Starring the Landscape: Horror On Ice

 

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There aren’t a lot of movies set in snowy climates, and even fewer set in the Arctic, so I had to loosen my definition, to include films that take place in any locations that existed above the snow line, or  movies that were set during Winter. 

An interesting aspect of these movies, isn’t just the setting’s effect on the plot, but the time period in which the movies occur. In wintry settings, most  scenes are set at night, as in Let The Right One In, or specific times of the year, such as 30 Days of Night, when the sun doesn’t rise for a prolonged period of time. Night time scenes are always more effective in horror movies, because having the story take place in the dark, does at least half the work of inducing fear in the audience, and icy, snowy settings already produce a feeling of existential dread, and isolation.

Three of the most basic types of plots for most horror movies, is something I briefly discussed in one of my other posts about landscapes and settings. There is the horror that comes from Inside, from within, (i.e. possession movies, which also include alien possession, body snatching, body horror. This includes psychological, emotional, drug and  hallucinatory horror), the horror that comes from Outside the self, (monster movies, slasher films, alien invasions, disease pandemics, and the apocalypse),  and the horror of Place, which is the environment, the landscape, itself.

Frozen Movie Facts | Horror Amino

The majority of movies set in snowy, cold, and/or wintry, climates are monster movies, the kind of horror that springs from an Outside source. Most of these movies involve at least two of the elements of horror; that of Place, and  from Outside. The horror from Outside involves monsters, or creatures, sometimes native to the environment, sometimes not, but often asleep, or in hiding, deep in the snow and ice. They are accidentally awakened by the presence, or activity, of human beings. This includes movies like The Thaw from 2009, in which ancient bugs are  awakened by archaeological activity, and Blood Glacier, a horror comedy from 2013, in which a strange red liquid is released from a melting glacier in the Alps, and begins mutating the local wildlife.

Blood Glacier (2013) - IMDb

Much of the horror of such films, comes from the harsh, and unforgiving, nature of the setting itself.  Survival in such an environment is more precarious than in almost any other environment. The cold, the scarcity of sustenance and water, and even the wildlife, can all work against human life, and sometimes characters not only have to withstand the environment, they may have to fight any Outside forces that have either  dropped into the environment with them, was hidden within it, or came along with them, like their companions, or their own weaknesses of character.

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Two movies that are about the horror of Place, is the 2010 horror movie, Frozen, and 2012’s, The Grey, which stars Liam Neeson. In Frozen, a group of skiing friends get trapped on a ski lift, during a holiday weekend, and need to fight, not just against the terror of their isolation, and the freezing temperatures, but against a pack of hungry dogs circling beneath the ski lift, as they get picked off one by one. In both movies, the characters have to survive multiple dangers, none of which are paranormal or supernatural. The Horror comes entirely from being trapped in an environment from which it is almost impossible to escape alive.

The Grey [2011] - GIF on Imgur

In The Grey, a team of oil drillers get stranded in Alaska after a plane crash. Liam Neeson’s character, Ottway, has made a living killing the wolves that threaten the drillers, and is contemplating suicide, before surviving the crash, with several companions, and who now realize, they are in the territory of a large wolfpack, and being hunted. Ottway and his companions must try to survive frozen rivers, hypothermia, hunger, and the wolves, in their attempt to reach civilization. In a final irony, only the previously suicidal Ottway is left alive to battle the pack for his survival, the outcome of which is not certain. 

Icy, snowy, landscapes are often used as a stand in to provoke questions about humanity and civilization, that don’t normally get asked in  more temperate landscapes. Since everything is about survival, the characters find out what kind of people they are, when all bets are off. What kind of people are we, who do we become, what will we do, and how far will we go, when we have to fight every second to stay alive?  Will we remain cooperative with the other human beings around us, or will we turn on them, to ensure our own survival? This makes wintry, snowy, settings perfect for tales about cannibalism,  as in the movies Ravenous (1999), and The Donner Party, (a 2009 film based on a true story) where people turn on one another as a means to survive.

The Thing--Wilford Brimley Goes Nuts GIF | Gfycat

This betrayal of civilization is also what happens in the classic  film, The Thing, from 1982, when a group of researchers  accidentally thaw the frozen body of an alien, that begins killing and mimicking them, so that it can survive. Unlike the first films listed here, whose plots involve the horror of Place, combined with the horror from Inside, The Thing is a movie that combines all three types of horror. Everything in this environment is working against the characters, as they’re trapped in an extreme landscape, with a  hostile Other, that was hidden within it,  which has taken up residence in at least one of them, causing them to all turn on each other to survive.  Both the men, and the alien, are fighting to  survive the environment, and each other.

The fear, dread, and paranoia, of the characters is echoed in the bleakness of the landscape, which is as cold and dark as the outer reaches of space,  from which the alien intruder fell. Over time, any fellow feeling they shared is lost, as the team spirals down into a paroxysm of violence, vandalism, threats, and murder, while they try to find out who is  possessed by the alien, and who isn’t. The Thing is complex, in its plot and themes, but  that wasn’t always the case.

Ray Harryhausen The Beast From 20000 Fathoms GIF by Warner Archive ...

In earlier horror films, the horror of Place was mostly paired with some horror from Outside, in the form of a monster, as in the original 1954 film, The Thing From Another World, starring James Arness, which was based on John. W. Campbell’s science fiction story, Who Goes There? Or the  1953 movie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, where scientists, in the Arctic, accidentally dig up a dinosaur, which proceeds to rampage its way back to its ancient spawning grounds, conveniently located in New York city. In both movies, the monsters are an external force, awakened by hubris, or carelessness. The interior lives of the characters is given minimal attention, and have little effect on the plot Often their characters can be defined by how they respond to the monster.

Movies set during Winter seem especially appropriate for hauntings and ghost stories, as such bleak landscapes are used as a metaphor for death. In the 1981 movie, Ghost Story, starring Fred Astaire, based on the novel by Peter Straub, a group of elderly men gather in a  New England town, one Winter’s night, to discuss the murder of a young woman they were involved with, several decades ago, and the idea that her ghost may be haunting one of them. It is their weakness of character that sets the entire plot in motion, and determines the outcome. Ghost Story is an example of the horror of Place,  used as a backdrop for the conflict between the horror of the Self (Inside), and the horror of a malignant external force (Outside). Its the kind of story that could be told in any setting, but here,  adds to the atmosphere of mourning, and despair. These are men at the twilight of their lives, haunted, literally, by the ghosts of their past misdeeds.

The most famous movie, that tackles the themes of both external and internal forces of horror, is The Shining. Released in 1980, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, it is based on the original Stephen King novel, about a haunted hotel,  set in the middle of a wintry Colorado. Jack Torrance is hired by the manager of the Overlook, to maintain the premises, but Jack, a former alcoholic, domestic abuser, (and latent psychic), is easily goaded by its murderous ghosts, into killing his fragile-seeming wife, Wendy, and his powerfully psychic son, Danny.

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The horror comes from the combination of environmental isolation, the malignancy of the paranormal entities, and Jack’s emotional weaknesses. Occasionally, a wintry landscape is an obvious stand in for a character’s emotions, indicating coldness, or a lack of love or warmth. Jack’s personal insecurities are turned against his family, by the ghosts in the hotel. He becomes as emotionally barren as the landscape which isolates them. In the end, it is the environment which kills Jack, after he chases his wife and son into the hotel’s snow covered hedge maze.

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The colors most associated with this type of landscape are cool dark blues, neutral whites, grays, and blacks,  which emphasize the use of primary colors, red, and yellow, in the forms of blood and fire, which is especially appropriate imagery in movies like, 30 Days of Night (2007), based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles, in which a pack of vampires take over the town of Barrow Alaska, in the middle of a thirty day cycle, where the sun never rises, and Let The Right One In, a 2008 movie about a little boy who befriends a child vampire. The movie takes place in Sweden, a place known for its especially long and  frigid winters, and is an especially appropriate residence for an avatar of death.

Dark snowy, landscapes make for some of the most classic and/or notable films in the horror genre. The setting lends itself well to stories involving ghosts, death, human depravity,  survival,  and of course, monsters, as the setting doesn’t just play an integral part in the plot, but often becomes the plot, for stories that can be told in no other place.

Fall Series and Films 2020

Okay, I was initially just going to post only those shows I was invested in watching, but decided to add at least a couple of shows that, while I might not be especially enthused about them, I’m sure someone reading this, is.

So, here’s a thoroughly incomplete list of new Fall shows that someone, who is not necessarily me, might be interested in watching in October.

 

Walking Dead: World Beyond

This is one of the shows I’m not terribly enthused about, because I’m not really in much of a mood for apocalyptic fiction, right now, it’s based off The Walking Dead series, which is now in its 1,000th season, and I refuse to get attached to any of the characters I see here, just in case they die horribly in the first two episodes.

Pretty much the only thing I got out of The Walking Dead, was not to care about any of the characters, because they’re  all just gonna be horribly killed at some point, and since characters are how I get invested in a show, well…

On the other hand, it does look intriguing, because it answers some questions about those helicopter people who approached Rick that one time, and what happened to Rick after his supposed death.

One theme in zombie fiction, that I am seriously tired of, is the travelogue narrative ,where, as soon as the world goes into lockdown mode, someone decides to take a road trip to find some lost loved ones, sometimes with neighbors, or a dog in tow, and they have harrowing adventures, and this seems like more of that. *Sigh*

 

Utopia

I want to like this but I’m just not feeling it. I will look at the pilot though, and maybe I will want to see more of it. yeah, I have no idea what it’s actually about ,and I don’t even care, which is how I know I probably won’t be jumping on this.

 

 

Lovecraft Country 

I have mixed feelings about this show. On the one hand it is directed by a Black woman, and I’m just now coming off The Old Guard, which was also directed by a Black woman, and I’m feeling confident. Its also produced by Jordan Peele, and the original story was written by Matt Ruff, and I read and liked the book okay. It also has monsters in it, and I like to think the racistly racist Lovecraft is rolling over in his grave at having his universe adapted to serve Black characters. Its about a Black family that take a road trip and encounter a mystery and some Lovecraft style monsters.

But…I’m not at all in the mood to watch any more oppression narratives that are rooted in Black pain and trauma. I don’t want to watch any more shows, or movies, set in the Slave era, or Jim Crow South, where we get to watch the characters suffer, and I’m strongly inclined to pretend this doesn’t exist, and will not exist any time in the future.

 

 

Project Power 

Unlike a lot of other whiners on Youtube (and other media), I’m not yet tired of the superhero genre, especially if they keep putting interesting versions of it onscreen, but then, I’m a person who much more carefully chooses these movies and shows, rather than rushing to watch every single thing with a superhero in it, and I also tend to like non-superhero, superhero movies like Unbreakable, The Old Guard, and this vehicle here.

I really like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jamie Foxx ,and I’ve never seen the two of them in a movie together, and it looks like fun, I guess. I think I read a book that had something of the same premise waaay back in the 90s, and I think there’s been a least a couple of comic book stories, where gaining superpowers through drugs, was an idea.

 

Truth Seekers

I really like Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Ive seen most of their movies together, and I loathe the paranormal investigation reality show genre, so I’m actually looking forward to this parody.

 

 

The Good Lord Bird

That thing I said about Slave era narratives is still true, but I find myself greatly intrigued by this movie, because its a comedy that stars Orlando Jones, an actor I love, and Ethan Hawke, who, as John Brown, looks unrecognizable in this movie, and who was great in The Magnificent Seven remake, and Daveed Diggs, who plays Frederick Douglas. I also like it because it is a comedy where the plot isn’t rooted in the consumption of Black trauma.

It actually looks really, really, funny ,and the young girl we see in the trailer is actually a young boy who has  disguised himself as a young girl because he found his life easier that way, and he sort of accidentally falls under Brown’s care.

You guys have got to read the book on which this movie is based, because Brown is a real hoot. Brown himself is a trigger happy abolitionist, who guns down any slave owners, and slave patrols he happens to encounter, making no effort to protect himself from harm, because he believes he is doing God’s will and that he is already protected.

 

 

Star Trek: Lower Decks

I’m not sure this is the best use of the money we gave these people for those last couple of Star Trek movies, so I’m just gonna leave this here.

I mean, I’m not opposed to an animated version of Star Trek, but I am opposed to an animated version of Star Trek. Heck, I didn’t even watch the original animated Trek, from the 70s. But you know what, I’m not gonna act like one of those fanboy purists who refuse to watch something just because its radically different from whatever came before, and I loved that Spiderverse movie. Not that this is, in any way, Spiderverse level entertainment, but I might be surprised.

 

An American Pickle

At first glance, this doesn’t seem much like something I’d watch, but I Seth Rogan okay, I like time travel movies, it looks funny, and I like the initial setting of Victorian New York.

 

Horror Movies That Everyone Forgot

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

This movie was made in 2001, by the same director of the 2014 French film, Beauty and the Beast, Christophe Gans, and it shows. It’s a gorgeous looking film. In fact, it made my Most Beautiful Movies list from a few years ago, and stars Mark Dacascos, and Vincent Cassell, that villain from that last Jason Bourne movie.

The movie is a curious mixture of history, politics, romance, martial arts, and mystery, based on the myth of the Beast of Gevaudin, in 18th century France. The Beast killed hundreds of people over a number of years, and was never caught. The lead character Gregoire De Fronsac,  was based on the man who actually investigated the killings. Dacascos plays his Indigenous sidekick from America, named Mani, who has mad martial arts skills, just because Dacascos has them.

The monster is a kind of steampunk version of a lion and was created by a member of the nobility to destroy the current monarchy by terrorizing the populace. Actually, I’m still not sure why the monster was created, but Monica Belluci plays a prostitute spy, and naturally, we get some titty shots, because its Monica, and the movie is set in France.

 

 

Orca; The Killer Whale (1977)

One of the interesting trends I’ve observed in these Horror movies is the Indigenous sidekick who gets killed. So maybe there’s a reason why these movies were forgotten! Nevertheless, I added this movie because it’s one of my mothers favorite films. It should tell you something that while she is indifferent to the movie Jaws, she likes a number of Jaws ripoffs. I on the other hand love Jaws, and hate all the ripoffs, of which Orca is one of the better ones.

It has this ridiculous plot about a killer whale, that stalks and avenges itself, against one of the fisherman who killed its mate and offspring, even going so far as to destroy an entire seaside town, and permanent maim his daughter, and kill his Indigenous sidekick, because as you know, any movie set in nature, must have one of those, else how will the viewers understand the setting. Once you get past the silliness of the plot, and a certain amount of dialogue that exists in service to it, it’s really not a bad film. Some of the action setpieces are very impressive, and the fishing and water scenes are pretty good.

It ultimately comes down to a man against fish fight, between the whale and the fisherman, at the end of the movie. I won’t tell you who wins, but it’s worth watching just to find out, and listen to some of the ecology issues prominently mentioned in the movie.

 

 

Ravenous (1999)

I really wish people talked about this movie more, because it’s a fairly deep film, tackling the interrelated issues of Manifest Destiny, the consumption of America’s resources, and people, genocide, and colonization, and  just a touch of homo-eroticism, as a kind of accent.

Lt. John Boyd catches a bad case of cannibalism during the Mexican American war, and because of his cowardice, is sent off to a remote post in the Rocky Mountains. There are definitely some Donner Party elements in the plot, although that real life historical event isn’t specifically referenced. While there, he fights against his murderous nature, until he meets another like himself, Colonel Ives, who is gleefully cannibalistic, and wants him to join him in eating any passing travelers through the region. Once again the plot comes down to a raw, knockdown drag out fight between the two primary characters. Again, I won’t tell you who wins, but it’s worth watching to find out.

