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Jason Collins..a Hero?

As most of you have heard, an active NBA player recently came out as being gay. No matter what people say, this IS a big deal as there are certain sports which promote a culture of ultra machismo. Jason Collins is a minor role player for the NBA’s Washington Wizards who has just come to the end of his 12th season. He was engaged to a beautiful woman before breaking the news to her as well.

So, what is the Blacknek angle on this story? A large number of people inside and outside of the NBA, including President Obama and Kobe Bryant, have congratulated Collins on his decision to come out. People have even compared his bravery to that of Jackie Robinson. I am glad that Jason Collins has come to terms with who he is and is no longer under the burden of trying to live a lie.  I, also, understand why he would be considered a hero to in the closet, gay male athletes worldwide. I don’t want to lessen anything from his personal struggle, but let’ s be clear. This is not a Jackie Robinson situation.

Jackie Robinson was a Black man trying to play in a White league in a society in which Blacks weren’t supposed to integrate with Whites in any way except in clearly defined roles of subservience. He could not come out of the closet because he was born outside of the closet. Now, if Jason Collins came out 20 or even 10 years ago, at a time in which 60% or more of Americans disapproved of homosexuality and gay couples, I would predict that he would have had an even worst experience than Robinson. But we live in a new world. Time magazine recently declared the fight for gay marriage and approval of gay lifestyles all but over. Only a minority percentage still disapprove, and even these know that they better not express their opinions too publicly. The one pro athlete with a negative response to Jason Collins, Mike Wallace, was so swiftly attacked by the public that he deleted his Twitter post in hours.  Looking at the situation objectively, for an aging, low productivity support player reaching the end of his contract, his media declaration of his sexuality could be considered a brilliant career move. With a few spoken words, he has moved from a nobody on a nobody team to a national role model, with calls from the President and celebrities, talk show invites, book offers, and endorsements.  And how can the Washington Wizards not offer someone now declared an American hero a new contract. I will say strongly that I have no idea if any of these alternative motivations played a role in Collin’s decision to come out as a male athlete, but there has never been a better time in the nation’s history to do so. But while Collins has a surfboard just at the peak of a cultural wave, Robinson’s journey involved rowing a rowboat into a perfect storm surrounded by sharks. Jason Collin has helped lay the groundwork for other current and future gay athletes to no longer hide who they are, and for this he deserves all the praise given, but let’s just keep prospective.

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Tolerance brigade calls Ben Carson ‘token,’ ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘Oreo’ after CPAC speech

Didn’t know Dr.Carson spoke at CPAC. Sweet

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Blacknek take:
I need to add the Racelicious blog to my favorites. We definitely more of us getting into the cosplay scene.

No More Race

Read this over at Racialicious. What a very interesting and thought-provoking piece. It is something I can relate to because my kids are somewhat into cosplay. Here is an excerpt:

Once upon a time, I inadvertently started a cosplay race war on Tumblr. Whoops.

So, here’s the deal: I’m a cosplayer. If you don’t already know one of us in person, (and you probably do–we’reeverywhere) you’ve probably seen people like me on the news–all dolled up in a rainbow of face paint and eye-popping wigs, 50 shades of spandex, and skyscraper shoes, for the sake of expressing love for and bringing our favorite characters to life at sci-fi, comic book, video game, and anime conventions.

Since I started cosplaying in 2008, I’ve traveled the country, hitting up as many cons as financially possible, all the while making incredible friends, unforgettable memories, and lugging hard-to-get-through-airport-security props along the way…

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Woman Has World’s Biggest Hips – Good Time To Talk About Health vs Size

The recent story below is about a woman with the widest recorded hip diameter known. It’s a headline which raises another major question in our community.

What size should the ideal attractive woman be? This question has varied by culture and times. Traditionally, the view has it that Black and Hispanic cultures view curvy and voluptuous shapes as more attractive, especially when those curves on on the lower half the body. This might be most famously summarized by his heinous, Sir Mix O’lot:


But White and Asian cultures are thought to see a more slender shape as ideal. I don’t really know how long that has been true for White Western cultures though. It could very well be connected with the improvements in health care and living standards over the past 50 years, making wide hips and a good amount of body fat no longer necessary for surviving child birth, cold weather, and food shortages. But if you look at the classic White pin up girls and icons of beauty before 1960, they were all curvy women:


Even ancient ideals of beauty in these cultures involved curvy women:

Interestingly though, starting in the 90’s. because of the impact of Hip Hop on White culture I believe, this ideal began to change.Suddenly, having a curvy rear end went from something to be ashamed of and avoided to being embraced as attractive, as represented by this country music video below by Trace Adkins (yes I managed to put Sir Mix O’lot and Trace Adkins in the same post):

