This video features the voices of a diverse group of 12-year-olds from West Side Collaborative Middle School in New York City talking about their experiences with race, racial identity, and racism. The featured students speak about their backgrounds, families, experiences with discrimination and stereotyping, and the confusion, fears, anxieties, and racial injustices they face in their everyday lives. The video is part of a multimedia project called Being 12: The Year Everything Changes, produced by pubic radio station WNYC.
This commercial for the Fiat car was produced in 2012. Charlie Sheen – fresh off of some legal run-ins and a high-profile drug-induced meltdown – plays up his long-standing bad-boy image by driving his Fiat through a house party. He proves irresistible to an admiring crowd, composed mostly of seductively dressed women. At the time of this filming, Sheen was nearly 50 years old, but the ad depicts him as able to attract beautiful women through his bad-boy antics, much as he did when he was a younger man.
This magazine spread -- “Can Getting Fit Get You a Date” -- was published in Cosmopolitan magazine. Cosmopolitan is a young women’s magazine, and typically includes articles on relationships, sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, fashion and beauty. In this article, a reporter experiments with three different fitness courses/groups, with the aim of seeing whether she will get a date from participating in these activities. The article is written in the first person, with the reporter describing her feelings and experiences while participating in a running group, a salsa class and a fitness group.
Down for Life is a 2010 feature film directed by Alan Jacobs. The film follows Rascal, a Latina high school student enmeshed in Los Angeles gang life. The central conflict in the story concerns Rascal's future. As a gifted writer, Rascal has opportunities to leave Los Angeles but her neighborhood friends are pressuring her to stay. In the trailer, we see clips of Rascal in fights, being pursued by police, being chastised by her teachers not to squander her opportunities, and being threatened by fellow gang members not to leave. The connection to earlier films about young people of color struggling through poverty are made clear by titles that read, "A cross between Precious...and Boyz in the Hood." Rascal and her friends use the phrase "down for life" in multiple different contexts throughout the trailer: to affirm their friendships, the commitment to the gang, their lives in the neighborhood, and an inflexible set of values.
On February 12, 2008, 15-year-old Lawrence “Larry” King was murdered by a fellow eight grader at his school in Oxnard, California. Larry was murdered because he had asked his murderer to be his Valentine. In this video, one of America's most prominent lesbian woman, Ellen Degeneres, takes time on her popular daytime talk show to discuss the matter. Ellen, clearly very emotional, makes the statement that she and this boy are not second-class citizens, and that it is okay to be gay. She also calls attention to humor directed at gayness and how it creates the context that allowed for such a murder.