Why Blue Ivy’s Hair Matters [The Atlantic]

There are lots of things that black people in the US should be protesting right now. High unemployment. The extreme loss of wealth. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Gun violence. The entire state of Florida. Yet one of the main things to dominate the news lately is the hairstyle of a particularly famous 2-year old. It’s one of the few things I don’t think we need to worry about.

“12 Years” only proves that Hollywood is a slave to business as usual [Quartz]

The Oscar ceremony is always a bittersweet event in my household, and this year was no exception. I like to think of the Academy Awards as a reflection of the beauty of art and a testament to the power of story telling. Yet by the end of the night, I always end the night angry over Hollywood’s challenges in depicting race and ethnicity. This year was no different, though host Ellen DeGeneres beat me to the punch in the first few minutes of the show: If 12 Years a Slave doesn’t win, she said, “you’re all racists.”

Organizer Illai Kenney on the Generational Divide Among Civil Rights Activists [billmoyers.com]

During the weeklong events commemorating the March on Washington, Moyers & Company associate producer Reniqua Allen noticed that a lot of black youth were upset that their voices weren’t being heard, not only by mainstream media, but also by some of their own leaders in the civil rights community.

To get a deeper perspective on the intergenerational divide, she spoke with Illai Kenney, a 24-year-old college student and activist with Black Youth Vote! who has been organizing and fighting for change in her community since she was nine. They talked about the burdens and benefits of being young and black in America, the role of hip hop in activism; and what black youth need to do in order to get their voices heard. 

Why isn’t the Cosby Show for a new generation on network TV? [The Washington Post]

Today, the only way some Americans get insight into what life is like for a black family is by watching snippets of the Obamas on the nightly news. No English-language network program centers around a black family — or an Asian or Hispanic family either — except Fox’s “The Cleveland Show.” And that’s animated.

I never thought that I’d have to search so hard on television to find a family that looks like the one I grew up in. My TV experience began in the age in which “The Cosby Show” was the king of television viewing among black and white families alike. Twenty years later, after the Huxtables went off the air, not one show on any of the major networks can even remotely challenge its place as the standard of black family life.


Having Obama in the White House has made it harder to talk about race in America [The Washington Post]

I thought things would be different by now. The Trayvon Martin story flared up exactly four years after Obama’s famous campaign speech on race in Philadelphia, a speech that made so many of us believe that Obama would launch a serious, enduring dialogue. But the election of the first black president hasn’t made it easier to talk about race in America. It’s made it harder.

Is Money Affecting Your Social Status? [Teen Vogue]

At a time when the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 9 percent of Americans are unemployed, class divisions are widening, creating tough social situations for many teens. Though it's not commonly talked about, how much cash your parents have can often have a huge effect on your allowance, popularity, and, more importantly, who your BFFs are.