Black artist leads protest against Emmett Till painting by white painter at Whitney Museum

An abstract painting of lynching victim Emmett Till on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York was the subject of a weeklong protest by a black artist who decried the canvas as “an injustice to the black community” because it was painted by a white woman.

Parker Bright spent several days this week standing in front of the painting by Dana Schutz, who used historic photographs as inspiration for her depiction of Till, a 14-year-old black Chicago boy killed by white men in Mississippi in 1955.

Till’s mother insisted on an open-casket funeral to show the world the mutilated body of her son, and Jet magazine published photos of his corpse. The brutality sparked outrage that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

In an interview published Thursday in Artnet News, Schutz said that when she made the painting last year, it was a response to “a summer that felt like a state of emergency.”

Emmett Till memorial sign is riddled with bullet holes

“There were constant mass shootings, racist rallies filled with hate speech, and an escalating number of camera-phone videos of innocent black men being shot by police,” she said. “The photograph of Emmett Till felt analogous to the time: what was hidden was now revealed.”

Bright, who engaged onlookers in conversations about “Open Casket,” argued in a Facebook Live video that “Schutz doesn’t have the privilege to speak for the black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family.”

“No one should be making money off a black dead body,” he said, demanding that the curators remove the painting from the biennial exhibition.

Bright’s protest found supporters online. A Berlin-based British artist, Hannah Black, sent the biennial curators a letter lambasting Schutz for using “black pain as raw material.” She called on the museum to destroy the painting.

KING: Woman who lied about Emmett Till should be prosecuted


Whitney curators Mia Locks and Christopher Y. Lew, both Asian-American, defended their inclusion of Schutz’s “unsettling image” in the show.

“By exhibiting the painting we wanted to acknowledge the importance of this extremely consequential and solemn image in American and African American history.”

Locks said any attempt to shut down a conversation about art “is a dangerous and slippery slope and feels to me like an affront to the belief in art and the capacity of art to hold all those complexities.”

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney museum’s chief curator, said the museum took pains to publicly acknowledge the controversy.

Emmett Till accuser admits she fabricated trial testimony

Schutz, who didn’t respond to interview requests from The Associated Press, said in a statement provided by the museum that “Open Casket” was an effort to “engage with the loss.”

“I don’t know what it is like to be black in America. But I do know what it is like to be a mother. Emmett was Mamie Till’s only son. I thought about the possibility of painting it only after listening to interviews with her,” she wrote.

She dismissed accusations of trying to profit from Till’s killing, pledging that the painting “was never for sale and never will be.”


Whitney Museum curators Mia Locks and Christopher Y. Lew, both Asian-American, defended their inclusion of Dana Schutz’s “unsettling image” in the show.

(Mark Lennihan/AP)

In an interview with Artnet News, she added that she knew it would be a “problematic painting.

Emmett Till’s family wants new investigation into lynching

“The anger surrounding this painting is real and I understand that … I do think that it is better to try to engage something extremely uncomfortable, maybe impossible, and failt, than to not respond at all.”

The controversy was the subject of false news reports. Several websites circulated a bogus letter purporting to be from Schutz calling for the painting to be removed.

Whitney patron Robyn Autry, an African-American professor of sociology who came to see the painting from Connecticut, said viewing it was painful because of the subject material, but “artists can do what they want. That has to be the case. But then people will respond to it however they will respond to it.”

Elias Schultz, a 20-year-old student from New York, said it’s important to let everyone be heard.

Son of Emmett Till’s killer named in Panama Papers

“I don’t think that Schutz is doing any harm by bringing more attention to the story of Emmett Till,” she said.

The 2017 Whitney biennial exhibition is on view until June 11. It features the work of 63 individuals and collectives, about half of whom are female artists and about half are non-white.


emmett till
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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Killing the National Endowments Won’t Kill Black Voices and Black Art

President Trump’s administration has promised to put the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) on the chopping block.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPS) could be privatized this year as a part of the plans. Now that the proposed budget has been released the threat is real, with elimination of the NEA’s budget of $145 million per year, the NEH also being defunded to the tune of $145 million and the scrapping of the $445 million budget for CPS.

