This week in links: Erotica, real trans media, and 90s black girl magic

Jessica Slane reviews Rocky Flintstone’s debut novel, Belinda Blinked

Tired of seeing trans people’s stories erased and stolen for profit? More Than T is a documentary that interviews 7 trans and gender-non-conforming people. Watch the trailer below.

BBC’s documentary Q***r Britain  follows LGBT+ culture and strife in the United Kingdom.

I was a huge fan of Daria back in the first few years of high school. Buzzfeed’s Cocoa Butter analyses Jodie Langdon’s character, and the way she comments on the systemic racism.

I love a good video essay even more than I love a shitty Disney movie. Let the unnecessary analysis begin!

Created by Alex Nguyen, and edited by Chau Bui, this video essay analyses the role of Asian men on American television.

Heather Alexandra interviews creators of knock-off Amiibo’s, and their reasons for doing so.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, turned a month old this Friday. Congratulations!!!!!!!

Featured image from Beyoncé’s Instagram.

 

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May favourites

I’ve been listening  to The Emancipation of Mimi and 4 non-stop this month. When are Mimi and Bey going to collab tho?

Designated Survivor is a tense, fast-paced show concerning an alternate America where almost all of congress has been murdered in a terrorist attack, and one man with no political experience finds himself becoming president in the aftermath.

Chef’s Table profiles a different chef in each episode, from the eccentric (Magnus Nilsson – why do you want us to eat moss??) to those that actually seem to make good food (Ivan Orkin’s ramen dishes). As a latina, the chefs that really stuck out to me were Alex Atala, and Virgilio Martínez. Seeing their countries, and national cuisine being treated with such love, and care by these chefs was a wonderful change to the pitying narratives usually shown in the media.

quinoa-kohlrabi-and-shallots1.jpg
Virgilio’s quinua con colinabo y cebolla perla

I watched Perfect Blue after seeing Super Eyepatch Wolf’s video essay discussing it, and I was absolutely floored. If you like psychological thrillers, this is for you.

For fellow nerds that are currently stuck without a roleplaying group, I recommend The Adventure Zone –  a podcat hosted the McElroy brothers, and their dad play D&D every other week.

Imrie and Satia are two black British women that host Melanin Millenials, a topical podcast packed with clever debate, sideeyes, and salt to taste.

Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel Room explores the reality of a young boy, who has been trapped inside a single room with his mother for his entire life.

Imani Perry’s More Beautiful and More Terrible discusses the enduring anti-black racism of America, and encourages us to thoughtfully continue our activism.

bell hook’s seminal The Will to Change argues for the importance of including men, and boys (especially those of colour) in feminism in order for true progress to be made.

Ijeoma Oluo is an incisive, intersectional feminist writer. You can find her work here.

I’ve recently finished reading the Luna brothers’ Girls and Ultra comics – the storytelling is fascinating, even if the art tends to be flat.

PKSparkxx’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild playthrough continues to be something I look forward to every week.

Nyappicat’s dance covers are AMAZING and definitely worth checking out. Full disclosure: she’s my best friend so I’m only a tiny bit biased.

Featured image from Mariah’s instagram. 

 

This week in links: Online humiliation, Miley retires her cheap dreads, and more Beyoncé

Akilah takes a well-aimed jab at Donald Trump’s VOICE program.

Amelia Tait at the New Statesman looks at the disturbing trend of boyfriends humiliating their girlfriends on social media. (Content note: Tait blames the girlfriend in question for ‘allowing’ the degrading to occur)

 

Jagger Blaec examines the gentrification of hip-hop and rap by white musicians, in the face of Miley Cyrus returning to her squeaky clean white “roots.”

George Monbiot breaks down the history of neoliberalism and how it has failed us.

Michael Cragg explains how Beyoncé’s 4 marked the turning point in her career.

Yes, another essay on Lemonade – Rawiya Kameir looks at the political significance of Bey’s latest album.

This week I’ve been listening to 4 and Humanz and I’ve been absolutely living.  is such an underrated album and there are so many absolute bangers. My favourites are Love on Top,  Lay Up Under Me, Countdown, I care, and 1+1, AND Grown Woman which isn’t on Spotify and that breaks my heart.

