Category: For My Culture 1

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“What’s Going On”- Da 5 Bloods (2020) Pays Double Tribute

“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.

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20 Films Directed By Black Women That You Can Stream Right Now

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?

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Caring About My Life Is Not Some Fad

fad [fad]; an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.


On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by FOUR Minneapolis police officers. Like many other Black/police encounters before, his death was caught on video by bystanders. The video itself shocked the nation, and the world, to its core.

“Wow, I can’t believe this happened.”

“My heart is so heavy.”

“This is not okay.”

People were reminded- or forced to remember- what vilification and condemnation Black people are subjected to on a daily basis. I believe it was in Ava DuVernay’s 2016 documentary, 13th, where I heard Jelani Cobb say that using media is a way of “searching for the medium of technology, that will confirm your experience such that your basic humanity can be recognized.” Camera phones, social media, technology… they all force a conversation to be had.

The murder of George Floyd indeed started a conversation- or rather it magnified the conversation already being had. It ignited a movement, and it unearthed so many other people who were buried beneath the system of silence and oppression. Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Kendrick Johnson, and so many more stories were brought forward to light, reopened, and given the proper recognition for push for justice. With the increase of recognition, calls for abolition, and catalysts of action, there has also been an influx in pandering and performative activism to the point that the deaths of Black people have been twisted into a meme-procuring, internet fad for some.

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Miss Juneteenth (2020) Feels like Home

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.

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Welcome to Volume 1: For My Culture

If you’ve been tuning into recent news and social media, you would know that the United States, and the world, is in a state of change. It started with COVID-19 changing how we socialize and go out, and now, with the murder of George Floyd, we can hopefully change how we think and live.

Angela Davis once stated that, “We’ve got to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” For years- no- for centuries, there has been a constant battle for liberation. Liberation of female bodies, liberation of Black bodies, Indigenous bodies, and more. Liberation of our bodies, minds, and souls. With the recent events surrounding Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the many other Black victims of police brutality, and the subsequent protests, there is a stark reminder/realization/reiteration, whatever you wanna call it, that there is a long road to liberation for Black people in America and around the world.