Weekly KolorBlind News 6/30/12: Halle Berry, Keesha Sharp, Garcelle Beauvais and more…

Halle Berry ordered to pay child support…

Four years ago on March 16, 2008 those in the KolorBlind community jumped for joy to hear that Halle Berry became a mother to Nahla Ariela Aubry. A joyful thing – yes. But it hasn’t been without a few heartbreaks. Halle separated from Nahla’s father not too long after and it’s been one ordeal to the other. From court appearances on who becomes Nahla’s primary care giver to the recent news on Halle being ordered to pay Gabriel Aubry a hefty monthly child support.

According to Huffington Post, a family court judge ordered the actress to pay Gabriel child support in the amount of $20,000 a month. In April Aubry filed legal documents asking a judge to force Berry to give him $15,000 to $20,000 a month for a proper home, so that the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Nahla, would keep living in the surroundings to which she has become accustomed. TMZ reported that the Canadian model also demanded a long list of other things from Berry, including money for Nahla’s clothing, and funds so that he can take her home to Canada to visit his family.

The former couple, who split in February 2010, have been in and out of court for months battling over custody of Nahla, and they are due back in court again for a judge to decide whether Halle can take Nahla and move to Paris.

My heart goes out to Halle. What able bodied man requests money from a woman? The world is truly coming to an end. If this were not so, why would a man need money from a woman to take care of his own child? I always thought it was the father’s responsibility to take care of his children. I didn’t know times had changed drastically to where a man now depends on a woman to help him take care of his child financially. If you are a man out there and you are in a similar situation…all I can say is SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!

Keesha Sharp‘s photoshoot for Today’s Black Woman Style Report…

Yesterday, Keesha Sharp posted a photograph of a recent photoshoot she did for Today’s Black Woman. We know Keesha is one beautiful woman but she was giving us extra fierce in this one. Watch out Tyra Banks…this KolorBlind sister is giving you a run for your money.

Meet Garcelle Beauvais – People Magazine’s newest celebrity blogger…

Actress Garcelle Beauvais, 45, is not new to the world of KolorBlind. In she married Hollywood Agent Mike Nilos and in 2001 and 2007 welcomed her twin sons Jax Joseph and Jaid Thomas. In 2001, she and Mike divorced and Garcelle has been doing a wonderful job raising her twin sons.

Whenever we see them, they always look so happy and having fun. Recently (June ’12) Garcelle started blogging on People Magazine’s blog platform. We welcome you to the world of blogging and hope you enjoy sharing a little more of yourself with the world.

In one of her first blog posts she states:

Hey everyone, my name is Garcelle Beauvais. I am an actress, mom of three amazing boys — Oliver, Jax and Jaid — and now an author, but more on that later. 

Many of you may know me from my work on The Jamie Foxx Show and NYPD Blue. Currently, I’m starring on Franklin & Bash with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer.

As much as I love what I have accomplished so far as an actress, I have to say that being a mom— with all of its challenges and rewards — has been the best role of my life. Growing up, I was the youngest of seven children, so babies and kids have always been around me. My mom has 25 grandchildren — yep, 25.

always wanted to have kids, and when I dreamed about my future, I pictured having a boy first and then a girl — the perfect nuclear family. Well, we can’t always have it our way. But I have to say, I got really lucky!

I had my first son, Oliver, when I was very young. I was modeling in New York when I met his dad. We immediately fell in love and got married after only two months. Crazy, right?! Two years later, Oliver appeared on the scene. He was the best baby, so easy and happy. I took him everywhere with me — on photo shoots, on location, and he did so well on airplanes, too.

Oliver is now 21 years old and an up-and-coming rapper. (His stage name is Jayson Rose.)

Unfortunately, my first marriage didn’t work out. I thought that was the end of my baby days, but then I met Mike Nilon.

We fell in love and I wanted to have kids with him. Since I already had a child, I thought it would be a cinch. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

I learned the hard way that trying to have babies when you’re older is a whole different ball game. It took blood, sweat (both the good and bad kind!), lots of tears, and most importantly, fertility treatments. But I finally got pregnant. It was truly a miracle.

All I wanted was a healthy baby. That wish came true with an added bonus. Yep, I was expecting twins!

