Posted in Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

It’s Official…A New Justice is in Town!!

Black Women are Supreme…As in today June 30, 2022, Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in as our first Black woman on the Supreme Court!!

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in the West Conference Room, Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on June 30, 2022. Dr. Patrick Jackson holds the Bible.
Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Cheers to Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson!! Now that has a nice sound to it!!

Official photograph of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson taken by Supreme Court Photographer Fred Schilling, 2022.

As noted in her own words, “I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free!”

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

SAVE THE DATE!!-Defend Black Women March

A few months back I got a chance to meet this amazing Black feminist scholar Dr. Jaimee Swift and her research, personality, and grind truly impressed me. During this encounter, she shared an upcoming event that I had to make sure to share with you!! I’m all about sharing the wealth with the masses. Check out the event below:

2nd Defend Black Women March

Honoring Marielle Franco: Celebrating the Power of Black Feminisms in Latin America & The Caribbean

July 29-31, 2022–Malcolm X Park (Meridian Hill Park)

HEADSHOTS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SARA GÓMEZ, MARIELLE FRANCO, NANNY OF THE MAROONS, ANDAYE, OLUWATOYIN SALAU, MAMA TINGO, MARY JONES, bell hooks, and NEHANDA ABIODUN. THEIR HEADSHOTS ARE IN BLACK AND WHITE AND THEY ARE CONNECTED BY A COLORFUL MURAL BACKGROUND. Photo Credit: Black Women Radicals/Defend Black Women March

For more information, check out the event site!!

Also, definitely check out the Black Women Radicals website for even more jewels and nuggets of knowledge.

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

Check out Dr. G talking about Black Gamers!!

On last month, I had the opportunity to present a paper on “#BlackGamersMatter: Gaming and the Black Imaginary” at the Beyond the Page-“Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism” at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA).

Dr. Gipson presenting at the Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism (Temple University)

You can check me out on Part 6, see here.

And if you are interested in checking out the full symposium see the following videos below:

  • Part 1: Welcome remarks by Joseph P. Lucia, dean of Temple University Libraries; Keynote Address by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, associate professor of Africology and African American Studies: “Afrofuturism: The Second Race for Theory,” See here
  • Part 2: Discussion with curator, art director, illustrator Eric Battle, and illustrators Damali Beatty and Nilé Livingston for the Black Lives Always Mattered!: Hidden African American Philadelphia of the Twentieth Century original graphic novel,  See here
  • Part 3: Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio project presentations in the Scholars Studio Innovation Lab, See here
  • Part 4: “Virtual Blockson” presentation with Jasmine Lelis Clark, See here
  • Part 5: Symposium Discussion, See here
  • Part 7: Closing Remarks with Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of Africology and African American studies, See here

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

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-May 2022

Photo by Rovelyn Camato on Pexels.com

So we are almost half way through 2022, but the reading doesn’t stop. Before I get you ready for your summer reading, just want to finish out the spring with some breezy balcony and patio reading. This month’s list is all over the globe…literally, I figured I would share a few treats by giving you some historical references, a little bit of self-preservation and cultural identity, mixed with a dash of U.S. midwest and Caribbean roots, and topping you off with some sassy satire.

  • Jameela Green Ruins Everything ~Zarqa Nawaz
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations ~Mira Jacob
  • Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel ~Xochitl Gonzalez
  • The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family ~Bettye Kearse
  • American Street ~Ibi Zoboi

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 write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained. ~Nikki Giovanni

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

The real-life ‘Dora Milaje’ coming to the Big Screen in the historical epic, “The Woman King”

Have you ever just looked at an image or a still shot of something and became overwhelmingly excited and stunned at the same time?? Well those are my exact emotions when I saw the image below:

Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures

Power…Strength…Fierceness…Beauty…Action…Simply Speechless

For even more of the above emotions check out the Empire Exclusive picture, see here!!

The image above is from the upcoming film, “The Woman King.” It is inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey (now known as present-day Benin), which was one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its story follows Nanisca (Viola Davis), General of the all-female military unit (for additional context the women who inspired Black Panther’s Dora Milaje), and Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), an ambitious recruit, who as a team “fought enemies who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.”

Davis debuted the trailer for the film at this year’s CinemaCon in April.

Hook … Line … and Sinker … I’m sold!! To see Viola Davis in a “kick-ass” role (literally and figuratively), as well as see the history of a group of Black women warriors unfold on the Hollywood screen is music to my ears! Now that is “Representation Matters” in action!!

