Sunday, November 30, 2008

French film 'Entre les murs' and the stereotype blacks

I've watched the trailer of the award winning (Cannes) flick 'Entre les murs' (The Class). It's a story about a French language teacher in a multicultural inner city high school classroom in Paris. One of the action parts of the film is a young black kid who explodes in a class room, because he's being touched. But that boy looks so much like the stereotype black kid at risk in a ghetto school in the US. I've seen these scenes before.

The critics claim this is not your standard classic white-hero-on-a-black-school-film, but it’s more. It has to do with inspirational teaching.

I wonder why the main characters in the film are black and white and not ‘Magrebs’, wich would be more in line with the French reality. Maybe it’s because the multicultural line-up is more in line with US. That's why France submited the film for a nomination for an Oscar in the Best foreign language film category.

Most interesting detail. The film is based on the book of writer and teacher François Bégaudeau. He plays himself the film.

Read: Entre les murs - French winner at Cannes finally hits the big screen

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Former Dutch black businesswoman of the year has been found homeless

The former black businesswoman of 2001 who later functioned as alderwoman of the city of Rotterdam has been found homeless
Rabella de Faria's homelessness was discovered after she checked herself in at a local night shelter.
She has lived on the streets most of this year but was now staying with friends.
De downfall of the De Faria, who is born in Surinam, started after a career as alderwomen. She was alderwomen for security and public health on behalf of the Leefbaar Rotterdam party between 2002 and 2004. Leefbaar Rotterdam is a party with a strong anti-Islam agenda. The party was founded by Pim Fortuyn, a politician who was later murdered by a left wing activist. Rabella de Faria's career came to an end when she was forced to resign.

Read: Mogul-turned-politician now homeless

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UK singer Estelle attacks white soul music

In March 2008 singer and songwriter Estelle, attacked the British music industry and white soul music. In an interview she expressed her grief by singling out Adele and Duffy, she said: "I'm not mad at them, but I'm wondering - how the hell is there not a single black person in the press singing soul? Adele ain't soul. She sounds like she heard some Aretha records once, and she's got a deeper voice - that don't mean she's soul. That don't mean nothing to me in the grand scheme of my life as a black person. As a songwriter, I get what they do. As a black person, I'm like: you're telling me this is my music? Fuck that!" Afterwards she said her remarks where completed blown out of proportion. But the Black Music Congress in the UK organized a debat about the topic. In their press release for the debate they highlighted racism and lack of commitment by the big record companies in developing and marketing British black music talent. They highlighted the fact that white artists such as Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen sell black music. Interesting where the questions in the debate. What if the overwhelming white population of Britain prefer black music performed by white artists? And also, as the record companies are commercial entities, why should they invest in African British talent when they believe that these artists seldom sell? But I think the future of black soul looks grim. Jazz used to be the exclusive domain of black people the US, nowadays the scene is packed with white musicians from Europe. Even black people call jazz ‘the white man’s music’. And look what happened to rock! And Hip Hop? Even that will stop, at least for black people. I am afraid that in twenty years time black Soul music will just be on the topics list of our annual black history month. Read:>Estelle Weighs in on 'Blue-Eyed' Soul in the UK, Brings Sass

Monday, November 24, 2008

New career? Become a community organizer like Obama

Looking for a Presidential career? Become a community organizer like Obama. Obama was a community organizer in Chicago from 1985 to 1988 before he became Senator. But what's a community organizer and what did Obama learned from the job?
Community organizing is a process by which people living in proximity to each other are brought together by an organization to act in their common self-interest. In the poor Chicago South side Obama’s used techniques as demanding summer jobs, pushing for an after-school program. And try convincing the city to spend more on this or that.
After loosing a fight over asbestos Obama gained a new perspective. A fellow community worker recalled: "The solution, Obama felt, was to find a way to political power of his own. He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power." He rememberd him saying, "I need to go there [Harvard Law School] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?”
Read: What Did Obama Do As A Community Organizer?
Obama's Community Roots

Friday, November 21, 2008

French 'Barack Obama' still a dream says black french minister Rama Yada

France's only black minister,Rama Yade, has said her country will never elect its own Barack Obama under the current ageing, white political elite. Yade warned it would remain a pipe dream until mainstream parties opened up and introduced affirmative action. "Just look at the French National Assembly, the Senate, the circles of power... the time for allowing a new elite to emerge is well overdue,"said the secretary of state for human rights and foreign affairs in an interview with the Telegraph.
Read: French 'Barack Obama' still a dream says country's lone black minister

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Screen Nation Film & TV Awards in the UK (2)

The screen Nation Awards is the only annual international celebration of achievement within black world cinema and TV in the UK. Set to take place on the 7th December 2008 at the Hilton London Metropole. Check the site for the nominees and vote!
Read: Screen Nation website
Watch: video of the 2006 Award ceremony

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interview with Barack and Michelle Obama after the elections

The CBS News '60 Minutes' interview exclusive with the US President-elect Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama after the elections. November 16, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Black Eurovision Song Contest Part 2: Laura Izibor (Ireland)

Afro-Irish Laura Izibor is the international rising R&B star from Ireland. Entertainment Ireland wrote, "It's safe to say the hype surrounding Laura Izibor is founded, Ireland is clearly a place where she is honing her talent before she takes on the rest of the world and proves that she is an actual contender for the crowns of Angie Stone and Alicia Keys." Isibor is born in Dublin to an Irish mother and Trinidadian father
Read: Laura Izibor's official website

Monday, November 17, 2008

Black philanthropy on Black Gives Back

I came across the blog Black gives back, a blog about black philanthropy. It’s a blog full of truly inspirational examples of black Americans helping other black people. I asked the blogger why she started this blog. "Before I started blackgivesback, my plan was to create a blog for my Washington, D.C. based charity, highlighting issues and programs in and around D.C. But then I thought, why just focus on my hometown of D.C.? So I then switched my focus to include what's going on in the world with philanthropy in the black community. My blog showcases what celebrities and everyday people are doing to make this world a better place, and it highlights current issues of importance to Black America."

