Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weekly Color

Color Me Brown is a feature here at Color Online in which we spotlight interesting links pertaining to literature and/or race. These links can range from interviews to discussion posts. We try and highlight links from the week, but sometimes we go further back.

Here we go....

Author/illustrator Grace Lin talks about why she writes shy Asian characters

In the book, Lissy is very shy and creates friends out of her imagination with origami. When her origami blows away and is discovered by other children, she is able to make real friends. The character of Lissy is actually based on my niece, who used to be extremely shy among strangers, often hiding when addressed by one. In fact, most of the characters in my books are based on myself and I was definitely more shy than outgoing as a child (and still am). And one of the books I have swimming in my mind for the future features a shy, Asian protagonist. Should I change her because of the fear of perpetuating a stereotype?

Not about literature but nevertheless interesting (OK I admit a part of why I'm posting this is because I love Harry Shum Jr./Glee and Daniel Dae Kim/Hawaii Five-O) and it is about race and the slow rise of Asian actors and actresses

The actors also emphasized the importance of getting more Asian faces into not only the realms of directing and producing, but also the executive/studio ranks of major tv and film studios, so that actors have more minority voices fighting for accurate representation. Though the success of films like “Slumdog Millionaire” can open the door to more projects featuring Asian and South Asian actors, the truth is that racial barriers still exist and are a point of discussion. For example, Kim — who was awarded the festival’s “Influential Asian American Artist” award — told that audience that he was currently in the midst of discussing what race the love interest of his “Hawaii Five-O” character Detective Chin Ho Kelly should be — a conversation that was more difficult that he had initially thought. He noted that while he was excited that race was a topic of discussion, the decision was more difficult than he originally thought, because he realized that the ultimate choice would have cultural ramifications.

Helen at Helen's Book Blog reviews Morning in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

Wow! I managed to have tears rolling down my cheeks for the last 80 pages or so of this book. That isn't why I loved it so much, but that's to show you how into this book I was, how much I care about the characters and their lives.

There are a lot of characters in this book and the author manages to keep you connected to all of them as they relate to the main family, their lives interwoven in a way that only small villages, refugee status, and a shared history can do. Not only are the characters all closely related or connected, but they support one another, take care of each other as they suffer the injustices forced upon them by the Israeli government and army.

Let me take a political time-out. In the United States our government has sided with Israel throughout the past sixty years. We arm Israel, we send them money, and we favor the Israeli state over the Palestinian. I think most Americans, if polled, would say Israel should exist and the Palestinians should move on since the Jews were there first (remember, this is what I think most Americans would say). Though there are glimmers of change, the US tends to think of Arabs as only terrorists. Trust me, as someone who was married to an Arab-American, I've seen this first hand.

This book will help you to see that there are two sides to every historical issue and situation.

What A Girl Wants #15 over at Chasing Ray discusses why growing up, we felt like screaming
When I was 15 I wanted to scream everyday, for a thousand reasons that ranged from my divorced father, remarried mother, my brother who was gone in the Marine Corps, and the totality of what I did not know and the certainty that I wanted to know everything. Frustration and outright anger fueled me. I was very good at pretending I was fine but I wasn't and those strong emotions are still with me even today. I realized when I read this paragraph that I was not alone in having those intense feelings and I wondered who else felt the same way.

So that was my question to the group: What made you want to scream as a teenage girl?

Anonymous: "What made me want to scream, as a teen girl? My breasts. When I got breasts, I lost everything else.

Parental trust, affection, respect, and the belief that I had a brain in my head – all of that went out the window, thanks to two largely useless overdeveloped glands.

I think it’s in the rules or something: Dads Must Freak When Their Daughters Mature. I was ten the first time my father left me this hideous velour bathrobe that zipped to my chin. I was instructed to wear it before bed and after showers.

Message received: Cover up. You are no longer free to wander around in shortie pajamas after your bath.

You are no longer free to wander.

And let's finish up with some baseball (although I'm not looking forward to this World Series). A review of She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick is over at the NY Journal of Books

This historically accurate book, a real gift to children, explains the effective and admirable life of Effa Manley, the first important female baseball club owner. Although a woman named Helene Britton inherited ownership of the St. Louis Cardinals and ran it for several years in the teens, Britton had less impact on the world of baseball than did Effa Manley, whose leadership helped young black men display their baseball talent.

Manley and her husband Abe operated the Newark Eagles jointly in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948, and after the death of her husband Effa in 1952 took complete charge with a firm hand. She assumed a motherly interest in her players and took good care of them.

What did we miss? We are a community of readers so we will read all links you leave us :)

1 comment:

Helen's Book Blog said...

Thank you for posting about my review of Mornings in Jenin. My book group talked about the book last night and we all loved it so much!