#BlackHistory365 in the Workplace Guide

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

We are back at it again! A new set of trailers for your viewing pleasure! Check them out below:

Season 3-Star Trek: Picard (Streaming on Paramount + February 16th)

88 (In theaters February 17th)

The Company You Keep (Streaming on ABC February 19th)

The Strays (Streaming on Netflix February 22nd)

Season 3-Party Down (Streaming on STARZ February 24th)

Moving On (In theaters March 17th)

Season 4-Succession (Streaming on HBO Max March 26th)

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Save The Dates-Upcoming Events for Dr. G!!

February 6th, 2023– “Expanding the Archive & Classroom: Channeling Blackness, Comics and the Speculative”, UVA Wise-Black History Month Lecture Series (Register to Watch Here)

February 7th, 2023- Suffolk Discovers + Black and Super Live Talks: Afrofuturism with Dr. Grace Gipson [IN-PERSON + LIVE] (Register Here for Zoom)

*March 17-18, 2023- The Past Into The Future: Afrofuturism & Ancient Egypt [Featured Speaker], Berkeley Center for New Media [BCNM]-UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA), Free to Attend, For More Info

March 25th, 2023- “Imagining a World of Possibilities Through Comics and Graphic Novels” [Keynote Speaker], Friends of the Library Presents-CulpeperCon 2023– Culpeper County Library (Culpeper, VA), Free to Attend

Posted in Celebration, Holiday Celebration!!

Happy Black History Month!!

Today marks the first day of Black History Month 2023!!

This year’s theme as designed by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is “Black Resistance”! Oh how appropriate!! As noted on the ASALH website:

African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores. These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction. The 1950s and 1970s in the United States was defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Systematic oppression has sought to negate much of the dreams of our griots, like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, and our freedom fighters, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer fought to realize. Black people have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics. Black led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.

And to get your month started check out these few facts about the annual celebration of Black History Month!!

  • Black History Month recognizes All African American Experiences!!
  • Check out this video of the man behind this annual celebration, Carter G. Woodson:
  • Black History Month became nationally recognized officially in 1976
  • The United States and Canada celebrate Black history in February, while the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands honor it during the month of October. 
  • Before it was established as a month long celebration, Black History Month Began as Negro History Week!
Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com
Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!-Marvel Edition

Can we just say Marvel is not playing any games!! Wasting no time pulling the fans into theaters and updating their streaming services!! This week’s trailer alerts are dedicated to all the upcoming Marvel television series and films!! Check them out below:

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Streaming on the Disney Channel February 10th) [Now I’m super siked about this one!!]

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (In theaters February 17th)

Season 2-What If…? (Streaming on Disney+ Early 2023)

Secret Invasion (Streaming Spring 2023 on Disney+)

Guardians of the Galaxy-Vol. 3 (In theaters May 5th)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (In theaters June 2nd)

The Marvels (In theaters July 28th)

Season 2-Loki (Streaming on Disney+ Summer 2023)

Kraven the Hunter (In theaters October 6th)

X-Men ’97 (Streaming on Disney + Fall 2023)


While there are no trailers just yet for these next few we do have a time period for when to be on the lookout!!

  • Ironheart (Streaming on Disney+ Summer 2023)
  • Echo (Streaming on Disney+ Summer 2023)
  • Agatha: Coven of Chaos (Late 2023)
Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

Another week of hot topics hot off the press!! Lots of goodies to get your week started!! Check them out below:

A Black Twitter docu-series is headed to Hulu!! Inspired by Jason Parham’s detailed oral history, A People’s History of Black Twitter, comes the story of “the rise, the movements, the voices and the memes that made Black Twitter an influential and dominant force in nearly every aspect of American political and cultural life.” The three-part docu-series is led by showrunner and executive producer Prentice Penny (Insecure) and will be his first project under  Onyx Collective . As tweeted by Penny, “For those who know me you know how much love, respect, fear, and admiration I have for #BlackTwitter so I can’t be more excited and scared to a doc about the culture – just remember im doing this in love.” 

Brown Twitter birds. Shown top left is the original illustration by Alex Eben Meyer (http://www.eben.com) that appeared in the Slate article, “How Black People Use Twitter”. The remaining birds are parodies by Twitter user @InnyVinny illustrating the diversity of the Black Twitter community. The resulting #browntwitterbird hashtag game went viral, as users adopted or suggested new Twitter birds

According to Crayola Executive James Wells, “creativity is currency” for young children!! And starting on January 23 through January 29th, teachers, children, their families can celebrate “Crayola’s Creativity Week!!” As part of the week-long celebration there will be free-virtual events, resources, and opportunities for kids to earn lots of prizes! Youth will be able to tap into their creative side whether in the classroom or in the comfort of their home.


As we prepare for the Mardi Gras season you gotta make sure you have your King Cake!! Well you are in luck I have a few places where you can order your own special “Fat Tuesday” treat online:


What do Nikki Giovanni and Sundance have in common…well a documentary titled Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project made its debut in Park City on January 20th. Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson “craft a vision fit for the radical imagination of Nikki Giovanni.” The synopsis reads, through intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of her poetry, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.


And lastly, if you plan to be out in the Bay Area, you should check out the new exhibit at the ICA San Francisco!! Two Black women California artists Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon “are celebrating Black beauty and relaxation ” in the exhibition Resting Our Eyes. As a new institution, the ICA San Francisco will celebrate the work of Rasheed and Breon along with work from Carrie Mae Weems, Derrick Adams, Sadie Barnette, Genevieve Gaignard, and Simone Leigh. “Focusing on the liberation and celebration of Black women through the lens of leisure and physical adornment, Resting Our Eyes features new and existing works from 20 multi-generational Black artists working across sculpture, photography, video, mixed media, painting, and textile.” Resting Our Eyes will be on display from January 21-June 25!

[The images above include Ja’Tovia Gary, Citational Ethics (Saidiya Hartman, 2017), 2020; Curators Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon at “Resting Our Eyes” at the ICA San Francisco (Photo by Vikram Valluri for BFA); and the ICA-SF]

Posted in Monthly Book Recommendations, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-January 2023

We are back for the new year!! And you know the recommendations don’t stop!! Got a fresh new slate of literary goodies to fill your book shelves!! I’m bringing you all the heat with this list!! Feel free to share with your friends!!

Check out January’s list below:

  • Boys Come First ~Aaron Foley
  • Land of Love and Drowning ~Tiphanie Yanique
  • On the Roof Top ~Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
  • American Spy ~Lauren Wilkinson
  • Grace ~Natashia Deón
  • The Keeper ~Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes
  • The Stars Beneath Our Feet ~David Barclay Moore
  • Beasts of Prey ~Ayana Gray

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!!

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations…If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out…You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.” —Mae Jemison

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

Dr. G Featured in “Pop Junctions” website!

Got some exciting news!! I have recently taken on a role as a regular contributor and editor with the academic website, Pop Junctions:Reflections on Entertainment, Pop Culture, Activism, Media Literacy, Fandom and More. On this site you can find a plethora of articles/posts discussing media & technology, to comic books, to social media, to gaming, to fandom and much more.

With all the conversations and reactions surrounding the teaser trailer of the upcoming spring film “The Little Mermaid” myself and another colleague of mine Bethan Jones decided to put digital pen to paper and share some of our thoughts. The piece is titled, “Part of Your World”: Fairy Tales, Race, #BlackGirlMagic, and The Little Mermaid.”

Here are a few excerpts…

In 2016 Disney announced a live-action adaptation of its 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale, the animation earned critical acclaim, took $84 million at the domestic box office during its initial release, and won two Academy Awards (for Best Original Score and Best Original Song). Given Disney’s recent foray into creating live-action adaptations of some of its most successful animated films, it’s no surprise that The Little Mermaid was added to the list. Yet controversy rose when Black actress Halle Bailey was announced as Ariel in July 2019. Among the critiques was the argument that the adaptation should be as close to the original as possible, and the original featured a white mermaid; that if a Black character was re-cast as white in a remake there would be uproar; and while representation in all forms is important it shouldn’t override the history of the characters…

Jones, “Part of Your World”: Fairy Tales, Race, #BlackGirlMagic, and The Little Mermaid

We even provided some history and background into the significance and importance of Black mermaids.

