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Black Panther (2018) Movie Review: A Call To Action

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During the 3 day weekend that America celebrates President George Washington, Black Panther (2018) came into theaters and is challenging the conversation of what it means to be an African American, the relationship between Black women and Black men, and the role of white allies in the conversation of Blackness.  Black folks, it is time for us to talk.

 

We Dismiss the White Ally

Black Panther is dismissing the concept of a White Ally within the issue of dealing with Blacks and all of the African descendant communities around the world.  For Everett Ross, we appreciate his service, and we acknowledge his assistance, but Ross represents the necessity of White people needing to sit back and just listen. For years, we, as Blacks, have had to listen and partner with Whites to help forward Blacks being able to gain Civil Rights in America and begin to live the Civil Liberties that are written in the Constitution and its Amendments. 

The moment of Ross being in the presence of M’Baku and not being able to verbalize his analysis of the situation is what White Americans need to understand – your voice is no longer necessary or wanted. Black America needs to deal with these issues amongst Black Americans and other people of African descent around the world without the input of White Americans.

The initial conversation between Black Panther and Ross reiterates how Ross does not even begin to respect Black Panther and his people.  During the interrogation of Klaw, Ross was able to connect with Klaw (who is not an American) simply because White people around the world are able to connect based on one principle – as Shuri stated they are “The Colonizers.”  Clearly, Colonizers around the world can connect even if Ross is a “good” Colonizer, his services are useful and we appreciate it.

Thank you for your contribution, but we got this.

As African Americans, we have always been in search of our past and our ancestors, but we never paused to think about if they have been in search of us. Click To Tweet

What Responsibility Do African Nations Have to African Americans?

Dripped in the imagery of the newly revised Roots, we are reminded that Black Panther is willing to take us to places that we never imagined.  As African Americans, we have always been in search of our past and our ancestors, but we never paused to think about if they have been in search of us.

Michael B. Jordan in his portrayal of Eric Killmonger, (and I would prefer to call him N’Jadaka), is deemed as an angry Black male.  Why is he labeled as an angry Black male?  Also, if he is an AngryBlack male, then why not?  Doesn’t he have the right to be angry?  He was the remnant of Africans who were left in America.  His mother was American, and his dad was Wakandan.  It is easy for people to see that he was abandoned from the elders of the Wakanda tribe, but let’s have a bigger question, “Why nations of Africa did you not come for us?”

We have consistently had the conversation of White people who enslaved our ancestors, but we need to start placing blame in another space – the nations of Africa.  Not only did they contribute to the slave trade, but they also never came to retrieve us or align with us to improve our lives in America.  Why did you not partner with us in our cities to help African Americans prosper?  Yes, we are Americans, but we are your descendants.  What is your responsibility to us? 

So, N’Jadaka comes back to Wakanda with the notion that he should have the opportunity to sit on the thrown.  Instead of entertaining that idea, T’Challa turns his back on him without giving N’Jadaka the opportunity to speak his truth and pronounce who he is.  It is the elders that want him to declare his truth, so they can deal with the consequences.  One would assume that T’Challa would want to give space for N’Jadaka because they are of the same bloodline, but after a lifetime of dreaming of “home,” it is “home” that turns its back on him.

When N’Jadaka sits on the thrown, he states that there are 2 billion people of African descent who are needing to be liberated. Fascinating idea, and yet we are to go back to the idea of What role does the African Nations have to the billions of people who are their direct descendants?

 

Black Women Matter

I have been explaining how Black Women are the backbone of Black men.  We have seen how important Black women were in the elections of Donald Trump and the Senate race of Roy Moore, but we have also seen it throughout history.  Why is anyone surprised that black women of Wakanda are strong and have some significance in with the leadership council, technology development, and the army? 

Let’s be clear, wherein American history amongst African Americans have Black men thrived without the sacrifice and care of Black women?  Even going through the history of African tribes, many of them were inherently maternal (before colonization).  With that being said, it is pretty clear that I can firmly state – Where would the Black Panther be if it was not for women? 

The technology is developed by a woman.  He was nurtured back to health by three women. It was a woman who made the decision to fight for the nation as a way of service to the nation.  In the end, women stood and fought for the installation of the Black Panther as the men sided with N’Jadaka. The men were for a more aggressive style of leadership that undercut women’s role within leadership and effectiveness within the governing that would eliminate their voice.  The women sided for collaboration and strived to retain their voice in governing, as they fought for T’Challa.