 

Exorcist III (1990)

This movie is totally different from the critically acclaimed first film, and the much defamed second one.

You may have heard that all the other Exorcist movies really stank in comparison to the first movie, and that is certainly true of the second film which was incomprehensible and overlong. But the third movie of this trilogy is surprisingly good, although it doesn’t have a lot of resemblance to the first.

It picks up several years after the first movie, and the detective we see on the first film, Kinderman, is older and wiser, but still very much haunted by the loss of his first friend, the priest from the first movie, he’s investigating the bizarre death of the priest he’d befriended at the end of the first movie. This leads him to a supernatural force that movies from body to body, destroying anyone who was involved in the original exorcism, and begins circling closer and closer to his family.

This movie is not as loud and audacious a movie as the first. In fact, it feels like an entirely different genre, but there are some genuine scares, and the mystery is disturbing and intriguing. makes a cameo in the movie to dispense some mockery, ridicule, and demonic philosophy as a possessed asylum inmate. it’s worth seeing because it’s a genuinely creepy film with a likable, intelligent, and tenacious lead character.

 

 

 

 

House (1986)

I remember watching this movie back in the 80s, when it was first released to TV, because  that guy from Greatest American Hero, and Carrie, William Katt, starred in it, and I was still at that age when I was fascinated by men with really big hair. I didn’t exactly have crushes on them. Its just that a lot of White men in the 80s had really huge, luxurious, hair and I found that exotic, because it was something I only saw in movies and TV. The white men I saw in my everyday life, like my two classmates, or my doctor, just had regular, completely unremarkable, hair.

Anyway…the movie, released in 1986,  is about a man who movies into a house he inherited from his Aunt, after the disappearance of his son, and subsequent separation from his wife. Not long afterwards, he discovers all manner of strange goings-on, like hallucinations, nightmares from his stint in Vietnam, a closet that leads to a nightmare dimension, and the malignant ghost of one of his companions from Vietnam, played by Richard Moll. Things become increasingly dangerous, as he keeps getting attacked by various monsters, until he realizes he must go into the nightmare dimension to battle his fears, if he wants to live.

This movie was part of a huge trend of low budget, supernatural comedies that came out in the mid- 80s, thanks to the release of The Evil Dead films. While some of it was played for laughs, it turned out to be a lot more serious than funny. Its probably time for me to watch this again as  I haven’t seen it for bit.

 

 

 

 

Pontypool (2008)

This is probably one of the most unusual zombie movies ever made, and it was definitely made on a budget, as you can see, since it only has a cst of about three people. The basic premise is people being turned into zombie like creatures by their use of language. Certain strings of words, and sounds used together cause them to become mindless attackers of the uninfected. The entire movie takes place in one studio room, with most of it consisting of outside phone calls to the studio, outlining the chaos happening outside, but eventually the infection makes its way inside.

Of the cast, the only one I actually recognize, is Stephen McHattie. I remember the first time I saw this actor, many decades ago, in a little known sequel to Rosemary’s Baby, titled Whatever Happened to Rosemary’s Baby?, another forgotten Horror movie, in which he played the titular character, as a tortured young man. (I remember having a huge crush on him when I was about 16.)

 

Haberdasheries and Hemoglobins On Youtube

Today, I have decided to laugh.

Okay, maybe its not all sweetness and light, but I find Youtube amusing and interesting, as I carefully curate the things on my dashboard, to minimize bullshit. Here’s a list of ridiculousness that I stumbled across, and a short list of Youtubers I subscribe to. This is maybe half of them, but its a pretty good snapshot of the subjects that most interest me.

 

Tony Baker Voiceovers

From now on, I’m going to use the word “The Skibbity Pap”,  every time I love smack one of my nieces or nephews on the back of the head. These Tony Baker videos have been around for years, but they’re new to me, and I just love them. Whenever I need a quick pick me up, I just put on one of these, and I’m soon crying for a completely different reason!

Also “skibbity pap” just sounds like the kind of thing that cats would call those love smacks they enjoy giving to anyone, or anything, that wanders into their orbit.

 

 

Two things that are  deeply funny to me, are how the animals love to sing R&B songs to themselves, when they’re alone, and continuing adventures of Rudy, and his dogs.

 

 

The Patriot Act

ASMR: signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterized by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.

This is one of the weirdest/funniest videos on Youtube, as Hasan Minhaj, from Patriot Act, gets in on that whole ASMR experience, by helping you relax while you’re doing your taxes. Watch the whole thing!

 

 

Beau of the Fifth Column

The first time I stumbled across one of Beau’s videos, I did what maybe a lot of people did, and skipped past it, because I really didn’t want to be bothered by yet another opinion video, from a straight white guy, about social issues that didn’t affect him. I’ve had my absolute fill of white men, “objectively” playing devil’s advocate on  social issues.

But his videos kept being recommended to me, so I gave one a try, and was pleasantly surprised by how open and level headed he is. I don’t always agree with the things he says, but he always clearly, and honestly explains what, and why, he believes it, in a way that doesn’t talk down to the viewer, or occlude the issues with erasure and lies.

The titles of the videos are often misleading, but once you start watching, you realize that he is someone who thinks very differently from most people (even me) about a thing.

 

 

 

CinemaWins

I am more than a little tired of this idea, that more than a few people deeply believe, that criticism must be negative. I keep trying to tell people that any opinion, whether its positive or negative, is actually a critique of whatever  you just consumed, because that’s what “criticize” means. Yes, loving something, and stating why, is a perfectly valid critique.

This critic says he originally started this channel as a rebuke to the Cinema Sins Channel, (which I hate). I chose this particular video because I love this movie as much as he does, and for all the same reasons.

 

 

Jesse Dollamore

I knew what I was getting into when I stumbled across Dollamore’s videos, because I started watching him back in the days when he was taking down the low hanging fruit that is Tomimo Laurencias stupid ass. At least part of the reason I like his videos are the incredible insults he levels at trump and his cronies, because they’re almost poetic. Feckless moron, and googly-eyed nitiwt, are what come to mind. I love a good, and well delivered, insult.

 

 

La Guardia Cross

Papa La Guardia says:

New Father Chronicles began in November of 2014 when my daughter Amalah was 1-week-old. I had no idea what I was doing, so I decided to chronicle my journey on YouTube and make fun of myself along the way. Our 2nd daughter, Nayely, was born in April of 2017.

My channel is filled with the silly adventures I have with my girls, infant and toddler interviews, my interpretations of their babble, silly skits, and the things I’ve learned or unlearned as a parent. Sometimes Leah and I mix it up a bit and share some pretty personal moments as well. Why? Well, we’re far from perfect and we’ve learned a lot from our mistakes.

This was one of the first videos I ever saw, and its at least a couple of years old as his baby girls are about three and five now, and I’m not sure where I heard of it, or what I’d watched, that this was recommended to me.

 

 

 

Renegade Cut

Okay, these are just really good reviews, and the critic makes an effort to make his critiques relevant to real world events, like this one about how Black peopel have always been talking about police brutality, which has permeated almost all of our tele-visual arts.

 

 

 

Sir Stevo Timothy

I’m not sure how this video got recommended to me. I thought it was funny, but still  wasn’t quite  sure what to think, when I saw the first one, so I did a little research to figure out who the hell this guy was. it turns out that this character is a parody of a certain type of racist, loud, old, ignorant, Irish uncle. He manages to make the things he says so stupidly ridiculous that you cannot possible take his opinions seriously, and even manages to slip in  some progressive thoughts, if you pay attention.

This video is one of my favorites because no matter how hard he tries, he is simply incapable of ignoring that his passenger is a Black man (from Dublin).

 

I’m probably not supposed to laugh this damn hard at these videos.

 

 

 

The Fish Locker

This video doesn’t seem like it fits anything else on this list, but  its surprisingly soothing to watch this guy combing the rocky beaches of Scotland for seafood, with his wife and son.

This is like ASMR beach combing.

 

 

 

Tkviper

And here are the real ASMR videos of Tkviper just walking the many different streets of Japan, while its raining different types of rain.

 

 

 

Aeon Flux

Does anybody remember these cartons from MTV’s Liquid Television, in the 9os? I remember watching hte hell out of these at the time. I think I still have the full DVD set.

Most Hated Film Tropes

All movies have tropes, sometimes the use, misuse, and overturning of those tropes is what makes a movie worth watching, but they all have them, because that’s what usually determines the film’s genre, for example. Certain things have to occur for something to qualify as Horror, Fantasy, or a Western. I don’t have problem with tropes in general, but some things I am really, really, tired of seeing, or is a sign of lazy film writing.

 

The Magical Negro

A magical negro is usually a Black man or woman with some type of inexplicable superpower, (but sometimes not), who shows up to help the White protagonist deal with some problem they’re having in their life, often without reciprocation from the white protagonist. These magical people are never selfish, deciding  to help any nearby White people maximize their love lives, for example, rather than using their considerable powers to make their own lives better, or save themselves from harm.

Part of the reason this idea is so offensive to me, is not necessarily because the Black person has superpowers, but that they use those powers in service to White people, rather than relieving their own oppression (if they’re shown to have any backstory at all).  They don’t have families, they’re never seen around other Black people, they never discuss their own problems, they have no lives of their own.  Most of the time their origins are mysterious.

A classic example of this trope is John Coffey from The Green Mile, a giant Black man, with no past, and no future either, as he is sentenced to be executed for a crime he didn’t commit, yet nevertheless, spends much of the movie solving the problems of the white prison guards in his orbit, rather than trying to solve his own. I get that he is a Christ metaphor, but watching this movie is very distasteful for me.

Some other classic examples include Oda Mae from the movie Ghost (a Black character with no life or backstory of her own,  beyond helping the ghost of the white protagonist reunite with his wife) There are  movies where the trope is done so well, that I’ll give it a pass, like Red from Shawshank Redemption. A character that just manages to skirt by, with this trope, are Will Smith’s Hitch, as his being a love talker for hire is the entire point of the film and he gets an entire storyline devoted to his own love life.

But my least favorite character, in all of filmdom, is the character of Jezelle, from the movie Jeepers Creepers, a psychic nobody, who takes time out of her busy schedule of doing, we don’t know what,  to provide exposition and aid, to two White, twenty-something, strangers, who are being chased by the movie’s monster. Her only purpose in the movie,is to show up and psychically help these strangers, rather than use her abilities to keep herself safe from the monster. In fact, using her abilities brings her into direct interaction with the monster, in a way that would never have happened if she’d just stayed home, because her pronouncements don’t change their futures, and puts her life in danger.

 

 

 

The Black Guy Dies First

Its not so much that they die first, so much as they never make it to the end of any horror movie.

Black or any other characters from minorities are often said to be the first ones to die within horror films.[1] While it is not necessarily true that these characters die first, a larger percentage die at some point in the movie.[7] Complex did a survey of 50 horror films that starred black characters, finding that only 10% had black characters that died first in the film; however, a great deal of those characters still died at some point in the movies.[1] On top of their imminent death, these characters are also notably given a lack of character development, especially in comparison to white counterparts.[1] According to Valerie, in her breakdown of the development of black characters in horror, black characters stand a greater chance of survival if they are teamed with a white woman by the end, if the entire cast is black, or if the villain is a black person. However, Complex also reveals that black characters who survive the film almost certainly die if there is a sequel.

—– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_horror_films

A great example overturning this trope is Tales From The Crypt: Demon Night, which stars two, totally bad ass, Black women, one of whom does not make it to the end to the film, (although she does go out like a BOSS), and Jada Pinkett, who  not only becomes the Final Girl, she also gets to be the hero, who defeats the monster. Examples of the first sort are far too numerous to mention. You can pretty much count every slasher movie made in the 80’s and 90’s.

Keep in mind, however, that Night of the Living Dead showed us that even if the Black person is the star of the movie, that is still no guarantee they will survive it.

My most hated version of this trope though, is the movie Logan, where an entire Black family gets introduced, only so they can be killed, a few minutes later. Now, I get that the point of their deaths is to illustrate that Wolverine is, very probably, one of the most toxic characters in Marvel history. Death follows him around like a lapdog, so much so, that anyone who interacts with him, on even the most superficial level, will meet with a quick, and pointless death. If not by him, then through someone associated with his sordid past. In fact, everybody in this movie dies, from the Mexican gangbangers at the beginning of the film, to Charles Xavier, to Laura’s surrogate mother, and Logan himself.

In fact,  Logan is full of dead  PoC, solely because they had some kind of interaction with Wolverine, whether benign or negative.

*Sigh*

Movin’ on…

 

CPR Only Works When You Shout At the Recipient

Gob, I hate this one!

I absolutely hate this trope. I have always hated this trope. Its a stupid trope, meant to create a false feeling of suspense, when a major character dies onscreen. Its often used wrong anyway. CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) is not even meant to bring someone back to life. You don’t just give a person CPR and they wake up and start breathing, as if they just had a nightmare. It’s also meant to last longer than the couple of minutes they show you onscreen. You are not simply restarting a person’s heart. You are doing the job of the heart by keeping their blood circulating, so that the brain continues to receive oxygen, thereby lessening brain damage, until the heart can be restarted.

In Movieland, if CPR isn’t working but dammit-you’re-not-gonna-lose-them you can always just start hammering your fist into their chest. Preferably whilst shouting. This is called a precordial thump and should only be performed once by a highly trained medical professional in front of witnesses when there are no other alternatives – any other time and you’re just giving a corpse a beating.

          ———  https://whatculture.com/offbeat/11-common-movie-tropes-that-would-actually-ruin-your-life?page=4

And screaming epithets has never worked on an unconscious person. That’s just ass-stupid.

I really hate this trope!

 

 

The White Savior

https://shadowandmovies.com/what-is-the-white-savior-trope-green-book/

This is probably the most irksome trope for PoC, because it’s literally everywhere, but now so much has been written about this, in the past five years, that it has actually become a part of everyday film criticism, whereas before it was something only recognized by a handful of people.

 

My most hated version of this trope, and the first time I truly noticed it, was when Mississippi Burning was released, in the 90s. The movie starred Willem Defoe and Gene Hackman, and I hated, hated, hated that movie. It is a classic White Savior film. I hated it because its such a blatant piece of utter bullshit, because it is very well documented what the FBI got up to during the Civil Rights Era, demonizing and interrogating the intentions of MLK, and the protesters (COINTELPRO). MB centers two White FBI agents in the middle of a story about Black people fighting for their rights. Everything about the movie is just wrong. its the Green Book of the 80s.

For a full list of resources see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO#U.S._government_reports

Now the definition has evolved to include any heroic white character in movies dealing with Black oppression, or during slavery, which slotted a whole new group of movies into the White savior category.

 

Image result for white savior gifs

List of Associated films:

12 Years a Slave Hidden Figures, Avatar, Blind Side, Gran Torino, The Matrix

 

 

The Sissy Villain

Yes, the image below takes place in a children’s cartoon, and depicts not only the Sissy Villain, but sexual assault by an animal like, predatory, gay coded (creature?). The Sissy Villain isn’t always this bad, but GOOD LORD! This was in a children’s cartoon! There are, on occasion, good depictions of this trope, like Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid, who was based on the transgender actress Divine, and the cross dressing Dr. Frank N’ Furter, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, who is beloved by audiences.

Where this trope is especially insidious though, is in children’s cartoons, like Scar, in the lion King, and Him, (the above character), from the Powerpuff Girls. But this type of villain is also spotted in movies with British villains, where the villain not only has a British accent, but is succinctly spoken, sometimes with effete mannerisms, as in the movies, The Patriot, Die Hard, and  Skyfall. The Sissy Villain has a  strong homophobic element involved in their depiction, as they are often contrasted against the manly, masculine heroes.

