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. Continue reading

Toni Morrison and Boy George Cover Billie Holiday

Morrison has proved to be the most thorough documentarian of African-American female existence in all its forms: in the womb, baby, child, girl, woman, senior, from the afterlife. The mantra of “God bless the child…” is actually her most consistent answer to black women. Enjoy Holiday’s original version, as well as a neat cover by Boy George and Micah Paris. Continue reading

Remembering Maria-Hélène Schneider…

Actress Maria Schneider

46 years ago, a moving picture testified to sexual assault against a woman. It moved all around the world, in fact. Only, the world called it “art.” Not much has changed since. This most visible example of a public rape frames sexual assault’s most misunderstood and excused forms: coerced consent, false pretenses and pressure as permission. And people can still buy and sell this sexual assault on film to this day. Why? Continue reading