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“The Future of Ballet in the City Looks Exciting and Vital to the Next Generation,” Says Bethany Kingsley-Garner

Published June 8, 2017 by kitlat

I love a great ballet dancer interview. This post from Ballet In The City balances the right amount of text and imagery. The questions don’t make you roll your eyes either. Call me jealous. Or Ishmael. Just don’t call me Betty or Al.

balletinthecity

image4 (2) Scottish Ballet Principal Ballerina Bethany Kingsley-Garner. Photo by Rimbaud Patron

Bethany Kingsley-Garner learned of her promotion to Principal with the Scottish Ballet while onstage, and calls it one of the most memorable moments of her career. “Hearing the audience applaud with tears streaming down my face, it’s a moment that will last forever,” she said of the occasion. During her question and answer session, Kingsley-Garner discussed not only her on-stage promotion, but other major career milestones, her excitement to work with Ballet in the City, and walked us through a normal day in the life of a professional dancer.

bethanykgBallet in the City: Let’s start with learning a little about how your dancing career got started. How old were you when you began dancing ballet, and what initially sparked your interest in ballet?

Bethany Kinglsey-Garner: From as young as I can remember, we had classical music playing at home. My…

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The Word Is ‘Nemesis’: The Fight to Integrate the National Spelling Bee

Published June 6, 2017 by kitlat

It’s funny that it wasn’t all that long ago when people of color couldn’t participate in the National Spelling Bee, much less win.

Longreads

Cynthia R. Greenlee | Longreads | June 2017 | 2,900 words ( 12 minutes)

In 1962, teenager George F. Jackson wrote a letter to President John F. Kennedy with an appeal: “I am a thirteen-year-old colored boy and I like to spell. Do you think you could help me and get the Lynchburg bee opened to all children?”

The long road to the National Spelling Bee has always begun with local contests, often sponsored by a local newspaper. Nine publications, organized by the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal, banded together in 1925 to create the first National Bee in Washington, D.C.

Decades later, George Jackson was protesting the policies of the local newspaper that sponsored the Lynchburg, Virginia contest, which excluded black students from participating in the official local competition — the necessary step that might send a lucky, word-loving Lynchburg child to nationals. There was more at stake than a…

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Book list for black girls II: reflections of identity, by authors of colour

Published September 23, 2016 by kitlat

More Black Girl Magic that everyone can enjoy.

Media Diversified

by Christina Fonthes 

Almost three years ago I wrote an article on the lack of books for black girls – the response was overwhelming. What began as a personal endeavour (finding books for my sister) soon sparked a public discourse on the state of children’s (and adult) literature in the UK. Responses and comments came from bibliophiles, parents, and educators of all races.

Big-Hair-Dont-CareSince the article was published, two notable campaigns have sprung up in the quest for inclusiveness in children’s literature: #WeNeedDiverseBooks – a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honours the lives of all young people; and #1000BlackGirlBooks – a project to find 1000 books with black girls as the main character, started by eleven-year-old Marley Dias who was sick of reading books about white boys and their dogs. At time…

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Gabby Douglas Did Not Need To Be Discarded For Simone Biles To Succeed

Published August 25, 2016 by kitlat

Not only do I completely agree with everything in this article, I would also add that Simone herself was treated shabbily in the midst of her glory. What I mean by that is the fact that whenever Simone’s success in the All-Around was reported, there was always mention of Aly Raisman who won the Silver. It was a weird coupling, as if to say that as awesome as Simone is, don’t worry we have someone acceptable that whites can aspire to be like in the person of Aly Raisman. In the interviews, et. al it just seemed odd that Simone and Aly were always interviewed together-always coupled in a way I’ve never seen before. When Carly Patterson and Nastia Lukin won, they didn’t do interviews with the Silver medalists-their names weren’t coupled, along with their achievements.

Media Diversified

We cannot encourage a culture where only one member of a marginalised group is reserved a platform

by Chan Riley

The public spotlight can often be cruel towards those aiming for success. In these Olympics, it has been particularly cruel for gymnast, Gabby Douglas.