While the original fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen does describe Ariel’s character as “her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea” this does not mean that there were no mermaids who were of color. In fact, water spirits and Black mermaids existed even before Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale. It is important to note the global history of mermaids and water spirits due to the fact that the existence of Black characters in fantasy, magical realism, and science-fiction is often non-existent. If we think about this from an Afrofuturistic lens, these early Western tales did not see Black characters as even being a part of these narratives. The waters have always been seen as a sacred space literally and figuratively within African folklore. Housed within many African traditions, the water serves as a bridge between otherworlds, life and the afterlife. And the sea deity Mami Wata or La Sirene (which translates as Mother Water or Mother of Water) serves as the beginnings of many African mythical tales.

Gipson, “Part of Your World”: Fairy Tales, Race, #BlackGirlMagic, and The Little Mermaid

It was a lot of fun co-writing this piece and contributing to the conversation!!

To check out the full post/article see here!!

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Time is truly flying by! I feel like we just started the month of January, and here we are half way through the month! But with each day and week that passes more trailers are being released! Check out some new ones below:

Season 2-Harlem (Streaming February 3 on Amazon Prime Video)

Not Dead Yet (Streaming February 8 on ABC)

Somebody I Used To Know (Streaming February 10 on Amazon Prime Video)

Your Place Or Mine (Streaming February 10 on Netflix)

Sharper (Streaming February 17 on Apple TV+)

Chevalier (In theaters April 7)

Posted in Celebration, Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

“A Day On, Not a Day Off!”- Celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In celebration of Dr. King’s Birthday I wanted to share some of my favorite speeches from him as well as a few films, documentaries, and television series that feature his life and legacy. I wanted to make sure I shared some hidden gems, along with a few speeches and films that I have learned about through my time as a student and now professor. Check them out below:

Dr. G’s Fave Speeches from Dr. King:

Photo by Mark Stebnicki on Pexels.com

Films, Documentaries, and Television Series [*Premium Subscription]

  • King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis (1970) [Can be found on Apple TV and Amazon Prime*]
  • Eyes on the Prize series (1993) [Can be found on HBO Max and Amazon Prime*]
  • Boycott (2001) [Can be found here and on HBO]
  • Selma (2014) [Can be found on Showtime, Amazon Prime*, and Hulu*]
  • King in the Wilderness (2018) [Can be watched here and on HBO]
  • I Am MLK Jr. (2018) [Can be found on Paramount Network]
  • MLK/FBI (2020) [Can be found on Hulu and Apple TV+]

As an extra bonus you can also check out this 360 Look at the National Civil Rights Museum which features Dr. King’s legacy.

“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On the Desk..., On The Radar, Resources

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

Another week, another set of HOT TOPICS!! Let’s see what I got for you this week. Check it out below:

Fresh off of a huge night, Abbott Elementary fans can breathe a sigh of relief know that there WILL be a Season 3!! This news comes after the show and several actors winning big, Tyler James Williams (Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy), Quinta Brunson (Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy), and the show winning Best Television Series-Musical or Comedy.


Looking to change up your meal plan or simply add a little flavor and spice you are in luck! Tabitha Brown has a new limited-edition collection that just launched at Target on January 8th. This is her third collection which includes cookware and vegan/plant-based food options. Brown’s food items feature vegan cream cheese spreads, pastas and plant-based patties and the cookware includes cast iron skillets, utensils and towels.


#BlackWomenMakingMoves … Angela Bassett made history at this year’s Golden Globes!! Bassett won “Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture” for her as ‘Queen Ramonda’ in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever making her the first to win a Golden Globe for a Marvel movie. If this is in preparation for Bassett winning a long-overdue Oscar, I’m all in!! See her acceptance speech below:


There’s a new “American Girl”-2023 Girl of the Year doll in town and her name is Kavika “Kavi” Sharma. The first South Asian American Girl Doll. As noted by the AG company, “Kavi joins the company’s long line of contemporary characters, introduced more than 20 years ago, that represent a wide range of backgrounds to reflect what it means to be an American girl today.” Here is a tangible product that represents progression and hope!! In addition to the doll to purchasing the doll, various accessories can be purchased alongside the doll: the “Song & Dance Bundle,” that includes a red, blue, and gold lehenga (a traditional form of South Asian clothing), matching South Asian jewelry including a tikka (head piece), necklace, and a pair of bangles. Other accessories also include backstage wardrobe essentials and various sparkly outfits. The doll is available for purchase now!


For all my MCU fans, Phase 5 is going to be a pretty exciting time!! I know I am looking forward to the upcoming line-up!! And just in case you have not seen the latest news, check out what is coming in 2023:

  • February 17th: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  • May 5th: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • July 28th: The Marvels
  • TBD: Season 2-What If…?
  • TBD: Secret Invasion
  • TBD: Season 2-Loki
  • TBD: Ironheart
  • TBD: Echo
  • TBD: Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Posted in Celebration, On the Desk...

Happy Founders Day to My Sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.!!

110 years ago today on January 13th, 1913 on the campus of Howard University 22 college-educated, distinctive, devoted, delightful, dedicated women lit the the torch into the eternal Delta light!! They envisioned a new day of more than just a social life, they desired a larger vision, purpose, and vision that laid a foundation to build upon. A strong and solid legacy that remains even today!

As I embark upon 20 YEARS in this AMAZING, ILLUSTRIOUS sisterhood, I just have to give thanks to #The22!! Thank you for paving the way for a young woman like me to be a part of this wonderful sisterhood now and forever more.

May we continue the legacy of our founders of Sisterhood, Scholarship, Service, and Social Action!!

Intelligence is the torch of wisdom.

Oh to be a Delta Girl!! #SigmaMade #SoonToBe20YearsIn

I love my DST!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Black Future Feminist Turns Two!!

Another year in the books and let me say it is no joke, but I still love it! Black Future Feminist has become an outlet for me to be me in all my different facets. I look forward to each post, I love sharing, and it feels good to put in the work.

I look forward to what comes next, I look forward to continuing established thoughts and ideas and bringing new ones into the fold.

Photo by Cup of Couple on Pexels.com

In the spirit of last year…another year down…much more to go!!

~Dr. G

Posted in On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

We are back!! Starting out the year with a few goodies for you to either visit, stream, buy from your grocery store, or add to your calendar!! Nothing like a few hot topics to get you through the mid-week hump! Check them out below:

For all my Toni Morrison fans this coming February her papers will be part of an exhibition called, “Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory” at Princeton University in the Millberg Gallery-Firestone Library. Conceived by Autumn Womack, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English, the exhibition is a multi-faceted, immersive journey into the archives of Toni Morrison.  Before she passed away, Morrison gave her archives to Princeton in 2014. The exhibition will consist of essays, speeches, day planners, and letters. The exhibition will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. through June 4, 2023. Looks like I’m gonna need to take a trip to New Jersey!!

Items from the Papers of Toni Morrison, Special Collections, Princeton University Library (PUL)

If you have been keeping up with the latest Netflix movies or series, you will know that the heist-drama Kaleidoscope just dropped on New Years Day! The eight-part series centers around master thief Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito) and his crew attempting an epic heist worth $7 billion! However, there is a little twist, the episodes can be watched in any order and it still make sense; the introduction “Black” explains the concept of the show, while the episode “White” is intended to always be the series finale. According to various outlets they have offered some suggestions:

  • Chronologically: “Black,” “Violet,” “Green,” “Yellow,” “Orange,” “Blue,” “Red,” “Pink,” “White”
  • In Reverse: “Black,” “Pink,” “Red,” “Blue,” “Orange,” “Yellow,” “Green,” “Violet,” “White”
  • Viewers Choice: “Black,” “Yellow,” “Violet,” “Orange,” “Green,” “Blue,” “Red,” “Pink,” “White”

Stars Giancarlo Esposito and Tati Gabrielle recommend no particular order or watch it “in the colour scheme that appeals to you.” When it is all said and done the ball is in your court, choose as you wish!


Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay is partnering with Ben & Jerry’s to launch its newest flavor, Lights! Caramel! Action! DuVernay, who is the first Black woman to be a featured partner on the Ben & Jerry’s pints, will have a flavor that is an ensemble of vanilla ice cream, salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and chocolate chip cookie dough pieces. MMM Good!! The new flavor will begin shipping out this month!! Proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will benefit DuVernay’s non-profit ARRAY Alliance (a woman-led nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, works to advance social justice through art)! According to DuVernay, “Ice cream is a simple joy of life. A comfort food that I’ve turned to on many days—making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter,”


Sneak peak into the 15th Doctor Who…BBC has released some first looks into the upcoming continuation of the “Doctor Who” series. Ncuti Gatwa (also known for his role in “Sex Education” will star as the 15th doctor. It’s unclear when Gatwa will take on the mantle and pilot the TARDIS, but it looks like he will be featured in the 60th anniversary special in November 2023.

