Guilty! Guilty!! Guilty!!!

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was finally convicted of the MURDER of George Floyd. After kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes, 42 seconds while George Floyd was handcuffed behind his back while on the ground. He was unable to breathe and that resulted in his death. Derek Chauvin believed he had no chance of being convicted you could see it in his face right up until conviction.

Think about that for a second, Derek Chauvin murders a man in cold blood, the video is watched tens of millions of times on national news and the internet, his private life is picked apart, and still, this man never thought there would be justice. And even worse most of the people watching the case didn’t believe there would be either. There’s a major problem in the world where this is the case. Police can’t believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

Derek Chauvin isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last but, he’s in every way indicative of America. Some people believe they’re above it all and some of them… are right. We live in a country where the people on top can break all the laws they want because for them the same thing would bankrupt us or ruin our lives would or even worse end up with us dead. We have to work hard to change this. Most of us will never be on our strata, not because we’re not smart enough or hardworking enough but because a system exists to keep us down. Many times for just an accident of birth.


Hey readers, sorry I’ve been MIA things in my life have been moving quickly in my life and I haven’t been here. That’s gonna change but, don’t just take my world for it. Stay Safe out there and take a breath, You’ve earned.

Black Culture Month Part 2

I actually did it. I followed through and wrote a part two. Now that probably isn’t surprising for you guys but, if I’m honest my drafts are an absolute mess. I’m going to jump right in with  my next couple of pics.

This YouTube video made me consider what Blackness is as a concept. Maybe I was a bit ignorant when I considered only African Americans as Black. Black is British, French, and anywhere else our people are in the world. I was reluctant to count them amoung  because many of them seemed to be reluctant to count themselves among us. Seperating ourselves and gatekeeping really ruins our collective power in the world.

Cynthia Erivo’s self-hate tweets were classist, discriminatory, and White Supremacist. I don’t want to go over the whole thing but, it started with people getting up in arms about a Black British Woman playing the part of arguably one Black Histories greastest heroes, Harriet Tubman. Sitting there watching the movie with my mother, Super Hero Harriet Tubman was terrible. Please don’t pay to watch that movie. I’m not saying pirate it but, if you happen to find it lying around… Watch the movie, that made me question everything I knew about Mrs. Tubman and not in a good way

Now this book took me on a wild, contemporary, contemplative ride in the most urban of fantasies. With bit of plot there was cojent comentary on something to do with race, economics, immigration, you name it, if it was about the social justice of our world today then this book spoke on it, and well.

N. K. Jemsin might become one of my favorite writers, weaving in ideas that make your brain itch in the best way. The characters she gave in We Are The City Now are of viewpoints I haven’t heard yet. From an ederly, lesbian native woman, to a Middle-aged Black ex-rapper, a plus-sized, Immigrant woman and a Black, Queer sex worker expierencing homelessness. These characters were interesting in not just who they are but, in the diversity of lived expierences. It was a breath of fresh air and gives me the idea that my characters should be more distinct. I want more diverse characters in all types of fiction, so everyone can be seen.

While I don’t agree with everything that MelinaPendulum brings up in her video, I think it’s important to think critically of the things we love and for me that’s Brigerton. She speaks on the diversity, colorism, and that scene. I hope Brigerton fixes some of the problems in their next season. MelinaPendulum is great her takes are whip smart and continue to be one of the many places I go to to hear other Black people speak on pop culture.

Training school for Negro Girls scoured my soul. It was stomach churning, wild ride. Multiple times I felt a despair and defeat that was a different flavor than the one I was used to. I had to put it down many times just to make it through this collection. If this is how it feels to be a Black Woman… Then I have learned a bit of humility.

I say all of this not to deter you but, so you know what you’re getting into. This is well written and the kind of art and writing I only hope I can achieve. This work echoes with emotion and a matter-of-factness that gets to heart of what Camille Acker is trying to say. I hope if you choose to check it out you’ll have as challenging a time as I had.

There are others I haven’t gotten to but, these are some of the ones that have impacted me the most. The Black voice is beautiful and poingnant. We’re seeing it in more places and finally seeing a finally see the diversity of opininions and that we are in no way a monolith.

I might go back into more depth into some of the things I covered here. I haven’t gotten to Malcom and Marie or Black Judas yet and I know those are gonna be bomb. Maybe that’s how I’ll finish everything out.


I don’t own any of these pictures. All images hold original copyright, no copyright infringement meant.

Black Culture Month Part 1

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.

Band’s image from Bandcamp.

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.

Official Promotion Poster

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.

All images hold original copyright, no copyright infringement meant.

Soul

As I watched the movie huddled with my family for the first time in a year on my mother’s tiny tv in the tv room we grew up in. I felt… lucky. Lucky that my family hasn’t fallen apart with all that has been going on. I know not everyone has been this lucky but, for me streaming this movie and magnifying it in my own mind it felt like the time before.

