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Showing posts from September, 2015

Black Women in 21st Century Horror Films: The New Masters

It is an extremely promising and empowering time for artistic innovation. The essential need to spread new ideas, track permanently relevant historical perspectives and build upon projects that ultimately create communities has been infectious. A space deeply dear to me, being black and female in the horror community is very slowly becoming a fact removed from an anomaly in the shadows. In film in particular, it feels only of late that Black women in horror have truly rippled the tides, igniting screens with their faces, but also their own visions.

Dark Matters: Your One-Stop For Diversity in Genre Media

We've arrived at an intriguing crossroads in popular media. Audiences, consumers, fans and the like are getting a consistent headcount of people of color in film, television, novels, and games, but struggle with the reproduction of old tropes and tired practices that make these characters nothing but window dressing masked as progress, while adding more weight upon the promise of meaningful stories and multi-dimensional bodies (I'm looking at you, Sleepy Hollow).

There's so much to comb through and even more to preserve. The women behind Dark Matters are Cate and Erica; "genre-lovers exploring issues of race and 'other' in various arts, media, and academic disciplines, in the context of science fiction, horror, fantasy, the supernatural, and all things geek-friendly". This digital platform operates as a resource and tool to drive the need for cultural and racially multiplicitous voices in genre media.

After chatting with Erica face to face weeks back, I …

"The Black Dude Dies First" Origins & More Musings

"African American characters outlive other characters way more often than you're lead to believe through genre jokes." -Blair Hoyle, cinemaslasher.com

"I seen this movie, the Black dude dies first." -Orlando Jones as Harry in Evolution (2001)

I'm a bit sour to the notion that Black characters (always) die first as the issue skitters the line of accuracy. I've always watched horror movies a bit removed from this concept, consistently watching films that more or less taint this formula. If Black people don't die first, they perish later. My biggest gripe is the fact that Black characters are more times than not woefully underdeveloped, simplified tropes that, if and when they do die, are plants often for the white, central character we are to invest  emotionally in. With the television series Fear The Walking Dead being the latest demonstration of Black and first fallen, I began thinking more about why this idea continues to prevail. Within film hist…