It must be intentional to think of the strength of women in the Black Panther (2018) movie is in alignment with the Black Panther Party.  Even though we know the leaders of the Black Panther Party were male, but the women implemented the programs.  They were the people who lead the Hot Breakfast program that was the beginning of the Head Start Program that was adopted by President Johnson and still is active to this day. 

In fact, it is there level of involvement within the Black Panthers that kept the organization moving as the leadership was in jail and on drugs.  We can argue the complexity of the program and the involvement of the federal government dismantling the organization, but the role Black women played in that movement is clear and significant.

 

What Now?

It is clear that we are now at a crossroads with this movie. 

Should we as Black people demand more from our partners, fathers, brothers, friends, and institutions about respecting us? 

Should we as Black Americans demand more respect and accountability from African nations, and in essence not ask for America alone to pay us reparations, but ask for these African nations to pay for the damage they have done to us? 

Should we seek partnerships amongst a variety of leaders who lead nations that are predominantly of African descent? 

Should we exile white allies completely until African Americans rebuild and start a “community”?

I don’t know, but this movie sparked a conversation and demands for us to respond.

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The Circle on Netflix Had A Racism Problem

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Bey Ain’t Slick

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The opinions expressed in this publication are those of Rafael Roden.

 

For far too long we’ve been giving her passes and today I say enough is enough. People are literally afraid to write about this shit because of the inevitable blowback from people who worship Beyoncé like white Brits worship their actual Queen monarch. So here goes…

Beyoncé is not above criticism. That’s the first thing. I understand the stance many Black people take when another Black person casts an unflattering light on your favorite Artist or celebrity, but not all of it is hating. A lot of it is warranted. And every charge I make in this article is coming from a major fan and someone who used to wanna collaborate with the woman. Understand that I have bias, but that’s not making me not wanna hold Beyoncé accountable for her trash ass actions as of late and the precedent it sets for aspiring “bosses”. And just know she ain’t the only member of the upper echelon guilty of this shit. I’mma take shots at a few other entertainment giants, just you wait.

What set this think piece I didn’t wanna find myself writing into motion was the information stirring around that Mrs. “of course sometimes shit go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator” is only paying her dancers and other various performance staff $250 a day without benefits when they are performing at the highest level in the world. I’m even flattering her in my critique so please uncock your pistols. I have caught up on all the tea and these claims are supported by many of the lead performers and solidarity exists within that community. It’s hard to substantiate every last bit of wrong in this whole ordeal, but that’s the crux of the situation. Take me at my word cause there are receipts for days.

Added this because apparently I can’t be trusted with my word.


Moving back retroactively to the Shawn Carter Foundation Gala (which is where that tacky ass clutch in the picture is from) we find our favorite vocal angel arm & arm with her sell out husband Jay Z (NFL partnership, nuff said) who gave out Rolex and bottles of champagne as invitations to a room full of people worth billions of dollars who only raised $6 million. That’s just stingy. But that’s been written about enough. I just think it’s crazy who get’s in these rooms in the name of seeming to authenticly coming from nothing. Like Fabolous. You know the dude that head butt his then girlfriend and knocked her teeth out? Not Beyoncé’s fault, hell no, but why are abusers around a self proclaimed Feminist? Why are you letting your man invite him? Why did Rihanna try and normalize him at her last few events (which I find quite disgusting considering her history)? The answer is money and optics. The message comes off as “rich black men who are seen as legendary can make the mistake of domestic violence and still deserve A Seat At The Table” (see also Nas who beat Kelis). I just can’t square these conflicts of interest. I need somebody to make it make sense. Because remember, birds of a feather flock together. Beyonce blink twice if you need help. I’m fucking serious. He cheated, who knows if there’s a domestic violence story in there. I don’t put shit past no man at this point. It’s also part of the reason why I stopped identifying as such.

