Archives for posts with tag: race

When I see black people on Mad Men, I’m as excited as I imagine my mother and grandmother were when they saw black people on TV in 1965, the year the show is currently set in. So I’ve decided to blog about the black people who make appearances on the show as well as the historical references to black people and the civil rights movement.

“The Rejected” aired 8-15-10.

One of the best scenes from this episode is when Peggy goes to a downtown party with her new friend, the very awesome lesbian Life magazine editor Joyce. The party is being thrown by the super edgy and pretentious photographer Davey Kellogg and we meet one of his (black!) nude models Sharon.

Sharon, who was only on screen long enough to tell a curious Peggy that her mom had no idea she was a nude model, was played by Kamirah Westbrook. Westbrook has appeared on Girlfriends and in the film American Violet.

Back at work later in the episode, Peggy asked Joey the freelancer if he was aware Malcolm X had been shot to death two weeks prior. Joey says he is aware and Peggy, who perhaps just learned of X’s existence at the downtown party, says, “Oh, like you knew who he was.”

Randoms: Peggy passed a young black couple in the hallway as she entered the party.

Also, as Don Draper left the SCDP offices the day his secretary Allison confronted him about his cavalier attitude following their sleezy hookup, a black guy was buffing the office floor.

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CNN photo adoption
Yesterday I came across this headline on CNN’s website, Single Black Women Choosing to Adopt. Interesting, I thought. Black women are disproportionately unmarried and a disproportionate number of black children are “in the system.” “Kudos, CNN,” I thought, “for exploring these issues.” And then I read on.

Somewhere between the plight of black women and the frank talk about single motherhood, there was this bit about color issues and black adoption:

“There are some single African-American women who are not emotionally ready to adopt an African-American child who is too dark, some adoption agency officials say.

Fair-skinned or biracial children stand a better chance of being adopted by single black women than darker-skinned children, some adoption officials say.

“They’ll say, ‘I want a baby to look like a Snickers bar, not dark chocolate,’ ” Caldwell, founder of Lifetime Adoption, says about some prospective parents.

“I had a family who turned a baby down because it was too dark,” she says. “They said the baby wouldn’t look good in family photographs.”

chocolate shades

Now, it’s no secret that the black community has some color issues. But, I’m going to need more than one woman’s (granted, horrifying) anecdote and “some officials say” to understand, what, if any, impact this really has on adoption.

And as for Ms. Caldwell’s statement, “They’ll say, ‘I want a baby to look like a Snickers bar, not dark chocolate'” – Who is they? Has she actually heard this disturbing chocolate bar analogy from more than one person? I find that hard to believe. Clearly “they” don’t all say that, as evidenced by the photo of the beautiful brown-skinned woman and her beautiful brown-skinned daughter who were matched through Caldwell’s agency.

Maybe it’s just me but, I like my broad characterizations of any community QUANTIFIED or at least not attributed to “some” unidentified “adoption officials.”

If we’re talking about a few isolated incidents, it is not significant enough to be included in this short piece. If it is a bigger problem, then it needs to be actually explored and get its own piece.