Covid has taken less from me than it has for others and I am so grateful for it to have decided to skip my family. My mother has even gotten a vaccine and mine might be coming rather soon. An end to an agony of anxiety.

Soul is on the cutting edge of Pixar with a brilliant art direction. Soul is decidedly Black in a way that multiple times it hit home to an expierence I’m not always able to put into words. A lot of my original feelings about this movie and the metamorphic trope that continues to happen to black characters in animation feel unfounded with a movie like this one. But all of that went away when this movie started up and the first notes played.

You should watch Soul. The music was splendid, with each note played my heart answered. The art though exaggerated didn’t make black men out to be clowns. Which seems to be a problem for some in making animation. The animation spends time and money showing how each note is played. The city comes alive withe people of all body types and skin colors.

I think that it touches on so many of the themes I have felt thus far this year. There is no grand design and living life itself can be such a remarkable thing. I cried just whilst he was just playing My brother even called me out on it. I couldn’t help it. This movie just kept plucking my strings. Playing my heart like an instrument.

Each new idea Soul brings forth is a tantalizing string to pull. I have spent a lot of time day dreaming about their cosmos and afterlife. It has me reflecting on life itself as much as Inside Out had me thinking about what my emotional make up would be.

Recently, things that have made me cry happy tears has been when someone gets acknowledgement for something they’ve put a lot of work in. I want more moments like this in my life and seeing Joe finally get the recognition his skills was bouying in such a turbulant time. This movie was just thing to cap off that 2020 feeling.

Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman

I have spent much of this day mulling with my feelings of grief of what exactly I wanted to say. We lost a king last night. A man who through his own determination he lived with cancer and became a hero to millions of people. With his ability he helped to start a movement, shatter a long held myth in Hollywood. All of this while fighting for his life. All of this while fighting for his life. I will always look up to Chadwick Boseman.

I know he had other impactful roles, like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall; I also found him one of the best parts of Da 5 Bloods but, Black Panther changed my life. For the first time in an extremely public way I was out and proud to be Black. Not just with my family but, on social media, on the street, in my friendships. I felt proud of my skin, my culture, my history, and our culture. It healed some broken part of me. I’ve become way more outspoken on Black issues and began fighting for them in my every day. Thank you Chadwick Boseman.

When I see all the art and the pictures of people crying I can’t help but to share their pain. I was foolish enough to believe death couldn’t hurt me anymore but, last night showed me I was wrong. My deepest condolences to his family and everyone who’s in mourning. You gave us Wakanda,you will be missed, Chadwick Boseman.

Rest In Peace to our King. Rest In Peace to our Black Panther. Wakanda Forever!

I wrote a blog post a while ago about Black Heroes. He is one and he will always be. I borrowed this artwork from Vicbazaine. Thank you.

Book Report April 30th 2018

Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is an excellent book I wish I had gotten into it when it first came about but, now that I finally have I’m recommending it to everyone  It has all the tenants of YA fantasy and adds a bit more. I said it before on twitter

This book fills in some of the pieces I’m looking for I can’t get enough of the different magics and even though it uses soft magic which is something I’m not always a fan of and forms a world around it that makes the whole thing startlingly compelling.

Zélie Adebola is one of our main point of view characters and she lives with an undeniably defining trait in her white hair and dark skin. She and the people like her diviners are people chosen by the gods to wield magic. Except the magic is all gone none of the diviners have the power to do things like raising the dead (You all know why that was of particular interest to me.), controlling the elements, healing, and even causing disease. The reason, was on a night eleven years ago magic dried up and the king’s men fled the cities and killed those already awakened to their powers.

I have to assume Tomi knew what she was doing by making all of the diviners’ dark skin people while those without power but, of royal descent were of a lighter skin. By doing this she points a finger squarely at the subculture of colorism. Colorism the thought that people with skin closer to white are somehow better, more attractive, and for some reason more sought after. No spoilers but, she goes from a type of animosity at the world for her skin tone and those of others that made them somehow more noble, to finding a way to talk about loving hers as well as those of people seen above her. I feel like this for anyone who has ever had negative thoughts about their skin tones will see it in thoughts reflected by this book.

Each of the point of view characters has an arc here while some are more pronounced than others there’s no one gets left behind. The plot is very straightforward and tight but there’s more than enough to expand the world and show there’s a lot more to see. I need another installment of what I hope is a much longer franchise.

Honestly, if you don’t like books that talk about real things in a way that is accessible to people, then I’d say still pick it up. It’s still an awesome story with diverse characters and looks into a setting we don’t usually get in fantasy. Tomi Adeyemi has written a book that not only did I love to read and suggest to others but, a book that is just what YA needs right now.

PS, I listened to this on in audiobook form and I loved the voice acting of Miss Bahni Turpin. She did so much with each of the characters that each one felt so unique and polished I thought I was in a room full of them.

