Category: Tea of the Month

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31 Films of Halloween: Women in Horror Edition

Appreciation of Black Women In Horror

Happy Halloween goblins, witches, vampires, and other ghoulish creatures!

For my final 31 Films of Halloween: Women in Horror Edition post, I decided to show appreciation for the Black women in horror! The first Black women who began appearing in horror films were in the 1930’s, and they held roles that strongly represented the social values of America at the time. Films like Chloe, Love is Calling You (1934) and Ouanga (1936) showed Black women as the villain White people (mostly White women) had convinced themselves that they were- thieves of their babies and their men. As the film industry progressed and the horror genre pressed on making more films, the role of Black women in these films didn’t increase in number nor in value. They were pigeon-holed into roles that further stigmatized the ideas around Black people and their culture. They were voodoo priestess’s, gyrating natives, and loyal mammies who served the only purpose of furthering a plot or storyline.

Then, came in the 1970’s. Just as Black pride movements continued their ever-increasing momentum- with an emphasis on Black hair, culture, clothes, and more- came the rise of the Blaxploitation film genre. During this decade, approximately 13 horror films were made that centered around Black women. Most of them were Blaxploitation. They told stories that stepped away from mammie-tropes and the like, and they focused on what horror was truly about- zombies, possession, and more- while Black women served as the focal point, the heroines. Characters like Sugar Hill and Abby Williams are truly a revelation when you go back throughout history and re-watch these stories.

After the 70’s, however, horror films were starring less and less Black women all over again. With the exception of a few, Black women took on a new role- the doting, sacrificial best friend. Scream 2, Freddy vs. Jason, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and even The Vampire Diaries placed Black women in this new role. They weren’t stereotyped; they were just irrelevant. Their fate could have gone either way, and it wouldn’t have effected any aspect of the film.

Everything wasn’t all bad though, right? Of course not! After the birth and death of Blaxploitation, audiences were gifted some really memorable- no iconic- Black female characters in film. Even if they only came once every few years, they still made a stamp where they stood. In 1986, Grace Jones played one of the most stylish, groovy vampires in film ever. Vamp is a campy, cult classic with Jones being the highlight of it all. In 1995, Jada Pinkett Smith plays the demon slayer in Demon Knight, and that same year, Angela Bassett plays Rita Veder in Vampire in Brooklyn. Both were roles you’d hardly ever- if ever- seen Black women play. Vampire in Brooklyn is a reimagination of vampire-lore unlike any other.

Recently, the 2000’s definitely seem to have gotten the ball rolling a little faster. 28 Days Later, Gothika, and Alien vs. Predator all came out the same decade, and they all have a powerful Black woman charging the head of their film. More recent years also seem to be catching wind of the want- no the need- of more Black women in horror. It’s no doubt that Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Us will go down as one of the most outstanding and popular performances of this decade. And films like Ma allow for Black women to be fun and campy the way we all love horror to be. As the film industry expands its definition of diversity, it’s sometimes easy to feel annoyed with how late and how slow their progress really is. But I also can’t help but feel so excited about what the future has to offer.. What, with things like Candyman in the near future and all.

SO without further ado, here are some of my favorite Black female characters in horror. There’s so many more that deserve recognition, but enjoy this modest list of mine.

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31 Films of Halloween: Women In Horror Edition

For my next 31 Films of Halloween, I want to honor the Underworld series. Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale) is my favorite badass, leather-wearing vampire woman in a 5-film series. The Underworld series definitely gets a bad rep, and sometimes it’s understandably why. It’s the only film series (besides Star Wars) where bullets never seem to land. And there is more emphasis placed on the aesthetics (hotness) of the film rather than the actually story-telling. Nonetheless, I love this film franchise!

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31 Films of Halloween: Women in Horror Edition

Black and White Beauties

Happy Halloween fellow horror lovers!

It is said that the first noted “woman in horror” was Jehanne D’Alcy. After leaving the theatrical stage in 1896, she went on to participate in a number of “horror” films directed by her husband- George Melies. His work on The House of the Devil (1896), A Terrible Night (1896), and A Nightmare (1896) makes him the first technical horror director. Although his works were meant to instill wonder and amazement- not fear- his technical style, use of practical effects, and thematic stories of devils, giant spiders, and men turning into bats, made them what they are considered today. They helped establish a role for women in film that made them seductresses, damsels, and mystifying creatures from an unknown world.

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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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Top 5 Songs That Got Me Through My Quarantine Depression

Isolation is a motherf*er when you’ve got over-active brain waves. My removal from majority social interaction didn’t take long to wear my sanity thin. I mean that metaphorically…at least I think so. My life went from driving at a non-stop 175 miles per hours to an abrupt stop and cruise at 10 miles per hour. The aftermath whiplash on my mental health was devastating.

I’ve always made myself busy- whether it was forcibly or accidentally. Between full-time work, full-time school, writing projects, and face-time with my family, I never found down time, and I complained about it (a lot), but I secretly enjoyed having my days filled with meaningful work and stimulation.

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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.

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Cooking While Quarantining

Since I’ve been living in my own apartment, I’ve actually had a superb time finding new meals to cook (and cooking classic meals I remember my mom cooking.) Before the move, I swore I was going to be living off Cup Noodles for a few years, but once you have your “own” kitchen, you definitely find your groove. I found myself cooking in no time!

Now, if you’ve been cooking for awhile, you know you’ve got your own favorite meals on rotation. Spaghetti, tacos, salad, and others all happen at least twice a month. I mean, you know you’re good at it, so why try making something new? I already had my favorite meals on rotation, but this quarantine definitely threw a wrench in it. Since I was home 25/8, My rotation started becoming shorter and I was eating the same meals 2x a week! So, I decided it was definitely time for some change. Here are some of my favorite meals from my quarantine cooking experimentation. Here is cooking while quarantining- where anything goes, and you probably won’t ever have time to make these extravagant meals again!

***Disclaimer: I don’t cook for nutritional value; I cook for soul value.***