Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

For All My Readers Out There!!

So as I was going through my emails this weekend (the neverending saga lol), I came across one from my colleague about a new Black-owned bookstore opening up here in Richmond. I immediately clicked on the message to get more info on this discovery!!

For all my Richmond folks, or folks who will be coming through the area there is a new bookstore coming to the Shockoe Slip area in February 5th, 2022 (right around the corner) called “The Book Bar”!!

The Book Bar is “a Black-owned, woman-owned bookstore that centers BIPOC authors and brands in effort to uplift and support a culture that is often silenced.” Owned by New Jersey native Krystle Dandridge, The Book Bar will be one of the few Black-owned bookstores in Richmond. The importance of having a space such as this is very personal for Dandridge, “growing up, I don’t think I walked into any business where the owner looked like me,” she says. “Worked there? Yes. But owned it? No. Representation matters. I used to walk into any bookstore and it was difficult to find books by authors who look like me. It’s just not considered what is mainstream even though there are a lot of them out there. Our country is diverse, so I wanted to create a space where folks can find diverse reads.”

The Book Bar logo

For me this is essential as well, considering I am always trying to find safe spaces to chill and relax as well as support. [The Book Bar has also be added to my list of Black owned bookstores, which you can find in the “Resource Guide” section.] And as an added bonus a potential new hang out spot!!

Intentional Reading | Books | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts,  and events.
The Book Bar owner Kyrstle Dandridge (Photo credit: Scott Elmquist)

In addition to this being a bookstore customers will also be able to support and purchase from other vendors and Black-owned businesses. And if you want a little something extra you can take part in the quarterly subscription box, which includes a book and a range of products (i.e. wine, bath bombs, socks and snacks). And as you shop, customers will be able to enjoy a lounge style setting with relaxing R&B and neo soul vibes as their soundtrack to keep you in the mood.

Let me just say I look very much to visiting The Book Bar and making some regular purchases!!

And when it is all said and done, mark your calendars, get your coins ready, and if you are out of town (prepare for a visit)!! Now while you wait for the physical grand opening (Feb. 5th) make sure to check out The Book Bar online at rvabookbar.com as well their corresponding social media outlets: Facebook, Instagram= @rvabookbar , and YouTube!!

Happy Reading & Happy Shopping!!

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

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-January 2022

It’s a new year, a new month, and I got a new set of books for you to put in your shopping cart, which will eventually make it to your bookshelf or e-reader device!! As always I am excited to share with you some literary jewels!!

Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com

This month I got a nice selection of books ranging from historical fiction, YA psychological thrillers, LGBTQ+, urban fiction, coming of age and stories from the African diaspora.

So make sure you pre-order, add to your cart, support your local bookstores and remember sharing is caring!!

And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and my recommendations from 2021 in the “Resource” section of the website!!

~Dr. G

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Happy Founders to the Dynamic Women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.!!

22 Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on the campus of Howard University (Washington, DC)

109 Years Ago today twenty-two college-educated Black women on the campus of Howard University set out to change the world through scholarship, sisterhood, and service!! These Black women were bold, intelligent, innovative, creative, and just simply AMAZING!! I mean one of their first acts of public service was participating in the Women’s Suffrage March in 1913, talk about a proud moment!!

As one of the largest sororities founded in the United States, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. continues to blaze the trail sparked and lit by our 22 founders. As an organization we have made our mark in everything from education, politics, the military, social activism, women’s and civil rights, international programming, economic development & job training, housing equity, HIV/AIDS awareness, and SO MUCH MORE!!

I had the privilege and honor of becoming a proud member of this organization almost 19 years ago on the campus of Clark Atlanta University (Shout out to my Pearl Bearing Sigma Chapter Sorors)!! One of the best decisions I ever made!! With each passing year Founders Day becomes more and more special, and reminds me that through my personal and professional life I am making a change!

With a membership of more than 350,000 and over 1,000+ collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, Canada, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea, lets just say Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is all about making a global impact!!

So to ALL my Sorors of DST near and far… Happy 109th!!

*To learn more about my wonderful organization check out the following link here!!

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Exciting Event Alert!! 2022 Black Comic Book Festival!!

Almost let this one slip pass me, but wanted to make sure I shared this exciting event happening this week!! The 10th Annual Black Comic Book Festival starts on this Thursday January 13th and its VIRTUAL!!

Artwork by Micheline Hess

The 2022 Black Comic Book Festival marks a decade of bringing together animators, Blerds, bloggers, cosplay lovers, fans, families, illustrators, independent publishers, and writers to celebrate Black comic books and graphic novels and provides a platform to get the works directly to readers. This annual event features panel discussions, workshops, cosplay showcases, and highlights the work of creators from across the country.

And guess what all the events are Free.99!! Gotta love that!!