But is there a point where too much jiggle can be bad for health? While I’m not going to say what anyone’s ideal body type should be, we all need to make sure that we are being physically active and doing good things for our heart. Fried, sweetened, and processed foods have been scientifically proven to be bad for our overall health. You can be a very curvy woman and still regularly exercise, and many do. So my concern isn’t rather the plus sized model is attractive or not, as many men will find her to be. And I do think it’s great that she is all about self-esteem and feeling good. Weight gain and body proportions are as much related to genetics as they are by behavior so we all should keep that in mind when we see people with unusual sizes. But being a Black woman in a culture in which rear end size is celebrated, the story does open a path to further discussion on health versus size. Women ultimately should do what’s best for their health and not worry about any ideas of what’s beautiful or not. We need to push this instead of the idea that simply having curves but not exercising and eating well is okay. It might be okay in the short term but will be devastating long term. Other than that, everyone’s body is unique and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


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Blackneks Comments Added To Article from No More Race

No More Race

Wow these pro-gun people will stop at nothing in their efforts to protect their beloved guns. On the heels of their just-completed “Gun Appreciation Day” last Saturday, in an effort to woo minorities they are planning a new campaign they intend to call “What Would Django Do?”


Larry Ward, the man behind the organization who led “Gun Appreciation Day” and that will lead this new bright idea, said this:

Django is perfect for what we’re trying to do, which is to promote gun rights to minorities. We’ll tackle the issue on the Democrats’ own turf.”

His effort is based on the idea of another fellow who wrote this in an article:

Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a gun permit, but pro-segregation authorities denied him, and he says influential black Americans like Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X argued in favor of the Second Amendment. Slavery in America wouldn’t have existed if…

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Good thoughts on the GQ 100 Sexiest Woman Of the Millenium from No More Race

No More Race

Yeah, this is not the way you want to go GQ.

GQ just released their “The 100 Sexiest Women of the Millennium” issue featuring Beyonce on the cover as “Miss Millennium.” Flip through it and you’ll find the obvious nods to Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian, and Katie Holmes. But this year, the lad mag has included some ethnic specific categories that have some people raising their eyebrows. Examples:

•    “Hottest Indian Chick”: Freida Pinto
•    “Hottest Pregnant Sri Lankan”: M.I.A
•    “Hottest Italian Chick”: Monica Belluci
•    “Hottest Chinese Chick”: Zhang Ziyi (sometimes credited as Ziyi Zhang)

While there may not be anything inherently wrong with saying someone is a “Hot Chinese woman” the seemingly arbitrary racial call-outs have people squirming. For example, why did the magazine deem Beyonce “Miss Millennium” but not “Miss African-American Millennium?” Mila Kunis was included in the top three hottie picks but the magazine didn’t mention her Ukranian roots…

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Added Comments to article discussing the cancelation of “All My Babies’ Mama’s” on

Over 37,000 signatures were received via Color of Change to halt the airing of Oxygen Networks new reality show, “All my babies mama’s”.

 Thank Heavens; just the title alone is insulting. In an age where the majority of cultural depiction relies on media, being black AND being labeled a “baby mama” is all too familiar. How many television shows have to be written and produced to get this point across? Why do we seem to glorify this image? If we keep allowing negative portrayals of minorities into our living rooms and newsstands, the way society depicts these classes will never change.

Although I am “a baby mama” myself, I’ve never been proud of that societal title. I would never exploit this fact to my children, let alone others and encourage the same behavior. While there is nothing wrong with single parenthood, it seems to be an expectation in the black community and is…

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Keep an eye out for Life as an Oreo by April Airriona Jones.


“Life as an Oreo” is a one-act play that I wrote. It was picked as a regional semi-finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. It is now a National Semi-Finalist and if it makes the next round there will be a staged concert reading at the Kennedy Center in April.

The play explores identity issues in the African American community and other things. It talks about the idea of “good hair”, interracial relationships and etc. Please pass this along if you feel compelled to do so 🙂

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Added Comments to this article by Beautifulblackmind blog


Many condemned director Spike Lee for criticizing ‘Django Unchained’ without ever seeing the movie. However, was Spike onto something?
Many times, with our role as consumers, African Americans choose to watch a movie they hear may be offensive to their culture to see it for themselves. Then, if they find this movie to have been offensive, they lay on the criticism. Well that is all well and fine for our egos. Yet by the time you’ve watched the movie and had time to assess it, assuming that you watched the movie legally then you’ve already paid the production monster that created the film in the first place, in other words, the damage is already done.
This post is not necessarily for Django Unchained, for while I definitely had criticisms about the movie (historical inaccuracy for one); they weren’t plentiful enough for me to find the movie worth a blog post…

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Added comments to this blog entry by Mixing the Paint

Mixing the Paint

sexiest-women-03-zhang-ziyiWhile many wouldn’t complain about a magazine with Beyonce gracing the cover, some are up in arms over the contents of the latest GQ Magazine.

The recent issue of GQ, “100 Sexiest Women of the 21st Century” includes what many would expect from the hottest women of the century – Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry…you get the picture.

Beyonce is deemed the sexiest woman of the millennium, but were you aware of “This Year’s Hot Chinese Chick,” “This Year’s Hot Indian Chick” or “This Year’s Hot Pregnant Sri Lankan Chick”?

The titles are leaving many wondering why only certain races were highlighted in the countdown. What are your thoughts? Did GQ cross the line? Take the pole.

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