Black Film


film looks at the roots of drum & west african music konkombe in nigeria.  off course you have the yoruba & hausa present.  what i loved is it showed female musicians the lijadu sisters (yoruba) and then  showed a igbo female transgender musician in aba in eastern nigeria.  not sure if skata is just a female entertainer or lives as a womyn full time.  the clip is here to bring warmth to ya. film is political, informative, entertaining, good production values. loved this film, reminded me of home & needed a smile today. check out my description below of the entire film.

Konkombe: The Nigerian Pop Music Scene

1980 TRT 60 minutes

This video documents the extraordinary breadth of the Nigerian music scene during the 1970s. From ethereal juju rhythms to the shattering funk of Afrobeat tunes, explore the wide spectrum of Nigerian pop music in this documentary. A country in transition, Nigeria’s music reflects this. This film explores the politics of the country also.  Looking at classism, sexism, colonialism, war, liberation movements, corruption & gender expressions.  Through showcasing the country, the people who make the music we explore the growth of a music and a nation.  The film highlights street musicians, a blind traditional minstrel, bandleader King Sunny Ade, composer I.K. Dario and the provocative Fela Kuti. In his powerful interview, the internationally renowned Kuti explains how he fuses socially commentary with African beats to create uniquely Nigerian music. One of the originators of the juju sound, I.K. Dairo, is also featured in a look at his pioneering work in both African music and worship. There’s an interesting peek into the recording studio with the Lijadu Sisters as they work on tracks for their album. The twins give the perspective of female artists in the music business, and they talk about the hardships of working for the British-owned Decca record label.  Shows musicians from Eastern Nigeria performing Highlife to traditional musicians.  Has an Igbo female transgender griot from Aba.  Shows music in the North with Hausa musicians.


Auntie by Lisa Harewood (Barbados)

AUNTIE is a middle-aged seamstress and respected caregiver in her rural Barbadian community. Raising children whose parents are unwilling or unable, Auntie instils discipline, traditional values and a strong moral code. Twelve-year-old KERA is her latest ward and a special child to whom she has grown uncharacteristically close. Seven years after Kera’s mother emigrates to England in search of a better life, Auntie is confronted with the day she has long dreaded when the plane ticket arrives that will reunite Kera with her mother. Unable to accept the inevitable, Auntie makes a hasty decision that goes against everything she claims to stand for and risks damaging the special bond between them on the eve of the child’s departure. - See more at:



The Loving Family. 

Richard and Mildred Loving in 1965.

This beautiful couple was responsible for the breaking of the interracial marriage laws back in the day. I guess you could say that adversity was their middle name. When the state of Virginia denied them the right to tie the knot as well as 15 other states,they finally sealed the deal in Washington D.C and upon their return to their hometown,they faced arrest for their unlawful union and disgraced by the public eye. 

Mildred described herself not to be a political person ,but took her case to the United States Supreme Court in Washington ,getting the full attention of then Attorney General Robert F .Kennedy and the world.The rest is history, but what a way to make it. 

The images above were taken by Grey Villet for a full cover story  for the New York Times.When looking at them I can only think of one word: hope.

A documentary about the Loving family (The Loving Story) by filmmaker Nancy Buirski will be out by February 14. 

The documentary is currently streaming on Netflix.
It has great archival footage.




Great Black TV Moments #30

A Different World - season 02, episode 20: No Means No

Welcome to the newest segment of this blog, Great Black TV Moments!

We start it off on a dramatic note, but one that isn’t really seen much in comedy anymore. While A Different World had a lot of ‘issue’ related episodes, this was the first real stand out one as ‘date rape’ wasn’t something discussed in many circles in the late 1980’s, especially not to a high degree on Black college campuses - or rather not enough. So watch this and feel free to engage in discussion on it.

Freddie Brooks - Cree Summer

Dwayne Wayne - Kadeem Hardison

Garth ‘A-hole’ Parks - Taimak (better known as The Last Dragon's Bruce Leroy)

Look out for the next Great Black TV Moment next Tuesday.

I use this episode (and the one with Gina’s domestic violence) for my Victim Impact class

Great to hear. Definitely both teachable moments.

