- Residential segregation! You bests to believes they're going to gobble up as much habitable earth on that inhabitable planet as they possibly can. All of their domes are going to be by the best liquid water sources and black people are going to live in the areas with the highest possible amounts of radiation.
- Consumerism! You bests to believe that they're going to import only the best oxygen. I'm talking about that really high grade expensive stuff. And those spaceboots are definitely going to be designer.
- Slavery! You bests to believe that they'll find a way to enslave the native microbes deep within Mars. The crops aren't going to plant themselves. Then again, free of earths tyrannical laws banning human enslavement, they might find a way to re-enslave other humans.
The discovery of briny water on Mars means that we are 1/1000000 steps on our way to colonizing Mars because the red planet really needs to be colonized. Yay! Here are several things that might happen if white supremacists get to Mars first (but then again that has never really mattered):
Welcome to the United Colonies of Mars
We all teared up when we watched Viola Davis accept her historic Emmy award. She is the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding female lead in a drama series. She began her speech with a quote by Harriet Tubman: "In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how."
As we delved into the annals of Netflix purgatory and categorically rejected films and read reviews, we came across a film called "Mississippi Damned" and prepared to settle down to watch a well acted film about the struggles of a black family in rural Mississippi. We stopped watching midway through.
The movie was very well done but it was a visual cornucopia of black misery and suffering that left us exhausted, unable to comprehend how we could possibly make it through another hour. Miscarriages, domestic abuse, poverty, cancer, gambling, sexual coercion of a minor, alcoholism, repressed sexuality, child abuse, child rape, and murder. Anything miserable or that one could consider to be a source of unhappiness and it was in that movie.
This is by no means a review or condemnation of the film because those things are indeed a reality of life for many, but it did serve as a reminder of the necessity of joy. In the words of a friend: "Consuming too much black pain is bad for our psyches." And in the words of another friend: "thinking too much about white supremacy will make you sick." Its true.
We live in a world in which we are constantly assaulted with images of black pain and suffering. We live in a world in which we have to constantly deal with the ramifications of living in a country mired in white supremacy and institutional racism. A helluva lot of film and literature on the black experience is based on black pain and suffering, which makes sense considering that we've had a painful history and present in this country (in this world). Yet we have to do our best to seek out the joy because too much black pain is indeed bad for our psyches.
Octavia Butler's science fiction story 'Dawn' is being adapted for television and we are beyond excited about that. Octavia Butler was a visionary and we can't wait to see her words brought to screen. This got us thinking about about the possibility of her time-travel fantasy novel, Kindred, being adapted for film. Her most famous work would have to be carefully cast-- and we've been thinking of all the casting possibilities for the novel which fuses slave narrative and speculative fiction into the afrofuturist work we know and love.
Playing the role of Dana, a woman caught oscillating between 1970s California and a slave plantation where her ancestors live, is actress Uzo Aduba. Known primarily for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" in Orange is the New Black, we think she has the range and skill to depict Dana's complex and painful feelings about her history and origins.
We've cast Tom Hardy as Rufus Weylin. Rufus is a narcissistic and power-hungry slave owner-- who also happens to be Dana's ancestor whom she must constantly attempt to rescue from peril for her own survival. We've seen Tom Hardy play dangerous, unstable characters before, (Heathcliff, anyone?) and we think he could do it again.
Samira Wiley, another actress who gained a following after her moving performances in Orange is the New Black, would be able to embody the struggle of Alice Greenwood Jackson. Alice is a slave and a friend of Dana's during her time on the plantation. Rufus' brutal treatment of Alice and his overwhelming obsession with her eventually leads to her misery and desperation.
Kerry Washington as Sara, the cook for Tom and Rufus Weylin whose subservient attitude towards her masters masks an enduring hatred for the men who have ripped apart her family. We've seen Kerry Washington portray a woman with deep-seated trauma and pent up emotions on Scandal for multiple seasons. This would be a role where her subtlety could be a great credit.
Reese Witherspoon cast as Margaret Weylin, Tom's wife and the overbearing and abrasive mother of Rufus. She is abusive to her slaves until an opium addiction transforms her personality. Reese Witherspoon could play both sides of this character credibly-- the hard-edged and cruel southern woman, and the slow-witted belle with an otherworldly air.
Welcome to Womanist Expressions, brainchild of Caitlin Gunn and Kidiocus Carroll.