On the photo Boxer Ronald Lamont "Winky" Wright (left) and singer/actress Christina Milian (right) pose with sickle cell guest Maliah. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that is common among African Americans. [And Afro-Europeans.]
Read: The William E. Proudford Sicle Cell fund, Inc

So what are the black folks in Europe doing? I hope giving you – and myself- the answers in upcoming posts

Black British MP Dawn Butler inspired by Obama's Victory

Dawn Butler, a member of Parliament in the UK, launched a new initiative after Obama's victory. She has used this symbolic moment to launch a new platform to aid future UK BAME politicians; Bernie’s List. BAMA stands for Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic. Bernie’s List is a new initiative put forward by a coalition of UK Members of Parliament to strengthen the UK’s democracy by increasing diversity and representation in Parliament.
Read: Racism is common in the House of Commons says Butler

U.S. protest against racist insult of Obama on Austrian TV

After Obama's victory former Austrian US Correspondent Klaus Emmerich said in live broadcast on a Austrian TV channel, that he wouldn't take any orders from a black person in the western world. The U.S. ambassador filed a protest against the insult and demanded a clear apology from the responsible official TV channel.
Read: U.S. protest against racist insult of Obama on Austrian TV

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Whoopi Goldberg: Would Barack Obama be president if he had a white wife?

During a television show moderator Whoopi Goldberg talked about race and skin colour. She confessed that she was woken up during the night by a "strange thought" regarding Michelle Obama. "It was a thought that had never occurred to me," she began. "Barack Obama is one of the few men that we have seen who is a black man who has a very, very dark-skinned wife. She's very dark-skinned for normally what you see. And I wondered to myself, would he be electable if he had a white wife?"
Read: Michelle Obama's Darker Shade Of Skin: Whoopi Weighs In (Video)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Black Eurovision Song Contest Part 1: Giovanca (The Netherlands)

Black Eurovision Song Contest Part 1. The Afro-Dutch singer Giovanca Ostiana - Amsterdam based with Dutch Antillean roots - is the revelation of 2008. Feel-good music with influences from pop, soul, jazz, Motown and hip hop
Read: Giovanca's official website

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging from the suburbs of France

After and during the French riots in 2005, blogging became a way for the French youth to tell their stories. Now that the unrest has gone, a few blogs still tell the stories of living in the suburbs. One of those blogs is Bondy Blog. It gives an inside look in the suburban neighbourhoods of France, where Obama is a source of inspiration for young 'Magrebs' and Afro-Europeans.
Read: Bondy Blog (translated)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Barack Obama could not become British prime minister

Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, claims Barack Obama could not become prime minister in Britain because of "institutional racism" in the British political system.
Mr Phillips said that while there were just 15 ethnic-minority MPs in the House of Commons, it nonetheless demonstrates that "the problem is not the electorate, the problem is the machine."

Watch video: Barack Obama could not become British prime minister
Read: Barack Obama could not become British prime minister

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Do black people collect art?

New ideas from the Netherlands. My First Art Collection is a training program for people who want to learn how to collect art. During the first training My first Art Collection: 20 participants get the chance to experience the art world in a personal way from the inside. In 13 meetings the participants are prepared to be a collector of contemporary art! über blick
From january - june 2009/ Amsterdam and Rotterdam / 375 euro

Thursday, November 6, 2008

French blacks expect change after Obama victory

French blacks expect change after Obama victory. Now that Obama will be the first black president, and African-Americans are at the dawn of a new era, the contrast with blacks in France becomes painfully clear. Youssoupha, a black rapper with a master’s degree from the Sorbonne, hit like many well-educated blacks, a brick wall. “I found myself working in fast-food places with people who had the equivalent of a 15-year-old’s level of education,” he recalled. In a survey carried out by TNS-Sofres for CRAN, the French NAACP, in 2007, more than two out of three French blacks said they had been the victims of racial discrimination in their country. And more than 80 per cent said that the situation was not improving.
For Blacks in France, Obama’s Rise Is Reason to Rejoice, and to Hope

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Finally a black guy as president!!

Barack Obama, a black man as the president of United States of America. This is absolutely a great moment. Not only for the African-American community but for the entire black community. I hoped it wouldn’t be race thing, but for black folks it is. Colin Powel became emotional during an interview and Condoleeza Rice spoke at a press conference, as an African-American, about the factor 'race' in America'. At the end there was no doubt about it, this is not a Republican thing or a Democratic thing, it is a black thing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where's the Afro-European Obama?

Tomorrow will we know if Obama will be the first black president of the US. But what about Europe?

Many black Europeans say victory for Barack Obama in the U.S. election might set an example that could help remedy their under-representation in European politics. But they emphasize that the U.S. Democrat inspires a massive following in Europe through his ideas and charisma, not just because of his color.
Read: Black Europeans pin political hopes on Obama
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