black hype

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A handwritten ‘Harry Potter’ prequel story was stolen and J.K. Rowling is asking fans not to buy it

  • An extremely valuable, one of a kind, piece of Harry Potter memorabilia — a handwritten prequel penned by J.K. Rowling — has been stolen, says the West Midlands Police
  • The unique story was written on two sides of an A5 postcard, and was originally sold for $32,152 as part of a charity auction in 2008.
  • The West Midlands Police investigating officer Paul Jauncey issued the following statement in response to the theft: “The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans. We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police.”
  • According to CBS News, the short prequel features Harry’s father, James Potter, who, along with Sirius Black, must escape from police using their magic.  Read more (5/12/17)

Franchesca Ramsey lands Comedy Central pilot

  • On Tuesday, Comedy Central announced that comedian Franchesca Ramsey ( @chescaleigh on Tumblr) secured a pilot for an untitled project for the network.
  • According to Comedy Central’s press release, Ramsey’s new show will feature a set of comedians that will tackle some of the most pressing social and political issues.
  •  The project will “will heal America through brutal comedy, surprising guests, and breakdowns of the most pressing cultural issues you never knew you cared about,” the release said.
  • Ramsey will also serve as executive producer of the show, alongside Eric Brown, Andrew Kornhaber and Kara Welker. Read more (4/19/17)

NOTE: This post has been corrected. It previously stated incorrectly that Ramsey is the first black woman to have a Comedy Central pilot. Jessica Williams developed a show with the network in 2016. 

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Donald Glover is set to write an animated ‘Deadpool’ series for FXX

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Behind the Scenes video from Black Panther set in South Korea

‘American Gods’ reinvents itself through its black protagonist

Shadow Moon is a racial enigma in American Gods, the fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. The author describes his protagonist in ethnically-vague terms: Shadow has “light gray eyes,” “dark hair” and “cream-and-coffee skin,” Gaiman writes.

Shadow is asked, at different points in the book, whether he has “Indian blood” or “nigger blood.” Readers eventually learn that Shadow’s father is white, but his mother’s race remains conspicuously unsaid.

Ricky Whittle is less ambiguous. The British actor — who plays Shadow in the TV adaptation of Gaiman’s novel, which premieres Sunday on Starz — is multiracial, like his character. But his blackness is clear, both visually and narratively. At one point in an early episode, a white character named Czernobog asks Shadow if he is “black” outright.

“Is that a problem?” Shadow replies coldly.

The decision by showrunners to cast a visibly black actor as their lead bucks a long-standing trend in Hollywood. It marks the rare occasion where a piece of American screencraft embraces a character’s non-whiteness rather than erasing it. And the show is richer for it. Read more (4/30/17 10 PM)

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