16 Children And Their Bedrooms From Across The World

Some kids grow up in poverty, lacking food and sanitation, while others are born in countries where basic necessities are taken for granted.  Photographer James Mollison came up with the project when he thought about his own childhood bedroom and how it reflected who he was. Where Children Sleep – a collection of stories about children from around the world told through portraits of their bedrooms – stemmed from his ideas.

Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal

Anonymous, 9, Ivory Coast

View the entire photo collection here.

What to Watch: Chinese on the Inside

Catie and Kimberly were adopted from China by a couple from Maine, who attempt to pass on a culture they’ve never known firsthand.

About a decade ago, Barbara Cough adopted two girls from China, Kimberly and Catie. Barbara and her partner, Marilyn Thomas, are raising the children in Portland, Me. I filmed the family last year when the girls (who are not biological sisters) were ages 9 and 11.

More than 80,000 girls have been adopted from China by Americans since 1991. In recent years, China has made adoptions by same-sex couples, already difficult, nearly impossible.

But at the time the girls were adopted, in 2003 and 2004, Barbara and Marilyn felt that adopting girls from China afforded them more protections as parents than domestic adoptions would have, given the complex rules around birth parents’ rights in America.

For Barbara, it was also a way to reconnect with her own history: her great-grandfather Daniel Cough was the first Chinese man in Maine to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Though Barbara’s generation is only one-eighth Chinese, the family members proudly identify with their cultural heritage.

Documenting the Coughs gave me reason to reflect on my own thoughts concerning cultural identity. Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California, the only Chinese I’d only ever known were first-generation immigrants and their children, like my family. Catie and Kimberly are simultaneously first- and fifth-generation immigrants in their adoptive family.

Barbara and Marilyn were married in Maine last June, shortly after I completed this piece. Their nontraditional household has challenged my understanding of the contemporary Chinese-American family — a reminder that this construct can take many forms.

The population in Maine is more than 95 percent white. There are few cultural resources for Asian-Americans; one notable exception is the nonprofit Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine, which sponsors a Chinese school where the girls take classes.

The couple’s effort to expose their children to Chinese culture is markedly different from that of many Chinese-American families, like my own: For Barbara and Marilyn, their challenge is to pass on a culture that they appreciate, but have not lived firsthand. Meanwhile, their daughters will need to determine how much they want to affiliate with a culture they come from — one that they’ve been taught to appreciate, but to which they have little daily connection.

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Countdown to 2042 with Camille Joseph of Native LA

2042 (MMXLII pronounced MIXLY) is the estimated year where there will be no single ethnic majority in the United States. In this episode of Countdown to 2042, MIXLY sat down with Camille Joseph, co-owner of NATIVE LA accessories and vintage to discuss the challenges young female entrepreneurs face and what the future will be like for  women with different racial backgrounds who own a successful business together.

Check out previous episodes of Countdown to 2042 with Casey Veggies, The Internet and Riff Raff on YouTube

What to Watch: The Tanning of America One Nation Under Hip-Hop [Documentary]

VH1’s The Tanning of America will explore hip-hop’s influence and debuts today.

Over the past 40 years, a cultural shift, marked most recently and vividly by the election ofPresident Obama, has been underway. Hip-hop culture, and its luminaries including Fab 5 Freddy,Dr. Dre, Diddy and Russell Simmons, has been the driving catalyst and laid the foundation for the development of this new generation.

Entrepreneur, advertising and record executive Steve Stoute has had a front-row seat and been an active participant while this transformation has taken place, distinctly conveying those thoughts in his 2011 best-seller The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy.

“Tanning” is not simply the process of hip-hop culture being accepted by mainstream culture. Rather, it’s the creation of an entirely new culture. “It’s an entire new language, [and] an entire new approach that comes from an openness to borrow and learn and share cultural data,” Stoute says. “People are now hopefully willing to visit, accept, deal with and participate in other cultures. You’re seeing a generation that has adopted that to their lifestyle. That’s the reason why I go back to [saying], ‘You can’t just predetermine someone’s cultural values,’ because we are all borrowing from each other’s culture. There’s so much cultural sharing and tanning happening, that you have to be able to really deal with somebody for who they are. You can’t just hedge on anything because of the amount of sharing and the amount of information that’s being transferred.”

Stoute joined forces with VH1 and filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman for a four-part documentary series, The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop, based on his book. Life+Times caught up with Stoute to discuss his ideas about recent tanning moments, and the documentary, which is set to air on VH1 February 24-27.

Read Life+Time’s interview with Steve Stoute here

What It’s Like Being A Black Student At A Mostly White College

A group of black students at the UCLA School of Law create this video called “33,” a reference to the total number of black students in the school’s 1,100-member student body. The purpose of the video is to “raise awareness of the disturbing emotional toll placed upon students of color” in predominantly white institutions.

Black students make up 3% of the law school student body, as compared to 13% of the nation.

“When you talk about diversity on campus, it turns into a political or ideological debate. You forget who it’s really about, you forget the people, you forget what it’s like on the ground and no one pays attention to the 33.”

 

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FlashbackFriday: A Candid Discussion About Racism on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992

“Brown eyed people are responsible for the fact that you have electricity. Many of the components for generating and transmitting electricity were invented by brown eyed people.

Brown eyed people gave us our alphabet. Brown eyed people gave us our numeration system. Brown eyed people gave us the paper on which we write these anonymous letters to me that tell me that brown eyed people are inferior.