They can be found in far too many historical, and action films, basically, wherever the manly hero is found. Sometimes the Sissy Villain is shown as predatory, and  a way to make the villain seem even more evil, such as Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs, and Jack Randall from Outlander, who is not only the villain, but  a rapist. Actually,  whenever it seems Hollywood needs a villain, who is predatory, deceptive, and shady, they  just code them as gay, (and often British).

 

 

 

 Cop’s Nagging Wife/ Wet Blanket Wife

Actually there are several different versions of the Wet Blanket Wife, but I want to focus on a very specific version of her. The Wet Blanket Wife, is always ready to sacrifice other people’s lives, so her husband/boyfriend/significant other, can stay home with the kids, or go to one of their children’ s musical recitals, or have a dinner party.

A perfect example of this is the scene in The Incredibles, where Frozone’s wife insists that he is going to ruin their evening, if he goes out to engage in superheroics. Don’t take this the wrong way, the scene is still very funny, but hiding inside it is the insidious trope of the Wet Blanket Wife, who  seems more concerned with their dinner party, than the lives of the citizens being endangered by the movie’s villain.

Or take the movie Red Dragon, where the Wet Blanket Wife’s complaints are ostensibly legitimate. After all, Will Graham nearly lost his life while doing his job, as a criminal profiler. She wants him to stay home, and not endanger his life by going back to his job profiling the latest serial killer, that’s destroying whole families. On the surface I get it, but the way its framed in the movie, makes her whiny and unlikable, and  completely uncaring of the deaths of the victims.

The Wet Blanket Wife lives in cop films, however. She can be found wherever a police officer, or detective has been accused of neglecting his family because he loves his job too much, or not coming up with the alimony for that month, or just never being there for her. and the kids. This trope was famously lampooned in the movie Hot Fuzz, but takes place in far too many other action movies involving detectives.

 

 

White Women are Virgins/Women of Color are Whores

At the same time, our American culture has a long history of sexualizing women of color and holding up white women as paragons of sexual purity. Women of color are lower than pure-minded white women: spicy, sexually imaginative, animalistic. Although it’s natural to desire the superior white woman sexually, only white men are good enough for her, and they must spend their manhood proving their worth. This mindset lingers in our collective unconscious and is expressed in myriad ways. It gets a lot more nuanced than that, so I’d encourage those of you who haven’t to read up on this.

          ——– https://thenerdsofcolor.org/2016/04/08/white-virginwhore-of-color-daredevilproblems/

The above definition says everything I wanted to say about this trope. This trope can very easily be found in the TV series Daredevil, on Netflix, where the oversexualized, and violent Elektra, whom Matt is very attracted to, is contrasted against the blonde, and innocent looking, Karen Page, who is so pure that he feels unworthy to be with her, and who must be protected from harm. Note, that Elektra receives no such masculine protection.

This trope can also be found in the first season of HBO’s Westworld, but to a purpose. Maeve, a Black woman who owns a brothel, is portrayed as sexy and sassy, while her compatriot Dolores, is at first set up as pure and virginal. She is the kind of female character who is protected by white men, while Maeve is the type that is exploited.

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/westworld-analysis-dolores-and-maeve/

 

The Faux – Medieval World Settings

Yeah, this one is especially tired.

No matter where in the world these stories are set, or how much worldbuilding a creator may work really hard to put into their work, the end result always appears to be set during Medieval times, with that level of technology. There’s always taverns, beer, wenches, and sword fighting. In some cases, sometimes the wheel has not even been invented! Its not that it matches any particular country or even government system, so much as it looks vaguely like Feudalism, with its associated social hierarchy. I call these, Lord of the Rings ripoffs.

As I mentioned  in an earlier post, I didn’t find my way into Fantasy through the usual channels. I started out reading Horror, than switched to Scifi , and eventually made my way to Urban Fantasy, so I don’t have the same level of reverence for LOTR, that other people do, and frankly, I found all the hype for these types of stories to be deeply tiresome. I don’t hate the genre, (I enjoy the films), but I have no patience for High Fantasy dramas most of the time, and even when I do come across something I like, there’s not as much emotional engagement in it for me. High Fantasy set in other countries (Japan, the Phillipines, Africa) don’t bother me though.

Things to Ponder – Black Lives Matter Edition

Anti-Blackness permeates every single industry in America, and its about time that many of these industries started asking themselves serious questions about how deep the racism goes, holding their employees accountable for racist actions, and how these industries can do better in the future.

Law enforcement everyone  knows about, but anti- Blackness goes wherever white people congregate. Racism is both systemic and individual, because the individual white people, who make up these systems, refuse to reckon with it, to examine it in themselves, and keep trying to ignore, erase, or run away from its symptoms.

 

Law Enforcement

Serpico on Police Racism: ‘We Have This Virus Among Us’

NYPD Frank Serpico GIF - NYPD FrankSerpico SeriouslyThough ...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/11/george-floyd-protests-serpico-police-racism-good-cop/

Nearly half a century ago, Frank Serpico became a household name in the United States—and in many countries around the world—after he was portrayed by Al Pacino in the classic 1973 movie Serpico. The award-winning film told the true-life story of the New York City detective’s efforts to expose corruption and abuse inside the police department.

 

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Education

The banality of racism in education

Racism high school History education poc race Reverse racism ...

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2020/06/04/the-banality-of-racism-in-education/

We asked, “How much of the difference in test scores between white students and Black students can be explained by discrimination against Blacks or injustices in society?”

 

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Music

The Music Industry Was Built on Racism. Changing It Will Take More Than Donations

Childish Gambino's 'This is America' video is a beautiful nightmare

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/music-industry-racism-1010001/

Amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, record labels decided to use Tuesday for a rare industry-wide reckoning. Two related conversations have unfolded in parallel. First, can the music industry use its vast resources and wide influence to help reduce police brutality and combat systemic racism? Second, can the music industry finally face down its own history of racism and build a more equitable future?

 

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Film

Institutional racism in the film industry: a multilevel perspective

internalized racism gifs | WiffleGif

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/EDI-05-2017-0108/full/html

The findings highlight how power structures, network-based recruitment practices, as well as formal and informal learning lead to and sustain racism in the film industry. However, agency on an individual level is observed as a way to break those patterns.

 

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Publishing

Over 1,000 Publishing Workers Strike to Protest Industry Racism

Author of social media post called out as 'racist' claims post ...

https://www.vulture.com/2020/06/publishing-strike-racism-book-industry.html

The publishing industry is standing against systemic racism today by striking, donating money, and serving the black community. Over 1,300 workers have committed to taking the day off and using it to “protest, donate a day’s pay, phone-bank, join in mutual aid efforts, and work only on books by Black creators,” according to a statement shared with Vulture and cosigned by five Macmillan workers 

 

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Banking

This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry

You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American,” the employee, Charles Belton, who is black, told Mr. Kennedy. “We’re in Arizona. I don’t have to tell you about what the demographics are in Arizona. They don’t see people like you a lot.” Mr. Kennedy recorded the conversation and shared it with The New York Times.

 

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Technology

Black Tech Employees Continue to Face Workplace Racism

How UMBC Got Minority Students to Stick with STEM - The Atlantic

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/black-tech-employees-continue-to-face-workplace-racism.aspx

Miley says a fellow Google employee—who was not security personnel—raced in front of him and physically stopped him, demanding to see Miley’s badge.  It wasn’t the first time that a colleague had body blocked Miley when he was trying to go to work. 

 

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Retail

Claims of Racism at Zara Portray the Retail Industry at Its Worst

Racism GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://populardemocracy.org/news-and-publications/claims-racism-zara-portray-retail-industry-its-worst

This week a new report casts a spotlight on employment discrimination at a particular retailer: Zara, a fairly new clothing chain in the United States which nevertheless is part of the world’s largest fashion retail company. Based on interviews of 251 Zara employees in New York City, researchers at the Center for Popular Democracy uncovered troubling pattern of concerns about racial discrimination.

 

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Travel

Three First Steps Toward an Anti-Racist Travel Industry, as Told by a Black Editor

How the Travel Industry Can Do Its Part in the Fight Against ...

https://www.heremagazine.com/articles/anti-racism-travel-industry

As the travel and hospitality industry works to become anti-racist, one Here editor (and Black traveler) lays out three steps industry leaders can take on the road to diversity and inclusion.

 

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Medicine

Racism In Medicine Isn’t An Abstract Notion. It’s Happening All Around Us, Every Day

Clinicians Push Back on Racism in Medicine | MedPage Today

https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/06/12/anti-racism-in-medicine-hospitals-ayotomiwa-ojo

Racism is part of my daily experience, even as a medical student rotating through the teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. The health care system is one sector within the larger framework of white supremacy embedded in American society. 

 

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Environmental

Coronavirus Death Rates Are a Direct Result of Environmental Racism

Capitalism, environmental racism and resistance | socialist.ca

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/k7ev93/coronavirus-death-rates-environmental-racism

Along with other forms of systemic inequality, environmental racism can cause many of the underlying conditions that make the virus particularly dangerous for black and brown communities.

 

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Theater

Four Black Artists on How Racism Corrodes the Theater World

Playwrights are calling out racism in American theater - Los ...

A playwright, a director, an artistic director and an actor share their experiences — and prescriptions for change.

What has been the impact of race, and racism, on African-Americans working in the theater world? How should that world change? Those questions have taken on renewed, impassioned life since the killing of George Floyd, the shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the nationwide protests over racial injustice that have followed.

 

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STEM

Thousands of Scientists Go on Strike to Protest Systemic Racism in STEM

ShutDownSTEM Initiative Sees Scientists Work on Racism, Not Research

https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international/thousands-of-scientists-go-on-strike-to-protest-systemic-racism-in-stem/2285866/

More than 5,000 scientists and two prominent scientific journals shut down operations and pledged to use the day to address racial inequalities in science

 

*********************

Music

Rewriting Country Music’s Racist History

Accidentally Racist? The Confederate Flag in Country Music

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/country-music-racist-history-1010052/?src=longreads

This is kind of impressive. In 2020, audiences are so used to genres blending into one another, used to having no borders in music. But the image of what country music is persists. It does not matter how many variations of country abound — it’s somehow easier to reduce country to a single dimension. And with that comes along an image of who listens to the music. And more important, who makes it.

 

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Social Class

How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror

There are too many noosed necks, charred bodies and drowned souls for them to deny knowing precisely what they are doing.

 

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Writing

Romance Writers of America aims for happy end to racism row with new prize

If the Romance Writers of America can implode over racism, no ...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/22/romance-writers-of-america-racism-row-new-prize-ritas-vivian

The RWA has been at the centre of an acrimonious debate about diversity, criticised for the paucity of writers of colour shortlisted for its major awards, the Ritas, as well as its treatment of Courtney Milan after she called a fellow author’s book a “racist mess” because of its depictions of Chinese women.

 

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Fiber Arts

Racism In the Knitting Community

Kristy Glass is a knitting YouTuber that I follow and she posts videos every single day. Her newest video popped into my feed. She was seated with three African American ladies and a man. They were all talking about how someone in the knitting community had posted a racist image on Instagram and what they felt about it.

Ahhhhh!!! Tumblr!

Here are some interesting tidbits from Tumblr. I hope these are  informative.

Writing with Color is a great resource for writers who want to create characters of color with depth, and avoid stereotyping.
writingwithcolor
just-an-observer-ignore-me asked:

I was wondering what kind of female black characters do people want to see more of? Like, them being soft or selfish?

writingwithcolor answered:

Black Girls & Women: Representation We Want

As a Black woman reader, I definitely want to see more soft Black girls and women in literature. Girls with their own self-interests (caring about oneself isn’t necessarily selfish) and not always someone else’s caregiver is great too.

Here’s my list!

More Black girls…

  • In love
  • With close family bonds and healthy relationships and support systems (that don’t require enduring abuse, fixing their partner, or overall emotional labor to earn domestic happiness)
  • Being protected
  • As main characters, heroines and anti-heroes
  • On adventures
  • In fantasy and magical settings
  • In historical settings as peasants, upper-class society, and royalty
  • Descriptions of Black Afro hair, skin, features as a normal thing in books (see this compilation) and not in an Othering way
  • On the other hand, vibrant, sometimes hyped up descriptions that allude to their beauty (see this ask. Or this one). Not Othering, just appreciating!
  • Put us in fancy dresses and give us a sword and let us dance at the balls and have admirers!
  • Experiencing complex emotions not necessarily in reaction to racism or racist violence
  • On the book cover! And with an accurate, not light or white-washed model

~Mod Colette

Responses:

@madamef-er

  • Soft black girls and nerd girls who like cute things.
  • Shy black girls not just in situations with boys.
  • More lgbtqia+ black girls. Studs! Femmes!
  • Gender fluid and non conforming constantly changing their style because they like it!
  • Spies and not just as the ‘sexy bait’ or ‘weapons master’ let us sit behind the computer for once and be hackers and stuff

@tanlefan

  • Black girls who are just…people.
  • I want a fantasy escapism adventure that isn’t a thinly veiled discussion on slavery or racism or any other aspect of The Struggle. I am tired.
  • Can I just have a happy Black girl who believes in fairies or something?

@esmeraldanacho-1776 More autistic Black women/girls! I don’t care what genre really; just have them in there!

@briarsthicket And enby black people!

  • Def soft black girls.
  • Energetic and playful.
  • Or shy and quiet.
  • I want to see more black girls who are nerds and not just mommy mommying or nanny nannying everyone.
  • I want black girls who want to be a ballerina, or a talk show host, or a game designer etc.
  • I want a black girl who gets to be happy.
  • Who doesn’t have to act older than she is and be the shoulder for everyone, always.

@xiiishadesofgrey

  • I want more black lady nerds, if we’re talking modern settings!
  • More black ladies who have a sporty/playful nature!
  • Who aren’t afraid to get dirty and make chaos, without being dirty or frowned upon!
  • Strange as it sounds coming from me, more black princesses! Brandy as Cinderella in the 90s was my first Cinderella, and I LOVE that.
  • Please, god, more black wlws.

