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Oscars 2015

And the award for best dressed is none other than Ms. Zendaya Coleman!! This beauty rocked a chic gown by Vivienne Westwood. Perhaps more stunning than her gown choice was Zendaya’s crown and glory as she opted to adorn her head with faux dreadlocks for the evening. While some found her choice distasteful and “inappropriate for the occasion,” I think it was an excellent choice and brings wider awareness to the beauty of natural hair and the recent movement to embrace our God given textures.

nostalgia

No, it’s not throwback Thursday. But as I sit in my room preparing for this week’s classes, my mind keeps taking me back to Spain. A few months ago, I traveled there to visit one of my sorority sisters studying abroad in Madrid. I’ve wanted to visit there for some time now so I was very excited to get the opportunity! We spent 5 days in Madrid, 1 day in Barcelona, 3 days in Paris and 1 night in Berlin. It was such a culture filled trip! I hope to share more about it soon. xx

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travel bug

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Unfortunately (or fortunately, I haven’t decided yet), this is my last semester in school. For forever. What better way to end things than to take the semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina? Right!

I’ve been here about 3 weeks now and I find different things to love about this place everyday. Not, it isn’t without its’ flaws, but what, or who for that matter, is?

For me, traveling is euphoric. I get to experience things I otherwise would not have and meet people that enhance my journey along the way. One of the people I look forward to meeting most every travel opportunity I get is myself.

Yes, I’m sure that sounds very cliche and whatnot. But I feel as if I discover a new piece of myself wherever I go. I look forward to introducing you all to the little pieces of Melanie that I discover while south of the equator.

 

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand!

3/9

Don’t waste your time trying to change people because you can’t! Instead, change your expectations. One of the best and worst things about me is that I love HARD! Naive? Yes. Wise? Maybe even more so. But people are human and as a result, we have many flaws and imperfections. Although sometimes people don’t intend to hurt you, they will. It is inevitable. To save myself from the disappointment that comes with human nature, I am learning to change my expectations. Christ is constant and always will be. His grace is sufficient and with all my trust in him, how can I falter?

“I know my plans for you,” says The Lord, “plans to prosper and not harm you.”

I will not waiver with Christ as my solid rock!

 

 

Affirmative Action Needs a New Marketing Campaign

Americans largely misunderstand affirmative action, it’s rationale, implications and effects. If we work together to educate the public about the particulars, perhaps we will have less Fisher v. University of Texas’ and other unnecessary shit uninformed people bother us about.

The Face of Affirmative Action

According to Merriam Webster, Affirmative Action is defined as: the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of members of groups that have not been treated fairly in the past because of their race, sex, etc. So why is it that black people are always assumed to be the face of affirmative action? (*cough cough* Abigail Fisher) Seriously. You never hear anyone complaining about why “such and such a woman” received a position solely because she is a woman. In fact, women are by far the largest beneficiaries of affirmative action- specifically white women.

Beneficiaries of Affirmative Action

Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a beneficiary of affirmative action. Instead, everyone who has gotten an opportunity to know me through this racial justice program is a beneficiary. The current framing of affirmative action is all wrong. Why is it made to seem like I am receiving some golden ticket instead of what’s rightfully mine? This isn’t some prize we are winning at a fair, but a right to live just as the privileged do (or so they tell us).

Building Allies

We do have allies of different races that are also fighting the good fight with us. For those who truly are interested in seeing discrimination end, I think it is important for us to work with them. I know. It can be very difficult to be vulnerable with people outside of our own, but there are good people out there who genuinely care and want to help. However, I do think it is just as important for them to seek our guidance as it is for us to give it and seek as well. Just the other day I was reading status comments on my, extremely liberal classmate’s Facebook page. He was defending Nick Cannon and his “whiteface.” I get it, whiteface doesn’t have the historical implications that blackface does. White people have never been systemically discriminated against or subjected to half of the inequalities that black people have. However, I don’t want to live in a world where white people can’t reasonably be offended. I was even offended. Did it amount to blackface or even racism? Absolutely not. But it definitely was offensive and insensitive (it also made me feel some type of way because it opened the door for many ignorant people to now believe that blackface is okay). Most of the black people I know felt the same. My liberal friend thought he was doing the right thing and arguing “our side” when in fact he wasn’t. This is why we need to work with them.

Ending Affirmative Action

Honestly, the need for affirmative action starts before birth. Black women are less likely to have access to healthcare but are more likely to live in underprivileged areas with lackluster public education schools. Black men seem to be doomed to a life full of stops and frisks and senseless murders. (Re: Trayvon Martin & Jordan Davis.) It is the root of the problem that needs to be addressed. Until these inequalities are equalized, there will always be a need for affirmative action. So, when will there cease to be a need for affirmative action? Ohhh…about five or so years after racial discrimination ends…

 

xx

 

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Lupita Nyong’o is Too Black for America

That’s what Tracy Christian, TCA Jed Root talent agent believes. And by “too black,” she isn’t referring to the stereotypical meaning of the phrase dealing with personality traits and cultural definition (I won’t delve into how problematic that theory is here). But rather, she is referring to her skin tone.

Today on the train, I finally got a chance to read the Hollywood Reporter’s recent article about Lupita Nyong’o. The premise of the article is that while all black women face difficult times getting prominent movie roles, dark skinned actresses such as Lupita are doomed to play roles such as that of Octavia Spencer in The Help or Gabby Sidibe in Precious. Our light skinned counterparts, such as Halle Berry and Thandie Newton, obtain the more popular roles and are allowed to exercise more creative freedom.

For the most part, I agree with the article. Since the dawn of time, dark skinned women have been forced to play roles that limit our character and flexibility as people. I do not think it is wholly because America is able to “see themselves” better in lighter skinned actresses as Tracy Christian suggests, but because we as a society have been programmed to believe that that “look” is the only definition of beauty. Lupita has been praised for her jaw dropping good lucks, her intellect, her inability to own any red carpet she walks on and her charming demeanor among other things. Query: is her beauty being praised because it is “exotic?” Or is it simply because she is a beautiful woman? Should we care? These are all difficult questions and I’m not sure I have the answer to them. I do know that I think Lupita is a breath of fresh air and I enjoy seeing her on the screen. Personally, I would like to help redefine the narrow definition of beauty that is so prominent in Hollywood and society as a whole. How can we do this? We can continue to support all of our brown and black actresses in Hollywood. We can write to directors, producers, casting agents and the like advocating for broader roles for our dark skinned sisters! Most importantly, we can stop dividing ourselves among these ridiculous lines. I hate it when I see a beautiful black woman boasting #TeamLightSkin or #TeamBrownSkin in their Twitter, IG or w/e else bio. So what? By all means be proud of who you are, but we need to recognize the implications of our actions and the messages we are sending to those outside of our community.

All I mean to say is that Lupita is only “too black” for Hollywood because we allow her to be.

Find the full text version of the article referenced here. Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lupita-nyongo-what-happens-her-691146

xx