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Director John Singleton’s films are known to center around inner-city tension and have narratives that center African Americans. As a Los Angeles native, it shouldn’t be incorrect to assume that he wanted to see films that featured people who looked like him, for representation sake. As this film is inspired by much of his own experiences in South Central LA, it is a testament crafting parts of your life story into a script and dutifully moving forward to make a film of it.

Picking up two nominations from the Academy the following year as noted on the film’s IMDB webpage: one for best director for Singleton and the second nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It is worth noting that Singleton, (24 years old) at this point in time, became the youngest director and also the very first African-American in cinema history ever to be nominated by the Academy for Best Director. …


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#FUBU For Us By Us: Depictions of Black Girls and Women On Film By Black Women

Nearly one hundred years after motion pictures were invented, the first nationally distributed full length, feature film by an African American was released in the winter of 1992. Julie Dash’s sixteen year journey to complete this project finally culminated in Daughters of The Dust. The film follows the generational split of a Gullah family, people of the sea lands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia who were descendants of slaves.

Most of the family is preparing to leave and go live on the mainland and much is at stake. The old traditions are feared to be washed away while some think that some of the family is being lured by the promises of new world. The film centers mostly on the women of the family and how necessary they are to both the past and the future. Set at the turn of the 20th century, Daughters of the Dust pays homage to the storied past of African Diaspora, features a unique narrator who is a valuable storyteller and embraces several definitions of Black womanhood. …


Rediscovering ways to rekindle friendships while the world is on lock down

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Photo by José on Unsplash

Truly snail mail has never gone out of style, it has been more reserved for junk mail and our bills, bank statements and sometimes invitations for big events like weddings or graduations — at least for those of us who haven’t switched most of that to more paperless, digital means.

Still, ranging from uncommon to rare, receiving any physically written on and sent mail from our loved ones is generally reserved for a birthday card from grandma. Or that one eccentric and or estranged Auntie or Uncle that you’re pretty sure is a spy and or holding on to a grand inheritance to possibly pass on to you. …


Reflecting on Redemption, Accountability and Blackness

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Strange Days. 1995. USA. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Screenplay by James Cameron, Jay Cocks. With Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore. 20th Century Fox. 145 min.

Director Kathryn Bigelow’s name and ultimately her legacy will bring to mind that she became the first woman in Oscar history to win the Best Director award in 2010. According to her IMDB webpage, as of 2020 there have only been five women nominated: Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Greta Gerwig. Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, her fifth feature film co-written by her then husband James Cameron is mostly forgotten when compared to her more acclaimed work including the Oscar winning The Hurt Locker (2008) or Zero Dark Thirty (2012). …


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Photo by Seven Shooter via unsplash

Despite the updated dismal numbers on who actually gets to be in books, Children's Lit is still a important part of the pie when its comes to the book publishing industry. Ask Cousin Google and you can instantly pull up lists upon lists of book recs for kid lit that you should be reading — in fact, lists about recs for children’s books on immigration are nothing new.

Yet, the more and more I delved, I realized I wanted a list about the immigration experience in books for children featuring children of color — but by creative teams of color. …


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Under lock down during the COVID-19 crisis, I have been doing a LOT of reading. In the midst of all the reading I’ve been doing, I started giving serious thought to the book covers, the illustrations and text that give us the very, first visual look into the books we read. Yes, yes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — unless that cover is American Dirt, of course. I’m starting up a new series here on Medium on the book covers that I love — my favorites of all time. First up, I wrote about The Marauders’ Island (Hen & Chick #1) by Tristan J. Tarwater, this week I’m waxing poetically on The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. …


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Under lock down during the COVID-19 crisis, I have been doing a LOT of reading. In the midst of all the reading I’ve been doing, I started giving serious thought to the book covers, the illustrations and text that give us the very, first visual look into the books we read. Yes, yes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — unless that cover is American Dirt, of course. I’m starting up a new series here on Medium on the book covers that I love — my favorites of all time.

I will be writing about all the gems — the covers of books that are so striking that they add to the reading experience. If you weren’t sure before, most, if not all these books featured are going to be by writers from marginalized backgrounds with a good chunk of them being folks of color and women. If that is not your cup of tea, feel free to jump ship now and find something else to read. For those still reading, you’re here for this journey so without further ado, let’s set sail with The Marauders’ Island’ (Hen & Chick #1) by Tristan J. …


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#FUBU For Us By Us: Depictions of Black Girls and Women On Film By Black Women

A series of videographic essays on films featuring Black girls and Black women centered in narratives by directors who are women identifying as Black and/or belong to the African Diaspora.

Black girlhood. Black womanhood. Black sisterhood. Black families. Black struggles.
Black hopes and dreams. All through the lenses of Black, female film makers and storytellers.

Video essays will include synopses; stand out moments, significant themes in regards to Blackness and femininity and other elements like cinematography and acting. …


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Photo Courtesy of artist website.

Back in December of last year, I visited one of my favorite local museums — CAAM and found God in in the Dust My Broom: Southern Vernacular from the Permanent Collection via a intricate piece by artist Dominique Moody. Completed in 1996, her “Ancestral Praise House” piece was inspired by small wooden structures where Gullah women, people of the sea lands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia who were descendants of slaves, used to pray.

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Back in the 90’s Moody and her sister drove to South Carolina visiting several Gullah communities along the coast speaking with the griots of their communities and also meeting different artists. The experiences from this trip helped inspire this unique piece laden with many different materials. The structure itself is a house with steps leading up with a pit at the bottom. It is a piece cobbled together and at first glance it may look like disorganization to some but let me assure you Ancestral Praise House is worthy of a second look. Even a third. …


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The Water Phoenix (2017)

Black people exist in the future.

Black people exist in outer space.

Black people exist under the sea.

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Written, directed and starring herself as the dazzling sea creature, Bola Ogun expressed great frustration on trying to get films made as a marginalized person, as herself — a first generation Nigerian-American filmmaker. So, if I’m getting the story right, she turned to crowdfunding to get some of the funds needed for this short film to finally get a finished film completed and uploaded to Vimeo last year. The synopsis is pretty straight forward:

When an imprisoned mermaid is betrayed by her caretaker, she must find a way to escape the aquarium alone. …

About

Carrie McClain

⭐️ Writer, Editor & Media Scholar with an affinity for red lipstick living in California. Writes about literature, art, cinema & amazing women. ⭐️

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