‘The Birth Of A Nation’ Has Its Problems But It’s Still Worth Seeing

By: Imani J. Jackson

Deciding whether to support or sit out The Birth of a Nation has inspired an internal tug-o-war for many people, myself included.

On one hand, I respect and understand the outrage directed at Nate Parker. Parker wrote, directed and starred in a rebellion story, which includes rape scenes, and hit the big screen about 17 years after a woman accused Parker and Birth co-writer Jean Celestin of sexual assault in college. On the other hand, a jury of Parker’s peers found him not guilty and Celestin’s conviction was later overturned. These results – coupled with a desire not to penalize the brilliant black actresses who helped bring this story to light –  urged me from solidarity by omission (through boycotting) and toward supporting a multifaceted cast whose work tells an important story.

Not voting is not a ‘privilege’

I hate the term “privilege”. Its flatness allows it to facilitate spurious claims masquerading as the work of liberation, which is why it’s so overused in neoliberal social justice spaces. It promotes dangerous assertions lacking any sort of nuance whatsoever, like “third-party voting is the height of white privilege” or “refusing to vote for Clinton & risking a Trump presidency is a privileged choice.”

“Privilege” is often code for “something that someone with more (perceived) social capital than me does and I do not like, so will therefore disregard.” The charge is self-satisfying and cannot be argued against. At the same time, it ignores that there are many practices people with “privilege” partake in that they have not initiated, and many causes they adopt for which they are not remotely sole representatives.

Gabrielle Union Sues BET For $3M Over ‘Being Mary Jane’ Contract

While fans mostly only get to see the finished product once it airs on our televisions, laptops and tablets, a lot of work goes into making TV shows work. There’s often tension on set between departments, multiple plot directions to choose from and even your occasional contract dispute.

Gabrielle Union, star of BET’s Being Mary Jane filed a lawsuit against the television network this past Tuesday with claims that they’re attempting to maneuver their way out of paying her what was established in her contract.

Review of ‘The 13th’: When Art Imitates Life, We Have to Ask “What’s Next?”

Regardless of where you are in your political education, Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th was pretty well done.

Weaving the staggering numbers of rising incarceration rates with the insights of prominent activists, journalists, and academics coupled with a soundtrack that highlights the connectedness of mass incarceration to Black realities, it is a signature piece of art imitating life. The 13th brought many conversations around systematic racism that usually happen in select circles to a potentially larger audience, but I’m not sure if anyone besides the usual “woke” circle sat in on this one, and if they did – what now?

This dope video shows the history of social dance in 25 moves

Your dance of choice might be the Bop or the Milly Rock or the Running Man but, no matter what your favorite dance move is, you can relate to the Black cultural and community-based nature of ways to make your body rock. Now, you can watch a short film about the ways that social dance has evolved from our long history of using rhythm to communicate and connect with our kinfolk. It is pure magic.

Why Haiti Deserves More Than Our Prayers

The island of Haiti has been the little black jewel of the Western Hemisphere since it successfully clinched its independence from colonial rule in 1804, becoming the first colony to do so. But in recent years, a combination of political unrest, rampant poverty, a deadly earthquake, the UN-generated cholera outbreak, on top of the disastrous effects of Hurricane Matthew makes one thing clear: the Haitian people need more than our thoughts and prayers and love and light; they need a well-sustained, responsibly-led recovery effort and the funds and resources to accompany it.

GenForward Poll: Half of black youth face job discrimination

By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Qymana Botts saw white colleagues with the same amount of experience getting promoted to cashier ahead of her at the Indiana discount store where she worked. When she asked her supervisors why, they told her she didn’t project the image that they wanted from their cashiers: straight hair — not her natural Afro — and more makeup.

“When it came time for promotions and raises and things like that, I was told I need to fit into a more European kind of appearance,” Botts said of her 2010 experience. “They wanted me to straighten my hair, but I wasn’t willing to do that.”

Botts, 25, is not alone.