Category: Women of Color

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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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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Your Friendship is Looking “Insecure”

Issa and Molly: A Complicated Friendship All too Familiar

You walk into school on the very first day- unsure of yourself. You don’t know anyone. Then, you look across the room, and you lock eyes with someone who seems to know exactly what you’re feeling. That one chance encounter turns into years of laughter, tears, secret-sharing, and bonding. Years of friendship are created from one conversation. Friendship is a precious bond which should not be underestimated. You’ll find yourself being more vulnerable with your friends than your lovers or even your family. You can find a better brother, sister, or cousin in a friend than those who share your blood.

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Selena: The Image of Latin Influence

Known as the Queen of Tejano, Selena revolutionized a genre and broke boundaries like no other, especially for the Mexican-American community. For nine years running, she won “Best Female Vocalist” at the Tejano Music Awards. She became the first Latino singer to debut at the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, and her album Amor Prohibido, was the best-selling Latin album of all time. On top of her musical success, Selena had a growing success in fashion.

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Atlantics (2019) is a Coming-of-Age and an Ethereal Love Story

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.