Nathalie Emmanuel’s role as Ramsey shows intelligence is the not-so-secret ingredient in Black girl magic

Image: Universal

The Fast and the Furious is 20 years old. That means an entire generation has grown up on this franchise revolving around cars, family, loyalty, and improbable yet thrilling stunts. And that’s not a bad thing. It means that today’s generation has come of age with a summer blockbuster staple now revolving around multiracialism and globalism. As The Fast and Furious has continued, its vision of the world has undeniably broadened. It’s no longer the original in which the West Coast, L.A. specifically, is the center of its universe. These days, it’s even expanding beyond Earth itself.

It’s a vision…

Smoke from Burning Buildings During the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 (Library of Congress/Public Domain)

What Black Women Filmmakers Dawn Porter, Deborah Riley Draper, and Salima Koroma Are Teaching Us About Tulsa and the “Future of Black Freedom” This Juneteenth and Beyond

By Ronda Racha Penrice

Because the official centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre happened over Memorial Day weekend, culminating in the first-ever appearance of a sitting U.S. President acknowledging the tragedy, many falsely assume that chapter of American history is over. That’s why Dawn Porter’s Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, which premiered June 18 on National Geographic and Hulu, just in time for Juneteenth, is important.

What happened in Tulsa is…

Commemorating The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

The popular TV series opened eyes about basic American history

Regina King stars in “Watchmen,” a series on HBO that referenced the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Photo: Getty Images

Prior to the fall 2019 premiere of HBO’s Watchmen, far too few people had heard of the Tulsa Race Massacre, as it is now known. And a show, even one starring Academy-awarding actress Regina King and based off a cult comic series of the same name, yet far removed from the horrific event, was not the likely vehicle to hear about it either. But the elements of the 12-issue comic book limited series, written and illustrated by Brit duo Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics in 1986, lent itself to this Tulsa narrative.

“This is one…

Black women have contributed to the ceremony in more ways than acting. It’s time to give us our flowers (and our awards).

Photo By Getty Images

It’s well-known that Halle Berry is the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar. It’s one of the few ways in which a Black woman has been visibly recognized during the ceremony. The Ohio native achieved this “milestone” for her role as Leticia Musgrove, a woman whose life as a mother and wife is filled with tragedy, 19 years ago at the 74th Academy Awards. …

When racialized horror gets too deep, some viewers tune in while others tune out

Amazon’s Them (officially Them: Covenant) is out, and let’s just say Twitter has largely not been here for it. Over the weekend, the series trended heavily. Executive producer Lena Waithe was dragged relentlessly as many erroneously pegged her as the series’ creator and writer. (Let’s be real: Some of the venom directed Waithe’s way is residual from her 2019 film, Queen & Slim.) But Them’s creator and main writer is newcomer Little Marvin. Very few biographical details are available on Marvin, but he is an alumnus of corporate America.

To fuel the horror in Them, Little Marvin turned to California…

The legendary costume designer talks power, beauty, and film

When it comes to representing how Black people dress on the big screen, Ruth E. Carter is unparalleled. Her gift and passion for the craft makes her among the best costume designers to ever do it. Thanks to her hard work, talent, and diligence, we show up — even in our clothing—whether it be the past or the present.

“Ruth Carter is a genius,” comedy icon Eddie Murphy proclaimed via video during the ceremony of the legendary costume designer receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday, February 25. …

White people solo-judging television and film is so normative for them that it didn’t even seem wrong until recently

John Boyega accepts the Best Supporting Actor-Television award for “Small Axe” via video from Angela Bassett at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards on February 28, 2021. Photo: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

It’s easy to get swept up in the big emotions of it all. Daniel Kaluuya’s Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture–Drama for playing Black Panther Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah helped kick off the show. Fellow Brit John Boyega followed him with his win for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film for director Steve McQueen’s ambitious Small Axe series Amazon’s Prime Video. Then there was Chadwick Boseman’s posthumous win as Best Actor in a Motion Picture–Drama for his role as Levee in the Denzel Washington-produced Ma Rainey’s Black…

‘I think the reason her story is still relevant is because it’s never truly been told’

The United States vs. Billie Holiday” Photo: Hulu

If you’ve seen Lady Sings the Blues and think you have The United States vs. Billie Holiday figured out, you are in for a surprise. A shock even. For decades, the picture most of us have had of Billie Holiday is one of a hopeless drug addict with awful taste in men, save for the one man, played by Billy Dee Williams, who loved Holiday fiercely but still couldn’t pull her from the clenches of drugs.

Many people also think of her solely as the woman who sang the antilynching song, “Strange Fruit,” back in 1939. And, if we are…

In a new book, Michelle Duster shares intimate details of her great-grannie, Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells. Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty images

Ida B. Wells isn’t the household name she should be, especially when it comes to her place alongside other early civil rights activists. Very much a contemporary of W.E.B. DuBois, who was six years her junior, and Booker T. Washington, six years her senior, Wells was a suffragist, anti-lynching activist, and co-founder of the NAACP. Thankfully, her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster is sharing these details in a new book, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells. …

Music is integral to the movement. Take a listen.

Photo illustration; image sources: Rob Verhorst, Agence France Presse, Paul Natkin, Robert W. Kelley/Getty Images

Music, as TV One highlights in its new special, Unsung Presents: Music & The Movement, has been a huge part of the fight for justice and equality. Just as love songs, party anthems and classic cuts can accentuate our moods, the same songs can also help bond us together as a collective as we fight to be heard, seen and, most importantly, respected. These five songs are prime examples of how music has done just that. Add them to your freedom playlist for MLK Day and beyond.


Today it’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t celebrate the…

Ronda Racha Penrice

ATL-based Ronda Racha Penrice is a writer/cultural critic specializing in film/TV, lifestyle, and more. She is the author of Black American History For Dummies.

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