And while it might slow down funding and support, Black artists will most likely tighten their resolve to continue to create. Cuts won’t kill Black art or the artists who use their various mediums to give insight into the world they live in.

There have always been threats to shut these programs down, since President Lyndon B. Johnson first signed them into law in 1965. NEA funds may just be a small fraction of one percent of the federal budget, however they have been used to support writers, visual artists, actors and musicians.

These funds also drive job creation in the arts for lighting crews, catering companies, directors, and costume and set designers and others who help to bring production to the stage. The NEA estimates that the arts create about 4.7 million jobs.

While the NEA provides small individual grants to artists, it distributes the bulk of its funds to arts serving organizations to support community art, such as local theater, arts education, and healing arts programs for military veterans.

Image: Janice Bass Dorsey
Janice Bass Dorsey of Grand Rapids, Michigan stanmds next to her exhibit “SOWN, #Her-Story” at the ArtPrize competition. Janice Bass Dorsey

According to the NEA, nearly 40 percent of its work takes place in high-poverty and diverse neighborhoods, opening up access to theater and visual arts. And while the NEA may be the most visible arts funding agency, most contributions to the arts come from private philanthropy, sponsorships and partnerships, as well as individual donations.

Sharnita C. Johnson is a Program Director for the New Jersey-based Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she focuses on the arts. “Through the grants to arts-serving organizations, a lot of NEA money is distributed to local arts organizations in communities,” she explains.

According to Johnson some of the grants go to underserved organizations and communities of color. She also says that NEA money impacts the accessibility to theater for many including people of color, by keeping prices affordable.

“With every new administration, cuts are always a danger,” Johnson says, adding the arts are often already under-resourced at the local level. “Without funding for the arts, many organizations will close, and we will lose critical parts of our collective story and the creative experience.”

As she sees it, “the arts are the hub of civic and cultural engagement and education.”

Janice Bass Dorsey, 61, has been an artist since she was a child in Gary, Indiana. “I do it because that’s what I do.”

Over the years her art has taken many forms. Her most recent, is called SOWN #HERstory, a series of stories of women’s lives told through hand-made felted dolls. It was through the NEA-funded ArtPrize competition that she was finally able to display her work to a large audience for the first time. Yet it was challenging for her to get the funds to apply to be a part of the city-wide event. Ever resourceful, she raised the money through family and friends as well as sponsors. Now she is looking to find a permanent home for her installation, while she continues to create new works.

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is visual artist who uses documentary photography as her medium. Her work has been supported by NEA dollars. “A few years back I photographed a series of Black women writers for an exhibition titled, Her Word as Witness,” Barrayn says of the exhibition, which is mounted at the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University.

Related: Museums Acquire Rare Harriet Tubman Portrait

This iteration of the exhibition was made possible by the NEA Big Reads Grant.

Bass Dorsey and Barrayn agree that even a small sliver of funding that comes to Black artists to produce art is hard to come by. “Artists of color are woefully underfunded when it comes to the larger institutions dolling out grants and awards,” Barrayn says of the lack of equity in the arts. “We aren’t as financially supported as our white counterparts. So, the support we do get is crucial.”

Even though the majority of the grants that get passed on to the communities are small, Barrayn says local arts organizations will feel the impact if the NEA is dismantled.

“Artists that rely on re-grant programs will have to find alternative sources for funding, which is already a difficult task,” she adds.

Barrayn like many artists and arts activists’ skepticism about dismantling this legacy agency lies with the new administration. “The threats to cut funding isn’t a new phenomenon, but we are currently faced with an administration that doesn’t reflect the overall sentiments of Americans who value art and support artists,” she says.

But Barrayn isn’t disheartened. “I believe that America values art and the welfare of artist’s lives, she says. “We value free speech and freedom of expression, which is why the NEA has been established and lasted for so long.”

It’s why Black art always lives to teach and move another day.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Gallery: Black Artists of DC present “Transitions”

Daniel Brooking, Divided Theme

A dozen works by Russell Simmons, Daniel T. Brookings, Akili Ron Anderson, T.H. Gomillion, Francine Haskins, Michael Platt, Nanno Smith, and Gloria C. Kirk are on display at the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle, part of the collective, Black Artists of DC.

