The act of thinking about Black art and its meaning in a larger cultural context is equally as important as the final creation. By Stephanie Smith-Strickland Over the last two years we’ve seen films like Black Panther — Ryan Coogler’s triumphant diaspora-spanning
INTO’s Closure Reflects the Brutality of The Media Industry Towards Queer and Trans Writers of Color
Those who are harmed the most by Grindr's decision to shut down INTO magazine are queer and trans Black writers.On Tuesday morning Grindr closed down its LGBTQ+ publication, INTO after laying off the magazine’s entire editorial and social media staff, leaving full-time employees without jobs while dozens of freelancers and columnists lost their primary source of income. The layoffs come months after the magazine broke the story that Grindr’s CEO and President Scott Chen had posted that “marriage is between a man and a woman” on his personal Facebook page. According to Out magazine, the decision to close down the publication wasn’t made in retaliation to those reports but rather because the “company will be focusing its efforts on video.” Late last year, ahead of a sale to Bustle Digital Group, millennial news site Mic laid off most of their staff and according to a report by The New York Times, sources said that the venture capitalist-backed publication had relied too heavily on their relationship with Facebook and its algorithm. The efforts of their talented newsroom didn’t pay off for the writers and editors who were only given a month’s severance and health insurance benefits, but it did pay off for the founders, former Goldman Sachs banker, Chris Altchek and co-founder Jake Horowitz, who raised $59.5 million in funds and sold to Bustle for $5 million. While we expect magazines which represent the voices of the marginalized to be spaces where we can thrive, develop our voices and skills, and carve out a platform to not only be represented, heard and celebrated, the companies that own them view their staffs as entirely disposable which means those who are harmed the most by these closures are queer and trans people of color.
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Regardless of which network or publication you first received the news from, you likely never once heard or read the word racist.By Indigo Following the 2016 election, ABC Entertainment reevaluated its strategy in hopes of connecting with a demographic the network believes it left behind: the (white) working class. In pursuit of winning over working-class Americans, ABC rebooted “Roseanne”. 18.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the debut of the reboot back in March. Three days after the show’s premiere, ABC renewed the show for 13 more episodes. Critics raved about “Roseanne”, writing that working class families finally have media representation. No, seriously. The “Roseanne” high was short-lived. Last week, ABC Entertainment president, Channing Dungey released a statement announcing that the show had been cancelled and Barr was fired. The reason for the highly anticipated reboot’s cancellation depends on where you first heard the news. If you first heard it from The Hill, you probably read that a “racially charged ‘bad joke’ about Valerie Jarrett” led to the show’s cancellation. If you came across the announcement while tuning into E! News, the show’s cancellation came after a “racially charged tweet [sparked] outrage”. If you regularly read The Guardian, ABC Entertainment cancelled “Roseanne” after some “‘abhorrent’ tweets”. If Barr broke the news to you herself, an Ambien-induced rant at 2 AM led to the show’s cancellation and her firing. Regardless of which network or publication you first received the news from, you likely never once heard or read the word racist. Each time a headline with one of, or a combination of phrases such as “racially charged”, “culturally insensitive remark” or “controversial joke”, appears on my Twitter timeline, I’m reminded that I am expected to report blatant and violent racism as “racially charged jokes” or “culturally insensitive comments”. I’m reminded that I am only valuable in a newsroom if I can remove my Blackness from my perspective so that I can pretend that white supremacy isn’t life-threatening on a daily basis.
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