by: Yaba Blay
Last night as I watched Lupita Nyong’o approach the red carpet, her mother, father, and brother in tow, I was enchanted into silence. There she stood - skin black like ours, hair tightly coiled like ours, wearing a headband on her flat top in a ‘Nairobi blue’ gown. In that moment I…
Greatest Selfie of all time.
i feel like i dreamed about this
Lupita Nyong’o accepts the award for Best Supporting Actress at the 86th Annual Academy Awards
*PLEASE SHARE & REBLOG
I’d like to take the opportunity to share how sincerely grateful I am to all who have supported and have blessed my life. I find it difficult to find the words to express how inspiring, thoughtful, and beautiful my family, friends and supporters have been to me. My latest work is an expression of my appreciation and love for you all because your support has been so crucial in my transformation as an artist and human. Love and gratitude is all you need to remain strong and humbled.
Just like many of you, I dreamt of success in my career. I was never prepared for the magnitude of life changing experiences my passion and love for music has taken me. My music is a space where I can break free from the patriarchal and hetero-normative bondage confronted in my everyday life as a queer, an activist, and an independent artist. Understanding how my social and cultural experiences intersect, there remains not one ounce of me that finds it acceptable for the behavior I have experienced with the “mainstream” music industry.
In a recent distasteful interaction between a friend of mine, Maxine Ashley, and industry folk about her participation in my most recent music video, I was reminded that even though we have come a long way, we are not as far as we think.
It was shared with me what was being “advised” to her by mainstream label representatives after she shared my latest work in which she was involved in. These individuals insisted on projecting their personal heteronormativity and construed constructions of gender, and advised Maxine Ashley that she would only be hindering her career with her creative involvement with me.
Hearing this only continued to reinforce the heterosexual, colonial, and rigid classifications of individuals, both consciously and unconsciously people have over queer identity. And in this scenario how a young artist being involved with an OUT QUEER ARTIST would only hurt their career. But as a friend and supporter, Maxine Ashley chose the latter and continues to support me regardless of the advice she was given by an invisible institution of oppression. This only gives me the fuel and passion to be and stay true to myself.
With you I share my passion and art channeled in my latest video, “Unforgettable” because this is truly a reminder of how single moments can be revelatory.
—PLEASE HELP ME SHARE THIS VIDEO, PROVING TO THE INDUSTRY THAT WE NEED NOT THEIR APPROVAL + SUPPORT, BUT RATHER THE SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE, AND THOSE WHO VALUE FREEDOM AND THE RIGHT TO BE THEMSELVES IN ALL ASPECTS THROUGH ART + LIFE.
In November, the project, which fights against such censorship, dealt with three times their normal caseload. In 2013, the Kids’ Right to Read Project looked into 49 book bannings or removals from the classroom. That was a 53 percent increase in bannings from last year. Many of the challenges to books came from parents, though some also came from local government officials.
he banned books include classics like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye; and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.
“Whether or not patterns like this are the result of co-ordination between would-be censors across the country is impossible to say,” KRRP’s Acacia O’Connor told The Guardian. “But there are moments, when a half-dozen or so challenges regarding race or LGBT content hit within a couple weeks, where you just have to ask ‘what is going on out there?’”
On the other hand, KRRP can count some success stories. For instance, this months, Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima was unbanned from classrooms in Driggs, Idaho. Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits was also unbanned from schools in Boone, North Carolina.