Category Archives: women

“Think Like a Man…”: Are you shocked at the success of this movie?

IF you are shocked at the success of “Think Like a Man“, I have one word for you.  “Boomerang“.

1992 was the year and Boomerang was THE movie.  I love that movie.  I wish they would get the band back together and make a sequel!  Someone please tell Reginald Hudlin that there is money in the air.  And tell Eddie Murphy too…his last few movies have been terrible to so-so.

Wikipedia: Released in the United States on July 1, 1992, Boomerang received mixed reviews from film critics. Nevertheless, the film was a commercial success, ranking as the 18th highest grossing film in North America that year. Boomerang earned over $131 million worldwide during its theatrical run.

There hasn’t been a black relationship movie with that kind of star power behind it in a minute.  Hallie Berry, Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Martin Lawrence, Eartha Kitt…wow.  If you can think of another movie with a majority black cast that can compare, please comment below.

In terms of talent, I’m comparing the 2 casts and overall star power moment in time to moment in time.  The cast of “Boomerang” went on to do a lot of great acting and many were young and full of potential at the time.  I don’t think this is a total apples to apples comparison talent and acting wise.  That being said, I can see many parallels.

The other star power involved is that of Steve Harvey.  Harvey is said to have an audience of about 6 million listeners in more than 60 markets.  With that following and Oprah’s blessing of the book this movie is based on…I’m not surprised that the movie reached #1 and made 33 million.

Sidenote: Yes, yes, I know who Tyler Perry is, but I don’t put his movies in the same category.  Not taking anything away from his success, I think of him as a phenomenal businessman who is very focused on black audiences.  I don’t think he’s trying to put out mainstream movies for mainstream success.   He’s doing what has worked for him for years, just on a huge scale due to his success.

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“The Help”: Is it just me or…

…are black people not feeling this movie trailer?  I’ve witnessed a very conflicted reaction to the trailer of the new movie “The Help” recently, in a movie theater that was filled with black folk.  Conflicted is the best way I can describe the mix of disgust and curiosity.  Am I surprised? No. It’s 2011, but the subject matter and images still sting.  Nothing like a dark-skinned black woman serving white folks in a maids uniform…in a period movie…set in the deep south.  Sigh.  Especially when it centers around a classic white savior character.  Since it takes place during the Civil Rights era, I think the author could have done a better job of developing the black lead character.  However, would Hollywood even make such a movie if it didn’t have a white lead?  I don’t know.

Unlike a lot of people I know, I read the book last year.  I can see how the movie trailer is off-putting without the book as reference.  I had some problems with the book, but overall I thought it was a decent read given the full context of who wrote it and the back story presented.  At times, reading it was heart wrenching for me as a black woman whose family is from Mississippi (mom’s side) and who’s great-grandmother was a maid for several white families.  Parts of the story were plain old scary, as racism sometimes is.

I don’t know for sure how this movie is going to be received by the black community.  I think Michele Wallace’s recent review in Essence is dead on (if they post it to the site, I’ll link to it).  In my opinion, this is not going to be a celebrated movie (like “The Color Purple”), but I’m glad that great actresses like Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson are taking on the roles in this film so that they are played with dignity.

One more point that doesn’t help: A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects – Yep, a black maid, named Ablene, that worked for Kathryn Stockett’s older brother is suing her.  Dag! At least name the main black character in your book something other than your brother’s REAL, black maid’s name.  Come on!  To add insult, the woman says that part of the storyline was taken from her life.

NY Times | “Ablene Cooper, a 60-year-old woman who has long worked as a maid here, has filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of the best-selling novel “The Help,” about black maids working for white families in Jackson in the 1960s.

In the complaint, Ms. Cooper argues that one of the book’s principal characters, Aibileen Clark, is an unpermitted appropriation of her name and image, which she finds emotionally distressing.

It is more complicated than that. For the past dozen years, Ms. Cooper has worked for Ms. Stockett’s older brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Carroll, and still does.

“Ain’t too many Ablenes,” Ms. Cooper said at a law office after a day’s work at the Stocketts, for whom she has helped raise two children. Ms. Cooper also said that she had their support in her legal quest.

“What she did, they said it was wrong,” Ms. Cooper said of the Stocketts, members of a prominent Jackson family. “They came to me and said, ‘Ms. Aibee, we love you, we support you,’ and they told me to do what I got to do.””

