The latest installment of AMC series Mad Men Season 6 continued to introduce more Black stereotypes. Dawn Chambers made a handful of cameo appearances, executing subservient secretarial duties. But the new stereotype came in the form of a sassy, heavy Black woman. “Grandma Ida” claimed to be Don Draper’s mama, made a reference to fried chicken and wound up robbing the apartment. So that covers the Black felon category.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
The agency that produced this ad—RAF Communicação in Brazil—can probably look forward to never landing a fast food, snack food, soft drink, cigarette or liquor account.
At NewsOne, Kirsten West Savali criticized the South African Uni-Ball spot perpetuating stereotypes. Uni-Ball connected with West Savali via Twitter to assure her the spot was being pulled—and of course, the U.S. company was clueless that the commercial had even been created. West Savali isn’t buying it.
The Health Toll of Immigration
By Sabrina Tavernise
BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — Becoming an American can be bad for your health.
A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.
The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.
“There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin.
For Hispanics, now the nation’s largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found.
Why does life in the United States — despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages — lead to worse health? New research is showing that the immigrant advantage wears off with the adoption of American behaviors — smoking, drinking, high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles.
Here in Brownsville, a worn border city studded with fast-food restaurants, immigrants say that happens slowly, almost imperceptibly. In America, foods like ham and bread that are not supposed to be sweet are. And children lose their taste for traditional Mexican foods like cactus and beans.
For the recently arrived, the quantity and accessibility of food speaks to the boundless promise of the United States. Esther Angeles remembers being amazed at the size of hamburgers — as big as dinner plates — when she first came to the United States from Mexico 15 years ago.
“I thought, this is really a country of opportunity,” she said. “Look at the size of the food!”
Fast-food fare not only tasted good, but was also a sign of success, a family treat that new earnings put in reach.
“The crispiness was delicious,” said Juan Muniz, 62, recalling his first visit to Church’s Chicken with his family in the late 1970s. “I was proud and excited to eat out. I’d tell them: ‘Let’s go eat. We can afford it now.’”
For others, supersize deals appealed.
“You work so hard, you want to use your money in a smart way,” said Aris Ramirez, a community health worker in Brownsville, explaining the thinking. “So when they hear ‘twice the fries for an extra 49 cents,’ people think, ‘That’s economical.’”
For Ms. Angeles, the excitement of big food eventually wore off, and the frantic pace of the modern American workplace took over. She found herself eating hamburgers more because they were convenient and she was busy in her 78-hour-a-week job as a housekeeper. What is more, she lost control over her daughter’s diet because, as a single mother, she was rarely with her at mealtimes.
Robert O. Valdez, a professor of family and community medicine and economics at the University of New Mexico, said, “All the things we tell people to do from a clinical perspective today — a lot of fiber and less meat — were exactly the lifestyle habits that immigrants were normally keeping.”
Business Insider published its annual “The 37 Richest People In Advertising, Ranked By Income.” Like last year’s list, while the group includes one woman and a handful of guys from Spain, the overwhelming majority of advertising’s top breadwinners are White men. It’s tough to join the financial elite when you’re starting with crumbs. The only Black person who might make the cut is Uncle Ben.
On May 6, Advertising Age reported Procter & Gamble would lengthen the time the advertiser pays its advertising agencies to 75 days. Now the trade publication says Mondelez will extend its payment terms to 120 days. Of course, advertising agency executives are crying foul, whining that the monetary mandates are unfair and even unethical. As if fairness and ethics are embedded in the DNA of a typical adperson. Most BDAs draw out payments to freelancers and vendors too—and the shops will likely stretch things out further in response to the new processes from P&G and Mondelez. Besides, 120 days is less than the blink of an eye compared to how Madison Avenue has taken its sweet time delivering on diversity.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Haunting Relic of History, Slave Cabin Gets a Museum Home in Washington
By Robbie Brown
EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. — The floors creaked. The walls swayed in a strong breeze. Rot and termites had destroyed parts of the rickety structure built before the Civil War.
But when curators from the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum in Washington visited this marshy island last year, they found exactly what they were looking for: an antebellum slave cabin that captured the stark life of plantation workers before emancipation.
Edisto Island is home to two of the nation’s oldest slave cabins, dating to the 1850s — vestiges of what was once an entire village for field workers at the Point of Pines Plantation. Black families lived in the wood-sided, two-room houses, without electricity or heating, until the 1980s.
Now, the better-preserved of the two cabins is getting a new home in the nation’s capital. The Smithsonian Institution is dismantling it, plank by plank, and moving it to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in late 2015.
