James Baldwin as General: I Am Not Your Negro

A lot of words can be ascribed to James Baldwin, but the one that sticks the landing is “prophet.” James Baldwin told us Trump was coming. He did not do so directly, of course. By the time Baldwin died in 1987 Trump was two years into yet another lawsuit, this time for forcing tenants out…

A quick review of Fences: You’re already late. GO.

Fences features a Denzel Washington who is finally directing something I can’t criticize on any level. His previous efforts – Antwone Fisher and The Great Debaters – were fair, but Fences finds him on a mission. Well, technically, it’s not a new mission. All of his previous efforts have been mission based as well, but…

Watching Birth of a Nation While Black

I cannot recall when I have ever dreaded viewing a film. I’ve attended numerous 24-hour horror film marathons during which I knew I would be subjected to films handpicked to twist the knife of political sensibilities, films so graphic and nihilistic I cannot give their titles in unguarded company. The guilt from even accidentally convincing…

The Get Down is Hip Hop’s First Fable

Netflix series The Get Down and Stranger Things have very little in common, but they’re built on nostalgic leanings that attempt to propel the events of their stories. The respective eras of these shows – 1980s for Stranger Things, 1970s for The Get Down – suffuse every frame of these shows, and yet in Stranger…

Chi-Raq is a Spike Lee Bike Fail Video

I’m not supposed to be telling you this, but Black folks have culture tickers in the back of our brains. The tickers determine a point spread of cultural offerings against our actual, real world needs. When someone Black releases or is part of a film (or book, album or TV show) that directly purports to…