Posts from the ‘America Revived’ Category

Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

 

Langston Hughes 1936 photo by Carl Van Vechten

Poets in Unexpected Places pop up at the holiday market in Union Square with poems in response to police brutality, a day after the non-indictment for the killing of Eric Garner. Abena Koomson performs “Let America Be America Again” by American poet Langston Hughes, written in 1935. It was originally published in the July 1936 issue of Esquire Magazine. It was later republished in the 1937 issue of Kansas Magazine and was revised and included in a small collection of Langston Hughes poems entitled A New Song, published by the International Workers Orders in 1938.

 YouTube video published on Dec 18, 2014: Read more…

Get Out ~ A Quantum Leap for Film Genre

Writer/Director Jordan Peele

Anita: Get Out is one small step for The Stepford Wives and a quantum leap for the film genre.

A group of five of us went to see the new film Get Out yesterday —all of us people of color and none of us fans of horror films. I purposefully did not watch the trailer—they give away way too much (what’s up with that anyway?)—nor did I read any reviews so I could freshly appreciate the story. Bottom line: wow.

Peele crafted the film’s social/artistic/psychological layers brilliantly, and took his time with pacing, allowing faces to fill the frame and build tension. The hero, Chris Washington was portrayed flawlessly by British actor, Daniel Kaluuya who can show so much with a glance and a smirk. My biggest wish was for more black characters to put more black actors on the payroll—nevertheless the entire cast did a fine job.

We saw the film at Rowland Theater in Novato, CA: went to a 2:20 showing, there were only a handful of people most over sixty and white (parr for Marin County, northern California). Afterwards we went to Moylan’s Brewery for drinks and a bite to discuss. Well, we had not stopped discussing from the time we rose from our seats and walked across the street, through the doors and into the booth. When our blond-haired waitress greets us the first thing she says is “Did you just see Get Out?…..my favorite movie right now! One of the other waitresses and I went to see it yesterday and when we came out we didn’t speak for twenty minutes. All we could say was, ‘What just happened?'”

As we were leaving the theater (to the horror of the others in my party) I asked the three white folk—a man and two women—sitting in the row in front of us what their verdict was. The man said, “That was two hours of my life I can never get back.” One of the women said, “I thought it was wonderful!” I think it would’ve been fun to invite them to join us across the street—but—maybe not.

I get that we need to label stuff so we can talk about it, but Peele has us struggling with what to call this innovative film. Without strictly succumbing to the conventions of horror or thriller or comedy or drama, and without overwhelming viewers in reenactments of the real life terrors of the film’s major themes, Get Out melds—via its image system, symbolism, and nuance—the seen and the unseen; the spoken and unspoken to yield a story with outstanding visceral impact.

I was a huge fan of Key & Peele on Comedy Central and can now see that all those clever, finely produced skits (and perhaps especially Season 3 which was too gory for my taste)  prepared Peele for this triumphant debut as feature-length writer/director.

This was definitely two hours of my life I can’t wait to repeat.

Here are two of my favorite skits from Key & Peele on Comedy Central:

Substitute Teacher: https://youtu.be/Dd7FixvoKBw

Obama’s Anger Translator: https://youtu.be/F3gIYgSa4qw

My Father ~ Silas Jones ~ An Inspiration

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Cira 1980s ~ My Father, Silas J. Jones in his back yard in Albany, GA after a miraculous snow fall. Yep, that’s a dusting of snow on the car…

Independence Day Musings ~

My father, Silas Jones, was born in 1921 in Putney, Georgia—a widening-in-the-road near Albany. I remember one summer when I was home—most likely during my Brooklyn, New York years: 1979-1985, we drove “down home” to visit my mother’s people in Bainbridge/Camilla. We were at a cousin’s house where the TV played perpetually. My cousin’s daughter, a toddler, sat too close to the set, spell-bound. My 6’2 father Read more…

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer

Because sometimes we just need to laugh ~ and you don’t even have to make this stuff up!

Don’t Be a Sucker

Don’t Be a Sucker is a short propaganda film produced by the U.S. War Department, released on July 4, 1943 and re-released in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The film was supposedly created to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces [paradoxically I dare say] but ultimately upholds America as a nation of minorities that must unite in order to thrive. It’s terrifying that seventy years later the film’s messages are all too relevant. [17:26 minutes] Please share this with your people everywhere:

Read more…

Van Jones ~ Plain Truth and Direct Action

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Jan. 26, 2017, Mill Valley, CA
I was lucky enough to be in the audience last Thursday, Jan. 26th, when Van Jones spoke at the Mill Valley Rec Center. Jones is a personable, humble dynamo—not so impressed with himself that he couldn’t be giddy and lose his mind when Oprah called him in his hotel room recently. He told me I had a wonderful last name, I told him I’m sure we’re cousins—feels like he could be that handsome cousin all the girl cousins have a crush on and the boy cousins want to be. Read more…

The Whole World Speaks Out

The global response to America’s new presidency is astonishing.
From Colorado Springs to Tel Aviv to Prague, the New York Times‘ Pictures of Women’s Marches on Every Continent tells a beautiful story. The marches have united us.

 

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Global Marches

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