Regarding My Blackness

While sitting in the movie theater this past January, I watched as Moonlight began to borrow itself deep inside my heart. It clung to my lungs and wrapped around my rib cage. It crept into my brain stem and spread across my skull.

I was covered in it from head to toe. Unable to separate myself from it, we had become one. Suddenly and wholeheartedly.

After the commotion at the Oscars and Moonlight was finally given its well deserved title and prize, everything that I held inside burst through my tear ducts. It was as if every single marginalized person out there, the ones who were born with the words “I AM DIFFERENT” written on their forehead like a birthmark, were finally able to wipe away the permanent marker. The slate was wiped clean and they could finally write something else.

Because suddenly, through the shocked, ernest and tear stained faces of the Moonlight cast and crew, they, along with many baring witness, watched as the word87dedde498b70bbac653e4389497036ds that looked back at them in the mirror were clearly and miraculously, “YOU ARE SEEN”.

I’ve spent these 26 years of my life trying to understand what it means to have a white mother and a black father. What it means to be biracial. What it means to be black. And I have to say that it wasn’t until recently that I truly found myself able to embrace my blackness.

And maybe that’s because we don’t have to only be seen as victims of racism and police brutality or as images that take up space, or as bodies to be consumed, or darkness to be feared. Maybe it’s the mere fact that our stories are not only being told, but they’re being recognized as worthy and worthwhile.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but I’ll say it anyway. I’ll say it until my throat is raw and my voice is raspy.

We run just as fast as you (though some might argue). We laugh jus
t as loud as you (though some might argue). We smile just as bright as you. We love just as hard as you. Our burdens might not bear the same weight, but we matter just as much as you do.

I am part of the black community. Those are my people. You are my people. And I love every single one of you. 

And if we’re getting technical here, I am not only just black, I am also a woman. But that’s a story for another day.

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2016 Film Rankings

“Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again.” – The English Patient

 

In February of 1996, The English Patient, a story of a fateful love affair told in flashbacks, won Best Picture.

20 years later, in February of 2016, Moonlight, a chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of a young, gay black man, growing up in Miami, won Best Picture.

2016 has been a year filled with groundbreaking films, ceiling shattering actors, producers & directors and it’s a year of film not to be forgotten. This is my list of all the movies I saw in theaters in 2016, from favorite to least favorite.

**These are strictly my opinion and my opinion only**

  1. Moonlight – 3 Wins (Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Adapted Screenplay) & 8 Nominations (Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay)
  2. Hidden Figures – 3 Nominations (Best Picture, Actress in a Supporting Role, Adapted Screenplay)
  3. The Witch
  4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
  5. Zootopia – 1 Win (Animated Feature Film) & 1 Nomination (Animated Feature Film)
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 1 Win (Costume Design) & 2 Nominations (Costume Design, Production Design)
  7. Captain America: Civil War
  8. Moana – 2 Nominations (Animated Feature Film, Original Song)
  9. Kubo and the Two Strings – 2 Nominations (Animated Feature Film, Visual Effects)
  10. Finding Dory
  11. Nocturnal Animals – 1 Nomination (Actor in a Supporting Role)
  12. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 1 Nomination (Sound Mixing)
  13. Deadpool
  14. La La Land – 6 Wins (Actress in a Leading Role, Cinematography, Directing, Original Score, Original Song, Production Design) & 13 Nominations (Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay)
  15. Doctor Strange – 1 Nomination (Visual Effects)
  16. Star Trek Beyond – 1 Nomination (Makeup and Hairstyling)
  17. The Lobster – 1 Nomination (Original Screenplay)
  18. Ghostbusters
  19. The Edge of Seventeen
  20. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  21. X-Men: Apocalypse
  22. The Light Between Oceans
  23. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – 1 Nomination (Sound Mixing)
  24. Eddie the Eagle
  25. The Boy
  26. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
  27. Assassin’s Creed
  28. The 5th Wave
  29. The Legend of Tarzan
  30. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  31. The Girl on the Train
  32. Office Christmas Party
  33. The Forest
  34. Jason Bourne
  35. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  36. Knights of Cups