Afro-Caribbean influences are in me as a creative being the same way Spanish influences were in Picasso's work. I think the notion of labels - "black dancer, black choreographer" -is a ploy to divide and conquer, and to limit.
If consumers weren't thinking this way, companies would be a lot less responsive. Right now, consumers don't really have a way to get information about where exactly their clothing is coming from - that's a barrier. We have labels on your eggs, "cage-free hens." They need to get something along those lines to allow the consumer to discriminate.
'Jazz Artist of the Century' would have to be a distinctive soloist and ensemble player, a composer, an arranger, a bandleader, and a driver; would have to span all the genres and periods of jazz; would have to have run her own label; [would] possess a deep spirituality, with grace and a sense of humor; and would have to have succeeded against all odds. Who else? Mary Lou Williams.
If the aim is to keep "Christ" in the shopping-mall Christmas or to ensure that pagan trees and mistletoe don't lose their Christian labels, then it might make sense to attack presidents and business owners who commit the "happy holiday" sin. But if the goal is to restore the religious meaning of the Christian holy day, then they are aiming at the wrong Target.
Ours has been called a culture of narcissism. The label is apt but can be misleading. It reads colloquially as selfishness and self-absorption. But these images do not capture the anxiety behind our search for mirrors. We are insecure in our understanding of ourselves, and this insecurity breeds a new preoccupation with the question of who we are. We search for ways to see ourselves. The computer is a new mirror, the first psychological machine. Beyond its nature as an analytical engine lies its second nature as an evocative object.
Children should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish without anybody judging them because it is an important part of their growth... Society always has something to learn when it comes to the way we judge each other, label each other. We have far to go.