we’ve been fans of issa rae since the first season of the misadventures of awkward black girl. if you’ve never seen the show: get your life. the uber talented writer, actress and producer is gaining major star power with a new book and hbo pilot. the show, called insecure, chronicles “the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman.” let’s hope the pilot makes it into production! in the meantime, read her book, watch her you tube channel and laugh hard.
1. it’s an age-old strategy that defense attorneys attempt to criminalize the victim of a crime. however, in the murders of unarmed black people this strategy has been a ploy to categorize the victims based upon prevailing stereotypes. clothing, loud music, marijuana, alcohol and “menacing behavior” were all made relevant in the murders of tryavon martin, jordan davis, darius simmons and now renisha mcbride. syreeta mcfadden writes for the guardian that “renisha mcbride’s killer wants the jury to think that she was the real criminal.” in her piece, she highlights research around implicit bias and society’s perceptions of blackness that make me wonder if justice will ever be served for the senseless murders by black people by whites.
2. as an nfl player, you get a longer suspension for smoking pot than uppercutting your spouse. shocking i know, but ray rice received a mere slap on the wrist after news emerged that he knocked out his wife in an atlantic city elevator. when sportscaster stephen a. smith seemed to condone rice’s actions by stating the need for women to be held accountable for provoking men, domestic violence advocates around the world rolled over in their graves. professor earl smith writes for the huffington post that the problem is a sports industry and society that has allowed a harmful definition of masculinity to run amok.
3. it’s refreshing to see sociopolitical commentary wrapped in humor and comedian aamer rahman is one of the best. you might remember his standup routine critiquing imperialism went viral last year, and he continues to be a conscious entertainer ridiculing NATO, israel, western governments and american pop icons during sold-out shows. check him out in an interview with ceasefire.
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.
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.
issa rae is one of my favorite actresses. she’s smart and absolutely hilarious — if you haven’t seen the misadventures of an awkward black girl then i suggest you go to youtube and get your life. evolving into a media mogul, issa recently ventured into the world of satirical christian hip hop. now i always chuckled at the idea of christian rap music, i mean it’s something about spitting 16 bars about christ that just doesn’t get at the essence of hip hop. issa takes this idea a bit farther by creating a HA-larious song thanking jay dot cee (read jesus christ) for her exploits as a gangster.
some black folx have been up in arms about issa’s song and video, calling it disrespectful (see the comments under the video). okay, maybe if you’re a die-hard christian, then i can see how the concept may make you uncomfortable; however, my bigger issue is that black people just don’t seem to understand satire. if we can laugh at tyler perry’s meet the browns, a blatant play upon negative stereotypes, then we can certainly find the humor in the paradoxical idea of issa rae as a christ-loving-crip-walking rapper who throws up the cross as her gang sign. i can’t be the only black person who goes to church once a month that finds this funny…