African American

Good Hair From Root To End: Why Is Nappiness Still Considered A Sin?

An advertisement for Good Hair. Written by Janyce Denise Glasper “Why should you get a perm?” asks Chris Rock, narrator and co-writer of Good Hair, speaking to a little girl who has endured the burning sensations of relaxers–“the nap antidote” and/or “creamy crack” since age three. “Because you’re supposed to,” she replies. Good Hair. It […]

‘The Sapphires’ and Solidarity Between People of Color

The Sapphires (2012)   This is a guest post written by Jaya Bedi. I predict that this is going to be a very popular film.  Well, it already is a popular film — in Australia. But I can already tell that its about to become a classic with me and my friends — up there […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: The Roundup

Kerry Washington “Mammy, Sapphire, or Jezebel, Olivia Pope Is Not: A Review of Scandal“ by Atima Omara-Alwala Many writers and film critics have written about the three usual archetypes that black women have fit into in popular culture representation. And it is through this prism Scandal is viewed. The Jezebel, who is very sexually promiscuous; […]

Ava DuVernay’s ‘Middle of Nowhere’ a Complicated, Transformational, and Feminist Love Story

Written by Megan Kearns. I often talk about how I want to see more female-fronted films, created by female filmmakers, including women of color on-screen and behind the camera. I want complex, strong, intelligent, resilient, vulnerable, flawed women characters. I want more realistic depictions of love: tender, supportive yet complicated. I want my films to […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: ‘Eve’s Bayou’ belongs in the canon

Written by Robin Hitchcock. Eve’s Bayou dvd cover Eve’s Bayou, Kasi Lemmons’s 1997 debut as a screenwriter and director, should be seen by every movie lover, every filmmaker, every storyteller. It’s a nearly perfect narrative feat, but it only generated minor waves among film critics upon its release (although Roger Ebert did name it his […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: A Post About ‘Community’s; Shirley? That’s Nice.

Written by Lady T.  Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett on Community Anyone who has absorbed even a little bit of pop culture can see that the “sassy ethnic woman” archetype is ubiquitous in television and film. Women of color – particularly black and Latina women – are often used as sassy, finger-snapping side characters […]

A Post About ‘Community’s Shirley? That’s Nice.

Written by Lady T.  Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett on Community Anyone who has absorbed even a little bit of pop culture can see that the “sassy ethnic woman” archetype is ubiquitous in television and film. Women of color – particularly black and Latina women – are often used as sassy, finger-snapping side characters […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: A Celebration of Black Women on Film in 2012

This guest post by Yvonna Russell previously appeared at The Huffington Post and is cross-posted with permission. Beasts of the Southern Wild Last year I proudly blogged about Octavia Spencer’s Supporting Actress Oscar win for The Help. Happily, this is the year of milestones and giving major props to the women of color actresses on […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: Talk About a ‘Scandal’: ‘Bunheads,’ the Whitey-Whiteness of TV, and Why Shonda Rhimes Is a Goddamn Hero

This guest review by Diane Shipley previously appeared at Bea Magazine and is cross-posted with permission. I love Scandal. Halfway through the second season, it’s still some of the most sharp, fast-paced, thrilling TV I’ve ever sat through. Sure, it’s often improbable and features silly banter, but it’s never predictable, and Kerry Washington shines like […]

The Unfinished Legacy of Pam Grier

Pam Grier was the first black woman to be on the cover of Ms. Magazine (August 1975). Jamaica Kincaid wrote the article, “Pam Grier: The Mocha Mogul of Hollywood.”  Written by Leigh Kolb[Warning: spoilers ahead!] The first time I saw Pam Grier in a film, I blurted out, “Why isn’t she in everything?” I first saw Grier […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: The Terrible, Awful Sweetness of ‘The Help’

Mmm…empty calories. Like The Help? Guest post written by Natalie Wilson, originally published at Ms. Magazine. Cross-posted with permission. If Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help was an angel food cake study of racism and segregation in the ’60s South, the new movie adaptation is even fluffier. Like a dollop of whip cream skimmed off a multi-layered […]

Women of Color in Film and TV: ‘Scandal’ Pilot: Loosen Up Your Buttons, Baby

Scandal Guest post written by Nakeesha Seneb, originally published at Structured Breakdown. Cross posted with permission. I think Shonda Rhimes, and her writing round table, are some of the most prolific storytellers of our times. Yes, I said prolific and I’m going to stand by such a big SAT word. Prolific actually means producing much […]