Never mind the quality, feel the ‘woke’ Green Book, The New Negro and white guilt

The best picture Oscar and the Pulitzer for biography have been bestowed on problematic and inferior works on race Art highlighting the marginalized, blacks, gays and others, is more fashionable than ever. For the gatekeepers of culture, however, it is not authenticity but stories that celebrate a superficial idea of progressiveness which exert the greatest appeal. Narratives exhibiting how woke we are resonate most. As long as a work captures how accepting whites are of blacks, how understanding straights are when encountering queerness, success is assured. Some blacks and empathetic whites get it. Seeking reparation for racist inequality by any means necessary, they reason, makes it time for diversity, any diversity. If the best and brightest black candidates are unavailable, …

John Singleton: maverick director with a radical edge

Boyz N the Hood sent audiences reeling and marked the start of an uneven career for a writer-director whose films were rooted in lived experience Hollywood wasnt ready for Boyz N Mean Streets or Fellinis Snowfall Singleton arguably did not have the fully realised directorial career that others had. Imperious debut Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood. Photograph: Allstar/Columbia But most other directors couldnt boast of anything approaching the ferocity of his Boyz N the Hood, a masterpiece that seems to thump, judder and pulse with police helicopter rotor blades, or semiautomatic gunfire, or music in the streets. Cuba Gooding Jr plays Tre; Ice Cube is his troubled friend Doughboy and Morris Chestnut is Doughboys brother Ricky. Tyra Ferrell …

Black People Asked White People About Things They Dont Understand About Them And Actually Received Frank Answers

A few years back, when social media was in its infancy and people were thinking about its potential to change the world, we imagined all the ways that it would help to bring us together. Easy and instant communication with people from all over the planet would surely break down the artificial borders constructed between us, and lead to greater cultural exchange, mutual understanding and a shared humanity that could help us to solve the bigger global problems that affect us all. Sadly, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Sure, there are some great examples of social media being a force for the common good, but ultimately we are a tribal species, and we seem to prefer segregating ourselves …

To fight racism, we need to think beyond reparations | Bhaskar Sunkara

We need a political revolution to truly bring democracy and equality to the United States reparations wont cut it The moral case for reparations is undeniable. The United States is a country built in large part off the labor of black slaves. Their coerced labor was turned into capital. That capital was appropriated by planters, filled the coffers of merchants, and fueled industrialists. Meanwhile, the descendants of slaves were stuck of the lowest rung of an incredibly violent and exploitative society. Even after the tremendous gains of the Civil Rights movement and the election of a generation of black leaders, black Americans have to settle for the worst schools, the worst health care, the worst jobs, and the worst end …

How we made Booker T and the MGs’ Green Onions

It was originally called Funky Onions but to laced-up, deep-south America, that sounded like a cuss word, so we had to retitle it Booker T Jones, organist I grew up in Memphis and by the time I was 17, I was learning saxophone, piano and Hammond organ, paid for by my paper round. I started going over to Billie Lee Riley, but something hadnt worked out. Hed packed up and left, so we had the studio to ourselves. We started playing around with a piano groove Id been performing in the clubs, trying to emulate Ray Charles. It sounded better on the organ, so I kept on playing that. Stax owner Jim Stewart liked what we were doing and wanted …

Anand Giridharadas: ‘What wealthy people do is rig the discourse’

The author of Winners Take All assesses the relationship between philanthropy and antiracism in an era of growing wealth among elite changemakers On the same day that Anand Giridharadas announced that he would be joining Time as an editor at large, I had the opportunity to talk with him about antiracism and America. A political analyst for MSNBC and author of the 2018 bestselling book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Giridharadas assesses the relationship between philanthropy and antiracism in an era of growing wealth among elite changemakers. Our wide-ranging conversation meandered from Malcolm X and Cedric Robinsons idea of racial capitalism to ruling-class dance moves. … One of the most important arguments you present in …