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Entries in Amandla Stenberg (2)

Sunday
Feb032013

Habit 4 Win/Win : Get Your Rosa Parks Forever Stamps 

 That's Amandla Stenberg dressed age-appropriately introducing the Rosa Parks Forever Stamp for the United States Postal Service. The folks over at the WAOD Facebook fan page enjoyed the pick so I thought I'd share that with the audience over on the blog as we head into the fourth post in our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I'll tie in this photo with our theme this week Habit 4:Think Win Win.

I like to be consistent with posting so it’s bothering me that I haven’t been able to meet my Monday posting schedule with this 7 Habits series. So today I just buckled down and said WRITE IT!  

I began this 7 Habits Series at the same time I began my Become a Runner Class and I have to readjust my lifestyle to adjust to the fact that I am a competitive athlete now - sure, I may be competing with the little old ladies I power walk past on race day, but it’s still a competition :) In any case, I am waking up at 5 in the morning which means by 8:30 at night, I’m done. My body has become a task master “Go to sleep! Climb the hill! Put down the Funyuns! Put. them. down!”  So in the past I would stay up at night and write my posts for the next day, but I haven’t figured out my new pattern so bear with moi. We’ve got 3 more habits to go before this series is over. Thank you for your loyalty!

So Habit #4 is Think Win/WIn and when I tell you this chapter was so timely in my life. The first three habits Be Proactive, Begin With the End in Mind, Put First Things First- were about managing ourselves. Habit 4 Begins with managing our relationship with others. 

Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.

Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing–that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me; it’s not fair, and I’m going to make sure you don’t get anymore. We all play the game, but how much fun is it really?

Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good! Steven Covey

 I do tend to go through life thinking about how to avoid losing. I think we do that when we don’t know what our goals are- or the ultimate results we want and we get focussed on outwitting, outsmarting, and outlasting.  There is also the vulnerability that comes from having to trust others. Well if you craft a negotiation so that everyone involved benefits, the other party’s altruism should drive them in the direction of honor and decency. I also learned that even if someone doesn’t say anything about being on the losing end of a Win/Lose negotiation, the relationship with them will be poisoned by resentment eventually. 

Many people think in terms of either/or: either you're nice or you're tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave. To do that--to achieve that balance between courage and consideration--is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win. Steven Covey

 I found myself in four different discussions last week with potential strategic partners and I am certain, I would not have even opened the door to the possibility of collaboration if I had not read this chapter. I would have held on to my ideas and kept them to myself or I would have been trying to figure out how not to end up on the short end of any collaboration- but this chapter made me fearless- I don’t partner with people who I can’t help “win” and I avoid at all costs those who can’t explain to me how they are going to help me “win.” If the win/win isn’t clear - then don’t do the deal. 

So learn to start filtering your collaborations by asking? How can I help them? How can they help me? If you don't know the answer- now is not the time. That time may come later- but not now. 

This photo was a win/win. Normally I ignore the spam I get from Publicists because they are getting paid to do something they want me to do for free. So no, I ain't blogging about your client when you won't give me so much as $0.47 to buy a stamp.  That's a win/lose situation that breeds resentment- and yes, I resent their SPAM and unwillingness to invest in the blogging platforms that make them money. In this case, however, the publicist had something my audience wanted which were photos of a beautiful group of Black women and girls an event celebrating Rosa Parks. So on a whim because I knew the Facebook crew were fans of Amandla, I posted this image, the response was so overwhelmingly positive that I ended up posting about a half dozen photos from the publicist and both sets of photos have been heavily shared--- ironically the publicist pitched these photos using Samuel L Jackson's name in the subject heading-I looked at the photos IN SPITE of that.

Wednesday
Mar282012

Amandla Stenberg is Adorable and What We Can Learn from Rue - Related Hunger Games Racism

I was going to write a post about coping skills for  readers who have a problem with me calling out foolishness when I see it, but instead you get a Hunger Games post!

Right now I'm sure those of you with delicate sensibilities are glad that my screenplay got selected by my classmates as one of the two films we will produce this semester- so I'll take that as ANOTHER sign pushing me out the door here. Not to mention I finished my first 10K on Sunday, even made the local news, in a time 20 minutes less than my personal goal. Yay me! You don't have to say amen, I'll say it for myself :) Woot! Woot!

Joy= the ultimate snark killer. 

So we temporarily pause this week's edition of The Blogmother vs The Sisterhood of Traveling Rants to focus on more important things.

You know, like fans of the Hunger Games books being  disappointed that the character Rue was a Black girl. They are also mad that Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniy)are Black as well. By the by, I am loving Lenny Kravitz's acting choices. He's picking roles well within his range and doing a nice transition from singer to actor. 

 I won't spoil the movie too much. 24 children thrown into an arena and forced to fight to the death while the world watches. I got the allegory with the ravages of war, some people didn't. I WOULD NOT let my child watch the movie... they'd have to sneak in without me knowing. It's gory and I don' t know if children get the symbolism or the "message." They just see what they do in video games play out on screen. Hacking shooting, killing and sanitized death with blood droplets.

Anyhow, the character Rue is a central figure in the plot of the movie, and I would say the entire trilogy. I won't say why.

Anywhoo, Twitter, the raw sewer of public discourse, was the home of a flurry of angry tweets from people who didn't realize that Rue was a Black girl. You can read a Tumblr blog dedicated to capturing the racist Hunger Games Tweets in  response to Rue's casting. 

Many of the tweets are peppered with racial slurs.

One particularly shocking tweet reads: "Sense when has Rue been a nigger."

Another alluding to Rue's untimely death reads: "call me racist but when i found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad #ihatemyself." Chicago Trib

What's also important to remember is that there are equally compelling anecdotes about entire theatres full of people gasping when Rue experiences a particular hardship in the movie- again, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.  ***SPOILER ALERT***

So what have we learned?

A) Racism still exists! (I'm shocked!) but more important...

B) There is an audience of people who will invest in the life and care deeply about an African American girl character.

Rue's death provoked some of the most audible and sustained gasps I've ever heard in the packed, midtown NYC screening I attended. Press Play 

An on Thresh avenging Rue's death by breaking one of the fundamental rules of the game:

At the screening I attended (which included general viewers along with critics), the audience erupted with cheers when Thresh let Katniss (who had previously saved Rue’s life) escape, saying, “Just this once, Twelve. For Rue.” (In the novel, he says, “Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl.”) Both the book and the movie suggest a sort of ethnic solidarity that even trumps the rules of the “game,” and I suspect that this, rather than the mere casting, is what freaked out some racist viewers. New Yorker

I would suggest you focus on B.  B means that there is hope that stories featuring Black women and girls as characters could be "four quadrant" movies if a filmmaker figures out a way for audiences to connect with those characters. . . to the tune of $200 million dollars. I'll take 15% of $200mil. anyday. 

As for the movie, Jennifer Lawrence owed the role of Katniss. I agree with critics of the director and his camera movements and editing style. I'm not a fan of blood and gore so watching what happens at the cornucopia in the beginning of the competition is gory and I just covered  my eyes completely during the final chase scene. 

I can't wait for Pixar's Brave and more importantly, your/my films featuring little Black girls in the lead of four quadrant action adventure movies. After the reception of my script by my classmates, I got a great confidence boost.  I don't only amuse myself, but other people find me quite hilarious. Who knew? My film will debut on May 12 at oneo f the local movie chains. How cool is that?

Script Frenzy starts this weekend! Woot! Woot! In honor of the savage attacks on fat Black women launched by the sisterhood of traveling rants guess which character won the prize of getting their own feature length screenplay this April? Here's a hint :)