How Black women in media and beyond are shaping the future

How Black women in media and beyond are shaping the future


How Black women in media and beyond are shaping the future

Since the start of this country, Black people have transformed their lived experiences into beautiful art that challenges societal and cultural perceptions of what it means to be Black in America. They’ve found light and joy in oppressive spaces through art forms like song and film. Their influential presence is felt throughout the world, ushering cultural change in an industry that has historically silenced their voices for speaking truth to power — as was the case with such legends as Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt.

During the 2018 BET Awards in June, Strong Black Lead — an initiative spearheaded by Black employees at Netflix — released an ad called “A Great Day in Hollywood,” invoking the spirit of “A Great Day in Harlem” (a photograph depicting popular jazz musicians of the 1950s). The 47 Black entertainers featured in the Netflix ad inspire future generations of Black creatives to trust their visions, despite the industry standards reinforcing society’s message of unworthiness: “We’re not a genre because there’s no one way to be black. We’re writing while black. Nuanced and complex; resilient and strong.”

Black women who appear in the ad, including Lena Waithe and Ava DuVernay, are examples of our culture’s creative legacy. Waithe and DuVernay utilize their art and platforms to educate viewers about political and personal issues, like the lived experiences of queer individuals and those suffering from mass incarceration, respectively.

When people of the African Diaspora are represented in media, it can transform perceptions of Blackness and challenge viewers to initiate social change.

Increased representation of Black experiences, as seen in the record-breaking films Black Panther and Girls Trip, showcased to the world that Black stories and voices matter. The intergenerational composition of the Netflix ad speaks to this larger cultural movement where Black creatives shape media narratives of their own lives and communities, continuing the historical innovations of artists before them.

This is also an accessible Black media movement where audiences can engage in conversations around Black popular culture through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Young Black creators like Issa Rae, Quinta Brunson, and Franchesca Ramsey have transformed their social media presences into successful careers. Through skillful and humorous storytelling, this movement uplifts and supports work that exposes the harsh realities of being Black in this society.

In a way, this type of media brings to life the Afrofuturist dreams of author Octavia Butler — birthing a future where Black girls and women are given ownership of their lives and stories.

This movement spans beyond entertainment, too. Yes, we have Lena Waithe paving the way for Black women screenwriters, Beyoncé Knowles taking space at Coachella to celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Janelle Monáe defining what it means to be a pansexual “free-ass-motherfucker.” But we also have Tarana Burke, who is advocating for Black women sexual assault survivors and helping get their voices heard by policymakers. We have elected representatives like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, as well as community organizers like Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and BYP100 National Director Charlene Carruthers. When it comes to social justice, countless Black women are leading the charges in their own fields.

Angela Davis, the mother of Black feminist academic thought, said, “Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and Black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When Black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society.”

And thanks to the visions of today’s artists and activists, Black girls are growing up in an era when they can see Black women reclaim power structures that have long impacted their lives. Following the footsteps of elders who broke barriers before them, they are ensuring the future leadership of young Black girls across the world.

I believe there is an unspoken language and sisterhood among Black women. It’s evident in the magic of our voices and our desire to uplift each other, and it’s time for the world to not only hear the voices that have always spoken up — but to affirm and magnify them.

So to Ava, Lena, Beyoncé, Solange, and every Black woman changing the world through art and activism, this is a love letter to you. I — and so many others — see you, hear you, thank you, and celebrate you.

The post How Black women in media and beyond are shaping the future appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Digital Marketing Tips for Today’s Residential Contractor: How Consumer Trends are Shaping the Roofing Industry

Roofers tend to think in terms of regionality, not demographics. After all, being able to identify materials that will withstand an area’s high winds or stand up to a sudden hailstorm is pretty useful information for customers. The contractor’s mind is packed with practical insights and solutions to counter the logistical challenges of weathering the elements.

