MARCH 2, 2018: TRAILBLAZERS
Welcome back, all! The month of March is Women’s History Month, so we’re going to make that our theme! This weekend we’re focusing on trailblazers; women who set the standard in their profession.
TV Show: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
This Amazon series follows the life of Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a 1950s housewife in New York City. When her husband, Joel, leaves her for his secretary, Midge discovers her knack for comedy and begins to pursue a life as a single mother comedian. Throughout the series, Midge is put in jail, accidentally joins a riot, and gets a job as a makeup counter girl, all while maintaining her life as a mother and upstanding citizen. This show somehow manages to be hilarious and revolutionary, as it shows how women were treated in the 50’s while providing hilarity in every episode. Watch on Amazon here.
Songs: Misc. Artists
All of these women were some of the first to become famous and flourish in the singer/songwriter realm. To hear one of their songs, click on their name under their picture! Here are a few things about them:
Aretha Franklin: One of the best selling female artists worldwide. She’s sold over 75 million records, and has won 18 Grammys.
Catherine Ribeiro: French singer who confronted stereotypes and gender norms through her song-dialogues.
Billie Holiday: A jazz singer/songwriter who was one of the first to experiment with phrase and tempo.
Delia Derbyshire: Was rejected from a recording studio that didn’t hire women, went on to write the theme for ‘Doctor Who.’ Nuff said.
Ella Fitzgerald: Has a vocal range of 3 octaves (!!) and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by president Ronald Reagan.
Edna White: The first EVER trumpet player to perform in Carnegie Hall, created the first successful all-female band. Basically my hero.
For more info about these women and other trailblazers in music, visit this website!
I hope you guys enjoy these picks! As a woman, I completely unbiasedly think they’re some of my best. See you all next weekend!
FEBRUARY 23, 2018: THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MILLENIAL
This is the last official weekend of Black History Month! I’ve really enjoyed putting these together for you guys. Thanks to those of you that have been reading/watching/listening to my recommendations! These picks follow the theme of modern African American culture.
This movie follows the life of Malcom Adekanbi (which, interestingly enough, means ‘next in line’ in Yoruba, a prominent language in Nigeria). Malcom is an intelligent high school student who wants to attend an ivy league school. There’s just one problem. Malcom comes from a poor, ghetto area where one of the only future job opportunities is to sell drugs. Throughout the movie Malcom deals with this struggle as he fights to make his goals a reality. This movie is rated R, so it’s not a movie to watch with the kids, but it really showcases the cyclical nature of certain lifestyles in America. Rent Dope on Amazon here or on Youtube here!
Song: Nikes by Frank Ocean
You guys, I truly believe that rap is modern-day poetry, especially with artists like Frank Ocean. I watched a Youtube video the other day about this song, and I absolutely would not have realized this song had deeper meaning if I hadn’t! I looked into it a little more, and in this Bustle article, Courtney Lindley says that this song is about
the systematic failings of the justice system that leave the lives of too many young African-Americans at risk.
This song covers so many other hot topics throughout its entirety, but if you do listen to it, I would recommend pulling up this Bustle article or something like it to read alongside the song, so you can fully appreciate Frank Ocean’s genius. As the picture above shows, there is some explicit language, so keep that in mind when listening. Listen on Youtube here or Spotify here.
That’s it for this weekend, next week we’ll dive into a Women’s History Month theme, because March is Women’s History Month! See you then!
FEBRUARY 16, 2018: COLONIAL AFRICA
Following the Black History Month theme, this weekends picks will center around Africa’s colonization.
Movie: The Gods Must Be Crazy
This movie is labeled as a comedy, but the storyline has concepts with much deeper themes. Made in South Africa and set in Botswana, it follows a man and his tribe, unknown to the world. Considered to be the most successful film to come out of South Africa, it’s definitely a film worth seeing. Rent here on YouTube or here on Amazon.
Book: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Set in late 19th century Nigeria, this three part story follows the life of Okonkwo, a member of the Umuofia village. The story is centered around pre/post colonial Nigeria and focuses on overpowering Western views and leadership. It gives a great depiction of a view we Americans don’t usually get to see. Buy on Amazon here.
That’s all I have for you this week, tune in next week for more Black History Month themed media!
FEBRUARY 10, 2018: BLACK HISTORY MONTH
This month is Black History Month, so the weekend picks for February will follow a BHM theme!
TV Series: Dear White People
This Netflix original follows four students navigating life in a predominantly white Ivy League college. Each episode deals with the racially sensitive subjects that most students of color deal with every day. The series was eye-opening for me because there were things the characters brought up that I didn’t even know were a problem until they made me see it. Now I can’t unsee it. A good show to watch if you want to be made aware of the political climate around you. Watch on Netflix here.
