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"In the spirit of SANKOFA...Reach Back and Fetch your history & your culture so that you will take purposeful steps into the future."

~ Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder & Executive Director

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015


So by now everyone is basking in the joy of Viola Davis and her win. SO PROUD of her for mastering her craft and for the joy on her face as being recognized by the industry. Nancy Lee, a white/European woman telling Viola Davis, a dark brown skinned woman of African ancestry that she has never experienced discrimination in Hollywood is ABSURD, ignorant, and terribly insulting. The experience of the Black/African woman in this country has been one of survival and resistance.... against the racists and rapists who have created industries which support the propaganda which tell us our beauty is not the standard, make a mockery of our bodies and skin then create products to mimic our lips, skin and body parts. Google black face and see how black African people globally have been represented in history. But for some folk who still cant grasp why her statement is so unnerving, let me break it down. That statement 'could" be considered akin to: -a man telling a woman she has never experienced gender based discrimination who faces sexual harassment, the glass ceiling, etc -a heterosexual person telling a gay person that they have never experienced gay bashing in this hetero normative culture we live in - a Christian telling a Muslim that Islamophobia isn't real especially after 9/11 How can you tell define another experience when you have never walked in their shoes? That is privilege speaking out of its twisted mouth. I didnt even know General Hospital was still on the air and I didnt even know who Nancy Lee was before her faux paus so she is of no consequence to me. The bigger issue is that her sentiments reflect how many in the industry and the overall society feel about racism and the lack of opportunities which prompted Viola to quote Harriet Tubman which is so relevant in 2015. Privilege blinds people from seeing the truth of other people's experiences. As a humanity, we will never "cross the lines with arms stretched" that Tubman spoke about in the 1800's to get to the other side when people on the other side have their eyes closed, arms folded and continue to disregard our reality. ‪#‎CheckYourPrivilege‬

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