Why Black Men Still Need to Watch ‘The Birth of A Nation’

By: Ahmad Greene-Hayes

Last week, I saw the NYC pre-screening of “The Birth of A Nation.” I left feeling invigorated by the same Holy Spirit that called Nat Turner to lead a slave revolt in 1831. My excitement soon diminished, however, when I learned that Nate Parker, the film’s lead, is a rapist.

I’m a Black man like Nate, but I’m also a survivor in community with far more survivors than I can count on my ten fingers. And though many have run to Nate’s defense, I am left wondering who will cry for those who have been assaulted? Who will stand with the Black women whose DNA holds psychic scars of racial-sexual terror? Who will believe survivors, even when the rapist is a Black male athlete, actor, and humanitarian? Who will listen to the voices and the silences of survivors who are no longer with us, who took their lives because the pain was too much?

Don’t Celebrate Just Yet, The Private Prison Industry Will Still Thrive

On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a memo that, over time, the DOJ will end its contracts with private prison companies that operate 13 facilities within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). While this is a significant move given the times we live in, these contracts, with Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group Inc., only account for 7% of the industry’s revenue.

‘Hidden Figures’ Matters, Black Women’s Labor Matters

A new film is drawing a lot of attention because it depicts the Black women who were behind the Project Mercury and Apollo 11 missions. The film, called Hidden Figures, is important for many reasons. But, mainly, because it adds complexity to the ways that we envision Black womanhood and the histories that brought us to where we are today.

New ‘Melanites’ Doll Line Offers Different Images Of Black Boyhood

As we’ve seen through the influx of data and media coverage on Black boys, they often lose their innocence at the hands of someone else, someone who has stereotyped and criminalized their Blackness continuing the mindset that because they are Black, they don’t deserve innocence. And, while this won’t be changed overnight, Jennifer Pierre is taking the issue of Black boyhood into her own hands and is releasing a new line of dolls for boys of color called “Melanites.”

Netflix Releases An Even Better and Blacker ‘Luke Cage’ Trailer

Netflix and Marvel are running a victory lap side-by-side after all of the success their co-productions. Both seasons of Daredevil have been widely successful, as has the first season of Jessica Jones. Next up in the lineup is Luke Cage, which will premiere on Sept. 30, starring Mike Colter.

An initial teaser showed Luke putting the abilities he was given as the world’s first bullet-proof black man to the test with ODB playing in the background.  Today, Netflix released a full trailer that’s even better than the first one. 

BlacQurl Fosters Space for Black Women Creatives & Critics

For black women interested in art, the opportunity to speak with like-minded peers can be few and far between. The lack of space for black women in the art world compelled Jovonna Jones and Samantha Scott to create BlacQurl, an online magazine and platform for black women and femme writers, creatives, and critics.

Joy Reid Is Bringing #BlackGirlMagic to MSNBC, Mic Drops Trump Surrogate

We were all reeling when scholar and TV news host Melissa Harris-Perry took a surprising  (and highly publicized) exit from MSNBC in spring. Since then, Joy Reid has taken on the weekend morning slot for her new show AM Joy. This past Saturday morning, she showed why she was deserving of her own show all along when she went toe-to-toe with Trump surrogate Carl Paladino.