A ‘Gaze’ into the Soul of ‘The Underground Railroad’

by Barry Jenkins | Originally published on Vimeo

In my years of doing interviews and roundtables and Q&A’s for the various films we’ve made, there is one question that recurs. No matter the length of the piece or the tone of the room, eventually, inevitably, I am asked about the white gaze. It wasn’t until a very particular interview regarding The Underground Railroad that the blindspot inherent in that questioning became clear to me: never, in all my years of working or questioning, had I been set upon about the Black gaze; or the gaze distilled.

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‘Box of Bones,’ An Endorsement

I am a new convert to horror. I was firmly in my comics, SF, SpecFic, fantasy bag for decades until I read Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep. After that, I was all in… on horror literature. However, so-called ‘horror comics’ weren’t scary to me. Not even a little. And as a comic fan, it was disappointing. That was then. Now, there are tons of wonderful horror books that speak to my cultural and aesthetic specificity. There’s Image’s Killadelphia and Bitter Root, which just had a huge announcement. And Vault Comics is doing it big.

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I Am Captain America: Get Used to It

by Thaddeus Howze

While Marvel Comics has never allowed Sam Wilson to remain Captain America, it is good to see they have decided to allow him to hold the title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the comics, they engineered an excuse for him to become Captain America and when they were done with the story arc, Steve Rogers reclaimed his title and his shield.

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Witnessing a Revolution Unfold (And How I Hope it Continues)

Originally posted at Just Add Color | Featured photo by munshots on Unsplash

The past few days have been a whirlwind, to say the least.

As we have all seen or heard at this point in time, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police when former officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin has since been arrested — initially on the charge of third-three murder, but the charge has since been raised to second-degree murder. The other three former officers, Thomas Kiernan Lane, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, have also been arrested on aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.

The escalation of charges, however, didn’t come without a fight. For an entire week, people marched in Minneapolis, around the country, and around the world, for Floyd’s killer and accomplices to be brought to justice. Part of those protests included a riot that ended with Minneapolis’ third precinct police station being burned down.

Throughout the riots, protests, and general unrest, I went through a myriad of emotions, to the point where I felt unable to write for this site. I still haven’t watched the video of Floyd’s death because for me, reading about the details, including Floyd calling for his deceased mother, was enough. If I watched the video, I knew I would be haunted by it for the rest of my life. I am already haunted by the lives of so many Black people who have been needlessly killed, and their stories were already compelling me without having to see them get killed on camera. I didn’t want to see the video that would only add insult to injury — the insult being that no one would care.

Or so I thought.

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Lex The Lexicon Artist on Her New Album ‘Alter Ego’

A chat with Lex The Lexicon Artist about her new album Alter Ego, branching into influential anime, the state of being a Chinese-American artist during the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, and also deez nuts. A version of this interview originally appeared at Melancholyball.

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February 2020: Black Wizard History Month

Our mission at Black Girls Create has always been highlighting Black female creators and being a place for discussions of critical fandom, and one way we’ve decided to converge the two themes is with the Critical Companion series.

Inspired by Doctor Who’s plucky sidekicks (most notably, season 10’s Bill Potts), formal literary Critical Companions discussing an author’s breadth of work, as well as our mission to provide a platform for marginalized creators, the Critical Companion series will feature blog posts written by Black writers. We hope those writers are some of you!

In 2018 we had a monthly topic where we accepted two pitches (paid) that represent two aspects of the idea. Now, we are opening up submissions to be a bit less restrictive, but we are still largely looking for pieces that delve into the idea of critical fandom — how do we as fans analyze our favorite things with care and consider the wider world that the fandom either represents or ignores? We always love personal essays about growing up nerdy, early fandom experiences, and pivotal moments in your own nerdy lives.

Pitches are taken on a rolling basis. Posting will typically occur on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.

Word Count: approx. 700 words

Price: $50 per post

Email: pitches@blackgirlscreate.org

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The Timing and Timeliness of ‘Hamilton’

The following is a slightly altered cross-post, originally published on Lola By The Bay.

Last weekend, I finally got to see a matinee performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, Hamilton, at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco.

