The BluePrint. (None) 2013-????, September 01, 2013, Image 6
The BluePrint %* 6 September 2013 SpelmanPaper@gmail.com THE HARRIET TUBMAN SEX TAPE: Russell Simmons' Attack on African-American History By: Ko Bragg C’2015 Intersectionality. Ask any Spelmanite who has taken African Diaspora and the World (ADW), and she may groan at the mere mention of the subject. Though it seems so ingrained in the Spelman student body, many people are not familiar with the study that relates to many people of the world—as proven by its absence from Microsoft Word’s spell check dictionary Intersectionality or intersectionalism is the study of the relationship between different tiers of disenfranchisement and oppression. It aims to highlight the interaction between oppressive systems as they relate to gender, class, race, sexual preferences, and any other form of self- identification. At the core of it all, intersectionality affirms that bigoted oppression does not limit itself to one form; rather it works in conjunction with other configurations of hatred. Sometimes I like to think of ADW as preparation for cocktail hours in the sense that it prepares you to be ready at a moments notice, even if that moment occurs over martinis, to combat the fallacies about African- American culture that exist in the minds of the average American. Much of what we study in ADW relates to the intersectionality between being a person of color and a woman—two groups that were historically marginalized by racist and sexist laws for centuries. Though we no longer live in the era of Jim Crow and his equally oppressive sister “Jane Crow,” as Pauli Murray coined during her time at Howard in the 40s, there are still plenty of times in America in which the black woman is forced to be reminded of the weight she bears atop her black skin that covers her womanly figure. Just in August, Russell Simmons attempted to use his idea of humor to overshadow the struggles that African-American women have overcome on the journey from slavery to present day with the release of The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape on his All Def Digital YouTube channel. The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape was created to be a parody of two slaves seeking to revolt. The plan was for Harriet Tubman, played by actress Shanna Malcolm, to seduce her master (actor Jason Horton) into having sex with her while another slave (actor DeStorm Power) filmed it. The two slaves planned to use the tape as blackmail in order to escape the plantation. The myriad of shaming inaccuracies are overwhelming in the parody starting with the fact that slaves during the Harriet Tubman era would not have had access to video cameras that were arguably not even invented at that time. Moreover, enslaved black women, such as Harriet Tubman, should not be remembered as sexual deviants who wanted to get their masters into bed when so many were raped and violated sexually. “Although in the video she seduces the slave master, it implies the previous rapes,” Simmons said in an interview with the YouTube channel Brkdwn. “I just saw her taking advantage of the slave master and I just let it go.” Russell Simmons, who described the video on his Twitter as “the funniest thing he had ever seen,” only took the video down and issued an apology after the overwhelming backlash he received in response to the tasteless video. Change.org, an online platform for petitions geared towards creating social change, hosted a petition by Crystal Fleming, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University. The petition ordered that the video be removed immediately, but it also urged Simmons to apologize to the United Nations because he is an appointed Good Will ambassador to the UN for the permanent memorial in honor of the victims of Trans-Atlantic slavery. I don’t quite understand how someone in Simmons’ position, let alone a grown man, could ever support something so disgusting. In his apology issued on Globalgrind.com he said: “My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there’s still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me.” His apology, which did not express sentiment and was more focused on defending the creative right of the video, shows a level of immaturity so shameful that I had not realized it was a facet of our society. Silly me. THE N-WORD By: Karys Belger C2016 The N-word is a word we have all heard and some have used in one form or another. Recently, I was thinking about the word, its origins, why African- Americans are okay with using it with one another, and why we condemn people who are not of African descent for using it. Before I delve a little deeper, here’s a little history lesson. The N-word derives from the Spanish and Portuguese root “negro,” meaning the color black. Before it became an ethnic slur, it was used to describe anyone of color, African or not. It was not until the later part of the 15 th century that the word became synonymous with African-Americans, a group that was viewed as inferior by their Caucasian counterparts. Today the N-word is a common adjective that is used in a variety of situations, from referencing a person you hang out with daily to referencing a dude who treated you badly. Though it is apparent that this term had seemingly innocuous origins, it is universally agreed upon that the N-word was used in some places, particularly the South, because it was more offensive, and demeaning to African-Americans. The word became synonymous