On Wednesday night after watching American Horror Story: Freak Show, I tuned in to watch the latest of TV One’s Hollywood Divas episode, “Five Black Witches.” One of the opening scenes is the de facto leader of the group, Paula Jai Parker, presenting to producer Carl Craig the idea agreed upon in previous episode for a supernatural film about five black sisters who are witches who each would have their own special powers.
Parker acknowledged that there is no film she was familiar with that deals with the supernatural through the experience of the black community, although it can be argued that several exist (Beloved? Sankofa? Several independent films?), but Craig’s immediate reaction was an obvious aversion to the concept. He looked as if he was wondering what the hell Parker just give him. Although he did say this was cutting edge material, he felt that black audiences would have a difficult time embracing this type of story, that they will look at it as “demonic” (here we go).
Continue reading The My-Stery: Five Black Witches Is Too Much for Black Audiences?
Nappy Nation Media presents Ase, an African historical fantasy short film and TV series concept. Shot on location in Nigeria, it is “set in the ancient West African kingdom of Oyo, and is about three ordinary teens on a seemingly ordinary day who have a not-so-ordinary supernatural encounter with a dark and evil spirit known as Elemoso.
This short film is a brief introduction to the concept for a one-hour epic television series we are developing based on the same setting and primary characters. Artists from all over Nigeria and America united to bring this story to life, in celebration of the beauty, complexity, and history of African people.”
Take a look at the behind the scenes interview:
Continue reading Otherworldly Videos: Ase + Dantago (The Icarus Project) Trailers
While watching the past two episodes of the spoken word series, Verses and Flow, on TV One, two poets stood out to me, Verb and Reggie Eldridge.
Verb spoke a critique of our current dependency on hi-tech technology and it reminded me of Louis C.K. rant on smartphones. It does make you think about how technology affects our thinking and affects us socially. Is it the technology’s fault or is it deeper, underlying issues and how were are using them in our cultures that are the problem? Maybe the social structures and codes of our cultures have not caught up with the advanced pace of technology? We do not know how to properly handle all this new technology coming at us at such a fast pace and so we haven’t taught those younger than us how to deal with it either? Instead going deeper, some of us stay on the spectacle of the superficial surface that the technology gives us. Maybe it feels easier that way because it hurts less. But listen to Verb’s spoken word pieces below and go to her youtube page for more videos; I like her autism poem, too.
Continue reading Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Poets Verb + Reggie Eldridge
Here are two web series, one set in New York, the other in South Africa:
Written and directed by Kia T. Barbee, Evolve: The Series is about a young teenage girl, Donia Reyes, who on her 16th birthday is developing supernatural powers (including “super strength, forcefield, enhanced senses, super agility, telekinetic and telepathic powers“) and her parents are forced to let her know about them earlier than expected. Although Donia doesn’t exactly want these powers, they are something she will have to learn to accept and balance with living a normal teenage life. As someone who grew up in New York, a series about a young black girl with superpowers living in the city excites me already. And it is time to have black girls in lead roles with supernatural abilities. Also, since I like symbolism, I wonder if the series’ logo has a specific meaning, looks like an ouroboros reference. The next episode, “Birthday,” in tomorrow at 7:45pm on their youtube page.
Here’s a post from Barbee about why she created the series.
Continue reading Otherworldly Videos: Evolve: The Series + Room 9
Besides FutureStates and Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl, these are some other web shows that I recently started watching:
The Silent City: A man tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic New York City.
Continue reading Otherworldly Videos: Web Series
Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Keith Josef Adkins is preparing to shoot a pilot for a new TV show called The Abandon, which will feature an all-black cast. Adkins, who was once a TV writer for the show Girlfriends, will be not only be a writer, but also a director and producer of the pilot.This is the description of the show:
“After a possible alien invasion, five black men discover they may be the last humans on Earth and quickly learn the importance of survival, loyalty and manhood…Friends from college, these five men will also discover why they are being hunted down by an alien species. And why the alien species may have a message that will disrupt the entire universe.”
Adkins says on his Indiegogo page, “The Abandon is inspired by my desire to see black and brown people work in the sci-fi genre. It is inspired by knowing so many black people who deeply love and respect the sci-fi genre and my interest in making them happy.” He continues, “We all love sci-fi. It gives us a chance to image worlds beyond this one. Some believe the only demographic for sci-fi is white males between 18 and 40. However, we all know hundreds and thousands of sci-fi lovers are black and brown.”
Already Adkins is facing resistance from big companies like NBC/Universal, so show support by reading about his experience on Alicia McCalla’s website and donate to the show’s pilot at the Indiegogo page.
In his “Threatdown” segment of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert uses a multidimensional explanation for why Black men in New York City are stopped and frisked so much (there are more stops done than the number of Black men actually living in the city). Another well done satire from Colbert.