(Black) Power Fantasy

Black Panther was amazing. I loved every fucking frame. I can’t be objective and I know it. This for me was close to what how I felt when Luke Cage came out two years ago. That was a gritty view of life in a place I have never lived and hope to never live in but, what it spoke about was what it is to live in fear as a black man and that’s something I know all too well.
There’s something about these two properties that even though they are Marvel properties they portray a measure of the problems I face as a black man moving throughout the world. Black Panther is so black but, it not only that it speaks to colonization what that means and how it has and still does affect the world around it. Luke Cage talks about the Black Community and what it does and doesn’t do for its people. These things pieces of media hit me so hard and I know they didn’t do it for everyone else but, for a black man living in a mostly white suburb, it finally feels like we’ve arrived.

Luke Cage is someone I envy. Someone who doesn’t have to fear the cops or radicals. A man who can protect his home and his life with his own strength. With Charlottesville happening so close to home the idea of homegrown Nazi became a reality I didn’t think I’d have to face in 2018. Yes, I knew racists existed but, people who finally felt free to congregate and march in the open I didn’t know that was the world we were living in. Of course, the man is jacked and he’s definitely a ladykiller but, he’s also loyal to his friends and he looks out for the little guy and that’s what makes him a hero.

There’s a wonderful scene in the Netflix show where he’s getting back all the things for the Harlem community. They just walk up to his door and he does what he can to help them. The same can be said for the women who owns the apartment he has over the Chinese food shop he doesn’t hesitate to throw himself in the way of RPG careening through her storefront window. He does what he does for his community.

In Defenders, during the second episode LC and Claire were helping out after the earthquake and he quotes her saying “If we don’t take responsibility for our neighborhood, no one else will.” They’re both going block by block he’s removing chunks of buildings off cars and she’s treating the wounded. Luke Cage is all about community and that hits home.

For me, there are a ton of injustices I would love to be able to do something about without having to put a vote in a machine and hope the rest of the country agrees with me. This might be a little vain but, I’ve always wanted to be hero helping people less fortunate than myself.

So why Luke Cage and why not Superman: Luke Cage has a code of law, he doesn’t do what he does for free. It might seem unfair but, it’s realistic. His name, place of business, and the names of his family members are all public knowledge he has something he needs to protect and life to keep up. Superman hides his identity because his human life is more important to those around him. Supes is strong enough to protect everyone in his life and still live whatever life he wants to but, his anonymity is something very important to him. Luke Cage has decided to be a part of the community and takes part in its everyday struggles as well as go out and save the world.

Black Panther is the man of the hour right now and as we all talk about #WakandaForever and how black the movie is I don’t want to lose sight of why BP is as excellent a character as he is. He is accomplished, having multiple degrees from the best colleges from all over the world. One of the richest men in all the world. He has spies in every country and weapons that would make every 2nd Amendment guns rights activist and Nuclear Dictator shit their collective pants. Simply put he has the biggest toys and he knows how to use them. He’s Ben Kenobi (secret Jedi warrior), Liam Neeson (in practically all of his movies), and actually good spy so not James Bond…

“So BP has all the toys, what else?” you ask? Black Panther and Wakanda represent a future we would like to have for ourselves way too much. It’s been expressed over a hundred times as everyone pretends they don’t know why Black people are so in love with the movie. Black Panther is a king which in it of itself is enviable but when you match that with the fact that it’s of a country that was never touched by colonialism and his people were never enslaved you hit a whole new level of awesome. T’challa has never had to even consider the feelings of white men, colonizers as they’re called in the film. He doesn’t care that they think of him the king of some tribe of farmers in the middle of Africa because he knows inside that he’s more and that confidence is something that draws the eye in every scene he’s in.

So why not Batman: Forgoing the option of bringing up yet again the idea of secret identities… it’s easy to say that Bruce Wayne is the mask and Batman is the true identity. But moving on Black Panther in the movie it the prototypical good son. He’s always respectful, never raises his voice, even-tempered, and patient. In the comics he’s a different person almost entirely he’s passionate, brash, prideful but, remains one of the smartest men in the Marvel universe. The reason I would choose Black Panther is he chooses to save the world out of a duty to his people and Batman does it because he can’t stop. Batman needs this. Black Panther has and will stop if it doesn’t affect his people.

In Civil War and in the Black Panther movie proper, he’s shown that he’s willing to understand the villain and hear him out. For the man who murdered his father and the man who stole his country, Black Panther shows a humility that is superhuman. Killmonger was a man who may have done horrible things he wasn’t completely wrong about what he wanted but, wrong about the way he went about it. His rage made him no different from those he was trying  It hurt Black Panther to have him kill himself because he knew not only could this man be an asset to Wakanda but, he could probably offer valuable insight to the world at large that until now the people of Wakanda didn’t have.

PS. I’ve seen Black Panther three times in theatres I’ve never done that with any other movie. Even for things I like I can’t do repeat viewings but, I love this movie so much. I just want to give everyone who had anything to do with a big hug. Black Panther is a cultural phenomenon.