Curated by Julie Ratner of Artworx. On display through Friday, April 21. 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Call 202-234-3200 or visit

TH Gomillion, The Garden

Daniel Brooking, Gradient 21, 30×20

Russell Simmons, Strange Fruit

Nanno Smith, Primordial

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Nearly 4,000 Demand Frank Artiles Resign for Using N-Word as Protests Begin

Sen. Frank Artiles

Sen. Frank Artiles

Courtesy of Florida House of Representatives

Let’s all take a moment to formally congratulate state Sen. Frank Artiles, who has long been one of Florida’s worst politicians, for shooting himself directly in the foot and all but guaranteeing he’ll never win an election again. After years of filing hateful, anti-LGBTQ bills, allegedly punching college kids in the face, smearing Black Lives Matter activists as terrorists, blatantly taking gifts from Florida Power & Light before advancing FPL-friendly bills, and dropping anti-Muslim racial slurs, Artiles achieved the impossible and found a way to double down on being a gigantic bigot earlier this week.

This time, he admittedly used the N-word in front of a black lawmaker. He also reportedly called some Tallahassee lobbyists “faggots” the same night. And now, more than 4,000 people have signed two petitions demanding he resign. Because Artiles still held office as of this morning, multiple protests are planned today in his South Miami-Dade district.

“Artiles has proven time and again that he lacks the judgment, decency, and maturity needed to properly serve his constituents and the people of Florida, and must resign immediately,” one petition, from the liberal political action committee Florida Strong, says. This morning, that petition had more than 1,400 people demanding Artiles’ resignation.

The second, from a group of activist organizations including the black-rights group Dream Defenders and the LGBTQ-rights nonprofit SAVE, had more than 2,400 signatures as of this morning.

At 10:40 a.m. today, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party will hold a protest outside Artiles’ district office at 13501 SW 128th St. Then, at the Bethel Church on Lincoln Boulevard, the progressive activist group the New Florida Majority will hold an anti-Artiles rally. (The group’s political chair is former state Sen. Dwight Bullard, who lost to Aritles in November’s election.)

“These are the latest in a string of violent, hateful incidents in which Frank Artiles blames his ‘temper,’ or worse, tries to insinuate this behavior is normal in the community he represents,” the Dade Democrats said yesterday in a news release. “There is never an excuse for racism or misogyny.”

Sure, yesterday Artiles apologized, claimed he was drunk, used an “a” instead of an “er” at the end of his N-bombs, and used the slur to describe white colleagues rather than black people. It wasn’t enough — soon afterward, members of the Black Caucus filed a formal complaint asking the Senate to expel Artiles.

Even for a typical person, the incident Artiles described would still be offensive. And, on top of that, this is Frank Artiles, a man once caught on tape calling Middle Easterners “hajis.” He has long lost the benefit of the doubt.


According to the Miami Herald, which broke the story, Artiles called state Senate President Joe Negron a “pussy” and then said six (white) “niggas” in the Florida Senate helped elect Negron to the presidency. Artiles claimed he wasn’t being a bigot and said he talks that way because he grew up in Hialeah. This comment has understandably upset folks in Hialeah, including local Sen. Rene Garcia, who demanded that Artiles apologize for suggesting his hometown is full of epithet-slinging Neanderthals.

In Tallahassee, Artiles has few positive accomplishments on his resumé: In 2015, he offended the state’s LGBTQ community after he tried to pass a discriminatory, anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” which, much like the law in North Carolina, would have forced trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth gender. The bill tanked, but Artiles has not lived down the ordeal. In addition to being offensive and upsetting, the bill likely would have taken a huge chunk out of Florida’s tourism industry, given what happened in North Carolina.

During his reelection battle with Bullard, Artiles circulated photos of his opponent wearing a head scarf and falsely tried to smear both Bullard and Black Lives Matter activists as allies of a Palestinian “terrorist organization.”