While I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to meet my boys. Though I must admit that when the doctor first said he saw two penises on the ultrasound, I was a bit disappointed. I’m such a girly-girl, and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t getting a little mini-me! Now who would I give all of my designer shoes to?! Ha.

I was so excited for my sons. Because conceiving them had been so difficult, I was very nervousthroughout the pregnancy. I tried to stay positive and lots of prayers got me through!

Well, on Oct. 18, 2007, I had a c-section and got to meet my yummy boys, Jax and Jaid. I was so happy — I couldn’t believe they were truly ours. They were so cute I couldn’t stand it!

Even though they’re fraternal twins, I wondered if they would share a lot of similar personality traits. But from day one, they were differentJax came out screaming while Jaid came out looking both serious and curious about the world around him.

Seeing Oliver hold his tiny little siblings for the first time brought tears to my eyes. Jax has a love of music like his big brother, although my little guy prefers rock and roll to rap. Jaid loves to look at fishes and snuggle.

To this day, my happiest moments are when all three of my boys are with me hanging out at home. Even though they are a generation apart, they love each other so much.

My sons bring me such joy, even when they drive me nuts. I’m sure you can relate! Let’s face it:l ittle boys have lots of energy, and when you have two who are the same age at the same time, it means a lot of activity! That’s why I keep them busy with soccer, karate and swim lessons. 

Garcelle Beauvais feeds her Angry BirdsMy boys have also taught me a lot of about life. That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the children’s book series I’m writing based on Jax and Jaid’s experiences as twins of mixed race who split their time between two homes. (Stay tuned!)

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to sharing more with you about my life with my boys. You can leave a comment below or catch me on Twitter @GarcelleB.

– Garcelle Beauvais (Source People Magazine.com)

We wish you nothing but continued happiness Garcelle. You’re doing a fine job raising those young men. It’s also hard to believe you have a 21 yr old. You look fab. Xo
That’s it for our Weekly KolorBlind News 6/30/12: Halle Berry, Keesha Sharp, Garcelle Beauvais and more… I hope you enjoyed reading it. The things reported in the news makes us aware of the things that occur in our environment and the world at large. Stay informed!
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Is that your baby? I’m not the Nanny!

Have you ever been out with your child and been referred to as your child’s nanny? How does that make you feel? What about when you travel with your child, do you get asked whose child that is?

I know this is an issue too many parents of biracial and/or multiracial children face. I also know what goes on in your mind when people ask you whose child that is and the shock on their faces when you tell them they’re yours. As much as we hate to admit it, we are all slightly prejudice and no one is excluded. What sets us apart from one another is the level of prejudice that exist’ in our thoughts and behavior.

Until I had my son I too would occasionally wonder if the adult taking the little boy or girl out was the nanny or the parent. When my son was born he looked like he was mixed with a little Chinese. He outgrew those looks and has gotten really dark now. It also doesn’t help that we share a different last name so when we travel overseas, it gets a little tricky. I plan on having the same last name with any of my future children. Alas I digress…let me get back to the subject matter.

If you are a parent of a biracial or multiracial child who looks more like your partner’s race…do you respond to questions about your child’s appearance from the perspective that the person asking is ignorant or do you get offended? Granted, you do not owe anyone an explanation but the question arise at some point in time. Even if they do not ask, they give you that look and we all know what that look indicates.

I believe the worst situation arises when all of your biracial or multiracial children have different looks (skin tone). I found some articles online that deal with this topic in more detail. Click on the links to read the full article(s).

“Is that your child?” is a question that countless mothers of biracial children in the United States encounter whether they are African Americans or European Americans, rearing children today or a generation ago, living in cities or suburbs, are upper middle class or middle class. In our forthcoming book we probe mothers’ responses to this query as well as their accounts of other challenges and rewards of parenting biracial children.

In the 2000 census, 2.4 million people described themselves as more than one race, 784,764 people classified themselves as both Black and White, and these numbers are actually under-representative. Many people will choose to only identify themselves as only one race leaving the true number of bi- or multiracial Americans a mystery to match the Sphinx.

I posted this blog post because I don’t want any parent to feel they are the only ones who go through some of the ‘pains’ of raising biracial or multiracial children. There are thousands if not millions of parents who have gone through or are going through the same situation as you. One advice I do want to pass on is for you to connect with other moms and/or dads in your area who are also raising biracial and/or multiracial children. Sharing and hearing the experiences of others will help you deal with certain situations a lot better.