And last, but not least, for all my Black Panther: Wakanda Forever fans, just in case you missed it in the theaters it’s coming to Disney+ on February 1st!! So hang tight only a few more weeks till we can watch it on repeat!!


Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

It’s the first of the month and the first of the new year!! Great thing about film and television is that it never ends! So let’s not waste anytime and get right to these trailers, check them out below ⬇️:

Will Trent (Streaming on ABC January 3rd)

Season 2-Ginny & Georgia (Streaming on Netflix January 5th)

Season 2-BMF (Streaming on STARZ January 6th)

Final Season-Hunters (Streaming on Prime Video January 13th)

The Last of Us (Streaming on HBO Max January 15th)

When You Finish Saving the World (In theaters January 20th)

Extraordinary (Streaming on Hulu January 25th)

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., On the Desk...

Reflecting on 2022…Lessons Learned…You Ready for 2023?!!

It’s the last day of 2022, we are almost there folks!! So the pandemic is still real, but somehow we are managing it. Let’s just say this was another unforgettable year!!

Definitely had some moments that shook the nation with such things as abortion no longer being a constitutional right, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the tragedy in Uvalde (TX), banned books, the retirement of a tennis legend Serena Williams, we got the slap of the century when Will Smith cold clocked slapped Chris Rock, and jaw-dropping seasons of Euphoria and Bridgerton.

In sports news, Argentina wins the World Cup, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl (along with an AMAZING halftime show-Hip Hop and R&B reigning supreme), the Houston Astros win their second World Series title…then you got the suspension of Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka (and his split from Nia Long), Tom Brady retired…back in the game and then divorced, Brittney Griner is released from a Russia prison and returns home to the U.S….and one of my fave moments the Golden State Warriors reclaimed the NBA Title throne!!

Lena Horne became the first Black woman to have a Broadway theater named after her…Two Literary Pioneers were honored with USPS stamps, Toni Morrison and Ernest J. Gaines!

In politics, for the first time in history the four largest U.S. cities New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston will all have Black mayors after this year’s midterm elections…Karen Bass sealed the deal with her historic win! And THANK GOD Georgia did not elect Herschel Walker into the U.S. Senate, we can all breathe a sigh of relief!

The elements are still having their way whether its the frigid winter storm in Buffalo, Hurricane Ian and Fiona, and heat waves coming in July, August and October!!

The Little Mermaid teaser trailer…Just wow!! I’m so ready!!…Also, definitely gotta shout out some good friends for putting me on to Billions and Yellowstone, talk about some good tv!!

Speaking of good tv let me just drop a few more nuggets:

  • Riches (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Reasonable Doubt (Hulu)
  • Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Blood & Water (Netflix)
  • Dahmer: Monster-The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix)
  • Wednesday (Netflix)
  • P-Valley (STARZ)
  • Raising Kanan: Power Book III (STARZ)
  • Final season of OWN Network Queen Sugar and FX Atlanta
  • Cherish the Day (OWN)
  • The Bear (Hulu)

Let’s Go To The Movies… I was so glad that the theaters have opened back up again, feels good to sit back and relax at my local AMC!!

  • The Woman King: Finally these stories are being told!!
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once: Brilliant movie that definitely did not get the pub it should have…such a good movie!!
  • Top Gun: Maverick: Now that was a fun ride!!
  • Descendant (Netflix): Gotta love history, especially when they speak the truth!
  • Confess, Fletch: Pure laughs!!
  • Bullet Train: Who knew you could enjoy a movie that is set on a bullet train…
  • Nope: Layered and complex!!
  • Prey (Hulu definitely knows how to drop those gems!!)
  • Devotion: A piece of history that I didn’t know about but glad I do now!
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Not a dry eye!! Ryan Coogler & Ruth E. Carter you did it again!! Angela Bassett proved once again why she is that one!!

Remembering those we lost in 2022…Folks that definitely made some sort of impact on my 41 years of life!!

Photo by Aidan Nguyen on Pexels.com
  • Sidney Poitier (January 6th): The epitome of elegance and stage presence!
  • Lani Guinier (January 7th)
  • Bob Saget (January 9th)
  • André Leon Talley (January 18th)
  • Charles McGee (January 23rd): One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen!
  • Cheslie Kyrst (January 30th): Mental Health is real!!
  • Ivan Reitman (February 13th): Ghostbusters!!
  • Johnny Brown (March 2nd): Ohhhhh “Good Times”
  • Traci Braxton (March 12th)
  • William Hurt (March 13th)
  • Madeleine Albright (March 23rd)
  • Gilbert Gottfried (April 12th)
  • DJ Kay Slay (April 18th): Ahhhh takes me back to my undergrad days
  • Naomi Judd (April 30th)
  • Bob Lanier (May 10th)
  • Ray Liotta (May 26th)
  • Sam Gilliam (June 25th)
  • Paul Sorvino (July 25th)
  • Nichelle Nichols (July 30th): SO Grateful and Thankful for the barriers she broke and the history made!
  • Bill Russell (July 31st): A legend in every sense of the word!!
  • Roger E. Mosely (August 7th): I will always remember those days of watching Magnum, P.I. (the original)
  • Olivia Newton-John (August 8th): Such a sweet soul taken from this earth!
  • Hanae Mori (August 11th): Haute Couture at its finest!!
  • Denise Dowse (August 13th)
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (August 30th)
  • Queen Elizabeth II (September 8th)
  • Ramsey Lewis (September 12th)
  • Pharoah Sanders (September 24th)
  • Coolio (September 28th): One more “Fantastic Voyage”
  • Charles Fuller (October 3rd)
  • Loretta Lynn (October 4th)
  • Angela Lansbury (October 11th): Murder Mysteries will never be the same!!
  • Leslie Jordan (October 24th)
  • Rev. Calvin O. Butts III (October 28th)
  • Takeoff (November 1st)
  • John Aniston (November 14th): Soap opera’s will never be the same!
  • Irene Cara (November 26th): I just wanna dance forever!!
  • Dorothy Pitman Hughes (December 1st): Co-founder of the prominent feminist publication Ms. Magazine
  • Kirstie Alley (December 5th)
  • Paul Silas (December 11th)
  • Stephen “tWitch” Boss (December 14th)
  • Franco Harris (December 21st): There will never be another “Immaculate Reception” … One for the books!!
  • Pelé and Vivienne Westwood (December 29th)
  • Barbara Walters (December 30th)
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (December 31st): The longest-living pope, having surpassed Pope Leo XIII in September 2020, known as “God’s Rottweiler”.

Beyoncé gave us her 7th studio album, Renaissance...Afrobeats continues to rise and I’m here for all of it! Usher’s Las Vegas show makes huge waves…Ari Lennox brought us Age/Sex/Location…And another bomb soundtrack from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!!

The housing market was a win for sellers, but it looks like that is taking turn back for buyers (I hope so, cause your girls will definitely be looking in 2023). Twitter was bought by Elon Musk…We witnessed our first Black woman Supreme Court Justice, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (RBG is definitely smiling)…and soooooo much more!!

For me 2022, was all about roller coaster rides of life. I had many valley lows and just as many high moments. Sold my house in ATL (the end of an era)…I dealt with with anxiety, some depression, some trauma, and deep loss. Losing my Uncle Oscar hit me deep in my core! And if I am being honest, I am still grieving and probably will for some time. He meant so much to me, he will never be forgotten. There is not a day that doesn’t go by where I just want to shoot him a ring and ask for him to pray with and for me. But when it is all said and done I know he is watching over me, smiling, and having a good laugh with my Grandma!! I definitely got a chance to travel and collect some more passport stamps. I went to New Mexico for the first time, tried real Belgium waffles IN Belgium (Twice)!! Presented at Wonder-Con (Anaheim, CA), gave a keynote lecture at Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium). Got to celebrate Black History Month twice once in the US and in London!! Went to the Roots Picnic in Philly…Celebrated many of my friends 40th Birthday’s….that was fun!

Even got me a new ride…a Christmas gift to myself!!

This year I got to spend a lot of time on several beaches and oh was that therapeutic (Thank you Turks and Caicos and Playa del Carmen)…Lord knows I love the water!!

…It was good to be back in the classroom for another semester with some AMAZING students!! I am truly grateful to have this job/career. I look forward to completing 2023 as I will (I’m claiming) get through my Third-Year Review and become another step closer towards Tenure!! Oh and I got boosted again! I launched a new project, Black Girl Magic in Media (BGMM) and let me tell you I am very excited about what is in store! Be on the lookout for what is in store!

