Tuesday, February 28, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Jeryl Prescott

Jeryl Prescott (1964- )

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Prescott was born in Washington, D.C., then adopted and raised in Hartsville, South Carolina. She is best known for her role as Jacqui in season one of the television series The Walking Dead, which premiered on AMC in 2010. She was originally cast for just two episodes but was then written into the entire season. With a Master’s in African American Literature and a PhD in American Literature, she taught at Wake Forest University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Before teaching, she worked in trucking, having originally earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management. Prescott is currently a resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and divides her time there and travelling to Los Angeles for acting work. (Sources 1 & 2)


Monday, February 27, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Antonia Thomas

Antonia Thomas (1986- )

Misfits (2009-2011)

Thomas was born in London to a Jamaican mother and an English bass singer father. She studied for a Bachelor of Arts in acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and graduated in 2009. Thomas was cast as Alisha Daniels on Misfits in 2009 just one day after leaving Bristol Old Vic. She confirmed her exit from Misfits in late 2011, stating that she had an "amazing time" on the show. In 2012, she starred in the music video for the Coldplay song "Charlie Brown". In 2015, Antonia was featured in the Stereophonics song "C'est La Vie" and went on to the narrate the opening and closing lines to the reboot of the British children's television series Teletubbies. (Source)

About Misfits (2009-2011)

Antonia is most known for playing the Molly Ringwald-in-The-Breakfast-Club type on Misfits. Not horror, but definitely sci-fi/fantasy. Being one of the best television series of the aughts, Misfits maximizes on this statement by creating accessible, layered characters who grapple with supernatural abilities that are cleverly an extension of who they are. For Alicia, it helped her come to terms with the unsavory way she treated others and especially herself. It's so cliche to say that she grew towards loving herself a little more but it's true. Also, Antonia has completed some decent looking horror films I can't wait to see.

Other Genre Performances

Nicky, Rearview (2017)
FirstBorn (2016)
Isabel Harringay, The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells (2016)
Pin Jones, Spark (2016)
Alex, Air (2014)
Steinmann, The Hybrid (2014)
Maddy, The Deep (2010)

Follow the #Blackwomeninhorror & #WiHM8 hashtags all month long!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Emayatzy Corinealdi

Emayatzy Corinealdi (1980- )

The Invitation (2015)

Corinealdi was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Her father is Panamanian and her mother is an Black American. As a member of a military family, she was raised between Germany and the U.S. states of Ohio, Kansas, and New Jersey. She studied in New Jersey at the Actor's Training Studio, the William Esper Studio in New York City, then at Playhouse West. She co-starred in a number of independent and short films as well as a recurring role on the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. In 2012, she made her feature film debut as the lead in the drama Middle of Nowhere. From there, Corinealdi won the 14th Annual American Black Film Festival Star Project, an international acting competition for emerging multicultural artists. Later that year, she won a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor for the film. She was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. In 2013 Corinealdi appeared in the short film The Door, part of Miu Miu's fashion series Women's Tales, which reunited her with her Middle of Nowhere director Ava DuVernay. In 2014, Corinealdi was cast in the Amazon drama series Hand of God. Later that year, she has won the role of Frances Taylor, the wife of Miles Davis in the biographical film Miles Ahead. (Source)

About The Invitation (2015)

Kira (Corinealdi) was the model of coolness for 'My white boyfriend's white ex and white friends are freaking nuts' and fought back when the crazy hit its anxiety-riddled peak. I have yet to really zero in on all of my thoughts about this film because it's been that movie that I completely adore and desire to absorb all of its textures. The Invitation delivers so many messages that my inbox is full, down to the optics of having Kira be a Black woman reminding me of just how important 'seeing ourselves' in these texts really are.

