With the pending release of Nina, noted intellectuals, journalists and storytellers are weighing in on the film’s casting of Zoe Saldana, a black Latina, as Nina Simone. The arguments center on colorism, erasure, appropriation and lackluster storytelling, but no time has been given to understanding Saldana’s perspective and experience as a woman of color. This understanding will not explain Saldana’s decision to take this role or our limitations in accepting her in the role, but it is important that we explore this complicated landscape.
Jimmy Donnellan‘s, “Z Nation: The Inconsistent Show With One Fantastic Episode” is a biased and limited review of a fun show. Like too many critics, he equates seriousness with quality and he works from the theory that Z Nation (ZN) has to compete with The Walking Dead … Continue reading Zombie Lore is Lost on Jimmy Donnellan
Reading Anna Pulley’s, “The Zola Show and Why It Was Hard to Look Away” I am not only baffled by her conclusion but also angered. Pulley explores many angles of Zola’s twitter stripper-hoe narrative: social media responses, narrative style, sex-worker script, race, cultural desensitivity, story ownership and story veracity. She also acknowledges that, “we see depictions of sex workers of color (often tragic, often exploited — or living it up in a music video), but we rarely hear from them.” However, she concludes that though Zola’s narrative is compelling, it does not deserve praise and attention because it is missing empathy. Ending on such a sour note gives us more insight into Pulley than Zola.
In her synopsis of Zola’s 154 tweet story, Pulley misses the most salient point: Jess betrayed Zola. At every step of the story Zola notes the many ways in which Jess lied to her beginning in the car. Zola thought she was on a stripper trip not a trap (prostitution) trip. After they left the strip club, Jess-at her pimp’s suggestion says she needs to trap because she didn’t make any money stripping. When Zola confronts Jess in the hotel room Jess says, “I didn’t wanna take this trip alone. Please don’t leave me. I would be so scared alone.” Jess trapped Zola in a web that could have led to her rape, entrance into a criminal life or death. Jess knowingly betrays Zola. Did she really ensnare Zola for companionship or for her pimp? In either case, is Jess the only victim in this narrative? (more…)
Ebony’s EIC Kierna Mayo is fierce and ringing the alarm in every way she knows to wake us! Are you woke? EIC@kiernamayo (via FB) on the November issue: “Here’s what I’ll say: this was not an easy decision. But I believe with everything that our collective … Continue reading We are Not a Monolithic People But…
Today Ben Rothenberg posted, “Sledging Nick Kyrgios Shunned by Fellow Players due to his distasteful Sledge to Stan Wawrinka” on Fox Sports. Like most of Ben’s pieces, this piece demonstrates solid reporting. He highlights players’ thoughts on the issue including: Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka, Isner, Sock, … Continue reading Will Kyrgios’ Sledge Push the Tennis Culture Forward?