One of my first CD’s was a bootleg of Destiny’s Child The Writing’s on the Wall. My mom gifted me with Survivor not too long after, and I later added …Baby One More Time, The Emancipation of Mimi, and the clean version of Encore (from my dad, of course.) My silver and purple boombox sat on the floor as I played my favorites and gave bedroom concerts to an imaginary audience. When my cousin came over, it was better because we could split up the singing parts. Fake microphone in hand, with my mom’s Von Dutch purses and clear lip gloss on, we thought we were IT. Hitting those runs and high notes had me thinking I was really the 5th/4th Destiny Child. “Who gets to be Beyoncé this time,” was a constant dilemma. I almost always lost that argument because I was the younger one, but it’s okay because I took the part right back after she left.
“Mother, mother, There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother, There’s far too many of you dying”
There are many memorable moments in Spike Lee‘s 2020 film Da 5 Bloods. From Delroy Lindo‘s performance- hell, the entire cast’s performance- to the cinematography and the story line, the film held me awestruck, tearful, and contemplative through its entirety. But perhaps the most compelling aspect of this film for me was Lee’s incorporation of Marvin Gaye‘s 1971 album What’s Going On. It was such a minor, yet monumentally, moving choice that etched this film into my brain and sent my thoughts soaring.
In 1989, the first film written and directed by a Black woman and produced by a major Hollywood studio was released. That Black woman was Euzhan Palcy, and her monumental, award-nominated film was A Dry White Season. Palcy was the first and only woman to direct Marlon Brando. He received an Oscar nomination for his role- also making her the first Black person to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination.
Just two years later, in 1991, Julie Dash wrote, directed, and produced the first film by a Black woman to get a widespread, US theatrical release. This film was Daughters of the Dust. Both of these films received critical acclaim, making them some of the most historically important and classic films to date. However, many people have 1.) never heard of them; and 2.) never heard of the amazing women behind them. Why is that?
She lays a pillow on the floor in front of the couch. She sits you down on the floor before her and gets right to work with the hair box, grease, gel, comb and brush next to her. Looking back, having my hair done by my mom was one of our most intimate moments. I’ve gotten in trouble for not holding my head straight more times than I can count. I can still remember holding the floor for dear life as she combed through my knots. I remember falling asleep on her lap and waking up feeling like my face had been pulled tight, back into my hair. I didn’t know it then, but my mom was giving me all of her love in those moments. She wanted me to look nice. She would admire me afterwards, like she knew she was succeeding at something. Looking back, I feel nothing but love for those moments.
Inside Out (2015) Carries a Message That Spans Generations
May 31 marked the end of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean the conversation should end. Mental health effects all of us, positively and negatively, so it shouldn’t be the taboo conversation that it is. It’s important that we talk about our bad days. It’s important that we mourn. It’s important that we cry. It’s important to feel, to reach out, to talk it out…
*Marks off another tally on my wall, quarantine calendar*
Yes, I have been homebound for almost two months now. Falling asleep between 1-3 AM and waking up whenever. Wandering aimlessly throughout my apartment, watching way too much tv, and actually catching up on schoolwork in between. For the first month, life was a drag. I was sleeping far too often, eating way too much, and watching hours of TikTok. I wasn’t even putting effort into my writing much….but now, I’m back! Like Drake said, Jazzy back up in this thang, I’m ready. What’s happenin? Gone for quarantine but now I’m back again. I’m bout my paper like a mfckin scratch and winnnn.
Anyways, now that I’m back to my computer screen, I’ve got some tea to share. Some streaming tea. Now, I’ve watched a lot of shows and movies over the past month…like a lot, but I don’t want to bore you with all the gory details, so I’ll just give you some of the highlights of the past month. Here is a list of my favorite watches for May quarantine:
This childhood classic tells you to Embrace Your ‘Goof’
25 years ago, Disney’s underrated gem, A Goofy Movie (1995), was released. Most of us grew up watching this classic animated film, including myself, but it wasn’t until adulthood that I could appreciate and understand it for all it truly has to offer. From the tender story-line between a father and son, to the themes of self-acceptance, Powerline’s “Stand Out” and “I2I” bops, and finally to the overall Blackness that the film exudes- A Goofy Movie is a critical film in Disney’s Renaissance era repertoire.
Once upon a time...
…the world was full of wonder. The magic of the world was a spectacle to be explored and expanded, but the complexities of magic were replaced with the simplicities of invention and convenience. Thus, the magic dwindled, and the world changed forever.
We are living through an age of re-invention. Whether it is through fashion trends, slang, or in the case of The Invisible Man (2020), horror films. Re-invention is more than just re-adaptation or a reboot. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was a reboot of the eponymous 1984 film. However, The Invisible Man is the re-invention of its 1933 predecessor.
Instead of re-telling the old story of Griffin- a maniacal scientist who turns himself invisible- this is the story of Cecilia “Cee” Kass (Elizabeth Moss) on the run from her sociopathic, abusive boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen.) Adrian is an optics scientist who has gained indispensable wealth through his inventions. One invention in particular, however, he has kept to himself, and it is a suit covered in cameras that renders it’s host invisible. So after Cecilia’s prison break from Adrian’s physical grasp at the beginning of the film, he fakes his own suicide and uses his invisible suit to continue his abuse towards Cecilia in a more sinister and horrific way.
Atlantics (2019) was first released at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival when it competed for the Palme d’Or. The films director and co-writer, Mati Diop, made history when she became the first black woman who directed a film featured in the competition- also winning the Grand Prix award for it. After its release at Cannes and later in Senegal, the film was picked up and released on Netflix for wide viewing.