"I walked away saying, 'No dinner parties with people I don’t know, in the Hills.' Things can get sketchy up there. It’s already tough to navigate your way up there. You usually have to park your car somewhere else and get a shuttle. You can get stranded up there. I never thought about that before this film in terms of what L.A. can be like, and the Hills and everything. You have to be aware of your company, the company that you keep. This is something that you grow up hearing. This is something your parents tell you: 'Be aware of who you’re with.'" 
-Emayatzy's takeaway lesson from The Invitation

Other Genre Performances

Ms. Tandon, Teacher In A Box (2014)
Girl, Demons (2007)
Eve, Vampz (2004)

Follow the #Blackwomeninhorror & #WiHM8 hashtags all month long!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett (1958- )

American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born in New York City to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son. Bassett and her sister D'nette grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida with their mother. As a single mother, Betty stressed the importance of education for her children. With the assistance of an academic scholarship, Bassett matriculated into Yale University where she received her B.A. in African-American studies. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama. It was at Yale that Bassett met her husband, Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the Drama School. Bassett first appeared in small roles on The Cosby Show (1984) and Spenser: For Hire (1985), but it was not until 1990 that a spate of television roles brought her notice. Her breakthrough role, though, was playing Tina Turner, whom she had never seen perform before taking the role in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. (Source)

About American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

Out of the dozens of roles, I chose Marie Laveau from American Horror Story because I feel it to be such a genre breakout for a younger generation who may not be familiar with seeing Angela as Katherine Jackson in Strange Days or in Critters 4, etc. Along with bridging the generation gap, her performance was so superlative I can probably conclude that even for the harsher critics of the season, she carried the strength of it equally beside Jessica Lange. My reverence for this role is purely visceral; I saw power, was rejuvenated by her passion, sorrow, and vengeance modus operandi leaning towards racial justice. And she was just so cool.

Other Genre Performances

Ramonda, Black Panther (2018)
Lee Harris/Monet Tumusiime, American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016)
Ramona Royale, American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)
Desiree Dupree, American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014)
Doctor Waller, Green Lantern (2011)
Dr. Kaela Evers, Supernova (2000)
Rachel Constantine, Contact (1997)
Det. Rita Veder, Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Lornette 'Mace' Mason, Strange Days (1995)
U.S. Attorney Sinclair, Innocent Blood (1992)
Fran, Critters 4 (1992)
Evelyn, Nightmare Cafe (1992)
Linda Lake, The Flash (1991)
Renee Longstreet, Alien Nation (1990)
TV Reporter, F/X (1986)

Follow the #Blackwomeninhorror & #WiHM8 hashtags all month long!

Friday, February 24, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Kelly Jo Minter

Kelly Jo Minter (1966- )

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Kelly is from North Trenton, New Jersey where she spent her early years as a gang member and professional criminal. She eventually made her way out west working "at Bell & Howell Video Duplication House in El Segundo, California. She got started in video in Redondo Beach, California, at an adult education training program called the 'CETA' program." Beginning in the early 1980's, she built an impressive resume in film and television, mostly in crime drama thrillers. Even in supporting roles, she was still a standout. She's had four sons and since, and had developed a successful business designing handbags in Los Angeles. (Sources 1 & 2)

About A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Minter as Yvonne in the wacky, terrifying Freddy Krueger universe was pretty sobering. She portrayed one of the peers so reluctant to accept that a once evil person is now an evil spirit attacking people in their dreams. So as these movies go, she eventually does get the pun-infused wake up call in dramatic fashion and even more rare, lives to become little Jacob Daniel's "auntie". With the Elm Street series at this point being arguably at its lowest, and in a few ways inconsistent, there's still no completely discrediting The Dream Child for its strength with staying in tune to what it was like to be a teenager at this time. Yvonne makes a great point in the film to explain one of the character's death about the pressure parents put on their children, especially considering how Freddy manipulated some of the characters. That's an issue that will never go stale, and as the world becomes so much more competitive, it will and has become so much more prevalent. Minter gave Yvonne the right amount of spirit that didn't turn caricature and brought levity to a series riding rapidly off the rails.

Other Genre Performances

Cosmic Slop, 1994
Ruby Williams, The People Under The Stairs (1991)
Cheryl, Popcorn (1991)
Maria, The Lost Boys (1987)

Follow the #Blackwomeninhorror & #WiHM8 hashtags all month long!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Get Out: Crafting A Masterpiece From The Horror Of Racism

When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) moves forward in the next phase of his romantic relationship with Rose (Allison Williams) by spending a weekend at her childhood home with her family, he begins to have strange experiences which leads him to believe that Rose's family may have sinister intentions.