with subservience and lack of intelligence—things inaccurately associated with African-Americans. This practice continued into the latter half of the 19th century. Fast forward nearly 175 years, the N-word has taken on the commonality of a government descriptor and colloquial slang term. It is used as a misnomer for African-American children who seek a better education and civilians who seek equality under a system that refuses to protect their interests. No matter how many times your friend uses it to greet you, or Jay-Z says it in song, you should not desensitize yourself to something so hateful. The more people continue to use the N-word, the more the ignorance behind the meaning will be perpetuated. Sister Spelman: Coming Soon in the Next Issue By: Karimah Noble, PED Scholar C’20l5 Is your roommate driving you up a wall and you do not know how to handle it? Does your Morehouse brother want to be more than “siblings” and you can’t quite find the words to say “not in a million years”? Are you facing difficulty balancing your school life with your social life? Have you ever wished you had an outlet to blow off steam? Do you want unbiased, impartial advice to help navigate through the inevitable challenges that come along with college life? Well wish no more, Sister Spelman is here for you. Sister Spelman is an advice column that seeks to establish healthy dialogue through anonymously submitted questions and/or concerns. Sister Spelman’s foremost priority is to protect her reader’s privacy. All submissions will be kept confidential. No names or email addresses will be shared inside or outside of the Spelman community. So rest assured and let the dialogue begin! Please send all correspondences to sisterspelman(5> gmail.com. Looking forward to hearing from you beautiful Spelmanites! A SPELMAN SPOTLIGHT PU B LI C ATI O N 32 PIECES OF ADVICE Your Spelman Sisters Never had... By: Kamron Taylor C’2015 & Karys Belger C2016 1. Appreciate the ‘Spelman Experience’ while you are here. 2. College is all about managing time wisely. 3. Get involved with student organizations. 4. If you can get the books cheaper, do! Chegg.com. 5. Budget your money wisely; you do not need Subway everyday. 6. Don’t keep food in your room. It’s the best way to keep the freshman 15 away. 7. Don’t wait to develop a relationship with your professors. You’re next opportunity, might be too late. 8. When a Man of Morehouse asks you to come to his room and “watch a movie,” it’s likely the movie is that last thing on his mind. 9. You’ll need different dresses for different occasions. PLEASE BE AWARE: You can’t “sip tea” in the same dress you “twerk” in. Ladies, use caution. 10. Don’t wear heels to the kickback.. .Just don’t do it. 11. Business wear is a must. If there is something important happening on campus, career fair, info session etc. you will want to look as professional as possible. 12. It rains in Atlanta a lot. Have several umbrellas on hand: one for your room and one for your school bag. 13. Be careful on social networking sites. Your professors can and will find you. 14. Explore Atlanta. There are so many places in Atlanta to explore make sure you ask your big Spelman Sisters to help you out. 15. Although you don’t have a car, you can use MARTA. Just be careful, research where you’re going or ask someone and take a friend. 16. Don’t be alarmed by what we call “ATLiens” or “WestEndiens”. They’re harmless. If they speak to you just say hi and keep it pushing. If they ask for money tell them you don’t have anything on you. 17. Be careful what you say to your AUC peers, and whom you say it to. It will ALWAYS come back to haunt you. 18. Your first year group of friends may not stay together forever. Just focus on surrounding yourself with positive people. 19. Make sure that you stand out as a leader and showcase your talents to the AUC community. You never know who is watching. 20. Get your community service done as quickly as possible. Even better, make sure you join campus community service organizations like SKIRTS, ACTS and JumpStart. 21. Don’t play with your GPA. A+ and A- make a huge difference. Make an effort to get the highest GPA possible in your freshman year so you can be inducted into honor societies like Alpha Lambda Delta. 22. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be yourself. 23. Be careful with these kitchen beauticians! Don’t let just anyone do your hair. Many students think they are professionals, and you will to until you are bald. 24. Take advantage of networking opportunities. For just about everything on campus it’s about who you know! 25. Hide your food in the community fridge or someone will eat it. Putting your name on it means nothing. We are hungry college students just as much as we are beautiful. 26. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, drama will come so do your best to diffuse the situation calmly and quickly. 27. Get to the party shuttles early and bring flats. 28. You have to have a 3.0 GPA to participate in most campus activities. 29. Second semester freshman year is when you can try out for the Step Teams and Mahogany-N-Motion. Prepare yourself by working out first semester. 30. You can try out for cheerleading first semester. You can also run for Freshman Class Council and Dorm Councils. 31. The freshman dorms at Morehouse will have dorm queens. You have the opportunity to run. Try it out! 32. You only have four years at Spelman and they go by so quickly. Have fun and use the time wisely.