Artiles was also ensnared this year in a campaign-donation kerfuffle involving what is perhaps the most hated company in Florida not called Comcast. The Herald reported that FPL, Miami’s pollution-heavy electricity monopoly, spent $2,000 to send Artiles to the Daytona 500 and Disney World. (Artiles attended the race while wearing a jacket with the logo of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, embroidered on it.) After those trips, Artiles magically failed to report those gifts until the Herald began asking questions about them.

(As a reward, FPL can now proudly say it spent a ton of money on a lawmaker who dropped the N-word in front of black people and got removed from the Energy, Communications, and Public Utilities Committee as a result.)

Oh, and in the middle of all this insanity, Artiles also announced he’ll seek reelection in 2018.

Here’s a running list of all the people who are pissed at Artiles and/or are demanding his resignation:

The Florida Senate’s Black Caucus

The NAACP’s Florida State Conference

“The racial slur, profane language and degrading tone used to members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, in particular, a black woman, has no place in our society. In 2017, it’s unfortunate we still must remind everyone about the “N” word and the negative impact it has had in the black community for many years. A public apology is not good enough from a public official who has used racist language in the past. Do us a favor, take your racist language and racist actions and resign.”

The Florida Democratic Party

Florida’s African-American House Democratic Women

“Just to be clear: we are not bitches and we are not girls. We are African-American women, elected leaders within our communities, and proud public servants who will in no way accept this misogynistic and racist attack on another woman. As women, we will not be degraded and we will be shown the proper amount of respect that all other legislators are afforded. As members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, we stand in support of calling for Frank Artiles to be removed from office, but we hope he will do the right thing and resign. No matter how it comes about, Frank Artiles’ time as an elected official must come to an end.”

The Miami Herald Editorial Board

From his unconscionable — and repeated — use of a racial and sexist slurs directed at an African-American colleague to his ridiculously choreographed first apology that he had to be prodded into making, Rep. Frank Artiles, again, has shown the public his measure. And he does not measure up to anyone who should serve in the state Legislature.

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board

Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles should resign from office for his racist tirade to a pair of his African-American colleagues. The Republican’s public apology on the Senate floor Wednesday morning was insufficient, and there should be no tolerance in the Florida Legislature for such bigotry.

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

There is no place in the Florida Legislature for Sen. Frank Artiles. The Miami Republican needs to resign, the sooner the better. If he refuses to voluntarily leave for the racist and sexist slurs he made this week, he should be booted out. And not just by the Democratic Party. Republicans in the Legislature — in particular, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill, who chairs the Republican Party of Florida — should show him the door.

The New Florida Majority, a progressive activist group

“State Senator Frank Artilles’ racist and misogynist comments and aggressive behavior towards Jacksonville-area State Sen. Audrey Gibson is evidence of the kind of treatment that women, especially black women, are facing in the public arena today. His insulting language and harassment should not be tolerated by anyone in state government, including his fellow elected officials.”

Dream Defenders


We are not surprised but still disappointed that it has come to this for Senator Artiles. We have made clear to him that his anti-transgender bathroom bills only discriminate against a class of Floridians. Sadly, Senator Artiles has shown through his behavior towards his colleagues this week that he just doesn’t care about things like that. We urge the Senator to resign. Join us in demanding Frank Artiles resign from the State Senate.

Equality Florida, the LGBTQ-rights group

“We call on Senate Leadership to demonstrate an authentic and unmistakable commitment to upholding a standard of basic decency by removing Artiles from office…His hateful personal views have infiltrated his public service and he cannot be allowed to remain in office. Senator Artiles’ racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQ vitriol is unacceptable behavior for anyone, especially someone charged with representing the best interest of the people of Florida. There is no place for Frank Artiles in Florida’s democracy, just as there is no place for discrimination of any kind in Florida.”

New Times‘ own Uncle Luke

During the 2016 election, Artiles went out of his way to smear his Democratic opponent, then-state Sen. Dwight Bullard, who is black. Artiles aired a Spanish-language TV ad falsely telling voters that Bullard “voted to release violent criminals and sexual delinquents in our community.” In another advertisement attacking Bullard, Artiles described the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terrorist organization.”

