I never would have imagined it. I didn't see it coming to a person who was so lively. While she stayed in high spirits, I saw the change in her security. She didn't feel like herself. That was very hurtful to witness.
The lack of black entrepreneurs is nothing new. The networks we are part of and the ones we choose to tap into, or not, are fundamental to this reality. I have seen this proven time and again in my own endeavors.
How dare you, Raven hyphen alternate spelling of "Simone?" Sitting there with a head full of colorful weave, the same sort of hair that was "ghetto," "tacky," "low-class" and "unacceptable" until it made it's way until the pages of mainstream fashion magazines?
Instead of hearing "black lives matter too", they hear "black lives matter over everyone's"... and no one was saying that or even insinuating that. If you cared about all lives, then discussing the specific issues black people face wouldn't bother you.
Being black and gay is one of the most unique and undesired perspectives to have, but it's mine. I have a problem with a community that I belong to, love and support choosing not to fully embrace me because I was born just as gay as I was black.
There are too many negative facts about the African continent floating around the Internet, so here's an attempt to increase the number of positive writings on the continent. Let your perceptions be changed!
teenagers and millennials in the US have never known a world without AIDS. They live during a time where it is a treatable disease, people are living longer and suffer fewer complications. As a result, there's a lack of urgency and more complacency than ever before. The decrease in comprehensive sex education programs in schools have contributed to an increasing number of youth living with HIV in the US, many of whom do not know that they are infected.
Equating some imaginary white struggle with the contemporary black experience in America just shows a superficiality, a banality that while, perhaps not racist in itself, is certainly unserious and unworthy of someone who considers himself an opinion maker.
The "feel good" factor of the victory by the prison debate team is undeniable. However, to dismiss it once the media stops covering it would be a mistake. Beyond personal testimonies of the inmates, their story is important for at least three distinct reasons:
I think it's so important to recognize that what you do online can impact you offline. Gerod and his friends lost their jobs for what they call "trolling" online. They can claim not to be racist all day long, but the proof is in the pudding.
If we are going to honestly contend that Black Lives Matter, we -- the American public in general, and the practicing physician in particular -- must acknowledge, claim, and work to fix the dangerous implicit biases as well as the rigged social structures that preferentially kill people of color. As it stands now, we are all complicit.
Ben Carson's fervent backers see all of this as the prescription for a new type of White House -- and better still, a change in the substance and style of governance. It will, of course, be nothing short of a colossal disaster and turn government into a laughingstock.
It's time to take a leap of faith and start something when your gut tells you that you have to. If you listen to that burning passion deep down and you have at least one other person who will join you and you're crazy enough to think you can change the world, it's time to answer the calling.
The juvenile justice system is supposed to emphasize education, guidance, and rehabilitation, not punishment. But, in my experience, the system emphasized punitive measures over any attempt at real rehabilitation.
If I'm not really familiar with Gaga and our interests are probably quite different, what in the world could I possibly have in common with her? The commonality that links me and Lady Gaga is this: We were both raped. And we both seem to find some healing in the telling of our story.
RC:So if the women are super-conscientious of spreading the virus, what's the conversation? MB: The women don't want to infect other people, whereas men seem less concerned.
RC: Which kind of resonates on a global level as well, right? MB: Yeah, and it's the same argument as if you said there would there be less wars if women ran the world.
RC: Clearly, you are well known in NYC as a fashionista of sorts. What was it like filming in rural Africa day to day? MB: We stayed in a very bare bones, rudimentary hotel -- there's a toilet and electricity, but I would say that's the end of the amenities. We would get up super early, like 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. You have to drive quite a ways to get where we were filming. It's absolutely gorgeous; I loved those rides, old dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. This particular family that we were shooting lived on a large maize farm, and we just kind of lived their life with them.
RC: What did that look like? MB: They're subsistence farmers, so they get up really early and take care of their kids, farm, and usually by 1 or 2pm, when the sun is the highest, they take a break. For the women, you would not believe how filled up their days are with getting their children ready for school, sweeping up the property, farming, cooking, feeding themselves, doing laundry.
RC: How about your hair? It's such a fundamental aspect of daily maintenance for black American women that I have to ask. MB: I usually wore it in a ponytail, and was just really concerned about keeping it up. I didn't care what it looked like.
RC: How long did you shoot? MB: I spent four months total there. We shot two women, and this particular story just gradually emerged. Of those four months, the majority was with this family.
RC: Have you been back? MB: It's hard because it takes 27 hours to get there. I want to try to go back this summer, and I became very close with the woman who served as our translator. We left a cell phone with the family, so the translator calls Mutinta, the lead character from the movie, and Mutinta tells her how she's doing and the translator emails that to me, and then I write a letter back and she reads it to Mutinta. That happens once a month. Mutinta is now mainly just interested in whether I've got a boyfriend yet.
RC: Has Mutinta seen the film? Are you going to show it to her and her family? MB: No, she hasn't. I would like to show it to them, but they've never seen a movie in their lives, and so I don't know how it would be to process the sophistication of the editing. And there aren't that many facilities [in rural Zambia] to watch movies, even on television. But I want to figure it out and do it in a special way, and just be alone with her and watch it to see what she thinks. I think she'd like it, but it's also a totally different context. I think she would be pleased.
RC: How did you describe it to her when you were talking about making the movie? MB: I told her that we were trying to tell a story in pictures, and it was going to be the story and effort to protect her baby from HIV. We just wanted her to be honest and open about what this was like, and then we would bring that back to our country and share that. And our hope is that people in our country would be moved to help people like her.
RC: What struck you most about the filmmaking process? MB: Having never made a movie and going this far, it's almost like what didn't strike me about the process? I learned about things I cared about. I didn't know I had this deep, very visceral interest in women's rights. I learned what I value from [Mutinta]. I was filming, studying and obsessing over this person, and trying to figure out the larger themes that she represented so that I could communicate them to other people. I admire so many things about her. She taught me things that I value. I never felt it like that.
RC: I often wonder about going to a place that is so far from your own experience, and seeing people and situations that are deeply compromised. Then coming home to America, which is so ridiculously over the top with resources. MB: I remember coming home after the first days of filming and crying, crying, crying over the variety of foods that were available within a two block radius on my street in the West Village. I could get pizza, Chinese food, Thai food, Japanese food, organic, raw and it definitely did seems so unfair.
RC:It would be hard to compartmentalize my feelings once I got back home. I'd probably be thinking "Where is Mutinta today?" or "Why can't I bring her here?" MB: I said to her, do you have any idea of how many people have HIV in Africa? And she said "no clue." I told her it's about 25 to 28 million people, and she was shocked. I don't even know if she knew there were that many people in the world. The look on her face to know that there are that many people suffering is impossible for her to understand. I asked her if it made her feel comforted to know that she's not the only one, and she said, "No, because I'm one of those people."
RC: And now you're headed to this film festival. You'll do a lot of press junkets and talk about this movie as if it's a commodity, essentially. How do you feel about that? MB: The movie is about an idea, the idea of the possibility of seeing an HIV-free generation in the next 10 or 15 years, and however I can sell that idea to people to make believe in that, is worth the effort for me.
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