Posted 8 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Between screening Black and Cuba and working on my new multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, I’ve spent some time this summer thinking about the Black woman’s image.  Of course in one way or another I’ve been thinking about it my entire life by looking in the mirror and beholding the relentless glamour of my mother and grandmother while I was growing up. In creating films that center Black women’s perspectives and – frankly- a lifetime of struggling to valorize my own, I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.

Top Five Soulful Star-Spangled Banners

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers
The original star spangled banner, which is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
The original star-spangled banner, which is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day always makes us remember the struggle for freedom Black Americans have been fighting for since the Revolutionary War. The patriotic Star-Spangled Banner was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key at the Battle of Baltimore while he watched US soldiers defend the American flag at Fort McHenry. Given its militaristic lyrics, many activists have a hard time enjoying the song, but we’ve managed to find the most soul-infused versions. Think we missed something? Share any other versions you love in the comment section.

5. Beyoncé

Following her widely-praised-turned-lip-syncing-fiasco rendition of the national anthem at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration, Beyoncé silenced her critics when she called a press conference to set the record straight. Yes, she had pre-recorded the track, but this version puts to rest any question of her talent.