Moonlight and Get Out: Renaissance or Wave?

This has been an amazing ten months for Black cinematic culture. We had Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016. Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar both premiered on September 6, 2016. Luke Cage’s entire season broke the Internet on September 30. Barry Jenkins’s Best Picture Oscar winning Moonlight dropped October 2016. So did Issa Rae’s Insecure. And then the wicked mind of Jordan Peele unleashed Get Out, this past weekend. There were other films, television shows, videos and the like, but damn. Look at this trajectory. It would be so easy to label this a Black Cinematic Renaissance, but I don’t think I want to be that optimistic.

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Get In: The Get Out Review

This will be a collective review between Edward Hong and Josephine Chang. First, Edward provides a bite sized non-spoiler review for Jordan Peele’s Get Out while Josephine will go in deep to discuss the film in full detail. So for those wary of spoilers, you are safe!

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The Worlds Finest

A great bard by the name of Toni Morrison said it best, “I’m always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else’s contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we’re demons.”
A few years back I had a major Come To Jesus moment while promoting my debut novel, Hollowstone.

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What’s Hiding Behind the Feel-Good Curtain of Hidden Figures: One Black Feminist’s Take

In a scene in Hidden Figures that is all too familiar for Black women viewers, or really anyone from a historically marginalized group, Taraji P. Henson’s character Katherine Johnson rushes to enter the NASA control room where she has just handed off crucial calculations for astronaut John Glenn’s safe return from orbit, and has the door summarily slammed in her face. The camera lingers on Henson’s profile, as she grapples yet again with the devastating knowledge that although she may be a useful “computer” for spitting out numbers that may make missions successful and even save lives, she is still not seen as fully human in the eyes of her peers and superiors. Indeed, in Henson’s capable hands, viewers ourselves experience the physical and emotional pain of being barred from entering the halls of power for absurd reasons beyond one’s control — in this case, race and gender.

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Netflix is 3% Closer, but Still Fighting White Supremacy Saviors

At this point, it’s damn near impossible to keep up with the onslaught of Netflix original programming. Along with all of the film and series content, the tentacles of the entertainment Kraken inevitably started reaching out for more international collaborations. Around Thanksgiving we were treated to the Brazilian series 3%. In terms of originality, it doesn’t score high: another variation on the theme of a future world where young adults do what they have to do to survive.

It does have its points of deviation though from say The Hunger Games and Divergent with a touch of Elysium. Brazil has had a long and appalling history of income inequality, which I’m sure is where the idea of the tagline came from: “In a dystopian future there is a clear divide between the rich and poor, but when a person turns 20, they have the opportunity to cross the divide.” As implied, by free will all the candidates get to try to make it from the miserable mainland to the utopian island Mar Alto; that looks kind of like Recife to Fernando de Noronha on the map. The tests they undergo are less physical and more psychological until they are whittled down to the fabled 3%. The setting, albeit futuristic, feels closer to present as we undergo our own survival in the collapse.

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Memo to Non-Asians: Jeannie Mai is Not Brenda Song, and Riz Ahmed is Not Dev Patel

Originally posted at Reappropriate

It’s only been a month since racist Trump trolls misidentified a woman at Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing as Washington Post editor Doris TruongInside Climate News’ Lisa Songtravel and parenting writer Leslie Hsu Oh, or basically any East Asian woman journalist of any prominence — and already people who think all Asians are the same person are at it again.

Over the weekend, the Twitter account for Burberry tweeted excitedly about actor Dev Patel at the British Academy for Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) ceremony, who wore a custom Burberry tuxedo to accept his Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his part in Lion. The picture that accompanied the tweet? That’s actor and Swet Shop Boys member Riz Ahmed… who is also not Dev Patel.

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O Captain! My Captain! Chris Evans Battles the KKK (on Twitter)

With the recent confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States, Chris Evans has proved to us just how much he is like his film counterpart, Captain America. Evans recently tweeted his disappointment in the confirmation of Sessions. And his argument? David Duke’s praise for Sessions:

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Let’s Make John Lewis’ March a #1 Seller on Amazon

President-elect Donald Trump has decided to go after Civil Rights movement icon — and national hero — Congressman John Lewis. The attack comes after Rep. Lewis told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he didn’t view Trump as a legitimate president due to Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. Lewis isn’t wrong, and it is more than hypocritical for the PEOTUS to lash out at people questioning his legitimacy since that’s what he has done to President Obama for the last five years. In the meantime, Twitter has clapped back at Trump, and many of Lewis’ colleagues in congress have pledged to boycott the inauguration. We want to help out by pointing our readers to Lewis’ award-winning graphic memoir trilogy, March. Let’s all pitch in to make his books #1 bestsellers on Amazon this Martin Luther King Day weekend.

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The Chronicles of Swanson: The Lying, The Witches, and The Wu

When it comes to the Doctor Strange film, it continues to be the Greek-bearing gift of racism that keeps on giving.

I had no doubts that the white supremacy would ensue the moment it was announced that the Grand Wizard would portray the eponymous Sorcerer Supreme.

The film didn’t disappoint in this regard. After all like attracts like.

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The Political is Personal

Since Donald Trump’s presidential election victory last week, there’s been much discussion and preparation in regards to the fates of minorities given the Presidential Elect[?]’s controversial and bigoted platform.

Whether it’s the election, Ferguson, Flint, Orlando, or DAPL, one of the most infuriating things I hear from people, and by people I mean white people, is that there needs to be more dialogue, more education, more love.

If only there were more people out there teaching and educating then tragedies like #Orlando or #Ferguson or #Baltimore wouldn’t be a reality.

Why is that infuriating? Because there are people who have dedicated their lives, doing that very work. In fact you’re reading one of their pieces right now.

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