Showing posts from March, 2012

The UN Remembers The Slave Trade

Found out about this in passing, I've never heard about this remembrance day before and I'm not sure if its just an American thing since the remembrance events scheduled this week are all held in New York.
Very interesting none the less and definitely a day worth public remembrance in the UK (and Europe), wonder how we can get this to happen over here?

See below insert taken from the UN's website regarding this event, link also below...

"They will remember that we were sold, but not that we were strong. They will remember that we were bought, but not that we were brave."  William Prescott, former slave The tragic transatlantic slave trade, which marked one of the darkest chapters in human history, lasted for 400 years, despite a spirited resistance by the millions of enslaved peoples.
The transatlantic slave trade, often known as the triangular trade, connected the economies of three continents. It is estimated that between 15 to 20 million people, men…

Black Health: The Increased Need To Look After Ourselves

This week has been an interesting week with a bizarre and unintentional focus on health and how some of us tend deal with our personal health;  from conversations with the girls regarding annual health checks, to a discussion with my dad about health due diligence to me attending an event hosted by Black History Walks about our foot health.
Personally, past experience with my health has made me realise the importance of self managing ones health by self assessments ei. checking moles, for lumps, rashes, etc, learning up on the science behind long standing health issues (I suffer from from a mild sensorineural hearing loss, allergic rhinitis and everything else associated with allergies), to reading medication booklets to understand more about the medication prescribed, the risk posed and its suitability - trust me this is actually a very important thing to do since I once was prescribed medication that would agitated one of my long standing ailments!
While GP's may have our in…

Film Review: A Man's Story

Last week the Hackney Picture House held a special screening of the Ozwald Boateng documentary A Man's Story which concluded with a Q&A session with the man himself Ozward Boateng and the director Varon Bonicos, hosted needlessly by London MP's Diane Abbort and David Lammy.

Ghanian born, Boateng is one of Britain's most affluent tailors and is credited for reviving the British tailoring trade back in the early nineties with his quintessential British tailoring and unique use of colour inspired by his African heritage. Boateng's emergence on Savile Row in 1995 made him both the youngest and first black tailor to open a store on the street. Now with over 25 years in the business and a long list of celebrity clientele which includes everyone from Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Mick Jagger to David Miliband (not that you can exactly count his as a celebrity!), the documentary which was recorded over a period of 12 years is said to emblematize the life and career of Oz…

Vivienne Westwood Autumn Winter 11/12 Campaign Controversy

Dame Vivienne Westwood is known for going against the fashion grain, having made her name back in the 70's for bold political and social statement fashion, which is why it should come as no surprise that Westwood still possesses the ability to evoked strong opinions, with her last season campaign receiving mixed reviews. Westwood chose to shoot her entire autumn winter 11/12 campaign in Nairobi, Kenya which is where she has been working in partnership with Ethical Fashion Africa programme part of the ITC (International Trade Centre) to produce an ethical bag collection made from recycled material and support local Kenyan communities by providing training and skilled work boosting the self-esteem and economical circumstances of the local people, the motto being NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK.  Though while many disapproved of Westwood's decision to use slum African as the back drop of the campaign to sell her fashion, with one fashion journalist going as far as describing it as "…

PETA, The People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals Have No Problem Exploiting Women

I've never been keen on the shock tactics used by PETA to promote their cause though their latest advert which glamourises violence against women to promote a vegan lifestyle (see video above) goes a step or two too far. According to PETA women enjoy rough bruising sex that apparently men on a vegan diet can provide; the advert shows a young woman with barely anything on (there's are surprise) with a neck brace which coming to the end of the ad we realise was caused by wall banging sex!

While I find the advert of poor taste I wasn't that surprised PETA could conceive up such an ad since they have a track record of ads debasing women. Despite opposing the exploitation and abuse of animals they have no problem exploiting and objectifying women for their own gain, with many for their ads containing female nudity with derogative or sexually suggestive taglines, such as the "I'd rather go naked then wear fur"  usually accompanied by a naked celebrity female.
Few …

Book Review: Feminism Is For Everyone: Passionate Politics

Written as a pocket or beginners guide to feminism, Hooks provides a retrospective account of the American feminist movement of the 70's, breaks down feminist politics and objectives and explains how the acceptance of feminism stands to benefit both men and women alike.

Hooks, one of my favourite writers, writes with an ease and relaxed tone, covering a vast amount of feminist ground from sexuality, pro choice, domestic violence (all forms) to feminism as an academic subject. Hooks also explains the importance's of keeping the discussion of race and class within the feminist movement going as this was something the first wave lacked doing. 

The book is a good and quick read (since its not very thick) and I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in or has the slightest intrigue in feminism and feminist theory.

Read a copy of the book here (but buy the book, its worth it!):

Celebrating A Girls Coming Of Age

A friend not too long ago sent me this really sweet article about one mother in Ireland who has started a business selling gift boxes to celebrate teenage girls first periods, the gift boxes contain products to help teenage girls manage their cycle such as a diary to record dates, sanitary towels, scented candles, bubble bath, hot water bottle etc.
Both my friend and I agreed this was a great idea to mark the occasion as something celebratory, a way of making what can essentially be a very traumatic experience into something very positive and liberating, so imagine my surprise when I read the snide comments made on the article, such as:
"Good grief." RachelCF2 "Would you celebrate your son's first full ejeculation?" Garethlane875311 "Why Celebrate something that is going to be a pain for the next 45 years?" Schenery "Think this is going too far, the reaching of womanhood is a private thing and should be dealt with the parents in a sympathet…

Philippines FHM Retracts Racist Front Cover

Was surprised and very disappointed to see that a non-western country such as the Philippines would conceive such a magazine front cover that is not just racially sensitive but is depreciative of black people by assimilating the colour of black skin with that of darkness, immorality, bad/evil in contrast to the white skin of the posing native actress Bela Padila as being good, godly, virtuous.

With the magic of lighting & photoshop in this day and age I really don't think it was necessary to use black models in the shoot (the model on the right, standing doesn't look naturally black which would make it worse if they painted her that colour) to achieve the theme conveyed in its tagline of 'stepping out of the shadows'.

Guess it shows Philippines assimilation with western cultural ideals on race and (female) beauty, though kinda obvious with the fact that they actually have their own edition of FHM, a western lads mag!

Am glad the cover was pulled as I think the t…