Some people will defend Artiles by saying black people use “nigga” all the time when speaking to one another. But African-Americans can’t go around calling Cubans “spics” or “wetbacks” without facing consequences. In fact, I have never used ethnic slurs when addressing my Latino friends. My mother and father didn’t raise me that way. The same can’t be said about Artiles. Most likely, he grew up believing that bigotry is OK.

The entire city of Hialeah

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Female Sex Tourism Is On The Rise…And Black Women Do It Too

I am tired of reading about the exotic hook-ups of white women in the travel groups on Facebook. Let’s be honest, they are just writing about another form of sex tourism. Female Sex Tourism, like most other subjects in the travel blogging space, white women’s escapades through the colored world dominate the conversation. They are the female face of sex tourism—the white woman of a certain age or the overweight white twenty-something who runs off to Jamaica or Zanzibar in search of some attention from a well-fit young Black man. Don’t sleep—sisters are doing it too. To be clear, this article is not about the women and children who are victims of sex trafficking—it is the about men who by choice or necessity sell their time and bodies to tourist women of all colors, shapes, and ages.

Do you prefer calling it a beach fling, vacation romance, sexcapade, or close encounter of the Third World kind?  Female sex tourism is on the rise especially with the women dominated international Black travel movement. A roll in the sand with Dexter Saint Jock to get over recent heartbreak, and that 5-day vacation hookup both fall within the sex tourism spectrum. I am not judging anyone’s choices—own your sexuality. But, I do hope that if this is your choice you do it safely. With female condoms widely available and the ability to put them in up to eight hours before intercourse that tipsy trip back to your cabana after a little wind-me, wind-me should be safe and on your terms.

“Women enjoy casual sex and prostitution, too, but with far more hypocrisy.”

When contemplating the larger picture of what you leave behind after your trip to Cuba, even where money has not directly exchanged hands, the action of taking care of your Latin lover can have rippling effects within the local community. While you may see it as “romantical”, is it really anything more than a rent-a-date? Do you speak his language or only hear his professions of your beauty and his love of your ? Are you only hanging out in tourist zones where without you, he would not be welcomed? What do you know about his family, kids, girlfriend, or wife? Nirpal Dhaliwal, author of Tourism says, “Women enjoy casual sex and prostitution, too, but with far more hypocrisy. They help themselves to men in the developing world, kidding themselves that it’s a ‘holiday romance’ that has nothing to do with the money they spend.”


Read More at:  Blavity

Black Entrepreneur Launches Woody Wipes — Personal Hygiene Wipes for Men

Black Entrepreneur Launches Woody Wipes — Personal Hygiene Wipes for Men

Derek Collins, founder and CEO of Woody Wipes

Derek Collins, founder and CEO of Woody Wipes

Atlanta, GA — Ladies, are you tired of your man’s poor personal hygiene “down there”? Are you tired of endlessly battling this issue with your man and “taking one for the team?” Has there been an unspoken issue of stench in the nether regions of men, but every time you look up there’s some commercial addressing personal hygiene for women? Wives, fiancés, and girlfriends it is time to start high-fiving because your silent prayer has been answered!

 Entrepreneur Derek Collins has launched Woody Wipes – one of the first of its kind, personal hygiene wipes for men. Historically women have had an arsenal of products to keep it fresh in the bedroom, while many men are barely using soap and water. Well no more! It’s time to step into the new age.More and more companies are finally giving male hygiene a second look, and for good reason. With the success of Axe, Bevel, Dollar Beard Club, companies are finding success with products specifically tailored for men.

Woody Wipes now enters the arena of personal hygiene products and delivers wipes that are formulated to knock out the nauseating odor of what Derek calls “funky balls”. Woody Wipes are stronger than baby wipes and designed to be used by men. They are inexpensive, flushable, and useful for removing body butter, lent balls, funk, must, and even come in pocket-sized pouches so they can be taken discreetly on the go.

Woody Wipes claims to freshen up the genitals after the gym, work, or sexual activity. The product is currently not available in stores, but is available for pre-order at www.woodywipes.comand has a release date of June 1, 2017 – just in time for the summer!

Follow the company on Facebook at


Derek Collins