ICYMI: This Week in Blogs

I’ve been a little behind on my blog recommendations, so some of these posts will be from weeks prior. But some are current. In any case, they’re all insightful. 

Rev. Al Sharpton’s Hollywood task force: This post is from January and it’s something I’d had that I never got around to writing about, but apparently, Rev. Al Sharpton did follow through on his promise to take his civil rights fight to Hollywood. After that Sony hack fiasco, Sharpton and Amy Pascal met to discuss her unfortunate comments revealed in emails and how they could work together to make Hollywood a lot fairer. Sharpton’s current solution is to create a task force featuring many industry influencers. 

TV’s new love of diversity: TV shows highlighting non-white American experiences are now all over TV and it should have been that way, to be honest. At least it’s happening now. In any event, Flavorwire’s Pilot Viruet takes a look at America’s recent history of TV shows featuring POC characters, going all the way back to All-American Girl and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to today’s shows, like EmpireScandal, black-ish, and Fresh Off the Boat. 

Jeff Yang recommends indie projects: One of the most persistent critiques Fresh Off the Boat has fielded is that some viewers feel like the show doesn’t represent them or that it only represents one viewpoint of the Asian-American experience. Indeed it does, since it’s the life of one Asian-American and how he dealt with issues that came up in his life. But still, what about the other viewpoints?

Jeff Yang, writer and marketing SVP (and the dad of Fresh Off the Boat Hudson Yang) has taken to Medium to write a post on how Fresh Off the Boat shouldn’t be the show Asian-Americans should view as their last hope. Instead, he writes that for those who aren’t fans of the show to throw their support to other indie projects and provide those projects with a platform to grow and thrive. This way, there will be many more viewpoints of Asian-American lives out there.

San Francisco’s Forbidden City: NPR’s Code Switch often has interesting articles, and this one is no different. Heidi Chang takes a look at several Asian-American entertainers who became regulars at San Francisco’s once-popular club Forbidden City. These trailblazers provided a roadmap to other folks who wanted to see their name in lights and entertain.

America’s prison problem: Michael K. Williams has written a compelling piece about why America needs to wean itself off of its reliance of black men in prison. Imprisoning black men at an exaggerated rate not only takes away necessary funds that could be put to better use, but it also strips the humanity of men who otherwise could have had bright futures, simply need mental assistance and/or counseling.

White fragility: There’s a new race-related word that I’m sure will become commonplace, especially since almost every person of color has experienced trying to relate a point of view about America to a white person (friend, acquaintance, whoever), only to have them not agree and assert their point of view to be the only correct one. It’s happened to me a few months ago, and I’m still mad about it. (If you are a person who reads my website and you went to my school and you saw that I de-friended you on Facebook, then you know who you are. I’m still mad at you from last November.)

If you’ve been afflicted by a white person not being able to handle a race-relations conversation, then you might have just seen White Fragility in action. Robin DiAngelo has written a paper on what White Fragility is, how it’s supported by America’s history, and how to deal with it. 

More explained about the diversity study: Recently, a paper had come out that showed how diversity is still slow-going in Hollywood The LA Times‘ Patt Morrison interviewed one of the authors of the post, Darnell Hunt, about what the data means and if anything’s changing.

What do you think about these posts? Give your opinions in the comments section below.