Check out the schedule of events here:

Thursday, January 13

Lifting as We Climb: A Black Comic Book Festival Story | 12 PM: Black Comic Book Festival cofounders: John Jennings, Jonathan Gayles, Deirdre Hollman. Moderated by Kadiatou Tubman (Schomburg Education).

Graphic History: Telling Our Histories through Comics and the Archives | 2 PM: Guests: Dr. Rebecca Hall (Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts; Scholars-in-Residence program) and David Walker (The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History). Moderated by Bridgett Pride, Reference Librarian, Schomburg Center.

S.T.E.M in Comics – Bridging the Gap of Current and Future Technologies in Art and Comics | 4 PM: Guests: Newton Lilavois (Motor City Comic Con), Naseed Gifted (PBS Media, LLC), Dedren Snead (SUBSUME), Ryan Benjamin (DC Comics/Sony), and Emeka Chiedu. Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

Friday, January 14

Afrofuturism: The Past, Present, and Beyond | 12 PM: Guests: John Jennings (Black Comic Book Festival cofounder), Tim Fielder (Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, DieselFunk Studios), Ytasha Womack (Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture), Reynaldo Anderson (Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness). Moderated by Julian Chambliss (Cofounder of Consortium for Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Research).

Black in Anime: Creators Coloring Outside the Lines | 2 PM: Guests: Arthell Isom (dartshtajio anime studio), Johnny O’Bryant (Noir Caesar), Shanice Penn (Freelance anime illustrator), Sozo Maika (Digital illustrator). Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

The Future of Black Comics Inside and Outside of the Academy | 4PM: Guests: Qiana Whitted, Rebecca Wanzo, and JoAnna Davis-McElligatt. Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Gray.

Saturday, January 15

How to Draw Black Superheroes & Comics | 11 AM: Guest: Tim Fielder (Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, DieselFunk Studios)

Creating Powerful Women in Comics | 1 PM: Guests: Robyn Smith, Jamila Rowser, Shawnelle Gibbs, Shawnee Gibbs

The Comic Book Spectrum: Curating Safe and Brave Spaces | 3 PM: Guests: Cindy Cortez (Sonic Boombox), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Clairesa Clay (Blerd City Comic Con), and Chauna C. Lawson (HBCU Con). Moderated by Regine Sawyer (Lockett Down Productions).

Comic Books & Big Screens: How Comic Creators Are Making Their Way Through Film and TV | 5 PM: Guests: Prentice Penny (Insecure), David Crownson (Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer), Sebastian Jones (Stranger Comics), and URAEUS (Museum of UnCut Funk). Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

For more information regarding registrations, the panels, workshops, and cosplay show click here!!

Also for those that are in the Harlem, NY area you may want to also check out the new exhibition,  Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, which will be on display at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture beginning January 14th!!

Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, will document the festival’s evolution through photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs. The Schomburg Center’s collection of comic books and graphic novels dating back to the golden age of comic books will be deployed to illuminate the long history of Black comics and sequential art creators, and the ongoing motivations to render humor, struggle, irony, and futurism steeped in a Black aesthetic. 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture-NYPL (Harlem, NY)
Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight

Black Future Feminist Turns One!!

Guess who just turned 1 today?!!

Wow I cannot believe this time last year I launched my website Black Future Feminist!! A place that brings some culture, keeps you in the loop on television and film, adds to your book collection, and shares some good ol’ pop culture commentary. Each day I feel like I’m still growing, but I embrace that 100%!!

Ahhhhh…It feels like yesterday that I broke out of my shell and shared a little bit of me with you!

So stay tuned for more commentary, book recommendations, reviews, trailers, professional and personal stuff, and so much more!!

One year down…Many more to go!!

~Dr. G

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

Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute (PCM)- “A Year in Review”

Not only do you get Dr. G’s 2021 Faves, but I had to make sure I gave you a bonus list! Check out Black Future Feminist Intern Jaya as she offers her two cents for 2021!!

Here is a list of my favorite things that came out and/or discovered for the first time this year. These are things that I discovered that really stuck with me through this crazy year. So for my final post of 2021 here are a few things that got me through this year and here’s to a new year!

My Favorite Albums:

  • Paul’s Boutique ~Beastie Boys
  • Midnight Marauders ~A Tribe Called Quest
  • Call Me If You Get Lost ~Tyler the Creator
  • Vs. ~Pearl Jam
  • There is Nothing Left To Lose ~Foo Fighters
  • Divine Feminine ~Mac Miller
  • Planet Her ~Doja Cat
  • Lately I Feel Everything ~Willow Smith
Photo by Jessica Lynn Lewis on Pexels.com

My Favorite Books:

  • Hamlet ~William Shakespeare
  • Flowers for Algernon ~Daniel Keyes
  • The Handmaid’s Tale ~Margaret Atwood
  • A Game of Thrones ~George R.R. Martin
  • The Song of Achilles ~Madeline Miller
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

My Favorite Movies:

  • Eternals (2021)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
  • Sound of Metal (2019)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • The Truman Show (1998)
  • Fargo (1996)
  • Goodfellas (1990)
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

My Favorite TV Shows:

  • Invincible (Prime Video)
  • Squid Game (Netflix)
  • Arrested Development (Netflix)
  • Clickbait (Netflix)
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+)
  • Hawkeye (Disney+)
  • Downton Abbey (Peacock)
  • Gotham (Netflix)
  • Cowboy Bebop [Anime] (Funimation)
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Cheers to what is to come in 2022!!