However, given how the construction industry lags behind other fields in terms of marketing, some knowledge of what attracts customers and drives their purchasing decisions could be enough to propel a business toward previously overlooked markets. Roofers who include more digital marketing channels will position themselves well for the future, especially since digitalization is beginning to seriously impact consumer behavior. Download our eBook to learn how today’s roofers can take advantage of several burgeoning consumers trends to grow their markets and attract and wider range of homeowners. 

The post Digital Marketing Tips for Today’s Residential Contractor: How Consumer Trends are Shaping the Roofing Industry appeared first on Modernize.

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How LGBTQ Politics are Shaping Alabama’s Gubernatorial Race

With the 2018 election now in full swing, the Ms. Blog is excited to bring you content presented in conjunction with Gender Watch 2018 , a project of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the Center for American Women and Politics. They’ll be tracking, analyzing and illuminating gender dynamics during election season—so check back with us regularly!

The chain of events over the past week that led to the septuagenarian governor’s denunciation of claims that she was a closeted lesbian have injected some turmoil into an otherwise sleepy Republican primary in Alabama.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey at the Alabama Emergency Management Operations Center in 2017. (Alabama EMA / Creative Commons)

In the only recent public poll, incumbent Kay Ivey—who ascended to the governorship in 2017 when then-Governor Robert Bentley resigned after pleading guilty to charges related to campaign finance violations—was 36 points ahead of her nearest challenger and just three points shy of the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off in next month’s primary election. With 30 percent of the primary electorate undecided, she looked all but certain to do so and cruise to a relatively easy win in the general election.

Then, last Tuesday, one of Ivey’s primary opponents criticized her for allowing funding to go to a local LGBTQ non-profit. She responded to evangelist Scott Dawson’s comments mostly with an eye-roll, claiming he was “getting desperate” in response to low polling numbers and noting that the funding was federally mandated. She also mentioned that she “certainly [doesn’t] agree with the agenda or the values of that organization.” While this may all seem fairly standard for a Republican primary in Alabama, one retiring State Representative took exception to Ivey’s comment on the values of Free2Be. Patricia Todd, a Democrat who recently received a standing ovation from her colleagues upon announcing her retirement after 12 years in office, and who also happens to be an out lesbian, reacted publicly—and outrageously.

“Will someone out her for God’s sake,” Todd posted on both her Facebook and Twitter accounts. “I have heard for years that she is gay and moved her girlfriend out of her house when she became Gov. I am sick of closeted elected officials.”  In each post, she linked to the article containing Ivey’s rebuttal to Dawson.

Count mine among the jaws that had to be scooped off of the floor after reading Todd’s tweet. Several years ago, Todd did warn in a Facebook post that she would expose hypocrites in Alabama politics, specifically mentioning legislators who “talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs” and those “elected officials who want to hide in the closet.” Still, the comments were entirely unexpected, and much of Alabama’s political establishment reacted quickly and firmly.

In a statement posted to her social media accounts, Governor Ivey managed in just 66 words to call Todd’s claim “disgraceful,” “a disgusting lie,” “false,” “wrong,” “a bald-faced lie” and “everything that’s wrong with politics today.” She further reiterated in a TV interview that her “biblically-based faith definition of marriage is that it is between a man and a woman.” Ivey’s fellow Republican primary candidates largely steered clear of the commotion, denouncing the focus on the Governor’s personal life and calling for a return to a discussion of the issues most important to Alabama. Terry Lathan, the chair of the state Republican Party, called Todd’s comments “shameful rumor mongering;” Republican State Representative Phil Williams told AL.com that he “took it as one of the meanest things I’ve ever heard her say.”

Todd, the first out gay lawmaker in Alabama, has faced backlash from the LGBT community as well. Some advocates in the community accused her of “weaponizing queerness” and “psychic and emotional violence.” The One Orlando Alliance, the umbrella organization of LGBT groups for which Todd was set to serve as Executive Director, rescinded her job offer on the grounds that involuntarily outing a person, regardless of perceived hypocrisy, is against their values.