I continue to learn more about myself…grow…find balance…navigate all the moving parts of my life…and taking one day at a time!

Let me just say I am also very thankful for my BFF family and friends!! I look forward to bringing you more good news and culture in 2023!!

~Dr. G

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

Habari Gani?! Nia-Kwanzaa Day 5

Habari Gani?!! What’s today’s good news?

Today, we celebrate one of my favorite principals of Kwanzaa….Nia (Purpose). Through Nia, the principal seeks “to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”

Examine your ability to put your own skills and talent to use through service to your family and community at large. When we take time to reflect on our expectations from life, we can take the opportunity to discuss one’s desires and hopes with family and friends. On today, try to determine your purpose and how it will result in positive achievements for family and community.

In thinking about how you can reflect on Nia, consider these few practices:

  • Reflect on finding your purpose in life outside of your career
  • Add some books and movies that educate you about your ancestry and your history
  • Set short term and long term goals that will set you and your community on a path towards a more intentional and purpose-driven life.

What’s your purpose in life for today and in the future?

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

Habari Gani?! Ujamaa-Kwanzaa Day 4

Habari Gani?! What’s the good news today?

On this day we celebrate Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics),to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. As noted on the official Kwanzaa website, Ujamaa embodies shared work and wealth, economic self-reliance, and obligation of generosity. Karenga notes, “To share wealth and work, then, is to share concern, care and responsibility for a new, more human and fulfilling future”.

Historically, Ujamaa was introduced as a socialist philosophy in Tanzania by its first president Julius Nyerere. Nyerere used “Ujamaa” as a revolutionary concept in the development of a national infrastructure centered on communal values. Everything from Black Wall Street to McKissack & McKissack to The Philadelphia Tribune to The National Business League proves that African-Americans have been resisting in the spirit of Ujamaa for centuries.

It’s about working together, making a change, and creating legacies!!

In that spirit, here are a few ways in which you can practice Ujamaa:

  • Organize a buying club in your neighborhood, housing co-op or apartment building.  Items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, socks, sanitizing wipes, water, and a variety of non-perishable goods can be purchased in bulk and the cost shared so that everyone gets these items cheaper than what they would pay buying them retail.
  • Support black and local and independent small businesses or businesspersons, cooperatives, artists, practitioners and others who are community- and environmentally-minded. 
  • Join a city and/or community garden in your local neighborhood
  • Shop at your local farmers’ markets (National Farmers Market Directory)
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

As each of our families celebrate Kwanzaa and richness of African-American culture this year and every year, let us all find inspiration in the principle of Ujamaa in the development of a new global economy built through communal values and cooperatives.

Harambee!!  Let’s all work together!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. G’s “Top 22” Books of 2022

Keeping up with my tradition from 2020 and 2021 I have compiled my ‘Top 22’ books from this year!! I feel like I always have an endless supply of books, you can never have too many! Plus I love seeing my library grow!!

This year I added a few graphic novels that caught my attention during one of my many travels this year!!

All in all, I love sharing some of my top reading faves!! As I always say, ‘sharing is caring.’

So in no particular order, here is my Top 22 List of Books for 2022!!

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever the Courage to Dream ~Frederick Joseph
  • The Keeper ~Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes
  • Take My Hand ~Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  • Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough ~Candice Marie Benbow
  • The Silent Twins ~Marjorie Wallace
  • The Light We Carry ~Michelle Obama
  • Black Disability Politics ~Sami Schalk
  • Riding Jane Crow:African American Women on the American Railroad ~Miriam Thaggert
  • Finding Me ~Viola Davis
  • Walking in My Joy In These Streets ~Jenifer Lewis
  • Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community ~Vanessa M. Holden
  • Tuskegee Ghost ~Benjamin Von Eckartsberg
  • I Rise ~Marie Arnold
  • Black Cake ~Charmaine Wilkerson
  • Memphis ~Tara M. Stringfellow
  • Pet ~Akwaeke Emezi
  • Trust ~Daines L. Reed
  • The Final Revival of Opal & Nev ~Dawnie Walton
  • The Sweetness of Water ~Nathan Harris
  • Don’t Cry For Me ~Daniel Black
  • The ABCs of Black History ~Rio Cortez
  • We Travel the Spaceways ~Victor LaValle
Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

It’s the last set of trailers for 2022!! So let’s go out with a bang!! Check them out below:

Kaleidoscope (Streaming on Netflix January 1, 2023)

Season 3-Godfather of Harlem (Streaming on EPIX January 15, 2023)

Season 2-Mayor of Kingstown (Streaming on Paramount+ January 15, 2023)

Magic Mike’s Last Dance (In theaters February 10, 2023)

Book Club: The Next Chapter (In theaters May 14, 2023)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (In theaters June 2023)

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (In theaters June 30th, 2023)

Oppenheimer (In theaters July 21st, 2023)

Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations- Holiday Edition/December 2022

Happy Holidays!! As we close out another year, I have one more list of recommendations to close out!! This month’s list is split with a little holiday flair!

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Check out December’s list below:

  • A Coastline is an Immeasurable Thing ~Mary-Alice Daniel
  • On Rotation ~Shirlene Obuobi
  • Black on Black: On our Resilience and Brilliance in America ~Daniel Black
  • The Sugar Jar: Create Boundaries, Embrace Self-Healing, and Enjoy the Sweet Things in Life ~Yasmine Cheyenne
  • Shot Clock ~Caron Butler & Justin A. Reynolds
  • An American Story ~Kwame Alexander
  • I’m Dreaming of Brown Christmas ~Steve Gray and Vernon D. Gibbs
  • Christmas Soul: African American Holiday Stories ~Allison Samuels
  • Mim’s Christmas Jam ~Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Soulful Holidays: An inclusive rhyming story celebrating the joys of Christmas and Kwanzaa ~Ciara Hill

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!!

“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” — Gwendolyn Brooks

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

New Social Media Project Alert!!

Launched on November 17th, 2022 myself and a few VCU student-staff members student staff members Sanaa Banks, Raiat Haque, and Asia Heath launched a new virtual project, “Black Girl Magic in Media”!

With the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the anticipated FX series Kindred, the emergence on online Black & Brown shopping directory (Harlem Fashion Row) created by a Black woman Brandice Daniel , and so much more Black Girl Magic is in full effect…I would even say overload!!

Black Girl Magic in Media is a “curated site that shows the vast, creative representations of Black girls and women in media.” This project was launched in response to the many reactions after “The Little Mermaid” trailer dropped. While there were numerous reactions of excitement and joy, sadly (but not surprisingly) there were quite a few visceral reactions. Thus, the light bulb went off and I wanted to make sure I played a part in changing the narrative of how Black girls and women in the media are truly magic!!

Through out the week this space will provide an array of features including: spoiler-free television and film reviews, “Black Girl Magic” Highlights, monthly staff picks, recommended book, television, and film lists!!

So if you want to hop on the ride, check us out on Instagram at @blackgirlmagicinmedia !! And if you would like to contribute your thoughts on Black Girl Magic, please feel free to share here! You never know we might feature you :-)!

~Dr. G

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

As we walk into December let’s check out some new and exciting things happening in the world!! Check out this week’s goodies below:

A new children’s book that discusses grief and healing, the Many Shapes of Clay: A Story of Healing by Kenesha Sneed.


SNEAK PEEK-First images of the upcoming Luther film from Netflix!! I am SOOOO ready!! Luther is set to be released in March 2023. #LutherFan

Idris Elba in “Luther” Photo Credit: Netflix
Idris Elba in “Luther”, Photo Credit: Netflix

As archaeologists recover remains from the “Clotilda,” visitors can now prepare to visit the forthcoming Africatown Heritage House in Mobile, Alabama. As described by Mobile County commissioner Merceria Ludgood, the museum is “a collaborative effort to share the long-doubted, inspirational story of the Clotilda, its captives, and their unique place in the history of this country.” The Africatown Heritage House is set to open in the Spring of 2023. In the meantime, to learn more about Africatown and the Clotilda, check out the Netflix documentary “Descendant” .


Running, the arts, and PhiladelphiaMural Miles is a nonprofit running and art curation group, running (pun intended) on a “mission to inspire human potential through community fitness and art.” And their inaugural mural “Equilibrium,” was unveiled this past Thanksgiving weekend. The piece depicts two local runners, Aaron Leon Nixon and Valentina Viana, in stride alongside birds and a dog. Through this mural and other it is sure to spark a movement. To see the mural you can access it at 638 Christian St. in South Philadelphia.

