November 2014: Little Burgundy, Healing Rage, Dark Matter and Janet Mock

This month on Spitfiyah!: Mercedes analyzes how Little Burgundy has become known as a Montreal hotspot this year, and the role that gentrification forces played.  Gau reports back on the McGill Culture Shock series: in particular, the 'Healing Rage' convergence for Indigenous people and people of colour to discuss their lived experiences and anti-racist organizing, as well as the keynote event featuring Dark Matter, a trans south asian artist collaboration. Victoria facilitates another 'Things We Love" segment, and shares her love this month for Janet Mock's memoir, Redefining Realness.

Listen to the show here.

October 2014: Emily Gan, Ninotchka Rosca, Annette Kassaye

Montreal filmmaker Emily Gan was in studio with us to talk about her documentary - Cave Birds - and also about women of color filmmaking in Montreal.  

We also bring you an exclusive interview with Ninotchka Rosca - Filipina feminist, author, journalist, and human rights activist who will be speaking to us about the killing of Jennifer Laude.  

We also spoke with Annette Kassaye. Annette is a transracial, transnational adoptee who does not know her birth parents and is working to raise awareness about the challenges transracial adoptees face in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Finally, we also discussed Shonda Rhimes’ new television series, How to get away with Murder. How to Get Away with Murder draws us in with the drama, sex, murder and intrigue. We discuss how Rhimes places the spotlight on the rise of women of colour as the driver and powerhouse of television shows.

September 2014: activist Amanda Lickers on Reclaim Turtle Island, and the repeated victimization of Janay Rice

Activist and member of the Onondowaga nation Amanda Lickers was in studio to discuss her grassroots radical media project, Reclaim Turtle Island. The project has produced several films and aims to build capacity for Indigenous and anticolonial struggles in Turtle Island, including the extraction of oil from tar sands. Amanda will speak to us about Reclaim Turtle Island, decolonization, divestment, and indigenous solidarity.

Also, earlier thins month, TMZ released a video of football player Ray Rice punching his fiancee, now wife, Janay in an elevator. The Baltimore Ravens, Ray’s team, subsequently posted a disturbing tweet that  “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident." Since then, Ray has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Led by Mercedes, we will discuss how Janay Rice is being victimized over and over again.

August 2014: Michael Brown and the events in Ferguson, and why are we so thirsty for what Shonda Rhimes is feeding us?

On this month's show, we look at police brutality in the wake of the killing of Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson is about 3 miles outside of St. Louis. Witnesses say Brown was shot with his hands up. Autopsy reports show that Brown was shot 6-8 times, twice in the head. This most recent death of a black person by the police has us all asking a perennial question, why? Why is it so okay to kill black people and people of color?

We’ll also look at the solidarity between protesters in Ferguson and Palestinians in Gaza as well as Asian American responses to police brutality.  We will also look at responses by celebrities, especially celebrities of color. 

In the second half of our show, we raise the question: why are we so thirsty for what Shonda Rhimes is feeding us? Rhimes' is the head writer and producer behind hugely successful television dramas, including Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, which prominently feature women of color. A new show of hers, How to Get Away With Murder, will debut this fall. We explore how Rhimes' female characters are deeply polarizing:  while they are reiterative of negative stereotypes of women of color and are evocative of a post-racial context, we still find them extremely appealing. 

Listen to the show here.

July 2014: Actress Tamara Brown, the Occupation of Palestine, Sierra Mannie's Dear White Gays article, the Aaliyah biopic

On this month's show, we had in  studio a special guest, Montreal actress, singer, director, writer, and educator Tamara Brown.  We talked to her about her work as a cofounder of Metachroma Theatre in 2010, an independent theatre company with the mandate of normalizing the presence of visible minority artists onstage.

We also hold space for Palestinians whose lives are threatened by the ongoing siege in Gaza and the latest Israeli military operation, “My Brother’s Keeper”. Gaza is the world's largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade. We have assembled some voices of Palestinian women speaking in resistance to the Occupation of Palestine and the ongoing assault on Palestinians by Israel in the name of Zionism.

Sinmi breaks down the reaction to Sierra Mannie’s article "Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture" where Mannie critiques the growing cultural practice of some gay white men flaunting the markers of stereotyped black womanhood. What do we think about this alleged solidarity between bougey white gay men and black women? 

Mercedes brings us the latest on the departure of Zendaya Colman from the Lifetime network’s biopic of Aayliah.  This is the latest in a series of controversial biopics of black cultural icons. Is Hollywood whitewashing our singers?

Listen to the show here.