I hope the article: Is that your baby? I’m not the nanny! has been helpful to you. Don’t forget to check back here for new posts.

Skin Bleaching among African Women

Yesterday, I read an article that was posted on an online publication that I follow on Twitter. The more I read, the more I begun to shake my head profusely. Madame Noire (a Black women‘s lifestyle online publication dedicated to the latest in black hair care, relationship advice, fashion trends, black entertainment news and parenting tips) posted an article titled:

NOT BUYING IT: MODEL AJUMA NASENYANA FIGHTING SKIN LIGHTENING AMONG KENYAN WOMEN

The article addressed skin bleaching among Kenyan women and the effects it had on their community or should I say society.

Let me provide you a little background on skin bleaching if you are not familiar with the concept. Skin Bleaching refers to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by lessening the concentration of melanin. Several chemicals have been shown to be effective in skin whitening, while some have proved to be toxic or have questionable safety profiles, adding to the controversy surrounding their use and impacts on certain ethnic groups.

Skin Bleaching among African women has been a practice for quite a long time but is also not a new trend within black Western women. In Madame Noire’s article the blogger Brande Victorian details model Ajuma Nasenyana’s frustration with the practice. The article was good overall however, I had one small problem with it. The model states:

Speaking on a Swedish cosmetics firm that recently entered the Kenyan market, she added:

“Their leaflets are all about skin-lightening, and they seem to be doing good business in Kenya. It just shocks me. It’s not okay for a Caucasian to tell us to lighten our skin.

The issue is not white people wanting us to lighten our skin or wanting us to look white. There’s no way possible to look white. You can have very fair skin…but your facial features will still resemble a black woman. There are only a handful of biracial/multiracial women who could actually pass for being Caucasian. The majority still have very strong African features. The model also goes on to say that when readers look at magazines, all they see are white models. Granted, this has been the norm for a very long time. But I doubt a mentally sane black woman is looking at a white model and thinking: “oh, I want to look like that.” Even Michael Jackson (RIP) with his numerous surgeries and enhancements looked like a biracial man at the most and would have never been mistaken for being Caucasian.

The real culprit and I’ve always preached this, are the black fashion and beauty magazines that portray a group of black women and men who do not look like their African brothers and sisters. Growing up (I was born and raised in what I like to describe as ‘white Europe’ but I’m from Nigeria), whenever I flipped through the pages of Ebony or Essence I always felt inferior and wondered why black Americans were so good looking while we Africans were not. A typical African has very dark skin, in addition, has a rounded face with a larger percentage of them having high cheekbones, extra full lips and very kinky hair.

It took me over 7 years to get my hair to straighten with a relaxer. I remember using the “Extra Strong” formula and would let it sit for over an hour and after washing the lye out, would still end up with very kinky hair. Not only that, it was never long like the hair I would see on women in Ebony or Essence. You have to understand as an African woman who would visit Nigeria once a year growing up, I felt the struggle we as Africans went through. We were not looking at posters/magazines for white models, we were looking at posters and magazines to see black models. You have to understand that Ebony and Essence is in high circulation in Africa and I’m sure the Caribbeans, South America and other areas with a high population of African descents are not left out. How these magazines ended up there…I cannot say but there is probably not one single middle class African household that does not know of both magazines or owned several copies.

The people we saw in those magazines had flawless skin, had beautiful facial features (probably from being mixed race during the slavery era) and had long beautiful hair that was thick but luscious. Their makeup was always flawless and their skin tone, although it varied in shade, was always so beautiful. Not once, did I see a dark skin model in any of those magazines.  Not once, did I see a model with kinky hair. Not once did I see a model with extra full lips or an extra broad nose. And if I didn’t see those things, can you imagine what my African sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles were seeing? They were seeing the exact same thing I saw.

If anyone should be held responsible for Africans wanting to lighten their skin and change their facial features, it’s Black America. You have to understand that in Africa during the colonial rule, we didn’t have the concept of light skinned slaves working in the house while the darker skin slaves worked in the field. That sort of segregation only happened in America. For Africans, we were identified as black and our slave masters didn’t care if one of us was of a lighter shade than the other.

