When ‘Feminist’ Sites Use The ‘Plight’ Of Black Women (In This Case Regarding TV Show Scandal) To Fuel White Dominance

Wasn’t that Season 2 Finale of Scandal a jaw-dropper!! They added a whole, extra layer to daddy issues and Liv’s secret family connection Superpowers, didn’t they? Well, we’ve got all summer to TRY to digest that revelation.

In analyzing the projected images of black women in the media, something popped up last week I’d like to discuss. Just call this episode 2,957,931 of the long-running serial: All The Blacks Are Men And All The Women Are White. Did you hear the good news? The lead actress of the hottest tv show going done got herself on the cover of a “major (white) fashion magazine”!! Congrats to Kerry Washington and ELLE. This has NEVER happened before, so let’s celebrate!!!See all the variations of “homegirl finally got a cover” on the Interwebs for reference.

**Scroll down to the end of the post if you want the surprise revealed.

FYI, they did throw her a big party in NYC (see photos below)which isn’t something ELLE does every month.

I’m just curious though, wasn’t Revenge dubbed the hottest show on tv last year?  How many magazine covers has series lead Emily Van Camp done?  Taraji P. Henson is the lone female on Person Of Interest – also hugely popular. Melissa McCarthy has both a successful tv show wrapping its third season (Mike & Molly) AND gets top billing for her film projects. Number of covers? Lucy Liu of Elemental – also a hit. What about the pretty, young stars of the various CW and ABC Family shows getting followed by paparazzi everywhere?

Let’s not forget The Good Wife. This show wins Emmys and has a who’s who of guest stars. Number of fashion mags for series lead Julianna Margulies? She’s arguably the most recognizable of all the actresses listed amongst a general audience. JM was on the ubiquitous series ER and at one time the highest paid actress on tv, turning down a $27M deal to extend her ER run. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning Marishka Hargitay, because hasn’t everyone seen at least one episode of Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU? It’s going into its 15th season.

As we see even popular white actresses are also facing an apparent blockade from being queen of the fashion monthly. Funny, I haven’t heard any discussion of it. Have you? Yet, somebody decided to push this meme solely focusing on one particular actress from a certain tv show. WHY??? Let’s dig a little deeper.

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When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #2

Continuing our discussion from February – by supporting those who are supportive of you – we’ve got some new commercials that show black women in a positive light. (Don’t miss When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #1.) Which is not the same thing as pandering or being ‘ironic’ for the sake of attention, paternalism or worse! The brands do need to label their ads better so we can find them by a simple SEO search.

Much of the future of advertising has to take online viewership into greater consideration. Yes, brands that means you!

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When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women

Consider this an adjacent conversation to our Super Bowl Media Watch. There are specific instances I will address in a separate post a) the total erasure of black women from ads this year b) the Roland Martin situation (nothing like witnessing a meltdown in real-time on Twitter) c) another advertiser with a majority women customer base not including women innovators in their ad d) why the argument over what I dub “sexy woman” ads has different ramifications for black women.

Objectification is in the eye of the beholder. Stereotypes are a gross exaggeration that devalues underlying causation. Regardless these things can be combated. For all of the potential harm viewing women as one-dimensional implies, being completely erased is far worse.

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African American Legacy Series Spotlight: Ode To The Music Contributions Of Aretha Franklin

I just want to focus on Ms. Franklin’s retooling of other classic songs to point out her musical brilliance. As a trained pianist and arranger she oversaw the construction of those songs and added her own spin. The harmonies alone took these songs in a completely different direction.

In a hat tip to the universe and serendipity here’s a clip from a recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning where she is specifically asked about receiving acknowledgement as a songwriter instead of as a singer alone.

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It’s Black Women’s History Month Y’all!

At least it is at Acts Of Faith In Love & Life.

I’m editing a few posts right now but then I remembered I had started the first post of what was meant to be a series on AA women with Ethel Waters way back from 2009. Since I was doing daily posts then (how did I find the time?) I forgot to continue the series!

I so appreciate the contributions of my elders and forebears. I am very proud of my heritage and have never wanted to be part of anyone else’s ethnic or racial group. We need to better honor these women by living well. I hope more people will read it and enjoy it this time.

Spotlight on Ethel Waters.

Please note, the woman singing with the Duke Ellington orchestra is not Waters but Ivie Anderson. By the way, I did complete Final Cut Pro…then my Mac died.

I’ve decided to set aside some of the other topics on tap and instead will be featuring a few AA women who’ve kicked butt and taken names in honor of (Black) Women’s History Month.

Via the NYT’s Book Review of Heat Wave: The Life & Career Of Ethel Waters (thanks Nichelle!)

Waters’s influence on her fellow singers and actors — especially, but not exclusively, African-American women — was such that Horne described her as “the mother of us all.” (Artists of a later generation would come to describe Horne in the same terms.) Starting out in black vaudeville in the early decades of the 20th century, Waters originally performed and recorded the sort of bawdy come-ons (“It’s Right Here for You” and “I Want to Be Somebody’s Baby Doll So I Can Get My Loving All the Time”) that, in the hands of Waters, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and other women, first established the blues as popular music. Waters’s style was advanced: understated, sophisticated, dramatic without being histrionic, ideally suited to the soon-to-emerge repertory of elegiac, subtly blues-influenced pop music that would come to be thought of as the Great American Songbook. It was Waters who made hits of the future standards “Am I Blue,” “Supper Time” and “Stormy Weather” (years before it became associated with Horne).

If there’s someone you’d like to see featured leave a message in the comment section. We can discuss a possible guest post as well for coverage of more women.  I’m more focused on the less obvious choices of women so we can all learn something.  Doing research is so much fun! I hope you enjoy the series. Have a great weekend everyone!

“The Good Wife” Is Not Only Smart TV But Offers Women Many Valuable Lessons In Love & Life

PART ONE of my “THE GOOD WIFE” BREAKDOWN:

In case you are otherwise occupied I highly recommend that you amend your schedule to include the CBS drama “The Good Wife”. If you can’t watch it during the scheduled broadcast time Tuesdays at 10pm it’s available at the network’s official site to view online (great use of your commuting time).

The Executive Producers of the show are husband and wife duo Michelle & Robert King who are also the Showrunners and it’s one of the few scripted television series left in the wake of “reality” tv – and it’s GOOD! I am pleasantly surprised when week to week the writers surprise the viewing audience as they progressively challenge us with their multi-layered scripts.

The show is built around the premise of the stand-by-her-man wife of  State’s Attorney General Peter Florrick (he was supposed to be modeled after Eliot Spitzer or really any male politician  [John Edwards, etc]) who got caught in a sex scandal and is sent to prison. He’s trying to clear his name from being charged with corruption as he contends he was only cheating on his wife not the State. His political rival who currently holds his former job is trying to keep him in prison while his wife Alicia is trying to hold the family together and get along with her mother-in-law. Oh and she also squares off against her husband’s rival a few times which makes for some interesting episodes. 

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