“Equilibrium” artist Eric Okdeh Photo Credit: Mural Miles

Lastly, a new exhibition featuring photographs and artifacts from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture collection will be on display (opening December 2nd), Spirit in the Dark: Religion in Black Music, Activism, and Popular Culture. Visitors can check out the exhibition until November 2023 in the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) gallery. As noted by NMAAHC, “The exhibition spotlights the presence of religion in African American popular culture through three sections [Blurred Lines: Holy | Profane, Bearing Witness: Protest | Praise, Lived Realities: Suffering | Hope], providing a visual exploration of religion’s shadow in both the sacred and secular through images and artifacts.”

Photo Credit: National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Last day of the month and I’m bringing you a few goodies!! Getting you ready for your Holiday binging sessions and a few new year treats!! Check them out below:

Riches (Streaming December 2 on Prime Video)

Kindred (Streaming December 13 on FX/Hulu)

1923 (Streaming December 18 on Paramount +)

Babylon (In theaters December 23rd)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Streaming on Netflix December 23rd)

Magic Mike’s Last Dance (In theaters February 10, 2023)

John Wick: Chapter 4 (In theaters March 23rd, 2023)

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Monthly Book Recommendations

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-November 2022

One more month and we will be closing out 2022….but hold tight!! Got another list for you to stock your bookshelves. Check out this month’s recommendation below:

Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com
  • The World We Make ~N.K. Jemisin
  • Extraordinary Women with Cameras ~Darcy Reed
  • Concentrate: Poems ~Courtney Faye Taylor
  • Someday Maybe ~Onyi Nwabineli
  • The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times ~Michelle Obama
  • Making Happy ~Sheetal Sheth

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!!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

#BlackPanther:WakandaForever Celebration Week-In Their Own Words!

Today’s celebration is about showcasing various interviews with the director and cast members…Nothing like hearing the thoughts and feelings from those involved. Check them out below:

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta on what he learned as Namor in the MCU
ScreenRant interview with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Lupita Nyong’o discussing her character Nakia and how she has changed after losing T’Challa, and her ties to Shuri and Ramonda.
ScreenRant interview with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Danai Gurira breaking down Okoye’s emotional arc and her relationship with the royal family.
ScreenRant interview with Black Panther:Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler as he talks Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy & Talokan’s Origins
Behind-the-scenes featurette from director Ryan Coogler
Behind the scenes footage

Tune in tomorrow for the next #BP:WF goodie!!

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

#BlackPanther:WakandaForever Celebration Week!! Art Out Loud!!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!!

In preparation for the November 11th release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel partnered with three artists across the United States and asked them to create murals to connect to the film!

The cities featured include Los Angeles, Chicago, and Harlem. Check them out below:

Artist Lilia LiliFlor Ramirez (McBride and Whittier Blvd., in East Los Angeles, CA)
Artist Rahmaan Statik (Chicago, IL)
Artist Vincent Ballentine (280 Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem, NY)

Representin’ for the East, Midwest, and West Coast!! Stunning work!!

Tune in tomorrow for the next #BP:WF goodie!!

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

#BlackPanther:WakandaForever Celebration Week-Photo Shoot Ready!!

Just a little cover shoot for the fans!!

Today’s tribute/celebration is a collection of magazine covers featuring many of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast members!! Simply stunning!!

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast members [Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Dominique Thorne, Danai Gurira, & Lupita Nyong’o] on the November/December 2022 issue of “EBONY”

Angela Bassett on the November 2022 issue of “Essence”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast members [l-r Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright & Tenoch Huerta] (above) and tributes to Talokan and Wakandan culture (below) on the November 2022 issue of “Empire”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast member Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, & Danai Gurira [above] and individual covers [below] on the November 2022 issue of ELLE
Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast members Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Dominique Thorne, Letitia Wright, and Tenoch Huerta on the cover of “Entertainment Weekly”

Michaela Coel on the cover the November 2022 issue of “VOGUE”

See you tomorrow for the next #BP:WF goodie!!

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar

It’s “Black Panther: WakandaForever” Celebration Week!!

We are in countdown mode for the premiere of Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!! So everyday this week I just want to drop some information that relates to the film to get you ready!!

Today, to get you hype I’m dropping the the official film playlist for you from Spotify!! This past Friday (11/4) the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By soundtrack, executive produced by director Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media was released, it features over 40 international artists recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, Mexico City, London and Los Angeles. 

The soundtrack includes a plethora of Black and Brown artists such as Rihanna, Burna Boy, Tems, Fireboy DML, OG DAYV featuring Future, CKay featuring PinkPantheress, E-40, Alemán featuring Rema, Blue Rojo, Snow Tha Product, and more.

In addition to the playlist, listeners will be able to take part in immersive options, which includes in-app Black Panther-inspired coded puzzles and exclusive clips from the cast detailing their superhero songs to the Black and Latin artists inspiring them daily.

Check out the full playlist here:

Tune in tomorrow for the next #BP:WF goodie!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

It’s a new month and the HOT TOPICS are here!! As always a few goodies for you to put on your calendar, add to your grocery list, cue up in your AirPods, dig into and find some more info about, or to make your coffee table stand out!! Check out this week’s hot topics below:

For all my nature lovers or ones that aspire to be, I got a new book that might just pique your interest. Described as a 192-page visual book, author and “Outdoor Afro” founder Rue Mapp compiled various experiences to highlight “Black joy in nature” via Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors. Nature Swagger includes portraits and personal essays by Black travelers, highlighting their experiences in the outdoors—from breakthroughs had while scaling the highest mountain in Africa, to learning (and teaching) about sustainability through beekeeping, and beyond. Here is a book that is rewriting the script that Black folks not only celebrate nature, but are active participants in discovering it. For Mapp, she was very intentional “about breaking barriers, literacy, and accessibility.” Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors hit book stands on November 1st.


Leave me a voicemail… New Exhibition to honor Black and Brown lives that were taken at the hands of police brutality. Created by Iranian-American artist, filmmaker and Even/Odd founder, Mohammad Gorjestani, in collaboration with curator Klaudia Ofwona Draber and art director Neil Hamamoto, “1-800 Happy Birthday” sets out “to transcend the subject matter to new channels both physical and digital and have it live in aesthetic and community in places born from the culture it represents”. Originally as an online voicemail project, callers could leave a message for people who were unjustly killed by law enforcement on their birthdays. Wow!! The power of a message. The exhibition will be on view at WORTHLESSSTUDIOS (7 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11237) till January 16th, 2023.


Need a morning pick me up or something for your late night study grind?? Well hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Jadakiss is teaming up with his father and son to bring you the Black-owned coffee brand, Kiss Café . Described as “created with honesty and accessibility” Kiss Café seeks to highlight a legacy of three generations that bring you premium coffee. Now this is right up my alley!! Cannot wait to make my purchase!!


A.S. degree program in Cannabis Studies….Soon students at Olive Harvey College (a predominately Black community college) will be able to get an Associate Degree in “Applied Cannabis Studies a first of its kind in the state of Illinois. The degree was designed for students to gain an advantage in the cannabis industry and offer pathways to acquire the proper licensing. As noted by the president of Olive-Harvey College, Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, “Olive-Harvey College has always been a leader in the study of cannabis agriculture and operations because of the exponential job growth in the industry and due to its numerous upward mobility opportunities in the mainstream economy.” For more information about the program, see here.

Photo credit: Olive-Harvey College Hemp House

For all my Theater folks…Check out the 20th-anniversay of Suzan-Lori Parks Broadway revival of Topdog/Underdog starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Directed by Kenny Leon, Topdog/Underdog is a “play that chronicles the adult lives of two African-American brothers as they cope with poverty, racism, work, women, and their troubled upbringings. Lincoln lives with Booth, his younger brother, after being thrown out by his wife.”

As noted by Parks about the play, “I think the meaning of the play isn’t just confined to a man’s experience… I think it’s about what it means to be family and, in the biggest sense, the family of man, what it means to be connected with somebody else.”  

You can see Topdog/Underdog at the John Golden Theatre (252 W 45th St. New York, NY 10036) till January 15th, 2023. Purchase tickets here.


As we prepare for the much anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is giving fans a little taste of the comic book mythos. Set to debut on November 3rd, the “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” hosted by Coates, will bring fans into the making of the larger-than-life sequel.