Song: Everybody album by Logic
I honestly love all of Logic’s albums because they tell stories, but this one in particular deals with really relevant and personal issues. Billboard interviewed Logic about this album and he said, “It’s a true to form of embodiment of humanity.” The songs are catchy, but they also deal with issues that Logic has been dealing with his entire life. Logic is racially mixed, but has a fairly white skin tone. This mix has led to pretty major bigotry throughout his life, and he tells of these stories in his songs. NPR puts it this way: “listen to the lyrics and you will find dark undertones of the bigotry Logic has experienced from two sides in America — black and white.” Many of his songs are NSFW, but they’re worth a listen because of the relevant issues he discusses. Listen on Spotify here or Youtube here.
Book: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
So I haven’t actually read this book, but Fransuave has read some of it and says it’s definitely worth the read. You can buy it on Amazon here or listen to it on Audible here. The New York Times wrote an article about it and said,
“One of the great virtues of the book is that it is not addressed to white people. The usual hedging and filtering and softening and overall distortion that seems to happen automatically — even unconsciously — when black people attempt to speak about race to white people in public is absent. Coates emphasizes over and over the apparent permanence of racial injustice in America, the foolishness of believing that one person can make a change, and the dangers of believing in the American Dream. Dreamers are the ones who continue to believe the lie, at black people’s expense. In what will almost certainly be the most widely quoted passage, Coates tells his son:
“Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.”
That’s all for this week, hope you guys enjoy!
JANUARY 26, 2018: FEMINISM
Hey all! This weekend picks’ theme is feminism.
Song: The Blur, The Line, and The Thickest of Onions by Little Comets
You definitely need to read the lyrics alongside listening to this song. In a statement about The Blur, The Line, and The Thickest of Onions (read full blurb here), Little Comets say that media and music today preach that everything is okay, when reality is actually pretty far from the ‘party all night’ music we listen to on a day-to-day basis. They wrote this song to fight back against the “incoherent lack of effort to connect with a lyric.” The Blur, The Line, and The Thickest of Onions is poetry put to music and it sends a powerful message to all those who take the time to hear and absorb what’s being sung. Listen here.
Book: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
In this book, Roxanne Gay unofficially calls out the feminist stereotypes and effectively dissolves them, chapter by chapter. She claims the feminist title while also claiming a love of pink, babies, and degrading rap music. Gay says, “Bad feminism seems the only way I can both embrace myself as a feminist and be myself.” If you shy away from calling yourself a feminist because of the stereotypes the title comes with, this book is definitely for you. Read here or listen here.
Movie: Miss Representation
Okay, confession. I actually haven’t watched this movie yet. But it’s happening, like, tonight! I found their website and this is what they have to say about the documentary:
“The film draws back a curtain to reveal a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see – how the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls makes it difficult for women to feel powerful and achieve leadership positions.”
This movie is available on Netflix and for free here if you don’t have Netflix (it does have Spanish subtitles on in this version but, ya know, its free). So if you happen to watch this before 8:30PM Eastern Time, let me know what I’m in for!
Otherwise, that’s all I’ve got for Weekend Picks today, see you guys same time next week!
JANUARY 19, 2018: AFRICA
I’m going to try to start a new segment where I post books, movies, songs, etc. that I think are worth reading/watching/listening to every Friday for you guys to enjoy too! This weekend’s theme is Africa (surprise surprise). Here’s the roundup from this week!
Song: There Will Be Time (ft. Baaba Maal) by Mumford and Sons
In all honesty I kind of nerded out when I heard this song. The entire album is worth a listen (there’s only 5 songs) as it combines Mumford and Sons normally folksy tunes with West and South African artists, pulling together a beautifully diverse and multicultural album. Listen here
Book: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
I struggled between this one and ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ by Barbara Kingsolver (they’re both amazing) but eventually chose this one because Poisonwood Bible is not an easy pill to swallow for us Bible Belt dwellers. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it, just means you should read it with an open heart and think about the message it tells. THIS book puts a spin on the normal dark=bad light=good metaphor most media gives nowadays and instead tells a story where dark is good and light is bad. Brilliantly told story. Purchase here.
Movie: Queen of Katwe
Dr. Maganda actually had us watch this movie as an assignment while in Tanzania last summer and I think it is a beautiful portrayal of a common family in Africa. The actors/actresses are phenomenal and the story told is one you won’t soon forget. It’s rated PG, so it’s a great movie for the whole family. Rent here or here
That’s all I’ve got for you this weekend! Enjoy your weekend and (hopefully) some of these picks!