While listening to my new favorite song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor, another one of their song titles captured my attention, “God is Not a White Man.” Sadly, I can guarantee this won’t be played on the radio station that I listen to (but, oh, it is SO needed)! I love it!
Jay Smooth (aka John Randolph) hosts NYC’s longest-running hip hop radio program, WBAI’s Underground Railroad, blogs at hiphopmusic.com and video blogs at illdocterine.com. Smooth is the son of an African-American father and a white mother who grew up in NYC and credits his mixed racial heritage for putting him in a “unique position to travel between different worlds.”
Artist Irada Selimkhanova
I ran across this artist and thought the presentation was really creative. She has a youtube channel: artsizzle. Look her up for similar creations. She did another one of President Obama called “Inauguration” that I really liked too!
If you haven’t seen this video by now, don’t miss it! It has brought back many conversations that I’ve had with my girls over the years.
“I Love My Hair” debuted on the Oct. 4 episode of Sesame Street. It was posted on the show’s YouTube page — and, because of the positive message, many women began posting the video on their Facebook pages.
Joey Mazzarino, the head writer of Sesame Street, is also a Muppeteer who wrote the song for his daughter. Mazzarino is Italian. He and his wife adopted their 5-year-old daughter, Segi, from Ethiopia when she was a year old.
Mazzarino says he wrote the song after noticing his daughter playing with dolls.
“She wanted to have long blond hair and straight hair, and she wanted to be able to bounce it around,” he tells NPR’s Melissa Block.
Mazzarino says he began to get worried, but he thought it was only a problem that white parents of African-American children have. Then he realized the problem was much larger.
In writing the song, he wanted to say in song what he says to his daughter: “Your hair is great. You can put it in ponytails. You can put it in cornrows. I wish I had hair like you.”
That simple message has caused an outpouring of responses from women. Mazzarino got a call from an African woman who told him the song brought her to tears. “I was amazed, ’cause I sort of wrote this little thing for my daughter, and here this adult woman, it touched her,” he says.
Mazzarino says he’s happy to report that Segi loves the song — and her hair.
To listen to the full NPR interview:
P.S. For an extra laugh or two, check out the remix of this video with Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair“
There is a traveling exhib that was developed by the American Anthropological Association, titled “Race: Are we so different?”. The exhibit examines racial issues through history, science, and experiences. This is a wonderful exhibit that offers a wealth of information. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorite parts of the exhibit over my next several posts.
Let’s start with an introduction to the exhibit:
To learn more about the exhibit or dig deeper, visit Understanding Race
A couple days ago my 15 year old daughter called me in to watch a new back to school commercial from Target. “Listen to the song in the commercial!”, she said. She recognized one of her favorite childhood songs, “Free to be You and Me”. If you aren’t familiar with the song, I have included the song above. These songs used to be on Sesame Street when I was a kid and are still very relevant today–your kids will LOVE them! What I love most about the songs are they are positive, encouraging and free of sterotypes based on gender, class and race. The cd is on Amazon for just $7.98 (5 star review) and all of the songs are available for preview. This cd would be a great gift to keep on-hand for both boys and girls! Some of our favorite songs have been, “Boy Meets Girl” (below), “Parents are People”, “It’s Alright to Cry” and “William Wants a Doll”. What are yours?
Make your influence positive!