Todd, for her part, is refusing to back down. During a radio interview on Friday, she apologized for “the inappropriate way” she delivered her message and conceded she should have commented on the Governor’s remarks rather than her personal life. Still, when asked if she thought Ivey would identify as gay, Todd dug in her heels. “There’s a lot of men who have sex with men,” she responded, “who don’t identify as gay.”

If Kay Ivey was hoping for an apology or recantation from Todd, it certainly did not come during that appearance. Instead, this was the political equivalent of a mic drop—and the reverberations are being felt throughout Alabama.

Scholarship concerning out LGBT political officeholders and candidates is under-developed, though a study by David Niven suggested that a gay or lesbian candidate’s sexual orientation no longer poses a political disadvantage. In fact, he finds that such an orientation may even help the candidate win office. Such findings contradict those of other academic work that has shown that downplaying traits traditionally associated with LGBT people—“tells” that might give away someone’s sexual orientation—is the best strategy for success. Doan and Haider-Markel found that gay and lesbian candidates are perceived as less honest, weaker and amoral—especially among male, Evangelical, less educated, conservative, Republican and older respondents, a veritable cross-section of the Alabama Republican primary electorate. Jerry Harvey found through experimental research that candidates identified as being gay or lesbian lose support compared to otherwise identical non-LGBT candidates, and Billy Kluttz argued that out candidates often “mute” their sexuality during their campaigns so that, even if elected, voters may never have even known they identify as LGBT.

Ewa Golebiowska found that context is key for gay and lesbian candidates: They do better when they disclose their sexual orientation after they are well-known to voters for their positions on issues. And the context of place matters as well. In the UK, for example, Magni and Reynolds found that LGBT candidates perform at least as well as their straight counterparts, even in more conservative areas, and in some more progressive locales, an LGBT identity may even help a candidate, as David Niven suggests. In Palm Springs, California, as an anecdotal example, the mayor, city manager and entire city council identify as part of the LGBT community; in fact, Councilwoman Christy Holstege, who is married to a man and identifies as bisexual, was accused of inventing her bisexuality for political gain and was often asked to somehow “prove” her sexual orientation.

While identifying as LGBT may be a boon in some places, this is unlikely to be the case in Alabama, suggesting that Todd’s comments would amount to the weaponization of queerness that some critics have claimed. A recent Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) study found Alabama to be the only state in the nation with a majority of residents who still oppose same-sex marriage, and one of just six where the issue garners less than 50 percent support. Alabama also registered the second-lowest level of support for legally protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and the state does not have any such statewide protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Gov. Ivey herself signed a bill in May 2017 that allows religious-based adoption agencies to refuse placement of children with LGBT parents. Roy Moore was famously removed as the state’s Chief Justice, for the second time, for instructing his probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in direct violation of the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. And as of June 2017, at least eight Alabama counties still refuse to issue any marriage license , asserting that by denying all couples marriage licenses they are not treating same-sex couples in a disparate manner.

Regardless of the Gov. Ivey’s actual sexual orientation, the accusations levied against her by Todd have shone a spotlight on the darker side of identity politics. Dawson, Ivey and Todd have all been criticized for their roles and responses to the developments, though it remains to be seen whether the episode will have any tangible effect on the Governor’s race. Ivey is still highly favored to win her primary, though the allegations and fallout could prevent her from winning the 50 percent of the vote necessary to avoid a run-off election.

Perhaps the major takeaway from the incident should not center around the accusations themselves, but instead the reactions to them. The statements and actions of the principal players in this story, regardless of party or politics, were all widely panned as insensitive, unnecessary and even bigoted. In their disagreement, however, lies a reminder that the politics of candidate sexual orientation and gender identity remain unsettled—not only in Alabama, but nationwide.

That won’t be resolved in any one election cycle—but, for Governor Ivey at least, the effect these claims regarding her personal life will be revealed by voters’ choices at the ballot box during the primary on June 5.

Rick Kavin is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Rutgers-New Brunswick and a research assistant at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers. 

