In 1970 Psychology Today published a board game where players were divided into white and black, and had to make economic progress while competing with each other. Based on Monopoly, the idea was to demonstrate how the odds were stacked against black people in society by having different rules for each race in the game.
Whites started out with $1 million, blacks with $10,000 and each race had different opportunity decks. While whites could buy property in any part of the board, blacks were limited to certain areas until they had accumulated at least $100,000 and were outright banned from property in the ‘suburban zone’.
Needless to say, it turned out to be one of the most controversial board games of all time and even merited an article in Time magazine:
The game, produced by Psychology Today Games (an off shoot of the magazine) now on sale ($5.95) at major department stores, was developed at the University of California at Davis by Psychology Department Chairman Robert Sommer. It was conceived as a painless way for middle-class whites to experience—and understand—the frustrations of blacks. In Sommer’s version, however, the black player could not win; as a simulation of frustration, the game was too successful. Then David Popoff, a Psychology Today editor, redesigned the game, taking suggestions from militant black members of “US” in San Diego. The new rules give black players an opportunity to use—and even to beat—the System.
Although turning Monopoly into an attempt to draw people’s attention to social issues seems a little bit of a long shot, it’s worth noting that the original version of Monopoly itself, called ‘The Landlord’s Game‘, was designed to demonstrate how the current economic system led to inequality and bankruptcy.
Psychology Today’s board game division seems to have been short-lived but other titles included The Cities Game – that involved ‘urban tension, corruption and the undercurrents of city politics’; and Woman and Man where ‘Each woman must accumulate enough Status Quo points (100) to prove her equality to men. Each man must collect enough Status Quo points (100) to prove once and for all a woman’s place is beneath his’.
Fun for all the family.
Link to 1970 Time article on the ‘Blacks and Whites’ board game.
Link to game details and photos on BoardGameGeek.
Thousands of University of Dayton students riot last night in Dayton, Ohio after UD’s latest basketball win. Reportedly, the uncontrollable students hit a newswoman, injured several enforcement officials, and damaged city property. 28 people were arrested. I suspect that this was predominately made up of people who classify themselves as “white”. As such, enforcement officials were able to retain the suspects without fatally shooting anyone. Well done.
University of Dayton, a private Catholic institution, is notorious for the illegal drinking and unruly behavior of its mostly white-classified student body. When will the city of Dayton and University of Dayton get these students under control permanently? Last year, on March 17th, enforcement officials from 10 jurisdictions were called out to contain hundreds of intoxicated and violent students. In mid-March of this year, enforcement officials increased patrol of UD significantly, to dissuade the students from engaging in their violent and alcohol-fueled behavior. They were successful. Unfortunately, yesterday evening, they did not take the same adequate precautions to prevent the latest UD “violent disturbance”.
The students, even go so far as to nickname their residential area as the “ghetto” despite being surrounded by resources and privilege. The University of Dayton spent approximately $7 million renovating this so-called ghetto in 1989 in hopes that it would improve student behavior. This White Supremacist nickname for the area demonstrates how people who classify themselves as “white” and who practice Racism, often characterize their own willful misbehavior as somehow associated with black people (the innately criminal, according to the Racists (White Supremacists)). Neely Fuller Jr., author of the UICCSC, has long pointed out that the “ghetto” is not a place. It’s a person. A black person. A Victim of Racism, who is associated with inferior status and behavior.
UD is not a ghetto. Its students are not behaving “ghetto”. They are behaving as criminals. UD campus is apparently filled with violent and misbehaving students who most likely classify themselves as “white”. You can be sure that there will be no reports associating their repeated criminal behavior as genetic. This is correct because there is no definitive proof of a criminal gene. However, there is a system of Racism (White Supremacy) in place that largely shields people who classify themselves as “white” from their own misconduct and innumerable crimes.
Replacing a system of Racism (White Supremacy) with Justice means that no one is mistreated for any reason, and the people who need the most help get the constructive help they need.
