Category: Uncategorized

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

Binging In Times of Uncertainty

I think I’ve found some sort of sanctuary during this 2020 pandemic.

About 6 months ago, I was working front desk at a hair removal clinic. What seemed, at the time, to be the height of the pandemic was really taking its toll on my overall health. I have my mom who works in the hospital. Her and my sister live 1,500 miles away from me. My father lives 1,800 miles away from me. I was sitting in what now did not feel like home at all, away from my family, while a tiny number on my phone (that I checked every single day) climbed higher and higher. 10,000 cases in my dad’s area, 4,000 in my mom’s, and 5,000 in my own area. Are we going to be okay? I remember my mom told me once that they took all of the masks from her floor, because the hospital as a whole was short, and the emergency had priority on them. I just about had a panic attack then. Thinking about every single person I cared about driving to work, being in close proximity to so many people on a daily basis. We can’t afford not to work, so we just have to be “careful.”

Read More

The Nuances of Language and Symbolism That Drive “Lovecraft Country”

HBO’s Lovecraft Country is a gem stocked full of symbolic references that appeal to horror and science fiction fans, while speaking on the evils of racism.

HBO premiered it’s brand new, drama horror show- Lovecraft Country– on August 16, 2020. Based on Matt Ruff’s eponymous novel, Lovecraft Country follows a young, Black man, named Atticus ‘Tic’ Freeman (played by Jonathan Majors), as he learns about his family history, searches for truth, and battles against mythical and every day monsters.

Written by Misha Green, the television show creates an immovable life force with its story and pacing as it takes our main characters through the terrifying mazes of Jim Crow-era America and a secret, witch cult named the Sons of Adam. What really elevates the show to new, heightened levels is the incorporation of symbolic references that add on to an already linguistically and thematically nuanced storyline. It makes you think. It keeps you on your toes, finding new information and Easter eggs with each re-watch.

Read More

“I May Destroy You” Is As Nuanced And As Good As It Sounds

TW// The following post discusses sexual assault/abuse and the trauma that comes along with it.


Memories. Everyone loves them. They’ve been painted with rose-colored glasses on, with pastel pinks and perfect brush strokes. That one time you made the best love of your life.. that one time with your friends you’ll never forget… that one time you cuddled with your mom like you were a kid again… that one time. Memories. They’re just invasive parasites to me. I mean, not all memories, of course, but the bad ones seem to be more invasive than the good ones. They’ve left me only with a sour feeling about them now. Even ones I don’t remember seem to haunt me.

Read More

Beyoncé’s “Gift” That Keeps on Giving

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.

Read More

“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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.