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, 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..., Conversations with Beloved & Kindred, On the Desk...

Just in Case You Missed It!!

As always, you know I got you covered if you missed last week’s Conversations with Beloved & Kindred episode!!

Dr. Robinson and I had a pretty intense discussion on Eve’s Bayou, and just in case you didn’t know I will say it again….this is an excellent movie!!

Don’t believe me, check out our commentary and see for yourself! It’s definitely a game-changer!!

Check out the episode below:

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Conversations with Beloved & Kindred, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Conversations with Beloved & Kindred-Eve’s Bayou

Tune in on this Thursday May 12th at 3 pm/ET as Dr. Robinson and I continue our discussion n Blackness and horror with a discussion on the 1997 film, Eve’s Bayou!!

Check it out on Auburn Avenue Research Library Facebook Live and YouTube!!

This discussion explores the 1997 film Eve’s Bayou. Actress Kasi Lemmons made an auspicious debut as a writer and director with this delicately handled, wrenchingly emotional drama, hailed by critic Roger Ebert as one of the best films of 1997. Eve’s Bayou begins with ominous narration: “The summer I killed my father, I was 10 years old.” From that point the story moves backward in time and memory to Louisiana in 1962, when a young girl named Eve (Jurnee Smollett) witnesses a shocking act on the part of her womanizing father (Samuel L. Jackson). But what really happened? And can Eve be certain about what she saw when there is more than one interpretation of the facts? Less a mystery than a study of deeply rooted emotions rising to the surface to affect an entire family, the film has the quality of classic Southern literature, with layers of memory unfolding to reveal a carefully guarded truth.

Just in case you want to refresh your memory of the movie, check out the trailer below:

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 Monthly Book Recommendations, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-March 2022

Keeping it short and sweet for you all this month, I want to let the books shine!! This month is in honor of Women’s History Month!! Seven books that will capture a wide range of experiences all written by women!

Check them out below:

  • Black Cake ~Charmaine Wilkerson
  • Carolina Built ~Kianna Alexander
  • The School for Good Mothers ~Jessamine Chan
  • Julián is a Mermaid ~Jessica Love
  • We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World ~Malala Yousafzai
  • Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time ~Tanya Lee Stone
  • Memphis ~Tara M. Stringfellow

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!!

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” 

– Toni Morrison

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

Featured Event- “The Comic Book Spectrum: Race, Gender, and Comics”

Check out this upcoming event that came across my desk!!

As part of the Afrofuturism Festival at Carnegie Hall and the Women in Comics Collective International presents: “The Comic Book Spectrum: Race, Gender, and Comics” on February 26th, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

Photo by Teenie Harris 1940/1945

This panel discussion is part of a series that focuses on the effect that race and gender representation have on the comic book industry. It also serves as a platform where multimedia professionals can talk about their backgrounds, work, and thoughts related to the ever-changing spectrum that is comics.

**Take a journey to the world of Afrofuturism—an ever-expansive aesthetic and practice—where music, visual arts, science fiction, and technology intersect to imagine alternate realities and a liberated future viewed through the lens of Black cultures. Immerse yourself in Afrofuturism, Carnegie Hall’s 2022 citywide festival.**

To RSVP for the event, click here!

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

As one month gets ready to come to a close another one begins!! And with a new month comes a new set of trailers! Check them out below:

The Tourist (Streaming on HBO Max March 3rd)

Shining Vale (Streaming on STARZ March 6th)

Season 2-Bridgerton (Streaming on Netflix March 25th)

The Contractor (In theaters April 1st)

The First Lady (Streaming on Showtime April 17th)