Essays on Oscar-nominated movies

In preparation for the Oscars on Sunday night, here are two recent essays I wrote on nominated movies. I won’t hold my breath after the Grammys travesty that robbed Bey’s Lemonade of all its richly deserved recognition,   and proved yet again that white mediocrity will always be recognized by the establishment over black excellence…But for the record, Team Moonlight in all its categories! Even best supporting actress, cuz Viola deserved to be nominated and to win in the best actress category for her role in Fences!

On Loving:

On Moonlight: ‘Moonlight’ Subtly Illuminates the Erasure of Miami’s Black Cubans

Two pieces on Beyoncé, Adele, and the Grammys

Before you read my take, go read these pieces by Dr. Brittney Cooper at Cosmopolitan

and Luvvie Ajayi

Here’s my piece on Bey and Adele published at CNN Opinion

And here’s my own take on the 2017 Grammys:

Lemonade was ghettoized at the Grammys

When Beyoncé’s tour de force album Lemonade won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards last night, I began to worry about her chances for Album of the Year. Queen Bey probably already knew what was likely to happen and gave an incredible acceptance speech explaining that her intention in making Lemonade was to “give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness, and our history — to confront issues that make us uncomfortable” (read full transcript), and speaking about the importance of representation within the most visible arenas of our society.

Continue reading “Two pieces on Beyoncé, Adele, and the Grammys”

Valentine’s Day essay: On Loving and Interracial Marriage: When Race Isn’t the Only Difference

Our story is not the Loving story. It is a tale of interracial love and marriage – like the story that is beautifully and poignantly represented in the Jeff Nichols film Loving –and yet, it’s so very different. Assuming a certain level of historical accuracy in the movie, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed respectively by Joel Edgerton and Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga) were relatively similar in terms of background, including aspects of class, region, and language. The only thing that separated them was race. This is not to minimize the huge significance of racial difference, particularly in the 1950s South, but only to emphasize that in terms of other aspects of their identity, they were actually quite compatible with each other. One of the main messages I took away from the movie was the gulf between the huge significance of race from a legal and social perspective, and its insignificance in the daily life of the Lovings. This story was not about a couple who set out to challenge a racist law, or even to take a stand on racial equality, at least not at first; rather it was about a man and woman in love, trying to do what was best for their family.

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day essay: On Loving and Interracial Marriage: When Race Isn’t the Only Difference”

A new chapter in my writing life: pop culture analysis

I’ve started to branch out and write more accessible pieces for non-academic outlets. I’m using Medium as a writing platform and Contently to share my clips. I have my first piece up on Medium now, published by The Outtake: “Orange is the New Black Dives into Latinx Identity Politics” – would love your feedback, thoughts, shares, retweets…

Right now I’m really into pop culture analysis, particularly TV and film in relation to race, representation, and identity politics. Expect more of this type of writing soon!

Hoping to go to Cuba before it “changes”? You’re late by 25 years

An article published yesterday by Andrés Pertierra in The Nation really struck a chord with me, so I feel compelled both to share it and my own thoughts on the subject. First, let me say, if you’re hoping/planning/thinking of going to Cuba for the first time and you’re a thoughtful, well-intentioned person who wants to express solidarity with the Cuban people, YOU NEED TO READ THIS:

Really, it should be required reading, especially for progressives who want to experience a “socialist paradise” before the onslaught of American tourism ruins the island. Did you read it yet? Did you detect the sarcasm behind my words? Continue reading “Hoping to go to Cuba before it “changes”? You’re late by 25 years”