What Are We Saying When We Say, ‘Wakanda Forever?’

It’s been four years and a few weeks since Marvel’s Black Panther leveled the pop-sphere with a $1.344 billion USD box office and a legion of new and reinvigorated fans. Before his big screen debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War — an appearance that all who saw it could not stop talking about — he was a C- or D-list comic book character in Marvel Comics’ overstuffed roster.

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Ibi Zoboi on Writing a Biographical Constellation of Octavia Butler

Award-winning author Ibi Zoboi has penned a “biographical constellation” of the late, great Black feminist sci-fi writer Octavia Butler. Called Star Child (Dutton, January 2022), the book contains poems, short essays, and actual fragments of Butler’s own writing and musings.

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HBO Max Celebrates Black History with ‘More Than a Month’ Campaign

It’s Black History Month!

You know what that means, many studios and advertisements will be elevating Black voices for the entire month. But, what about the rest of the year? Rather than only uplifting voices for 28 days, it seems like many companies are listening and starting to do something about it.

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‘Shades of Cosplay’ Makes Me Want to Cosplay

Cosplay is an enigma to me. The act of dressing up as one’s favorite character to an almost identical degree shows a mastery of craft-making, make-up, and acting that is rarely discussed in other mediums. Being a fan of a show or a character is no longer a passive experience when you cosplay, it becomes an active response to the work that inspires you.

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‘Shades of Cosplay’ Brings the Black Cosplay Experience Front and Center

Film director Cheyenne Ewulu directed the 2015 documentary Shades of Cosplay about four Black cosplayers and their experiences during the 2015 Anime-Matusuri convention. Using her background as a cosplayer, Ewulu weaves a story that interacts with the world of cosplay and its issues of racism and inclusiveness in the space. Now in the year 2022, the film is being released online for the first time on February 4, 2022 — to celebrate Black History Month.

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Kaci Wallfall on Being ‘Naomi’ and More

I was lucky to be afforded the opportunity to talk with the star of The CW’s upcoming show, Naomi, during a fun roundtable event with other media outlets. Kaci Wallfall is such a sweet and talented young actress. We talked about moments from the pilot, her favorite superhero characters, and so much more!

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NOC Interview: Reed Shannon is a Voice of the Future

Reed Shannon is the very definition of a performer, and there’s a very good chance you have heard or seen him already. Whether it comes to his acting in the upcoming The Wilds season two, making music like his recent single “Bad Girl,” his stand-up career, or his voice acting as the voice of Cartoon Network and fan favorite Ekko from the hit Netflix show, Arcane, Reed has shown that he is able to do it all and more. 

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NBC’s ‘Grand Crew’ Doesn’t Want to be Compared to Other Shows

Every so often, when a new series is introduced, it is immediately compared to what people may consider to be the most related to that. This rings especially true for new sitcoms and comedies starring people of color. When NBC’s Grand Crew was first announced as a series surrounding the lives of a group of Black friends at a wine bar, there were so many comparisons to HBO’s Insecure and ABC’s Black-ish that it straight away was labeled as a “Black” show.

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‘Don’t Try To Understand’ Invites Fans on a Personal Journey Through the Life of DMX

Earl Simmons obtained critical success in the hip-hop world with his first major label single, “Get At Me Dog.” It was released and certified gold in February of 1998 — a month after this writer was born and, more importantly, three months before his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot released. By May of 1998, the world was officially in the hands of “DMX.”

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The Haunting History of Vampires and Blackness is Captured in ‘Black as Night’

In the film Black as Night, screenwriter Sherman Payne pens a haunting and alluring tale of vampires and their victims through a lens not much often looked through. Crafting a story that centers Shawna, a 15-year-old African American woman, as she battles vampires in a modern day New Orleans against a backdrop of not only the history of Hurricane Katrina but also the generational and systemic trauma of being Black in America. 

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Colman Domingo and Chris Rock Lead the Cast of ‘Rustin’ Biopic

Many heroes are lost to time, but legends never die. Bayard Rustin isn’t a name people know as well as Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. But much like his fellow Freedom Riders and speakers for justice, that kind of notoriety probably wouldn’t have interested Rustin all that much. Nevertheless, it’s a name we’ll all hopefully be getting more familiar with thanks to a new biopic from the ingenious mind of George C. Wolfe.

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Nothing is Black and White in Monochromatic Trailer for ‘Passing’

Being “white-passing” comes with a certain kind of privilege. One that can mean the difference between a life of discrimination or a life of luxury. Such a privilege is the topic of discussion in Passing, the brand new film based on the book by Nella Larsen, coming to Netflix and select theaters later this year.

