Categories
Film

I am Wakandan: Black Panther brings ‘Nu Africa’ to the mainstream

“Imagine if all the rappers were to get with all the athletes or activists for a conference in Zaire to meet with all the ambassadors in the motherland, tell ‘em we comin’ back for her…. What if Jay and Bey bought some land in Egypt? Make Obama the president. His daddy from Kenya so that […]

Categories
Film

Endnotes to Jay-Z’s “Moonlight”

“We stuck in La La Land. Even when we win, we gon’ lose.” – Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to music videos for the songs on […]

Categories
Film

Luke Cage and the $40 Million Stereotype

Luke Cage is arguably the largest African-American superhero production in mainstream media. With a budget of about $40 million for its first season and an upcoming second season, it validates America’s interest in watching a black superhero fight crime. Yet after watching it, it feels like more of a slap in the face towards the […]

Categories
Film

Hollywood & Hidden Racism in America, 1967-2017

“I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could.” -Dean Armitage In the closing moments of the 2017 film Get Out, the protagonist Chris Washington chokes the life out of his girlfriend Rose Armitage. Chris is a 26-year-old dark skinned black man and Rose is an upper class white woman. Watching Chris […]

Categories
Film

Black Heroism in Captain America: Civil War

“Hiiipower: the three i’s represent heart, honor and respect. That’s how we carry ourselves in the world, period. Hiiipower, it basically is the simplest form of representing just being above all the madness, all the bullshit. No matter what the world is going through, you’re always going to keep your dignity and carry yourself with […]

Categories
Film

Radical Transparency: A Beautiful Thing

As a storyteller, I’m fascinated by how knowledge is shared and communities form. I’m constantly listening, problem-solving, and creating with the work that I do, and it’s a privilege to do so. I’ve produced my own Barcelona music web series, documented an oral history of Afro-Peruvian elders, and had my work recognized as a White […]

Categories
Masculinity

Troy Maxson and Toxic Masculinity

“Patriarchy demands of men that they become and remain emotional cripples…Patriarchy as a system has denied males access to full emotional well-being, which is not the same as feeling rewarded, successful, or powerful, because of one’s capacity to assert control over others. To truly address male pain and male crisis we must as a nation […]

Categories
Film

What Donald Trump Can Learn from Spike Lee

“I pledge that I will be the president for all Americans… Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation.” —President-elect Donald Trump, November 9, 2016 This fall semester I am teaching a new course called HIST 289: Spike Lee’s America. The course uses Spike Lee’s filmography to engage students in discussion […]

Categories
Film

The Sword And The Sermon: A Review Of The Birth Of A Nation

In the course of time Moses grew up. Then he went to see his own people and watched them suffering under forced labor. He saw a Hebrew, one of his own people, being beaten by an Egyptian. He looked all around, and when he didn’t see anyone, he beat the Egyptian to death and hid […]

Categories
Art Awareness Black Lives Matter Black-on-Black Crime Blackness Empowerment Film Masculinity Social Justice Stereotypes Urban Life

Why We Need Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq

It’s not wise to underestimate how movies can shape a young person’s life. Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Tales From the Hood played a tremendous role in my growing up. The movie, through an infusion of horror and humor, showed several stories dealing with racism and Black men growing up in urban […]