Sunday, February 25, 2018
Since some of the fucked-up world changes that occurred in 2017, I have not been inspired to write anything. Until now. Black Panther premiered in the U.S. on February 16, 2018. I had been waiting for this film since I heard it was a possibility two years ago. When Prince T'Challa graced the screen in Marvel's Captain America, Civil War I was anticipating the possibility of a stand alone film for Black Panther. Now it is a reality. Although Wakanda is a fictional place the image of Black excellence is something to aspire to. Here are five reasons to not walk, but run to the movie theater to see this film.
1. The wonderfully talented cast proudly hails from many parts of the African diaspora. The Black Caribbean, Africa, Great Britain and the United States are represented well. Everyone had a stand-out performance.
2. The movie is just a great piece of art. Ryan Coogler, the young talented director from Oakland, did his thing in a big way. He made me proud. I am so glad that he was given an opportunity to spread his wings and soar to the highest heights. I look forward to his next endeavor, whatever it is.
3. Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan's message is as deep as I have ever seen in a film that does not preach at you. His quest to connect the African diaspora is monumental, despite his flaws. He brought tears to my eyes.
4. The costume design and cinematography is like none I have ever seen. The Dora Milaje's armor, and the Border Patrol's shields were innovative and embraced African culture in the most beautiful way. Chadwick Boseman looked so regal in his kingly attire. I could not get enough of the waterfall scenes as well as the ultimate Disney princess, Shuri's lab. The visuals were breathtakingly beautiful.
5. Wakanda may not exist physically but it is an idea of excellence, cultural appreciation, and endless possibilities that we can all reach for. Just the idea of it is enough. I want to see more of this magical land in future films.
I have seen the film three times so far. I will not stop seeing it until they take it out of the theaters. This phenomenon has made over a half a billion, worldwide, in it's first week. It strongly proves that when black people are given an equal footing, we can succeed in whatever we put our talents and mind to do. The myth that Black culture, particularly in film cannot sell, is pure bullshit.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Last week we loss the comedian, civil rights activist, and nutritionist, Dick Gregory. He was in his eighties and lived a meaningful life that touched millions. I remember as a child sneaking and reading my father's paperback copy of Gregory's provocative work "Nigger, an Autobiography. It was a straightforward reflective masterpiece that epitomized America. Until the end Gregory maintained the fire in his belly that governed over everything he shared with the masses. He didn't turn into one of those elderly men that lost their ability to challenge the establishment.
I say all this as I watch Jim Brown turn his back on Colin Kaepernick. Brown a man that stood with Ali and other great athletes during the civil rights movement belittling Kaepernick for taking a stand on his beliefs; a non-confrontational, personal stand that Colin took when he chose to sit or kneel during the national anthem. He committed no crime. Yet Brown who has a terrible history when it come to domestic abuse accuses Kaepernick of desecrating the flag as if it is like throwing a woman off a balcony. Google Eva Bohn-Chin. I never had Brown on a pedestal so his meetings with Mr. Apprentice and his choice to not see the value of non-violent activism doesn't change my view of him.
I am old enough to remember the stories of him repeatedly assaulting the women in his life. While we shouldn't be defined solely by our past, we cannot expect it to be erased. I have no idea if he apologized for his actions but I do know that he chose to judge another man solely based on his own outlook. In his world there is no room for diverse thinking or expression. Brown was afforded a second, third, and fourth chance and is still beloved by the football community; but he can't respect another man for standing for what he believes in. Ironically, Brown along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell, in 1967, stood publicly with Muhammad Ali when he chose not to fight in the Vietnam War. Some saw that as treason, but during the height of his career he chose to take that stand any way. What happened to that guy? Where the hell did he go?
Longevity has its place, as Dr. King stated. I want and need to live a long life, but what I never want to do is become that old lady who thinks progress is unnecessary. I don't want to be that person who cannot see and value different points of view. So I choose to boycott the NFL. My Sundays will no longer be consumed by football pools, games, and thrash talking. I choose to celebrate Kaepernick's decision last season by being more productive. I choose to give the side-eye to the Jim Brown's of the world that have decided hypocrisy is a way of life and protesting is now somehow un-American.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
The presidential election is over and half the country is extremely distraught about the outcome. That is normal because their are distinctly several Americas. We are the United States of America in theory only. Election 2016 is now history and we have no choice but to move on. The Democrats fucked up. They did not listen to all the voices in their party. I am a native New Yorker that has witnessed Trump's arrogance and total disregard for others, most of my life. I know what we are getting. He will pretend to be presidential and thoughtful over the next few months but true character always shines through. As for Hillary she thought that Democratic nomination was her birthright. I remember the Clintons wanting President Obama to step aside and wait his turn. I ain't forgot. Hopefully this is the final chapter in politics for that couple. There is no denying I am disappointed by the election's outcome because just the sight of Rudy Giuliani makes me want to regurgitate; but I have to remember, "this too shall pass."
You may feel helpless or fearful about what will happen next. Fear is a good thing but don't be helpless; you can flex your power. There is a way. Do not spend your money frivolously over the next few months or years. I don't plan on spending one penny during the Thanksgiving weekend on unnecessary items, unless it is with a Black-owned small business. Tighten up your wallet. You will send a stronger message than those protesters that have taken to the streets after the election of Mr. Trump. Invest in yourself, your future and that of your family. Educate, save, and exhale. Me, I plan on traveling internationally over the next 4 years that will give me the education about the world I can't acquire confined within America's boundaries.
