Facing Blackness: Interview With Ashley Clark

Film critic (and sometime guest on Film 2016) Ashley Clark has featured on this site before, when we discussed the Afrofuturism season he curated at the BFI in 2014. He has just written his first book, Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. We spoke about the book, the merits and demerits of Bamboozled,… Read More

The Police Have Their Own Crimes to Answer For

CONTENT NOTE: This piece will include descriptions of police violence in some detail. by Shane Thomas In 2008, Sean Rigg – a black man suffering from mental illness – died in police custody. Yet it’s taken nearly eight years for the case to be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether the police… Read More

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: An African-American Crucible

by Shane Thomas  Last month, Queen Latifah won a SAG Award for her performance as blues legend Bessie Smith in Bessie. The biopic also featured Mo’Nique, who played Ma Rainey – Bessie’s one-time mentor and ‘Mother of the Blues’. The iconic Rainey is now being portrayed on the stage in the revival of the August… Read More

Diversity is Dead, and Whiteness Killed It

by Shane Thomas “People like the idea of diversity. They just don’t like being around different people” Diversity. One of those idioms that’s been widely established as a good thing. Like “world peace”, or “green energy”. However, this appeal remains superficial, with only society’s powerful having the option to implement it; an option they often… Read More

Creed: When Mainstream Cinema Has A Black Lens

by Shane Thomas  This review contains spoilers. Last summer, I was talking with a friend about Dear White People, and its lead, Tessa Thompson. The conversation led us to her IMDB page, where we discovered her next outing would be in Creed; yet another movie in the Rocky series. We rolled our eyes at what… Read More

Why Do We Need Activism?

by Shane Thomas “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” – Dr. Cornel West I think of myself as a hopeful pessimist. I don’t think things will turn out alright. I don’t believe in the milk of human kindness. I don’t think we collectively learn from history. But I always hope… Read More

The Top 10 PoC Moments in Sport in 2015

by Shane Thomas The world of sport is a space where many great PoC stories can be found. Here’s 10 of the best we saw in 2015: 10) Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch is a man who finds the NFL media circus not to his liking. Often uncomfortable around journalists, Lynch’s propensity… Read More

The Standout Screen Performances In 2015

CONTENT NOTE: This piece will contain spoilers for the programmes discussed. by Shane Thomas  A year ago, looking back on television that centred around people of colour, I highlighted Georgina Campbell’s staggering performance in Murdered By My Boyfriend. A performance that I confidently stated would receive no award recognition. Campbell went on to win a… Read More

The Misuse Of Our Media

by Shane Thomas  Last week, I was at the Comment Awards, and one of my lasting memories of the event was the speech given by The Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley – he won the Chair’s Choice gong. He opined that journalistic comment is the “indispensable vocation”, while waggishly adding that his profession is hardly one that… Read More

Ocean’s Eleven: The Women Of Colour Cast

by Shane Thomas  CONTENT NOTE: Some of the embedded links are NSFW Rumours abound that Sandra Bullock is set to star in an all-woman remake of Ocean’s 11 (which was itself a remake). By pure coincidence, I recently spent a day at work pondering what an all-black cast of the film would look like[1]. I… Read More