May 24th @ 7P!Guest curated by Caitie Moore.Contact for addy.
I interviewed Biyi Bandele, director of the Half of a Yellow Sun movie.
We spent two hours speaking about the choices he made as he was adapting, casting and shooting HOAYS, and more broadly about film, representation and industry gatekeepers. I have some criticisms of the film (which I include in the piece) but I wanted to post this quote which I eventually omitted from the interview, in which Bandele eloquently describes the alienation and horror of watching white directors’ representations of Africans:
"I mean, one of the things that inspired me to make movies was this experience that happened over and over. We’d watch movies made about Africans and want to crawl under the seat because you felt dehumanised, you felt disrespected, you felt silenced, you felt muted, you felt disenfranchised, because someone who really didn’t see you as a human being seemed to be the only person who was allowed to tell your story, and if you tried to tell it yourself they tried to shoot you down. It’s precisely because of people like that that I decided we need to tell our own stories, we really need to."
Juliana Huxtable brings us yet another voguetastic mix starring Nicki Minaj, LE1F and others. If you don’t know about Juliana Huxtable, this will be a great introduction for you to get informed on Her Majesty.
Qualr rates the mix 10/10.
And then more and more, examining myself, examining in my own instinctive reactions to value and so on, there is no way in which I can avoid the fact that I am born into a world in which everything Black has been negatively marked; and everything white has been positively marked. Although I can re-think myself, there are reflex valuations that I continually carry. I suddenly began to see what DuBois was trying to get at and what Fanon was going to get at with Black “self-alienation,” which is that “I have a consciousness that does not function for my best interest!” THERE HAS TO BE A WAR AGAINST “CONSCIOUSNESS.” BLACK STUDIES WAS A WAR! Against what Larry Neal called “the white thing within us”
- in “The Black Arts Movement,” from Addison Gayle, Jr.’s The Black Aesthetic (1971)
I swear I’ll stop writing about my life as a sad black teenage dirtbag as soon as I stop being a sad black teenage dirtbag. Lately it just feels really important for me to share my sadness with you as a black woman and to add my words to canon of other woc who are struggling but find security in writing.
Here’s a thing I wrote on This Recording today in which I use my bathtub as a vehicle of time travel as well as a means of absolution.
Billie Holiday x Hazel Scott at a private party, 1957
I realise seeing this picture that I rarely think of Billie with women. I should read a biography because, fuelled by her music, I tend to imagine her as either powerfully solitary [good morning heartache or travelin’ all alone]or surrounded by men - band members or maybe the spectral men of her torch songs. As far as friendships go, maybe I think of her exchanging speaking looks with Lester Young during their miraculous 1957 performance. But imagine the conversations she had with wonderful Hazel Scott. Did they exchange advice? Did they talk shit about the music industry and the men’s big egos? It’s good to think of Billie laughing with girlfriends, it shades in the fierce and tragic figure that is the popular imagination of her.