Obama's historic presidency lulled some of us into a sense of security about the future. Trump the reality star and his cronies will bring us completely back to reality. It is going to get down right ugly. Black people are strong and resilient. They can throw whatever come what may at us and we will rise. We will get through the next 4 years. As Kendrick Lamar so fittingly pronounced "We Gon Be Alright". That doesn't mean we should take our foot off the pedal. Stay Woke!
“The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action.” -- Malcolm X
Sunday, October 9, 2016
|Trump Pence Flyer|
I am not naive and I know that some men/boys may explicitly talk about degrading women when they are out of earshot; but Trump is vying for one of the most powerful positions in the world, POTUS. The man is a narcissistic bigot who is completely full of shit. So nothing this bully says amazes or shocks me. Growing up in New York, I spent years seeing all his antics at nauseum Trust me he has been an egotistical maniac for a long, long, long time. Just go to Youtube and pull up years and years of his appearances on the Howard Stern show.
What I find outrageous is how suddenly members of the Republican Party want to distance themselves from him because he made some vulgar remarks about a Caucasian woman more than a decade ago. I am not condoning his misogynist language; but when the man recently labeled Mexicans as rapists, that was cool. It was fine that he wanted to build a wall on the Mexican border to divide land that originally belonged to the indigenous people. After he kept alive the birther conspiracy claiming, President Obama was not American, that was just Trump being Trump. It was okay when he insulted the Muslim parents of a veteran that gave his life for this country. Let's not even go into his 'Make America Great Again', bullshit slogan. That gives me Jim Crow nightmares.
It is ironic that less than a month from Election Day "pussy" is what it took to let some people know that Donald Trump is unfit to be the President of the United States. His boorish remarks about how he views women is what now has him in hot water with his political party. Yes his words reflect misogyny and rape culture and should not be celebrated; but he was in what he thought was a private conversation. On the other hand he has been proudly screamng his racist and xenophobic rhethoric to anyone that will listen. The hippocrites who now want to renounce him were okay with their children growing up in a world where people are solely judged by: the color of their skin, choice of religion, or ethnic background. If an eleven-year-old misoygynistic recording is what it takes to collapse a racist agenda, so be it. America, even with all its flaws, deserves better than a charlatan at the helm. He and his hateful followers must be defeated by any means necessary. Robert Deniro says it best.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
The greatest boxer and athlete that America has ever known made his transition to the other side on June 3, 2016. Muhammad Ali was a charismatic, beautiful, defiant icon that graced the world with his presence. He was not just a sportsman but an international figure that shook the world to its very core. This strong powerful black man was unapologetic about his proclamation that he was "The Greatest". "It is not bragging if you can back it up", he boasts. And yes he backed up every bit of his braggadocios exclamations.
I was born after he demolished the former heavy weight champion Sonny Liston. That iconic picture of Ali triumphantly standing over the crumpled Liston is my only memory of it. His heroic stand against the Vietnam War and his call for the civil rights of all people was etched in the history books when I became aware of him. I do remember as a little brown girl in Brooklyn waiting to see the Thrilla in Manila; Ali and Frazier's anticipated boxing match in the Philippines. Their was no Internet, social media, or cable providers. The world literally stopped and gathered around the television for this battle of the two titans. Ali and Frazier did not disappoint; it was a fight for the ages.
Years later when Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease it was unimaginable at first to see his melodic voice silenced and the deterioration of the perfect physical specimen he had personified. You could still see his unrelenting spirit and courage had prevailed. The disease may have ravaged him physically but he was still a strong, kind and charitable man. The world will never again see a man, an American, a radical and a legend like this again. We loss a good one but his inspirational life will never ever be forgotten.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
1. Chris Rock is hosting. He was hired way before Mrs. Pinkett-Smith decided her husband was shaded by not receiving a nomination for the concussion film. I will not pass up a chance to see the brilliant and prophetic Chris Rock on stage.
2. Hollywood. The movie industry is the problem for the lack of diversity in Hollywood not the Oscars, You can't blame the child for failing if the teachers did not provide him with the knowledge required. Those who feel Hollywood has left them out have to make there own way. People of East Indian descent did not wait for white Hollywood to capture them in film. They created their beloved Bollywood. The Nigerians have done the same with Nollywood. Check out www.irokotv.com and you will find a plethora of African movies. You have to make your own way in this world and not wait for others to validate your existence.
3. Will Smith. His not being nominated and a loving wife is what escalated the boycott. I didn't see Concussion so it would be unfair for me to critique his performance. I have seen several of his other movies and he is undeniably a charming and likable actor who makes a fine action hero; but Oscar-worthy performance has never popped in my head when watching his movies. To be honest, until the not yet released Suicide Squad, I haven't had much interest in his film choices lately. So like the original Aunt Viv his absence is not going to make me miss the Oscars.
I will probably tune in and after all my beloved Walking Dead is on tonight. If you are looking for some diversity that is the way to go.
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