Quote from Viola Davis in the August issue of Essence magazine:

”Of course I had trepidations. Why do I have to play the mammy? But what do you do as an actor if one of the most multifaceted and rich roles you’ve ever been given is a maid in 1962 Mississippi? Do you not take the role because you feel like in some ways it’s not a good message to send to Black people? No. The message is the quality of the work. That is the greater message… As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences – experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.”

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Thoughts on the Casey Anthony Trail aka. Sit Down, Nancy Grace!

I didn’t get into the Casey Anthony Trial too much.  I thought it was a tragedy on many different levels, and the media circus just turned me off.  I cared, but there are hundred of children who are killed, molested, etc. everyday and no one is putting their stories on the cover of magazines, or dedicating whole broadcasts to their memory.  American Hypocrisy…we’re all guilty.

Anyway.  Every child is precious.  That’s my point.

Now…on the Casey Anthony Trial, I have these points;

  • Casey Anthony Defense Attorney Flips Off Media Following Verdict – BWAHAHAHAH!  Too funny.
  • If you say the defendant was a party girl, then you must have proof that will stand up against a whole gang of witnesses who say she was a good mother.  You have to have proof.  Remember.  Law school and all.  Sigh…
  • I believe the allegations of sexual molestation against George Anthony.  I think the grandfather may have been touching Caylee.  Don’t be fooled by old age and a suit people.  I think some sick shit was going on that family.  Casey needs some help.  Remember victims are more prone to stay victims.  Also, you never know what a woman will do to protect her child.  Some slave women would rather kill their children than let them be taken.  You think a woman who’d been molested and was mentally disturbed wouldn’t consider taking her child’s life instead of seeing her be abused?
  • Why didn’t the prosecutor go for manslaughter in the first place?
  • Why was the prosecutor laughing during the closing arguments?  I KNOW that didn’t help his case in the eyes of the jury.
  • Who paid for Casey Anthony’s defense?  I know old boy was expensive.
  • Did prosecutor Ashton think he was going to make a name for himself with this case?  You know the answer is yes.
  • Oh, I was cracking up when the judge called the guy up to the front who flipped bird.  That was funny.
  • Why are people even wondering what would have happened if she was black?  This is not the O.J. Trail, people!  There have been a lot of public cases of white women killing their kids.  Some go to jail, some have gotten off on mental illness.  This is not new.  There is racism in America, and we know this.  Thank goodness we didn’t have to witness a black family in this particular drama.
  • I think Nancy Grace has reached a new level of bitch-assed-ness?  She is just a pundit for profit, in my opinion.  I really don’t think she genuinely cares.  Think of all the people she really could help.  Nope, just a TV personality.  I don’t know why people expect her to be on the level of a real lawyer who is practicing the law.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that.  What do you guys think?

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Django Unchained: I’m not interested in any movie where black women are repeatedly raped

I don’t know about you, but a movie featuring mildly thought out black female slave characters who are repeatedly raped at a club for white slave owners is not my idea of a great film.  I don’t want to see a female slave raped in front of her husband.  I don’t want to see her tortured and degraded…or locked in a cage naked.  OH and I’m not too keen about this content combined with a whole lot of other blaxploitation style slave torture (Whippings, beatings, etc).

What am I talking about?  Django Unchained.  The upcoming Quentin Tarantino film set to be released in Dec 2012 that black women need to start protesting now.  I mean really!!  We need to get on this, SIS. (I’m not going to even start on how I’m not for this movie coming out the month after Obama wins…again.  Let’s be real, no black person will want to see this if he loses either.)  Remember when Disney tried to give the first Black Princess the name “Maddy” (Too close to Mammy)?  Yep, WE got that changed and that wasn’t as bad as this.

