In honor of Black History Month, I thought I'd dedicate my first ever Twitter Moment to showcasing just how magical Black kids really are. Check it out below or on Twitter.
Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn
For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of the decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;
For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our
learning to be afraid with our mother's
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive
Happy birthday Audre Lorde!
It is undeniable that 2016 was the best year for Black music, from Lemonade and A Seat at the Table to The Life of Pablo and Blonde. These along with countless other projects by Black artists definitely had an impact on the music industry, the most notable of which changed the trajectory of their respective careers.
Some of these projects were recognized with 2017 Grammy nominations (excluding Frank Ocean's Blond, check out his recent rant about the Grammys on Tumblr), but after the award show many viewers felt like Beyoncé and Rihanna were unjustly snubbed of their Grammy nods. A broader discussion began that brought to light the Grammys' history of failing to properly acknowledge Black artists' achievements. So, here is a post dedicated entirely to Black Grammys. Below I've listed some of the best (and worst) moments for Black excellence at the 2017 Grammys:
On Sunday I sat down and thought about the past 366 days: What I've learned, problems I've faced, and what I hope to do in the next 365. I definitely wanted to come up with a way to celebrate, because for me this is definitely something to celebrate. I'll let you know now it may be a little much, but I'll start by simply saying saying thank you.
In celebration of my blog's first birthday on Friday (2.10.17), I'll be doing a giveaway contest! The winner will receive a:
-copy of my favorite book The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and
-$10 Amazon gift card!
*There will be one winner and the prizes will come in a bundle
-Follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts @kesifelton
-Comment on this post which of my posts from the past year has been your favorite
Winner will be announced on Friday, February 10, 2017
Follow Me on social media:
This weekend I went to see I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary directed by Raoul Peck, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, and written by the late James Baldwin. The movie is based around Baldwin’s 1979 letter to his literary agent Jay Acton about Remember This House. The book was to be Baldwin’s memoir about the assassinations of his three close friends-- Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. However, by the time he died in 1987, the book remained unfinished, with only a 30-page manuscript left behind.
Peck in a way completes the book, using Jackson’s voice to read Baldwin’s letters, supplements the narration with clips from various TV interviews and university lectures, and connects both with an interesting analyzation of American 20th century films and images from today’s #BlackLivesMatter movement to add to the conversation of race in America. Watch a clip from the film below:
The film definitely lived up to the positive reviews. It takes a handful of the most influential Civil Rights leaders and connects it to present-day to show that America isn’t exactly as progressed as we think we are. I Am Not Your Negro is a necessary documentary that forces everyone to take a long look in the mirror and figure out “what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.” Baldwin’s lowkey sarcasm is evident throughout the movie, which I found funny and slightly lightened the mood in the theater.
I will say that compared to others’ reviews on Twitter, I wasn’t as emotionally provoked by the first half of the film. Not to say that this topic doesn’t make me angry, because it definitely does. I was mostly shocked at the images from the funerals of Baldwin’s three slain friends. That close perspective on all three deaths was the one thing that was new to me. It wasn’t until the clip of Baldwin’s television appearance with philosopher Paul Weiss, in which Baldwin rebuts Weiss’ argument that Baldwin talks about race too much, that I felt the most passionate (I was sitting in my seat like “YES THANK YOU! LET THEM KNOW JAMES!!!). This moment accurately represents the conversation between Black people and the majority of America that still exists today. In general, I liked how the film brings up how deeply rooted racism is ingrained in American culture, and how people are more willing to maintain power than confront what has become blatantly obvious again with this past presidential election. Something Baldwin said that stuck with me is "I can only conclude what they feel through their institutions." I feel as though this is the biggest part of why racism in America is still so pertinent today, it has more so to do with the institution rather than people's feelings alone. I also agree with Rolling Stone in that Peck’s, use of Jackson’s narration brought Baldwin’s words to life in a really interesting way.
Click to view my interactive cheat sheet for I Am Not Your Negro. Click the photos and quote for sources and to see articles that explain each topic further.
Click the photo at the top of this blog post to take you to I Am Not Your Negro's official website (or click here) to see what theaters near you are playing it.