June 2014: Maya Angelou, 300 sandwiches, Amanda Blackhorse and an offensive NFL trademark and more

Mercedes pays homage to the phenomenal woman Maya Angelou, who passed away earlier this month. Sinmi discuss the blog, 300 sandwiches, and the idea that a man would propose after a woman has made him 300 sandwiches. Alyssa will be telling us about how Navajo activist Amanda Blackhorse managed to get an NFL  trademark revoked.  We will also honor the life of Yuri Kochiyama as well as salute Laverne Cox in her appearance earlier this month on Time Magazine.

Listen to the show here.

May 2014: bell hooks, and is Beyonce a terrorist? Also the media and the Boko Haram kidnapping

This month, Spitfiyah! first discusses the Boko Haram kidnapping in the media. Mercedes moderated the discussion and Spitfiyah! analyzed Western media's reaction to the kidnapping, and the role of social media in how the events unfolded.

While the internet blew up watching Solange beat Jay Z in TMZ’s elevator video, renowned feminist, and radical critical thinker bell hooks was back at the New School as Scholar-in-Residence for another discussion on May 6th.  In the discussion, entitled "Are You Still a Slave?: Liberating the Black Female Body", hooks was joined by black feminist thinkers Marci Blackman, Shola Lynch and Janet Mock and drew controversy when the conversation turned to Beyonce. Is Beyonce a terrorist?  Moderated by Alyssa, we discuss hooks' use of the ‘t’ word towards one of the most universally revered pop culture figures of our time.

May is also Asian Heritage Month! In honor of Asian Heritage Month, we will be featuring tracks from several influential women from the Asian diaspora. They are Susheela Raman ("Ye Meera Divanapan Hai"),  Ann One ("Crush on You"), Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down (" The Feeling Kind"), and Masia One ("Warriors Tongue"). We also talked about the Komagata Maru's centenary, and you can read the press release authored by migrant justice advocates here.

Lastly, we would like to dedicate this show to Maya Angelou, poet, author, activist, who sadly passed away on May 28th.

Listen to the show here

April 2014: Spitfiyah! discusses Gloria Steinem and Second Wave Feminism, and the Quebec provincial elections

This month, Spitfiyah! discusses Gloria Steinem as she turns 80 years old,  her persona and her impact on feminism, and the relevance of second-wave feminism to women of colour.

Spitfiyah! also addresses the outcome of the recent election in Quebec. Discussing the role the Charter of Values played in the campaign, the Parti Quebecois's staggering defeat,  and the various policies that were emphasized during the campaign,  Spitfiyah! analyzes what this means for the future, and how Quebec politics frame communities of colour.

Listen to the show here.

March 2014: Professor Aziza Ahmed on the decriminalization of sex work, actresses Li Li and Liana Montoro from 4000 Miles, American Apparel's Made in Bangladesh ad and the #ItooamOxford campaign

We dedicate this edition of Spitfiyah! to Loretta Saunders.  

This month, we bring you an interview on the intersection between HIV/AIDS prevention, sex work, and harm reduction. Alyssa spoke with Professor Aziza Ahmed about the importance of decriminalizing sex work for HIV-prevention efforts and the rights of sex workers.  

Gau discusses the controversial American Apparel Ad “Made in Bangladesh” featuring the image a topless "former" Muslim woman and her transnational identity testimonial. 

Victoria interviews Montreal actresses Li Li and Liana Montoro, who join us remotely from the Centaur Theatre. They will be performing in the Centaur's production of Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, which premieres on March 25th. They shared their views on acting, Montreal theatre, films, and what it’s like to be a woman of colour actress in Montreal.

Mercedes addressed the recent social media campaigns of - #ItooamHarvard/Oxford, the stakes involved, and the pushback we’ve been witnessing in our cyberuniverses.

To celebrate the coming of spring, we're playing some of the very best late 1980s and early 1990s WOC tunes throughout the show.

Listen to the show here. 

February 2014 Show: Special Homelessness Marathon edition, Black History Month, Bridget Tolley from Families of Sisters in Spirit, Allison Reid and Nakuset on the "revitalization" of Cabot Square, PTSD in low income neighborhoods and Black-Indigenous collective resistance in Leslie Silko's Almanac of the Dead

This was a special Homelessness Marathon edition of Spitifyah! The Homelessness Marathon is an annual national all day broadcast aiming to raise awareness about homelessness in Canada. Alyssa, Victoria, Mercedes, Gau and Malek hosting this LIVE broadcast from outside the Native Friendship Centre in downtown Montreal.

Happy Black History Month to our listeners in Montreal and beyond! In addition to tackling issues related to homelessness, we celebrated Black history throughout this February edition of our show.