When you, like Perez Hilton, equate being ‘fierce’ with black womanhood, you are not simply complimenting black women’s perceived awesome sassiness. You are saying that we are overtly strong, both emotionally and physically, which leads to us being denied the facets of femininity that white women are so easily given. This is dangerous in ways I cannot completely describe, but I’m going to try: Black women are raped more often than white women, because our ‘fierceness’ is linked to ideas of sexual promiscuity – rapists believe we ‘want it more’. When we are raped the police believes us less than white women, because our ‘fierceness’ makes them think we could have fought back if we really wanted to. When we are beaten by our partners, the same applies. When we argue with people, we are seen as immediately aggressive. If we raise our voices or get angry, it isn’t because you’ve done something stupid, it’s because we are black and we are female and our innate ‘fierceness’ makes us unreasonable and unworthy of being listened to. When we lose our children to violence, when we have to survive on food stamps and benefits, even when we go to prison, it’s all a-ok because black women are the fiercest of the fierce and so none of that is a problem and we can handle anything that’s thrown at us – and all of this has lead to a point where when we knock on a door to ask for help because our car has broken down, we are not given hugs and a cup of tea. We are shot in the face at point blank range because we are fierce, and therefore aggressive, unpredictable, and worthy of the mocking, fear and scorn that the world looks at us with.
Quote is from her good essay The ‘Fierce Black Woman’ Inside You Doesn’t Exist on Poejazzi, in response to Perez Hilton’s racist, misogynoiristic tweet “Inside every gay man is a fierce black woman!” Must read essay! Now, the very lazy response is for people to pretend like Perez is the only White gay man who has ever said this (as White privilege involves persistent attempts to individualize systemic issues as to deny accountability) or pretend that his specific awfulness (and yes, he’s awful) is the issue, not misogynoir itself which makes this is a common thing that many Black women hear every single day. I (that would be me, @thetrudz/@GradientLair) directly tweeted him too. His response to every Black woman was ignorance that got increasingly worse over time that day, including him eventually enacting Godwin’s Law.
If you notice carefully in this conversation, no one suggested that gay men do not experience homophobia or that when the conversation is about some Black women who treat gay men as “sidekicks” (which of course is wrong) is discussed, it should be discussed. So that derailment in the name of intersectionality (while of course ironically ignoring intersectionality origins) is not needed when it only happens as a gay man is being called out for misogynoir. As for the other predictable derailment, Perez having a Latina mother does not mean this is not about White supremacy, that he no longer has White-passing privilege, that his male privilege has evaporated nor means he is incapable of misogynoir and anti-Blackness. Finally, the derailment via male privilege and misogynoir—that Black women are empty and just “copying” and appropriating gay men—is not needed.
I know Perez thought this was an acceptable response to Pia’s video and she’s a Black woman but that is irrelevant. Privilege does not evaporate based on who you know that doesn’t have it.
Black women are not costumes to be worn or objects solely for consumption, period.
"The Issue of Race"
This is a 1992 panel discussion from The Phil Donahue Show. Still relevant.
Excerpts from Part 1 (above)
"After being asked, ‘What do you know how to do here,’ one of the you brothers on the screen said, ‘Rob, steal, and kill.’ What did [Christopher] Columbus know how to do when he came here? Rob the native people of their land, kill them, and exploit them. What is in the best tradition of capitalism in this society? Burning, looting, rape, and pillage. This is something that is as integral to the United States as breathing. The problem with race in this country is that white people in this country do not want to confront their own history and live up to the consequences of that history. And when you don’t confront the truth, the truth will ultimately destroy you." —Dhoruba al-Mujahid bin Wahad
"When we deal with the issue of white racism, white people don’t deal with the fact that they are the ones who are sicker than anybody else in this particular issue. When you deal with the question of race, you cannot deal with ‘What’s wrong with these African people?’ The thing that happened in South Central started with a malady in the justice system where white people could not see white men who had did something against black men and penalize them for what everybody in this country knows that they did. So, the problem of white racism is that we don’t look in-depth and do these little documentaries on white people and what’s wrong with it." —Sister Souljah
Excerpts from Part 2 [x]
Phil Donahue: “So, my pleading to Mr. bin Wahad and Dr. [Alan] Keyes, in the white liberal tradition of, ‘Gee, you don’t totally dislike us [white people] do you—”
Jonathan Kozol: “Not to criticize you Phil, but naturally I’d like to feel I’m a nice guy and I hope black people would like me…But that’s wasted energy. The issue isn’t whether they like you and me, or not. The issue is whether they have an even shot in this society. They can’t afford to worry about our injured feelings. And they shouldn’t waste time on them.”
