Archive for the ‘black women’ Category
For a minute we were all going to move to Sleepy Hollow then we found out that not only could it’s citizens turn a blind eye to a horse being ridden by a headless man around town but it’s creators could also suddenly forget the people of color who initially populated the small burg during it’s first season.
In 2013 Sleepy Hollow took everyone by surprise. It probably took the producers and the network by surprise as well. It was an abbreviated season with 13 episodes but the online fans were vocal about their love so that by the summer it was referred to as the surprise hit of the season.
Fast forward three years later and Nicole Beharie is packing her bags and leaving for regions unknown as but we can be sure that she’s done with the East Coast small town demon busting. Abbie Mills is dead.
So what happened?
It started with an article written about the show in season two by New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley where she referred to Abbie Mills as Ichabod Crane’s sidekick. Fans pushed back, taking up for Abbie as a co-lead and superstar in her own right.
Then the season started and Abbie was barely seen that season, the character of Katrina (Ichabod’s wife played by Katia Winter) seemed to have more storylines and screen time than Abbie.
Perhaps Abbie was spending time with all of the people of color who walked those Sleepy Hollow streets only to disappear in 2014.
The only people left were Abbie’s sister Jenny (whom we saw sporadically) and Captain Frank Irving who we barely saw at all.
Instead we got a lot of Katrina Crane. Newly freed from purgatory and overhyped by Ichabod as the most powerful witch ever we learned that Katrina really couldn’t do more than Aunt Esmeralda from Bewitched. But somehow Katrina was soaking up screen time and running cases with Ichabod.
Then next was Nick Hawley, treasure hunter and all around sexy dude set to be a love interest for… which sister?
Who knows, who cares.
When he left I was happy; I was so tired of seeing his character. Where is Frank? Why was he slaying (literally slaying not the good fashion kind) people in the preview we were given at the beginning of the season? Where are his wife and child? Where is Abbey’s sexy Latino boyfriend? Where are all the people of color that were in the previous season? The Amerindian who helped with the Windego? The conversations that mashed up the bible, past histories, people of color, and the current state of our nation? Where is the show that held promise at the end of season one?
I felt like we were given a bait and switch; we were shown a show that was diverse and innovative (a 21st X-files) only to have a show that had white savior issues while black people helped out in the background.
Viewers were vocal in their complaints on Twitter (I know because I was one of them). The season premiered in late September and by early November people knew something was off. I guess the writers and the new showrunner don’t read TV think pieces or pay attention to Twitter. Maybe they did and was too committed to the course of the season to turn around. Maybe they didn’t want to turn around. Checking the writers list on IMDB it seems that they had more writers of color contributing in season one than they did in the last few seasons. When it came time to do the voice overs for the season two commentary they left Nicole Beharie out just like they tried to minimize her character out of the season.
I watched until the end of season two but was not satisfied. I watched the first half of season three but I still felt something was missing so I didn’t continue when the show came back from hiatus this February. We got more Abbie but the vibe of season one was gone. They promised a love connection for Ichabod and Abbie (the Ichabbie fans were elated) but the cross over with Bones wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t what we wanted.
And now Beharie is gone.
Not sure what Sleepy Hollow will be like without Abbie Mills. Personally, I feel they should cancel it. It’s a show where the showrunner and writers refused to listen to their fandom and, ironically, their other main star. Tom Mison has always been a proponent of the Ichabbie relationship. With the year long hashtags of #iamabbiemills and #abbiemillsdeservesbetter I’m letting Abbie Mills go and leaving Sleepy Hollow behind. Nicole Beharie is a great actress and she deserves better. After fighting the demons that was hiding out as workers on her show, I hope her walking away becomes a victory for her.
I’m not gonna lie, I watched the whole first season of Married at First Sight and part of the next season of their first year.
Yeah, I was watching TV instead of writing. What?!
Okay, maybe I could spend a bit more time in my feelings with my fingers on a keyboard.