Written & directed by Jordan Peele

Get Out is a film by a horror fan. One that was certainly haunted by his muse that dismissed any notions of never seeing his script being shot and distributed. Jordan Peele: The Art of the Social Thriller, Peele's curated film series still currently an event at the Brooklyn Academy Museum in New York invites viewers into his influences for this buzzed about horror film. As diverse as his choices are, its connective tissue is the unthinkable discomfort of space and relentless, interactive experiences with identity that puts some of us at a disadvantage. In The Silence Of The Lambs, Clarice Starling is surrounded by men who flirt, undermine, physically threaten and are threatened by her ambition and position. In Candyman, the title character is a mythical, looming force that is both suppressed while highly desired. After seeing Get Out, there is no doubt in my mind that each of these 'social thrillers' that Peele has chosen are the building blocks for Get Out as a post- Hope reminder. The film is engineered to operate all of those moving gears inside of your brain simultaneously, making it hard to define simply by being "good". It challenges the "why" behind that statement, and scares the living shit out of you while doing so.

The main character Chris is fragmented. His past trauma is used against him when it is made clear that it's a part of himself he desperately wants to detach from. And this psychological removal in his backstory is cleverly placed in the broader context as a gateway to manipulate his sense of safety so that others can swarm in and scavenge on his parts. Peele in all good sense blends our surface expectations with slightly unexpected, distinguishable texture. The most beautiful parts about Chris (which the camera's eye hints but never becomes exploitative) goes beyond the physical gaze and into a mind in the 21st century that is given room to blossom and prosper. He is a whole person that loves, fears, has quirks, sees and creates art. And this, plus Chris' blackness makes him a larger target; an alluring threat that is as disposable as the lives we tragically see hashtaged down our Twitter timelines.

Get Out effectively let's some of us off the hook a little in attempting to make sense for others, how nuanced, racist social interactions is a train that's never late. As a Black woman, I can now wave my animated hands towards Get Out if I hear so much as a sneezed "Post-Racial America" argument. How do the so-called, harmless comments along with contrived politeness come together to create a clearer picture of the reality that racism really isn't just all in someone's head? Further brilliant is the fact that Get Out examines the concept of power; who has it, and the fragile concept of superiority. The suggestion of the tone is that Chris is outnumbered, but not outwitted. What becomes riveting is, who triumphs, and regardless of who does, what comes next?

Peele and Get Out masterfully refutes any counter narrative to what people of color know to be their authentic experience in a world that fetishizes, is repulsed by, and uses them for personal gain by breaking down its parts. Making this story horror/thriller is an intentional assault that begs for our attention to the critical importance of the genre's intimate relationship with reality. I vehemently avoided any press regarding Get Out, wanting my first watch to be filled with as much innocence as possible. The headlines have made it clear; Peele wants us to talk. To discuss why Get Out elicits fear, discomfort, laughter, and maybe even anger. As we watch Chris confront pieces of himself he thought he left behind, we are left with his dreadful predicament as Peele slathers carefully paced suspense into the plot where we consistently find Chris so grippingly vulnerable at the worst (but maybe best) possible time.

Chris is given dimensions and a clear, satisfying arc that has left me both full and hungry for the leftovers Peele makes sure his feast provides. This includes the humor that could have easily disrupted the tone yet, as we expect from Peele, becomes seamless, much needed, and perfectly delivered by Chris' best friend Rod played by LilRel Howery. The humor relief is an element that, even though I've loved watching Key & Peele, I wasn't expecting. Humor is used as an additional tool of insight and makes watching with a group much more pleasurable than I realized.

Get Out is heavy, and I'm sure it will weigh on many others. Because it's one of those very special genre films that comes along and lives up to its promise in ways that hit each and every emotional branch coming down from its high. And it'll be with us years later as shattered pieces from its fall, making sense for the future of how we talk about racism, and the human monster that hides within it.

All this to say, go out an treat yourself to this movie this weekend beginning tomorrow, 
February 24th, 2017. Georgina is watching to make sure you do...