Douglas was thrust into the public consciousness after her winning display at London 2012. At 16, she was the first black woman to win the individual all-around gymnastics title.

11424267Despite the figurative and literal dizzying heights she reached, her success was not met without controversy.

Most notably, hurtful comments were made about her hair. Details of what seemed to be a difficult relationship with her father were made public. She spoke up about the racial bullying she endured whilst at a her former gym, and was criticised for even mentioning it.

Jump forward to Rio 2016, and it appears Douglas has a…

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The Women’s Olympics

Published August 25, 2016 by kitlat

Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I will tell anyone who;ll listen that women athletes get very little love unless it’s a situation that enhances US athletic supremacy via a male coach or trainer and when women don’t win, because sometimes that does happen, it’s like you never existed or it’s a “See, told you that women were a waste of time. They can’t do anything.”

I often tell the story of how when the US Women’s Hockey team won silver in Sochi 2014, many of the male anchors wrote off the women and talked about how that was why the it was a waste of time. I mean the US Men’s team was going to win. They were going to win gold. The US women were only good enough to get silver. So if you watched the US Men’s Hockey team’s run in Sochi, you know that they DID NOT win gold. Canada did. They also did not get the bronze. They went home with NOTHING. In each of their knockout rounds, they could not get the job done. I found it interesting to note that many of the stars in the NHL are mostly from Canada and Finland, leaving the US team with the others. So for all their talk, attention, bluster and derision, The US Men’s team could get the job done and came home with nothing. The US Women’s team worked hard, gave it their all, didn’t put down the men and came away with a silver for her troubles.

Unfortunately this did not result in the kind of support they should have-especially for their budding pro league. Not only were the games NOT televised in most markets, the only time there was any news about the NWHL was in connection to raising money for a player that had a freak accident during the women’s hockey portion of the Winter Classic, which again was not televised.

And yes I know that the Holy Quad did not become as lucrative and as powerful as they are overnight. However, the women’s league are just asking for basic equity and respect.

Media Diversified

by Christienna Fryar

One of the prominent Cassandra stories leading into the Rio Olympics was the decision some famous male athletes took to skip the Games. Most notably in golf, with luminaries like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth opting to spend their summers elsewhere.

However, the panic around these absences was based upon a false assumption about what the Olympics’ purpose and value is; that it’s there to showcase the best male athletes in the world’s most popular sports. It’s a showcase of nationalism, to be sure, which can be a troublesome aspect of this sporting orgy. However, the pre-competition laments also made brief, but telling, caveats for women’s golf, which had lost fewer competitors and needed the spotlight the Games provides a lot more than their male peers.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Olympics are an exhibition of the sports that usually receive…

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New Book on Lupe Velez Debunks the Myths of “Hollywood Babylon”

Published July 19, 2016 by kitlat

I must admit that I owned a copy of Anger’s book and took each word as gospel including Velez’ s death. I suppose I can be excused as I was a 14 year old kid and the internet and snopes weren’t around. Thankfully the record is set straight. More importantly I wish there was even examination of Velez’s career and what she faced in Hollywood.

cinematically insane

Ask the average person about Lupe Vélez and you’ll probably be met with a blank stare. But query those same folks as to whether or not they’ve heard of the classic film star who “drowned in the toilet,” and they’ll likely perk up with smirking recognition.

We have Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon to thank for that.

Of course, there are other (perhaps unwitting) accomplices: The Simpsons, wherein guest John Waters joked about the store where Vélez bought her toilet in the 1997 episode Homer’s Phobia; Frasier, in which Lupe is said to have been “last seen with her head in the toilet” in the 1993 pilot; and Andy Warhol, whose 1966 film LUPE depicts the popular Mexican actress facedown in a toilet, dead.

But the apocryphal story of the tragic demise of Lupe Vélez, who took her own life with a barbiturate overdose in 1944 at the…

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