film

Dear White People – In Theaters October 17 | #OYRchallenge

IN THEATERS OCTOBER 17

Best Picture Winner at the San Francisco Film Festival

Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival

Now coming to theaters near you on October 17, 2014

via Dear White People – In Theaters October 17.

Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem – NYTimes.com

Mr. Magliozzi said the film was one of the first feature-length endeavors in an era dominated by shorts. Seventy percent of the feature-length films made in this country during the silent era of 1912-1929 have been lost, according to a Library of Congress survey.

via Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem – NYTimes.com.

Official Trailer for ‘Dear White People’ Movie – Urban Cusp

The film, written and directed by Justin Simien, is a satirical film about being a black face in a white place.  According to the official Facebook page for the film, “Dear White People follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film will explore racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America, while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.” #OYRchallenge

via Official Trailer for ‘Dear White People’ Movie – Urban Cusp.#OYRchallenge

This Perfect Poster Is ‘Dear White People’ in a Nutshell | Vulture #OYRchallenge

Dear White People opens on Friday, October 17, 2014. This fan and architect, Nikkolas Smith, created this poster after previewing the film. Can’t Wait!Dear White People | Film

This Perfect Poster Is Dear White People in a Nutshell.

The new, official poster for Dear White People is terrific (and debuting exclusively on Vulture), but the story behind it is even better. A Sundance Award–winning satire about racial issues flaring up at a prestigious university, Dear White People was financed in part by thousands of people who contributed through a crowd-funding drive — so how perfect is it that this poster was made by a fan, too?

‘The Knick’ on Cinemax : Review #OYRchallenge

Andre Holland | 'The Knick'

African Americans are told to be “humble” and wait on the Lord’s day. Well, I think it is here. “The Knick” begins its first season in an uproar. The 1900’s post-Reconstruction was a prickly era for African Americans, – dangerous at best. “The Knick” exploits the African American learned characteristics, genius and pride tempered by restraint, compassion and “subterfuge,” to create the amazing character, Dr. Algernon Edwards played by Andre Holland. He is the assistant chief surgeon in a New York hospital, forced to endure barbs and overt racist messages while expected to teach and develop surgical techniques for his white colleagues. Edwards is a genius, but the creators of this series, Jack Amiel and Michael Begler are not too shabby either.

I watched the first three episodes, which drew 3.6 million viewers of Cinemax’s 13 million subscribers according to Mike Hale’s New York Times review, but the first 9 minutes of the fourth episode had me reeling. Dr. Edwards must lead his team through a surgery he has developed. The chief surgeon demands that he “instruct” but must not touch the patient. How Edwards handles this situation is priceless. Definitely a must watch.

Mike Hale’s review is most salient in that it attaches the same rife racist tremor as the series, denoting resilience and fortitude as smugness, yet he cannot fail to give the same space to Edwards as the character Gallenger throughout.

Mike Hale (NY Times): When the white surgeon Gallinger Eric Johnson — whose attitude toward the interloping black doctor, Algernon Edwards Andre Holland, has been an interesting mix of pure racism and wounded professional pride — called his rival a “smug bastard” on Friday night, you thought, wait a minute, he’s right — Edwards, the show’s most sympathetic character, IS kind of a smug bastard. Mr. Holland makes us see how smugness and egotism coexist with, are inextricably bound with, Edwards’s reserve and compassion.

Will Andre Holland swoop in to take the lead in this drama? It looks so. Gallenger, as most racist, must put-Edwards-in-his-place. But who is breaking who? Instead, Edwards owns his racist. He is the puppet master midst a status quot meant to break him, yet Edwards maximizes his power to show genius top-side, while working secretly to provide healthcare to the indigent African American population below. Incredible story line, cast, and rendition of a history told over decades.

Although Clive Owens is heralded as the star of this television period piece, Andre Holland’s performance continuously overshadows reviews with an eerie similarity with the show’s running theme. Watch ‘The Knick,’ 10pm, Friday night on Cinemax. #OYRchallenge

via ‘The Knick’ Recap: Sins of the Flesh, With a Kick – NYTimes.com.