@daintythoughtswritersblock

  • I want to see tropes exercised
  • Black women of all shades and tones

@hazelnut4370

  • Tbh just fellow black people being happy, like I rarely see that,
  • Or enjoying hobbies

rivergoddessdream

  • Happily childless black women
  • Black women traveling the world
  • Fat black women in happy, healthy, poly relationships
  • Black cis and trans women having a true sisterhood
  • Autistic black women
  • Black women in period pieces that aren’t about slavery and don’t take place in the US
  • Black women thespians
  • Black women painters
  • Black women revolutionaries
  • Black women front and center in the narrative
  • Black women healers and storytellers
  • Non christian Black women stories
  • Black women rockers

#complicated black women characters #tell those stories

More Black Girls…

  • With diverse cultural and social backgrounds!
  • That are nerdy, girly, intelligent, ditzy, all the personality types that white girls in literature get!
  • That are fragile, shy or anxious. Almost every single black woman I’ve seen in media or otherwise are wise and adult. Let us be an absolute wreck, or an anxious mess!
  • In science! Characters like Shuri, Moon Girl and Iron Heart in Marvel revitalized me, cuz young black girls only get two types. Both these girls are in intellectual and in science, but have bery different personalities.
  • In interracial relationships, and not because they hate black men or something along those lines. They just happen to be dating outside their race, black women get hate for that in real life and it’s unfair. Let us have relationships outside our race! That said…
  • In platonic relationships with black men! I think that’s important, cuz I don’t often seen black solidarity unless it’s for the purpose of showing how diverse the writing is. Let them share interests, daily frustrations that they would only understand, but don’t force a romance.
  • In solid friendships with other black girls! For some reason, we’re pitted against in each other inside and outside of writing! Write some sweet wholesome friendship!
  • With different sexualities! Let there be some that are ace, others are gay, bi or pan! Just be sure you don’t sexualize them, or turn em into a robot.
  • •Who are dark-skinned! This can be seen a lot in tv or movies, but when you want a black girl in your stuff don’t just hire a light-skinned black girl or a biracial black girl. It’s not the same.
  • Who get to act their age! Black women have a long standing history of being adultified, starting from a very young age, and it’s extremely harmful. Little black girls can wear what they please, the problem is people sexualizing them. Let the teen black girl be a teenager, she can look out for her siblings but she isn’t the keepern the house or their lives. Young adult black girls are not ideal housewives or capable working machines, they mess up and mess around just as much as any young adult.
  • With mental/physical disabilities or illnesses.Alongside with being forced to be more mature than they are, disabilities/illnesses are never taken seriously and we’re forced to just deal with it. Having black girls who happen to have these issues, but also have a healthy support group is always good!
  • Seen as beautiful and desirable and NOT in a hypersexualized way
  • Interracial relationships are wonderful because black girls are beautiful and lbr everybody sees it
  • Sensitive and allowed to feel something other than righteous anger
  • Some black girls are skinny! Some are big! Some are slim and some are curvy! There’s no mold!
  • Dark skinned!
  • A YA protagonist out to save the world from something other than racism
  • Superpowers or magic that doesn’t come from generational trauma or slavery
  • Black characters who support other black characters. None of this token crabs in a barrel business.
  • Black girl nerds and punks and goths exist. I promise.
  • And this may be a personal preference but I’m not against the idea of a damsel in distress. We are always being strong. Let her be soft and delicate and cared for. Let her be princess carried and rescued from the tower and the dragon.

[Note from Mod: It’s not just you! I love a Black damsel being saved and protected. What is progressive for one woman varies due to historical and present depictions and is why intersectionality in feminism is so important! -Colette]

As a writer, I write a lot of my black female characters like this because I rarely ever see black women being represented in these ways! ESPECIALLY on the covers of books, unless the author themselves is a black woman and even then its rare.

Too often black women are stereotyped as strong protector types that are always rough, tough, and don’t need anybody in books (and real life), when that’s honestly just dumb and inaccurate–black women are as vulnerable as anyone else (in some cases, even more vulnerable, but that’s another topic).

So yeah, this list is 100% accurate and I encourage those who are interested in writing black female characters (whether you’re a black woman or not) to consider writing them like this, because the stereotype needs to die lol.

 

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A lot of people are talking about Racism these days. Here are some pointed and relevant rebuttals, facts, and figures, for people who want to argue with you about the subject.

Visit: alwaysanoriginal at the link, to continue reading the rest.

Image

We’re all having “hard conversations” about racism, police brutality, and #BlackLivesMatter I hope.

You’ve probably noticed that detractors often use the same “racist talking points” in response. Here’s a researched and sourced guide to help you answer, for the times you may get stuck.

Feel free to save these images and share them!

 

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A litany of the dead:
writingaboutmyrapists

#Say Her Name

Korryn Gaines

Renisha McBride

Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones

Miriam Carey

Messy Mya

Sandra Bland

Shelly Frey

Shelley Amos

Cheryl Blount-Burton

Dawn Cameron

Sandra Bee Wilson

Juliette Alexander

Alberta Spruill

Latanya Haggerty

Annette Green

Lenties White

Tameka Evette Anthony

Octavia Suydan

Andrena Kitt

Marcella Byrd

Emma Mae Horton

Angel Chiwengo

Guanda Denise Turner

Andrea Nicole Reedy

U’Kendra Johnson

Annie Holiday

Shonda Mikelson

LaVeta Jackson

Mary Williams

Tesha Reena Collins

Darneisha Harris

Nuwnah Laroche

Clanesha Rayuna Shaqwanda Hickmon

Ciara Lee

Dijon Senay Jackson

Denise Michelle Washinton

Keara Crowder

Tyra Hunter

Clara Fay Morris

Stacey Blount

Tanisha Anderson

Gabriella Monique Nevarez

Keisha Redding

Kendra Diggs

Laquisha Turner

Keoshia L. Hill

Kindra Chapman

Audwyn Fitzgerald Ball

Rosette Samuel

Makiah Jackson

Demetria Dorsey

Jameela Yasmeen Arshad

Joyce Quaweay

Mariah Woods

Jameela Cecila Barnette

Raynetta Turner

Bianca Davis

Patricia Hartley

Martha Regina Donald

Eulia Love

Sophia King

Joyce Curnell

Redel Jones

Tessa “Teesee” Hardeman

Tamara Seidle

Alicia Griffin

Shulena Weldon

Gina Rosario

Remedy Smith

Emily Marie Delafield

Jacqueline Culp

Delois Epps

Jacqueline Nichols

Queniya Tykia Shelton

Latoya Smith

Jacqueline Reynolds

Makayla Ross

LaTricka Sloan

Ralkina Jones

Elaine Coleman

Iretha Lilly

Gynnya McMillen

Malissa Williams

Janisha Fonville

Mya Hall

Patricia Thompson

Michelle Cusseaux

Janet Wilson

Latandra Ellington

Aubrey Zoe Brown

Terry Pittman

Carulus Hines

Lana Morris

Dominique Hurtt

Michelle “Vash” Payne

Tiffini Kuuipo Tobe

Yvette Henderson

Tameka Huston

Leronda Sweatt

Kisha Michael

Portia Southern

Kisha Arrone

Jessica Williams

Jessica Nelson-Williams

Vernicia Woodward

Alexia Christian

Tyisha Miller

Kourtney Hahn

Lamia Beard

Tarkia Wilson

Deshanda “Ta-Ta” Sanchez

Sharon Rebecca McDowell

Ricky Shawatza Hall

Glenda Moore

Danette Daniels

Shontel Edwards

Sharmel Edwards

Lashonda Ruth Belk

Zoraida Reyes

Natasha Renee Osby

Kathryn Johnson

Rekha Kalawattie Budhai

Natasha McKenna

Shontel Davis

Nizah Morris

Duanna Johnson

Asia Roundtree

Darnisha Harris

Shereese Francis

Alesia Thomas

Tracy A. Wade

Yvette Smith

Lnaaar Edwards

Gabrielle Lane

Varez Michelle Cusseaux

Taneisha Anderson

Aura Rosser

Raynette Turner

Tarika Wilson

Eleanor Bumpurs

Kendra James

Ahjah Dixon

Shantel Davis

Alberta Pruill

Marjorie Domingue

Bessie Louise Stovall

Margaret Mitchell

Darnesha Harris

Frankie Perkins

Monique Deckard

Kayla Moore

Queonna Zophia Edmonds

Sheneque Proctor

Kyam Livingston

Wanda Jean Allen

Kimberly McCarthy

Meagan Hockaday

Litvishma Millerr

Summer Marie Lane

Antoinette Griffin

Desseria Whitmore

Adebusola Tairu

Erica Stevenson

Halley Simone Lee

Erika Tyrone or Erica Rhena Tyrone

Lanaka Lucas

Breeonna Mobley

Antonia Martines Lagares

Delicia C. Myers

Tameika Carter

Dana Larkin

Kassandra Perkins

Rekia Boyd

Stacey Wright

Dorothy Smith Wright

BreeAnne Green

Adaisha Miller

Bettie Jones

Catrell Ford

India Kager

Deresha Armstrong

Chanda White (Pickney)

Sahlah Ridgeway

Marlene Rivera

Lashondria Rice

Brandy Martell

Marquesha McMillan

India Beaty

Chandra Weaver

Teikeia Dorsey

Deanna Cook Patrick

Ashley Sinclair

Zella Ziona

Tiara Thomas

Papi Edwards

India Clarke

Constance Graham

Shade Schurer

Erica Collins

Rosann Miller

Lonfon Chanel

Sonji Taylor

Malaika Brooks

Ashton O’Hara

Vida DeShondrell Byrd

Maria Tripp

Eveline Barros-Cepeda

Rosa Flores Lopez

Sarah Ann Riggins

Ty Underwood

Yazmin Vash Payne

Kandis Capri

Elisha Walker

Keonna Redmond

Rikessa La’Shae Lee

Charquissa Johnson

Fatou-Mata Ntiamoah

MOVE bombing victims

Kristina Grant Infiniti

Ariel Levy

Yolanda Thomas

Marquita Bosley

Barbara Lassere

Taja Gabrielle DeJesus

Tamara Dominguez

Vionique Valnord

Linda Yancey

Amber Monroe

Brianna Elaine Carmina Ford

Kendrinka T. Williams

Arabella Bradford

Loretta Gerard

Hanna Abukar

Talana Salissa Cain

Diane Kemp

Amber Nashay Carter

Pearlie Golden

Brenda Williams

Catawaba Tequila Howard

Beverly Kirk

Tamu Malika Bouldin

Denise Gay

Anita Gay

Laura Felder

Alice Faye DeFlanders Clausell

Uteva Monique Woods Wilson

Marnell Robertson Villarreal

K.C. Haggard

Derrinesha Clay

Milinda Clark

Angela Beatrice Randolph

Denise Nicole Glasco

Mercedes Williamson

Dominique Battle

Demetra Boyd

Francine Sonnier

Angelique Styles

Linda Joyce Friday

Shari Bethel Cartmell

Ashaunti Butler

Laniya Miller

Breonna Taylor

 

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What its like for Black women fans who look at fandom through a race critical lens:
eshusplayground

Fandom is toxic to fans of color, especially Black women

TRIGGER WARNING: Mass shootings.

On another post I’m not going to link to, someone commented that people hate Kylo Ren because he’s a white dude and asked if that would still be the case if he were a woman of color.

This person seemed genuinely curious, so I did my best to briefly put that reaction to his character into a broader social and political context. Namely, that whether deliberately or not, Kylo Ren, as a character, exhibits traits analogous to mass shooters, and people may be responding to that because of the scars that mass shootings have left on the collective American psyche.

I also mentioned how we unfortunately live in a world where white male mass shooters are treated better than Black people murdered by cops and white men with guns, and people who would be targeted by the “typical” mass shooter (entitled, pissed off white males with alt-right/neo-fascist/white nationalist leanings) may find Kylo Ren particularly repulsive.

What the hell did I say that for?

You’d have thought that I said, “If you like Kylo Ren, you’re a horrible piece of shit, and you need to be locked up or executed.”

Which I didn’t, BTW. I have better things to do than shit on people for enjoying a fictional character. Like picking my nose.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve seen it all before.

This sort of thing inevitably crops up whenever fans of color attempt to address the larger social and political context of media and fandom. Almost without fail, someone will respond as if we said, “You’re a terrible person if you like this character, ship, or work of art.”

Unless you’re talking about outright bigoted propaganda like Birth of A Nation or Triumph of the Will, I rarely see fans of color say that. I have seen fans of color be sharply critical of behaviors some fans engage in. I have seen fans of color urge fans to be mindful of how they consume media and how they participate in fandom. I have seen fans of color attempt to add depth and nuance to the way fandom addresses race. I have seen fans of color apply the framework of intersectionality to better understand media and fandom. I have seen fans of color warn each other about fandom environments toxic to people of color.

But straight-up hating on fans who like something they don’t? Not really. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get labeled as haters and antis because they do the things I mentioned up there. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get accused of hating fans who like a certain character, ship or piece of media because they examine characters, ships and media from a social and political context different from the fandom norm. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get labeled as hostile, angry or mean because they didn’t code-switch thoroughly enough.

Most of the time when we catch this kind of flack from fandom, nobody sticks up for us. Nobody assures us that we’re valid. Nobody comforts us. At best, there might be a handful of women of color in the same fandom who see what’s going on and speak up. But the vast majority of the time, we’re on our own.

It’s painful and exhausting.

So where does this leave fans of color, especially Black women? It seems there are only a few choices if we don’t want to constantly deal with all that:

  1. Remain silent or stick to “safe” topics
  2. Keep to a small circle of other fans of color
  3. Leave the fandom

Many fans of color, especially Black women, just fucking leave. If somebody’s always going to get bent out of shape when a fan of color brings a teensy bit of BIPOC realness to the fandom experience, that’s not a place that’s healthy for fans of color to be.

Avatar

 

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A list of articles and books discussing racial topics:
urcadelimabean

As white people, we can’t begin to eradicate our internalized biases without knowing how to identify them. Let’s educate ourselves. And don’t forget that these are biases you need to call out when you see them in others as well.

Understanding Implicit Bias (article)

Stereotypes of African Americans (wikipedia): do the work to understand the links between old incredibly harmful stereotypes and modern white expectation that Black people be caretakers, for example.

Black people are not here to teach you: What so many white Americans just can’t grasp (article)

The White Internet’s Love Affair with Digital Blackface (video)

Dismantling Whiteness as the Beauty Standard (article)

I don’t care if you’re ‘fascinated’ by my afro, stop touching it (article)

Racial empathy gap: people don’t perceive pain in other races. (article)

Read about how scientific racism was used to institutionalize racism and justify slavery and white supremacy in the United States by claiming that enslaved people could withstand more pain.

Connect this to Black people today being denied the same medical treatment as whites: Some medical students still think black patients feel less pain than whites (article)

Let’s End The ‘Strong Black Woman’ Stereotype. Can’t We Be Vulnerable And Emotional Too? (article)

On calling Black people articulate/well-spoken/educated: The Racial Politics of Speaking Well (article)

The Dangerous Delusion of the Big, Scary, Black Man (article)

Consider why perceptions of Black people as dangerous/aggressive make white folks so reactive to Black anger: to perceive civility as incivility and to perceive anger as a violent threat.

Perceptions and stereotypes of Black men being bigger, stronger and scarier can also be fetishizing. Fetishizing people of color isn’t a compliment, so don’t act like it is (article)

Hyper-Sexualization of Black Women in the Media (pdf)

Is This How Discrimination Ends? (article)

I encourage anyone to add, with links or by writing out your own thoughts.

As white people, what should be guiding us is compassion: breaking down the way white supremacy has reduced our compassion for Black lives.

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tolkienillustrations

Anger Benefits Some Americans Much More Than Others, by Davin Phoenix, author of “The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics.” (article)

 

Racial Profiling and the Loss of Black Boyhood, by Hussain Abdulhaqq (article)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Playlist: Talkin ‘bout a Revolution

I was initially going to call this “The New Shit”, but changed my mind, after I encountered a lot of new music that was protest related.

What’s happening today, is indeed a revolution, and every revolution has a soundtrack. In the sixties, the songs revolved around the war in Vietnam, and racial civil unrest. In hindsight, I should have expected this, as there can be no revolution, without Art!

There’s a lot of songs out there, that were written by white folksingers, during the Vietnam War, but plenty of Black musicians wrote stuff, too. I tried not to choose songs that readily come to mind when considering protest songs. I tried to choose the  kind of songs that people might know, but probably don’t think of as revolutionary. 

Here’s a list of revolution songs by Black artists, both past, and present, and maybe even the future. Some of y’all might not have come across these yet, as most of these will not see radio play, and and some of them won’t be offered on conventional streaming apps, either. On the other hand, many of them are available on YouTube, but you can’t research what you don’t now, right?

 

(Say it Loud) I’m Black and I’m Proud – James Brown

This song was groundbreaking for its time. I’ve found that there’s two different types of revolution songs, songs of grief, and songs of defiance. This is definitely the template for the latter type of song. It is defiantly and unabashedly Black.