The Woman King” was co-written by Dana Stevens and Gina Prince Bythewood who also serves as the director. The film is also produced under Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon’s company, JuVee Productions (along with . Not only is the film on point behind the camera but it also includes a dynamic cast, which includes Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and John Boyega. According to Prince-Bythewood, “we were intentional of creating an ensemble of the dopest actors of this moment from all over the diaspora.” AND the musical score will be coming from the legendary Terence Blanchard. I’m already on the edge of my seat waiting for this one to hit theaters!!

“The Woman King” is set to be exclusively in theaters on September 16, 2022.

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

Check out Dr. G!!

So this past weekend I had the pleasure of being featured in two news outlets VCU News and USA Today!!

For VCU News, I was interviewed about one of my Spring courses, “Say Her Name: Humanizing the Black Female Voice in Television.” I got a chance to surprise my students with one of the actress [Cherokee Hall who plays “Extra Extra”] from the STARZ television series “P-Valley”.

Check out some of the story here:

It’s important to Gipson that the course engages with what’s happening in the world. The representation of Black female actors and the characters they take on has always been essential to the success of television as a medium,” she said.

However, Hollywood is not quick to showcase, celebrate, and even hire them. Television has made strides, but it has been inconsistent and slow moving,” she said, adding that many of the women whose work the course studies are breaking barriers and re-setting television culture. I want students to see how television and film are a way to tackle issues and problems.

Joan Tupponce-VCU News

Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

Now for the USA Today article, I switch gears and offer some social commentary on the Dave Chappelle incident and whether America can still handle a joke!!

Here are a few of my thoughts below:

But the combustible cultural moment we are living in — one roiled by political discord and pandemic restrictions — certainly is testing that joke and let joke philosophy, says Grace Gipson, assistant professor in the department of African American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

I feel like in his day Richard Pryor took things to an extreme maybe even greater than what we see today, but no one was bum rushing the stage, says Gipson. Today, it seems like people are free to show their anger beyond heckling.

Marco della Cava & Maria Puente USA TODAY

To read the full articles, check out the following links: VCU News and USA Today !!

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

Featured Panel Discussion with Dr. G!!

On this past Tuesday morning, I got to sit down again and talk with my friends over at Let It Be Known w/Stacy Brown and Black Press USA TV discussing the topics of “Black Women’s hair,” “Respectability Politics vs. Defending Black Women,” and the recent #TheSlap incident!!

Lot’s of great commentary and perspectives were shared!

Tune in below:

And let me make sure I give a shout out to my fellow panelist Carrington York (a School of Journalism graduating senior at Howard University)!!

Posted in Conversations with Beloved & Kindred, Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Last Week in Review!!

Last week was a busy and fun week for me! Dr. Robinson and I got to go in deep on The Candyman series in episode 2 of “Conversations with Beloved & Kindred” and then I closed out the week talking with three dynamic authors for the Virginia Festival of the Book!! And if you did not get a chance to see them LIVE, fear not I got you covered!!

You can check out both videos below:

Season 2-Episode 2: Conversations with Beloved & Kindred...”All About Candyman”

Virginia Festival of the Book“To Reimagine Time: Historical Fantasy” A conversation with authors Shelley Parker-Chan, Natashia Deón, and Nicole Glover!

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

Check Out Dr. G at the VA Festival of the Book!!

The coming Friday I have the great opportunity to interview three amazing female authors during the annual VA Festival of the Book!! Don’t you just love how this ties in with Women’s Herstory Month!!

Under the theme, “To Reimagine Time: Historical Fantasy“, I will be in conversation with Natashia Deón (The Perishing), Nicole Glover (The Undertakers), and Shelley Parker-Chan (She Who Became the Sun) as we discuss their historical fantasy novels, each of which incorporate the magical or fantastic as a means for their strong female protagonists to explore questions of what it means to be human, the importance of family and traditions, and how to fulfill their destinies.

March 17th, 2022 6-7 pm/ET … For additional details see here!

As part of the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book, this event is FREE to attend and open to the public. THIS IS A VIRTUAL EVENT.

To attend, please register below or make plans to watch on Facebook.com/VaBookFest. The video recording from this event will also be available to watch after the event concludes, on VaBook.org/watch. The Virginia Festival of the Book is a program of Virginia Humanities.

This event will offer closed captions and an accompanying live transcript using Zoom’s built-in automatic speech recognition software (ASR).

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

Featured Panel Discussion with Dr. G!!

On yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of serving as a guest commentator with my friends over at Let It Be Known w/Stacy Brown and Black Press USA TV discussing the topic of “Smokey Robinson Loves Being Black”!!

Tune in below:

And I must give a huge shout-out to my fellow esteemed panelists Dr. Riché Richardson (Cornell University) and Dr. Jeff Menzise (Morgan State University)!!