The podcast will be a 6-episode series that features interviews with director Ryan Coogler, producer Kevin Feige, cast member Angela Bassett, and much more. The first three episodes will premiere on November 3rd (in advance of the film) with the remaining episodes dropping weekly in January 2023 connecting to the 5-year anniversary of the first film, Black Panther.

“Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” is a production of Proximity Media in partnership with Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Studios. The series is produced by Paola Mardo. Executive Producers are Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, and Paola Mardo. 

For a quick preview, check it out here:

You can tune into the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pocket Casts, and Pandora!

See you on the next round!! ~Dr. G

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

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

It’s the FIRST OF THE MONTH!!! NOVEMBER 1st!! I’ve missed you all for a few weeks, but I wanted to make sure I started out the new month with a BANG!! So thankful for your support and hanging in there with me!! Check out the new-new below:

Season 4-Titans (Streaming on HBO Max November 3)

1899 (Streaming on Netflix November 17)

Fleishman Is In Trouble (Streaming on Hulu and FX November 17)

Emancipation (In theaters December 2 & Streaming on Apple TV+ December 9)

Season 3-Jack Ryan (Streaming on Prime Video December 21)

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (In theaters February 17, 2023)

Season 4-Succession (Streaming on HBO Max Spring 2023)

Posted in Jaya's Pop Culture Minute-PCM, On The Radar

Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute-PCM- “Halloween Edition”

Long time no see! For this special edition of PCM, I will be discussing/ reviewing the “scary”
movies that have been the background to my spooky season full of college apps. So without
further ado here are just some of the films I have watched this month.

Werewolf by Night (2022):
This was a new Marvel project that greatly surprised me. Recently I have not been drawn to
Marvel like I once was but this immediately caught my attention. It was a new project and
endeavor not tied to a major superhero and inspired by the classic black-and-white horror
movies of the 50s. The aesthetics that have been drawn from those old movies are definitely
present. My only complaint would be that it should have been longer but I would definitely
recommend it. Rating: 4 out of 5

Beetlejuice (1988):
A classic Halloween movie that I cannot believe I have not seen before. The film nerd in
me has kicked myself for not watching this movie before even though I had enjoyed the
musical years ago during the height of my musical theater nerd. The practical effects
that I will mention later in this post add so much charm and character to the movie. Also,
the cast is absolutely stacked and it adds to the movie especially Michael Keaton as
Beetlejuice himself. Rating: 4 out of 5

Dracula (1958):
An oldie but surprisingly a goodie (in my opinion). It took me a while to watch a “Dracula” movie in
any iteration after reading the book a year ago, but with HBO MAX adding classic movies to
their platform because of Halloween it was the perfect opportunity to watch. As cheesy as old
scary movies always are, it was still a fun movie to watch and just enjoy because it was so
ridiculous. Watching old movies is always enjoyable because you get to see what has
influenced filmmakers today, especially in the horror and scary movie genre. Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Eraserhead (1977):
Another classic that everyone talks about but I have never seen it before recently. Previously
the only David Lynch project that I have seen was Twin Peaks, but after watching it this
definitely matches his style. It was unsettling and disturbing like some episodes of Twin Peaks
but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Even though on the outside it seems like a psychological
thriller movie I personally interpreted the movie as a story of a father that has been thrust into the world of fatherhood prematurely and struggling to find his bearings within this new dynamic. On the less serious side, I finally understood the Eraserhead baby jokes and yes that baby was super freaky not gonna lie.
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

So hopefully this has provided you with some good recommendations for movies for the end of
October!

~Jaya L. Robinson

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Monthly Book Recommendations

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations- October 2022

Fall is here!! Another one of my favorite times of the year!! Nothing like the crisp breeze blowing, the crunchy leaves, the sweaters and knee-high boots, and the early nights! And as always why not have a good book to curl up and read. Well I got you covered!! Check out this month’s book recommendations below:

Photo by Shawn Reza on Pexels.com
  • find her. keep her ~Renaada Williams
  • Bittering the Wound ~Jacqui Germain
  • Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem ~April Ryan
  • Love in the Age of Dragons ~Fatima R. Henson
  • Running to Fall ~Kalisha Buckhanon
  • Mr. Loverman ~Bernardine Evaristo

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!!

“I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure, but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.” ~Nikki Giovanni

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Not gonna waste anytime, its the first week in October and I got some new new that’s ready for you to hit play!! Check out this week’s new trailers below:

The Midnight Club (Streaming on Netflix October 7th)

The Winchesters (Streaming on The CW October 11th)

A Friend of The Family (Streaming on Peacock October 6th)

Season 19-Grey’s Anatomy (Streaming on ABC October 6th)

Season 5-All American (Streaming on The CW October 10th)

Shantaram (Streaming on Apple TV+ October 14th)

Season 2-The White Lotus: Blossom Circle (Streaming on HBO Max October 30th)

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

Let me tell you!! I am excited about this week’s Hot Topics!! I got some goodies on deck for you!! So much happening in the world!! Check it out below and see for yourself:

  • Fresh off the press!! The new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer just dropped and it is stunning!! It hits theaters November 11th! Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you grab yours…I got mine!! In addition to the trailer, check out this feature piece from EW as they go behind the scenes with director Ryan Coogler and the cast to discuss the sequel.
  • And a special shout out to my alma mater Clark Atlanta University!! Just a few short days ago, CAU was been selected as the home of the New PROPEL Center, a global headquarters for innovation. It will serve as a global HBCU technology and innovation hub committed to strengthening the Black talent pipeline. The location is approximately 5.2 acres and will hold special historic and cultural significance to the CAU campus. As noted by CAU president George T. French, Jr., Ph.D., “Here at Clark Atlanta University, our leadership, faculty, and students are humbled to be a partner in the launch of the PROPEL Center and to have the opportunity to execute this long-term partnership.”
  • Over across the pond there is a new arts group, the Africa Arts Collective, that is aiming to “showcase African artists and aid in community cohesion.” The Africa Arts Collective is a “new multi-disciplinary arts group aims to showcase African talent living in Northern Ireland, and aid community cohesion.” According to Rahim Saphy, an acrobat, dancer and comedian from Tanzania, “the Africa Arts Collective will bring joy, vibrancy, colour and inspiration to the local arts scene.” 
Dancer Cuthbert Tura Arutura and acrobat Rahim Saphy at the launch of the African Arts Collective in Belfast Picture date: Saturday October 1, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Arts. Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • Over the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson completed her formal swearing-in ceremony on Friday September 30th. As told by Brown Jackson during her initial confirmation speech, “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made itWe’ve made it. All of us.”
  • And closing out this week…A new medical school is being proposed at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), the first at an HBCU in 45 years!! As relayed by CBS News, Morgan State is teaming up with Ascension St. Agnes Hospital to launch a for-profit, private medical school, which will provide more opportunities for undeserving students. The school is set to open in 2024 and will have 700 students and 150 employees.

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Closing out the month of September with a fresh slate of new trailers!! Check them out below:

The Visitor (Streaming on EPIX October 7)

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (In theaters October 7)

Halloween Ends (In theaters and Streaming on Peacock October 14)

Season 1-The Peripheral (Streaming on Prime Video October 21)

Strange World (In theaters November 23)

They Cloned Tyrone (Streaming on Netflix December 30)

Secret Invasion (Streaming on Disney+ Early 2023)

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

Happy Monday!! Boy do I have some goodies to share with you all this week!! So let’s dive right on in:

