Token Black characters onscreen stand out like a neon sign.
Usually, they serve the purpose of acting as living props, present only to give the appearance of a diverse cast. Token characters are a very tired trope, cardboard-thin characters with no agency or inner emotional life to make them fully realized.
They are the comedic relief, the “sassy” best friend, the first to be killed, and the characters audiences care very little about. Tokens provide the illusion of diversity, so more substantive inclusion can be avoided.
Thank god for the exceptions.
One of the major factors earning Star Trek: The Original Series its place in pop culture history is the casting of a Black woman as a television series regular in a non-stereotypical role in 1966. …
“You did not create the racist and biased culture of this company, but you are now responsible for correcting it. Chop. Chop. Get to work!”
Black folk have been catching HELL from all sides in this country since day one.
But 2020 seems to have unlocked a 10th infernal circle from the director’s cut of Dante’s Inferno.
Despite the public outcry and outrage of the Black community, this country continues to affirm it only considers the lives of white people and the property they own as valuable.
The gross injustice of our so-called justice system failing to indict the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor — who committed the crime of being Black while sleeping in her own bed — is just the latest collective slap in the face to the Black community. …
The critical and commercial success of recent films such as Fast Color, Get Out, Us, Attack The Block, Sorry To Bother You, and Black Panther emphasize one truth: there is an enormous, long-neglected market for onscreen speculative stories centering Black people.
The root reason for this paucity is the belief that stories about Black people are completely insular and niche, which is why the racist and idiotic notion that “Black movies do not travel well overseas” refuses to die a fiery death.
Never mind that Black speculative narratives are rarely greenlit by Hollywood, nor receive the marketing budgets and promotional support vital to cultivating markets outside the United States. …
Since the 2016 presidential election, one refrain constantly expressed by politicians, celebrities, pundits, journalists, and others is how toxic and partisan our society is and how we need to overcome our differences to reunite as a nation.
Because we are so “divided as a nation right now.”
Since when has the United States Of America ever been unified, with all its citizens afforded equal opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness?
Their America has never been my America.
Let me be crystal clear, there has always been two Americas:
This Halloween will be unlike any other.
Most of us will opt to celebrate at home; festive decorations, feasting on popcorn and candy, and virtual costume parties will be the means many of us get our spook on.
And of course, there will be the watching of endless marathons of horror and scary movies as darkness falls across the land on October 31st.
While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are going to be working overtime serving up special curations of modern and classic horror movies, many of us may be overlooking a cauldron full of free, online short films long on chills and thrills. …
“The best proof of love is trust.” — Dr. Joyce Brothers
What makes a relationship successful?
What is the key to a healthy, happy union? Almost every one of us has asked ourselves those very questions at some point in our lives.
Personally, I don’t believe the majority of people enter into a serious relationship thinking it will fail. Still, why are so many of us unhappy?
Of course, there are no simple answers to these questions. However, there are couples who seem to defy the odds. …
In the real world, “To protect and serve” carries with it the unspoken addendum: “whites only.”
A few years ago during a sunny, summer day in Arkansas, I was driving my mother to an appointment. As we were chatting about some innocuous topic, we saw flashing blue lights behind us.
“What on earth could be the problem?” My mother asked. I had no idea, but my heart suddenly felt too large for my chest.
I had not done anything wrong nor broken any traffic laws, but I’m a Black man and I know the inherent dangers police encounters hold for me because of the color of my skin. …
The Boys is the Amazon Studios show about an alternate earth where superheroes are real.
The show is based on the controversial comic book series of the same name by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson. In this subversive superhero saga, the United States is protected by a team of superbeings known as “The Seven” whose crime fighting exploits are underwritten by the mega-conglomerate Vought International.
This world’s Superman analog is the hero called Homelander. He is the uber-patriotic leader of The Seven, who are all revered as A-list celebrities by the general public.
But behind their public facade, the majority of these so-called superheroes are depraved, unbalanced hedonists who care very little about the lives of regular people — except for the occasions when their manufactured acts of heroism increases their Q Scores and the influx of lucrative sponsorship deals. …
Inhabiting a Black body as citizens of the Untied States comes with challenges and stressors no one else can understand.
Now, due to the current corrosive political, social, and economic climate — in addition to a very deadly global pandemic — we African-Americans must do all we can to practice self-care and engage in practical, accessible strategies to protect our mental health and lift our spirits.
It seems like a tall order, but it can be done. …