8.21.2016

How about we stop defending male perversion?

Couple things. First, it’s not like the news of Parker’s history was on some special Google for stars of Black Netflix or some shit. A regular google would have found everything about the case. It resurfaced in the sense that more people are talking about it now, but it’s always been there.

And more people are talking about it now because more people are talking about Nate Parker now. When he was starring in
Rome & Jewel and Pride and Blood Done Sign My Name, no one — at least no one in entertainment media — gave enough of a damn about him to investigate his past. But he’s a big deal now. And when you’re a big deal with tens of millions of dollars invested in you and your project, everything about you and your past becomes media fodder. Particularly something as serious as a rape allegation. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last person — Black or White; man or woman — to make it big and then have some unflattering details about his life become news. - Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas
As the Blackest year in modern history starts to wind down, let's make a pact that by the time 2017 starts, we will no longer defend men who sexually violate women and girls.

As Nate Parker joins the ranks of Bill Cosby and Shane Sparks, we see the same tired, defensive narratives coming into play.  Folks are talking about "bringing down another Black man", "smearing the messenger", the "fishiness" of the timing, and all that other bullshit.  This has nothing to do with timing, or a conspiracy to bring down yet another Black man.  This has everything to toxic masculinity and its unhealthy fascination with sexual assault.  I don't call it "non-consensual sex" because rape and molestation are not sex; they're a form of assault.  It's crucial people learn to make that distinction.

The stories of Parker, Cosby, and Sparks read like Greek plays, in that each one is the central character whose past actions bring about his own downfall after he attains great heights.  And the catalyst is always the same - each man engaged in some form of sexual assault, and did so with the confidence that his actions would never come back to haunt them.  Nate Parker was acquitted at his rape trial in 1999.  His accuser then committed suicide in 2012.  To your average rapist/child molester, these are optimal conditions.  But now, in Parker's finest hour, in his moment of triumph as an artist, after making multi-million-dollar history at the Sundance Festival, the ghost of his accuser speaks yet again.

That's not conspiracy, children.  That is karma.

8.06.2016

#Represent: Danusia Francis at the Olympics


Looks like Jamaica's getting a second representative!

Funny story about Danusia: She was born in Britain, currently lives in Los Angeles and attends UCLA (whom she also competes for).  She was a reserve gymnast on behalf of Britain in 2012, but because she represented Jamaica at the 2015 World Championships, she qualified to test for their Olympic team.  Needles to say, she passed.

I'm really excited that Danusia is at the Olympics because she's known for her flexibility, which I can only describe as, well...insane.





This truly is the Blackest year ever. Someone said this year's Olympic gymnastic event is going to be a bloodbath, and well...yes and no. I'm so glad all these Black and Brown girls are making/going to make history this year, so it's win-win either way. However...they all have eyes on the gold, and they all can't have it.

Let the games begin.

7.30.2016

Hip Hop Griots: Le1f




***Bonus Vid***


7.25.2016

Karen Chen, #Represent


Previously

The Bar Loves Nathan Chen (no relation)

If you haven't already, stop by Nathan Chen's GoFundMe page on your next pay day and show the dude some love.  I want him to go the 2018 Olympics, land his quads, and snatch the gold.  Not the silver, not the bronze - the gold.

While you're showing Nathan some love, do the same for your girl Starr Andrews.  Some of you remember when she was a tiny human and did an incredible routine to Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair"; that video has garnered 40 million views thus far. Starr's now a teenager with her eye on Olympic gold in 2018 and 2022.  And since she's the only African American skater with an actual shot, I want her to snatch *clap* that *clap* gold.

In case you didn't get the memo, tonight's theme at the Bar is Melanin on Ice.  *sips vodka and ginger ale*

I stumbled across Karen Chen by accident; I was searching for a specific competition, and noticed there was abundant footage and focus on the White girls, but not the girls with Asian-sounding names in this listing.  The minute I saw "Karen Chen", I automatically starting searching for her videos.

Hip Hop Griots: Rapsody



7.23.2016

What did I SAY about the Brown girls????

L to R: Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Simone Biles

Previously

But What about the Brown Girls?

If you're not paying attention to elite artistic gymnastics right now...I don't know what you're doing with your life.  2016 is not only the Blackest year ever, it's the Brownest.

Follow along, good people.

America is sending the Dream Team to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which just so happens to include history-making Olympian Gabby Douglas, the inimitable Simone Biles herself, and senior newcomer Laurie Hernandez.

I know y'all remember Laurie Hernandez.

7.17.2016

The Bar Loves #BlackAndSexyTV


I love Netflix.  I love Hulu.  I love a few things about HBONow.   But there's something depressing, exhausting even, about looking for something to watch on the weekends and seeing a seemingly endless sea of White faces.

Thank the gods for Black & Sexy TV.  Originally a crowd-funded labor of love on YouTube, it is now a Chromecast-compatible streaming app with a fully stocked treasure trove of independently-produced Black shows and films.  Usually priced at $6.99/month, they're currently offering a free 2-week trial and 25% off the the first free months.

Needless to say, I've signed up.

I've picked where I left off back on YouTube, and that's with Hello Cupid.  But I'm looking forward to watching everything.  I'm so proud of the quality of media that I could cry - from the writing to the casting to the wardrobe to the music to the lighting to the directing and editing....  I can't wait to binge-watch and review and fangirl in the months to come.

If you've already got a subscription, let me know what you're watching and what you think!  If not, sign up!  This is a Black-owned business providing some desperately needed content, and they need our support.

7.09.2016

Elayna Monts Returns to the Bar (Guest Post)

Previously

A Mother's Fear
Seriously White Women...We're Really Not Jealous

**SPOILER ALERT**

NOT ALL OF MY FRIENDS WILL AGREE WITH WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY. IN FACT, SOME OF YOU MAY UNFRIEND ME, BUT I HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH THIS FOR SOME TIME NOW AND I HAVE TO PUT MY WORDS OUT THERE AND LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.

The Subject: Black Lives Matter

I will begin by saying that this is not a rant against police. We all know how difficult enforcing our laws is. We should also all know how important it is to do the right thing, the right way, and all be subject to the same laws that govern our country.

Now, I know that many of my Caucasian friends and Caucasians in general counter Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter and while they do so with passion and strong belief, I believe that that declaration is irrelevant. I say this because it’s easy to use that response. It’s more difficult to understand the root of the Black Lives Matter issues unless and/or until we can walk in the shoes of those who are being persecuted, beat down, run over, shot at and killed.

7.02.2016

The Bar Loves Nathan Chen


As I was saying on the Black Girls Club, I love spending my weekend mornings watching figure skating videos.  Normally, I focus on the ladies, and the Brown girls in particular, because while many of us love figure skating, the sport tends to not love us back.

And it's not just the gals; I noticed this tendency again when I recently happened by upon the now 17-year-old American skater Nathan Chen.  Nathan is the only competitive skater in the world - not the youngest, not the only American, but the only competitive skater in the world - who can land four clean quad jumps in a free skate.  Translation for the lay people: this guy can do four jumps in which his body does four ("quadruple") full rotations in the air and then he lands on one foot without problem.

...No, seriously.