Some sistas are ready to organize: “If all goes as the leaked script has planned for this “comedy”, audiences will get to see the character “Broomhilda”, an enslaved Black woman, naked for almost her entire time on screen, flashing her breasts on a slave auction block, and graphically raped – repeatedly – throughout the movie, at least 4 or 5 times, by individual and groups of white men. It’s also reported that this character is degraded in other ways throughout the movie, like being doused in mud, locked in a cage, and raped in front of her husband. Supposedly, all in good fun. And judging from Tarantino’s history of extremely graphic and offensive imagery in his past “comedic” works such as “Pulp Fiction”, the imagery used to degrade Black women in this so-called “comedy” will not be lighthearted fare. ” (Stop The Media Smear Campaign Against Black Women)

The script leaked and the reviews are all over the internet from those who have seen it.  Sure, Sure, a script can change and this one should if what I’m reading is correct.  Jamie Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington have been named as potential actors interested (Here is a list of the roles in the movie).  I don’t think they would sign on to something as terrible as what I’ve read, but you never know.  The economy is bad.  Hell, Jamie did star in “Booty Call”.  He’s apparently up for the lead role.  Funny thing, people who’ve read the script are saying that the lead is not the “Mandigo”/Nat Turner role people think it’s going to be.  He’s playing second fiddle most of the film to a German bounty hunter who takes him under his wing.  Think of Tommy Lee Jones working with Will Smith’s character in Men in Black…but make Will a slave.  Yeah, something like that.  A slave revolt/retribution movie with a white male lead as the star.  That’s Hollywood.

Shadow and Act says: “I’ve Read Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” Script, And, Well, It’s Not Nat Turner’s Revolt…”

“Speaking of its blaxploitation influences… regarding the lead female character in this, named Broomhilda, Django’s slave wife, whom he’s separated from, and seeks. She’s the lead female in the film, but her part is limited to really just physicalities. She has the most screen time of any other woman in the film, which is why I call her the lead female character, but, really, there’s no Shosanna in this one, as there was in Inglorious Basterds. The black female “lead” here doesn’t get the same kind of dignified treatment that Tarantino gave Shosanna. Not even close. Yes, I know it’s a different time altogether, but, I’m sure he could have afforded Broomhilda some complexities, and maybe even made her a heroine in her own right.

There are some 4 or 5 scenes in which the she’s, shall we say, “exposed”… i.e. naked; and they felt gratuitous to me; 2 in which she’s raped by white men. When we first meet her, she’s on the auction block and asked to bare her breasts to potential buyers; later, she’s chased through a hotel, through hallways, and lobbies, etc, by a slave master, completely naked, after being woken up from sleep, with a whip across her naked body; and still later, she’s locked up naked in a steel box as punishment for trying to run away. Yes, I’m sure these are all scenarios that very well likely could have played out at the time; however, Tarantino could have opted to depict her in another light altogether, but instead chose this less flattering, exploitative one.”

I feel a campaign a-brewing to get the makers of this flick to scrap some of that exploitative sexual violence towards black women.   Oh and I’m sure that people (Spike Lee) will be mad about use of the N-word.  It will be Roots all over again for some of you, since it’s a period piece. If people thought there were a lot of N-words thrown around in “Jackie Brown” or “Pulp Fiction”, they haven’t seen anything yet.

I hope the script is a dry run because the concept his potential.  Hey, I’m up for a slaves vs. masters revenge movie.  Sure Quentin, show or all the brutality and violence.  Put it in people’s faces.  However, historical accuracy doesn’t call for this level of sexual violence against black women.  It’s not funny.  It’s in bad taste.

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So, We’re All Ugly Just Because Some People Aren’t Into Black Chicks?

Personal Opinion is not fact.  Asking men about their preferences when it comes to women and attaching some pseudoscience to it doesn’t make your research air tight.  I need someone to explain the concept of opinion polls to the blogger over at Psychology Today who had the audacity to try to pass his bias off as science.  The title of the blog post I’m talking about is “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? Why black women, but not black men?”. Psychology Today has since taken the post down, but you can read it here.  You can read more about this here as well.

Here’s an excerpt:

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Personally, I’m outraged about this.  Not surprised, but outraged.  Black women birth black babies and further the black race.  Thus, “they” must attack, berate, and abuse us in the media or otherwise.  Don’t believe me?  Google “Michelle Obama”.

There is also a long history of psychology research focusing on the suggested inferiority of Black people.  Has history taught us nothing?  It has taught us to know racist and eugenic talk from the psychological community a mile a way.

To the author:
You might as well use “negroid” or “ape-like” in your piece, Mr. Kanazawa.  “The only thing I can think of…”, you say??  That sounds like you are trying to pass off your opinions as fact.  Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder.  Just say that you don’t find black women attractive and that your opinion is shared by some other men.  This is America and we have the right to voice or opinions.  We all know what color Barbie is and that the European standard of beauty is the STANDARD.  You as an Asian man know the struggles that Asian women go through trying to conform.  As a person of color, you should realize how people of color in America see themselves differently than how those outside of their race see them.

