I was hesitant to post this week because I don’t want to take views or support away from the vital work of dismantling racist systems in this country. But I’ve decided to write a blog post for regular visitors looking for ways to educate themselves and take action to help the revolution. So, here are information and resources I can offer.
The Adult Entertainment Industry’s Racist Practices
You know that the adult entertainment industry is my beat. You may not know, or spend much time thinking about, the ways that industry plays into fucked-up racist stereotypes. Or how it often into fucked-up white-supremacist realities by treating performers of color as less-than. This might seem like trivial information in the face of the police brutality against Americans of color that is under the microscope now. And perhaps it is. But it’s also important to remember that, through its vast reach, pornography is perhaps the form of media that unites us most. The messages that are perpetuated in pornography reach millions, maybe billions of us around the world. And those messages are often, frankly, racist. We’ve got to take them seriously.
A few years ago, I wrote a feature article for Glamour about practices in the p0rn industry that need to be reexamined and retired. Practices like paying performers of color less, offering them fewer on-camera roles, and feeding into the outmoded hypersexualization of Black bodies. Unfortunately, in the three years since this article was published, very little has changed. If you’d like to learn more about how this all works, and how these practices affect performers on the ground, please read the article here. The good news is that, in light of the current protests and the conversations they have sparked, many within the p0rn industry are making moves to change these practices. There have been webinars and round-table discussions happening within the industry in the past few days, and I sincerely hope that these conversations lead to real change in practice in the future.
There’s a chapter in my book, Watching P0rn, on this topic that goes into much more detail, as well. So, if you’d like to learn more, grab a copy from me, buy it online from your favorite book seller or download it from Audible.
Oneshi Press Is Raising Money to Donate
I’ve got this publishing company, Oneshi Press. We make comics, graphic novels, illustrated novels, art, and merch. One of our guiding principles is that we give a shit. We hire diverse artists to work on our projects and publish folks from different backgrounds. And we’re always seeking new ways to do more. So, true to form, last week we donated already to the Black Visions Collective and bail funds in Minneapolis and New York City. But we want to do more.
So right now, we’re also raising money by way of our online store. This week, we’ll donate all profits on sales of books. And proceeds on this gorgeous art print by Jayel Draco of my sex-positive character, Tracy Queen, demanding justice for Black victims of police violence will go to the Black Lives Matter movement from now until forever. So check out the store, get some great indie comics (including volumes 1 & 2 of the graphic novel about Tracy Queen!), books, and art, and help support the fight for justice!
If you’re a big comics fan, consider dropping some cash on Black-owned comic book stores right the hell now. With all that’s happening across America, on top of the pandemic that’s kept many stores closed and caused distribution problems, many comic book shops are struggling. Support those owned by Black Americans by getting your comics from them, or by donating money. Here’s a fabulous list on Twitter that keeps growing.
If you’re more of a prose book reader than a sequential art fan, never fear! Here’s a list of Black-owned book stores you can support. Book stores have struggled just as much as comics shops in the last few months, so any purchases or donations you can make will go a long way right now. Check it out now!
Check out the #drawingwhileblack hashtag on Twitter. Black artists are dropping their portfolios, their online stores, and their donation links—and showing off their art. And. It. Is. Amazing. If you’re in a position to buy their art, support them with donations, or hire or commission them…DO IT. Do it now. And if you just want to go drop some likes and follow some truly amazing artists, that’s rad, too.
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