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ tour shaping up to be a disaster

What is Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” worth? Not the jacked-up prices she’s charging for concert tickets. That’s the verdict from ticked-off fans, who are balking at buying seats for the 28-year-old pop star’s tour to promote her new “Reputation” album, citing stratospheric markups and greedy sales gimmicks. “I paid $ 150 for my ticket with amazing seats…
Business | New York Post

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‘Overwatch’ Developers on Shaping the Moira Meta

We were fortunate enough to spend a bit of early time with Moira at Blizzcon 2017, and caught up with some of the Overwatch developers while there. Both the lead software engineer Tim Ford and senior effects artist Rachel Day sat down with us.

Day in particular had a busy leadup to Blizzcon getting the team uniforms ready for the Overwatch World Cup. In a rather interesting decision, not just the skins were modified to represent country colours, but even the effects and interfaces.

That creates lots of problems for someone like Day. She’s quite open about how we’re trained to see blue as the colour of ice, and red as the colour of fire (or enemy), so playing around with that gives her one less tool to communicate what’s happening. As a result, they had to change the “shape language” of some of the abilities.

Mercy‘s two beams, for example, were very similar other than the different colours.


Overwatch Mercy resurrect healing beam
Mercy’s Resurrect ability has undergone a pretty drastic overhaul.

After the release of Orisa, we saw the rise of the double barrier meta. Blizzard intended Orisa to be an alternative barrier provider so you could have a similar team makeup without having to choose Reinhardt. Instead, players just chose both.

“So if you wanted to hurt them, you had to break through both of those barriers first,” said Ford.

With that in mind, it makes perfect sense for Moira to be the next hero. Who knows — maybe Moira’s orbs and ultimate never used to go through shields, but now they do. She provides the perfect stalemate breaker for defensive-heavy setups.

The natural inclination of the enemy team to bunch up behind the shield is perfect for Moira. It just means her abilities will hit more of them. When you see Moira taken as a counterpick, you’ll have to start thinking about a different strategy. She probably won’t change the game instantly — but there’s a degree of guaranteed sustain damage if the enemy team doesn’t react.

The post ‘Overwatch’ Developers on Shaping the Moira Meta appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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These Major Brands Are Shaping the Future of Fashion Shows

Some very big labels are building new narratives by showing men’s and women’s at once.

Style – Esquire

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Shaping the Day: A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800

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Timekeeping is an essential activity in the modern world, and we take it for granted that our lives our shaped by the hours of the day. Yet what seems so ordinary today is actually the extraordinary outcome of centuries of technical innovation and circulation of ideas about time.

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Many remarkable figures make their appearance, ranging from the well-known, such as Edmund Halley, Samuel Pepys, and John Harrison, who solved the problem of longitude, to less familiar characters, including sailors, gamblers, and burglars.

Overturning many common perceptions of the past-for example, that clock time and the industrial revolution were intimately related-this unique historical study will engage all readers interested in how ''telling the time'' has come to dominate our way of life.
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Shaping the Day: A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800

Shaping the Day: A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800


Timekeeping is an essential activity in the modern world and we take it for granted that our lives our shaped by the hours of the day. Yet what seems so ordinary today is actually the extraordinary outcome of centuries of technical innovation and circulation of ideas about time.

Shaping the Day is a pathbreaking study of the practice of timekeeping in England and Wales between 1300 and 1800. Drawing on many unique historical sources, ranging from personal diaries to housekeeping manuals, Paul Glennie and Nigel Thrift illustrate how a particular kind of common sense about
time came into being, and how it developed during this period.

Many remarkable figures make their appearance, ranging from the well-known, such as Edmund Halley, Samuel Pepys, and John Harrison, who solved the problem of longitude, to less familiar characters, including sailors, gamblers, and burglars.

Overturning many common perceptions of the past-for example, that clock time and the industrial revolution were intimately related-this unique historical study engages all readers interested in how ''telling the time'' has come to dominate our way of life.
List Price:
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