Serena & Venus: Creating Mirrors

Serena and Venus reflect back entirely new possibilities for the future of sports and of black girls.
"You guys know about vampires?" Dominican American writer Junot Diaz asked. "You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought it isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
That process of ongoing dehumanization through an absence of representation or tokenizing ones at best has been plaguing the career of Serena Williams. Coming from humble beginnings out of Compton, she has had a career unmatched in length, skill and success. Despite this, over the years Williams has been described by online commenters and journalists alike as a "gorilla," as “manly", "savage” “aggressively off-putting” even in articles praising her accomplishments. These comments are indicative of the racialized sexism that Serena has encountered throughout her career and an industry that is ill prepared to challenge it.

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Blackness Without Borders: Global Caribbean Solidarity for Haitians

Today, Danticat along with another U.S.-based Caribbean writer Junot Diaz are calling for protests, including travel boycotts against the deportations of residents of Haitian descent. For the Dominican-born Diaz, the blame lies in the “indifference to racial and political tensions” that exploit and dehumanize Haitian migrants, “who are attempting to save themselves from the ruin inflicted by other people.”

I am struck by the way that injustice is legislated. Whether we speak of the Holocaust, Apartheid or Jim Crow, legality has been used as a political construct that validates human rights abuses and absolves lawmakers of the moral depravity of their actions.

Creation of nation states are always accompanied by a hierarchy of personhood and one that is not exclusive to the Caribbean. With Canada and the United States both finding migrant workers fit to produce the bulk of the food supplies, even recently bringing in dozens of Mexican firefighters to Edmonton, Alberta to help battle wildfires in northern Alberta, but without affording any of the rights and protections given to a citizen.

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Exhibit B 'human zoo' sparks art and censorship controversy

According to the artist, "Exhibit B" is meant as a nod to the so-called "Human Zoos" which are an actual artifact of colonial history. But in the present day, "Exhibit B" has drawn a huge amount of protest. When a London institution, the Barbican, planned to show it last year, it ended up canceling because of protests.

The Canadian arts festival, Luminato, in Toronto, considered bringing "Exhibit B" to Canada... but decided against it. Instead it will convene a meeting later this week to discuss "Exhibit B" and the issues it raises.

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