It will be among the featured artifacts, beside Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Nat Turner’s Bible, a Tuskegee Airmen fighter plane and Emmett Till’s coffin. Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s director, called it “a true jewel in the crown of our collection.”
“Slavery is the last great unmentionable in public discourse,” he said. “But this cabin gives an opportunity to come face to face with the reality of slavery. It humanizes slavery.”
For years, local historians had struggled to save the pinewood building. After the last residents moved out, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Three years ago, the plantation’s owners donated the cabin, but not the land, to the Edisto Historical Preservation Society.
The society raised $40,000 to clear away vines and install diagonal beams to stabilize the tilting 16-foot-by-20-foot structure. But it could not find enough money to safely move the cabin to a new location.
“Honestly, we were about to give up,” said Gretchen Smith, the society’s director.
The Smithsonian called just in time. The museum, with a budget of $500 million, had scoured the country for the right cabin. Its curator, Nancy Bercaw, said Edisto Island’s was perfect: it needed a new home, and because blacks had lived in it long after slavery, the museum can display it in an exhibit encompassing the postwar period called “Slavery and Freedom.”
“The sea island history is so rich and multigenerational,” Ms. Bercaw said. “This history has been tucked away. It hasn’t always been safe to pull out these stories.”
Last Monday, work crews from a preservation company called Museum Resources Inc. stripped off parts and labeled them. Modern additions like the tin roof and metal nails will be replaced. The rest will be transported to a restoration facility in Virginia before being rebuilt inside the museum.
The crews made several discoveries while taking apart the cabin. Newspapers had been stuffed inside the walls for insulation. Windows and door frames were painted with a faint blue paint, which historians say slaves from the Caribbean believed kept demons away.
The exact age of the cabin is unknown, although historians believe that it was probably built off-site and assembled at the plantation. Toni Carpenter, the founder of Lowcountry Africana, a group that documents black history in the South, said an 1851 map of the plantation showed the cabin at its present site. And, she said, an 1854 plantation inventory showed that 75 people were enslaved there.
One of the last residents who remembers life inside is Junior Meggett, 80, a retired groundskeeper, who grew up in the 1940s in an identical cabin and whose aunt and uncle owned the one given to the Smithsonian.
Winter nights were so cold that everyone huddled around the stone fireplace on cots, he said. Summers were so mosquito-infested that the fire burned constantly as insect repellent.
“It’s a tough place to live,” he said. “But we didn’t have any choice. It was just where you lived.”
The new museum is the Smithsonian’s first since the National Museum of the American Indian opened in 2004. It will span black history and culture from the African slave trade through the first black presidency.
Ms. Smith, from the historical society, said it was bittersweet to see the cabin leave the island after more than 160 years. She hopes to raise enough money to restore the second cabin and keep it on Edisto. But while South Carolina is losing this artifact, she said, “now millions of others can see it.”
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Adweek reported on the growing importance of marketing to Latinos—including displaying a lengthy infographic. Of course, the trade journal’s ex-publisher saw fit to cut Marketing y Medios back in 2006.
Nearly Half of Second-Gen Hispanics Feel Like Ads Don’t Target Them
Ethnicity influences brand decisions
By Lucia Moses
By now, it’s obvious that targeting Hispanics in the U.S. means more than just translating an ad into Spanish and casting ethnic stereotypes as spokespeople. For one thing, the first and second generations differ in their acculturation levels, which affects their content and advertising preferences, according to a report from Yahoo/Mindshare, Ethnicity in the Digital Age: Marketing to Hispanics. First-gen Hispanics are much more likely than the second and third gen to look for news content that speaks to their ethnicity and try brands that target them ethnically. But Hispanics of all generations care a great deal about whether the news media puts their ethnic group in a good or bad light and uses obvious stereotypes in ads.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
A Black Nurse, a German Soldier and an Unlikely WWII Romance
By Alexis Clark
The nurse and the soldier may never have met – and eventually married – had it not been for the American government’s mistreatment of black women during World War II.
Elinor Elizabeth Powell was an African-American military nurse. Frederick Albert was a German prisoner of war. Their paths crossed in Arizona in 1944. It was a time when the Army was resisting enlisting black nurses and the relatively small number allowed entry tended to be assigned to the least desirable duties.
“They decided they were going to use African-Americans but in very small numbers and in segregated locations,” said Charissa Threat, a history professor at Northeastern University who teaches race and gender studies.
Ms. Powell was born in 1921 in Milton, Mass., and in, 1944, after completing basic training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., she was sent, as some other black nurses were, to tend to German prisoners of war in Florence, Ariz.
