Jared Ball, Black Power Media and “The Penny Trick:” What I Thought About Peacock’s “Lowndes County and The Road To Black Power”

Some Comments About “Star Trek: Picard” @ The Halfway Point Of Season 3, The Final Season

If the last five episodes are as incredible as these first five, this one season of this one streaming show will have made up for:

  • Every bad episode of TOS;
  • Every bad episode of ST:TAS;
  • Every bad episode of TNG (yes, even the race/ethnic stereotyping and overt racism of Seasons 1 and 2);
  • Every bad episode of DS9 (were there bad episodes of that? 🙂 );
  • Every bad episode of Voyager (and I love the fact that there are not many of those 🙂 ),
  • Every bad Trek movie (maybe even including the new ones, depending on how powerful this particular story and series ends!) and 
  • Every misstep of streaming Nu Trek, animated and live-action (including Picard Season Two)

This is an amazing time to love this franchise! Today is a good day to live 🙂

*****

A Related Aside: Between this and what’s going on with Star Wars streaming shows, it’s beginning to be understood that good writing fixes everything–even bad movie sequels and prequels. The Star Wars streaming showrunners are creating world-building that’s so well done it’s actually showing the greatness of the content of the prequels and sequels. An example of re-evaluating and changing your long-held view of something based on something else new that puts the old in a new context, a la the maxim, “If you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes.” 

“Bearing Witness In The Case Of Mumia Abu-Jamal” Forum

Brief Comments About Eps. 1-3 of PBS’ “Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed The World”

The small clips of Sista Souljah and Afeni Shakur, the examination of Afeni’s son Tupac, hiphop’s sexism and Danyel Smith’s and Ice-T’s discussion comparing New York to L.A. in Episode 3 almost save this, but if executive producer Chuck D can’t connect the historical-cultural dots for us, then all is lost. 😦

No discussion of COINTELPRO. No connecting national police brutality to the edicts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s J. Edgar Hoover.

No connecting the history of L.A. police brutality to the SWAT teams, units created to destroy the Oakland, California-based Black Panther Party and other Black revolutionary groups.

Nothing on the obvious African cultural roots of hip-hop.

Nothing about South African apartheid or the anti-apartheid movement!!!! (Okay, those super-brief clips of Winnie Mandela in Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First” are in here.)

Nothing on New York’s Black radio, the communication power of Black deejays nationwide and New York’s Black news-talk radio!!!!!!

Nothing on *why* the early 1970s hiphop artists *publicly* ignore artists shown (Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, etc.)–the aftermath of the brutal, public repression of New York groups like The Panther 21, the Black Liberation Army, etc.

Nothing about early white corporate ownership and the shaping of hiphop. But Episode 3, however, at least starts the later discussion, at least, and it gives some justice to C. Delores Tucker.

Nothing on the more radical/Muslim/nationalist hiphop artists of the ’80s–X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers, etc.

Gee….. 😦

FEBRUARY 21TH UPDATE: It’s kinda sad on Malcolm X Assassination Commemoration Day to see such a light touch on hip-hop’s contradictions. (Where was the “dick-riding Obama” clip from “The Boondocks?” 🙂 ) Episode 4 should have been called “How Hiphop Didn’t Change The World.” This story, which somehow turns Eminem into (Black/hiphop) America’s hero (?), would have worked much better as two episodes.

P.S: Tupac Shakur has been dead for almost 30 years now.

P.P.S. We really need a big, full bio of Jesse Jackson Sr.

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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.

A Very Belated 30-Word Review Of “Till”

An extraordinary, and, we know now, unheralded, display of mastery of how raw grief, righteous rage, sadness, melancholy and foreboding can be created by the manipulation of sight and sound.

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.

My Loudmouth :) Black Power Media Discussion Of Al Sharpton’s “Loudmouth”

My passionate first few minutes here are a manifestation of my core belief that writers should take sides but not necessarily be on sides. Big difference.