28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Falon Joslyn

Falon Joslyn 

American Exorcist (2016)

"I was born in Philadelphia. At 4 I began modeling and runway. Starting out in this industry at such a young age is most certainly an eye opener. I was exposed to a work lifestyle that most people don't recognize until they are well into their 20's. From dance to horseback riding; from singing to speech classes, every day was filled with new learning experiences. Although my mother gave me my thirst for acting, it was my grandmother who gave me my love of film. Specifically horror and dark comedies. My true weak spot. As I grow older I find myself looking for more interesting characters to portray. Characters that will push me to dig deep and create stories that will stick with an audience. Pushing them to think outside the box." (Source)


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Beverly Bonner

Beverly Bonner 

Basket Case (1982)

Beverly Bonner, originally from Chesaning, Michigan, followed her show business dreams to New York City. She has appeared in over 45 plays, most notable being featured with the late Divine in the long-running hit play “Women Behind Bars”. Beverly is most recognized from her appearances as the third lead in almost all of Frank Henenlotter’s cult horror movies. Her half hour sketch comedy The Beverly Bonner Show ran for 5 years on Manhattan Neighborhood network and her TV show, Beverly Bonner’s Laugh Track ran 7 years on Time Warner Cable. 

A drop dead funny stand up, Beverly has produced and appeared at most of the comedy clubs in New York. A former Motown employee, Beverly was thrilled to be invited to perform in front of more than 3,000 people at Motown’s 40th Anniversary. In 2007 she formed a new sketch comedy group, Bonner's Boomers. Beverly also ran her hit comedy play, “Casey---30 Year Later!” based on her original character in Frank Henenlotter’s cult horror film Basket Case. Currently, Beverly just shot a short horror film based on a Stephen King story titled One For The Road. (Source)


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Eve

Eve (1978- )

Animal (2014)

"Horror is my favorite genre. It's the best. I'm the kind of person that loves being scared, so to be able to be in a movie that I'm screaming in is the best."

Being in a horror film was one of Eve's dreams coming true.

Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper is a rapper and actress from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is also the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002 for the song "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" with Gwen Stefani. As an actress, Eve is known for her roles as Terri Jones in the films Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back in Business and Barbershop: The Next Cut, as well as Shelley Williams on the UPN television sitcom Eve. She has also achieved success in fashion, with her clothing line, Fetish. (Source)


Monday, February 20, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Beryl Cunningham

Beryl Cunningham (1946- )

Screamers (1979)

Beryl was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica. After high school, she moved to London to attend university to pursue a modeling career. Cunningham's career, after some secondary roles, was launched in the late 1960's starring in a myriad of foreign films but later  failed to capitalize on her early success and retired from acting in the early 1980's. During this career, Cunningham was also a presenter, hosting among others the 1971 edition of Cantagiro. She was also a singer, recording among others a cover of the Jula de Palma's hit "Tua". In 1979 she was a regular guest of the television program Playboy di mezzanotte. In 1981 she also published a book of Jamaican aphrodisiac recipes, La cucina giamaicana, published by Crochet Edizioni.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Meagan Good

Meagan Good (1981- )

Saw V (2008)

Meagan Good has made a decent transition from child to adult actress. And this likely little known fact about her is golden:

As a young girl, Good had always had a love for horror filmsーa fact which she later cited as being one of the reasons why she had wanted to become an actress in the first place; some of Good’s favorite horror movies include Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) and Halloween 5 (1989). (Source)


Saturday, February 18, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Rae Dawn Chong

Rae Dawn Chong (1961- )

Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Her are some facts about Rae Dawn you may (or may not) know:

Was married to C. Thomas Howell.

Almost played Willis's girlfriend on Diff'rent Strokes (1978), but producers thought that she wasn't ethnic looking enough and cast Janet Jackson instead.

Subject of Stephen Lynch's song, "RDC (Opie's Lament)".

Discovered Chris Pratt (who starred on the CW's Everwood) while he was a waiter at a restaurant in Hawaii where she was eating dinner one evening.

An active volunteer for many charities, strongly supporting Habitat for Humanity and Byron Katie's work with inmates in prisons.

Mentioned in the Alice In Chains' "Love Song". (Source)


Friday, February 17, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Janee Michelle

Janee Michelle (1946- )

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Geneva Leona Mercadel (Janee) was born into a large family with deep roots in the New Orlean's Seventh Ward. She is what New Orleans natives call a "Creole's Creole." Her father was a barber who owned a business on St. Anthony Street and her mother was a hairdresser. She always wanted to be an entertainer and participated in recitals in school or other venues. She credits her mother for being her staunchest supporter "who was the foundation of my life and all my successes." Her earliest memories of performers who inspired her are of Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt and Lena Horne appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. The family relocated and she arrived in LA convinced she would make it. She got an agent and changed her name. She was also enrolled at the time in Manual Arts High School. While she commuted weekly to Las Vegas to work as a dancer, she graduated 25th scholastically in a class of 500. Today, she is a successful businesswoman in New Orleans and is still playing roles in films. (Source)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Adina Porter