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

Just in case you missed it!!-“The Portrayal of Women in Media & Entertainment”

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to sit on an AMAZING panel with a great group of women to discuss women in media and entertainment as part of the Meliora 2021 celebration at the University of Rochester!!

So I wanted to make sure I shared the video with you just in case you may have missed the LIVE presentation, or you just want to re-cap!!

Check it out below:

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Upcoming Event for Dr. G!!

Glad to be able to participate in another event where I get to talk about a few of my favorite discussion topics: race, gender, media, and entertainment!!

On this coming Friday October 1st (12-1 pm/ET), I will be taking part in the Distinguished Panel Discussion: The Portrayal of Women in Media and Entertainment presented by the University of Rochester-Women’s Network!! Check out the info below:

Over the last few decades, the portrayal of women in film, television, and magazines has evolved, and in some cases, improved to include a stronger presence and influence of women both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Join our esteemed panelists virtually for a conversation exploring the issues around the media’s portrayal of women and girls—from effects on body image and self-identity—to the ways in which media both limits and empowers women and girls in today’s society.

This virtual panel includes myself as well as an awesome group of women: Kate Hearst (Film Historian, Critic, and Filmmaker), Roberta Myers (longest-serving Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Brand Content of the US edition of the fashion media brand, ELLE), KaeLyn Rich (Vice President of Organizational Advancement at UltraViolet) and Norma Holland-Moderator) (Director of Public Relations and Engagement for the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Rochester)!!

To register to attend click here!! See you all Friday!!

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

Inside Shang-Chi’s evolution from forgotten comic book character to big-screen superhero*

~Scottie Andrew, CNN Entertainment

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings First Reactions

So a couple a weeks ago I had the opportunity to offer a few of my thoughts about Asian representation in comic books and its relationship with the latest Marvel film, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings for CNN Entertainment!! To view the complete article see here.

Check out some of the snippets below:

Shang-Chi’s early issues relied on some problematic stereotypes

Every iteration of Shang-Chi has a similar throughline: He’s always a spectacular martial artist, always playing tug-of-war with his former life as a fighter and always, always tormented by daddy issues. That blueprint was created by Englehart and Jim Starlin, the two-man team who brought the character to life (Englehart, perhaps best known for his dark, noir take on Batman, has also created characters like Star-Lord of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and Starlin is responsible for MCU icons like its biggest villain, Thanos.)

In the early 1970s, Englehart and Starlin approached Detective Comics (DC) with an idea: a comic book take on the David Carradine series “Kung Fu.” (The series has been criticized for its use of “yellowface,” or casting White actors as Asian characters. Carradine is White but starred as a part-Chinese martial artist.)Starlin, an artist, loved the martial arts element of the story, while writer Englehart said he was interested in delving into Taoism and other philosophies to flesh out his protagonist. The two thought they’d found a match with “Kung Fu” — but DC thought the “kung fu craze was going to disappear,” Starlin said, and passed on the idea.

So the pair took it next to Marvel, whose executives agreed only after insisting that the pair inject some pre-existing intellectual property into their comic, both men told CNN.

In this case, the company had the rights to the character Fu Manchu, a racist caricature of a Chinese man created by British author Sax Rohmer in the early 20th century. The villain was then “grafted onto the series” as Shang-Chi’s father, Starlin told CNN in an August interview. (Racist depictions of Asian characters had appeared in comics before this, like the egg-shaped villain “Egg Fu” in a 1965 Wonder Woman issue and the 1940 character “Ebony White” in the early comic, “The Spirit,” said Grace Gipson, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies race and gender within comics.)

Gipson, a pop culture scholar who studies race and gender within comics, said hiring writers of color like Yang to helm series about characters of color is an improvement, but it “is really not a hard task.” She said while comics creators have made great strides in deconstructing norms of who a comic book reader is and what storylines they want to see, the hiring of creators of color needs to happen consistently.”It’s about making sure the voices of those being represented always have a seat at the table as well as a microphone to speak,” she told CNN.

Still, she said, as a fan of comics herself, she’s enjoyed seeing more representative stories being told in mainstream comics. 

*Repost from CNN