At the Movies, Mammies Make Way for Mourners

Regina King in Seven Seconds

This Black woman onscreen had to buy her freedom to agency and complexity for a high price. That price was her child’s life. Such is depicted in a spate of films now depending upon a Black woman losing a child violently with no one held accountable. The Mourner must pick up the ball law enforcement, racist power structures, societal hierarchies and even her own relatives want to see dropped. Continue reading

Cyntoia’s Done Her Time. Have Mercy and Let Her Go.

Cyntoia Brown

On the afternoon of August 6, 2004, Johnny Allen (43) picked up Cyntoia Brown (15) at a Nashville fast food joint and drove her to his home for an $150 evening of statutory rape (she initially asked for $200). By the end of the night, he was dead. Why he died became the question and controversy keeping Cyntoia, now 30-years old, in prison despite unprecedented mass efforts towards her just and merciful parole. Continue reading

An Interview with Maya Jensen, Filmmaker behind ‘Solidarity in Saya: An Afro-Bolivian Music Movement’

Bolivians of African descent introduced Jensen to Saya music, an old artform which was a universal language in the Spanish-speaking land of their political and labor oppressors. Jensen’s film documents Saya music of today. Continue reading