Read the entire piece at RafaelRoden.com

 

 

 

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Welcome to Uncle Tom’s Haus of Koonery

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So in light of the great news of President Trump getting impeached. I was sent an article from a few twitter mutuals of an interview done by Mikelle Street interviewing everyone’s favorite problematic porn star Max Konner. I knew at that moment I would not receive any peace this week. The article at hand denoted that Konner was beginning his own talent agency for people of color. I did a double-take, but I been on this earth long enough to know a stunt when I see one. In the article, Konnor mentioned the need for porn actors of color needing proper tutelage and education before entering the pornography industry. Which I do agree with, but we also know that seeing the phrasing “people of color” does not mean black people and why would Konner exclusively help his own people? He wouldn’t, but that’s been made very clear that he has no intention of helping the Black LGBTQIA+ community after his behavior during the PR nightmare which and is still NoirMale.com

Noir Male

I have to be honest that I found the interview to be amazing and at minimal a cross-examination of Konner’s work history, work ethics, and very sorted and messy racially insensitive history. Konner acknowledges that there will be criteria for all those that apply to join the slaveshi-, sorry the Haus of Konner. 

He says in the article:

“Right now we have three exclusives: Derek ClineJabari Clutch, and Asher Lee. I have a bunch of other submissions but I’m taking my time to go through everything because it is a boutique talent management company. I am not just accepting everybody that applies. I’m trying to pick models who I feel like have what it takes to make it.”

Now, what this statement could subversively say so many things. Firstly, Jabari is the only black presenting model. Derek is racially ambiguous and Asher is Asian. Even in the first stride of selection, there is only one Black person in the mix (pun intended). Secondly, “boutique talent management company” is reading as “no fats, no fem” because knowing the shortness of sight that Konner has he may only present body boys and cis actors that are racially palatable.

Mr. Street follows up with the question:

“The release says that you all are prioritizing “models of color.” Are you referencing all models of color, specifically Black models, or will it be all models with an emphasis on models of color?”

Konner responds with:

“As of right now we are looking at all models of color. I’m trying to decide if I want to have one or two models that don’t necessarily fit that because in doing this I don’t want to become the problem that I’m trying to fight. There are so many avenues and so many arenas where we as models of color are shut down or shut out because of the color of our skin, and I don’t want this to be a thing where we say: OK it’s all models of color and anyone who is not that, get out. So I’m still toying around that, but right now we are exclusively models of color.”

My thoughts are that this is basically saying that “I’m gonna have some good ole boys in the club because I don’t want massa upset with me none.” I’m just saying. Rather than doing the right and altruistic thing and doing an all-black agency. Konner is going to appease the comfort of his white fan base in spite of the fact his black fan base was there for him when he was the porn actor Isaiah Foxx. Which if anything he owes that little boy the world because Konner is fully aware and present on the issues that BLACK porn actors face and what Isaiah a black bottom porn actor felt.

The thing that is further disturbing in the article is when Konnor says this:

“I do plan to send models from Haus of Konnor over to Noir Male but one of my big things is: if I send a model to a studio there’s agreement between me and that studio that nothing that has to do with that model’s race or nothing pertaining to the “BBC experience” is what that model is participating in. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve had no clue what I’ve been working on and then the movies come out and it’s like ‘Oh god!’”

This sounds very historically familiar. So during the slave trade, the Caribbean Islands was used as a large space for sex farms for slaves and “buck breaking”. 

Noted on RacistReport.org:

“These male slaves were purchase based entirely on the prerequisite of them possessing a large penis. Black men were routinely raped by their gay slave owners. The process was known as “breaking the buck.”

It involves a strapping Negro slave, who was defiant, was beaten with a whip till bloody in front of his entire slave congregation. The slave owner would cut down a tree and, with the help of the overseer, would then pummel the deviant “buck” into submission. Once the slave was worn down, the master had the other Negro slaves force him over the tree stump where his britches would be removed and he laid fully exposed buttocks, he would remove his own clothing and proceeded to savagely sodomize the buck in front his wife, family, friends, and children.”

Konnor is basically handing these gentlemen over to a problematic porn company ran by the also very racially problematic DJ Chi Chi LaRue. After the debacle with PrEP/U=U advocate, #TakedownTina activist, and now amateur porn actor Jacen Zhu. He stepped away from the company for their purposeful mishandling of race in the studio. We can not trust that Konner will have good intentions.

So let’s be clear. Is there a race issue in gay porn? Absolutely.

Should there be a space cultivated for porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes ma’am.

Should there be a space cultivated for black porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes sir!

Should Konner be the one doing it? No, not at this juncture and especially around his limited education on race.

Konnor has clearly acknowledged that there is a problem, which is good for him I guess. I just understand that there needs to be more work done to supplant footing for black LGBTQIA+ porn actors of all genders and body types and this attempt is half-cocked, lazy, and wildly remedial. He participating in the same foolish stunting that Noir Male did as well at their inception.

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