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‘Mulan’ is Still the Wokest Disney Princess Movie Your Kid Hasn’t Seen 600 Times Yet

Originally posted on Melancholyball.

The “Disney Princess” mythos is a genre as restrictive as it is globally-superpowered, but in terms of the Official Princess Movie with the most patriarchy-subverting politics, I think it’s no contest: Mulan is by far the most progressive-minded cel-animated Disney Princess film, while also performing its essential sedative-hypnotic function on your child’s developing emotional vocabulary. (Pocahontas has an argument too, but for my taste, the underlying colonization-conquest story is so far outside of Classic Disney’s natural lane, you kinda wonder what they’re even trying to say, and also the songs in Pocahontas are not my jam.)

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Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ Film is on the Fast Track, Searching for Director

by Dominic Mah | Originally posted on YOMYOMF

Deadline reports that Marvel Studios is fast-tracking a feature film based on Shang-Chi, arguably the preeminent Asian hero in the Marvel Universe. Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham (hey, he’s from Fresno!) currently is on-board to write the script. From Deadline:

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Filmmaker & TV Director Jennifer Phang on ‘The Expanse’ and ‘Cloak & Dagger’

by Dominic Mah | Originally posted on YOMYOMF

Jennifer Phang has been busy in episodic TV, directing episodes of The Excorcist, Riverdale, Cloak & Dagger, and two episodes of The Expanse leading to its recent Season 3 finale. She also directed the independent features Half-Life and Advantageous. I got to interview her about, among other things, her work on The Expanse Season three episodes “Fallen World” and “Congregation.”

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘The Good Place’ are Basically the Same Thing

by Dominic Mah

It took me a weekend of binge-watching to wake up to the fact that Avengers: Infinity War and the NBC sitcom The Good Place are almost the same story. Except, Infinity War is a superhero slugfest about cosmic catastrophe, and The Good Place is an observational comedy about the afterlife. Apart from that existential difference, they have very noticeable parallels.

MAJORLY INFINITE SPOILERS FOR BOTH SHOWS FOLLOW:

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‘Black Panther’ Ignites the Next Generation of Fandom Movements

Originally posted at Pop Culture Collab

“It’s Panther season, family.”

My cousin recently said this to me after I asked how her freshman year at an Ivy League university was going. Let’s be clear, by no means is my cousin a comic book or superhero film fan. She always teased me for being an “Afrogeek” and wondered why I loved superheroes, horror, science fiction, and related genres.

But she was one of the scores of black audience members so excited about Black Panther, the latest superhero film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), that she and “a couple dozen” of her friends bought early tickets to the February 16 premiere. Every one of them wore an African-inspired outfit.

When I teased her for “coming over to the geek side,” she laughed at me like she knew something I didn’t. “This is not about comic books or superheroes, cousin,” she rebutted. “This is about culture.”

She made me wonder: Why has Black Panther transcended both its comic book and superhero film roots and typical fandoms?

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Whitewashing is White Supremacy: Why Asian American Representation Matters

by Kimberly Ta | Originally published at Project Ava

With the latest release from Netflix, it turns out that Asian Americans will continue to get the shaft in 2017.

In March, Netflix released their trailer for the American adaptation of Death Note, a wildly popular manga series, which debuted on the world’s leading Internet television network on August 25. Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. As of 2015, the series has over 30 million copies in circulation worldwide and has won international awards as well as numerous award nominations domestically in Japan. It is regarded as one of the top 10 manga series of all time. It also happens to be one of my favorites, so this fight on racist bullshit has just became personal.

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Michelle Yeoh is the Starship Captain We’ve Been Waiting For

by Phil Yu | Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

Hell yes. Fellow Trekkies, rejoice. The first-look trailer for the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery has dropped, and the latest foray into the final frontier looks pretty damn awesome, not least because of one badass looking starship captain in the form of one Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE FRICKIN YEOH.

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My Steps To Creating Characters And Building Worlds

Originally published at Twinjas Book Reviews

One of the questions I’m constantly asked (which admittedly I never get tired of answering) is what  my process in terms of world building and developing complex characters.