Songs like these are important, because they are declarations of worth. They remind people of why they’re fighting, and what they’re fighting for, and  if its one thing a bully hates, it’s when their victim gets back on their feet, and declares their worth!

I’m Black and I’m proud is not any different from saying Black Power, or Black Lives Matter.

 

 

F*ck the Police – NWA

This song was incredibly shocking for its time. Not only did it get banned, but it sparked a wave of censorship against Rap music, which did nothing to actually stop Rappers from speaking truth to power, but it did spur music companies to begin focusing solely on Rap music that had no consciousness to it, and only talked about Black crime and partying.

If you’re wondering why conscious Rap music fell out of favor, then the censorship wars of the mid-eighties certainly played a role. White suburban parents did not want their children listening to songs about questioning and disrespecting authority, and so they did what White parents have always done,when it came to art they didn’t want their children exposed to, like Jazz, and  Rock.

Declare it immoral, and use that as an excuse to ban it!

 

 

Redemption Song- Stevie Wonder 

Here, Stevie does a cover of the song originally written by Bob Marley. Its not that I don’t like the Marley version, but I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan, this version has always been my favorite, and I’ve always loved when Stevie got political.

Or you could try:

You Haven’t Done Nothing

Its Wrong

Misrepresented People

Blowin’ in the Wind

Heaven Help Us All

Village Ghettoland

 

Fight The Power – Public Enemy

I thought about featuring the official song video for this selection, but decided to go with the opening credits for Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, which is what launched this song into everyone’s consciousness. This was a lot of mainstream white people’s first introduction to political rap, like Public Enemy.

I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Rap music when I was growing up. I didn’t have favorites, or closely follow certain groups, although I certainly knew who PE was. I knew about who and what was hot, because it was the music that everyone around me listened to, so it was always in the background, while I explored other musical tastes.

I’m not going to say this type of music didn’t influence my thinking, because it most certainly did, but I didn’t realize how much so until I was older.

 

 

 

Talking About a Revolution- Tracy Chapman

I talked in my last post about my regard for tracy Chapman’s music. This is another of her many political songs, which still gives me chills many years after I first heard it. This song, along with the last song I listed, is from her first, self titled, album, which was released in 1988.

You can try:

Across the Line

If Not Now, When

Freedom Now

Subcity

 

Hell You Talm ‘Bout – Janelle Monae

This song was released a few years ago, to minor acclaim. Not many people paid a whole lot of attention to it, outside of the Black community, but this song gives me chills every single time I hear it. It is, in the end, a raucous litany of the dead.

 

 

 

This Is America – Childish Gambino

This song became a nine days wonder when it was released a few summers ago, and has not lost its effectiveness. People are still puzzling about the video’s many images and their meanings.

 

https://time.com/5267890/childish-gambino-this-is-america-meaning/

“The central message is about guns and violence in America and the fact that we deal with them and consume them as part of entertainment on one hand, and on the other hand, is a part of our national conversation,” Ramsey tells TIME. “You’re not supposed to feel as if this is the standard fare opulence of the music industry. It’s about a counter-narrative and it really leaves you with chills.”

 

 

Black Excellence – Buddy

I have no idea who Buddy is, but this is one of my new favorite videos, for its celebration of Black history, and I just love to watch good dancing!

 

 

Glory – Common/John Legend

This is one of my Mom’s favorites, but mostly because she’s a big John Legend fan. This song is from the movie, Selma, by the Black female director, Ava Duvernay. I have not been able to bring myself to watch the film. I probably never will. I’ve had my complete fill of movies of Black people overcoming trauma, whose stories I already know, anyway.

The other day, my mom said something very intersting to me. She said, about the current protesters,  “At least they’re not singing We Shall Overcome. I’m sick of that song.” Remember, my mother grew up doing the civil unrest of the  fifties and sixties, and was a member of the local chapter of the Black Panthers, just before I was born. 

I get the distinct impression that  the white people who are talking about today’s issues the loudest, are 1). the kind of people who have never protested for anytihng in their lives, and have 2). not lived with this nearly their entire life. 

My mother is seventy years old. She’s been actively fighting to uplift Black people since she was a teenager! She is not unhappy to see young people picking up where she left off, after her unofficial retirement.

The other day we were talking about her mom, and how she passed just before Obama became the first Black president, and how she would have loved to have seen that. My mom said she was glad to have lived long enough to see that, and to see what’s happening today. 

So yeah, all those white people bitching and whining about the current uprising, can sit down and shut the whole hell up. They’re nattering ignorantly at a people for whom fighting for their rights is a generational lifetime profession!

 

I Just Wanna Live – Keedron Bryant

This is one of my favorite current protest songs. Its also one of the saddest because Keedron is only twelve years old.

There is almost no discussion about the levels of trauma our children are  going through, and not just police brutality, but the presidents behavior, and their constant exposure to the ignorance of online agitators, who are always quick to insist how little their lives matter.

Our kids need to see this. They need to know this. Sadly, they’re the warriors of our future. They’re  going to need to know how to fight this battle, and unfortunately, teach their kids because the battle to be treated as human beings is never going to be over.

 

 

Black Parade – Beyonce 

I want to end on a high note though. On Juneteenth of this year, Beyonce dropped one of the Blackest songs of the year. This is a song of joy, and celebration, and well, there’s definitely some bragging involved.

And then, at the end of this song, she also dropped a list of Black owned businesses. 

I love this song! I’m not the fighter/confrontational type. That doesn’t mean I won’t beat your ass, though. It just means I won’t enjoy doing it, and will be embarrassed at my loss of composure, afterwards! I don’t do things the way my mother did them, but I contribute in the way that I can, in a way that works for me,which seems to be Beyonce’s manner of approach too,  and that’s by celebrating, and uplifting, every opportunity Black people get to shine.

I’m no badass. But I can happily cheer on a badass.

Summer Nostalgia Playlist: Black Women’s Edition

 I thought for quite awhile what header to put on this intro. I thought maybe I should put some facts and figures about the women in these little song blurbs, but I finally decided, to hell with it, Im just gonna say why I love these songs, and why the music of these Black women have been an integral part of my life.

I hope you learn some new things, and most of all, ENJOY!

Oh, and:

Happy Juneteenth!

 

Big Mama Thornton

I did not hear this song until I was an adult and I heard it, in, of all places, a Tom Cruise movie. I wondered who the singer was, because I was diggin’ it,  and I’d always liked the Elvis Presley version of the song. It turns out that Big Mama is the original singer of Hound Dog. Well, now she tore it up, and as far as I’m concerned, this is the only version worth listening to.

It turns out that Elvis appropriated a lot of Black music, so now I make a point of finding out if there was an original singer, if I like one of his songs..

 

 

Sarah Vaughn

I only sort of like this kind of soft jazzy music, when I’m in a very particular mood. Kinda sweet, and melancholy, and tired, but just a tiny bit happy, too, like I just spent a whole lot of money doing something I love all day, and I’m exhausted, happy I had the experience, but sad I’m now out of money. I heard this song in some movie as a child.

What movie, I don’t know.

 

 

 

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

I came across this video on YouTube a few years ago. I’d known about Rosetta through my Mom, who is also a huge Blues fan. I find  the incongruity of someone dressed like my grandma, in a church coat, riffing on an electric guitar, deeply funny.

Also, the song is hitt!

 

 

 

 

Koko Taylor

Koko is another one of my Mom’s favorite artists. I only like some of her music, but this song is one that stays on my playlist, and gets regular play. Most of the time I find her music to be like watching a soap opera. There’s a lot of romantic drama in it, that I don’t much care for, but this song is very cool.

 

 

Jessye Norman

When i was a little girl, I caught one of Jessye’s performances on TV, in what I have no idea, and decided I was going to become an opera singer. I loved to sing, I sang in school, at home, around the house, in the yard, and I wasn’t bad, but I found another madlove (drawing and painting), and eventually gave up on the idea of becoming an opera singer, when my voice changed, after I hit puberty.

 

 

Roberta Flack

I don’t know when i first heard this song. I was a child, so it must have been on the radio. A lot of people probably don’t get that, back in the day, kids just listened to whatever their parents listened to, (because the Walkman, Spotify, or MP3 players, and such didn’t exist), and then, as they got older, they branched off into their own musical tastes. So I ended up with a thorough grounding in Classic R&B, and Blues,before moving on to Rock and Techno!

Also, I’m a sucker for blatantly romantic songs like this.

 

 

The Staple Singers

The Staple Singers, headed by the great Mavis Staples, is one of my all-time favorite singing groups. I’ve loved this song sine I was a kid, but my favorite movie moment, for this particular song, was from the movie, Children of a Lesser God.

 

 

Minnie Riperton

Before Mariah Carey, there was Minnie Riperton. I feel like there’s not a lot of people who know about her, but this is probably one of her most famous songs, because of those incredible high notes she keeps hitting out ofhte park throughout the whole song. Trust me, everyone tried to hit those notes when we were young girls. It is absolutely impossible for me to hit them now.

 

 

Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams was really hot in the 80s. She had a bunch of songs, but like I said, I’m a sucker for a treacly romantic song, especially when its sung with such a beautiful voice. This song is one of my big favorites, and great for singing in the shower. Still ain’t hitting them high notes though!

 

 

 

Tracy Chapman

Here’s another deeply romantic song, from someone I discovered in the early nineties. The first song I ever heard by her was called Fast Car, which is arguably one of her most famous. After I heard it, though, I bought every one of Tracy’s albums, which were a heady mix of romantic, and socially conscious songs, that appealed to my twenty-something self.

If you have never heard of her, you need to get in on this. She sang all of her songs with this same amount of passion, and yes, she’s singing to a woman!

 

 

 

Queen Latifah

Okay, I have a confession to make. I chose this song for this list, because when I was a teenager, and this song came out, I sang it really, really loud, in the house, everyday, and just replaced her name with my own name, because our names are almost exactly alike!I have two younger brothers,and I’m not sure if they remember this phase of me telling them I’ve had it up to here, and that I was their queen! Hopefully not!

This is for those of you who, for some strange reason, do not know that Latifah was a rapper first, and an actress later, and she made the transition so effortlessly, that people barely noticed she did it. We just accepted her as a actress, without asking a single question!

 

 

 

Monica

The first song I heard from Monica was not The Boy is Mine, it was, Just One of Them Days. Yeah, I liked her right away, child that she was, but she grew into a phenomenal singer, who covered one of my favorite treacly romantic songs, Misty Blue, which was originally sung by Dorothy Moore.

 

 

Next up: This is the New Shit: Summer Playlist!

 

Black Culture 2020: 101

This post is primarily for any of my readers who are not based in the US, who may have heard these things being referred to on Facebook and Twitter, but don’t know the meanings or origins.

 

What is a Karen?

You have probably been seeing this term everyhwere. White people keep trying to appropriate this term and diffuse it by using it for their own ends, because they don’t like the way its being used against them. It is a specifically Black term. We invented it, and it needs to be understood in that context.

This vlogger even goes into the different manners in which the term Karen is being misused. Its not about snitching, or acting irate, or someone with whom you politically disagree, and  is not meant to apply to ALL white women. Its meant to specifically be applied to  an incident involving a white woman that has a racial component.

 

Types of Karens - coolguides

 

 

What is cultural appropriation?

There is a thin line between Cultural appreciation and appropriation. I generally subscribe to the idea that there must be some kind of social cache, or  monetary benefit, for the people doing the appropriating, and vilification and discrimination on the end of the people who produced the terms or  items.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/black-slang-white-people-ruined_n_55ccda07e4b064d5910ac8b3

From “the bomb” to “holla” to the very short-lived “YOLO,” black slang words often go through the cycle of being used by black people, discovered by white people, and then effectively “killed” due to overuse and a general lack of understanding of how to use these words.

 

 

 

What is Black Twitter?

I kept seeing this question all over the internet, and I think I briefly addressed this before in another post. Black Twitter isn’t actually a place on Twitter. You don’t sign up for it, you simply participate in it. Its basically a collection of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Black people (mostly African American although others in the diaspora are free to chime in) of all walks and persuasions, having conversations, sometimes innocuous, sometimes important, sometimes deeply funny or political, in a loose chain of followers and retweets.

Anybody can join in but if someone tries to join in with some racist drivel, they will not just get blocked, they will get dragged for filth. Their wigs will be snatched, tea will be spilled, virtual hands will be thrown! Black Twitter is not afraid to call out individuals, international corporations, and even each other and has officially changed the dialogue on dozens of important issues in globally.

 

Trust me when I tell you, Black people know Black people, and we can always tell when someone is being inauthentic. There have been and continue to be, lots of attempts to infiltrate Black Twitter to introduce misinformation to the Black community, but one of the big things about Black Twitter is if you’re not a part of Black culture,  you can’t. (I am not currently on Twitter, but being deeply embedded in the culture means I can probably jump in anytime.)

 

What is A Hotep?

Answering one question can often lead to whole new questions. I briefly mentioned this before in another post. I’m gonna be nice and call the Hoteps, “Black Enthusiasts”, and they are sometimes called the Ankh -Right, but you can trust me when I say that they are, quite possibly some of the most exasperating Black people on Earth, because they are deeply homophobic, transphobic, patriarchal, and sexist. Incidentally there are female versions of the Hotep, called the Hertep!

 

 

What is Juneteenth?

This Friday is Juneteenth, a holiday which holds a special significance, in the Black community. It’s usually an opportunity to showcase Black achievement and joy, and there are still attempts being made to make it a National holiday.

 

What is Black Girl Magic?

This is probably another phrase you’ve seen on Twitter.There’s a reason that this phrase is trending in the Black community. From Karens to Black girls…

Here. Kendra Thomas gives a brief history of the mistreatment and rise of Black women in America. As I mentioned before, you can’t find information on some things unless you know which questions to ask.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Marion_Sims

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Baartman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_B._Wells

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Chisholm

 

This has been a cultural 101.

Next up: Black women in music, you probably never heard of!

 

 

The Gay Anthem

Pin em Dance Party

http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/disco_lifestyle.htm

 Seventies Disco was born on Valentine’s Day 1970, when David Manusco opened The Loft in New York City, and it rapidly faded in 1980.  When the Disco movement peaked in 1978-79, the demographic was predominantly white, heterosexual, urban and suburban middle class.  But it didn’t begin that way.  For the first eight years, Disco was an underground movement.

Significantly, the discos also offered a taste of freedom and self actualization for three other subcultures during the seventies: Gays, Hispanics and African Americans.  After decades of marginalization for each of these minorities, they all found a supportive home in the discos.

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Reflection: Mulan

The I want Song

When Howard Ashman came to Disney to work on The Little Mermaid, he brought his years of theatre experience with him, and he shared his expertise with the animators on the film. In an interview taken from one of his impromptu “lunchtime lectures,” Ashman described the theatrical idea of the “I Want” song:

…Early in the evening, the leading lady usually sits down on something and sings about what she wants in life — and the audience falls in love with her, and then roots for her to get it for the rest of the night.

The “I want Song” came out of musical theater, which has long been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community. Howard Ashman, along with his partner Alan Menken, wrote this particular theme song, and was the creator of many of Disney’s most well known and popular I Want songs. The I Want song is often an indicator of the primary character’s emotional goal for the rest of the film. its the “thing” they are in pursuit of, whether it be freedom, understanding, or adventure.

 

 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Judy Garland

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20190923-why-is-judy-garland-the-ultimate-gay-icon

To many gay men, Garland is the mother of all icons. But why? While Garland was still alive, critics made ham-fisted attempts to answer this question. A 1969 review of her Palace Theatre show in Esquire Magazine reads: “Homosexuals tend to identify with suffering. They are a persecuted group and they understand suffering. And so does Garland.” 