Excerpt from Part 3 [x]
"Latin America is essentially a conglomeration of European settler states. The conquistadores went and did the same thing that the English did here [in the United States]. When we look at the compositions of these societies, we see that at the top are light skin descendants of these conquistadores and at the bottom are native people and black descendants of Africans. White skin privilege is a European ideal and a concept that was exploited with the economic system, their religious philosophy, and imposed on people of color. So when we talk about Latin@s, let’s understand what we’re saying here. We’re talking about Latin@s who, for the most part, have African blood in them. They have internalized racism just like everybody else. When we look at Asian Americans, many that initially came here came to work the railroads. They were treated like dogs. But when we see a lot of Asians that come to the U.S. today, one of the first words they learn in their lexicon is ‘nigger.’ The United States’ major contradiction around the issue of race is white skin male privilege. If we don’t attack that, don’t analyze that, and don’t begin to deal with that, then we have a problem." —Dhoruba al-Mujahid bin Wahad
Excerpt from Part 4 [x]
"There was a period of time, in this country, after Reconstruction where African people owned a lot of land, businesses, and did a lot of things. What happened was the American government, the Ku Klux Klan, and other organizations organized in smashing that effort. It’s not that we haven’t tried to own lands and organize businesses, it’s that if you’re African in America, or in Latin America, or in the Caribbean, or in the continent, you will be hunted no matter what you do. They do not want us to survive and become self-sufficient. And you can say ‘no,’ but you haven’t lived this life." —Sister Souljah
Excerpts from Part 5 [x]
"You’re making a moral appeal to a country that doesn’t have a moral conscience. When white people feel angry about abortion, they come out in the thousands up to the millions to say ‘this is what we believe about abortion.’ Where is the white outcry against white racism that murders African people around this entire globe? It doesn’t exist. So, who are these good white people?! I want to meet them…" —Sister Souljah
"I want to say that the claim that there’s no conscience among white people in America is a great example of racism. I don’t think the face of racism is any prettier when it’s black racism than when it’s white racism. [In the background, Sister Souljah interjects “There’s no such thing as black racism.”] When Martin Luther King started his Civil Rights Movement, he put his conscience before the American people and shamed an overwhelming majority of the white people by the strength of his moral argument. [In the background, Sister Souljah interjects, “Then they killed him.”] […] He recognized that he was fighting for the reform of a racist America in the basis of the views held by the dominant white society. For that reason, he reached them and he so transformed them that you could pass the Civil Rights legislation—If you refute what I say by pointing out that Martin Luther King was assassinated, I can point out to you that Malcolm X was assassinated by a black man who hated white people.” —John Silber
"No. Let me say this. Phil, I got to fay this. You always go to white males to tell us what’s happening. This is such a lie, a crock of crap because the only reason political leadership in the United States conceded to integration, conceded to civil rights for black people is because the majority of the people in the world of the 1960s were ascending to political power and independence. The U.S. could not claim moral leadership of the world and enslave black people in a system of Jim Crowism. So, don’t make it like Martin Luther King appealed to the better half or the morality of white America. White America did what was expedient politically.”—Dhoruba al-Mujahid bin Wahad
Excerpt from Part 6, the final [x]
"I think white people have to spend more time talking about the injustices which we perpetrate. I’d like to see books written, in the future, not about the problems of the underclass but about the psychological distortions of the people who created an underclass." —Jonathan Kozol
Broomberg and Chanarin say their work, on show at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery, examines “the radical notion that prejudice might be inherent in the medium of photography itself”. They argue that early colour film was predicated on white skin: in 1977, when Jean-Luc Godard was invited on an assignment to Mozambique, he refused to use Kodak film on the grounds that the stock was inherently “racist”.
The light range was so narrow, Broomberg said, that “if you exposed film for a white kid, the black kid sitting next to him would be rendered invisible except for the whites of his eyes and teeth”. It was only when Kodak’s two biggest clients – the confectionary and furniture industries – complained that dark chocolate and dark furniture were losing out that it came up with a solution.
Makes perfect sense to me. The human eye always adjusts to see people’s faces but the technology of photography developed around adjusting to white people only. You can probably dig deeper and look at the cultural institution that developed around photography for what came to be accepted as “what the camera likes” and the aesthetics of palettes and light conditions and such for more normalization of racist standards. Same can probably be said of a great deal of Eurocentric art, aesthetics, and technology in general.
So glad someone identified this tendency. When I did photography, I found my POC friends impossible to light with the reccomendations given by most photography blogs and such. I also found no techniques on how to photograph people with darker skin tones because even DSLRS require different types of exposures for darker skin.
