I love Black culture. I love BLACK CULTURE!!! Sorry I just had to say it again because I really do and I love being able to say this. I wanna scream it from the top of my lungs but, that is probably still frowned upon in most places.
Black History Month 2021 has been, without me realizing it, me going out of my way to absorb content by Black content creators. And it’s been a like a warm hug. I’ve read books, watched television, listened to podcasts and music… It really has been a beautiful month. I want to make a few recommendations if you want to live out the rest of BHM as I did. I hope you are enjoying, learning, and consuming a lot this month.
A Love/Hate Thing by Whitney D Grandison was a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t really in the mood for a Highschool romance when I picked it up but, as it got going I couldn’t put it down. Every chance the book could’ve gone with cliches and made characters props or dimensional they didn’t. Things took place over time so you could get neck-deep into the group’s struggles.
The book let me make judgments about the characters only to point the finger at me for making those snap judgments. A lot of the book is about the things we automatically think about others and how we don’t always know their pain. I’ve read a bunch of books since this and I just can’t get it out of my head. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna pick it up again and from me, that’s high praise because I rarely read anything multiple times.
Meet Me @ The Altar has kept me a float on the tough days at work. I love the crashing sounds that remind me of my youth but, also have a kind of hopefulness that was missing from that old school Pop punk scene. The band is made of three Black women and it sounds just like the early 2000’s version of Paramore but, with just a litte edge. The song “May the Odds Be in Your Favor” has definitely struck a cord with me and “Garden” sweeps me into a head rocking, feet stomping, angst but, in a good way. I just love seeing my people in a genre that just never felt like was for me, y’know?
One Night in Miami was beautifully acted and written. Just knowing it’s Regina Kings directorial debut has me floored because each scene grips me and holds my attention even with the play aesthetic. Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Eli Goree do an amazing job showing Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, Malcom X, and Cassius Clay at this point in their lives and ultimately their activism. Watching these actors stand not get swallowed up by the dialouge that could move mountains it was a treat.
Each man has a different viewpoint, and comes from a different place and throught talking (mostly arguing) they begin to see the Black struggle in different ways. Learning from eachother to become better leaders and clear the way for for others. It also shows just how much hasn’t changed from even before the Civil Rights Movement. These men were pioneers and it felt amazing to be a fly on that wall in that room.
Jim Brown’s first scene floored me watching him sit down with a man who sung his praises just for it to end in such a way… It was a cold shower of realization. Aldis Hodge played it perfectly to a letter and got me interested in man I didn’t honestly know that much about. The living man enjoys the film and I don’t want to ever know if this really happened or not. A great perhaps.
There’s a lot more I could say and there’s even more to talk about so I’ll leave this one here and I’m thinking about doing a part two so look out for that. So what else have you all been doing to educate, consume, and create this Black History Month? Checking my blog might be a start but, I hope you are keying into all the culture we have to offer. Good luck, Readers.
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