  • For all my ATL folks…The High Museum of Art is hosting the first museum survey dedicated to photographer Deana Lawson. From this global lens “working primarily in photography, Lawson investigates and challenges conventional representations of Black identities and bodies.” The Deanna Lawson exhibition opens on Oct. 7, for more details go to HighMuseum.org .
Deana Lawson (American, born 1979), “DL Roxie and Raquel” pigment print and collaged photograph, courtesy of the artist; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. © Deana Lawson.
  • The Dutch Government has created a fund to apologize for their historic role in slavery. From 1596 to 1829, the Dutch took part in transporting nearly a half a million Africans across the Atlantic Ocean. The fund is set to be announced after the nation officially apologizes for its role by the end of this year or the beginning of 2023. It is said that the fund may be as large as 200 million euros. Additionally, European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot, who is also president of the bank, addressed his apology to the descendants of enslaved people and set up a fund to finance projects worth 5 million euros over the next 10 years in the Netherlands, Suriname and the Caribbean.
  • Ben & Jerry is rebranding their “Change is Brewing” flavor as a way to help protect voting rights and encourage young Black voter turnout ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The rebranded ice cream is being distributed at historically Black colleges and universities and in large cities and rural communities across Southern states as part of the Black Voters Matter Fund’s  “We Won’t Black Down” tour, which kicked off Sept. 14.
  • Michelle Obama Portraitist Amy Sherald is set unveil her first European show!! Sherald’s collection of paintings titled, The World We Make is set to be housed at Hauser & Wirth London from October 12 to December 23. Through her paintings, Sherald sees them as “a place to reflect. I want it to be as open, expansive and universal in a sense. I want my work to be a gift to Black people.”
The Make Believer (Monet’s Garden), [Artwork by Amy Sherald-Hauser & Wirth]
“For Love, and For Country”,
[Artwork by Amy Sherald-Hauser & Wirth]
  • Meet Princess Isis Lang, the creator of the “Cardinal Divas” at the University of Southern California. Lang, is currently a musical theater major at the University of Southern California (USC), and the creator of the school’s first-ever majorette team. The Cardinal Divas made their formal debut at the USC vs. Fresno State football game on September 17th. As noted by Lang, “you can look forward to seeing us at these home games on the big screen, showing young Black girls that they can do anything that they think to do.” 
  • And lastly, just as the football season gets to rolling, we get some major news about Super Bowl LVII...Rihanna, with style and grace, has officially confirmed that she will be performing at Super Bowl LVII!! The 57th Super Bowl will take place on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

A little bit of this…And a little bit of that!! Check out this week’s new hot trailers!!

Don’t Worry Darling (In theaters September 23rd)

Entergalactic (Streaming on Netflix September 30th)

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (Streaming on Prime Video September 30th)

Hocus Pocus 2 (Streaming on Disney+ September 30th)

Let the Right One In (Streaming on Showtime October 7th)

The School for the Good and Evil (Streaming on Netflix October 19th)

Devotion (In theaters November 23rd)

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight

Featured Upcoming Community Talk with Dr. G!

Anytime I can get a chance to give a talk in the community especially to the youth, I welcome the opportunity. This coming Saturday I have the great pleasure of serving as the “Kick off” speaker for the “Saturday Sojourners Program” put on by The Light Community Church (Richmond, VA).

The kick-off program will be a “Table Talk” discussion on “Behind the Veil: Who Do You See?”!

See the flyer below for more details:

Posted in Monthly Book Recommendations, On the Desk...

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-September 2022

Fall is upon us…the autumn leaves are changing colors, the air is becoming a bit more brisk and cool, and the days will soon become shorter. Per usual make sure to stack up your coins, dive into your bookstore shopping baskets, and get ready for some Fall reading!! Check out this month’s book recommendations below, which include a few treats in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month!!

Photo by Marta Wave on Pexels.com
  • Skye Falling ~Mia McKenzie
  • Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations ~Tabitha Brown
  • Glory ~NoViolet Bulawayo
  • How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water ~Angie Cruz
  • The Chilean Kitchen ~Pilar Hernandez & Eileen Smith
  • What’s Coming to Me ~Francesca Padilla

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!!

“We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created.”Audre Lorde

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

Dr. G Featured in a New Edited Book Collection

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!

Family and Friends….I got some exciting news for you!! I have a chapter featured in the latest collection Teaching with Comics: Empirical, Analytical and Professional Experiences (2022) (Palgrave Macmillan) !!

Here is a brief description of the book:

This edited collection analyses the use of comics in primary and secondary education. The editors and contributors draw together global research to examine how comics can be used for critical inquiry within schools, and how they can be used within specific disciplines. As comics are beginning to be recognised more widely as an important resource for teaching, with a huge breadth of topics and styles, this interdisciplinary book unites a variety of research to analyse how learning is ‘done’ with and through comics. The book will be of interest to educational practitioners and school teachers, as well as students and scholars of comic studies, education and social sciences more broadly.

Now the title of my chapter is, #BlackFemaleIdentityConstructions: Inserting Intersectionality and Blackness in Comics !!

You can find the full text here!!

The physical copies will be available for purchase late September early October, but you can access it now!!

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar, Resources

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics

And we are back with some new hot features!! A lot is happening in the world, and I’m all for sharing with you!! Check out this week’s new hot topics!!

  • History Being Made!! An E-Sports degree is coming to a South Carolina HBCU!! With the popularity of gaming and e-sports on the rise, as a billion dollar industry, it is only fitting that HBCU’s pick up the baton and make their mark in this arena. Two years in the making Benedict College is offering a major in E-Sports (to go along with their already existing esports gaming room), making it the first HBCU to do so.
Photo Credit: Benedict College
  • Looking for a southern-inspired meal on your next Delta flight, starting September 1st Delta Airlines travelers leaving out of Atlanta will be able to enjoy a variety of dishes curated by a Black Woman Chef, Mashama Bailey. Chef Bailey is a James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and also serves as the co-founder and Executive Chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia.
Chef Mashama Bailey
Some of the dishes that will be featured on the in-flight menu (Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines)
  • Making your way to DC anytime soon?? Well make sure you visit the 15 new murals that are part of DC’s 15th anniversary celebration of MuralsDC art program. The first mural (seen below) can be found on the parking lot of the Chik-fil-A on Maryland Ave. in NE DC. More of the installations will be housed in the “Art Allery” an art gallery in an alley on H Street.
MuralsDC first 15th anniversary mural (Photo Credit: MuralsDC)
  • Gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson now has a dedicated public plaza named in here honor. Mahalia Jackson Court is an 8,500-square foot space housed on 1 E. 79th St. in Chatham, IL that will feature daily food trucks, music, curated art and a playscape for children. Visitors will also be able to check out a history display, which will feature various artifacts.
  • This past week it was announced that a prequel series revolving around the high profile Netflix show Bridgerton will showcase the glamorous and fierce Queen Charlotte just wrapped up production!! The show’s director Tom Verica announced it on his Twitter…
  • Imagining a Utopian Future for Queer Nigerians is a new idea being portrayed in Nigerian photographer Daniel Obasi’s latest book “Beautiful Resistance” an artistic collaboration with Louis Vuitton, which chronicles the LGBTQ+ experience in Lagos.
An image featured in Obasi’s newest book. (Photo credit: Daniel Obasi)
Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Another week, Another set of trailers…So save the dates, add to your calendars, and get your popcorn ready!! Check them out below:

American Gigolo (Streaming on Showtime September 9th)

Terim (Streaming on Netflix September 15th)

Dead for a Dollar (In theaters September 30th)

Jungle (Streaming on Prime Video September 30th)

Ticket to Paradise (In theaters October 21st)

The Menu (In theaters November 18th)

Posted in On The Radar, Uncategorized

Things To Do This Fall!!

Looking for your next adventure, family vacation, or weekend getaway, check out these exhibition and museum openings, art installations, cafes and markets below:

  • Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971 (On view at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures now through April 9th, 2023): An exhibition spotlighting Black artists who shaped American filmmaking from 1898-1971. Some of the things that you will be able to see include one of Louis Armstrong’s trumpets, screenings Oscar Micheaux’s silent films, Lena Horne’s gown from the 1943 Stormy Weather musical, the Nicholas Brothers’ tap dancing shoes, and so much more!!
The Sphere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in March 2021
  • Representin’ for the Midwest… Carver 47 Food & Wellness Market a casual cafe and market that serves the greater Chicago community through “a well-crafted menu of healthy and soulful offerings.” The cafe and market which reflects upon the life of George Washington Carver also includes a greenhouse bar, art gallery, farm table, and outdoor garden.
  • LEGO is celebrating 90 years of fun and joy with a new installation called, “Fly Away Isles” (The Brotherhood Sister Sol) designed by Harlem community Black and Latinx childred in collaboration with artist Hebru Brantley. Fly Away Isles serves as a dual space of both an art installation and fun play space for children. It’s located at 140 Hamilton Place in Harlem, NY. The installation will remain on display to the public through November 5th, 2022 with a street mural on display through July 2023.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial (Washington, DC) [Artist: Robert Berks] This is the first statue erected on public land in Washington, DC to honor and African American and woman. The bronze statue was unveiled on the anniversary of her 99th birthday, July 10, 1974. It is located in Lincoln Park (East Capitol Street and 12th Street NE, Washington, DC)
  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Statue (Riverfront Esplanade, Daytona Beach, FL) [Master Sculptor Nilda Comas]…This is a bronze replica of the marble one which is housed in Statuary Hall in Washington DC.
  • The Jackie Robinson Museum : “The Jackie Robinson Museum seeks to bring people from all walks together to commune and appreciate each other’s humanity and diverse experiences. We create a forum for debate and discussion, reflecting the ways in which we as a society can make progress by working together to solve difficult social issues and by appreciating how one life can make a difference” (TJRM Mission Statement). The museum will include a series of interactive exhibits, rare artifacts and memorabilia. It is set to open to the public on September 5th.

