Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Celebration

Coming Soon…”30 Days of Black Joy!!”

What is Black Joy? Black joy is a celebratory term that has been used to acknowledge and highlight the experiences of happiness, pleasure, and contentment within the Black community. As a powerful and affirming concept, Black Joy incorporates resilience, creativity, and the strength of Black individuals and communities locally, nationally, and globally. In simple terms It’s Happiness…It’s Resistance…It’s Freedom!! Ultimately, Black joy is a counter-narrative to many existing dominant narratives of pain, oppression, and struggle that often define the representation of Black people in media and society.

Every year around this time I am led to share, promote, and celebrate the many ways in which Black Joy is personified and expressed. Over the next 30 days, there will be daily posts (via the BFF website, Instagram, and Facebook) celebrating the various forms and expressions of Black Joy. This is seen through art, music, dance, local/national/global community engagement, personal achievements, storytelling, and soooo much more!!

Now before we dive into our celebration, check out some of these articles to get your mind ready!!

So over these next few weeks and days, I hope that you are able to celebrate the wins, challenge the stereotypes, find fulfillment, and embrace joy!!

Day 1 begins on June 1st, so stay tuned each day for your daily dose of JOY!!

Photo by cottonbro on
Posted in Black Bookstore Adventures, Feature Spotlight, On The Radar, Resources

Dr. G’s Black Bookstore Adventures-Mahogany Books (DC/MD)

Made a quick trip to the DMV and finally got a chance to go and visit Mahogany Books!! Even picked up a few goodies :-)!

So if you are in the DMV area make sure to check out Mahogany Books!! I know I will definitely make a few return trips!!

And I look forward to sharing more Black Bookstore Adventure visits!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Celebration

Dr. G’s Reflections…”Another School Year in the Books!!”

2022-2023 another school has come and made its mark in the universe. You know I have to say it every time I write these reflections, I LOVE WHAT I DO!! However, this year is the beginning of what is going to be a continuous cycle of the floodgate of tears! This year’s class of 2023 is really special as this is the first class of students that I have seen since they were freshmen entering VCU!! Many of these students have been in at least two of my classes…I have watched them grow and mature…I have seen their struggles and their wins…I’ve met their parents, relatives and children…And seeing them walk across the stage and become graduates…It is truly a blessing to see the impact one can make in a matter of a few short years. Just take a look and see below….

Memories from VCU AFAM Graduation-Spring 2023

Not only is this year been special because of the new graduates, but also because I made it through a major career milestone. I made it through the half-way point of my tenure-track process…the third-year review!! Gathering documents, writing professional statements, obtaining references from students, updating my CV, experiencing teaching evaluations, and so much more…talk about an intense process…But I made it!! I will admit not only was this an experience of strength and dedication, but one of reflection. Going back and looking at all the work that I have done in these three years just blows my mind. I know I’m a hard worker, but just looking back and seeing it all documented on paper (physically and digitally) takes it to another level. This review process also showed me how wide and vast my community of support is and the impact they make on me. Shout out to all those who looked over my essays, shared their past experiences with the process, gave insight, gave an encouraging word, served as cheerleaders, calmed my nerves, took me out for a drink, or were just a listening ear. I think some folks do not realize the role they have in either bringing someone down, or elevating them to the highest heights! All in all, and in all honesty I am thankful for both because I know who to continue to take with me on my journey and who to let go.

In addition to my own research endeavors, I was super excited to mentor and advise several of my Capstone students as they presented at the 2023 VCU Undergraduate Research Symposium!! I was thoroughly impressed with their research projects and super proud to see them share it with the VCU community!!

AFAM Capstone Students presenting at the 2023 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

2022-2023 as noted in the title has definitely been one for the books! I had three chapters come out in edited collections, a solo article on the role of Black girl storytelling in comic books, served as a keynote for VCU Dentistry school and Culpeper, VA’s first “CulpeperCon”, and to culminate everything I received my universities inaugural “Faculty Champion Award”.

In addition, to witnessing the success of my VCU students and my own, I also got a chance to celebrate one of my mentees and BFF intern Jaya Robinson as she graduated from high school and is headed to Spelman College (AUC Love!!)!

I will say this at the end of every semester and school year, I am always hyped and re-energized. Whatever feelings I had, depending on the type, were further magnified or lessened to make room for the good. So as I prepare for another productive summer, I can’t help but reflect on the highs, stress, joys, and wins!

Till the next season…

~Dr. G

Posted in Feature Spotlight, New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

I know it’s been a minute but I am getting back into the swing of things. Keeping it short and sweet and to the point, check out these hot new television and film trailers!!

Based on a True Story (Streaming June 8th on Peacock)

Surrounded (Streaming June 20th on MGM+)

Season 2-The Bear (Streaming June 22nd on FX/Hulu)

Hijack (Streaming June 28th on Apple TV+)

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning, Part One (In theaters July 12th)

The Creator (In theaters September 29th)

Posted in Monthly Book Recommendations, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-May 2023

Graduation Season is in effect! The school year is coming to a close. Travel Plans are being made! And Summer is just around the corner! With that said, it’s time for you to get your summer reading list together! And I am here to help you make some selections so that you can drift into that literary dreamstate!

Check out May’s List Below:

  •  Last Summer on State Street ~Toya Wolfe
  • What the Fireflies Knew ~Kai Harris
  • Anywhere You Run ~Wanda M. Morris
  • The God of Good Looks ~Breanne McIvor
  • The Three of Us ~Ore Agbaje-Williams
  • Dances ~Nicole Cuffy
  • Before I Let Go ~Kennedy Ryan
  • You Think You Know Me ~Ayaan Mohamud

And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and past recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!

“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.”

—Mary McLeod Bethune

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Spring is Here in Full Force!! And it’s the top of the month, which means we also got some new trailers on deck!! Check them out below:

Love Again (In theaters May 5th)

Love to Love You, Donna Summer (STreaming on HBO Max May 20th)

Season 5-Mayans M.C. (Streaming on Hulu May 24th)

Platonic (Streaming on Apple TV+ May 24th)

Season 6-Black Mirror (Streaming on Netflix this June)

All the Light We Cannot See (Streaming on Netflix November 2nd)

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (In theaters November 17th)