Black women are not less attractive, as your title states.  Opinion is just opinion.  Men just like what they like.  As an old song said, “If you don’t like it, don’t knock it.   Somebody else might wanna rock it.”

Questions

  • What is “AddHealth”?
  • Who paid for this study?

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Sue the Bastard, Shirley: Libel and Shirley Sherrod

Sometimes bloggers forget that we have to consider the same laws and rules of the land that everyone else does.  It’s one thing to switch some video footage around to create a funny mashup or to edit audio to make it sound like someone said something that they didn’t.  It’s another thing to pass your edited footage off as the real thing with no disclaimer.

Most reasonable people who run websites know that you have to let the public in on the deception at some point.  Humor goes a long way when it comes to this.  People get the hint when things are funny or outrageous.  They say, “Hey!!  That’s not real right?!?!” not “Oh my God!  How terrible!”.   However, the editing that conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart did to footage of former Dept. of Ag staffer Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function was not your common funny video mashup one could find on YouTube and forward on to co-workers and friends.  No need for me to rehash that whole drama of her firing, people backpedaling after realizing the deception, etc.  You know the story.

I’m happy to see that Ms. Sherrod is SUING Breitbart.  At the time that this happened, she was a private citizen doing her job, not a public figure or celebrity who doesn’t enjoy the same legal protection because of their status.  Defamation is defamation.  Breitbart should have attacked the NAACP as an organization if he had an axe to grind (which is what seems to be the case), instead of going after a government employee.

Mrs. Sherrod has accused Mr. Breitbart, employee Larry O’Connor and the unnamed source of the video with defamation, representing her in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 11 in Superior Court in the District of Columbia, seeks the removal of the video and related blog posts from Mr. Breitbart‘s site and monetary compensation, including punitive damages, to “punish the defendants’ reprehensible conduct and to deter its future occurrence.

“Defendants deliberately edited the full video of Mrs. Sherrod‘s 43-minute speech down to a short, highly misleading two-and-a-half minute clip that defendants knew, or should have known, would portray Mrs. Sherrod in a false and defamatory manner,” the lawsuit stated. – source

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Video: Whitney Houston & Kim Burrell SANG At BET’s Celebration Of Gospel Read more: Whitney Houston & Kim Burrell Perform At BET’s Celebration Of Gospel

I’m LOVING this!  Oh, I feel like an old church mother on the front pew of the church house. 

Whitney is not back to her old vocal stylings, BUT this is the best I’ve heard her sing in YEARS!  Leave it to Kim Burrell to help a sista out.

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Scott Sisters: I don’t like Haley Barbour, However…

…he gets 2 1/2 cool points for pardoning the Scott Sisters. He still reminds me of Boss Hog from Dukes of Hazard a little to much for me to even jokingly be comfortable with him as a viable candidate for President.  When I hear him talk I fully expect to be sprayed with a firehose, knocking the “Ain’t I A Man” poster out of my hands.  He sounds racist…like people say “You sound ghetto”, so don’t act like I’m being harsh.  I don’t think I’m being racist.  At a minimum, I am judging him due to his accent and the region he represents.

There is southern and then there is Mississippi.  When I heard about the Scott Sister’s story, my soul said that the place of my mother’s people has not changed much since it’s bloody days of lynching, murder, overt racism and “putting negroes in their place”.  Here’s a synopisis of their story from the NAACP’s Letter of Petition to Barbour:

Jamie and Gladys Scott – the “Scott Sisters” – have been incarcerated in Mississippi for the last 16 years for an armed robbery which, according to court testimony, yielded $11. They have consistently denied involvement in the crime. Although neither of the Scott Sisters had a prior criminal record, they were each sentenced to an extraordinary double life sentence.

The presiding judge in their trial, Judge Marcus Gordon, has a history of racially biased rulings, including granting bail to the KKK murderer of the three civil rights workers: Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

Furthermore, Jamie Scott now has lost renal function in one of her kidneys and cannot survive without a transplant. She has suffered repeated infections and been hospitalized due to unsanitary prison conditions. The Department of Corrections will not allow tests for kidney compatibility even though numerous volunteers have come forward.

Also, at the time of their arrest, Jamie was 22 years old and Gladys was 19 years old and pregnant. Two African-American youth, who admitted taking the money, stated at the Scott Sisters’ trial that they falsely implicated the sisters in order to receive a reduced sentence.  From what I read, the youth did end up in jail, but only served about 3 years.