 

 

 

I Will Survive: Gloria Gaynor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_anthem

The lyrics of gay anthems are often marked by themes of perseverance, inner strength, acceptance, pride, and unity.[2] Ten elements were identified by the editors of the 2002 book Queer, which they claim describe themes common to many gay anthems: “big voiced divas; themes of overcoming hardship in love; “you are not alone;” themes of throwing your cares away (to party); hard won self-esteem; unashamed sexuality; the search for acceptance; torch songs for the world-weary; the theme of love conquers all; and of making no apologies for who you are.”[2]

According to Popular Music, a music journal, the song most commonly identified as a gay anthem is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.[3] The song is described as “a classic emblem of gay culture in the post-Stonewall and AIDS eras and arguably disco’s greatest anthem.” 

 

 

 

YMCA: The Village People

https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/village-people

The disco music fad was brief, but heady for the original members of the Village People. Victor Willis, David Hodo, Felipe Rose, Alex Briley, Randy Jones, and Glenn Hughes reeled when record sales slumped in the early 1980s. “It felt like we’d been group-loved by the world, then all of a sudden group-rejected,”

 

 

It’s Raining Men: The Weather Girls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Girls

“It’s Raining Men” has often been perceived as gay anthem.[21] A campaign in Facebook was launched on January 19, 2014 to get the song to UK number one in response to a UKIP councillor blaming recent UK floods and adverse weather on divine retribution for the British government’s introduction of gay marriage.[22] The campaign was reported widely and The Weather Girls’ version reached number 21 on the first day of the chart week.[23] 

 

 

 

I’m Coming Out :Diana Ross

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Coming_Out

“I’m Coming Out” has been regarded as an anthem for the LGBT community. The phrase “coming out” to describe one’s self-disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity had been present in the gay subculture since the early 20th century,[4] analogous to a débutante‘s coming-out party or celebration of her formal presentation to society. It has also been understood as “coming out of the closet” or coming out from hiding. The song is thus interpreted as a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender identity and the encouragement of self-disclosure.

 

 

Go West: The Village People 

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/the-village-people/go-west

The song’s title comes from the nineteenth century quote “Go West, young man.” The term was originated by John Babsone Lane Soule in 1851 the Terra, Haute, Indiana Express as a rallying cry to head westwards, where gold and much else could be found. 

 

 

Constant Craving: K.D.Lang

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/kd-lang/constant-craving

In an interview with the Buddhist publication The Shambala Sun, lang (a devoted Buddhist) said, “‘Constant Craving’ is all about samsara.”

Samsara, as defined within Buddhism, is the continuous cycle of birth and death while one moves within the six realms of existence. Each realm can be either physical or psychological, marked by a specific type of suffering

 

 

 

Come to My Window: Melissa Etheridge

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/melissa-etheridge/come-to-my-window

 “Come to My Window” finds Melissa Etheridge baring her soul to her lover, letting her know that she will go that she will go to great lengths just to be with her. Etheridge is imploring her to sneak in through the window (much more romantic than using the spare key) so she’ll be there when she gets home.

 

 

Honorable Mention:

Believe – Cher

All of the songwriters and producers involved with this track were men, but they crafted the song so it would appeal to a female audience. The lyrics are about moving on with confidence after a failed relationship.

 

 

 

 

Addendum:

The Anti-Disco Movement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Said: Tumblr Edition

This is just a compilation of some of the posts I made for my Tumblr account. I post very different things there, than I do here, but sometimes I post some things which overlap. These are just some thoughts that occurred to me in the past couple of weeks, and I wrote them down really quick, because although my thoughts about things are consistent, I sometimes forget what I wanted to actually say, and how to say it.

On Narrative Conditioning

As usual, I have this habit of watching events that happen in the rest of the world through the lens of the films I’ve watched, because the analogy just hits me, not because I can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality. It’s just how my mind connects things to other things. Nothing that happens in stories is new, and I see fiction as a reflection and reinforcement of things and thinking that happens in the real world. On some deep level, white people do understand that certain things are wrong, because they keep making fiction (often fantasies) about it.

I think fictional narratives are important, even today, because so much of what we all believe about other human beings does not come from direct experience. A lot of what we believe comes from popular and mainstream media, which is primarily owned by straight, white, men, and it is their thinking about the rest of humanity that gets prioritized. The images of black people that white men put out in the world, for decades, not just in fictional narratives, but in news stories and opinion pieces online, all of it, essentially teaches the rest of the world that our lives are unimportant, and teaches us to hate ourselves. Everyone (yes, PoC, and me, too) are inundated with the idea that whiteness is the default, and takes priority. Some of us overcome this constant messaging by critically challenging these narratives. Some people don’t.

For example, as I grew up, I was inundated with the idea that I was ugly because I was black. Not because I was ever told I was ugly. And not because people told me that white was prettier, but because the words “beautiful” and “pretty”, were never associated with women who looked like me. Those words were used everywhere, in tv ads, and shows, and movie after movie, to only refer to thin, middle-class, white women. (For a good example of this, count how many times Uma Thurman’s character is referred to as beautiful in the Kill Bill movies, and how none of the other female characters looks are ever mentioned. Those women do not have to be called ugly for us to get the message. She just has to constantly be referred to as pretty, while their looks are ignored.) Now imagine a steady diet of this from childhood onward. No one is calling you ugly, but you get the message loud and clear, that pretty doesn’t mean you. This is what is meant by passive conditioning. All of us have this conditioning, and most of this conditioning is done through mainstream media, like books, movies, tv shows, and music.

 

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On Not Thinking

lkeke35

One of the things I’ve observed about trump supporters is that many of them seem to be every bit as incoherent in their mental faculties as trump is. These are not people who have ever had clear, and consistent thoughts, in the sense that one idea follows the next, but instead, seem to have a collection of specific talking points, that are attached to whatever issue sparks their outrage.

These are not ideas that are part of a coherent schema, and most of these thoughts are separate and unattached to one another. It’s one of the reasons so many of them gravitate to raving anger when asked deeper questions about whatever it was they just said. If you ask one of them how sheltering in place is like slavery, to elaborate on that, then they’ll simply produce a string of more talking points, at the mention of the word slavery. They are simply parroting what theyve been told to think, when a specific word is mentioned, and it’s also the reason that while they are consistent from one person to the next, they are internally inconsistent with the individual.

This, I think, is why none of their thoughts make logical sense, to the rest of us, who do have a consistent life philosophy. We form our philosophy over time and then fit circumstances, events, life experiences, and people, into that philosophy. (I’m not speaking about Evangelicals because they’re a special case of nasty, so this doesn’t fit them.) I could be wrong about this but the bottom line is that non-trump supporters are generally pretty coherent and consistent in their thinking in a way that his deepest supporters are not.

Many of trumps supporters didn’t logic there way into the statements we hear them make, and so cannot be logicked out of any of those ideas. These are things they have been told to say, and believe, when a subject is mentioned, even if there is no consistency between the answers. They literally do not see the inconsistencies because they have been conditioned not to think critically, not to ask questions, while the rest of us have. I don’t think they believe sheltering in place is like slavery. That’s simply the thought that’s been attached to their frustration at being inconvenienced, even if that specific thought contradicts another thought they might have if you bring up slavery (It wasn’t real, black people need to get over it, I didn’t own slaves, etc.)

 

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I wrote this one when I was feeling particularly salty, about some dumb shit, I saw on Tumblr.

On Speaking Out

lkeke35

So as soon as some shit pop off, you got white people coming out from under the floorboards, (honestly, these people are like cockroaches, they only come out when our lives are at their darkest), with their traditional hot takes about black violence. What do these people do? Lie in wait for an opportunity to tell black people how they should respond to white wtf*ery? Yes! That’s exactly what they do.

 Some people are so shameless, they will take any and every opportunity to express their anti-blackness. They’re completely oblivious to injustices that aren’t happening to them, but when hands get thrown, they finally notice that, and manage to work up enough energy to care…but only about the response….like those teachers who only saw when you got fed up with being bullied, and finally kicked some ass!

 If they didn’t have shit to say about a single Black person’s death, at the hands of vigilantes and extrajudicial killers, (or worse yet, didn’t even notice that shit was happening), they don’t get a say in how black people respond to the violence that was done to them, especially the kind of violence that could have been thwarted, if they’d paid closer attention to what was happening ,and done something.

Offering their shitty hot take, on what black people need to be doing right now, is very possibly some of the most mentally lazy, and easiest bullshit they can pull right now!

 

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On the Optics
lkeke35
One of the reasons you keep hearing about how George Floyd’s death was the worst one yet, is because of the way in which it was caught on film. In movies, this is called “framing”, and unfortunately, this framing accounts for at least some of the responses we’ve seen from people, who previously, were capable of ignoring most of the deaths of unarmed black people. With almost all the other deaths of black people we’ve seen captured onscreen, most of them, even while seen up close, didn’t allow us to look into the victims eyes,and follow that person down into death, while it happened, and for a lot of people (especially the ones who hadn’t been paying close attention) that shit was deeply traumatic!

 With the Floyd imagery, there is a visceral component to it,that even the worst of these types of videos lacked. As viewers we sat there, and watched his face, and heard his last words, and looked into his eyes for as long as it took to kill him, and that had an effect on people that the other videos didn’t.

Even in other videos we didn’t see the victims faces up close. The videos were from a distance, or the victims were seen from behind, or it happened so fast it almost didn’t register for some people. Just like in a movie, the way the image is framed has a lot to do with the level of emotional engagement with the subject. The closer the camera is to the people being filmed, the higher the level of emotional engagement with that image.

In closeup, in broad daylight, one man is being killed, while the person that does it, looks completely indifferent to what he’s doing.

 Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think these are like movies, but this is how a lot of our minds have been conditioned, through decades of movies and television, to think and/or feel about death. If it’s not up close and personal to the viewer, then the emotional engagement, (certainly for a lot of non-black people), just isn’t there. They didn’t really SEE it, or FEEL it. But this time, they were standing right there, watching his face, hearing his last breath, watching the life being strangled from him ,and knowing it was real.

They watched the face of his killer, and could see the lack of humanity, of empathy, of care, in his expressionless face. In such imagery, there is a level of complicity that’s absent from mostof the other videos ,where you didn’t see the perpetrators face, or the victims expressions. This felt different because it looked different.

 

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On All Cops Are Bastards

lkeke35

I have an even simpler explanation for those not understanding. You got a bowl of skittles. Every one in ten skittle is actually a cyanide tablet, and you cannot tell the difference between it, and any of the other skittles.

 

Would you eat from that bowl? Would you grab a handful and chow down, knowing that in a bowl of 100 skittles, ten of them will kill you?

 

No. You’d throw the whole damn bowl out. The whole damn bowl is bad.

 

We cannot tell, just by looking at them, which cops are going to kill us, and which ones won’t.

 

All cops are bad, because it is the system that is bad.

 

The correct phrase is: One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

 

If one cop is bad, and the others don’t work to eject him, that makes them all bad!

 

You throw the whole damn group out!

 

“What does it mean when people say that all cops are bastards (ACAB)?”

If it were an individual thing, you’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but it isn’t; it’s an institutional thing. the job itself is a bastard, therefore by carrying out the job, they are bastards. To take it to an extreme: there were no good members of the gestapo because there was no way to carry out the directives of the gestapo and to be a good person. it is the same with the american police state. Police do not exist to protect and serve, according to the US supreme court itself, but to dominate, control, and terrorize in order to maintain the interests of state and capital.

Who are the good cops then? The ones who either quit or are fired for refusing to do the job.

While the following list focuses on the US as a model police state, ALL cops in ALL countries are derivative from very similar violent traditions of modern policing, rooted in old totalitarian regimes, genocides, and slavery, if not the mere maintenance of authoritarian power structures through terrorism.

also this: lol

the police as they are now haven’t even existed for 200 years as an institution, and the modern police force was founded to control crowds and catch slaves, not to “serve and protect” – unless you mean serving and protecting what people call “the 1%.” They have a long history of controlling the working class by intimidating, harassing, assaulting, and even murdering strikers during labor disputes. This isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.

The justice system also loves to intimidate and outright assassinate civil rights leaders.

The police do not serve justice. The police serve the ruling classes, whether or not they themselves are aware of it. They make our communities far more dangerous places to live, but there are alternatives to the modern police state. There is a better way.

Further Reading:

(all links are to free versions of the texts found online – many curated from this source)

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. (2013). Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense.

Rose City Copwatch. (2008). Alternatives to Police.

Williams, Kristian. (2004). Our Enemies in Blue: Police and power in America. New York: Soft Skull Press.

 

 

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On Trump’s Photo Op
lkeke35

I am a movie lover, and I especially love horror movies written by Stephen King. I grew up watching horror movies. In fact, I think my mother and I (I blame her for my sordid addiction to horror films) tried to watch every one that got made between 1982, and 1989, before I went off to college.

 One of the movies that always stuck with me, on a moral and political level, was Stephen Kings The Dead Zone. Christopher Walken plays a man named Johnny, who gets psychic powers after a car accident. After he gets these powers, he meets a union delegate named Greg Stillson, played by Martin Sheen, and has a vision of the future, where Stillson, as president, starts a nuclear war. Haunted by this image, Johnny decides to assassinate Stillson during his campaign for president. He doesn’t succeed in killing Stillson, but he does change the future.

 During Johnny’s assassination attempt, Stillson, while standing at a podium, grabs a little girl (who happens to be the daughter of Johnny’s ex-girlfriend) and is photographed using the child’s body as a shield. It effectively ends his campaign and he never becomes president.

 Movies often use the trope of a person’s willingness to harm the innocent to protect themselves, as a way to show how corrupt, ruthless, or just sheer evil they are.The other day, Trump, who has a life long record of shitty behavior it would take too long to get into here, used police brutality against a crowd of peaceful protestors (against police brutality,) and Australian journalists, to clear them away from a photo op he wanted to take at the church in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the WH. Every moment of the brutality was caught on film.

 George Floyd may have been the death heard round the world, but this is different. The footage from this was seen and heard around the world too, only this time, Trump was directly involved, and in doing so, has created an international incident that has received global censure. We have reached the point where government officials, of other countries, are openly trolling and just blatantly disrespecting the president, and his staff, on social media. Any kind of moral standing we ever had in the world, as a nation, has been entirely spent. Even the rest of the world are utterly sick and tired of this man, and are feeling free to express their contempt for American imperialism.

 There have been a lot of times, we’ve watched his actions and thought, “This is it, this is the last time he can do something like that. His term is now over.” But it never happened. This may actually be Trumps Baby Shield moment. At any rate, with every terrible decision he makes during this crisis, he insures the demise of his career.

I certainly hope so.

But, I’ve been wrong about that before, huh?

 

Just as his supporters mistake cruelty for honesty and bluster for courage, Trump has mistaken bloodlust for leadership. The bombast hides the fundamental truth that the president is a coward, so crippled by the fear of appearing weak that he screams for blood from the safety of his darkened White House, emerging only to gas peaceful protesters and clergymen in an attempt to look strong. He is incapable of understanding how further brutality fuels the unrest he has proved incompetent at confronting.

 

The Activist Reading List

I am too tired to comment on all the things I’ve seen and heard of the past few days, but I can offer some enlightenment and education. For those of you who want to get involved in this fight (Thank You So Much!), remember, its not over once the protesting is over, and you don’t just have to march or walk the streets to be helpful. Get informed, call politicians, and let them know how you feel, (there are call bots for those with anxiety issues), and speak to your friends and family (especially to your kids) about these issues. The pressure must continue.

