As most of you know, I have the opportunity to go to WisCon every year and in a couple of days I’ll be having a family reunion of sorts 😀 I usually don’t post my schedule coz for some reason I kept myself anonymous, but that really serves no purpose. I’m doing five panels this year, moderating all of them. If you’ve ever been to a panel I moderate, I like to keep it fun, keep it Black, keep it mostly womanly. Hope you’ll join us and look for a short announcement about a possible livetweet event I might hold in June.
The Year in Black Movies and #OscarsSoWhite
Moonlight, Fences, Hidden Figures, Queen of Katwe and Birth of a Nation were all major releases in 2016. These first four films offered refreshing depictions of blackness and Black people beyond what we have been used to seeing from Hollywood films. However, more than the controversy surrounding BOAN prevented it from living up to its hype from Sundance and it cannot be excluded from the conversation. This panels discusses these films and why they inspired so much hope for further representations of blackness.
The New Golden Age of Black Television
In addition to shows such as Empire and Survivor’s Remorse, television has seen a resurgence of Black-cast television shows. In 2016, we got Queen Sugar, Atlanta, Insecure, Luke Cage and The Get Down among other shows. Queen Sugar was especially impressive in its depictions of blackness and its decision to hire all women to direct the show. The Get Down was not only nostalgic but also depicted a multicultural setting with POC. This panel discusses these shows and how they gave room to explore blackness in ways television has failed in previous shows. We will also discuss any problematic aspects of these shows and what we hope for them in future seasons.
Can We Really Wait Until 2018? In Anticipation of Black Panther
#BlackPantherSoLit! Two years before the film is scheduled for release, Black Twitter trended the hashtag in anticipation. While we’re waiting for 2018 to get here, let’s talk about why we are so eagerly looking forward to Black Panther. Let’s discuss what we are hoping for from Black Panther and Wakanda, especially after the success of Luke Cage. Let’s also discuss what we are afraid could go wrong and whether we have faith in Ryan Coogler and company to give us the MCU film we all deserve.
The Women of Luke Cage
Who knew we could break Netflix! Less than 24 hours after it debuted, Netflix crashed as we all tuned in to the first Black-cast MCU show. The response was overwhelming. However, within this culturally specific and complicated context, the women of Luke Cage made a lasting impression. Misty Knight, Mariah Dillard, Claire Temple, Priscilla Ridley, and Betty Audrey were among a plethora of well-rounded Black female characters with depth and range in this world. This is not to say that all depictions were perfect, but they were far from one-dimensional. This panel will discuss the women of Luke Cage and how they were essential to this show.
Older Black Women in Television Romance
This panel will discuss what it means to see Black women in various intersections finding and receiving love and support, especially at an older age. We will look at Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder, Mariah Dillard from Luke Cage, Cookie Lyon from Empire, Violet Bordelon of Queen Sugar, Cassie Calloway of Survivor’s Remorse and Jessica Pearson of Suits.
So that’s my WisCon schedule. Of course, I’ll be attending other panels and will hopefully see some of you on my downtime.
After WisCon, I am contemplating doing a livetweet in June in honor of Black Music Month. What I plan to do is livetweet a few music documentaries: WattStax, Soul to Soul, A Band Called Death and Buena Vista Social Club. Right now, I am considering Wednesday or Thursday evenings, but I don’t have a set time. I will be off work and hoping the queue from my transcription job has work again. Whether or not there is, I want to make time for these livetweets that each celebrate some element of Black music history. If you are interested in co-ordinating or want to do this on a day that has five weeks in the month so that you can add a film, hit me up. I’m open to suggestions.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing my WisCon peeps!