speaking of levy’s

zieff.03.01.02Howard Zieff still remembers how he found the people to photograph in 1967 for his most famous advertisement, which had the tag line, “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.”

“We wanted normal-looking people, not blond, perfectly proportioned models,” Zieff recalled. The advertisements, for Levy’s rye bread, featured an American Indian, a Chinese man and a black child.

“I saw the Indian on the street; he was an engineer for the New York Central,” Zieff said. “The Chinese guy worked in a restaurant near my Midtown Manhattan office. And the kid we found in Harlem. They all had great faces, interesting faces, expressive faces.”

…Surprisingly, many in Hollywood are unaware that the reticent and modest Zieff was perhaps the most significant advertising photographer in New York in the 1960s. His work still resonates today.

“Howard was a truly special talent,” said Roy Grace, a former chairman of the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, now part of DDB Worldwide. “There was Howard Zieff and everyone else.” Grace was the agency’s art director in the 1960s, when he began working with Zieff.

“Howard was the primary force in a certain kind of advertising,” Grace said. “His photographs were a dialogue with humor, a dialogue with what we call real people, which is now commonplace.”

“Then everybody in advertisements was white,” he added. “Every kid was tow-haired and freckled with perfect little buck teeth. Myself and my compatriots were a bunch of guys from the Bronx and Brooklyn. That was not our background. And neither was it Howard’s.”

via http://www.jewishjournal.com/travel/article/from_ordinary_faces_extraordinary_ads_20020301/Levy'sChinese_800


speaking of “black enough”


I was happy to come across this article (http://www.politicalarticles.net/blog/2009/06/17/are-you-black-black-enough-and-who-decides/) on the notion of “black enough.”  I’m wondering today why, when I call attention to the absurd and potentially damaging rigid notions of blackness and whiteness, people feel the need to challenge me instead of challenging these notions.  And the one that says that black and white cannot co-exist without the degradation of one, maybe even both, of them.  I do not agree with Taylor’s assertion that “it may be too late in history as well as potentially dangerous to be tampering with the socio-cultural definition of blackness even though the definition is a product of slavery.”  I think it dangerous not to tamper with it.  I think the American consciousness  is infected with racism (colorism at best).  We trace the disease back to slavery.  I don’t think we will heal and prosper and achieve the greatness intended for the nation until we rectify this situation. These definitions. I certainly do agree with his last statement though.

Are You Black; Black Enough; and Who Decides?

By Robert Taylor

In the wake of the claims of Tiger Woods and the election of a mixed race but Black President, a question has been raised in black internet chat rooms around the country as to whether there is a legal or biological definition of who is black.

Actually, there is no law operable today which defines what percentage of “black blood” makes one black. The oft-repeated notion that one drop of black blood makes one black is a cultural definition which has neither a legal nor biological foundation…It is basically a socio-cultural attitude based in major measure on how a person looks.

…Simply put, in America, if you “look” in anyway black, you “are” black. That is not law. That is not science. It just is – a practical reality. Thus Tiger Woods’ mother may be from Thailand and Tiger may object to being called black. But it does not make a practical difference.

Further, it may be too late in history as well as potentially dangerous to be tampering with the socio-cultural definition of blackness even though the definition is a product of slavery. When the Census Bureau decided a few years ago to include a category called “mixed race” in the census, many people rightfully saw it as potentially divisive, asking what practical good does the “mixed race” category serve, but to further divide people along largely artificial lines.

Finally, if one just has to ask the question, the real question should not be “who is black” but instead “who is white.” The scientific theories of Evolution and “Out of Africa” are very clear: There is only one “race” on the planet Earth and it had its origin in East Africa (around present-day Ethiopia) and then spread to all other parts of the world. Adapting to environmental conditions such as the degree of sunlight and developing in relative isolation, some groups evolved lighter skins and others evolved darker skins…Thus technically every person on the planet – from the darkest skinned person in the Congo to the lightest skinned person in Sweden – is of African ancestry.

Therefore the answer to the question above is YOU decide if you are Black enough and whether you realize it or not that gives you tremendous power.

via Politicalarticles.net

you don't have to black to love the blues