The most important thing I can stress, especially for those of you who have Black friends, is to please check up on them, if at all impossible. They are not only dealing with  all the other issues that come with being Black in America, but this crisis is very emotional as well, and then also deal with the anti-Blackness of those Americans who insist on kicking us when we’re feeling our lowest, because those people are all over the internet right now, gleeful for new opportunities to cause emotional harm.

This list is primarily for my overseas readers, or new people who want to get involved in racial activism, but have never done so before. It’s a list of articles and books, by prominent White and Black Americans, that  you can use to educate yourself on the history and issues affecting America. (There are a few repeats in here, but you don’t have to read all of them, just pick and choose what interests you).

How did things get this way? Why are things like this? At the end is a list of ways white people, and non -black PoC, can ally themselves to the cause of anti-racism.

 

On Whiteness

The Invention of Whiteness – Theodore Allen (1994)

The History of White People – Nell Irvin Painter (2010)

White Like Me – Tim Wise (2004)

What Does It Mean To Be White – Robin Di Angelo (2012)

https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/whiteness

Contains excerpts from White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible by Peggy McIntosH

 

Black History/The 1619 Project

https://www.bustle.com/articles/135966-15-brilliant-black-history-books-to-read-for-black-history-month

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin

Killing Rage – bell hooks (1995)

Talking Back – bell hooks (1989)

The Source of Self Regard – Toni Morrison (2019)

 

Black Lives Matter

https://www.vogue.co.uk/news/article/colin-kaepernick-george-floyd

https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/black-lives-matter-reading-list

https://www.austin360.com/lifestyle/20200529/books-on-anti-racism-that-you-can-read-right-now

 

Anti-Racism

https://witanddelight.com/2020/05/how-white-people-can-be-better-allies-to-the-black-community/

https://www.al.com/opinion/2020/05/johnson-okay-white-people-heres-what-you-can-do-now.html

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne95dm/how-to-be-a-white-ally-to-people-of-color

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

From: Corinne Shutack

75 Things White people Can Do For Racial Justice

  1. Google whether your local police department currently outfits all on-duty police officers with a body-worn camera and requires that the body-worn camera be turned on immediately when officers respond to a police call. If they don’t, write to your city or town government representative and police chief to advocate for it. The racial make-up of your town doesn’t matter — This needs to be standard everywhere. Multiply your voice by soliciting others to advocate as well, writing on social media about it, writing op-eds, etc.
  2. Google whether your city or town currently employs evidence-based police de-escalation trainings. The racial make-up of your town doesn’t matter — This needs to be standard everywhere. Write to your city or town government representative and police chief and advocate for it. Multiply your voice by soliciting others to advocate as well, writing on social media about it, writing op-eds, etc.
  3. More and more stories of black folks encountering racism are being documented and shared through social media — whether it’s at a hotel, with the police, in a coffee shop, at a school, etc. When you see such a post, call the organization, company, or institution involved to tell them how upset you are. Then share the post along with the institution’s contact information, spreading the word about what happened and encouraging others to contact the institution as well. Whether the company initiated the event or failed to protect a POC during an onslaught by a third party, they need to hear from us.
  4. If you or a friend is an educator, buy said friend books that feature POC as protagonists and heroes, no matter the racial make-up of the class. A few good lists are herehereherehereherehere, and here. And/or purchase educational toys that feature POC, such as finger puppetsBlack History Flashcards, etc for their classroom. Use these items year-round, not just in February. The racial make-up of students doesn’t matter — kids of every race need to know American history and be exposed to people from different races, religions, and countries. If the friend is interested, buy them for your pal’s classroom. Don’t be shy to ask Facebook friends that you haven’t actually talked to in ten years.
  5. If you or a friend or family member is an educator, watch or share this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about his experience as a black student telling people he wanted to be a scientist and astrophysicist. Tyson’s experience reminds me of a black friend whose high school teachers tried to dissuade her from taking AP classes, because, with the best of intentions, they thought the AP classes would be “too much” for her. Be an educator who supports and encourages, not one who dissuades. Talk to educators you know about being educators who support and encourage, not educators who dissuade.
  6. Work on ensuring that black educators are hired where black children are being taught. If you want to know more about why and how this makes a difference for black children, check out this episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast. There are some really good nuggets in there about how schools can support the achievement of black students — from ensuring black students aren’t closed out of gifted programs by using test results instead of white teachers’ recommendations to the influence that having a black teacher has on a black student’s education to the importance to fostering a school ethos wherein black students think, “This school is here for me.”
  7. Many companies have recruiting channels that are predominantly white. Work with your HR department to recruit Americans who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Recruiting from HBCUs is a good start. Work to put descendants of enslaved Africans already hired under supportive managers.
  8. Donate to anti-white supremacy work such as your local Black Lives Matter Chapter, the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, the NAACPSouthern Poverty Law CenterUnited Negro College FundBlack Youth Project 100Color of ChangeThe Sentencing ProjectFamilies against Mandatory MinimumsA New Way of Life, and Dream Defenders. Join some of these list-serves and take action as their emails dictate.
  9. Support black businesses. Find them on WeBuyBlackThe Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street.
  10. Bank black. It doesn’t have to be all of your checking or savings. Opening up an account with some money is better than no account at all. You can use the link from #9 (type “banking” in the Category field) or this site to find a bank. At the very least, move some or all of your checking, savings, mortgage, etc out of Wells Fargo as a part of the divestment movement to protect Standing Rock.
  11. Don’t buy from companies that use prison labor. Find a good list here.
  12. Read up about mandatory minimum sentences and watch videos about this on Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM’s) website. FAMM’s website includes work being done at the federal level and state level. Call or write to your state legislators and governor about reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes.
  13. To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write to your federal legislators in support of the bipartisan (sponsored by Sen Lee (R-UT)) Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 2850) which reduces the length of federal mandatory minimum drug sentences by half, makes the Fair Sentencing Act’s crack sentencing reforms retroactive, and expands the “safety valve” exception to mandatory drug sentences.
  14. To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write to your federal legislators in support of the bipartisan (sponsored by Sen Rand (R-KY)) Justice Safety Valve Act (S. 399, H.R. 1097), which would allow judges to give sentences other than the mandatory minimum sentence for any federal crime.
  15. To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write your federal legislators in support of another great criminal justice reform bill, the Second Look Act, which would make reduced sentences for crack convictions from the previously passed Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, reduce mandatory minimums for people convicted more than three times for drug crimes from life without parole after the third offense to 25 years, reduce mandatory sentences for drug crimes from 15 to 10 years, limit the use of solitary confinement on juvenile prisoners, etc.
  16. Call or write to your state legislators and governor to support state-wide criminal justice reform including reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing sentences for non-violent drug crimes, passing “safety valve” law to allow judges to depart below a mandatory minimum sentence under certain conditions, passing alternatives to incarceration, etc. Study after study shows that racism fuels racial disparities in imprisonment, and most of the US prison population are at the state and local level.
  17. Call or write to state legislators, federal legislators, and your governor to decriminalize weed. No, not because black folks use weed more frequently than white folks. Because black Americans are arrested for marijuana possession far more frequently than whites.
  18. Call or write to state legislators to require racial impact statements be required for all criminal justice bills. Most states already require fiscal and environmental impact statements for certain legislation. Racial impact statements evaluate if a bill may create or exacerbate racial disparities should the bill become law. Check out the status of your state’s legislation surrounding these statements here.
  19. Find and join a local “white space” to learn more about and talk out the conscious and unconscious biases us white folks have. If there’s not a group in your area, start one.
  20. Join or start a Daughters of Abraham book club in your Church, mosque, or synagogue.
  21. Join your local Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) group. There is a lot of awesome work going on locally — Get involved in the projects that speak to you.
  22. Do deep canvassing about race and racial justice. Many SURJ groups are organizing them, so many people can do it through your local SURJ group. If they’re not already doing it, start it.
  23. Research your local prosecutors. Prosecutors have a lot of power to give fair sentences or Draconian ones, influence a judge’s decision to set bail or not, etc. In the past election, a slew of fair-minded prosecutors were elected. We need more.
  24. Call or write to state legislators, federal legislators, and your governor to end solitary confinement in excess of 15 days. It is considered torture by the UN, and it is used more frequently on black and Hispanic prisoners. For more information on solitary, two good overviews can be found here and here.
  25. Watch 13th. Better yet, get a group of friends together and watch 13th.
  26. Watch The House I Live In. Or get a group of friends together and watch it.
  27. Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article, The Case for Reparations. The US has already participated in reparations four times. Thank you to Clyanna Blyanna for suggesting this addition.
  28. Participate in reparations. One way is through this Facebook group. Remember reparations isn’t just monetary — share your time, skills, knowledge, connections, etc. Thank you to Clyanna Blyanna for suggesting this addition.
  29. Read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Better yet, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss.
  30. Read Caught by Marie Gottschalk. Better yet, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss.
  31. Read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Yep, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss.
  32. Read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Thank you to Steve Senatori for suggesting this addition.
  33. Read Orange is the New Black. The information the author shares about the ease with which one can be charged with “conspiracy” to sell drugs, the damage done from long sentences that don’t fit the crime due to mandatory minimum sentencing, the ever-present threat of solitary confinement at a Correction Officer’s whim, and other specific harmful practices in the prison system are well done. Get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss.
  34. Read The Color of Law. Get your friends on board reading it, too.
  35. Especially if you or a friend is an educator, read or share bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress.
  36. Read Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project.
  37. Buy books, choose TV shows and movies, and opt for toys for your kids, nieces, nephews, etc that show people from different races, religions, countries and that teach real American history. A few ideas: the books, toys, and flashcards from #4.
  38. Decolonize your bookshelf.
  39. Listen without ego and defensiveness to people of color. Truly listen. Don’t scroll past articles written by people of color — Read them.
  40. Don’t be silent about that racist joke. Silence is support.
  41. Follow @OsopePatrisse@opalayo@aliciagarza@bellhooks@Luvvie, @mharrisperry, @VanJones68@ava@thenewjimcrow@Lavernecox@deray, @thedididelgado, @TaNehisiCoats, Ally Henny on Facebook, and Lace on Race on Facebook. Follow them with the intention of listening and learning only. Pay lesser known activists like @thedididelgado here, Ally Henny here, and Lace on Race here for their teaching, time, and work.
  42. Follow BlavityMadame NoirThe Root, and The Grio with a desire to learn and understand better the lives of black Americans.
  43. Find out how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era are being taught in your local school. Advocate that history is taught correctly and certain parts are not skipped over or barely mentioned. Advocate that many voices be used in the study of history. Is the school teaching about post-Civil War convict leasing, the parent to our current mass incarceration system? Talking about slavery alone, is your school showing images such as Gordon’s scourged backa slave ship hold, and an enslaved nurse holding her young master? Are explorers, scientists, politicians, etc who are POC discussed? Are male and female authors who are POC on reading lists? Are Japanese internment camps being discussed? Is history explained correctly in history books? As an example of a severe failure to teach the reality of slavery and its ramifications, check out image 1 and image 2 . There are a lot of great resources out there with a little googling, like PBS’s resources for teaching slaverythis POC Online Classroom blogTeaching for Change, and The National Association for Multicultural Education.
  44. Arrange for cultural exchanges and cultural ambassadors in your local school’s classrooms. The International Classroom program at UPenn and People to People International are options. The Dept of Education has a good list. Cultural exchanges via the interwebs are very valuable. Actual human interaction between people from different races, religions, and countries (ie: cultural ambassadors) and students in the physical classroom is ideal.
  45. Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids.
  46. Seek out a diverse group of friends for you. Practice real friendship and intimacy by listening when POC talk about their experiences and their perspectives. They’re speaking about their pain.
  47. Watch these videos to hear first hand accounts of what our black brothers and sisters live. Then read everyday people’s experiences through the hashtag #realizediwasblack. Share with others.
  48. If there are black children/teens in your life, contribute to their college savings plans. You can also contribute to an HBCU or to the UNCF. Credit for the idea to @ABPollardIII.
  49. Call or write to your national legislators, state legislators, and governor in favor of affirmative action. Encourage friends to do the same.
  50. Write to your college/university about implementing all or some of these diversity strategies that effectively promote racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity on campus. Write to the public universities your tax payer dollars support about implementing these diversity strategies.
  51. Recognize that in the same way saying “slavery is a necessary evil” (Thomas Jefferson’s words) was acceptable by many in 1820, the same way saying “separate but equal” was acceptable by many in 1940, choosing to not condemn white nationalism, the fact that black people are 2.7 times as likely to be killed by police than white people, the fact that unarmed black Americans are roughly five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer, that the fact the black imprisonment rate for drug offenses is about 5.8 times higher than it is for whites, etc are acts of overt racism in 2020.
  52. Write to the US Sentencing Commission (PubAffairs@ussc.gov) and ask them to:
    — reform the career offender guideline to lessen the length of
    sentences
    — change the guidelines so that more people get probation
    — change the criminal history guidelines so that a person’s
    criminal record counts against them less
    — change guidelines to reduce mandatory minimum
    sentences for non-violent crimes
    — conduct a study to review the impact of parental incarceration on minor children. With more data, the Commission could modify the Sentencing Guidelines and allow judges to take this factor into account when sentencing individuals for non-violent crimes.
    — conduct a study to review whether the Bureau of Prisons is following the Commission’s encouragement to file a motion for compassionate release whenever “extraordinary and compelling reasons” exist.
    — consider amending the guidelines to reduce sentences for first offenders.
  53. Read Van Jones’ short and to-the-point article about the racial biases of reporters. More examples are here. Check out this article discussing how media coverage of the opioid epidemic — which largely affects suburban and rural whites — portrays it as an outside threat and focuses on treatment and recovery, while stories of heroin in the 1970s, crack-cocaine in the 1980s, and other drug problems that impact urban people of color today have focused on the drug user’s morality. Keep an eye out for such biases, and use social media and direct communication to the media outlet to call them out when they occur.
  54. Donate to groups that are working to put women of color into elected office, to get out the vote, and to restore voting rights to disenfranchised voters.
  55. Know our American history. Watch Roots, 12 Years a Slave, and Selma, to name a few.
  56. Check out black movies, TV, and other media that show POC as lead characters and in their full humanity. Queen Sugar, Insecure, Dear White People, The Carmichael Show, Blackish, Grownish, Atlanta, 2 Dope Queens, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Get Out, Girls Trip, Mudbound, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, The Cloverfield Paradox, Sorry to Bother You, Blindspotting, BlacKkKlansman, Little, If Beale Street Could Talk, Queen and Slim, PBS’ Great Performance of Much Ado about Nothingyoutube videos of Amber Says What, and Pose are a few. Share them with friends. In addition, if you can’t watch the whole video, watch 13:12 to 15:17 of this discussion about working in Hollywood when you’re not white.
  57. Know what indigenous land you’re living on by looking that this map and research the groups that occupied that land before you did. Find out what local activism those groups are doing and give your money and time to those efforts.
  58. When people say that Black Lives Matter is a violent/terrorist group, explain to them that there are fringe groups that are being misrepresented as part of BLM. If conservatives don’t want to be lumped in with the KKK, they can’t lump violent protesters in with BLM.
  59. When people ask, “Why aren’t you talking about ‘black-on-black crime’?” and other myths about BLM, let Francesca Ramsey help you with those talking points.
  60. Stop shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods. They advertise on -that’s to say fund- white supremacist media.
  61. Be honest about our history. One genocide, another genocide, then apartheid. It sucks, but it’s true. We’ll never be free from our history unless we’re honest about it. Denial is our pathology, but the truth will set us free.
  62. If you have a close relationship with a young person of color, make sure he/she knows how much you love them. Love and affirm that child.
  63. Write to your city or town government representative to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day like these cities did.
  64. Donate to Standing Rock through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
  65. Write to your city or town government representative to divest from banks that are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, private prisons, and detention centers. Seattle and Davis, CA already did, as well as Los Angeles, and there are campaigns going on in many cities to divest. Start here: http://howtodivest.org/
  66. Personally divest your investments in private prisons and detention centers. Start here. Many people are divesting from Wells Fargo for their substantial role in Standing Rock and from private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, CoreCivic, and G4S.
  67. Get your city/town, company, place or worship, etc to divest from private prisons and detention centers. Since the start of a national prison divestment campaign, cities like New York and Cincinnatihigher ed institutionschurches, and corporations have divested.
  68. Write to your state legislators to end cash bail. It means that a someone who is legally innocent is put in jail because they can’t afford bail. It means that a defendant can be released pre-trial because of their wealth, not how much of a flight risk they are. It puts more people in detention (which tax payers pay for) and affects a defendants’ ability to maintain employment, access mental and physical healthcare, and be in communication with their family and friends, etc. Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail in the US awaiting trial who cannot afford bail costs US taxpayers $9 billion a year. Thank you to Elizabeth B. and Cynthia Astle for suggesting this addition.
  69. Support organized efforts to end of cash bail by donating to The Bail Project. Bail out a black mother through The National Bail Out. Thank you to Elizabeth B. and Cynthia Astle for suggesting this addition.
  70. Attend town halls, candidate meet-and-greets, etc for political candidates and ask about ending mass incarceration, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing or ending solitary confinement, decriminalizing weed, ending cash bail, divesting from private prisons, divesting from banks, divesting from banks that finance the Dakota Access Pipeline, etc.
  71. Read this article about an overt white supremacist’s son’s journey to relinquish white supremacy and watch this video about Daryl Davis, a black man who gets KKK members to disavow by befriending them. For those you know who are overtly racist (see #51), think about ways you can create exposure for them to people who don’t look like them, share their religion, etc. Jane Elliott says, “People who are racist aren’t stupid, they’re ignorant. And the answer to ignorance is education.” Frederick Douglass notes, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” It may be best to focus on children, adolescents, and young adults currently being raised by overtly racist parents. Maybe it’s tutoring them so they could get on a college track, encouraging them to study abroad, or turning them on to colleges where not everyone looks like them and shares their religion, etc. Maybe it’s spending time with them on some regularity and showing them the achievements and beauty of non-white cultures. Be creative.
  72. Talk to the white people you know who aren’t clearly upset by white supremacy. Use “I” statements and “I care” messages (“I feel [feeling] when you [behavior]”). They need to know you see a problem. Call them out, and call them in. As a start, ask them to watch the videos in #47. For people you know who’ve been radicalized by FOX News and other nationalist (not conservative) media, who’ve been so pummeled with fear and hatred of “the other” that they’ve become ISIS-like towards others, how can you and other family and friends guide them through conversation to show them that their actions are now in direct contrast with the values they feign to purport?
  73. A wise former teacher once said, “The question isn’t: Was the act racist or not? The question is: How much racism was in play?” So maybe racism was 3% of the motivation or 30% or 95%. Interrogate the question “How much racism was in play?” as you think about an incident. Share this idea with the people in your life when they ask, “Was that racist?”
  74. As a nod to #72, don’t become the monster, as you try to kill the monster. As Gloria Steinem says, “The ends don’t justify the means. The means are the ends.”
  75. Credit Black men and women. Kara Springer, a black woman artist, created the image/public art that begins this piece. It’s called A Small Matter of Engineering, Part IIChristian Campbell tweeted to ensure the art was attributed appropriately and correctly.

