By Arturo R. García, Kendra James, and Joseph Lamour
2013 Oscar Nominations: Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis made history Thursday when she became the youngest actress ever nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress–part of the somewhat surprising nomination haul for Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which is also up for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (director Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar), as well as a Best Director nod for Zeitlin.
The only other PoC up for major awards, however, are Life of Pi director Ang Lee (Best Director) and Denzel Washington, who earned his fourth Best Actor nomination for Flight. Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington were all passed over for their turns in Django Unchained, as was director Quentin Tarantino. (The year’s other prestige slavery film, Lincoln, gathered 12 nominations, most overall.)
The Black Comic Book Festival: The Black Comic Book Festival will take place this Saturday, January 12, from 10am-4pm at the Schomburg Center (NYPL) in Harlem. It is, of course, happening a mere 15 blocks from my home…while I have to be at work. I won’t be able to go, but if you enjoy any of the reporting Arturo occasionally does on comics here at the R and yearn for inclusiveness at larger cons like NYCC and SDCC, this may be an event for you.
From the festival synopsis:
Presented by the Schomburg Junior Scholars and Jonathan Gayles, PhD (Georgia State University), THE BLACK COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL is a dynamic festival for young people that celebrates the rich tradition of black superheroes and features a screening of the documentary White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books; a pop-up art exhibition of “Black Kirby”–a visual homage to the legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby by artists John Jennings (SUNY Buffalo) and Stacey Robinson; panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and exhibit tables with premiere black comic book artists from across the country. Free. All ages welcome. Registration is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full schedule is online, and panels like “Secret Identities and Mutant Minorities” and, “Representing Black Citizenship, or Why Understanding the History of Black Comics Helps Us Understand Django Unchained” are making me genuinely upset that this is one I’ll have to miss. Contact the Schomburg Center today if you’d like to attend. –KP
New Girl: This week, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) gets it in his head that the rest of the gang isn’t allowing Winston (Lamorne Morris) to be his “blackest self” after Schmidt witnesses how he acts around a group of black strangers. Side note: I have never seen so many black actors in one place on television, except when I’m watching Treme. Unfortunately, they’re only there for about 20 seconds. Obviously, this is one of those weeks where Schmidt does something offensive and ridiculous (read: every week). Case in point, this is the first thing that Schmidt buys for Winston:
Winston, obviously, does not like this and convinces Schmidt to do something even more outrageous than that hat. I totally would watch a spin-off featuring just these two. Odd Couple 2013? –JL
In Living Color: That In Living Color reboot that you probably didn’t even know existed? It’s officially dead. The legacy of Jennifer Lopez remains untarnished. –KP
Just a quick note on the In Living Color subject: NOOOOOOOOO P.S.: Why weren’t any of us in on this? I feel like any of the Racialicious writers and contributors could write the hell out of some racial comedy. –JL
(Note: The video for our next item has NSFW language)
Stacey Dash Is Normal: This trailer for a new project from Stacey Dash gained some traction after showing up at Funny Or Die earlier this week. And, go fig–it’s not a parody.
No, the former Single Ladies star, most recently seen endorsing Mitt Romney, seems to really be going all-in as the co-creator of this Celebs Behaving Badly comedy. There’s no release date, or even a proposed airing venue, announced yet. But hey, it’s a wide world for webseries these days. So it might attract some viewers. –AG
Girls: Yeah, we have to talk about this again. We live in a world where we have to wait a full year for a new episode of Boardwalk Empire, but Girls rolls around every six months.
This season, starting Sunday, brings us Black Republican Sandy, played by Donald Glover. According to a review in The New Republic, Glover’s character is different than other brown add-ins after diversity complaints directed at popular (and very white) shows. Supposedly, unlike the “pasted in plots” that other PoC additions have given shows in the past (she cites Ayisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union on Friends, specifically), Sandy’s presence gives the show “some amped-up self-awareness” that it apparently needed.
I haven’t seen the premiere yet myself, but I’m very wary of the assertion that this response of character-adding is any different. “Glover’s arc on the show is brief,” the review continues, “but he is key to illustrating the limited scope of Hannah’s experience.” That seems to tell me all I need to know. Glover will be there for a few episodes. He’ll give Lena Dunham’s Hannah a mini, non-impactful lesson on racism, and vanish with a tip of his hat. It’s a brief moment of supposed self-awareness (none of the dialogue between Sandy and Hannah cited in the article is particularly mind-blowing), but will it stick? Joe and I will be watching to find out for you.
(And of course, this also leaves us with the tiresome possibility of having to devote time to discussing Lena Dunham discussing interracial dating. Yikes.) –KP