Documentary: ‘Boss: The Black Experience in Business’
"Boss: The Black Experience in Business” recounts a history of Black enterprise often overlooked next to its whte counterpart. The historical documentary outlines the ideals and triumphs that allowed Black communities to contribute to the nation's economy. One thing to note: One of the interviewees, Essence CEO Richelieu Dennis, resigned after the making of the amid allegations of an unethical workplace.
Book: ‘White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation’
This study takes on the subject of cultural appropriation, particularly how white people plagiarize and profit from Black, Indigenous, and other cultures of color—from the Kardashian-Jenners to Miley Cyrus. In an interview with Vox, author Lauren Michele Jackson states, “Increasingly there’s this repeated story in our country where actually a whole lot of people don’t get to profit off of the creative insights that they have. That is totally racially structured. That is totally class-structured.”
Film: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’
“I Am Not Your Negro” is the award-winning, Oscar-nominated film based on the unfinished manuscript by writer James Baldwin, “Remember This House.” Samuel L. Jackson’s narration of the manuscript and other writings by Baldwin connects the history and modern-day issues of Black lives in America—though it leaves out Baldwin’s sexuality, which was a key aspect of his identity. Nevertheless, “I Am Not Your Negro” deftly weaves Baldwin’s predictions and insights with current issues.
Documentary: ‘Black Is, Black Ain't’
Marlon Riggs’ “Black Is, Black Ain’t” is a documentary about homophobia and diversity within the Black community. Winner of the 1995 Sundance Film Festival Filmmaker’s Trophy, the film questions identity, specifically the director’s own, as a gay Black man dying of AIDS.
Digital classroom: ‘The Great Unlearn'
“The Great Unlearn” is a digital classroom curated for white people seeking to learn history, gain empathy, and change their implicit biases. Created by writer and lecturer Rachel Cargle, the self-priced classroom contains lectures, syllabi, and other resources to help end racism. The New York Times wrote,“Example-based learning is a go-to in Ms. Cargle’s lesson plans. She often uses it to help her students develop new skills, like understanding the difference between intention and impact.”
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Poems: ‘Magical Negro’
“Magical Negro” is a collection of poems by highly acclaimed writer Morgan Parker. The poems detail varying experiences of Blackness. Literary Hub, in its glowing review, commented, “From dating white boys to imagining what Diana Ross was thinking in that famous photo where she licks her fingers after eating a pair of ribs, Parker’s second poetry collection runs the gamut. But each poem is written with her signature wry humor and caustic honesty.”
Film: 'Portrait of Jason'
“Portrait of Jason” is the restored 1967 film by Shirley Clarke focusing on a gay Black man, the vibrant Jason Holliday (or Aaron Payne), who speaks of the homophobia, racism, and experiences in his life as a hustler and cabaret personality. NPR reviewer John Powers states, “Clarke's movie gets you thinking about essential issues that most nonfiction naively or cynically ignores.”
Podcast: ‘The United States of Anxiety’
“The United States of Anxiety” is a WNYC Radio podcast described as “a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future.” When considering the intricacies of racism, many would say fear is the main reason the institution continues to survive. This idea pairs well with the concept behind the podcast, which takes a look at culture, politics, and history and offers commentary to widen listeners’ perspectives.
Podcast: ‘Busy Being Black’
The “Busy Being Black” podcast explores the intersection of queerness and blackness in the form of oral history and discourse. It’s about “learning to thrive at the intersections of their identity.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Can’t find a source for this quote; it might be on the podcast itself. With episodes such as “I Am Not a Stereotype” and “Too Black, Too White,” host Josh Rivers invites guests to share wisdom and experiences on varying topics regarding race.
TV series: ‘Dear White People’
“Dear White People” is a Netflix television series about Black students at an Ivy League University who face the challenges of modern-day race relations. The show was adapted from the Independent Spirit Award-winning film but approaches race in a different way than its earlier incarnation.
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