African American Labor| Labor Day #OYRchallenge

Black workers

Field laborers

Today, September 1, 2014, is Labor Day; a national holiday in the United States. After reading articles of 21st century celebrations that forbid non-union workers from participating, it saddens me. We have made claims to a post-racial country. Talk of racism at this juncture are vehemently criticized, even in light of disparities in African American economic, social, and political power in relation to majority populations. The further insult come especially today when we as African Americans post messages, photos, articles, and other material congratulating America’s unions, when much of the substantive foundations in America was built on African American forced labor. We also forget the history of labor unions in this country.

blksteelworker

Factory Workers

Labor unions protected majority workers. African Americans were forbidden to join in its inception. I remember reading a paper on the struggle. During one strike, when African Americans were finally allowed to join American unions, the union forbade African Americans to picket alongside White members. After African Americans protested, they were allowed to form separate lines in order to participate in the union action. To this day, with the Affirmative Action policies in place, unions work with corporations to control the African American employee’s job security, positions, and employment situations, especially during economic upheaval in America.

So, why do we cherish entities that marginalize us throughout history? The story is long and contrived, but this video pays homage to the original laborers and the strongest population of people in America – African American workers. Thank you for carving out a beautiful, yet still volatile landscape for me to play.

#OYRchallenge – Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong [Official Music Video]

The Own Your Racist Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from a slave ship onto the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their racist collaborators (African American pseudo-intellectuals) to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy. Truth-be-told, these systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21st century Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St. Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities. Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. Some HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power, along with that the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message, the fearful and mediocre cite statistics, the European face of government, and class conscious models of respectability politics to quell their cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always government positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

I want to give you an example of using your power effectively within this context. The necessary back story is that in our region, African Americans rarely challenge the most minute situations, so racist have an exceptional comfort zone (no visible support for Trayvon Martin in public view). As the city fell into economic decline, the mayor initiated a campaign to bring a specific immigrant ethnicity to the area from New York City (I will not name the specific population; it is not about them) to purchase property and strengthen the communities. The specific ethnicity bought into the American slovenly African American stereotype for their benefit, and similar to Rwandan (Hutu/Tutsi) conflict, they assumed a position in our communities as a buffer and caste between the racist White population and the African American community. This actually occurred right after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and subsequent literature highlighting the European strategy that set the immigrant against the indigenous population (Mamdani, 2001)

While in college, I cashed my student loan checks at a local branch of the University’s banking institution, as I had done many semester previously. I approached the teller window, and handed her the check, along with my driver’s photo ID. The teller, immigrant woman, scowled at ID, turned it over, scowled again, then asked for a second form of ID. I then gave her my University photo ID bearing the same name and insignia as on the check. Her reaction was the same as with my driver’s license. She sighed and continued to scowl, leaning on her elbow on the counter, with no movement to either decline or process my transaction. I then grew impatient and asked for the bank manager. The teller was aghast. Apparently, she felt a stool in the bank afforded her power that I had no right to challenge. I reiterated, “I have no more to say to you.  It is obvious that you are not familiar with US identifications and should not hold this position. Please call the manager.” When the bank manager arrived, I informed her of the teller’s inability to read legal documents and that such deficiencies should have been addressed at her job interview. Furthermore, her behaviors may open the bank up to future lawsuits and other damages. The red-faced bank manager “shoved” the teller aside and promptly completed my transaction. By the way, said teller is now working at McDonalds. A brightly smiling young black male has taken her place on the stool.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.

Mahmood Mamdani. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Lupita Nyong’o To Produce And Star In ‘Americanah’

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o will star and produce the feature adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah together with D2 Productions, Plan B and Potboiler Productions.  A winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, Americanah tells the epic love story of two young immigrant Nigerians, Ifemelu and Obinze, as their lives span various continents. Americanah was also listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of the Year” by The New York Times Book Review, the BBC, and Newsday. Adichie is the MacArthur Fellowship winning author of such novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.

via Lupita Nyong’o To Produce And Star In ‘Americanah’.

Why Lupita Nyong’o’s Lancôme Deal Is a Victory for Women of Color – PolicyMic

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o’s riveting performance in 12 Years a Slave skyrocketed the 31-year-old newcomer to the Hollywood A-list. Millions of women rejoiced at the prospect of a stunning woman of color becoming the belle of the ball, and the news that she’d been tapped by Lancôme cosmetics to be their new brand ambassador.  

via Why Lupita Nyong’o’s Lancôme Deal Is a Victory for Women of Color – PolicyMic.