I write about Blackness.
Check out this piece on “Cultural Purgatory” I penned for PostBourgie:
Sandmann’s isn’t the only establishment that triggers my racial-acceptance-related paranoia. I also keep my head down at the beauty salon because I don’t want the women with the fingerwaves and rhinestoned acrylics judging me by my hair’s length or lack of “adventure” (just relaxer, no dyes, no gels, no ‘fro/locs/braids) and deducing that I think I’m “better” than they. I worry, whenever I go back to the storefront church where I grew up, that the congregation will take one look at me and somehow assume that I live in the gentrified part of downtown. (I don’t, by the way.)
Read the rest here.
It took me a long time to write about Sapphire’s novel, Push, being adapted for the silver screen. But write I did and here’s what I came up with:
People who love this book will tell you that it’s a triumphal story of hope in the face of brutality and despair. And it is. But for me, hope appeared too late in the work and retreated without a satisfying enough redemption for our heroine. I couldn’t stop mourning her abundance of tragedies, no matter what brief victories she won.
So when I found out Push was being adapted for the silver screen, I cringed at the prospect of revisiting Precious’s bleakly rendered world. I dreaded watching in technicolor all the awful things I’d imagined while reading. And I reeeally didn’t want to return to the hollowness that haunted the ending. What possible reason would Hollywood have for further dramatizing an existence as heinous as Precious’s?
Check out the article in its entirety over at Postbourgie.com.
Yesterday, PostBourgie published my essay on the idea that Hollywood is slowly reconstructing its traditional archetype of the “Mammy,” to curious, problematic, and vaguely uncomfortable results:
Hmm. It isn’t often that Hollywood strives for any sense of honesty about what was really going on in the hearts and minds of black domestics, as they scrubbed floors and diapered white folks. Though The Secret Life of Bees is no trailblazing manifesto, it isn’t exactly mamby-pamby in its discussion of black-and-white-woman relations in the 1960s, either.
Read it all here and be sure to leave a comment.
I really did. If you want to find out a bit more about why, check out my review over at PostBourgie.com:
I should probably tell you right now that this movie isn’t about Abel Turner. It isn’t about Lisa. And it certainly isn’t about Ron Glass, who phones in a few scenes as her father, Harold Perreau.
In fact, this film treats all of its Black cast as tertiary in order to reveal its true intent.
This is a film about how hard it is to be a White man married to a Black woman.
It gets better. Read on.
Watch me weigh in on the career trajectory of the illustrious Don Cheadle over at PostBourgie.com:
It’s kind of interesting to note that Cheadle recently told the Detroit Free Press that he’d like to do a big, lighthearted comedy with no sociopolitical underpinnings. Whether or not anyone will cast him in one remains to be seen, although we can’t imagine it’d be too big a stretch for a studio to envision him in a comic role. A director need only dust off some old footage of Cheadle in that now-classic Fresh Prince ep where he guested as Hillary’s erstwhile love and Will’s loose cannon “friend from the hood,” Ice Tray.
Check out my piece on “Street Lit pioneer” Omar Tyree’s absurd open letter of retirement over at PostBourgie:
A few things strike us as eyebrow-raising about this opening paragraph of Tyree’s open letter to both his loyal reading audience and the retailers who’ve been primarily responsible for the sale of 1.5 million copies of fifteen of his arguably mediocre serviceable books.
Tyree is insulting his readership by assuming that, because his readers complained about the content/quality of the fourteen books following his first two, they’re unwilling or unable to “develop a liking for fresh material.” Dude, you just admitted to writing sixteen novels in the “urban fiction game.” How can you gauge what other kinds of material audiences may prefer, when you’ve deepened the ridges of your own one-track rut for close to two decades now?
Read the rest here.
PostBourgie just published my sort of tongue-in-cheek piece voicing my befuddlement over Tyra Banks’ Daytime Emmy win:
Not to discount Ms. Banks’ accomplishments, but have you ever watched an episode of The Tyra Banks Show? You have??? So this is your fault.
Seriously, though. We’re really over here trying to figure out how Tyra “Me Me Me” Banks won a Daytime Emmy Award—and in the category of Outstanding Talk Show – Informative, no less. I know I, for one, learned a great deal about John Edwards’ eating habits when he appeared on Tyra. Watching him refuse Wendy’s French fries because he only eats them with Elizabeth on their wedding anniversary was quite informative.
Read the rest here.
My piece on Clifford “T.I.” Harris just went up over at Postbourgie.com.
Here’s an excerpt:
One month after his arrest, Ridley Scott’s American Gangster opened, with T.I. in a somewhat overhyped role that amounted to little more than a glorified cameo. (Your boy had 20 lines, tops.) Even with his limited screen time, T.I. seemed to possess that same hungry, young, brother-whose-life-is-one-wrong-turn-from-completely-derailing quality that Hollywood loves in its twenty-something Black actors (see: the entire black oeuvre of the 1990s). With the right management, business-savvy, and agent, dude probably could’ve reopened the glass divide between the mass of rappers-turned-actors who never had a chance of taking off in a non-niche market (read: DMX, 50 Cent, Nas, et al.) and the dudes who filmgoers under the age of 21 only know as actors, so consistent and prolific are their roles (read: Will Smith, Ice Cube).
Too bad about those multiple felonies. Now T.I. is just another cautionary tale, right?
Not so fast. If history is any indication, the last place you want to count T.I. down and out is in jail.
Read the rest here.