black disney princess…finally!

July 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

okay here is my personal confession. when i first heard about this lil black disney princess my lil heart jumped for joy. i know it is fucked up, but when i was growing up there were no images of black girls that let her be femme, pretty, that a lil black girl could be a princess. black women were always strong, asexual or hypersexual, but never attracting or attracting anything other than scorn. honestly, i am so incredibly happy that disney decided to do this.

and look her hair looks like my hair. not like black barbie’s hair. but mine. when i was growing up with cornrows and pig tails and knew that there was nothing short of putting a weave in my hair that could make it not a detraction from beauty, and now some lil black girl whose mom lets her watch disney is going to get to grow up knowing that short curly hair and dark skin and a lil thicker lips are cute.

probably when i see it: i will shit fire balls in my anger of all the racism that disney managed to pack in an hour and half movie, but today i am super happy.

because frankly, it was all those disney princess movies that were some of the most virulent elements in convincing this lil black girl that being dark skin and short hair could never be pretty.

so that is my lil confession.

oh and there is an inter-racial romance. say word!

i am so glad they made the changes. hope they make more to the plot. all i want her to be is strong and pretty and for every little girl who sees the cartoon to think for a moment: damn, im jealous of her.

did i mention that my daughter is going to grow up in a world where there is a black princess, darker than a paper bag.

swear to god i will be my normally bitchy media critic self later. for now. im just imagining being 8 years old, going with my friends to see this flick. and singing the title song over pizza afterwards. all of us having the soundtrack memorized before the movie even came out.

man, that pizza tastes great.

books to avoid by oyate

July 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

I read and loved Sign of the Beaver when I was growing up. And I hadnt thought much about the book in years. But when I saw that there was a list of books that were to be avoided because of heinous stereotypes of Native people I knew that it would be on it. If anyone has more lists of books and movies that have destructive perspectives on peoples please let me know. And of course oyate also has recommended reading.

what do we do with kids in our culture?

July 8, 2008 § 1 Comment

this is a great post from border land academic: children and community

which reminds me alot of our visioning for revolutionary motherhood.  i especially resonated with the part that having a party where children were not invited or would not be safe is so well…anglo.  so for the 4th of july we were invited to a friends, watch the fireworks party on her roof.  to get to the roof is a drop ladder.  and of course the roof has low to no ledges.  not safe for a one year old who loves to run around and interact.  so we hung out at the apartment instead.

we had a great 4th.  she loved the fireworks.  we reminisced about chiapas and west bank and other places that are fireworks cultures.  i heard that the other party was good too.  but i think back to all the childless parties i have attended and how they could feel a little vapid.   the joy gets cynical.  everyone is a little bored.  so many people are worried if they look good and feeling insecure.  i am thinking about a friend of mine in chiapas who who always seemed so dissatisfied at a bar or a dance club.  she could never just let go.  thinking all of these people were judging her.  and all of her negative judgements of them.  and i am realizing that the best parties i have gone to, had kids at them.  mine or someone’s. because kids are so spontaneous and fun and excited by every little thing that you get excited too about shit that normally you wouldnt notice.

i am especially remembering a party that we went to in chiapas that was celebrating promedios anniversary.  the party was at barco pirata an anarchist house.  there was great salsa.  and we danced and chatted.  but after a couple of hours i got bored.  like i wasnt trying to hook up with someone or get slobbering drunk.  and the music was really too loud for a decent conversation.  so i went home, got my partner and kid, (who were sleeping) and took them back to the party.  the party had wound down a bit and suddenly i was having the time of my life.  we passed aza around.  she gained the nickname: fiestera.  we put on miseducation of lauryn hill and there were like 5 of us on the dance floor belting out the words.

people told us how inspiring it was to see three of us dancing, aza giggling shamelessly and making faces at everyone as we twirled her around.  then we went home and slept in late.

i kinda feel sorry now for people at parties trying to look cool and deep and strike a pose.  feeling insecure and faking confidence.    when i walk in with my kid i know i am one of the sexiest and coolest people in the place.  because i dont have time to be fake when she is around.  i am too busy laughing at my lil charlie chaplin with the big brown eyes and wild einstein hair.

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