Are these people serious
Yep cause it’s true
Film is an inherently racist medium, which seems unfortunately to bemost discussed by white authors (Richard Dyer, though, does have a lot of good information in White)
But when Spike Lee has to come up with his own methods of cinematography to film black people, something is definitely wrong
Or when I show up as a dark blob in photos with my white friends, or when I’m the only one who’s face isn’t picked up by any recognition technology, then I’d say film and photography are definitely racist media
idk how much we should be taking cues on racism from JLG tbh
Also the filters that get used for photo editing (digital and otherwise). Like, I think loads of pictures are specially developed with this blue tone that really lightens people up (while also making everything look washed out). And all the common tutorials (both on tumblr and elsewhere) to improve the lighting/image quality of screencaps for edits and gifs are totally useless for darker skin tones. I wish there were better fandom resources for this shit because it’s fucking frustrating.
reblogging to add:
“Montré Aza Missouri, an assistant professor in film at Howard University, recalls being told by one of her instructors in London that “if you found yourself in the ‘unfortunate situation’ of shooting on the ‘Dark Continent,’ and if you’re shooting dark-skinned people, then you should rub Vaseline on their skin in order to reflect light. It was never an issue of questioning the technology.” In her classes at Howard, Missouri says, “I talk to my students about the idea that the tools used to make film, the science of it, are not racially neutral.”
Missouri reminds her students that the sensors used in light meters have been calibrated for white skin; rather than resorting to the offensive Vaseline solution, they need to manage the built-in bias of their instruments, in this case opening their cameras’ apertures one or two stops to allow more light through the lens. Filmmakers working with celluloid also need to take into account that most American film stocks weren’t manufactured with a sensitive enough dynamic range to capture a variety of dark skin tones. Even the female models whose images are used as reference points for color balance and tonal density during film processing — commonly called “China Girls” — were, until the mid-1990s, historically white.
In the face of such technological chauvinism, filmmakers have been forced to come up with workarounds, including those lights thrown on Poitier and a variety of gels, scrims and filters. But today, such workarounds have been rendered virtually obsolete by the advent of digital cinematography, which allows filmmakers much more flexibility both in capturing images and manipulating them during post-production.”
and from the original article:
The artists feel certain that the ID-2 camera and its boost button were Polaroid’s answer to South Africa’s very specific need. “Black skin absorbs 42% more light. The button boosts the flash exactly 42%,” Broomberg explained. “It makes me believe it was designed for this purpose.”
In 1970 Caroline Hunter, a young chemist working for Polaroid in America, stumbled upon evidence that the company was effectively supporting apartheid. She and her partner Ken Williams formed the Polaroid Workers Revolutionary Movement and campaigned for a boycott. By 1977 Polaroid had withdrawn from South Africa, spurring an international divestment movement that was crucial to bringing down apartheid.
The title of the exhibition, To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light, refers to the coded phrase used by Kodak to describe a new film stock created in the early 1980s to address the inability of earlier films to accurately render dark skin.
The show also features norm reference cards that always used white women as a standard for measuring and calibrating skin tones when printing photographs. The series of “Kodak Shirleys” were named after the first model featured. Today such cards show multiple races.
Forever reblog with added commentary
Yes! It’s back! I was trying to find this post
Added information. I really really need a book on cinematography techniques for lighting darker skin tones
I’ve posted information about this before, and I want to reblog it again because it’s so important.
People really need to understand what it means that racism is built into so many of our technologies, our education, our lives…too many people seem to believe that racism is about feelings and interactions.
A lot of the photos I have posted of artworks are old photographs that use films that oversaturate dark skin tones or blast them out with contrast. They need to be modified where possible in order for dark skinned people portrayed in the paintings to be visible at all.
My inaugural year on Grey’s Anatomy was defined by two points: my character’s boyfriend and the episode when said relationship began. For the audience, the episode is noteworthy because it features a classic spectacles-to-contacts, curly-to-straight transformation. For myself it’s noteworthy because, even after Carol’s Daughter in Sephora, I Am Not My Hair on Billboard’s Hot 100 and decades of mop-headed kids in GAP commercials, the public still goes batshit over bone-straight hair on a black woman.
After the episode aired, the praise I received from strangers, friends and even my own family was staggering. I suddenly had mass-appeal and the undertone was clear: with a single blow-dry, I had arrived.
What was intended as flattery was profoundly insulting and it hurt me deeply to realize my natural form wasn’t considered feminine or desirable.
The response ignited that same young rebellion I had all those years ago. My hair had graduated from the purview of my parents to become of direct concern to the masses and, in both cases, no one considered the effect on the person at the center.
Jerrika Hinton in Creating A Center Part
She plays Stephanie Edwards (the Black female intern) on Grey’s Anatomy. I follow her on here and twitter and remember when this episode aired, she posted something along the lines of funny how a little hair straightening changes everything (paraphrasing). I knew then that she was one of my faves…so glad she went through with writing this up.