In School Daze by Spike Lee, the main character Dap leads a campaign against the South African Apartheid regime. Continue reading “A Critique of an Alarmist View of College Campuses”
In Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs examines how black, gay men are often forced to choose between which identity and movement they are allowed to be a part of. Continue reading “There are Gay Men on the Bus”
I thought Malcolm X was fantastic. While researching the joint’s critical reception, I was pleased to discover that many critics had similar reactions. Even those with serious qualms with the film generally seemed pretty damned pleased that a major Hollywood studio was producing and financing a movie commemorating the life of Malcolm X. One reviewer wrote, “That this man is the subject of the first big budget Hollywood movie on the life of a black historical figure is, in and of itself, nothing short of a coup” (Yousman 2014).
In a previous post, I wrote about the scene in Get on the Bus where Wendell gets thrown out for his ideologies. The revelation that Republicans were riding the bus caused a general feeling of astonishment between the bus riders. Evan Thomas Sr. encapsulated this by stating, “I don’t see how any Black man can be a Republican” (1:06:09). This movie was released in 1996, however there does not seem to be a significant change in how Black people view the Republican Party 20 years later. This begs the question, why don’t Black people support the Republican Party? Continue reading “A Brief Look at Why Most Black People Do Not Vote Republican”
In Lee’s Get on the Bus, there is a scene where we learn that both Wendell and Kyle support the Republican Party. Wendell goes on a tirade about “niggas like Jackson” to make the point that Black leaders seem to be always asking for some form of patronage, leading him to say, “They all say the same thing, ‘Hire us. Feed us. Affirmative Action’. Like we need America to keep a nipple in our mouth” (1:05:58). Kyle reiterates this point in his defense. He says, “Democrats wanna keep us powerless, docile, begging for handouts. Running around having babies without even a minute plan for their future” (1:06:17). So why did Wendell get thrown off the bus, but Kyle didn’t? Continue reading “Why Did Kyle Get to Stay on the Bus?”
Once again, I have live tweeted another film. Although this is a documentary by Spike Lee, I do believe it is good to jot down your thoughts while you watch a film.
From this experience of live tweeting, i hope that I have opportunities in the future to sit down in a private film screening to share my words with a larger space. I hope I learn to keep my twitter active to engage in thoughtful conversations with not only peers but the larger world.
I saw myself in, Troy. Crooklyn at times was hard to watch because she reminded me so much of myself when I was growing up with a rowdy brother and in a neighborhood full of rowdy boys. She was the outlier and she did a pretty good job of navigating that mostly male space, but still stood out. Growing up I used to wear my hair like hers, in tight braids (with no hair extensions), and this made me look a little more androgynous then I would have liked. It was hard being the small, not yet developed into a woman’s body, girl with short hair in braids. You do not exactly fit into societal standards of beauty– and you’re often told that by your peers (mostly the annoying boys you live with.) Troy compensated for this by being good at sports and quick to combat insults with even wittier comebacks. I know this act and it is a tiring one to perform sometimes.
Prior to this film I used to not like to think about my appearance during the ages of 9-12. It was a rough time for me, in my opinion. But actually watching Crooklyn changed that for me. Watching someone on screen that reminded me so much of myself, and seeing the beauty in a girl like Troy, made me see the beauty in my childhood self. I know this sounds incredibly cheesy and kind of annoying, but it is true. Crooklyn helped me actually become more accepting of my Blackness, and find beauty in myself. Growing up I always wished my hair wasn’t in tight, short braids, or that I had bigger breasts, or I wasn’t so dark. Watching Troy on screen, however, made me realize that there is beauty in being that little Black girl. The one that is pretty but does not fit into the mold of being “pretty” by American television standards (light skinned, long straight-ish hair, physically bigger.) I think it is awesome that Spike Lee chose an actress that is not your typical American TV star, because those girls exist too and they’re magical in their own way.