Besouro - Black Heroes and African Gods



Besouro (2009) is the true story of ‘Besouro’ Manuel Henrique Pereira, who rose to fame in Brazil as a freedom fighter and a master of Capoeira.

The action takes place in the 1920s in the Bahia region of Brazil. While slavery has been abolished for 40 years, conditions remain unchanged for the black population who are still effectively slaves. When Master Alipio, an elder on the Venancio Plantation, is discovered teaching capoeira to the gifted Besouro and other black workers, he is gunned down in broad daylight.

Such was the Portuguese landowners fear of the inherent magic and power of capoeira that to practice it carried the very real threat of torture and death.

Following the cowardly murder of Alipio, Besouro has an exchange with Exu (The powerful Yoruba deity of the crossroads). He subsequently emerges as a revolutionary leader, a hero who will lead his people to revolt against the brutal oppression of the Europeans.

The film is shot beautifully, with fight scenes choreographed by the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon/Matrix team and a soundtrack set to the traditional rhythm of the berimbau capoeira instrument. The action is infused with the mysticism of the Candomble belief system with frequent appearances from Yoruba deities such as the aforementioned Exu (Eshu, Esu) and Oxum (Oshun, Osun) the Goddess of fresh waters.

 The Yoruba pantheon of deities has been likened to the infamous Greek gods. The Orisha’s certainly provide as rich a source for epic tales of magic, wonder and adventure as their Olympian counterparts.

The Orishas remain the foundational element for much in traditional Cuban and Brazilian cultural forms, many of which have been marketed successfully across the globe. Their presence is also found in many recognizable North-American traditions. For instance the centrality of the devil at the crossroads in the blues can be traced to the belief in Esu (or Elegba as he’s also known) his association with the crossroads and his regular misinterpretation as the devil in western Christian traditions. Yet despite the popularity of many of these forms, their African antecedents, such as the Orisha themselves, often remain unknown or unacknowledged throughout much of wider western mainstream culture.

 So it was wonderful to see the Orisha making it onto the big screen! Their continued worship throughout the Americas reveals an incredible story of the bravery and resilience of our ancestors. Despite African religious practice being outlawed by the European authorities (often on pain of death), despite the fact that these traditions were oral and existed in languages no longer spoken by slaves forced to speak the various European languages of their captors, the Orisha could not be vanquished.

Besouro goes some way in bringing this fascinating history to wider audiences and I’m particularly excited by the potential to use these characters more frequently in film.

  I couldn’t help but compare the hero Besouro to Django, with the latter comparing most unfavorably. Besouro doesn’t rely on a white savior for his liberation. Motivated by a sense of social justice he is a far better role model than the individualistic Django.  Dinorá, his lover, played by Jessica Barbosa, is an incalculably better female lead than Kerry Washington’s pretty prop Broomhilda. Dinorá is herself a skilled capoeira fighter, more than capable of defending herself. She is certainly not waiting around for her man to come and rescue her.

Turning to the representation of women on a more visual level, Besouro once again trumps Django.  I was really disappointed by Broomhilda’s hair in the Tarantino feature. Unsurprisingly, she sported the infantilized, non-threatening ringlets that appear to be the only hairstyle deemed appropriate by casting directors on the rare occasions we see black women with natural hair. Besouro’s Dinorá wears an afro – outside of the Blaxploitation genre this is something that one never sees in cinema – and I really appreciated this detail.

Besouro is beautiful, captivating and timely. It is also amazingly available to watch on Youtube with English subtitles. Catch the inspirational action here


1970s Cinema Divas

Diana Ross/Cicely Tyson/Diahann Carroll/Pam Grier/ Rosalind Cash/Diana Sands/Teresa Graves/Vonetta McGee/Nichelle Nichols/Tamara Dobson/Paula Kelly/Lola Falana/Lonette McKee/Denise Nicholas/Abbey Lincoln/Judy Pace/Irene Cara/Brenda Sykes

Strolling, Ep 7 - Cecile Emeke

A brand new episode of the short documentary series, featuring Abraham. We talked male feminists, patriarchy, crying, “great” britain, reparations for Africa, Palestine, Boko Haram, hair & more. 

Keep up to date with new episodes via