In today’s age it wouldn’t matter to a racist if you were a light skinned black or a dark skinned black. As far as a racist’s eye sees, s/he sees us all as black – the shade and race they hate. So to say Caucasians are the reason African women want to lighten their skin is not an accurate allegation. Granted, Chinese and/or European manufacturers are capitalizing on the rampant urge that African women have to want to lighten their skin by making skin lightening products available…but we still cannot hold them accountable for being the real culprit.

I only started seeing African models with typical African features in magazines in recent times. I believe the first model I could identify was Alek Wek. Prior to Alek Wek, we Africans didn’t have anyone to identify with in mainstream fashion and beauty. But even with the emerge of such models, there is still an inferiority complex amongst Africans. How many times do you actually see Alek’s face on the cover of a magazine? How many times do you see a face similar to Alek in mainstream African American movies? How many times do you see such features on the Red Carpet?

Obviously, every adult is responsible for their own action, but we can’t deny that what we see in the media and its outlet have a huge influence and impact on how we see ourselves. Society has a strong grip on us. It takes a very strong individual to not want to conform to what society deems as “beautiful”. I commend Ajuma Nasenyana for speaking up. However, I do not believe that makeup is what will change the perception of beauty in Africa. It going to take a lot more than that to change the perception women have of themselves.

I hope this article sheds more light on the issue.

Lana Del Rey’s new video – an interracial concept

In Lana Del Rey’s new video for “National Anthem”, she portrays both Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O. (former First Lady of the United States). JFK is portrayed by rap artist A$AP Rocky.

If you’re not yet familiar with Lana Del Rey, it’s probably time to familiarize yourself. She’s been captivating the world with her vintage vocals for over a year now while pegging herself, the ‘Gangster Nancy Sinatra’.

Earlier today, she got the internet buzzing when she released a cinematic new video for her track “National Anthem” that features rapper A$AP Rocky. In the video, Lana takes on the role as JFK’s mistress Marilyn Monroe who sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to the president. As the video continues, she plays Jackie O, while A$AP takes on the role as a modern day John F. Kennedy. The 7 minute video details their time together all the way up until that fateful day in Dallas when JFK was shot.

There are so many ways Lana Del Rey’s new video – an interracial concept can be interpreted. In having a black man play the former president, Lana could be making a statement about JFK’s legacy as a Civil Rights supporter leading up until his demise. Or it could be a statement about interracial love making people uncomfortable in the 60′s but it would be much more acceptable in the White House in this day and age.

Here’s what the two artists had to say about the video. Also check out the video clip below:

Lana Del Rey: Every so often, I top what I’ve done, and this video is definitely the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done. I wrote a treatment for me and A$AP Rocky, because I just thought he’d be really perfect to star in it. … I love it.”

A$AP Rocky: I play JFK, she plays Jackie O. Some cool, trippy sh-t, some really 2015 sh-t. People gonna get it in like three years, and that’s the whole purpose of it.”

Source: Necolebitchie.com

Racial Profiling and its effects on Interracial Relationships

Does racial profiling play a role in black women rejecting white men? Are women revenging by refusing to date outside their race?  Do some black women have a hidden hatred towards white people as a result of the ongoing racial profiling in America?

I’m irritated just as much by the racism, racial profiling and silent segregation going on in the United States. It would seem that United States is not so united after all. 165 years after the abolishment of slavery and we are still struggling with the acceptance of mankind. Racism and/or racial profiling is nothing other than the refusal to accept all mankind as equals. How does this affect the western society? It continues to separate and divide us, and brings out resentment in a lot of people who feel the need to fight back the hatred that has been metered out on minorities such as the black race.

I know too many black people who do not hide their disdain for the white race and would vomit at the thought of ever dating the people who have made their lives miserable. The thought of their children selling out and dating them would even invoke the wrath of the gods. There are some blacks in this country who would turn down millions of dollars to date a white person simply because they harbor hatred in their minds at the way blacks have been treated over the years. I don’t blame them…but I can’t hold every white person accountable for the actions of others. Not every one of them feels the same way towards racism and/or racial profiling and not every one of them engages in the act. No, I am not defending them. I am merely stating what is.

