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Zeba Blay

Entries by Zeba Blay

The 4 Most Feminist Moments Of Samantha Bee's Late-Night Debut

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 9:14 AM

Late night television finally got a much-needed breath of fresh air on Monday night, in the form of Samantha Bee's new weekly show, "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee." What's exciting about Bee is that her gender is not the only thing that sets her apart from the likes of Trevor Noah, Jimmy...

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12 Adorable Valentines To Give Your Best Friend

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 3:42 PM

Valentine's Day may be widely recognized as a holiday that celebrates romantic love, but that doesn't mean you can't use the day to appreciate all the loves in your life, including your best friends. 

Below is a sampling of some of the adorable, poignant and *slightly* inappropriate Valentine's Day cards that...

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Beyoncé Has Always Been Political -- You Just Didn't Notice

(11) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 12:43 PM

 When Beyoncé dropped "Formation" over the weekend, it was an exciting, exuberant, and decidedly political celebration of blackness.The song, and its video, were lauded for proving that Beyoncé is "woke," and fully plugged into what it means to be a black woman in America. What's...

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What Happens When You Ask What The World Would Look Like Without Black People

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 10:31 AM

"What would the world look like without black people?"

It's the provocative and thought-provoking question that acts as a catalyst for a frank discussion about race in a new video from the Jubilee Project, a creative collective who make short films, PSAs and documentaries in collaboration with non-profits to increase awareness about social justice issues. 

In "World Without Black People," Jubilee Project co-founder and filmmaker Eric I. Lu took to the streets of Boston and Los Angeles to ask people of different races what a world without black people would be like. Answers included "Music as we know it would not exist," and "There would be no hip hop...that would suck."

But the video goes deeper than just what the world would look like without black culture, forcing participants to discuss their own feelings about race and racism in America, including the daily microagressions black people experience on a daily basis, and the racist thoughts that white and non-black people sometimes "can't rally help" but have. 

"I do my best to try and recognize when that's happening," one white man in the video explains, "I try to fight it, and try to talk about it." 

The conversation about racism in America is often so black-and-white that it excludes other races from the conversation. What's most refreshing about this video is the fact that it was made by an organization founded by three Asian men, who explained in a statement on their YouTube channel that they made this video to "stand in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters, and challenge you to have a similar conversation of your own." 

Watch the full video above.

Also on HuffPost:

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For Some Reason, James Franco Is Bringing 'Zola's Story' To The Big Screen

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 1:15 PM

Oh boy. James Franco is gearing up to bring the epic "Zola Story" to the big screen. 

In November, Twitter user Azia "Zola" Wells posted a series of tweets chronicling a wild experience she had while working as a stripper in Florida. The 148-tweet story,...

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Solange Slams Racism In The Music Industry In 8 Perfect Tweets

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 2:20 PM

Solange Knowles posted an impassioned series of tweets in 2013, which called out music sites for unfair criticism of Brandy's album "Two Eleven." Knowles suggested that predominantly white, male music blogs should hire people who "know about deep Brandy album cuts before... giving a 'grade' or a 'score' to any...

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Black Women Get Real About What It Means To Be 'Classically Beautiful'

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 9:54 AM

In a world where black women are often made to feel less than because of the way they look, a new online documentary series is helping to redefine what it means to be beautiful.

"Classically Beautiful: The Discussion," produced by Coal Crown Creative, features candid interviews with black women of different ages and backgrounds speaking about what "classic" black beauty means to them. 

The series launched in September with a New York edition, and on Jan. 27, a second episode filmed in Newark, New Jersey, was released on YouTube. The importance of self-love and what makes black women beautiful are among the themes explored in the 16-minute video, hosted by poet Jasmine Mans. 

"Black women are fighters," one woman tells Mans. "And we're defenders. We defend our own, and we protect our own."

Another woman discusses the importance of getting to know herself, she explains, "I always thought that I had to have a partner to be validated. I separated myself and just became an individual without a man... that was my classic moment. I spent two years with me."

Interspersed with the interviews are inspirational clips of famous black women, including a particularly inspiring excerpt from "Belle" director Amma Asante's 2015 TEDTalk where she asks the question of "who defines you, society or yourself?" 

Watch the full documentary above.

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The Emoji App Every African Millennial Needs On Their Phone

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 12:41 PM

A new app from Nigeria is here to help in the quest for more diverse emojis, and this time the wacky characters have been designed with West Africans in mind. 

"Afro Emoji" launched Wednesday for free download on Android and

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Why Kim K And Amber Rose's Selfie Is A Win For Slut-Shamed Women

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 9:25 AM

If you've been following all the Kardashian-West-Rose drama over the past few months, you know that, last week, Kanye West posted (and deleted) a few rude tweets that made digs at his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose and her child. And you've probably seen by now that, early Tuesday morning, Kardashian and Rose posted...

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Today's Google Doodle Is Honoring Frederick Douglass

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:08 AM

Today's Google Doodle is kicking off Black History Month brilliantly, with an illustration celebrating the life of Frederick Douglass. The abolitionist, orator, author and diplomat was born sometime in February 1818, with his exact birth date unknown.

To celebrate his life and legacy,...

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Octavia E. Butler Wrote The Story Of Her Success Years Before It Happened

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 11:27 AM

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Octavia E. Butler, the Hugo-award winning science fiction writer best known for the novels "Kindred" and "Parable of the Talents." As an African-American female author in the predominantly white, predominantly male sci-fi landscape, Butler achieved extraordinary success over...

