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

When We Are Witnesses…for Kitty Genovese

No matter what I have learned from her brother Bill Genovese’s heart-wrenching push for the truth, I still can not extinguish the feeling of seeing myself in Kitty Genovese: young, happy, independent, innocent, moving toward the future, and fated to be a woman living alone in American big cities. Continue reading

Dr. Terri Francis talks of Josephine Baker & the burlesque

Dr. Terri Francis will be in Chicago this Friday night April 1 at 7PM for a screening and conversation with Kevin Jerome Everson at Black Cinema House! For those unable to make it, please enjoy and share this Women’s History Month Q & A with her on Josephine Baker, Black women in film, and “the burlesque.” Continue reading

Girlhood

Lady and Mimi

In “Girlhood,” these girls’ fantasy selves exist and steadily transform to jettison them closer and closer to their real selves in a subtle, tender verisimilitude I have not seen black girls get to have onscreen since Leslie Harris’s 1992 Independent Spirit Award-winning film “Just Another Girl on the IRT.” It is the most honest, determined cinematic viewpoint on black youth since 1994’s “Hoop Dreams.” “Girlhood” is stunning. Continue reading