Adina Porter (1971- )

True Blood (2008)

Adina Porter was born and raised in The South Bronx. She is a first generation American; her father was born and spent his youth in Sierra Leone, Africa, while her mother was born in Bermuda. They noticed her artistic streak and enrolled her in a children's acting class at St. Mark's AME Church in Harlem. Her first acting teacher was the legendary Butterfly McQueen who ran the church's holiday programs. During her early high school years, Porter was encouraged by a teacher to audition for the High School of Performing Arts. She followed that advice, auditioned and was accepted. After that, Porter studied acting and graduated from SUNY Purchase. During her senior year, the university held showcases for New York agents where she was "discovered" by a talent agent. Porter has made her mark in all areas of entertainment: television, film and theater. Porter spends most of her spare time chasing after her two children. She splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. (Source)


28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Gloria Lynne Henry

Gloria Lynne Henry 

Phantasm III: Lord Of The Dead (1994)

Gloria Lynne Henry was born in Detroit and started her acting career very early performing on stage since the age of eight. After receiving her B.F.A. in theater arts at Wayne State University, Gloria helped to create a children's' theater program at Detroit's Attic theater. She has also traveled with the international group 'Up With People' on their European tour and performed in Equity playhouses across the United States. In 1994, Gloria got recognition from horror/sci-fi fans worldwide after co-starring in Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994).


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Aaliyah

Aaliyah (1979-2001)

Queen Of The Damned (2002)

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Detroit. She got her first major exposure appearing on the syndicated television series Star Search where she awed the audience with her amazing voice and talent, singing "My Funny Valentine." At age 11, she sang with Gladys Knight in a five-night stint in Las Vegas. Withdrawing from the celebrity scene for a few years, Aaliyah lived the life of a normal teenage girl, attending Detroit's Performing Arts High School, where she majored in dance. Her debut album Age Ain't Nothing But A Number scored several hits, specifically "Back and Forth." During her senior year, Aaliyah went on to record her second album, One In A Million which featured the songwriting talents of major R&B producers/writers Missy Elliott and Tim Mosley. The album was a major success and sealed Aaliyah's fame forever.


Monday, February 13, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Estelle Hemsley

Estelle Hemsley (1887-1968)

The Leech Woman (1960)

Estelle Hemsley was a prominent early African American actress. She appeared in the stage and screen versions of Take a Giant Step, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the 1959 movie directed by Philip Leacock. Her other notable film roles include playing Grandmother Topouzoglou in Elia Kazan's 1963 movie America, America (nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture), the role of Cla-Cla in Mel Ferrer's 1959 film Green Mansions, the mother of Ruby Dee in Edge of the City (1957), and Catherine in Robert Mulligan's 1965 movie Baby the Rain Must Fall. (Source)


Sunday, February 12, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Jessica Lucas

Jessica Lucas (1985- )

Evil Dead (2013)

Jessica Lucas is an actress and singer from Vancouver, Canada. Her interest in acting came when she joined a children’s theatre program, starring in a number of stage productions including Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Grease, Cinderella, Mousetrap and Music Medley. While making her way through high school, Jessica found herself starring in two TV shows, the first role was a guest appearance in 2000 on the TV show, Seven Days where she played the role of Rita. The following year, she starred briefly in the sequel, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge. (Source)

"As much as I like watching horror films, I never thought I would act in them."


Saturday, February 11, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Marpessa Dawn

Marpessa Dawn (1934-2008)

The Woman Eater (1958)

Marpessa Dawn is also known as Gypsy Marpessa Dawn Menor and was an American-born Black, Filipino, and French actress, singer, and dancer, best remembered for her role in the film Black Orpheus (1959). Born on a farm near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she worked as a laboratory technician in New York before migrating to Europe as a teenager. She began acting in England with some minor TV roles. Then, in 1953, she relocated to France and while occasionally working as a governess also sang and danced in nightclubs where she met director Marcel Camus. At the age of 24 she won the role of "Eurydice" in his film Black Orpheus. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She married Camus, but divorced him soon after and married Belgian actor Eric Vander. Considered a great beauty, she was featured in November 1959 by Ebony and has been hailed as "one of Ebony magazine's prettiest cover girls, along with the likes of Dorothy Dandridge, Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams and Lena Horne."