Happy Travels!! Soak it all up!! Enjoy!!

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

A new month is on the horizon…a new week is upon us, and new trailers are on deck!! Check them out below:

Devil in Ohio (Streaming on Netflix September 2nd)

Season 7-Queen Sugar (Streaming on OWN September 6th)

Season 5-The Handmaid’s Tale (Streaming on Hulu September 14th)

On The Come Up (Streaming on Paramount+ September 23rd)

The Rookie: Feds (Streaming on ABC September 27th)

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (Streaming on Prime Video September 30th)

Bros (In theaters September 30th)

Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!! Got a new addition to the site for you all!! Everyday I find myself learning the latest trends in fashion, getting the latest news in media, uncovering the next great memoir, new restaurant openings, and where I should be traveling to next. It’s also necessary that I share this news as I am a huge proponent of showcasing the joys and achievements of what is happening in the world especially as it pertains to Black and Brown folks!! So I figured, why not share these with you and share in the wealth…I’m calling it Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

Each week, much like the trailer alerts, I will share some of the top news stories with you! Without further ado, let’s see what is on the docket this week!

  • Black Brewers are changing the Washington, DC landscape of craft beer!! To date DC has three Black-owned breweries, making up 20% of the city’s total of 15 (Sankofa Beer Company [2018], Soul Mega [2018], and Urban Garden Brewing [2021]). Along with these breweries making their mark, DC Black beer fans can also bridge the brewery gap and build community through the Black Brew Movement. Our nation’s capital is shaping up to be another prime location for Black owned breweries. DC is truly taking a leading role with other Black-owned breweries in such places as Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and neighboring state Maryland. Who says representation does not matter in the beer game?!
Urban Garden’s flagship brand “Chamomile”
  • For all my travelers near and far, there is a new Black-owned travel bottle company, “Ries Beauty“!! Looking for a refillable, TSA-friendly bottle that will not leak all over suitcase, ruining your good clothes…Ries Beauty is the product for you!! Founded by a Black-woman Megan Graham, who was once the beauty market director at Vogue, Graham has created the first reusable travel bottle and has partnered with Sephora to launch the product. As told to WWD by Graham, “Ries is built for women and people in the way that we truly travel. Historically the bottles in the beauty industry have been build on single-use, cheap, inexpensive virgin plastics—they’re not built for the functionality that Ries provides.” Ries is available now on Ries-Ries.com and Sephora.com

Now these are some things we ought to be talking about and sharing with the masses!! And make sure you stay tuned next week for more Hot Topics!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight

Chicago Humanities Festival Feature Q&A: “Dr. Grace D. Gipson’s Favorite Comic Book Characters”*

So your girl got a chance to share a few of her comic book faves with the Chicago Humanities Festival! Always love the chance to geek out and share!! Check it out below!!

*Original Post Feature from the Chicago Humanities Festival

Chicago Humanities Festival - Nonprofit Giving Platform | GiveGab

In May 2021 Black future feminist and pop culture scholar Dr. Grace D. Gipson was joined at Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) by Bianca Xunise (Say Her Name) for a conversation about the past and future of comics.

After the program, we spoke to Dr. Gipson about some of her favorite comic book series, characters, and authors.

CHF: In your CHF program, you mentioned comic books and characters (like Dark Horse’s Martha Washington, who grew up in Chicago). Can you talk a little bit more about the history and significance of some of your favorite series, characters, and authors?

1) Storm (X-Men, Marvel Comics)

Gipson: When it comes to selecting my favorite comic book characters, I have a pretty solid line-up. While my introduction into comics was through the funny papers, there would be one character that truly drew me into the genre: Marvel Comics’s Storm from the X-Men.

As a Black woman who not only served as a leader of the X-Men, but also a goddess that controlled the weather elements, Storm as a fictional character provided an example of progressive representation and a fantastical escape.

Her presence in the comic book world made a significant impression on me as a young, Black girl from the Midwest. I was able to see myself, at the center and not on the fringes, within this popular medium that had been dominated primarily by white and male characters. Storm also opened the door for me to discover more Black female characters, as well as Black female comic book writers and artists.

2) Martha Washington (Dark Horse Comics)

Gipson: Another character who would have a significant impact on me personally and professionally is that of Dark Horse Comics’s Martha Washington. Created in the early 1990s, Martha Washington resonated with me in a very close way, considering her character was based in Chicago, IL. As a Champaign, IL native her story literally and figuratively felt close to home.

Martha Washington’s narrative as explored through The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century comic book series sought to showcase a “regular” relatable character that, despite her circumstances, becomes a heroine for her local community and ultimately the world.

Set in the urban space of the Cabrini-Green projects, Martha Washington’s beginnings (which are told in the first issue Give Me Liberty) explore, from a dystopian perspective, a current and relevant story of public housing, crime, poverty, Black youth, adulthood, womanhood, and even patriotism. Uniquely, her story offers a rare opportunity to explore American patriotism from a Black woman’s point of view. This is especially noteworthy considering the lack of Black female leads in comics, during the 1990s.

When it comes to comics, one can never underestimate the power of a diverse story and the impact it can have on all types of readers. These next two characters not only contribute diverse storylines but also have the impact of reaching a young audience. When looking at the landscape of comic book characters, most of them are adults, so it is refreshing to see a Black female youth presence.

3) Raquel “Rocket” Ervin (Milestone Comics)

Gipson: Raquel “Rocket” Ervin from Milestone Comics (a Black publishing company) is one of the earliest examples of a Black teen character that I have encountered. Also, Rocket’s storyline is one of the first comics to deal with complex and practical issues such as teen pregnancy, balancing motherhood, Black mentorship, and community access. And it was done in a way that avoided stereotypes, while providing hope.

As a character influenced by notable figures like Toni Morrison and W.E.B. Du Bois, Rocket provides an existing reality and a story of dedication and perseverance. Although she is deemed as a superhero, for Rocket her true superpower and strength is her ability to inspire.

4) RiRi “Ironheart” Williams (Marvel Comics)

Gipson: Another character that humanizes the Black girl experience is that of Marvel Comics RiRi “Ironheart” Williams. Through RiRi/Ironheart, as a fictional character, she personifies what it means to be a young, gifted, Black teen in today’s society. Her character also shares another look into the STEM world by encouraging Black girls to embrace one’s giftedness and intelligence.

This is a comic that I wish existed when I was a teenager, but nonetheless grateful that young Black girls and the world are able to appreciate it now. What is also significant about the Ironheart story is that it is written by a Black woman and Chicago-native, Eve L. Ewing, this is key as most stories in past comic book history have been written and drawn by white men (thankfully there is a growing landscape of representation).

To know that I am represented on the page and behind the panel inspires and further confirms that Black women and girls deserve to take up space in this popular medium. Ultimately, both Rocket and Ironheart are perfect examples of how comics can rewrite the script regarding Black girlhood and the importance of why “Representation Matters!!”

5) Torchy Brown (created by Jackie Ormes)

Gipson: Lastly, I felt it was important to not just recognize the importance of some of my favorite characters, but also one of my favorite writers/artists. Before there was even a Storm, Martha Washington, Rocket, or Ironheart there was a Black female lead named Torchy Brown created by cartoonist and writer Jackie Ormes. Similar to the Martha Washington character, Jackie Ormes legacy and work would find a home in Chicago.

As the first Black female cartoonist, Ormes was instrumental in resetting the standard in cartooning and comic strips. She did this by creating her own lane of telling stories that primarily featured Black voices, while also challenging the stereotypes and caricatures often presented in mainstream press. With readers from coast-to-coast, Ormes used her comic strip series and panels to discuss unapologetic commentary on such issues as racism, labor and taxes, U.S. Foreign policy, violence against women, unfair housing, segregated schools, and environmental injustice. She was able to use her talents to not only inform but also showcase (while entertain), in full color, the existence of intelligent, stylish and fashionable Black characters (particularly Black women). With Chicago as an honorary character, much of Ormes cartoon and comic strip work mirrored her real life as she was a community advocate and mentor, fundraiser, and trendsetter.

(Snapshot of a few of my faves!! Image Credit: Grace D. Gipson)

To check out the full feature, see here!!