Stepping Into The Shadow Of Racism


The March 2012 cover of FHM Philippines showed a very Caucasian looking, Filipino actress and model Bela Padilla appearing to emerge from a group of very dark, very African looking black models accompanied with the caption, Stepping Out of the Shadows.  The cover photo was immediately met with a backlash from readers and social media who argued, rightly so, that it was racially insensitive.  The social outrage was so strong that it prompted the local publisher to issue an apology and scrap the edition with a promise to print a new cover featuring Ms. Padilla.  A statement from the publisher said that in their pursuit to come up with edgier covers they will strive to be more sensitive.

An online petition on calling for the publisher to apologize for the cover saying that people of African descent have been unjustly stigmatized as embodying darkness ever since the era of…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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