I wonder if racist’ ever sit down to consider the many homes they are destroying before they’re even built. Can you imagine the number of happy homes/marriages that would exist in our society if racial profiling and/or racism were non-existent? Do you know the number of white men who secretly wish they were married to black women? Before you say no, they don’t…I want you to go back down memory lane and remember all the black mistresses white masters kept during the slavery era. If they did not find black women sensual, desirable and exotic…they would simply have closed their eyes on them.

Before you say: “no, they didn’t find them desirable. They just used the women as tools because they were there and available. They didn’t love those women, it was all about the sex to them…” I want us to take a closer look at the scenario back then. It’s not like they didn’t have the choice of choosing white mistresses. I’m sure there were women back then who would have gladly offered themselves. Not a lot has changed in women since the beginning of time. Some women still go after the highest bidder while some go for the biggest d$%^. At the end of the day, every woman has the same assets (with some being more endowed in some areas than others). So I’m sure it wasn’t all about the sex. If you are a black woman, I want you to take a look at yourself in the mirror and see how God perfected his art. I won’t lie…we are beautiful, sensual and we rock big time.

So back to reviewing the dynamics of black women during slavery: black women during the slavery era had a limited source of nourishment. They ‘ate the crumbs that fell from their master’s tables’. They did not have medical attention (and also didn’t have the luxury of a dermatologist) and had to work long hard hours in the sun. I’m sure hygiene was a far cry for these women. They wore clothes out of material we wouldn’t even touch in today’s world. They didn’t have the luxury of going to the salon to get their hair and nails done so I can only imagine what they looked and smelled like yet, their white masters couldn’t get enough of them.

All these slave masters had wives who probably wore the most expensive fragrance and clothing of that era. Took regular baths and pampered themselves to look beautiful and presentable to their husbands. Yet, their men would sneak out at night to be with a black slave who was not obliged the same luxury as her madam.

Being black is a beautiful thing, but to be a black woman in love with the one your heart desires without the negative influence of society is priceless. I understand that black people will never be viewed as equals in the eyes of most white people, but we are all equal before God.

A lot more people would be able to experience real joy and happiness in relationships outside of their race if we can all make an effort to stop (perhaps reduce) racial profiling and/or racism. In a count of one thousand white men who hate, there are 50 white men who secretly wish they could just proclaim their love for black women and women of other races to the world.

There is a little white boy out there who loves a black girl but would never dare tell his parents out of fear. There is a little white girl out there who loves the little black boy she goes to school with but would never dare tell her parents out of fear. This same goes for the little black boy and girl.

I look forward to the day when we can all just put our differences aside, stop feeling superior over another race/ethnicity and start to look at mankind as one. I look forward to the day when we are all free to love the person we want to love and look beyond their skin tone, nationality and race. I hope one day, racial profiling and its effects on interracial relationships will no longer exist.

I will never find my soulmate!

KolorBlind Staff:

Something I stumbled upon…

Originally posted on SWIRL Matchmaking:

Swirl Logo

This is the way to overcome doubt

  • Our beliefs change our lives and become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Interracial coupleLately, the question I am hearing most often is:

“How do I overcome my doubt that I will ever find my soulmate?”

First I would ask you to determine: is this a random thought, a random doubt or do you have a serious “belief” that you will never find your soulmate?

It’s important to make this distinction

As human beings, it’s normal to have occasional doubts but, if your core belief is you won’t find your soulmate, this is something that you need to overcome.

When I have a doubt about something, I choose not to buy into. I say to myself “cancel-cancel” and then select a more empowering thought.

For instance, you have the doubt, “I’ll never find my soulmate.”

Change that to “My soulmate is not only out there but he/she is…

View original 337 more words

Interracial Tips to dating an African Woman vs. an African-American Woman

WARNING: This article might cross the paths of ‘Stereotype Lane’ and ‘Generalization Blvd’ but sometimes there are no ways of avoiding both.

I’m a European by birth, African by race and ethnicity and American by nationality. I cannot consider myself African American because of my strong African roots. What does that mean? It means that although I have lived in Europe for half of my life and the other half in the United States; ‘am very western in my lifestyle and behavior, I am still very much African. This makes for interracial dating with my preferred race (Caucasian) somewhat interesting especially if he is trying to act ‘black’.