Equality Includes You

Speaking up for humanity through intersectional social

Corinne Shutack

WRITTEN BY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon!

I don’t know when I’ll ever feel safe sitting in any enclosed space ever again. If I do, I definitely will not be inviting my mother with me as she is severely immuno-compromised. Technically, so am I, but beyond that, I wouldn’t want to bring anything back home to her. In all likelihood, Dune and Tenet may be movies I’ll have to admire from afar. I hope not because I’m really excited to see them in a theater. If there’s a way t do so safely, while observing social distancing rules…

 

 

Tenet

This is the only movie that would possibly get my ass into a theater seat (which is never gonna happen, btw.) Nevertheless, I am very excited for this. I’m a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s work anyway, so that was gonna happen. This is the second trailer for the movie, which is aiming for a Fall release. This trailer strongly implies that its about superpowers and time travel.

 

 

 

The Old Guard

I always enjoy watching Charlize Theron kicking ass, and I like the idea of this young black female apprentice, to a kind of immortal being. I’m always for black female characters being shown as beloved, and delicate, flowers in need of being saved, we first need to get our feet in the door, and one way to do that is playing to our strengths in action films.

So far, the Hollywood idea of a strong black woman is measuring how much pain and anguish we can endure, how much abuse we can take and still keep ticking. We need to begin showcasing other versions of black women’s strength. Fortunately we are getting movies and shows like this.

I am told this is based on a comic book, and though I like the authors of the book, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it before, so I’m going to be looking out for it. The Old Guard airs on Netflix in mid-June.

 

 

 

Da Five Bloods

I always say I’m not into certain types of movies. What I actually mean is I’m not normally attracted to such films, not that I don’t watch them, or have never seen, or liked them. Like War movies. I do have a couple of favorites, (Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket), but most of them I dislike for their reliance on spectacle with no message beyond glorifying life in the military.

I will watch this one because I like the director, the actors, (Delroy Lindo, who I’ve been in love with since Romeo Must Die), and because it’s basic premise, of a close group of Black men returning to Vietnam, so they can find the body of their commanding officer, just sounds appealing to me. I like remembrance stories, or more accurately, anti-nostalgia stories, and there aren’t a whole bunch of war movies which prominently feature men of color, telling what it was like for them.

This is also airing on Netflix in mid-June.

 

 

Gundala

Here’s a superhero story, I’m moderately excited about, set in Southeast Asia, which I’m going to check out soon. I saw the trailer for this months ago, but only recently got the opportunity to see it. This very much reminds me of the Black Lightning TV series, because it’s basic premise, a man of color, with electricity powers , who trains himself to protect his little piece of the world from corrupt government forces, is appealing to me.

 

 

Code 8

This is another one of those gritty superhero stories that sort of chronicle what life would be like if superpowers existed. I kind of like these downbeat superhero movies like Unbreakable, Chronicle, and yes, I include the Carrie movies. I am, however, not always in the mood for such downbeat material, so whether or not I see this ,depends entirely on how I feel that day. I may decide to watch another John Mulaney stand up instead.

 

This one is based on a short film, I saw last year, with the same name. I didn’t care for the Short that much, but the actual movie looks a little better.

 

 

Dune 2020

I’ve been a Dune fan since I was a teenager, and used to the read the first book in the series about every couple of years. It’s one of my few favorite SciFi stories. Yes, I did see the 1984 movie starring Sting. It’s okay, and I really liked it, but it’s not my favorite, and I’m going to pretend the TV version doesn’t exist.

Next year we’re supposed to be getting a remake of this movie by one of my favorite SciFi directors, Denis Villaneuve. I’ve enjoyed quite a few of his movies, including the Bladerunner sequel, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this, as this too is one of the few films that would actually get me into a theater.

The director has been sending out pictures of the cast and crew, and whooo yeah, I’m definitely excited for this version, which looks a lot more like I imagined it from the book. I hope it does well, but I still think y’all should be prepared for a lot of hate because there are PoC working in this movie, and y’all know how white fandom behaves when they think an entertainment product is the exclusive province of white people. There’s also the fact that it is a very loved book. I do plan to stay away from any Youtube videos talking about this movie because already there are a wave of people who are ready to ream it a new asshole before the movie has even been released.

That said, there have been some changes that some people will lose their shit over, and one of the bigger changes is that Liet Kynes is being portrayed by a Black actress. If you remember from the book, Liet is the father of Chani, but is not actually one of the Fremen, and Villaneuve says he changed the role because he wanted to portray a mother /daughter relationship, and the movie was getting very male-centric. Now, if you’ve read the book, you know what role Liet plays in the story and what happens to him ,but I’m still very excited to see what this actress is going to do, and how she will interact with the other characters. In the original film, Liet Kynes was played by Max von Sydow. Jason Momoa is playing Duncan Idaho, who is not one of my favorite characters from the book, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with this role.

Enjoy These Dune Images in Glorious HD, Especially Oscar Isaac ...
Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides
2248x2248 Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet Kynes 2248x2248 ...
Sharon Duncan Brewster as Liet-Kynes
Dune photos give fans their first look at Jason Momoa and Zendaya ...
Zendaya as Chani
Enjoy These Dune Images in Glorious HD, Especially Oscar Isaac ...
Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck
timothee chalamet dune | Tumblr
Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho
HEAT WAVE          Timothe Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in Jordan. Filming in the landscape was really surreal says...
Timothy Chalumet is Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson is Lady Jessica
pThe House Atreides Left to Right Timothe Chalamet as Paul Atreides Stephen Mckinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat Oscar...
 House Atreides
Behold Dune: An Exclusive Look at Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya ...
Javier Bardem as Stilgar

Favorite Songs About Vampires

I’m feeling a bit of Pop Culture nostalgia this week, so here, have some of the vampire songs that are always on MY playlist!

 

Gordon Walker - Super-wiki

Black Vampires Through the Years | Black vampire, Eddie murphy ...

 

Bite Me! Top 10 Hottest Black Vampires | Vibe

I was on Tumblr, and I noticed a trend of people recommending vampire songs that 1. I didn’t recognize, and 2. Were all by white people and groups, as if PoC had never had any interest in vampires, and never made any songs about them. I really hate lists of music on there anyway. I have pretty wide ranging tastes, but these lists always seem to have the most obscure musical groups these people can find. Why these people can’t ever seem to listen to just regular songs, that maybe more than five people have heard, is a mystery! At any rate, there was one list I found, I listened to a couple of the songs and I think that person just has bad taste in music, because they were fairly bland. I mean if you’re gonna go through the trouble of making music about vampires, the least you can do is be EXTRA, like all the artists on this list.

But I’m often exasperated by the rather “twee” musical tastes of Tumblr patrons, who can be somewhat limited in their musical tastes, and helluva lot younger than me. Vampires are a global mythology, in that nearly every continent has one, so I’m also pretty sure other parts of the world have songs about them, but I’m Black, and American, so this is my focus. Maybe, at some point, I’ll do some research to find songs from other countries.

 

 

Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus ( The Hunger 1983)

Cinematic Black Women Vampires | 1970's-2000's | Black vampire ...

This is the classic Gothic vampire song, used in countless movies, and shows, that feature vampires. The first time I heard it was in the 1988 movie, The Hunger, which starred Catherine Deneuve, and David Bowie, as modern day vampires. If you haven’t seen that movie than check it out, as it’s an interesting snapshot of a very specific musical period (Goth) in the early 80s. The music, fashion, cinematography, and acting are all artifacts of that particular time, and the movie was groundbreaking, in that it was a mainstream movie, that featured an openly lesbian relationship, as Deneuve’s character puts the moves on Susan Sarandon.

Remember, that in 1983, this movie was the coolest shit we’d ever seen, because American culture hadn’t yet been saturated with Gothic imagery. In fact, I blame this movie for it!

 

 

Love Song For A Vampire – Annie Lennox (Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992)

This is one of my favorite songs, and I believe it was specifically written for the movie, in which it was featured during the end credits. I was a huge Annie Lennox fan in the 80s, otherwise I’d probably have never paid any attention to it. It helps that Annie Lennox always looked suitably vampiric since the beginning of her career, which had been going for ten years strong, by the time she made this song. It fits the film perfectly, in that it has this deep throbbing heartbeat sound, just underneath the listeners perception, the instrumentation, and singing is lushly romantic and overdone, just like the movie, and still gives me chills so many years later.

You really need to hear this with headphones to get the full effect.

 

 

Moon Over Bourbon Street – Sting (Interview With The Vampire 1994)

This song was also written in the late 80s by the newly solo lead of the British rock band, The Police. Sting wrote this after reading Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, so I was expecting this song to be in the movie that was made in the 90s, but no luck. It wasn’t in it. But this isn’t my favorite version of this song, I prefer the Wozniak Club version, which I liked to jam to in the car, on my way to work. Of course, this is exactly the type pf song that would be played in the vampire club!

 

 

No One Believes me – Kid Cudi (Fright Night 2011)

https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/African+American+Vampires

Vampires have made only infrequent appearances in African American folklore, and, similarly, African Americans have been largely absent from vampire movies and novels through the twentieth century. 

When people recommend vampire songs, everyone seems to forget that Black artists make songs about vampires, too! I came across quite a few of them when researching this. This was the feature song for the Fright Night remake made a few years ago. The remake was not especially successful, and didn’t feature this song anywhere in it, which may account for why so few people know about it, but this video was, and remains, one of my absolute favorites.

 

 

After Dark – Tito and the Tarantulas (From Dusk Til Dawn 1996)

This is the song that plays when Satanica Pandemonium does her dance, for the two brothers, at the Titty Twister bar, featured in the movie. It’s not my favorite, but I like Tito and the Tarantulas other songs, and just want to recognize that Mexican people got vampire songs.

 

 

Seduction/Surrender – Grace Jones (Vamp 1987)

Images of THE VAMPIRE BITE | Vampire bites, Vampire pictures ...

 

 

For some reason, all vampire movies must have a Club scene. We got vampires walking up in there, vampires owning clubs, dancing in clubs, hunting for a meal in the club, or all of the above. In 1987, Grace Jones owned, danced, and hunted, in the Club featured in this nearly forgotten movie. This song was specifically adapted for her strip scene.

The Hunger opens with a club scene, Interview with a Vampire has a club with actors, From Dusk til Dawn is set in a bar, Near Dark gets a bar scene, so do both Fright Nights, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, most TV shows feature clubs owned by vampires, and yes, the Blade movies have nearly famous club scenes!

 

 

Fatal – RZA (Blade 3)

20 Years Later and 'Blade' is Still Singular and Relevant | Black ...

 

As far as I’m concerned, despite the groundbreaking first film, it’s the second film, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, that’s the best of the Blade movies. This is Blade’s song, from the third, thoroughly awful, film. The song is every bit as badass as he is, and featured in the end credits, and it’s by the f*cking RZA, from Wu Tang! C’mon! How does anybody miss listing this song in any recommendations of vampire songs? On the other hand, the third film sucked, so that might have been the reason people simpy don’t remember that the RZA made a vampire song.

 

 

 

 

Cry Little Sister –  Gerard McMahon (The Lost Boys 1987)

The Lost Boys' Cast: Where Are They Now? - Biography

I’m putting this here because this is my favorite song from this movie. If you haven’t heard the soundtrack, it still holds up after some thirty years, and has a lot of great songs, including the title song.

 

 

System – Linkin Park (Queen of the Damned 2002)

Descendants of Sophia | Queen of the damned, Vampire queen ...

This is the song from the movie, where Alaska walks up in the club, and literally sets the roof on fire.

 

 

Confusion Dance Theme Remix –  New Order (Blade 1998)

This is the song from the film’s iconic opening scene, called the Blood Rave, where we’re introduced to the Blade character, and what he does for a living: killing vampires! This is very probably one of the most famous intros in vampire filmdom (is that a word?) The song itself doesn’t actually have anything to do with vampires, but every time I listen to it, this scene is what plays in my head.