There's been a recent awakening in the film business. Studio executives seem to have realized–again!–that people of color, specifically black Americans, want to see movies that reflect our cultural and individual experiences with love.
Film bigwigs are investing dollars in movies like the burgeoning Think like a Man franchise, The Best Man Holiday, and the other black romantic comedies slated for release in the coming months.
There are few women as pleased and disgusted with the sudden revival of black romantic comedies as I am. I'm infatuated with romantic comedies. I'm not ashamed to admit that I spend hours watching modern princesses claim their princes and gallivant off into the skyline of Los Angeles or New York. These days, I watch romcoms for work: I'm a media studies scholar working on a thesis about romantic comedies.
Writer Jordannah Elizabeth wrote up a list of her five favorite black women musicians for Bitch this week. People loved the post and wanted more. So Jordannah put together a whole mixtape of Black women artists. Enjoy!
R&B/Soul mixtapes can be cheesy and predictable! I want to spice this mixtape up with songs from Black female musicians from different genres and eras. These amazing women had strong and influential careers and enormous talent! All of the tracks are thoughtful, empowering, sweet and emotionally penetrating, just like every strong and classy lady should be!
Being a Black, female music journalist, I have to admit that I've only written and published one article about a Black female musician in my entire career. Being an American journalist in general, it's very hard to be able to cover Black musicians that are not huge pop stars like Rihanna and Beyonce. I don't want to write about Rihanna and Beyonce! I want to write about women who paved the way for today's biggest African American female musicians.
As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I'll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I'll look at the responses by those who defend it.
Writer-director Julie Dash returns to the Bechdel Test Canon with her 1982 short film Illusions, which asks some mighty big questions about the racial and sexual politics of constructing images and a film industry that finances the production of those images.
Brown vs. Board of Education—the Supreme Court decision that ruled school segregation unconstitutional—passed in 1954, but turning legislature into action took several years to transpire. It wasn't until 1957 that nine black students, already enrolled at Little Rock Central High, began their first day of school, only to be met with an angry crowd and the Arkansas National Guard. The governor of Alabama, Orval Faubus (names don't get much more evil-sounding than that) prevented the students from entering the school. It took a presidential intervention on the part of Eisenhower to send the National Guard to escort the students. Behind the scenes though, was Daisy Bates.
There's been an uproar in New York all this week about an anti-abortion billboard in Soho. The billboard featured a little black girl with the message, "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb." Launched by anti-abortion group Life Always, the billboard served as a controversial way to bring attention to the fact that black women have a disproportionately high abortion rate in New York City and nationwide. While that's clearly worrisome, suggesting that black women are a threat to black children for exercising their reproductive rights is extremely offensive. One of the top reasons women get abortions is because they can't afford to raise children. Rather than address this dynamic as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans who lack health insurance, Life Always chose to publicly disparage black women.
Saturday Night Live's "Bride of Blackenstein" skit did black women no favors. In this blaxploitation-like spoof of The Bride of Frankenstein, which aired Jan. 30, we learn that even a black chick created from scratch in a laboratory is demanding, bossy and built like an extra from the "Baby Got Back" video. Starring SNL guest host Jesse Eisenberg as Igor and musical guest Nicki Minaj as the Bride, the skit opens as the latter first emerges from her coffin: