“Black people loving and losing is something we don’t see enough of. We’re always in these heightened situations like something big is happening, something funny or something violent. And you know what? Sometimes we die of breast cancer or a broken heart. Things happen that are just not being explored cinematically. It’s time we reinvigorated that type of film.”
-Ava DuVernay, 1st African American woman to win US Director Award at Sundance Film Festival
I’m just a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America,
Stolen from Africa, brought to America,
Said he was fighting on arrival, fighting for survival;
Said he was a Buffalo Soldier win the war for America.
“No history books used in public schools informed us about racial imperialism. Instead we were given romantic notions of the “New World,” the “American Dream,” America as the great melting pot where all races come together as one. We were taught that Columbus *discovered* America; that “Indians” were scalp-hunters, killers of innocent women and children; that black people were enslaved because of the biblical curse of Ham, that God “himself” had decreed that they would be hewers of wood, tilers of the field, and bringers of water. No one talked of Africa as the cradle of civilization, of African and Asian people who came to America before columbus. No one mentioned Mass murders of Native Americans and African women as terrorism. No one described the force breeding of white wives to increase the white population as sexist oppression.”
People harp on The Cosby Show as being an unrealistic representation of Black life in America during that period, but one of the shows main characters, Phylicia Rashād, actually did live a charmed life quite similar to that of the Huxtable Family. Phylicia’s mother was a Pulitzer-prize nominated artist, poet, playwright, scholar, and publisher and her father was an orthodontist.
“I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos – and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
Shout-out to the Black women leading in Ferguson ! Thanks sisters for representing and pushing forward this incredible work.
“She’s got an officer in SWAT gear inches from her, and she’s just says, ‘You know what? Ain’t nobody putting their hands on him,’” Thenjiwe McHarris said of her friend on the protests’ front-lines, recounting Friday night. “Unafraid too. You gotta see there’s so much power in that.”
Twenty years ago today our beloved Toni Morrison made history as the first African-American to receive the Noble Prize in Literature. The citation reads “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
Listen to her Noble Lecture here (and have a beautiful Monday):
"Underdevelopment and the imprisonment of the Black masses will not die a natural death until the real criminals within America’s powerful ruling class taste something of the bitter anguish that distorts and cripples the Black majority.“ -Manning Marable "How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America” #revolutionspeak