Nope. This one has modern day couples dealing with the racism or homophobia of their families.
To promote the show they used three different couples which they didn’t use in the show (what’s up with that). But at least the promo gave us the cute Raquel and Justin.
They both do Muay Thai, they are both adorable. Maybe FYI will catch a clue and give them their own show, maybe in one of those little tiny houses they are always house hunting for people.
I guess if you watch it use the #loveislove and let’s get these cuties their own show.
I am not sure how long this broadcast will be available, so you will want to listen to it while you can. The multitalented actress and playwright Charlayne Woodard gives a performance of her one-woman play “The Night Watcher” for Public Radio’s LA Theater Works.
The show, written by Woodard and originally performed off Broadway, is about Woodward’s life as Godmother and Aunt to many but mother to none. The stories of all the children that come into her life are poignant and sometimes sad. The New York Times review of a 2009 performance writes:
Ms. Woodard moves among the personalities in her stories with an ease born of experience, changing up the many colors in her rich voice and using her elegant limbs to add filigreed physical detail to the various portraits. Actors impersonating children is a stage convention that I tend to endure with gritted teeth and a pained smile, but Ms. Woodard does it more fluidly and naturally than most; she has a whole brood of inner children panting to get out, it would seem.
Always a Godmother, Never a Mom; the New York Times 7 Oct 2009
It’s good to see black voices are rising in entertainment media, no matter how slowly. And although Woodard tells stories about young people, the audio might not be for all listeners.
This morning I’m happy that Mo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Precious but last week I was giving her a raised eyebrow sideways glance for that interview she did with Wesley Snipes on the couch. Unlike other people I still don’t hold the Ebony November 1997 article against him; in some ways I think the article was blown out of proportion to what he said and what he probably meant. But last week’s interview was a bit too much for her to assert that Wesley is ours and for him to proclaim love of big girls when his last two women (his current wife included) are Korean.
And then there’s the whole Halle Berry’s deaf ear thing (to be fair to Snipes, Berry has never denied or confirmed the allegation that Snipes was the one who abused her).
It’s just my opinion, but it makes me very uncomfortable when we go into the old routine of “back a black man” no matter what. I’m definitely down for my brothers but I don’t think we have to play martyr in order for them to be(come) a man. I have to go to the old movie disclaimer and say “No Black women were harmed in the making of this Strong Black Male”.
Maybe it’s because black women treat men as such a precious commodity it doesn’t give them room to be men. But then that doesn’t excuse black men for not taking responsibility for the decisions that they make or taking advantage of situations in the black community that overtly favor them.
What? What conditions are those? You don’t see it? A growing number of black women do see it and they are blogging about it — call us black feminists, womanists if you will although I’m sure the appellation many black males are using for us are bitches– and what worries us is the preference of taking Black male issues over Black female issues and the problems it creates in the black community. We aren’t misandrists, just women who want more than black folks are reaching for together at the moment.
Last week NPR’s Tell Me More interviewed a brother who also sees the inequity of attention to male/female gender issues in the black community. Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis that in the black community black males have an advantage over black women that is rarely talked about.
Black male privilege is first centered as being relative to black women. I’m not comparing black males privilege to white male privilege. I think one could argue that, but it (could) be a very dangerous leap. When we look in the African-American community, there are actually spaces where black men are advantaged and often sometimes dominate a dialogue, when we should be listening more carefully to whats happening with black women equally…
I think you’ve unfortunately identified one of the central issues of black male privilege. So often, black men are used to being under attacked that when it comes to being accountable for the actions we may have, we quickly say, well, I couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong. Look at all the ways in which I’m oppressed. Look at all the ways in which I’m at the bottom of the barrel. What that does is rob us of an opportunity to actually build stronger community and it robs black men of a chance to actually take hold of the actions that they have so that we can empower the community.