NPR reported that Republican Gov. Haley Barbour decided in December to release them. “One condition: That 35-year-old Gladys follow through on her offer to donate a kidney (provided that doctors say it’s safe for her to do so) to 38-year-old Jamie, who needs regular dialysis…”  Um…there is always a catch, huh.  How about you just let them go because the evidence and sentence are shady and let them handle their family business without any intrusion??

Anyway…I just wanted to give my 2 cents on ole Haley since the 2012 election predictions and in full swing and people are wondering if he will run.  It took TOOO long for these women to receive justice.  However, I’m glad that Gov. Barbour saw the light and released them.  That being said, I agree with Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Daily Voice columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson suggested the action was being taken, in part, because “Barbour sniffs the presidency,” a sentiment echoed by some others. “The governor of Mississippi did this for political reasons,” the sisters’ mother, Eveyln Rasco, told WAPT TV in Jackson. “He did it because I heard he was running for president,” she said. “I don’t think he did it because he opened his heart to do it.” – Daily Voice

I guess he’ll have a defense for accusations of racism on the campaign trail, huh?

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“Baby Momma” and other things that are not job titles

“Baby Momma” is not a job title.  It should not be the period at the end of your life’s run-on sentence.  I don’t care if your Baby Daddy is Lil Wayne and you’re standing at Rikers Island today with arms wide open and a fresh weave (all 3…I mean 4 of yall…I think…hell I don’t know how many chicks have had Lil Wayne’s kids!).

I know a whole lot of strong single moms out there who are not just “baby mommas”.  They are working professionals, artists, spiritual sages, supportive friends, and so much more.  I’m seeing a wave on TV and online (blogs mostly) where black women who have had babies by male stars are simply referred to as “So-in-so’s Baby Momma”.  Not the “Girlfriend” or “Ex-girlfriend”.  Not the “Mother of his child”.  No acknowledgement of the fact that some of these women are stars in their own right, business owners, etc.  I take issue with this because we live in an aspirational society where we see black girls striving to be video vixens.  I’m talking “stand there and shake you butt” chicks, not I have a “M.F.A in Dance from Howard” professional dancers.  (I can respect strippers more than video models because they have a regular gig and can work a 40 hour week.)  Will young girls looking for acceptance and wanting the fame decide that being the “Baby Momma” of some notable man is the new route to stardom?

Just because you get a check doesn’t make it a job.  Things happen.  A lot of women are single moms, but most of the ones I know would not suggest someone take on that role in an effort to come up in the world.  It’s not different than aspiring to win the lottery or play for the NBA…most that try won’t win and most try won’t play.

Other things that aren’t job titles:

  • BOSS – Said the way Fantasia’s brother says it.  If you don’t have employees on a payroll, you’re not a boss
  • Jumpoff
  • Video Vixen – Not the same as a model
  • Rapper – If you are over the age of 40 and you’re not legend in the game.  It could be a hobby, though.

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What if Michelle Obama said half the stuff Christine O’Donnell said?

Can you imagine what would happen if Michelle Obama said that she studied witchcraft…But it’s ok…because she never actually joined a coven?  Fox News would have a field day.  Most evangelicals equate Wiccans with Satanists, but an admission like this might be considered minor.  You see, I’m almost sure many of them consider being a Muslim as far worse that either.  Just my opinion. Maybe that’s why they aren’t tripping about comments made years ago by Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell on “Politically Incorrect”.

If the First Lady ever admitted practicing Voodoo or dabbling in Islam or considering Athiesm…It would be ON and poppin…like popcorn!  LOL

I just love this quote from Bill Maher – “It’s funny to me, Chris, because this is the woman who claimed on another one of our ‘Politically Incorrect’ episodes from the ’90s that she would not lie, even in the case of hiding Anne Frank in her attic,” Maher told Matthews. “Eddie Izzard confronted her and said, ‘Really? If Hitler was at the door and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn’t lie?’ She said, ‘No. God would find a way.’ ” Now that is good TV!  Crazy with a side of oblivious.

Hopefully, God will find a way for the people of Delaware to have proper representation.  In my opinion Christine could make far more money as an entertaining pundit.  Look at Sister Sarah P.  She’s gangsta…the Lil Kim of Pundits.

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