It is so easy to focus on the negative right now. To endlessly repeat in our minds everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong about White supremacy, fascism and the deplorable people who hold those ideals dear. It has taken me a minute to quiet my own mind and gain some clarity.
The swastikas brandished in Charlottesville last weekend are no different than those placed in dormitories at The New School last November. The murder of ally Heather Heyer is along the same despicable lines as the killing of Black student Richard Collins on the University of Maryland’s campus. For some time now, White supremacist violence has been resurging. And that is terrifying. I am everything these people hate. So many of my loved ones are everything they want to disappear.
The good news is- as Nobel laureate Toni Morrison pointed out-this outbreak of hate is the quaking desperation of people who are losing. Losing ground. Losing support. Losing power. Even with champions in The White House.
The most important thing we can do now is to raise the already swelling tide of opposition to this latest iteration of fascism. A simple way to help is to invigorate dialogues in our communities that promote equality. Events such as diversity trainings or timely programs for Latino Heritage Month are proven to build compassion and acceptance.
Progressive Pupil offers workshops and programs that can help. If our work is not right for your school, place of worship, or company; please also consider the services of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Don’t be alarmed. Be part of the solution.
Bigots can’t win.
Yours with Love and Solidarity,
The Independent Filmmakers Project (IFP) selects the forthcoming Progressive Pupil television series Fortune Bay to its Project Forum September 17-21, 2017. The only international co-production market in the U.S., the Project Forum sets up meetings between content creators and executives, financiers, and other decision makers. Adapted from the prize-winning novel Land of Love and Drowning, the one-hour drama Fortune Bay follows Captain Owen Arthur Bradshaw and his multiracial family in the Virgin Islands as they are impacted by intrigue and great events in 20th century American history. See more about the series and the Production Market in Filmmaker Magazine. Keep a look out for Dr. Robin J. Hayes and author Tiphanie Yanique, who will be representing the series at the Forum.
Director Dr. Robin J. Hayes will answer questions about the film’s portrayal of Caribbean intellectuals including Frantz Fanon and C.L.R. James following the screening. Room N-453. Free and open to the public.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Between screening Black and Cuba and working on my new multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, I’ve spent some time this summer thinking about the Black woman’s image. Of course in one way or another I’ve been thinking about it my entire life by looking in the mirror and beholding the relentless glamour of my mother and grandmother while I was growing up. In creating films that center Black women’s perspectives and – frankly- a lifetime of struggling to valorize my own, I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.
Haitian American musician Wyclef Jean with Haiti’s flag
During the Caribbean Studies Association 2016 conference I met a number of brilliant young Haitian-Americans, including a 20-something Cornell PhD candidate whose project focuses on Black feminist political theory in contemporary novels by Caribbean authors. Her mother emigrated from Haiti before she was born and left the country permanently in the early aughts. I had to admit to her my ignorance of the precise details of Haitian history that motivated her mom to leave Haiti.
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In some neighborhoods, public schools feel more like prisons than schools. In this episode, former social worker and attorney Helen Higginbotham discusses the policing of children in schools with BLACK AND CUBA director Robin J. Hayes.
Executive Produced by:
Dr. Robin J. Hayes
Recorded in New York City at
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In this episode of “Breaking Down Racism,” blogger and author GaBrilla Ballard opens up about how the challenges of discussing race with children and pushing aside stereotypical assumptions of what it means to be a Black Mom.
Produced by Azra Samiee
Directed by Chris Stafford
Written by Caroline Batzdorf
Host/Executive Producer Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Recorded at The New School in New York City.
Pictured Chicago mother and child. 1973. photographed by John H. White for the Environmental Protection Agency.
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When will race no longer be a barrier to educational success? In this episode of BREAKING DOWN RACISM, a former Deputy Director of Prep for Prep–a leadership development and educational access program for young people of color–discusses his take on the future of equality in private education. Could your school do a better job with diversity and inclusion? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Writers: John Dumey, Layla Nunez, Noemi Morales
Director: Layla Ninez
Producer: John Dumey, Noemi Morales
Featured Guest: Peter Bordonaro
Host/Executive Producer/Series Creator: Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Production Assistant: Enrique Prieto Mancia
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In this episode of Breaking Down Racism, a former PTA president of an East Village, New York City school speaks candidly about inequality in New York City’s public school system. What do you think about segregation in public schools? Tell us in the comment section below.
Produced/Directed/Written by: Alina Baboolal, Nicole Moore and Phuong Nguyen
Hosted/Executive Produced by: Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Recorded at The New School in New York City.
Students at Public School 188 in Manhattan 2009 by Annie Tritt courtesy The New York Times
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Happy New Year!! In this episode from Season 1 of Breaking Down Racism, Sudanese rapper Oddisee, Afro-Dominican singer Fanesha Fabre, Ethiopian journalist Hanna Giorgies and others discuss the diversity of the Black community and the meaning of diaspora today.
Written by: Regine Nehy
Produced by: Regine Nehy and Ladin Awad
Executive Producer: Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Directed by: Tsige Tafesse and Sequana Williams
Edited by: Ladin Awad
Breaking Down Racism is brought to you by Progressive Pupil, which “makes Black studies for everybody.” The series was created by Robin J. Hayes, PhD.