Dawn remained in Europe working in French films and television. She also had several theatrical parts, including starring in Chérie Noire, a stage comedy that toured France, Belgium, Switzerland, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, and Le Jardin des délices (The Garden of Delights), by Fernando Arrabal with Delphine Seyrig. She appeared in a 2005 documentary about Vinicius de Moraes, who wrote the original play from which Black Orpheus was adapted. She and her fellow lead from that film, Brazilian actor Breno Mello, died just 42 days apart in 2008, both from heart attacks. She was 74 years old and at the time of her death in Paris, survived by five children and four grandchildren. (Source)


Friday, February 10, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Kandyse McClure

Kandyse McClure (1980- )

Children Of The Corn (2009)

Kandyse McClure was born in Durban, South Africa. She is of Cape Coloured descent. McClure graduated from West Vancouver Secondary School in 1998. She continues to work with the non-profit organization CARE Canada to address poverty in the world's developing regions. McClure resides in Vancouver, British Columbia and is married to musician Cylenz. (Source)


Thursday, February 9, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Rosalind Cash

Rosalind Cash (1938-1995)

The Omega Man (1971)

Rosalind was first introduced to me as Mary Mae Ward on General Hospital. It was the mid-1990's and I was on the cusp of an even more awkward venture into high school. Soap operas were my pop culture outlet of choice at the time. As such an unmovable presence, her age and locs an aspiration, quite ethereal as a wake up call that there is life beyond adolescence, Cash became a presence I looked forward to seeing and discovering in other film and television projects. Luckily, she has had an incredible career with a variety of appearances. In Tales From The Hood, she was the gatekeeper of purgatory. In From A Whisper To A Scream, she was an intimidating magic tyrant. Heroes, villains, deans of colleges, Cash as a character actor gave her the ability to be a chameleon and a believable one in each of her roles. I was sad to hear of her passing when it was initially announced. I even remember the wonderful tribute General Hospital did for her.

I'm not good at playing stereotypes. I don't ingratiate myself to the powers-that-be as some nice, Negro, colored, abiding person. You cannot depend on me to be that Negro that you have come to know and love, that you're used to. -Rosalind Cash


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Jurnee Smollett-Bell (1986- )

True Blood (2013-2014)
Jurnee Diana Smollett-Bell began her career as a child actress appearing on television sitcoms, with her most significant regular role being on On Our Own (1994–95). She received critical acclaim and a Critic's Choice Award for playing title role in the 1997 independent drama film Eve's Bayou. In adult age, Smollett-Bell has starred in films and roles on number of television series, include playing the leading role as Rosalee, the house slave, in the WGN America period drama Underground. Smollett-Bell has been active in HIV/AIDS causes since she was 11. She spoke at the Ryan White Youth Conference. She is also on the Board of Directors of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Board of Directors for the Children’s Defense Fund. (Source)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Betty Gabriel

Betty Gabriel

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

Betty Gabriel was born in Washington D.C. and raised in both Pittsburgh and Hyattsville, MD. After graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science/Pre-Vet, she moved to Chicago to become a modern dancer and also studied acting. After years of performing as a dancer and an actor at reputable theaters such as Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens, she decided to further her studies and is now a graduate of The Juilliard School. (Source)


Monday, February 6, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams (1963- )

Candyman (1992)
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera's Children's Chorus at age 11. After graduating from New York's famed High School of Performing Arts, she earned a Bachelor's degree in theatre and business from Marymount Manhattan College. A member of all three actors unions, Vanessa kept busy striking a balance as a professional actress and college student. Her New York stage credits grew to include the Lincoln Center production of Death and the King's Horseman and the Broadway productions of Sarafina and Mule Bone. Vanessa arrived in L.A. in September 1991, "just to check it out." A month later she was cast as single mother Anna-Marie McCoy in the horror film, Candyman. She made her west coast move official in January 1992, and became a media darling as one of the stars in the Fox TV hit, Melrose Place. Vanessa is also a talented writer who has written a collection of poetry and prose titled Shine. Her poems and essays have also appeared in Essence magazine. As filmmaker, Vanessa wrote, directed, and produced the short film, Dense (2004), which aired on Showtime television and was a favorite among film festival-goers. As a singer/songwriter, Vanessa performed her original melodies in the films Dense and the award-winning short Driving Fish (2002). (Source)