Black males as oppressors of Black females and the black community at large? I totally agree but don’t know how it will fly with black men and black women. But if Dr. Lewis has a forum at Tavis Smiley’s upcoming forum, especially if Dr. Lewis delivers another version of the speech below.
I received a couple of emails about Sandi “Pepa” Denton and her new boyfriend Tom Lo on the television show “Let’s Talk about Pep“. I’ve seen the show’s premiere episode and I liked it; I would describe it as a reality slanted black version of “Sex and the City”. But after the first episode I never got a chance to go back to it because I’ve been, for lack of a better word, “consumed” with the final season of “Lost”. But I am hoping that VH-1 follows these ladies a 2nd season and keeps the first season online for people to watch.
Suffice it to say, I haven’t seen the episode where Tom woos and courts Pep so I don’t know if it is a real romance or a showmance, but does it really matter? For may women just watching an AsAm/AfAm couple like Pepa and Tom on-screen is a bit revolutionary. Not only can a professional sister like Zoey Andata (Gabrielle Union) hook up with Demetri Noh (John Cho) on FlashForward but if a down chick like Pep can cross a line to date a Chinese brother then maybe there aren’t as many blockades as we thought there were. The “Nothing but a Brother” brigade might be losing members.
AM/BF love connections aren’t really new. They might seem like something new because they aren’t as ubiquitous as BM/WF or WM/AF but they exist if only in small numbers.
A few years ago blasian groups were all atwitter with the AsianWeek cover with an Asian man and black woman. The impetus for the article was writer/former AsianWeek editor Sam Cacas’ book “BlAsian Exchanges”. In the interview Cacas says, “BlAsian relationships only started happening in the late ’90s and are regularly verified on the Internet in Yahoo discussion groups like PowerCouples_AMBW with 300-plus members — mostly black women—which I co-moderate, and YouTube videos like the one showing the BlAsian couple in an IKEA commercial. The image of black women and Asian men needs to be broadened beyond their archetypal racial uniforms of accepting notions of white beauty.”
I found this picture on my new favorite blog, B. Vikki Vintage. The Wedding announcement is circa the late 1950s.
Taking it back further, after the civil war Chinese coolies were invited into the south to help keep down salaries of poor whites and newly freed blacks. When some Chinese put down roots in their new cities they married black and white women (1).
Something new really isn’t something new and probably surprises each generation when it comes around again. But I guess if you haven’t seen it then it’s new to you.
At one time it was new for me and I haven’t seen myself reflected back in the couples around me. But back in January I was running errands during lunch saw a young AM/BF couple walking towards me. I stopped and looked , trying not to appear too shocked. As I entered the building I stopped to talk to a friend and I saw a different AM/BF couple come in holding hands oblivious to their surroundings.
I haven’t thought much about although yesterday as I was working the desk I was approached by a Chinese man and African woman. I helped them find the book they were searching for and couldn’t help noticing the love taps that kept going back and forth, the shy smiles and the furtive glances. A smirk came over my face and I had to ask, “Are you two a couple?”
“No,” said the man. “We are students.” I told them my husband was Korean American and I just thought I saw something there. We began to talk about visiting Asia then he thanked me for the book and as they left they jostled and touched on the say going out.
Mmm hm, I thought.
Then later that day another young Chinese male came in to use a computer and of all the empty computers around he chose a table that had a few pretty young black females. I slyly watched their interactions; he smiled at one particular dark girl with long black hair. She seemed to be a bit attracted to him, too, because she kept smiling back and answering questions that I’m pretty sure he knew the answer to. I left the desk not knowing the resolution to their mild timid flirtation. Maybe they exchanged numbers or maybe they have other connections that might keep them apart. Who knows whom likes whom? How does one approach blank and what do we have in common? The modern dating dilemma is not something new, color withstanding.
A few nights ago Nightline aired this short story about Black women and the single life:
So this is what educated black women have been reduced to: a segment on tabloid television? Yes, it’s tabloid; Nightline hasn’t gone into depth on a story since Koppel left. One question I wish a reporter would have asked for this story is why don’t eligible, educated black males want to be married? One woman even said that a lot of black men put them on the low burner for later and referred to them as back pocket women.
