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Racism Review dissects the recent New York Times article about segregated proms in a Georgia county:

This Jim Crow reality seems to be about a lot more than some white parents’ desires for their children to go to separate proms. There is nearly complete white student conformity to the Jim Crow “tradition,” yet the reporter portrays the youth as being quite different in their racial interactions (they have “black friends”) from their parents. But, for three decades now, each new group of parents (which includes many who were once students at this “integrated” high school) has maintained the old Jim Crow tradition. And then there is the likely segregated reality of much else that goes on in this town, and many others across the South. One can step into areas like this in numerous southern states where everyday life in many ways does seem more like the 1950s than like 2009 is supposed to be — as my graduate students from these areas regularly report. (Hint for grad students and other researchers: We really need some in-depth studies of everyday Jim-Crowing in these small towns across the South today, and probably in other US areas as well.) Read more…

 American Girl has unveiled Rebecca Rubin, a new doll of Jewish ancestry. The New York Times writes:

WHEN Abraham Foxman met Rebecca Rubin, he was impressed.

“I’m surprised,” said Mr. Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, as he gazed at Rebecca, a brown-haired doll who was sitting on his desk last week, her hazel eyes locked unwaveringly onto his.

Ms. Rubin, all of 18 inches tall, is the newest historical character doll to be released by American Girl, the company in Middleton, Wis., whose products have a rabidly devoted following among the female 7- to 12-year-old set. She is a 9-year-old girl living on the Lower East Side in 1914 with her Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, siblings and a grandmother known only as Bubbie.

The company has produced a Hispanic doll, Josefina, a character who lives in New Mexico in 1824; a Nez Percé girl, Kaya, from 1764; and an African-American girl, Addy, from 1864. Rebecca is its first Jewish historical character.

Mr. Foxman, whose group fights anti-Semitism, is not easy to impress. On a windowsill of his office on Third Avenue he has a collection of wooden dolls, which he bought in Poland last October, that portray Jewish businessmen counting piles of coins.

At the request of a reporter, Mr. Foxman had read the first of six books that chronicle a year in Rebecca’s life.

“It’s not offensive. It’s sensitive,” he said. “How about that? Most of the time these things fall into stereotypes which border on the offensive.” Read more…

 

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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