Featured image from Refinery29

 

 

This week in links: good hair, Bernie Sanders, and Handmaids

Marcus H. Johnson argues that the white left continues to not meet black people’s needs and expectations, and that this led to Bernie Sanders’ loss. Interestingly, he also notes that white leftists spout similar rhetoric as the white right.

Kim Kimble, one of Beyoncé’s hair stylists, talks through the different looks she and her team created for Lemonade.

Pop Culture Detective analyses a pedophilic trope he calls ‘Born Sexy Yesterday,’ which involves women with adult bodies but the mind of a child, and their sexualization. Unsurprisingly, he gets much less hate than Feminist Frequency.

Anne Thériault explains why staying alive when you’re suicidal is the most selfless thing you can do.

Margaret Atwood discusses being haunted by The Handmaid’s Tale  and what her novel means in the age of Trump.

Olayemi Olurin explains all the different excuses men will use to not take you seriously.

Cover image from Elle.

Beyoncé’s Lemonade: A Black American Women’s Reader

A lot of people have already written about Lemonade, Beyoncé’s groundbreaking work that highlighted the unique struggles that Black women face.

I’m not going to be one of them.

As a white woman, I am not the intended audience and will never experience the misogynoir  that Black American women content with on a daily basis. In light of this, why would my voice add anything to the conversation?

Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of articles, essays, videos, and podcasts of African American women sharing their thoughts, critiques, and reactions to Lemonade. 

Articles

Zandria F. Robinson analyses Lemonade‘s Southern gothic, historical and cultural context, as well as noting that the album

concerns itself with legitimating and creating space for a range of black women’s emotions, pushing back against the generational curse of hurt patriarchs and unrelenting state actors who refuse to stop hurting the women and girls who sacrifice the most and love them best.

Brittany Spanos shines a light on Beyoncé’s connection to rock, and the black women in its history.

Tiffanie Drayton criticizes explicit, and implicit colourism in the “Formation” music video and Beyoncés Superbowl performance, while also recognising that one woman alone “cannot represent the full complexity of the black experience. Nor should she be expected to.”

Expanding on the above, scholar Yaba Blay writes about her experiences as a New Orleanian, dark-skinned black woman, and how Beyoncé’s celebration of her creole heritage harkens to antiblackness and colourism.

Essays

bell hook’s Moving Beyond Pain takes a more critical view, stating that

No matter how hard women in relationships with patriarchal men work for change, forgive, and reconcile, men must do the work of inner and outer transformation if emotional violence against black females is to end. We see no hint of this in Lemonade. If change is not mutual then black female emotional hurt can be voiced, but the reality of men inflicting emotional pain will still continue (can we really trust the caring images of Jay Z which conclude this narrative).

DrMyrtleMean’s essay on Therecipeforecstacy.com sees Lemonade in terms of death, and mourning – but also a rebuilding and consolidation of community and family.

It is time to wake up and open your eyes to the reality ofloss. She is not just talking about her personal losses but the losses of the  African American community.  She introduces the injustices perpetrated against young Black men and references the devastation of a Black community with images of the Stadium where people sought refuge after Hurricane Katrina. (pain, images of death)

DrMyrtleMean’s note about the importance of men in Beyoncé’s healing is reminiscent of bell hook’s The Will to Change.

She also speaks to his (the Black man and Jay Z’s)  ability to facilitate her growth. He is magical again. He has the ability to heal her instead of deceive her. He can make her insecurities invisible.  They will love openly for the world to see. But the world will be absent to them. They will again make sweet love All Night long.

Videos

Seren’s (aka Sensei Aishitemasu) free-form vlog discusses her emotional response to the Lemonade film, its imagery, and reminds her audience of Beyoncé’s humanity and life portrayed through her art.

ceedotceeTV’s review sees Lemonade in terms of a cheating partner, and breaks it down by each section, and song.

Ashley Miller’s album review looks at Beyoncé’s musical development, and possible connections between Lemonade and her personal life.

Podcasts

The Unfriendly Black Hotties’ episode LemonSLAYED is an hour-long discussion of their favourite looks, what impacted them the most, and cultural conversations about Lemonade.

Black Girls Talking’s bonus episode on Lemonade declares a state of Beymergency.