Category Archives: books
So my quest for a hit single/EP is beginning to fade, the long-nebulous goal of grasping Solange-level power in a public-sphere world of Beyonces starting to look sad, even to me. (Since my pilot never aired, I don’t have to worry about cancellation.) My decades-long nightmare of becoming the lead character in Mr. Holland’s Opus–for an intellectual adventurer like myself, a horror movie personified!–has slowly come true, despite my best and worst efforts. During my five decades of life, I have had to learn how to be my own writer, which means for me that writers should take sides but not necessarily be on sides. My provocative approach to my professional journey means my skeleton will one day be found in some wings somewhere, still waiting for its close-up, its all-too-brief moment of viral spin in a writing world dominated by bots. But for right now, inspired by ever-infuriating, ever-fascinating and often-courageous magazine journalism, take-no-prisoners podcasting, diligent documenting and powerful historical narrative nonfiction, I am still here to contribute and complain. As a writer (and now audio commentator) who will probably be remembered best as my superhero secret identity The Human eNewsletter 🙂 , I give thanks to God, the Ancestors and you.
140-Word Review Of The First Two Episodes Of Hulu’s (And Nikole Hannah-Jones’) “The 1619 Project”
Easily the most militant, near-radical Oprah product yet. 🙂 Episode One is the usual (corporate) skewered portrait of Black people (only) wanting as-is American identity through American liberal democracy and capitalism instead of freedom, which is a much more complicated socio-political discussion that American documentarians wish to ignore. (Docs like this conveniently 🙂 forget that the American Civil Rights Movement was a McCarthyite compromise to what Blacks really wanted and had to politically dismantle–a Freedom Movement.) But admittedly, having a Black woman on-camera asking other Black women about the state of American democracy, regardless of the lack of imagination of the answers, feels new. Episode Two’s Black womanist-centered approach to the discussion of the concept of race, again, felt quite innovative. Overall, the personal-is-political approach works for Hannah-Jones since it creates tensions not normally “scene” in Black American docs.
FEBRUARY 16TH UPDATE: I finished the whole series. Nikole Hannah-Jones deserves her own family-centered, elite-access-influenced worldview, but I think future explorations of Black America should be divided into sections of multiple commentators/producers/narrators, etc. I believe that this historical doc should establish a new tradition.
Belated 78-Word Review Of The TV Adaption Of “Kindred”
Mallori Johnson is a star but she has to burn through an unnecessary mess. A uniquely powerful story about the pain and irony of slavery in America–a short but stout book that slams the reader in the face–is so packed with television characters and thinned out and stretched as to lose its original meaning. Sad for non-readers who will think any of this has to do with a product produced by our amazing ancestor Octavia Butler.
And so now I feel I just wasted eight hours of a Sunday. But I’m glad to be introduced to Mallori Johnson, who deserves better projects.
Congrats, Golden Globe Winners!
I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to be there tonight, but I just wanted to say thank you to @goldenglobes for this incredible honor. To my fellow nominees, it is a privilege to be named beside you, I admire you all deeply. Thank you to my Euphoria family, without you, none of this is possible. Lastly, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has allowed Rue into theirs. I think everyone knows how much she means to me, but the fact that she can mean something to someone else is a gift. I’m honestly at a loss for words as I type this, all I can say is thank you thank you thank you. Goodnight♥️
Can’t Wait For This Documentary To Reach Streaming
Journal-isms Roundtable, Dec. 18, 2022 — What Journalists Need to Know About Africa
Juan Gonzalez’s Final NYC Lectures (Before Moving To Chicago)
More on Juan Gonzalez can be found here.
Keke Palmer & Angela Bassett Reunite After 16 Years | Vanity Fair
2022 Freedom Scholar Dr. Jared Ball!
(BWMN)—Dr. Jared Ball, an increasingly important activist in Black radical and Pan-Africanist circles, has been named a 2022 Freedom Scholar, one of ten selected this year.
The prize—a one-time, no-strings payment of $250,000, awarded individually to all ten scholars—has been presented to renowned intellects such as Robin D.G. Kelly and many others since the Marguerite Casey Foundation created the Freedom Scholars award in 2020. Scholars are anonymously chosen by former recipients.
“It is a surreal contradiction,” Dr. Ball commented exclusively to The Black World Media Network via email after the announcement. “But to be reminded or made aware of the value my work has to particular peers for whom I have tremendous respect is humbling, something I cherish, and am honored by. Most of us in academia are not disconnected, ivory tower scholars. We are just marginalized, unappreciated, and under-resourced. So this award is very much appreciated on several levels.”
Ball, the host of iMiXWHATiLiKE! with Jared Ball podcast, the flagship program of the Black Power Media collective, is a professor of Communication and Africana Studies at Morgan State University, Maryland’s leading HBCU. He is the author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power, of which a second expanded edition is forthcoming in the spring. A board member of The Black Scholar journal and a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report magazine, Ball is a co-founder of Black Power Media, which has reached a total of 21,000 subscribers since it launched on YouTube in February 2021.
The Morgan State University scholar’s professional multimedia website, imixwhatilike.org, lists his research interests as “the interaction between colonialism, mass media theory and history, as well as the development of underground journalism and cultural expression as mechanisms of social movements and political organization.” As an activist and advocacy journalist, he has been a longtime public champion of radical, independent media and political prisoners such as writer Mumia Abu-Jamal and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the alternative-medicine specialist and godfather of slain hiphop superstar Tupac Shakur.
The other 2022 scholars are: Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin of Trinity College; Noura Erakat, J.D., of Rutgers University; Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore of the City University of New York; Dr. Sarah Haley and Derecka Purnell, J.D., of Columbia University; Mariame Kaba of Pratt Institute; Dr. Beth E. Richie of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Dean Spade, J.D., of Seattle University and Dr. Olúfémi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University.
Freedom Scholars “conduct research in cutting-edge areas of scholarship as varied as feminist prison abolition, global urbanism, alternatives to movement capture, Indigenous erasure and militarized policing—critical fields of research that are often underfunded,” according to the Casey Foundation’s website.
Dr. Ball’s award is “proof that principled radicalism and constant work—his 20 years of scholarship, activism and free, intelligent community broadcasting—always wins,” posted BWMN staffer Todd Steven Burroughs on social media after the announcement. He is co-editor with Dr. Ball of the anthology A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X.
Read the Casey Foundation press release here.