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the only thing i’ll say about jay z and solange

the only comment i’ll make about the jay z and solange elevator ufc match was captured on saturday night live over the weekend.  maya rudolph as beyonce at the end was genius.

after much scrutiny, props to the show’s black cast for knocking this one out of the park.

sneak peek at fall’s tv lineup

i’ve been pretty open on politics & fashion about not watching most prime time shows because the casts and storylines aren’t relatable.  well, this fall, i’ll have several shows to choose from that not only star black actors and actresses, but also have pretty engaging plots.

1. how to get away with murder is the newest creation of television genius shonda rhimes, creator of hit series grey’s anatomy and scandal.  the show stars academy award nominee viola davis as a no-nonsense criminal law professor who uses unconventional methods to defend her clients in the courtroom.

2. blackish is a comedy that stars anthony anderson and tracee ellis ross as a married couple whose upper middle class lifestyle has removed them from their black peers. anderson’s character is worried about his children being “blackish” and under his father’s watchful eye, played by lawrence fishbourne, has set out to connect his children to their black roots.  i’m  worried about the show falling into stereotypes and caricatures for punchlines, but the concept definitely reflects a relevant struggle.

 

3. empire is a drama created by lee daniels and stars terrance howard as a ceo of a hip hop record label and taraji p. henson as his ex-wife who served 17 years in prison on drug charges. the storyline includes greed, jealousy, homophobia, sex and lots of drama. i really don’t find terrance howard (or his relaxed hair) a credible hip hop mogul, but taraji p. henson gives me life so hopefully it will balance out.

slow clap for all the black directors, producers, actors and actresses who are working tirelessly to bring our images to television screens across america.

quvenzhane wallis will steal your heart as annie

proving that roles traditionally played by white actresses are ours for the taking, oscar nominee quvenzhane wallis is portraying the sassy orphan annie.  she joins cameron diaz and jamie foxx in the cutest remake of the musical that you’ve ever seen.  produced by jay-z and will smith, the movie debuts christmas day 2014.

i never watched snl…until now

i don’t watch saturday night live.  i remember being in high school, and when my mostly white classmates would reenact scenes from the show i’d be totally lost and slightly bored.  however, it’s not that i’m not a fan of sketch comedy, but i don’t typically watch television shows that, as a black woman, i find unrelatable.

recently,  snl has faced lots of scrutiny for its lack of diversity and kenan thompson’s comments that the black actresses who auditioned “weren’t ready.” black folx thought thompson’s comments were insane and the show was simply failing to meet the responsibility of creating a diverse cast.  writing for slate, tanner colby’s analysis of the show’s not only mostly white cast, but racially homogenous writers, staff and work environment is the perfect description of the difference between diversity and inclusion:

maya rudolph, for instance, has no shortage of talent, but her success on the show probably had as much to do with her ability to form relationships with white people as it did her ability to land a joke. because that’s what working at saturday night live is. it’s not performing live on television at 11:30 on saturday night. it’s hanging out with a peer group of mostly white writers, producers, and crew members and forming the relationships necessary to be given the opportunity to perform live on television at 11:30 on saturday night

according to colby, it takes not only a black actor or actress being invited to have a seat at the snl table, but for he or she to have the ability to form relationships with peers aka assimilate into the dominant group. then sasheer zamata happened.  she’s 27, has a drama degree from the university of virginia and will be joining the snl cast on january 18th.  oh, did i mention she’s black? and hilarious?  check out her standup comedy and see for yourself why i’ll be tuning into snl for the first time in my life next saturday night at 11:30.

zoe saldana, nina simone & black womanhood

for months, the media has been buzzing with the controversy surrounding actress zoe saldana being cast as nina simone in nina’s upcoming biopic.  many have criticized saldana for accepting the role despite very little resemblance to nina simone.  i’ve consciously stayed out of this media melee, instead using it as an opportunity to evaluate my personal preconceptions about colorism and black hair.  however, shock entered my body when i saw the image below; i have to share some thoughts.

zoe-saldana-nina-simone2nina simone was most famous from the 1950-1970s for her music and activism.  she was well-known for fighting the music industry’s condemnation for her dark skin and natural hair. in fact, her hair, complexion and african-inspired style were political statements that she used to present her progressive socio-political analysis to the world.  her daughter, simone kelly, told ebony magazine that kimberly elise or viola davis would have been great selections to portray her mother in a film.

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