Tag Archives: Queen Latifah

Chromatic Casting: The All-Female Expendables

By Arturo R. García

Film bloggers got a bit abuzz last week at reports that an all-female spinoff of the Expendables franchise was being developed, with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” being contacted.

This being Hollywood, of course, don’t expect too much on the diversity front–heck, even seeing Jet Li as part of the crew in Sylvester Stallone’s original ensemble and Yu Nan and Terry Crews in the sequel–is about as good as we’re probably going to get in that series.

But here at Chromatic Casting, we know we can do better. And so we’ll give it a shot under the cut.

Keeping in mind that this series basically involves anthropomorphic tropes as characters, we won’t get too deep with the descriptions, but we’ll slot folks into some archetypal roles for the protagonist team, with the villains being a bit more fluid.
Continue reading

The Friday Mixtape – The Art Of Rap Edition

Not much commentary this week – I’m not feeling well. But, to circle back to The Art Of Rap, which I reviewed earlier this week, here’s a look at the film’s actual soundtrack. Solid enough, but, much like the film, it’s short a few necessary voices who would sound great in a theater setting. So here’s a short collection of MCs and tracks we should’ve heard from:

SlutWalks v. Ho Strolls

By Guest Contributor Crunktastic, cross-posted from The Crunk Feminist Collective

Today, we had initially planned to bring you a review of the new groundbreaking book Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combatting Sexual Harassment in Schools and on the Streets. And you can read it here. But in light of the SlutWalk movement that broke out in Toronto earlier this year and the embrace of the movement in U.S. feminist mainstream over the last few months, I would like to add a few more thoughts to the discussion, in light of recent and much-needed calls on the part of feminists of color for a much more critical race critique in the SlutWalk movement.

SlutWalk Toronto started as an activist response to the ill-informed, misguided words of a Toronto police officer who suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Women in Toronto were enraged and rightfully so, and SlutWalks have become a way to dramatize the utter ignorance and danger of the officer’s statements. And on that note, I fucks very hard with the concept and with the response, which is creative, appropriate, and powerful.

What gives me pause is the claim in SlutWalk Toronto’s mission statement of sorts that because they are are “tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result,” they are reclaiming and reappropriating the word “slut.”  Um, no thank you?

Continue reading

Where is the Black Julia Roberts? Part 1: Top Actresses 2000-2010

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, cross-posted from Televisual

The “black actress” stepped into the spotlight last year, as Nia Long called out Beyoncé Knowles and other singers for taking roles; Tyler Perry released yet another film starring newcomer Taraji P. Henson; and Precious gave its stars, especially Mo’Nique, a chance to shine.

The November 5 release of Perry’s For Colored Girls puts the issue of black women in cinema back into the national conversation — even if it fails to redeem Tyler Perry. So I decided to posit an answer to the question: where are all the black leading ladies? Below: 1) why this question?, 2) a list, 3) the state of the black leading lady, and 4) how I came up with the current crop.

I. Where is the Black Julia Roberts? One Route to an Answer

Easier asked than answered! The question is really more provocation than anything. At a certain point, comparison between races is irrelevant: is Will Smith the “white” anyone? He’s Will Smith! The question, however, does open up an interesting discussion. Julia Roberts, like Meryl Streep, can do a lot: from Duplicity and Eat Pray Love to, now, August: Osage County. Roberts can choose her roles and she almost always plays the lead. What black actress could do the same, now or in the near future? The real issue leads us to ask: of the potential black leading ladies today, who is on top, who isn’t panning out, and why?

Continue reading

Quoted: Queen Latifah on Sexual Abuse

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

For a short period of time when she was a child, Latifah was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a teenager charged with her care. “He violated me,” she says of the abuser. “I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arm’s distance. I never really let a person get too close to me. I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue.” Eventually, she opened up to her parents, who separated when she was young. “When I was 22, my brother died, and I knew I couldn’t carry his death and that secret,” she says. “I had to get it off my chest. My mother felt terrible. She was kind of a country girl, so she wasn’t up on how slick people could be. When I told my dad, he said nothing.” Latifah says now that it was scary when her father didn’t respond. “He’s a man of action,” she says.

But Latifah doesn’t blame her parents for what occurred. In fact, she credits them with doing their best to protect her while she was growing up. She points out that one in four girls is sexually abused in some way. “That’s 25 percent of all girls. This is a real problem,” she says. Not unlike many victims of abuse, she wondered if she had played a role in what happened. Her talks with a therapist helped her find the unequivocal answer. “He said, ‘Imagine yourself as an adult and think about what a child can do to you. Can they beat you? Can they defeat you? No. Now, imagine yourself as that child.’ That really helped put things in perspective. I was a kid, and I had no power or control over the situation. I really wish I had the strength and knowledge to say something sooner, because I always wondered, Did he do that to someone else? But I accept that the time for action has come and gone.

—From “I’m the One That They Call Queen,Essence, July 2009 Issue