By acting ‘black’ I mean when he tries to come across as a man who is not prejudice to any race and/or ethnicity and whose list of friends consist’ heavily of black people. This could also mean that he likes to do things atypical of the Caucasian race. If you’re having a hard time picturing this, let me use Eminem (rapper) as an example. His lifestyle is not that of a typical white male. He talks ‘black’, raps ‘black’ and even dresses ‘black’ (urban clothing and can sometimes consist of sagging of pants).

I’m not saying you have to be a rapper to act ‘black’ but if you are heavily influenced by the black community, then chances are you’re going to act ‘black’. For a lot of white males it’s not about acting…this is their lifestyle. What does this have to do with African American women versus African women?

Well, if you are an African woman dating a white male who acts ‘black’, it will come across as annoying. It might sit well with an African American woman because he’ll remind her of some of the men in her family or of a boyfriend she’s dated before. For an African woman, he’ll come across as being a circus performer. As an African woman, we don’t have mothers/aunts who make the best pecan pie, sweet potato pie, collard greens and/or macaroni and cheese. As an African woman, depending on where in Africa you’re from you’ll have a mother/aunt who knows how to make one of the best stews that accompany white rice. She’ll know how to deep fry fish and serve it with some spicy sauce, etc. So for a white man to act ‘black’ around us really won’t trigger any fond memories of our father, brothers, male cousins or ex-boyfriend. We are different and I don’t mean that in a bad way.

We as African women already come from a strong culture which is probably why we tend to gravitate towards white men when we do consider interracial dating. We will most likely not blend well into a Hispanic culture for instance because of the likelihood of ‘clashing’ (this Hispanic culture is known as a strong culture). So as an African woman myself, I would prefer my white boyfriend/fiance/husband to not act ‘black’ but just be himself. If I wanted to date/marry a black man…I would do just that.

Let me get a little bit more specific. I don’t want to be referred to as ‘my girl’, ‘my woman’ or ‘my baby momma’. I would prefer you refer to me as ‘my girlfriend’, ‘my wife’, ‘my son’s mother or daughter’s mother’. I would prefer it if you didn’t ‘yo, yo, yo’ me. I would even appreciate it more if you didn’t use the expression ‘na i mean?’ No, I don’t know what you mean. Perhaps if you explained yourself in a more articulate manner, I would understand what you mean (lol).

I understand that with the emergence and rapid growth of the rap music genre that most all races and ethnic groups think it’s really cool to want to act ‘black’ but I would like to be the one who rains on your parade by saying it’s not necessarily cool.

As an educated adult, I don’t necessarily think it makes sense for me to copy the behaviors or mannerism of high school drop-outs and/or people who proclaim they were former gang-bangers or drug dealers. It defeats my purpose of getting a University education. All things being equal, I do not have anything against anybody’s upbringing or choice of lifestyle. I just feel as an adult we all have choices to make and choose a lifestyle that most represents how we were raised and the values we believe in. Now, if you were raised in the ghetto, I can understand if you do not want to live that same lifestyle and strive to live a better quality life.

Again, I repeat I am not being prejudice here…I am merely stating my own opinion. Do I use some of the terms I listed above? It depends on who I’m interacting with and the type of conversation we’re having. Do I think acting ‘black’ looks better on a black person? Hell yes! We’re black after all. I just don’t like seeing other races and/or ethnicities trying to act ‘black’ especially if you’re dating, engaged to or are married to a black woman.

If she married you, you’re already won the competition. There is absolutely no need to act ‘black’. Just be you. I hope as you read this, the interracial tips to dating an African woman vs. an African-American woman help you in your relationship(s).

Echoes of apartheid?

This poster of interracial couple embracing invokes racist backlash in South Africa. While we in the United States are now enjoying the freedom to love outside our race, some countries are still battling the idea. This is an article posted in  Dailymail that deals with a picture of an interracial couple – echoes of apartheid?

Ruling ANC party uses clearly racist language to describe the following image: 

Controversial: This poster released by a South African political party showing an interracial couple embracing has sparked huge debate in the countryA poster released by a South African political party that shows a young interracial couple in a loving embrace has sparked huge debate in the country. The image was released by the student arm of the Democratic Alliance, the nation’s opposition party, and distributed around university campuses earlier this week.

The image shows a white man and black woman, apparently naked, and has the tagline:

‘In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice’.

