the publishing world and that means all of us lose. We might miss out on some of the greatest voices waiting to be heard and stories waiting to be told. Consciously combat falling into a rut of supporting mostly white authors by actively seeking out authors of color. By doing this, not only will we get to consume amazing art we may have overlooked, it can help us become better allies when we pursue non-white narratives.

DGB staff have picked a few of our favorites and are playing armchair literary-reviewers for a night. We imagine this involves cognac, a pipe, and thick-framed glasses. Or was that a 1800s detective?  Whatever, here are our picks:

 

Amy - The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The story overall is very heavy and sad, but the prose itself is so good and there is a very subtle humor so that it doesn’t necessarily *feel* that way as you move through it. It also did this interesting thing where you’re never quite sure if the narrator was reliable or if there was another explanation for the events that happened. Even a bit of a question mark as to whether the supernatural was involved.

 

Celestia - Citizen: an American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

An anthology of images, poems and essays had me sobbing within the first ten minutes. It's stories of racism and micro aggression in our so called post-racial society were eye opening, heart breaking, and thought provoking.

 

Emily - The Business of Fancydancing by Alexie Sherman.

It gives a real perspective about Native American life instead of some noble savage trope or the “drunk Indian” for the other side of that racist coin.

 

MJ - The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

This Fantasy novel has it all: compelling story, amazing world-building, a mold-breaking premise, and a bunch of badass women of color as main characters. I loved it and ever since I read it, I've been devouring everything else Jemisin has written.

 

Morgan - A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

A board book meant for the under three crowd that my five and eight year old still enjoy and holds even adult attention. Nagara also illustrated and man is it beautiful and diverse. Not your typical alphabet book: C is for co-op, F is for feminist, U is for unions, and Z is for zapatista, to name a few.

 

Nicole - We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson.

The book introduces racial discrimination, segregation, and intolerance in a child-appropriate way. Rich discussions can come out of reading about the athletes' struggles and triumphs, and the illustrations are amazing.

 

Rose - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

It's a graphic novel about the author's childhood in Iran during the revolution. I love it because it is beautiful, relatable, funny, and eye-opening. It's completely normal and completely shattering at the same time.

 

Suzie - Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Described by the author as a series of riddles that function as the solution to those riddles, this book twists through magical realism (talking cats!), touching openness and raw personalities, and elements of Shintoism.

 

DGB’s January 2017 Grab It and Read It List also includes:

I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

 

Bechdel Test Awareness

Your DGB for today is to reject latent sexism in film by choosing to see movies that pass the Bechdel Test this holiday season.    Popularized by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, The Bechdel Test is an easy method of determining if a movie has substantive female representation:    1) The movie has to have at least two named women in it   2) Who talk to each other   3) About something besides a man    Amazingly, it’s estimated that around half of all movies fail the test.    This site    keeps a good database   for when you’re deciding which classic holiday movie to pop on while you snuggle up with family and hot cocoa. Or, if you're one of those people who goes “out” (we at DGB vaguely remember putting on pants of the non-yoga variety and going to the movies), it also maintains a list of films currently in theaters.    Make sure your movies pass the Bechdel Test and support female representation this holiday season.    

Your DGB for today is to reject latent sexism in film by choosing to see movies that pass the Bechdel Test this holiday season.

Popularized by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, The Bechdel Test is an easy method of determining if a movie has substantive female representation:

1) The movie has to have at least two named women in it
2) Who talk to each other
3) About something besides a man

Amazingly, it’s estimated that around half of all movies fail the test. This site keeps a good database for when you’re deciding which classic holiday movie to pop on while you snuggle up with family and hot cocoa. Or, if you're one of those people who goes “out” (we at DGB vaguely remember putting on pants of the non-yoga variety and going to the movies), it also maintains a list of films currently in theaters.

Make sure your movies pass the Bechdel Test and support female representation this holiday season.