Malek brings you an interview with Bridget Tolley, founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit, an emerging grassroots volunteer organization led by families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Victoria brings headlines on grassroots migrant justice activism in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Gau turns a critical eye on the recent push from the Ville-Marie borough to “revitalize” Cabot square, which would lead to the displacement of marginalized people that currently use the square as a place to convene. She explored the theme of spacial colonisation in gentrification projects and spoke with Allison Reid and Nakuset from the Cabot Square Project at Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy

Mercedes discussed a recent crisis brought to light by American news sources ProPublica and Colorlines. A disturbing number of post-traumatic stress disorders cases are found in lower income neighbourhoods (such as those with a high concentration of African Americans) in Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia.

In honour of Black History Month, and the historical connections between Black and Indigenous collective resistance, Alyssa discusses the history of Black-Indigenous connections through the voice of Clinton, a Black Indian depicted in Leslie Silko’s novel Almanac of the Dead. She will read an excerpt from the novel.

Listen to the show here.

January 2014 Show: interviews with Ari Swan and Rosalind Wong, pieces on CeCe McDonald, and Tenelle Star

Up first was a round-up of local and international WOC news stories including the story of CeCe McDonald, an African-American trans woman and activist who was recently released from prison after defending herself from a racist, trans-phobic attack in Minnesota back in 2012.

Victoria had a chance to talk music and culture with recent WOC American artist emigre, Ari Swan.  We discussed her work within the Montreal indie music scene as well as the impact of free improv music in the NDG youth community.  

Malek spoke with migrant-justice activist, Rosalind Wong, about the current climate in Canada for women of colour migrants. 

Mercedes discussed the shocking case of Tenelle Star, an Aboriginal teen who was asked to remove her "Got Land" hoodie in class.

Listen to the show here. 

December 2013 Show: Best of 2013!

Our holiday edition features some of our best pieces from the past year:  Angela Davis and the Birmingham bombing, remembering Renisha McBride, Jackie Wang and the concept of revolutionary loneliness, the use of blackface in Quebec, excerpts from interviews with Nydia Dauphin, Charmaine Nelson, Malika Tirolien, Fariha Roisin, and discussions we had in the past year  on the  controversial proposal to end Kwanzaa, the film Django Unchained and more...

Happy Holidays from your Spitfiyah! hosts,
Lili, Alyssa, Victoria, Malek, and Mercedes.

Listen to the show here.

November 2013 Show: Remembering Renisha McBride, bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry, and Sarah Malik on the proposed Quebec Charter of Values

On November 2nd, Renisha McBride, a 19-year old African American woman was shot in the head by Theodore Wafer, a white man, in Dearborn Heights outside of Detroit.  Since the  horrific tragedy, Dearborn police failed to charge Mr. Wafer.  After community pressure and national outrage continued, Mr. Wafer turned himself in.  We aired excerpts from a documentary made by Dream Hampton, a filmmaker and writer based in Detroit.  

We also featured clips from a mind blowing conversation between renowned writer, scholar black feminist - bell hooks, and MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, which took place at the New School for Social Research in early November.  Their dialogue focussed on the black female voice, representation, and subjectivity within imperialist white supremacy capitalist patriarchy.

We also looked closely at the newly-tabled Bill 60, known more popularly as the Quebec Charter of Values. We welcomed Sarah Malik in studio to talk more about the implications of this Bill. Sarah recently hosted a teach-in about the Charter, and is an Equity Educational Advisor at McGill University. The views she expresses are her own, and not the university's.

Listen to the show here.

October 2013 Show: Special funding drive edition, Humera Jabir on the PQ, and Malika Tirolien

Up first,  We take a critical look at the coalition movements that brought the PQ to power in a narrow victory back in September 2012.  As several prominent self-called feminists express their support for the Charter, we ask where are the progressive voices in Quebec denouncing what many are calling racism a la Quebecoise.  We speak with Humera Jabir, a law student at McGill University in Montreal. Her article, “The Hijab is not a Political Tool” appeared in Maisonneuve and was re-printed in the Toronto Star. Her piece  cuts through hardly disguised attack on immigrants, people of colour, and religious minorities in Quebec. 

Malek bring us the women of colour headlines for the month of October covering all the action in another edition of the Spitfiyah news roundup.

Finally, the program featured the music of montreal jazz vocalist, singer and songwriter, Malika Tirolien.  Victoria brings you an exclusive interview with Malika just before she took to the stage with the Kalmunity Jazz Project at Resonance Cafe. 

Listen to the show here.