But since the poster was released it has sparked fierce debate, with most of the reaction being supportive, but some elements being clearly racist.

It has dominated the news agenda and shown that issues that last appeared during the apartheid era have not entirely disappeared from the nation’s consciousness.

Hundreds of people have taken to social-networking sites to voice their feelings. One Facebook user described the picture as ‘an abomination’.

Shocking: The African National Congress, of whom Nelson Mandela was a former leader, used clearly racist language in their reaction to the poster. Some of the South African political parties‘ reactions are perhaps the most shocking however.

  • Most disturbing of all is the comments of the ruling African National Congress – the party once led by Nelson Mandela. They use clearly racist language in their reaction to the poster.
  • Another party, the Christian Democrats, say the poster was ‘clearly promoting sexual immorality’.
  • And a trade union also said that the poster implies ‘join the party to have an affair’.

While the negative reaction has gained the headlines, most has been supportive. Another Facebook user wrote:

‘That something so humanly beautiful, an embrace between two people, can cause so much disharmony and conflict. ‘We live in such a beautiful country but we are so divided through sheer ignorance!’

The political party that released the image sad they were pleased with the strong reaction the poster had created.

Mbali Ntuli, the federal chairperson of the Democratic Alliance youth wing told the Globe and Mail Newspaper: ‘With all the comments, good and bad, we have achieved our goal of engaging South Africans in a frank debate about one of the most defining issues in our country today – tolerance.

‘Part of addressing the issue of intolerance is about bringing people’s prejudices to the fore.’

 

Source: Apartheid in South Africa

The Lovings’ Story – A love worth fighting for…

If it wasn’t for the likes of this couple, a lot of us KolorBlind men and women would not have the chance to be with the ones we truly love. The Lovings’ fought so we could have freedom to love whoever we wanted. Their courageous story of love lives on…

Before June of 1967, sixteen states still prohibited interracial marriage, including Virginia, the home of Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and his wife, Mildred Loving, a woman of African-American and Native-American descent.  Years prior in June 1958, the couple traveled to Washington, D.C. where interracial marriage was legal to get married.  However, upon their return to Virginia they were arrested and sentenced to one year in jail for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act.  At the time the trial judge suspended the Lovings’ sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that they leave the state and not return to Virginia together for 25 years.

The judge stated:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

The Lovings reluctantly left their home and went on to live in Washington, D.C. where they had three children named Peggy, Donald and Sidney.  But the injustice they suffered in Virginia still hurt deep so they decided to ask the ACLU to aid them in getting the Virginia decision reversed and

in June 1967, the court unanimously declared Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 unconstitutional and ended all race-based marriage bans in the U.S.

Now, nearly 45 years after the landmark Loving vs. Virginia case, HBO is taking an intimate look at the story of Richard and Mildred Loving with their documentary “The Lovings’ Story – a love worth fighting for.”  Aired on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, 2012) at 9PM, the film “tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving to examine the drama, the history, and the current state of interracial marriage and tolerance in the United States,” according to the film’s official site.  “The Loving Story” has enjoyed sold-out screenings at festivals and special events and has already won numerous awards and accolades like the Screenplay Award at the ScreenDocs Documentary Festival

Although the movie aired in February of 2012, I thought it would be interesting to highlight this phenomenal couple who fought so that other interracial couples could be free to love.

Source: Clutch Magazine

Love and Race III

BREAKING THE RULES
(Read part I here) Afghan-American actress Azita Ghanizada and her parents learn about love and race in the U.S. AS TOLD TO CARITA RIZZO

In Afghan culture, you don’t date — you marry. Even talking to boys before marriage brings great shame to your family.

interracial coupleMy parents learned that the hard way. They met in Kabul when my dad was a 25-year-old playing in a Beatles cover band and my mom was the 13-year-old daughter of a well-off, prominent family. Their age difference may sound extreme, but it’s not in Afghanistan, where younger girls are often married off to much older men. After school, my mom would sneak over to music venues where my dad played and hang out with him after the show. When their parents discovered their fledgling romance, they were forced to marry.

Photo: (DATING FOR 7 MONTHS Jonathan Sam and Shevy Katan)

I’m not sure if they would have married if they’d had a choice.

