New Blog in 2016

So here it is a New Year, and in the spirit of new beginnings, I’ve decided to have a separate blog from this site to host my writing that isn’t published by media outlets. While I will still share my pieces published in magazines, it’s always good to have a place to share thoughts on important things without being at the mercy of an editor’s to publish or not to publish rhythm.

It’s called Feminist Noir. A nice double entendre for the things on which I focus. You can check it and follow here! I will be posting fairly regularly there. There are not enough perspectives out there from a black women on feminism, politics,  race,  and certainly using all these lens  to critique films/TV/Media. This new blog will do that.

Stay tuned for more posts!

Rape, Bill Cosby, & Where We Stand in the Black Community

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In the last few days, the unending number of women who claim television and comedian Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them has finally reached its apex. One of the allegations against him falls within the statute of limitations, resulting in the the arrest of the 78-year old. And yet, there are still fans, many of them African American, who deny he would possibly rape anyone. Among his better known defenders are his own wife Camille Cosby, actress Phylicia Rashad, Academy Award winner and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg and singer Jill Scott (the last two of whom would later publicly backtrack their support) just to name a few. African American critics, particularly on social media, have been quick to castigate these women for their protection of an accused rapist. Comparisons have been made between Cosby’s unfair treatment and everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to White men of prominence who have also been accused of rape like directors Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

But, beneath these protective affirmations for Cosby lies an African American community, who by in large is circumspect and on the defensive because of a long history of Black men who have been falsely accused of sexual assault and brutally murdered as part of a racist vigilante justice.

To read the rest go to Ebony online

Abortion Is Not Just A White Woman’s Issue

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Throughout 2015, reproductive-rights issues have made headlines, and the news has mostly been bad.

From deceptive videos intended to discredit Planned Parenthood to more clinic closures and the recent shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, legislators and anti-abortion extremists are unrelenting in their efforts to push abortion out of reach. While there has been a large flood of support for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive-health providers, clinics and their staff, rallies and protests are predominantly white, when, in reality, abortion access and reproductive-health care are more significant issues for black women than for any other group.

 

To read more, go the The Root online

The High Cost of Reproductive Coercion

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or many women, birth control unquestionably improves the quality of their lives. Amid conservative attacks on Planned Parenthood, reproductive-rights activists this month launched a social media campaign dubbed “Thanks Birth Control” to celebrate the economic, social, and health benefits of family planning.

It’s true that contraception can be transformative—but only when it’s voluntary. Unfortunately, contraception can also be used as a tool to abuse and control women. When that happens it’s called contraceptive coercion, or birth control sabotage—and it’s more widespread than you think. Such coercion has been linked to domestic violence, rape, and even the spread of HIV.

While men also experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner, women suffer it at much higher rates. A woman is assaulted every nine seconds, and 72 percent of murder-suicides involve intimate partners (94 percent of those killed are women). I have seen intimate partner violence firsthand in my work with survivors, among friends and colleagues, and as an advocate for reproductive rights and justice.

You might ask: What do reproductive rights have to do with violence inflicted by an intimate partner?

For more please go to: The American Prospect

 

On Hollywood’s Lack of Progress With Women Writers & Directors

Over at Women & Hollywood, Inkoo Kang writers about the new study that came out from Celluloid Ceiling Report which is the most prominent studies on women in the film industry. The results: the progress women in Hollywood behind the camera is making is actually falling behind.

“men directed 93% of the top 250 grossing films of 2014. Female filmmakers made 7% of those films. That’s up one percentage point from last year, but 2 points down from 1998. That means women directors have lost ground in the last 17 years”

As Kang writes “There was no Bigelow effect”. The effect is named for the Kathryn Bigelow, the only female director to receive an Academy Award for Best Director to date.  Also it is noted, women writers, producers and editors don’t fare any better in this report, the percentages are down for them as well. The number of Hollywood executive producers who are women has increased.

With the announcement of the 2015 Academy Awards nominations this morning and the shock that a) this is the first time in 20 years all actor nominees are white and b) no women were nominated for best director (especially when ‘Selma’ was nominated for Best Picture but its director Ava DuVernay’s was not) c) no women were nominated for writing an Original Screenplay or Adapted Screenplay (like author Gillian Flynn who wrote her book’s screenplay for ‘Gone Girl’), this report is rather sobering.

There is a lot more work to be done before women will to be true power players and decision makers in the film industry.

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Beginning, New Blog

For a while, many have encouraged me to start writing again, especially as I missed it a lot (due to working too much) and I always have things to say.  I dipped my toe back into writing for the greater public through writing op-eds for various different news outlets and blogs. Now I’m ready to do more.

So here it is in a New Year, a new blog that will be about things I enjoy and I am quite dedicated to personally and professionally: feminism, politics, films, and you. The topics of feminism, politics, and films won’t always be mutually exclusive posts, they are topics that will and often do often intersect quite well. I am speaking for me and not any employer or groups to which I am affiliated.

Stay tuned for more posts!