India Arie reminds us to continue to breathe through the injustices we are witnessing in her new song "Breathe," inspired by the last words of Eric Garner.
It has been a full 18 months since R&B singer, Jazmine Sullivan, released her third studio album--Reality Show. We still believe that the album is a black feminist and Womanist masterpiece. Sullivan revels in the joy of an unpredictable and dangerous love, celebrates black women's bodies, and reads the fvck bois for filth. Check out her performance of one of our favorites:
Black people create meaning and produce thought through our everyday lived experiences. Symbolic activism is no less important than on the ground activism.
The Black Girls Rock awards last night were incredible. So many talented and powerful black women in the public eye were recognized for their accomplishments, and so many dazzling performances were delivered. Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the night, and awards were given to Rihanna, Gladys Knight, Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Stenberg, and the three founders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors.
There were especially standout performances from Brandy and Jazmine Sullivan.
Beyonce's "Formation" video is PEAK BLACKNESS and there is really no other succinct way in which to say that. Get into it:
Before we count the levels of blackness in this fabulousness, we must make an offering at the altar of Queen Bey. We offer our BeyHive membership fees and our collective wigs:
Messy Mya (RIP) opens the video and asks: "What happened at the "N'awlins?" The reference to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Messy Mya's unsolved murder in conjunction establishing shots of N'awlins is already gut wrenching enough, but the slayage continues throughout the entire video.
Yes, we were horrified too when we saw that the Oscar nominees are yet again almost entirely white. The conversation from last year on Twitter, #OscarsSoWhite, continues under that hashtag and the updated #OscarsStillSoWhite.
However, the hashtag #BlackTwitterMovieAwards caught our eye! Check out some of the suggestions and nominees, and join the conversation on Twitter!
A lot of people are unhappy about Ebony "tarnishing" Cosby's legacy by reminding the masses about the legacy that he has already shattered. It is what it is. Ebony has made a statement that needs to be made.
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."
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.