“I know the story of how they met,” said Chris Albert, 59, the youngest son of Elinor and Frederick Albert. “It was in the officers’ mess hall, and my father was working in the kitchen. He kind of boldly made his way straight for my mother and said: ‘You should know my name. I’m the man who’s going to marry you.’”
Frederick Karl Albert was born in 1925 in Oppeln, Germany. “He volunteered for the paratroops to impress his father, who served in WWI,” Mr. Albert said. “His father was an engineer and not really interested in his children. My dad ended up getting captured in Italy.”
He joined many other German prisoners who were detained in camps across the United States. With millions of American men away in combat or basic training, P.O.W.’s became a solution to the labor shortage. “Under the Geneva Convention, enlisted criminals of war could work for the detaining power,” said Matthias Reiss, a professor at the University of Exeter, in England, who has researched the history of German P.O.W.’s. “So the idea was, bring them over to America and let them do the unskilled work.”
In the camp in Arizona, Frederick Albert worked in the kitchen, where he prepared special meals for Elinor. A romance between the two blossomed but not without consequences. “My dad was severely beaten by a group of officers when they found out about my mom,” Mr. Albert said, referring to American soldiers.
At Camp Florence, as well as other camps, the environment for black nurses could be particularly humiliating. The nurses were forced to eat in separate dining halls, apart from white officers on the base.
“My mother mentioned that she was in a bar or some place that had food or drink and they refused to serve her,” said Stephen Albert, 66, Elinor and Frederick’s oldest son.
The discrimination blacks encountered was not lost on the German P.O.W.’s.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a German soldier who was held captive in America who didn’t speak about African-Americans,” Professor Reiss said. “They were quite aware there was a major discrimination problem and that the Americans weren’t really allowed to occupy the moral high ground on that matter.”
By war’s end, about 500 black nurses had served in World War II. All German P.O.W.’s, including Frederick Albert, were eventually sent to Germany.
The American military officially ended segregation after WWII, but for the Alberts, the issue of race would resurface throughout their lives. Their unlikely romance resulted in Stephen’s birth in December 1946. After Frederick was able to return to the United States, he and Elinor married on June 26, 1947, in Manhattan.
“I would say the first 10 years for my parents were a struggle to find some kind of economic security and a safe haven for an interracial family,” said Chris Albert, who plays the trumpet with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
“They moved to Boston and my father worked several jobs,’’ he said. “At some point, he decided it was best if they moved to Göttingen, Germany, where his parents lived. He could work for his father’s cement manufacturing business.”
But Kristina Brandner, 70, a niece of Frederick Albert, said life in Germany was difficult. “Göttingen is a small town,’’ she said. “My grandmother never had contact with black people so it was strange and uncomfortable for her with Elinor. Kids used to ask me how come there was a black woman living with us, and why is your cousin another color. Sometimes, I saw Elinor in the kitchen crying.”
In less than two years, Frederick, Elinor, Stephen and Chris, who was an infant, returned to the United States.
“We came back and moved to Morton, Pa. And then they went through the school issue,” Mr. Albert said.
That issue was the rejection of Stephen’s attempt to enroll at a local public school after being told that the school was not open to black children.
“My mother pitched a fit,” Mr. Albert said, who still has a copy of the letter Elinor wrote to the school superintendent and a local branch of the N.A.A.C.P.
In 1959, Mr. and Ms. Albert settled in Village Creek, an interracial neighborhood in Norwalk, Conn., where Elinor became an avid gardener and Frederick became a vice president at Pepperidge Farm.
“We always had great music at home,” said Mr. Albert, who resides in his childhood house in Norwalk. “My dad had this affinity for New Orleans jazz. I think it was a much larger representation for him. That lack of warmth he felt growing up, he found it in jazz and when he saw my mother.”
Mr. Albert’s father died in 2001, and his mother in 2005.
“I now ask myself how come I never questioned my dad about Hitler or what he thought about the Nazi movement,” said Mr. Albert, who will perform along with his band mates at the Blue Note Jazz Club in the West Village this month.
“My mother didn’t talk about it either,’’ he said. “They didn’t bring up the past. But what I do know about my parents, their story is a remarkable one.”
At Business Insider, Jim Edwards continues his ongoing reporting and online scuffling involving GlobalHue and the Bermuda Tourism account. Now the ex-Premier of Bermuda is questioning Edwards via an email exchange with racist references. Additionally, Edwards has been offered an all-expenses-paid trip to extend the debate. Don’t expect any updates to be filed from a Bermuda beach.