And then they used Steve Harvey as the expert on this story. Yeah… okay. If they say so. I think a better expert would have been Karyn Langhorne Folan whose upcoming book, “Don’t Bring Home a White Boy” is slated for release in February 2010.
Maybe the women who appeared on Nightline will read Folan’s book and get inspired to check out the Black American Brides website. I know it’s the second time I’ve mentioned it in four weeks time, but it’s not a shameless plug. I just know the ladies of the site are determined to reduce the number of single black women.
It’s been a while since I spoke about Sybil because she’s mostly been working and not on the manhunt. But a month ago she sent me an email asking for my opinion. She’s been posting her profile on a few different singles sites and has yet to get a bite and wanted to know what I thought of her summation of herself.
Being a Luddite she didn’t know how to copy and paste her profile and being a married woman I didn’t want to sign up for the single sites as she suggested. So I was going to let her waft in her sea of singleness because if you can cope with a decade of celibacy then coupling gets less urgent.
But then I ran across an older gentleman on one of the boards that I frequent. He seemed comfortable online moreso than her, talkative but not garrulous, and reflective. Since she seems to like friends to vet her potential boyfriends I decided to write a letter of introduction to him. I generally try to abstain from doing that because I generally get burned in her dealings but I decided I could try to be nice.
Me: I have a friend I think you could be compatible with. She’s quirky but refined, a homebody but likes to travel, adventurous but shy (ye’s she’s a paradox). And you? Are you a young kind of older guy or a”God what is wrong with anyone born after 1955?” type of guy? Oh, here are her picture, could you send one in kind.
He thought she was “very pretty” and sent his picture. He is handsome and distinguished. So I called my friend and broke it down for her, “Hey, I sussed out this guy for you online. He’s attractive, not shy; I sent him your picture and he thinks you are very pretty.” I told her his age, told her even if he’s not Mr. Right he could be Mr. Right Now to get your motor started. Girl, jump on it.
She wanted to see his picture and I told her I would send it when I got home, but I was unable to. The next day she called me up to remind me and I sent off his pic with information. She said she thought he was attractive and would contact him.
Three weeks pass and she emails me to wish me season’s greetings. I send them back to her and ask her how it was going with her and the older gentleman. She replies she hasn’t contacted him.
Why? I ask.
“Oh, I just tend to procrastinate.”
I wish I could put a raised eyebrow on that face, too. Maybe age was more of a factor than wants to admit. Or maybe the opening segue is makes her apprehensive. I’m not sure, but since she didn’t elaborate I didn’t delve because I am not her love guru but it seems to me if you can go three weeks without contacting someone you claim to be mildly interested in then you aren’t really interested. And if you reach out for help but put up barriers and limitations on how someone can help you then perhaps help isn’t needed.
But being a curious person I do wonder why she makes these timid outreaches only to set up impediments to make sure her attempts are futile. If she had a crew of single female friends who were also looking it might be easier for her, which shouldn’t be too hard to gather since, unfortunately, there are quite a few single 40-something black women. Then I think, maybe she doesn’t really want what she claims she desires. Relationships are hard work, people on paper are much easier to deal with than real live human beings who make demands or fail to show up when needed. So a person might half heartedly look and then blame it on a myriad of reasons why they can’t connect, because connecting is pretty scary.
Yet so is being alone. In not getting out and meeting people she’s shortchanging herself on a chance to connect and grow mentally and emotionally. Sartre said “L’enfer, c’est les autres” but I think he was a bit wrong on that part. Yeah, people can be hell, but being without them can be hell, too.
Maybe she was just predestined to be Aunt Sybil. The eccentric aunt who is great with kids, has great advice, and tells her younger folks about what path to follow. Maybe it’s her destiny to be that person.
But then I always thought people made their own destinies.