Tag Archives: documentary

Walmart Chooses “Gangsta” Rap and Strippers Over Patriots for Black History Month

I really, really wanted to be surprised by this story, but I know better. Walmart is about business, the business of selling stuff.  They want $$.  I think this is a case of capitalism…not racism.  Let’s be honest, if you wanted to promote a product that would appeal to the largest number of Black people would you choose “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” or For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary?  I’m going with Chappelle.  I’m not saying that Black folk aren’t interested in this type of documentary.  I saw it on TV last week on PBS and it was great.  However, I’m not interested in buying it.  I’m a Netflix person anyway, so maybe I shouldn’t comment.

I have more of a problem the choice of subject matter they are associating with Black History Month in their advertising [The Players’s Club?].  Then again, WE let companies sell us everything from DVDs to cars to chicken nuggets when their theme is Black History.  Sigh.

SunTimes.com: Vietnam veteran Ronald Price considers himself snubbed by Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rejected for inclusion in its Black History Month displays “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary in which a Who’s Who of Hollywood is enlisted to document the history of blacks in the military.

What did make it to the prominent displays at the world’s largest retailer? “Thug Angel — Tupac Shakur,” a documentary of the slain rapper; the strip club-set flick “The Players Club,” and Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” were among 50 titles approved for the special promotion in entertainment sections.

“I think it was a slap in our face, as far as being war veterans,” said Price, an African-American South Holland resident. “I would never buy anything out of Wal-Mart anymore.” [Full Article]

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What do you think about Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”?

Hi all,

I was so proud to strut out of the theatre rocking my long, natural locs after seeing Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”.  No perm over here, homey!

I’ve seen some reviews from sistas on blogs and all over the net… all largely positive.  I was enlightened by the information on how the chemicals in relaxer really work (that chicken example cured me from ever wanting the “creamy crack on my head AGAIN!!!) and the info on where weave really comes from.  It made me wonder if some of the women I know (who are very picky and won’t even eat the potato salad at a picnic if they don’t know who made it) will be weary of wearing hair that might have had “bugs” in it.

Things I loved about it:

  • Derek J – A tiny man in tall heels
  • The scene where the white guy gets botox.  Hilarious!
  • The reactions to Chris selling black hair – I wonder if someone is going to have some angry customers at their weave shop after that??
  • The fact that they didn’t show the hair being washed and chemical treated in India – Um…did they wash and treat it?  I mean he showed Dudley Product’s whole set up…just wondering.
  • Black men talking about how they can’t touch their woman’s hair.
  • Exposing how bad relaxer really is for the skin and hair.
  • Raven Simone – That is a REAL chick, right there!  Someone who you could just hang out with.  I love her!
  • Nia Long needs her own TV show.  She is so funny and real.  Loved her comments.
  • It’s a shame how early some little girls are taught that their hair is “bad”.
  • Where are women getting thousands of dollars to spend on weave?!?!  I never knew it cost so much for good quality “fake” natural hair.

Like many of the reviewers who’ve commented on the movie, I thought there was a lot of information missing regarding the source of self hatred when it comes to beauty in the black community and assimilation to euro standards (Sharpton did break it down, though.  Nicely!).   However, the movie is a winner without that information.  Rock is a commedian, not an activist.  I loved the movie and encourage others to see it.

Did you see the movie?  What are your thoughts on “Good Hair”?

Update: One of my black young female co-workers and a white older female co-worker were talking about the movie a few mins ago.  The younger one said “My boyfriend told me yesterday, “You’re wearing those people’s oppression on your head!”, referring to her weave.  Toooo Funny!  Although, he does kinda have a point.

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The Wedding Proprosal, hope and single black women

The Wedding Proposal is a personal documentary where the filmmaker takes stock of her life style and romantic choices during the year of her 35th birthday. The film examines the institution of marriage, opinions and attitudes about marriage and marriage options from the viewpoint of professional African-American women my age and older.”

Thomas Lopez-Pierre (holding private placement memorandum) with models during casting call for Fashion Show Club Magazine /investor presentation for Lopez-Pierre Realty, LLC, November 19, 2007 (NYC)
Thomas Lopez-Pierre (holding private placement memorandum) with models during casting call for Fashion Show Club Magazine /investor presentation for Lopez-Pierre Realty, LLC, November 19, 2007 (NYC)

I’m watching Anjanette Levert’s documentary on BET right now. The filmmaker, an educated African-American journalist, celebrates her 35th birthday and acknowledges to her dismay that she is STILL unmarried. For answers she turns to her family, her friends and a very interesting negro…Thomas Lopez Pierre, Managing Partner of The Harlem Club, a private social club for professional African-Americans. Any professional man is eligible to join, but women must be under 35, single, have no children; AND they must also submit head and body photos. Thomas points out the troubling statistic that of those African-Americans that graduate college, 65% are women. That leaves a shortage of available professional men for women like Anjanette. As you might think, the ladies in the documentary are not feeling Mr. Lopez. He says that most professional men don’t want a partner (who is a professional woman who works and that they have to support in their goals and journey to success) …they want a wife and that they want to walk into the room with a drop dead gorgeous woman/trophy that personifies their success. He also says there is NO hope for any unmarried black woman over the age of 35. Very interesting…sigh.

What do I think?
Everybody wants love. No body wants to be one of “those women”.  Yall know what I’m talking about!

