The Oscar for Best Picture Goes to…


indexThe Oscar’s have nominated the movie Hidden Figures for Best Picture this year and a lot of people are ecstatic. The 2017 Annual Academy Awards will hit our televisions on February 26th at 5:30pm in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre. Hidden Figures is based on a true story that reveals the history behind America’s first successful entry into outer space and shows how three African American women were erased from our textbooks. The film is monumental and inspirational due to its thought provoking story and an extraordinary cast who will awaken your deepest emotions.

Tahari P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson, a mathematical genius who developed the calculations to launch NASA in space, Octavia Spencer plays Dorothy Vaughn the “human” computer” of NASA, and finally singer and now renowned actress Janelle Monáe who became the first African American aerospace engineer after challenging the courts for her entry into a segregated school for training.

The film was set in the 1960s in a racially divided environment filled with tension and hostility. Ironically 57 years later when the film released, it seems America is still in a similar scenario. Antagonistic power dynamics showed the racist attitudes of this time; the hilarious and talented Jim Parsons stepped outside of his realm to play the rigid character of Paul Stafford, one of NASA’s engineers who had racial bias and a grudge against Katherine Johnson for having extraordinary mathematical talents. The gifted Henson will bring tears to your eyes as she struggles daily to use the restroom because the “colored” bathroom was placed several blocks away. The actor’s performances will have you speechless and sobbing into your popcorn.

Although there is no debate on the film’s deservingness for its nomination, there is some friendly competition among the other nominees for Best Picture that include “Fences,” “Lions,” and “Moonlight,” all of which are phenomenal films.

Director Theodore Melfi and producer Pharrell Williams also deserve some praise for helping retell such an incredible story that brings people together, but also for its huge success. Hidden Figures brought in more than $200 million domestically, more than tripling the cost of its production. The movie received an overall rating of A+ and has remained relevant in daily conversation.

Due to the current state of American society and politics, this film reminds us how far we have come in achieving equality. With the power of love, gratitude, and acceptance, we can transcend the impossible to create a world filled with peace, love, and understanding.

Angela Davis: Revolutionary


indexBlack history month is a beautiful time dedicated to celebrating the triumphs, struggles, and successes of our African American ancestors who paved the way for a world we can all live amongst each other and celebrate diversity and equality through compassion. Mainstream activists who deservingly receive much appreciation include Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and the “controversial” Malcolm X. However, there is one extraordinary individual who also shook up America and changed history for us all.
Angela Davis, born in Birmingham AL on January 26th, 1944 is one of the greatest minds of the Civil Rights movement who often gets left out of the conversation during Black History Month. Angela Davis became involved in politics and activism at an early age when she attended Parker High school. In her junior year of high school, she was accepted into the Friends Service Committee, which helped move African American Children into integrated schools in the North.

 

However, Ms. Davis did not stop there! She was awarded a scholarship to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and continued her work with politics and activism. After finding her place in college, she became a student of a well respected philosopher named Herbert Marcuse, who gave her inspiration for achieving her dreams and career. In a 2007 interview, Davis stated:

 

“Herbert Marcuse taught me that it was possible to be an academic, an activist, a scholar, and a revolutionary.”

 

Davis lived up to those words through her involvement in the civil rights movement and the various books she has published. Not to mention being successfully released from jail in 1972 when she was charged with kidnapping and murder, but was found not guilty while simultaneously being the reason behind over 200 protests calling for her release. Angela’s struggle for equal rights makes her a controversial figure.

 

Angela Davis’s trial in 1972 and her involvement with the Black Panther’s Party brings along some debate about whether she is an appropriate civil rights activist to mention when discussing African American leaders. However, Ms. Davis still continues excellent work with politics, activism, and academics through her literature and involvement. Some of her most popular books include Women, Race, and Class, Women, Culture, and Politics, and Are Prisons Obsolete?

Many of Angela’s scholarly journals and articles can be found in the CSU library, which are great sources for research.

 

Davis is still heavily involved with politics and has recently appeared in a new Documentary called “13th“ where she provides her intellect and knowledge about the prison system in American society.

 

Many of the legendary civil rights activists are no longer with us, such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. It is both a gift and an honor to still have such an iconic figure with us still today. Black History Month celebrates the lives, the stories, and the experiences of African American people and dives into the creation of Black culture.

 

This blog is dedicated to the life of Angela Davis and her continuous work for women, people of color, and social justice.