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Kerry Washington: 'Abortion Is A Reality'

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 9:41 AM

Kerry Washington is unapologetic about the depiction of abortion on her hit show, "Scandal."

On the show's winter finale in November, the actress's character Olivia Pope is briefly shown undergoing an abortion procedure. The scene, which was all of one-minute, drew some backlash, but...

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Your 2016 Guide To The Best Female-Led Shows On TV

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 10:33 AM

There's no doubt that the entertainment world has a long way to go before we can say it's completely inclusive of all stories, but the television landscape has proven through series like "Scandal," "Jessica Jones" and "Jane the Virgin" that interesting female characters on TV don't have to be...

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Ava DuVernay Says Her New Show Will Have 'An All-Women Directorial Team'

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 10:09 AM

Ava DuVernay is continuing her mission of making the entertainment world more inclusive by choosing an all-star line up to help direct her upcoming show, "Queen Sugar."

The 13-episode series, set to air on Oprah's OWN network, will have an "an all-women directorial team," according to DuVernay.

"We're hiring... a lot of women that we know from the black independent film space, that I won't announce yet," DuVernay told Reel Black at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday. 

"It's an exciting time to invite women into this show, and to try to tell the story of this family, of really strong women who do an amazing thing." 

The "Selma" director says she'll return to the show's New Orleans set this week to continue filming, before starting work on her next film. 

"Queen Sugar" will focus on Charley Bordelon, a single mother who moves from Los Angeles to Louisiana in order to claim an 800-acre sugarcane farm inherited from her late father. Rutina Wesley, best known for her work on "True Blood," is set to star in the show as Charley.

"[It's] the first television show I've created," DuVernay said. "I jokingly say I'm getting my 'Shonda' on but I don't even know how she juggles all those shows because this show is wearing me out --- in the best way. It's a lot, but it's fun."

Watch the full interview with DuVernay above. 

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7 Things Coretta Scott King Should Be Remembered For

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 9:59 AM

January 30 marks the 10 year anniversary of the death of Coretta Scott King, widow of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She died in 2006 at the age of 78 and was honored with a funeral attended by heads of state and civil rights leaders alike. 


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Girl Suspended For N-Word Shirt Apologizes, Say She's 'Not Racist'

(2) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 1:12 PM

After a group of teens were suspended for spelling out a racial slur with their t-shirts, one has come forward to apologize, and insists that she's "not racist."

Last week, six female senior students at Desert Vita High School in Phoenix caused controversy after a photo of...

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Why We Don't Need A White History Month

(34) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 10:34 AM

"Because every month is white history month."

That's usually the answer that comes to mind whenever someone asks why there is no white history month. It's such a common response that it's become something of a...

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'SNL' Did A Sketch About Rape Again And It Still Wasn't Funny

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 10:58 AM

So,"SNL" did a sketch about statutory rape again, and it still wasn't funny. 

On Saturday, guest host Ronda Rousey appeared alongside cast members Cecily Strong and Pete Davidson in a skit called "Teacher Trial." The shtick: an underage teen (Davidson) takes the stand to recount how amazing it was when his two teachers (Strong, Rousey) invited him to join them in a threesome.

Rousey and Strong say maybe two words in the entire sketch, which focuses mostly on Davidson talking about the "awesome" encounter. He gets a high-five from the judge, and claims the incident brought his estranged father and grandfather back together. 

Twitter users immediately went after the sketch, with tweets like:

Now, one would want to give "SNL" the benefit of the doubt and presume the skit is meant as a satirical take-down of the double standard in the way the media and society at large views sexual assault based on gender. Unfortunately, that would be giving the writers far too much credit. In fact, the sketch is almost an exact repeat of a "Teacher Trial" skit which aired in April, also starring Davidson and Strong, also featuring the same tone-deaf punchline. 

Rather than satirically highlighting how messed up it is for a teacher to have sex with her underage student, the sketch merely reinforces harmful gendered stereotypes that effect men as much as they do women. 

The idea that men just naturally like and want sex more than women gives way to the dangerous notion that men -- no matter their age -- "can't really be raped." They always want it, it's always awesome and it's even more awesome if it's with an older, sex kitten teacher when they're under the age of consent. No. All this does is confuse underage boys who are sexually assaulted about the nature of what happened to them, and deter men who are assaulted from speaking out for fear of ridicule. 

It seems pretty clear by now that the writers of "SNL" don't particularly care about the criticism, or the implications that a sketch like this has. The appeal of rape jokes remains a mystery, but it's not as if there aren't ways to tell jokes about rape that don't reinforce rape culture or make victims the punchline. After the complaints "SNL" received for the first "Teacher Trial" skit last year, one would have hoped that they would at the very least come back with something funnier and smarter. But that might be asking for too much. 

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Ava DuVernay Wants You To Stop Using The Word 'Diversity'

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 10:51 AM

“We’re hearing a lot about diversity. I hate that word so, so much.” 

So said Ava DuVernay to a room of reporters and fellow members of the film industry at a Sundance Film Festival luncheon on Sunday, reports The New York Times. The 'Fifth Annual ARRAY...

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Jesse Williams Created A GIF Keyboard App, And It's Lit

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 1:07 PM

As if Jesse Williams wasn't amazing enough (what with being a talented actor, fine and woke as hell), he now can add "genius tech entrepreneur" to the list. 

On Thursday, the "Grey's Anatomy" actor and his wife Aryn DrakeLee-Williams revealed their new app called Ebroji. The app, available on the...

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