In 1979, when I was toddler, the Russians invaded Afghanistan, and my whole family fled to Vienna, Virginia. Far from home, my parents were determined to raise my two sisters and me according to Afghan traditions. We prayed five times a day and attended mosque and Farsi school, and my sisters and I weren’t allowed to associate with boys. My parents’ plan was for us to someday marry Afghan men of their choosing. They didn’t want us to shame our family the way they had shamed theirs.

Even at an early age, I rebelled against my strict upbringing. When I was 9, I built myself a “make-out fort” in our backyard from wood, filled it with candy, and invited my blond, blue-eyed neighbor over to kiss. One day my mom caught us together and my dad kicked down the fort, but it was too late. I had gotten a taste of something forbidden, and I knew that my parents’ lifestyle wasn’t for me. I didn’t want kabobs, Afghan music, and rules that required girls to be carefully monitored. I wanted mac and cheese, country music, and independence.

By my early teens, everyone in the local Afghan community — neighbors, my parents and their friends — already considered me too Western to be a proper wife. It was true. I loved American fashion and wore Guess jeans, sprayed my hair with Sun-In (turning it orange), and slathered my body with ba—By oil before sunbathing. I also threw myself into after-school activities. My parents forbade me from joining theater groups (in case there was a kissing scene), but they let me join the cheerleading squad, and I became class secretary. They didn’t know that after school, I led a secret life with my girlfriends. We’d raid their parents’ liquor cabinets for Johnnie Walker scotch and hang out in the McDonald’s parking lot, drinking and flirting with older boys.

But I wasn’t the only one in my family who had begun breaking away from our Afghan traditions. My dad started wearing baseball caps and polo shirts, watching football on Sundays, eating at Pizza Hut, and hitting the gym. He spent more time at dinners with his gym buddies and less time with our family. Meanwhile, my mom preferred to spend her weekends with my grandparents, cooking and talking.

My parents began fighting over their divergent lifestyles until it got so bad that my dad would come home from work, walk to his room in silence, and close the door. The tension carried on for years until they realized they had a choice. This wasn’t Afghanistan. They could separate.

Their decision outraged our local Afghan community. I remember a group of about 30 people descending on our house to convince my parents to stay together. I locked the door, but they banged on it, shouting, “No one will marry your daughters with such shame!”

Pressure from the community kept my parents together for six more years, but eventually my mother decided to end her failing marriage. I was shocked at her bold move — traditional Afghan couples just don’t divorce, much less at the wish of the wife. I thought she would sooner die in a loveless marriage than break with tradition, an act punishable —By disownment, exile — and in our homeland, even death.

After my parents’ divorce, the first in our family, we entered a scary, messy new world. My father eventually started dating a blonde American doctor who walked around barefoot in her big house and laid her legs across my dad’s lap right in front of me. It was odd to witness. I recall thinking that if this were Afghanistan, she would have been beaten with a stick.

But my father was finally laughing and being playful, things I didn’t know he was capable of. Seeing him like that made me happy. He was living for himself — not for his culture — just what I had always wanted for my own life.

My mother moved on, too, but for her, marrying another Afghan man was the only righteous path. A few years after the divorce from my father, she booked a two-month trip to Pakistan to visit family. While there, she agreed to an arranged marriage with an Afghan engineer. She married him right away and moved back to Virginia with her new husband. When my mom called to share her news, I was shocked. But I take comfort in the fact that her marriage will remain intact due to her husband’s strong beliefs in his religion and culture.

My parents’ breakup, though painful, has benefits for me. While they are exploring their new romantic lives, they spend far less time trying to plot mine. The lesson they are learning is clear: Loving someone from the same race or religion doesn’t guarantee happiness. It’s no longer as important to them that I marry a “good Afghan man.” My dad’s advice now is simply: “Marriage will come when the time is right.” I did introduce him to one American boyfriend I was serious about. He wasn’t Afghan, but my dad knew I was in love, so he made an effort to bond with my boyfriend over their shared love of watching football at TGI Friday’s. In the end, my dad admitted he was a good guy — maybe knowing all along that I was capable of making a smart decision. I’d be lying, though, if I said that my parents don’t hold on to a small string of hope that I’ll have a change of heart and end up with a traditional Afghan husband. They can’t help it. But while I doubt that’s going to happen, I’ll break that to them later.

 

Source: Marie Claire: interracial