Brown eyed people are the originators, the ones who founded every major religion on Earth. No white people have ever founded a major religion.

Now you need to realize the contributions that have been made to society, to civilization by brown eyed people, by PEOPLE OF COLOR.

I’m talking about people of color here folks. And most of us are not aware of those things because we live in a racist society.

And because we are educated by a racist school system that only teaches us about white contributions.”

- Jane Elliot on the Oprah Winfrey Show panel on racism in 1992.

 

[Final Episode] Pack Your Bags: You’re Going to Shanghai

In this final episode of Pack Your Bags: You’re Going to Shanghai, college students Ryan Bunma and Tarik Ross, Jr. recount their once in a lifetime trip to Shanghai, China. MMXLII also caught up with them four months after their return to the US to see how the Pack Your Bags experience has impacted their lives.

 

 

Watch previous episodes of Pack Your Bags: You’re Going to Shanghai below.

Dove Short Film Embraces ‘Selfies’ to Redefine How We Perceive Beauty

“The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change”

Dove is debuting at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on Monday a short film that explores how social media is shaping the way the we perceive beauty.

The 7-minute short film called Selfie follows a series of teenagers and their mothers who are asked to take self-images that highlight their insecurities about the way they look. In an experiment reminiscent of Dove’s viral “beauty sketches” ad, the participants learn some of their disliked attributes are what others consider to be the most beautiful.

At the backbone of Selfie is research conducted by Dove which revealed 63% of women believe social media is influencing today’s definition of beauty more than print media, film and music. The film, directed by documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade and produced by Sharon Liese, aims to empower women to redefine the traditional perception of beauty found in glossy magazines and movies.

“The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change,” Wade said. “Now, we have the ability to photograph the beauty we see in our friends and ourselves. When we share these diverse images on our social networks, we are taking personal ownership and truly redefining beauty.”

Overall, the film encourages women to pick up their mobile devices, capture who they are and influence the conversation around natural beauty. That’s right: Dove wants you to embrace the selfie.

 

[PHOTOS] Brazil’s Kayapo Indigenous Tribe Juggles Tradition With Modernity

The Kayapo of Brazil challenge every stereotypical image of the indigenous people of the Americas.

A powerful and rapidly growing group among Brazil’s 240 indigenous tribes, the Kayapo consists of roughly 9,000 people, While some cannot read or write, others have started Facebook pages and shop in supermarkets.

According to National Geographic reporter Chip Brown, the group’s particular success and relative wealth seems to stem precisely from its fierce assertion of tradition paired with an openness to new technologies and modes of communication. That said, the road has been difficult and paved with opposition along the say.

In the January issue of National Geographic, Brown writes:

At first glance, Kendjam seems a kind of Eden. And perhaps it is. But that’s hardly to say the history of the Kayapo people is a pastoral idyll exempt from the persecution and disease that have ravaged nearly every indigenous tribe in North and South America. In 1900, 11 years after the founding of the Brazilian Republic, the Kayapo population was about 4,000. As miners, loggers, rubber tappers, and ranchers poured into the Brazilian frontier, missionary organizations and government agencies launched efforts to “pacify” aboriginal tribes, wooing them with trade goods such as cloth, metal pots, machetes, and axes. Contact often had the unintended effect of introducing measles and other diseases to people who had no natural immunity. By the late 1970s, following the construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway, the population had dwindled to about 1,300.

But if they were battered, they were never broken. In the 1980s and ’90s the Kayapo rallied, led by a legendary generation of chiefs who harnessed their warrior culture to achieve their political goals. Leaders like Ropni and Mekaron-Ti organized protests with military precision, began to apply pressure, and, as I learned from Zimmerman, who has been working with the Kayapo for more than 20 years, would even kill people caught trespassing on their land. Kayapo war parties evicted illegal ranchers and gold miners, sometimes offering them the choice of leaving Indian land in two hours or being killed on the spot. Warriors took control of strategic river crossings and patrolled borders; they seized hostages; they sent captured trespassers back to town without their clothes.

Read more about the Kayapo and view Martin Schoeller’s accompanying photography on the National Geographic website or in the January issue of National Geographic.

What to Watch: American Promise Documentary on PBS

…this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. Winner, U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award, 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of Rada Film Group, ITVS and POV’s Diverse Voices Project, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, made possible by CPB. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV. A co-presentation with the National Black Programming Consortium.

To coincide with the POV documentary, Spiegel & Grau will publish Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life, by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson with Hilary Beard. Where American Promise raises provocative questions, Promises Kept delivers answers, combining insights Brewster and Stephenson derived from their own experiences with the latest research on closing the black male achievement gap, providing readers with an unprecedented toolkit full of practical strategies from infancy through the teenaged years.

After the broadcast, you can visit the American Promise companion site to read an excerpt from the book Promises Kept, watch interviews with the filmmakers, download graphics to share on social media, guides for bringing the film into the classroom and community, and more.

POV has partnered with the online video journalism studio Storyhunter to commission a series of short web documentaries about the challenges and achievements of young black males in the United States. The web series will premiere on February 3 with shorts Teaching FatherhoodThe Jazz Ticket, and The Algebra Ceiling.

American Promise premieres February 3, 2014 at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.).

Watch the trailer for American Promise online at PBS.org