My approach to world-building and character development ultimately corresponds to my overall approach to storytelling. As a writer, I personally belong to the school of character = story. What truth do we discover along the character’s journey? More than that, whether it’s fiction, articles or blog posts, I generally have three mandates which I dub E-Cubed: Enlighten, entertain and empower.

Needless to say that E-Cubed has led to other techniques which has only enhanced my storytelling abilities over the years.

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‘Into the Badlands’ Stars Go to Karaoke Bars And You Should Too

by Dominic Mah

So I went to my preferred karaoke bar in NYC the other night, and who should be there but two of the stars of AMC’s Into the Badlands, Emily Beecham and Ally Ioannides, a.k.a. The Widow and Tilda. This is because magical occurrences happen inside karaoke bars, all the time.

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We Made a Wonder Woman Jacket… and Guys Hate It

by Tony B. Kim | Originally posted at Hero Within

On Monday morning we released our summer collection that included our new Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. Out of everything new we are creating this year, this is the one piece I am most excited for. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her own live action film after almost 40 years since Linda Carter’s iconic TV version. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen more social advocating for equal representation of gender, orientation, and race in our favorite comics, TV, and films. Much has changed. Much has not.

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Power Rangers Shows Superhero Genre How Representation is Done

Originally posted at Just Add Color

If you told anyone that the movie that was going to shake up the superhero genre in the best way would be the film adaptation of Power Rangers, they would be shocked and probably, in some strange, elitist, I’m-too-old-for-Power Rangers way, appalled. But Power Rangers has come out of the blue as the film when it comes to portraying a diverse group of people in a way that is both organic and makes sense for today’s world and today’s multicultural and diverse audience.

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Iron Fist Abridged: The Adventures of Iron Goldendoodle & The Bargain Bin Lannisters!

by Andrea Tang

This weekend, between bouts of story-editing, I meandered my way through the first four episodes of Netflix’s Iron Fist, which I’m actually quite enjoying so far, probably for the same reasons I’ve seen Vampire Academy three times. I’m pretty sure the writers pitched this series as, “What would happen if you put a goldendoodle puppy in the body of a WASPy ten-year-old blue blood, then traumatically dropped him off in the Himalayas for Fifteen Whole Gap Yahs? Probably, he would die, but that is boring and untrue to comics canon, so what if we made kung fu magic happen along the way in a manner most likely to bring the wrath of Edward Said’s ghost down on our heads? LET’S FIND OUT.”

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Finn Jones Whitesplains Iron Fist to Asian Woman Then Takes Twitter Timeout

by theblerdgurl | Originally posted on Medium

Yesterday, Finn Jones, the actor playing Danny Rand on the Netflix debut of Marvel’s live action version of Iron Fist abruptly quit twitter. He wasn’t being harrassed, he wasn’t threatened, there was no controversy. In fact, to most observers, he simply seemed to be having a conversation. This raised more than a few eyebrows, especially since the show is set to debut in less than two weeks on March 17.

On Sunday night, Jones appears to have gotten into a discussion on twitter with Asyiqin Haron, a 21 year old artist from Singapore who also happens to be the creative director for Geeks of Color, (Heron’s comments are from her own personal twitter account and she was not representing GOC or tweeting from their account when she made them).

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KidLit: Recommended Reading on Justice and Understanding

Originally posted at The Writer’s Block

At a time of great unease and injustice, those of us who are parents of children have a challenge ahead of us. Most of our kids will be exposed to the happenings of the world, and well they should. At the same time, what books can we read to them that will help them understand, and provide tools they will need to survive, thrive, and engage? We reached out to several Minnesota writers with children to compile this list of suggestions. This is by no means definitive, nor complete.

This list was compiled by Kurtis Scaletta, Shannon Gibney, Lana Barkawi, Kathryn Savage, Molly Beth Griffin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Bao Phi, and Lorena Duarte Armstrong.

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We Need to Talk About Chuck Clayton on Riverdale

Originally posted on Just Add Color

Chuck Clayton has gone down as the first character Riverdale’s penchant for reinvention has revamped in the worst way possible. This is not the way for the show to enter its first Black History Month.

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