Very interesting so far…it will be on again as part of the Black Stories series, I’m sure.

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Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

I think Hillary Clinton would benefit from watching this series in light of her recent comments.  It’s a great video and really gave me some interesting incite on how white people perceive [or don’t perceive] white privilege.


[5 parts]

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is a brilliant documentary and a must-see for all people who are interested in justice, spiritual growth and community making. It features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States.”

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Racist interracial dating songs make a great soundtrack!

First of all, where in the Hell did he find that “White Girl and a Nigger” Song??? Dayum! Oh well, who am I kidding…you can just google “racist songs” or “nigger song” and find a couple CDs and website for all the redneck Klans men out there. They say ni**er just about as much as the average rapper does…no maybe a little less.  That singer is saying the N-word in the traditional, old world south, “I really mean it” kinda way.

The details on YouTube said that this is the trailer for “Who Are You”, a new documentary I am working on it should be set for release March 2008. I’m sure it will be viewed in many a barbershop. No, but for real, I wish nothing but luck to the filmmaker. He’s telling the truth especially about history of european peoples and global terror. The black women with blond hair montage…priceless. Great use of footage. That Roots soundbite made me a little more angry each time I heard it. Sigh! Doesn’t this filmmaker know I gotta go to work with good white folks tomorrow. He’s trying to get me riled up. LOL

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42.3% of Black Women Have Never Been Married

How many of you can identify with these women??? Do you believe that everyone has a soulmate???

“We are the most un-partnered people in the United States.” Dayum…that is a powerful statement. Andrea Wiley is talking about it in her documentary “SoulMate“. It was featured in the 5 part series that NBC did on Black Women in America. From the website…

For those still waiting to exhale, Soulmate is a gripping cinematic journey into the realities facing today’s successful, saved, and single African American women. This deeply personal portrait reveals the trials, and triumphs of unforgettable women while offering hope and practical advice on such issues as loneliness, the desire for sexual intimacy, men on the “down low”, the ticking biological clock and the uncertainty of the future. This film offers uplifting revelations about the quest for your true… “Soulmate.”

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Watch It: Goodbye Uncle Tom

This movie may be quite simply the most shocking, screamingly offensive blaxploitation movie of all time!!! is an unabashedly incendiary look at race relations in America during the early seventies that’s guaranteed to leave your jaw on the floor. This movie has it’s flaws, as critics like Robert Ebert have pointed out. However, I rank it right up there with Sankofa on the scale of movies that illuminate the horror, the absolute inhumane nature of the institution of slavery…no sugar coating.

The Italian filmmaking team of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi’s 1971’s GOODBYE UNCLE TOM (a.k.a. ADDIO ZIO TOM) (view it here) is an epic that puts the team’s documentary background to good use and outdoes all their other films in sheer outrageousness. Some would say that this pseudo-documentary is arguably the most shocking (yet effective) cinematic treatment of slavery and its consequences, surpassing all the others–ROOTS, MANDINGO, DRUM, AMISTAD, ILL-GOTTEN GAINS, BELOVED and MANDALAY. Well, I can say that this movie has something to anger just about anyone. Want to see it…there are some clips available on YouTube (I think the whole movie is on Google Movies). Here are some comments from others.

I thought this site summed it up well…

The movie is filmed as if modern filmmakers took a trip the antebellum south and recorded what they saw there, with an emphasis on the most inhuman stuff they could find. So, we get to see rape, torture, children being sold as sex toys, beatings, and just about everything else you can think of. Even when there are not massive amounts of violence on the screen, it’s still pretty disturbing. There’s a shot of a little white girl and a little black boy running through a field together; after a little while you realize the girl has the boy on a leash. And about every five minutes, there’s someone prattling on about the inferiority of blacks people. Much of the dialog comes from the actual letters and documents of time, so at least there’s some devotion to historical accuracy. I’m not sure how accurate everything else is, but even if only 10 percent of it is true, it would still be absolutely horrible.

In the end, Goodbye, Uncle Tom is not so much a racist movie as it is a completely tasteless movie. It’s like watching a John Waters-directed version of Black Like Me – whatever lessons about racism there are to be learned, they’ll be overshadowed by the scenes of transvestites getting hit in the face with colostomy bags. I have no problems with a discussion of race relations or the horrors of slavery, but bringing a Jerry Springer-type sensibility to it is a really bad idea. The movie stands as a testament to good intentions gone completely awry.

Robert Ebert says…

The movie gloats over scenes of human degradation. And this time there isn’t even the excuse of documentary; every scene in this movie was specifically staged. Unfortunately, Jacopetti and Prosperi have been able to find people willing to undergo the humiliation inflicted on them in “Farewell Uncle Tom“; most of the blacks in the film are apparently Africans forced by poverty and need to do these things for a few days’ pitiful wages.

This is cruel exploitation. If it is tragic that the barbarism of slavery existed in this country, is it not also tragic — and enraging — that for a few dollars the producers of this film were able to reproduce and reenact that barbarism?

Make no mistake. This movie itself humiliates its actors in the way the slaves were humiliated 200 years ago. A man without a hand is photographed shoving mash into his mouth from a trough. Very young girls are mocked in auction scenes. Pregnant women — women who are really pregnant — are corralled into a scene about the “breeding” of slaves. The fact that this film could find a booking in a legitimate motion-picture theater is depressing.

You can read the rest of Robert Ebert’s take here.

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