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‘Candyman’ and the Importance of On-Screen Black Positivity

So it’s August 24, 2021. Well, obviously not today, unless I finally caught a time traveler in the act, but that was the day I saw Candyman in theaters. Which for the sake of this article, is a very important date.

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Academy Award-Winning Director Steve McQueen’s New Documentaries

The masterful work of Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen spans an impressive set of genres, from films to anthology series, and now the 12 Years a Slave director has three new documentaries coming to Amazon Prime. Last year, we spoke to the talented leads in McQueen’s anthology Small Axe that examined the real-life experiences of West Indians living in mid-20th century London.

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‘Candyman’ is Horror with Something on its Mind

Candyman (2021) is Nia DaCosta’s conversation with the original 1992 classic. You know the story: in 1870, freed slave Daniel Robitaille (the amazing Tony Todd) was an artist who fell in love with a white woman. Her father had him tortured, mutilated and killed, his left hand replaced with a hook. Say his name five times while looking in the mirror, the story goes, and he will return and seek vengeance.

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‘Unapologetic’ is an Unflinching Exploration of Activism

“What is this helping?” is one of the first sentences uttered by a white restaurant patron unsettled in Unapologetic’s first scene, where protestors express the reality of the recent deaths of Black residents in their community to unsuspecting people eating brunch at restaurants. The scene perfectly encompasses the themes and motives of this documentary: a large and triumphant call to arms to make a more honest and equal world while people sit quietly trying to ignore not only the performance, but the actual knowledge of those who are destroyed and subjugated by these injustices.

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‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Puts Black Joy on Full Display

The reviews for LeBron James’ and SpringHill Entertainment’s Space Jam: A New Legacy are rolling in and they paint a considerably dismal picture of the imagination critics go to the movies with today. For some context, Steven Spielberg’s 2018 IP extravaganza Ready Player One sits with a decent aggregate rating of 72% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, particularly because of the way the film sets up its action sequences and because it is a Spielberg flick. A New Legacy, however, is already down to 32% from critics and that’s mainly because there are “too many IPs,” and the film doesn’t make algorithms function the way they should in the real world.

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Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘An Octoroon’

During intermission while watching An Octoroon (written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Judith Moreland) at the Fountain Theatre, an old white woman randomly came up to me and asked what I found so amusing in this play. First, I had to get over the shock that a live human being was touching me (without permission) and getting up in my face to ask this question because after all, this was my first time watching a play with a live audience (albeit in an outdoor theater) in 16 months. Second, what WAS I and primarily all the other POC audience members laughing about?

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Regina King and LaKeith Stanfield Lead Dynamite Cast in ‘The Harder They Fall’

Between Westworld, Red Dead Online, and Lil Nas X, there has never been a better time to be a Black cowboy than now, and with the upcoming release of The Harder They Fall on Netflix, I’m going to need to get fitted for my frock coat immediately. Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, and Idris Elba lead a brilliant cast of some of Hollywood’s most dynamic actors in this Jeymes Samuel (They Die by Dawn and JAY-Z: Legacy) epic, new-school Western.

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‘Grown-ish’ Returns for Senior Year This Thursday

It’s senior year for the Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) at Cal U.

Freeform’s Grown-ish finally returns this Thursday! After taking some time off school to focus on being a stylist, Zoey is back to finish her final year with her friends and finally graduate. With Aaron and Zoey finally together after three years of “will they, won’t they,” the couple are trying to make it work.

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Appreciating the Diversity of Late-Generation ‘Pokémon’

When I first caught sight of Pokémon Neo Genesis cards being sold on the Home Shopping Network as a kid, I almost took my mother’s credit card and picked up the phone to put in a few hundred orders. I remember on one such occasion using the spare change from a trip to the gas station to buy a single booster pack. I came home with a gallon of milk and yet another holographic Machamp, all while receiving the admonition I knew was waiting for me at home.

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Nyambi Nyambi Avoids Black Trauma in ‘The Good Fight’

Nyambi Nyambi’s character Jay Dipersia has been through a lot the past four seasons of The Good Fight. From facing deportation to fighting pay gap disparities, Jay has been given difficult circumstances to overcome. But, in the fifth season of The Good Fight, which premiered yesterday on Paramount+, Jay is given multiple obstacles that he must deal with — the aftermath of COVID, Black Lives Matter Marches, and losing three of his colleagues — two have moved (Cush Jumbo and Delroy Lindo left in the season five premiere episode) and his fellow investigator Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) has decided to study law.

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