Good Morning! I wanted to wait until “Selma” was released nationwide tomorrow (January 9th) but after seeing a preview for it for the millionth time on tv, I took it as a sign to give an early review so I could persuade everyone to go out and see it on Friday. I had the opportunity to see the movie right before Christmas at an advanced screening of it in NYC courtesy of http://www.gofobo.com. I knew I was going to love the movie because I am a Civil Rights History buff. When I was younger, I used to read anything related to the Civil Rights Movement so I was familiar with “Bloody Sunday” and the importance of that moment in history but I didn’t realize how strategic the “non-violent” approach really was in the grand scheme of things. In “Selma” the viewer is able to see how being non-violent played into the hearts and minds of the public by way of the media. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to show the pain and suffering of African-Americans in Selma and the south by showing that voting isn’t a privilege but a basic human right and being denied those rights is not only illegal but immoral.
I also loved how the director, Ava DuVernay (who is the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and hopefully Oscar) approached many of the scenes, in particular, the “Bloody Sunday” scene. The phrase that comes to mind after viewing that scene is “tragically beautiful” because of all the emotions that occurred in those brutal moments. You could feel hate from their oppressors and mental strength and resilience from the marchers. It is so crazy to realize that all of this actually happened only 50 years ago. We have come a long way but as recent event such as Ferguson and Eric Garner have shown, we still have a very long way ago. “Selma” is coming out at an ideal time because we all can learn from the past to make sure that we handle current racial issues in a strategic way to see real progress.
I think that David Oyelowo (the actor who played MLK Jr.) did an amazing job showing the different facets of MLK. He showed MLK as a funny, down to earth person who even in his greatest moments had imperfections and indiscretions like everyone else. I was really impressed with the fact that he was British because being able to capture the voice and overall essence of someone as well-known as Martin Luther King Jr. is not an easy task. I am sure he will be nominated for an Oscar for his role as well!
Make sure you go out and see “Selma” in theaters tomorrow and come back to the comments section and let me know what you thought of it! Can’t wait to read your replies!
Love and live luxuriously!
In the (almost) 4 years since I created this website, I never really focused on Black History Month. In elementary school, we did so many projects on it and even though I knew it was important, I didn’t care that much about certain people or events until 2 things happened. The first one was when I read a book called “The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963”. This book was about a family who went from Detroit to Birmingham during the turbulent 1960’s. The event that stood out was the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in which 4 little girls were killed. Even though the book itself was fictional, many of the events such as the bombing were true and I was in shock that someone could be so cruel to kill innocent little kids solely based on skin color. I was young and naive at the time but reading that book made me realize how scary the world can be especially when you are seen as “different”. The second thing that made me appreciate what “Black History” stood for was when I was introduced to a woman named Dorothy Dandridge. I was always into old Hollywood glamour and knew about women such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor but I didn’t know that there was a black actress in those days that exuded the same kind of sophistication and beauty until I found out about Dorothy. I read a book about her life and was blown away. Being a woman of color in today’s world is difficult enough but back then it was damn near impossible to be treated fairly by your peers and earn quality roles that weren’t stereotypical or offensive. That along with segregation and other discriminatory laws made it difficult for anyone to be successful especially in Hollywood. She was able to overcome so much and was the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. Although she didn’t win, she opened up the door for others after her to win and crazy enough, the first woman of color to win a Best Actress Oscar in 2002 was Halle Berry who played Dorothy in a movie about her life a few years earlier. We have made much progress since Dorothy’s time but it has been 12 years since that historic Oscar moment and no woman of color has won a Best Actress Oscar since so we still have a long way to go. I feel that not enough people know about Dorothy and how important her story is and how it has made an impact not only for women of color in Hollywood but for women of color in all walks of life. I can follow my dreams and know that because of someone’s will, determination and sacrifice, my journey will be a bit easier.
When you get the chance, check out “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” (the full movie is below) and let me know what you think as well as who you think should be featured for Black History Month.
Every now and then, I am introduced to an artist and find myself in awe of their talent, beauty and overall presence. Last November when watching 12 Years A Slave, I was blown away by the character Patsy who is played by Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o. Patsy was a slave who was also the reluctant mistress of her slaveowner. She was delicate and strong at the same time and even when she wanted to die, she was honest and pure in her intentions and wanted to have peace in the after life. The movie as a whole affected me deeply but it was Patsy who stuck in my mind long after leaving the theater. I decided to Google to find out more about Lupita Nyong’o and it was then that II was blown away by her beauty. Her skin is flawless and her low haircut and minimal makeup just added to her natural beauty. She looked like a model and every red carpet appearance became her runway. I said to myself “This woman has the talent and the beauty…it can’t get any better than that!” Boy was I wrong! I decided to watch a few of her interviews and there was one that I watched last month that really blew me away (check it out above)
Lupita is the epitome of class, style grace, beauty and most importantly, humility. She is so attuned to life and seems to have a deep understanding of history and how it has affected people of color as well as the rest of the world and how we are perceived. She realizes that her role in this film is so much bigger than her and is blessed to have been chosen as the person to play a role that is an important part of American history. One of my goals for 2014 is to interview this future Oscar winner(I can feel it!) so I can tell her how much she has touched and inspired me and after seeing the movie, I am sure many of you will feel the same way. Much Love!