OWN’s Black Love Docu-Series, A Review of Episode One

If you watch Maury, black love is dysfunctional, careless, and rooted in lust. The same can be said for many other “reality” television shows from court series to VH1 shows that anchor themselves in portraying the black man and black woman as hyper-sexual entities incapable of functioning in their shared state of incivility. The black…

Crown Heights, A Review

The film Crown Heights debuted to a lauded reception at the Sundance Film Festival, for its dramatization of the injustice that befell an eighteen-year old Colin Warner–a young black man blamed for the shooting death of  Mario Hamilton. Crown Heights, uses Colin Warner as a vessel to depict the detriment of wrongful incarceration, ignoring the…

Kidnap, A Contemporary Narrative of Black Motherhood

Kidnap appears to be yet another action-adventure.suspense film starring a household name. Yet, Kidnap mirrors historical slave narrative in capturing the maternal stress of black mothers. Namely, much like Harriet Jacobs in The Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Frederick’s Douglas’ mother who traveled by foot in the dark of night to see her…

The Dark Tower: A Black Female Perspective 

The Dark Tower seemingly solicits a “dark” viewership in casting esteemed black actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Takers, Luther). The placement of a black body in a role authored for a white person is a common act of the contemporary world. This act, while a pseudo act to diversify a still predominately white industry, never…

The Incredible Jessica James: Extracting the “black” from Black Femininity

The Incredible Jessica James debuted to an audience eagerly awaiting its next piece of seemingly antiracist media where an bothered body occupies central placement. To most The Incredible Jessica James is a coming of age narrative where a black female twenty-something finds her way past a breakup an through her struggles as a striving artist….

Detroit: A Systemized Suffocation of the Black Narrative

In recent months, I have written extensively about Dr. Christina Sharpe and the wake work initiative ignited by her book In the Wake: Blackness and Being. The book epitomizes Afro-demia, where blackness is placed in the forefront of formal discourse. Although difficult to point to a single moment in the text as more significant than…

Girls Trip, a “Trip” to Feminism

The rise of the black female leading lady remains a consistent topic of discussion in the contemporary world. Once solely assigned supporting roles, black female portrayal has seemingly shifted. Or has it? Girls Trip  depicts four black female stars: Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. To the casual gaze, the black female…

All Eyes on Me, A Review

On the surface, Tupac was a young man with big dreams who wished to find a way out of a dead end street where so many black families and individuals dwell indefinately. To those that looked more closely, Tupac was a black man on a mission to be heard, a black man with a story…

Why I Will Not be Seeing Wonder Woman 

I almost did it. I selected a theatre and even looked up showtimes. As I began to mentally assemble my outfit and rework my schedule to accommodate viewing the film, I realized that I was all too familiar with this story. Wonder Woman is yet another page in the consistent white female narrative designed to…

Why the “Get Out” Alternative Ending is Better for Blacks

Yesterday, a number of sites featured the alternative ending for box office smash “Get Out.” The current ending features film protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) choking his once girlfriend (Alison Williams) when a cop car pulls up. Chris raises his hands in surrender, but the body that emerges from the car is Chris’s TSA employed friend…

Everything, Everything: A Review

I always liked Amandla Stenberg. As Rue from The Hunger Games, she was convincing, sweet, strong and cute. Her beauty was and is both striking and comforting. So when she blossomed into what appeared to be an intellectual and activist, she seemed a stroke of hope for the post-millennial generation. But in hindsight, I see…

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, A Review

The story of Henrietta Lacks is the narrative of black femininity. Lacks mirrors the exposed and dismembered Saartje Baartman in life and death exploitation, embodying the dehumanization and carelessness faced by countless black female bodies in traditional and contemporary settings. Yet, to some, the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a resounding work of…