Sunday, February 5, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Oluniké Adeliyi

Oluniké Adeliyi (1977- )

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Olunike Adeliyi was born in Toronto, Canada and raised in both St. Anne's, Jamaica and Brampton, Ontario in Canada. She got the acting bug at a very young age after being cast as the Artful Dodger in her middle school play "Oliver Twist". She studied her craft at The Canadian Academy of Method Acting and continued her studies at the Professional Actors Lab working with Canada's well-known artistic director, David Rotenberg. Oluniké also studied at the Lonsdale Smith Studio in Toronto and Los Angeles. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, Oluniké has performed in theaters throughout Canada and the U.S, playing leading roles in, "Blue Window", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Children's Hour", "Jitney", and Michael Cristofer's play "The Shadow Box." A multi-talented performer, she is also an accomplished dancer who has toured for major international recording artists including Shaggy, George Clinton and other renowned musicians.(Source)


Saturday, February 4, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Teresa Graves

Teresa Graves (1948-2002)

Vampira (1974)
Born in Houston, Texas, Graves began her career singing with The Doodletown Pipers. She soon turned to acting and became a regular in the two variety shows: Our Place (1967) and the infamous single episode of Turn-On (1969). She then became a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In during its third season. As the star of the 1974 Get Christie Love!, Graves is credited as being the first African-American woman to star in her own hour-long drama television series. Jet magazine described Graves as "television's most delightful detective, the epitome of a tough lady cop with more feminine features than Venus". Graves was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1974, and almost immediately began using her celebrity to bring international awareness to the persecution of Witnesses in Malawi under then-leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda's "one-party rule". In 1983, she retired from show business to devote her time to the religion. On October 10, 2002, Graves' home caught fire. She was found unconscious in a bedroom before being rushed to the hospital where she later died. She was 54 years old. (Source)


Friday, February 3, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Bianca Lawson

Bianca Lawson (1979- )

Bones (2001)
Bianca Lawson, for us 90's kids and specifically for genre lovers was originally cast as Cordelia on Buffy The Vampire Slayer but had to turn it down due to a contractual obligation on a short-lived series at the time titled, Goode Behavior. This unfortunate conflict could've been a great, long-term role for Lawson. Cordelia's character really evolved into a pretty dynamic character overtime and even followed a significant character into a spin-off series. I'm in the camp that Kendra, the Jamaican vampire slayer (played by Lawson) that was brought into the series not long after the premiere was a hard character to watch, both in overall treatment and delivery. Which, unfortunately, happens.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Elise Neal

Elise Neal (1966- )

Scream 2 (1997)
The most interesting thing about Elise Neal's Hallie in Scream 2 was the original idea to have her play one of the killers in the big reveal at the end. Rumor has it that the original script was leaked, which is why this change was made. While intriguing, I don't trust that the explanation would've been satisfying. As much as I love (most of) the Scream franchise, the whiny killer soliloquy's were, most notably in Scream 3, just tired. And I'm glad Sidney finally pointed that out. There could've been more to Hallie's almost-sinister acts than just wanting to be famous. But maybe, there would be more implied in her attempt at infamy. Being a Black woman, fighting the at times very insidious space of invisibility is a reality. It's unfortunate that the role wasn't more developed. But in this case, not without an earnest try.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Kim Hamilton

Kim Hamilton (1932-2013)

The Leech Woman (1960)

Kim Hamilton (born Dorothy Mae Aiken) initially wanted to be a model but could not work in the fashion industry because of her short stature and race. Hamilton made her professional acting debut in the 1950s television sitcom Amos 'n' Andy. She played the girlfriend of Andy (Spencer Williams) on the show for several episodes. Hamilton was also an artist, director, and writer. In her final credits, she was credited as Kim Rousseau. In December 2007, Hamilton was honored for her career achievements by Columbia University and the Harlem community at an event held at the Museum of the City of New York. Hamilton's honor was part of series of Columbia University's Big Read program, focusing on To Kill a Mockingbird through guest lectures, productions, and panel discussions.(Source)

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