Saturday, April 21, 2012

Like minded

Links to other blogs about Blacks in media.

If you have been following this blog you may have noticed that much of the post deal with or are focused on films, movies, and television shows which either star Black actors or are some way told from the perspective of the Black experience. I would say about Black people but that would imply that the show or film would only be for Black people, and I would not exclude anyone from my interests based on ethnicity. All films and shows have a perspective through which they are told but are not exclusive to people who share that perspective. This is good because that is how people learn about each other a learn to deal in truth with one another rather than rumors and ignorant stereotypes. For instance, The Cosby Show, which I previously blogged about here, is the story of an american family who happen to be Black. People of ALL ethnicities could identify with the characters of that show, not just Black people, which is why it was the number 1 show for most of its eight seasons.

Historically the majority of films and television shows in american history, I'd guesstimate about 98-99%, are told through the perspective of  and designed for white american males. Now, does this mean that women and people of other ethnicities cannot enjoy and identify with these stories? Of course not. I love the Godfather films. Conan the Barbarian is one of my favorites, as I blogged about here. I even liked The Dukes of Hazard when I was a kid. Not one Black person in any of those or many other films and movies that I completely enjoy. As a child and young man I did notice the disparity and as an adult I understand how detrimental it can be to a person's identity of self to see images that do not represent you your entire life. I was lucky to have a father that made sure I was exposed to movies and shows with people who looked like us.

With the advent of the internet and blogs and social networking sites I have found that I am not alone in my drive to seek out and support projects in film and television that tell things from a perspective other than white american males. The field of film and television entertainment in america has made some progress in producing and supporting projects from the perspective of other peoples but we still have a long way to go.

Here are some blogs and websites that I follow that are aligned with my views in entertainment:

Shadow and Act: This blog used to be run on its own but is now part of the indiewire network website which hosts many other blogs. Shadow and Act is a collaborative blog which has several contributors all making post related to projects in hollywood and television in which Black people are involved: actors, directors, producers, etc. Also projects that are told through the perspective of Black people of which there are many perspectives as all Black people are not the same.

Black World Cinema, BWC:

40acres: The online home of Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule film company. Self Explanatory

Black House: Not too much here. I recently found this one.

Invisible Woman: Black Cinema At Large: I followed this one until the blogger stopped and moved on to other things. The site is still up however and there is a lot of good information there.

There are a few other blogs I follow that are focused on the perspective of life through Black folks' and folks of African descent's eyes but are not geared toward film.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Buck Rogers

I've always had cool memories of the television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. It is actually one of my first memories of Sci-Fi on TV. I don't remember too much as I was three when the show first came out in 1979 and lasted only 2 seasons. But I do have fond memories of the show. I recently rediscovered it on Netflix and was instantly transported back to those young days of wonder (I love Netflix).

Doesn't that look cool?

Quick synopsis: Buck Rogers is a modern day astronaut on a mission in space. Something goes wrong and his life support keeps him in stasis. He is discovered and woken up 500 years in his future. Things are very different and Buck has to come to grips with the fact that all he knew is dead and gone and find a way to live in this strange new earth and universe.

Great premise for a show and actually carried out very well for its time. It's obviously filmed in the disco era. It is funny how the future looks like a bad trip at a seventies house party much of the time. Especially since Buck is supposed to be from 1987 and wakes 500 in the future. In comparison to today the robots and computers are positively archaic looking, but back then must have been so cutting edge. However, aside from the cheese factor of viewing it with modern eyes, it was actually a well acted and plotted show for its time. I was pleasantly surprised that story wise, the show has held up still today, at least for the few episodes I've watched so far. I look forward to watching the rest of the series. I actually want to purchase this for my collection!

Watching the first episode I immediately understood why I liked this show so much as a very young child and why memories of it stuck with me so long. This show is obviously set in the future and it had people that looked like me and my family. Of course all of the main characters were white but the black characters that were on the show weren't all just in the background. Some of the black characters that were on the show were actually important secondary characters in various episodes. Actually there were quite a few characters of many ethnicities that showed up throughout the show not just black and white. Back in 1979-1980 this was quite progressive for american television. I suppose the idea of those who greenlit the show was Sci-Fi wasn't important anyway so let them have all different kinds of people in it because no one would watch this silliness. I figure the show was allowed to be made because of the huge success of Star Wars, another underestimated Sci-Fi phenomenon. Well "their" ignorance was my gain because here is where my admiration and infatuation with Science Fiction began. And I could actually, truly identify with this show, more than Star Wars, because *I* was included in this future! (This was before Lando Calrissian showed up in the next Star Wars movie.) Even as a young child somewhere in my psyche this resonated and I know this because it still resonates today. The young me deep inside is jumping up and down with glee at rediscovering  Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. If you are so inclined check it out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I haven't been able to keep up with my blog recently for one very important reason.

Talea about 20 minutes on the outside.

My daughter was born on March 17, 2012. My wife and I went to the hospital on the 16th for an induction as our daughter's due date was on the 7th and she obviously did not want to come out. Neither of us was crazy about forcing her out, but as my wife had difficulties throughout the entire pregnancy and she is in the age range where having a baby is increasingly difficult, we reluctantly followed the doctor's suggestions. Unfortunately, my wife was expertly maneuvered into having a cesarean section by the doctors at the hospital. (They would never admit that , of course, but that's why I said expertly. Oh yeah, if you live in New York City do NOT go to Roosevelt hospital to have a baby. Those people are ridiculous and I have not heard a single woman say they had a good birthing experience there. Not one.) Again, my wife had difficulties with her pregnancy and some of them carried over into post-partum. She had to stay an extra day and I brought Talea home by my self that day. A week after being released from the hospital my wife had to go back and stayed another 2 and half days. So far, she is doing much better but it is still difficult for her, so nearly all of my focus is on her and the baby. I've fallen behind on everything and am only now slowly trying to catch up

The entire experience was not pleasant for my wife. The doctors and the majority of the nurses were all cold and impersonal or just down right insensitive and inattentive. The term "patient centered care" seems foreign in today's medical system, which is completely disheartening when speaking about women giving birth and the post-partum period, a time when women are completely vulnerable, sensitive, and nearly completely dependent on others for help. Women and their health and health needs are truly not respected as they should be in our society, for I quickly noticed the same negative, and sometimes biased, care with other women in the maternity ward and post-partum ward, as well as spoke to numerous women since. It is truly appalling. I will refrain from further musings on the failings of our medical system. I would call it a health care system but it is obvious they care nothing for health, just medicine.

Moving right along, despite the horrendous care, I  am completely overjoyed at the birth of my baby girl and so is my wife. She is beautiful and strong and I look forward to being her father and guide on her journey of life here.

A few days old. She is growing strong.