All Hail The Chief

One of my favorite highlights of 2017 was being invited by the wonderful Monique Jones to participate in a virtual roundtable discussion with other Native Black peers over on Just Add Color.

The topic of discussion? How the inclusion of The Chief in Wonder Woman made a positive impact on a number of levels.

Gratitude to Monique for having me as well as the other lovely ladies who provided some most excellent insight to a wonderful discussion.

Shall we proceed.

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Keep Beyonce’s Name Out Of Your Mouth

One reason you will never hear me complain about the Beyhive stanning for Beyonce. Aside from the fact that she’s awesome, it’s that even in the 21st century, celebrating phenomenal black women is still a revolutionary act.

Prelude:

Setting: A dream (?) from a few years back where I wake up and find myself strapped to a lab table. Everything is dark and blurry but I hear voices overhead.

Female Voice: Ladies, gentlemen, non gender binary individuals present. We can rebuild him. We have the technology and the magic. We have the capability to transform this candidate into a sleeper agent for the Beyhive. Dennis R. Upkins will be that agent. Ready to act on behalf of King Bey at a moment’s notice. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster, wiser.

Male Voice: Are you sure he’s the right candidate?

Female Voice: This comes from High Command. Apparently he’s been on the radar of the Illuminati for quite some time. 

Male Voice: I think he’s waking up.

Female Voice: Oh crap.

Denny: [Groggy] Where am I???? What’s going on????

Male Voice: Back to sleep you. [Places anesthetic mask back on my face. Everything fades to black……..]

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Like countless others, you could count me as a fan of one Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Between her music, films, artistry, philanthropy, and activism, she is not only a role model and an inspiration but the personification of #BlackExcellence.

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While I’ve been a fan of Bey’s, I never considered myself a member of the Beyhive. But you wouldn’t know it given how vocal I’ve been over the years am in defending Beyonce against attacks of white supremacy. But not all agents of white supremacy are of the caucasian persuasion. Many are other blacks all too eager to the devil’s bidding.

Which brings us to one Nnedi Okorafor.

As speculative fiction authors, she and I run in many of the same circles. And many white spec fic fans and authors kept recommending her to me. Always happy to support a sister (or so I thought), I read some of her stuff which was pretty solid and followed her on social media. However it wasn’t long before I realized why she was such a darling for white audiences.  Okorafor began showing who she truly is. From petulant temper tantrums to unprovoked attacks, she would regularly abuse everyone from fans to other authors on social media and would then cowardly delete her comments to cover up her toxic behavior, usually aimed at other Blacks.

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The Sinister White Lie About Black Films

Awhile back I was watching Hollywood Unlocked and Michael Jai White was the guest.  I’ve been a fan of White and his body…….of work for most of my life ;-). However this was one of the first times I got the opportunity to hear him discuss a number of topics at length. To say I was floored by the genius and the wisdom this brother was dropping would be a massive understatement. In the course of an hour and a half, he broke it all the way down about the history, challenges and solutions concerning Blacks in Hollywood and the media in general.

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I Think I Love Gina Torres

Anyone who’s known me for longer than 8 seconds knows that I praise and adore all things Gina Torres.

To some of you, she is a talented, brilliant and beautiful actress. To me, she is a deity whom I proudly worship. If you’ve seen season 4 of Angel, then you have an idea of my devotion to The Goddess.

Between Justice League Unlimited, Firefly, Serenity, Alias, Hercules, Xena, Suits, etc. her catalog of work is much like the goddess, flawless.

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However, there is one film of her’s that I have yet to watch and have no plans on doing so.

I refuse to see Chris Rock’s I Think I Love My Wife where in the movie Perfection Herself is married to Rock who is questioning their marriage.

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I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief and this is from a guy who makes a living writing speculative fiction.

Chris Rock having doubts about his marriage to Gina Torres?  First of all Negro, who in the Blue Hell is you? Who are you to doubt anything pertaining to Perfection herself?

I mean don’t get it twisted. Your surname may be Rock but you sure as hell ain’t the Rock. You might be a few slots above Flavor Flav if I’m being generous.

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I say this as a gay man. If you are married to the Goddess of Flawless Victory, and you still aren’t happy with life, I don’t know what to tell you. Something is obviously lacking and deficient on your end. I’m saddened to tell you but clearly your life had just been a waste.

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The Best Films of 2018

2018 was definitely the year of #BlackExcellence on the big screen. A phenomenon transpired with the release of one specific film and in conjunction with other movies resulted in a cultural shift that will continue to shape the entertainment, social, political, planetary landscape for years to come.

2018 was a reminder why representation matters and stories can change the world.

With that in mind, the following are my top films of 2018. As is the standard, in order for a film to qualify, it must pass Upkins Media Litmus Test.

There may be some cinematic gems listed that you may have missed and want to check out.

Without further adieu, the following are my picks for the Best Films of 2018.

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