These are things that I don’t take for granted. (https://www.rogerebert.com/black-writers-week/welcome-to-black-writers-week). We have made great strides in this great country of ours, and we are fortunate to live the freedoms for which our ancestors died. But we cannot afford to ignore the on-going movement to enact laws that make it more difficult to vote, or worse, attempts to nullify the results of legitimate elections. Nor can we afford to ignore attempts to ban books and curtail the teachings of a history encompassing race and slavery under the guise of being a dangerously critical racial theory. Juneteenth means facing the reality of the facts and working together to level the playing field for all.
We take this opportunity to host a second Black Writers Week 2022, in celebration of Juneteenth, and in honor of Ms. Opal Lee, godmother of the Juneteenth movement. Mrs. Lee, who I believe is celebrating her 95th birthday, will walk the two-and-a-half miles to symbolize the two and a half years when our ancestors didn’t know they were free. What we’re going to do here is less dramatic, but important this holiday nonetheless. We will amplify the voices of the descendants of those plantations. While we will be hosting works by our regular writers such as Odie Henderson, one of the most important things we can do at RogerEbert.com this week is to introduce you to black writers, academics and filmmakers from locations other than our own.
We interviewed attorney Ben Crump, who said of him in Nadia Hallgren’s documentary “CIVIL” that he wants to “make it financially unsustainable to unjustly murder black people.” He advocates a civil and just society. Sergio Mims writes about the military and race, but in a very specific way and for a very specific period of time. Bijan C. Bayne looks at the curious parallel of the growing number of television programs depicting peaceful rural life during the rise of the civil rights movement. What was going on there unconsciously? Carla Renata addresses micro-aggressions against black freelance journalists after George Floyd. And Kaiya Shunyata discusses the surprising racial issue in ‘Stranger Things’.
But not all essays are about struggle. Shawn Edwards pays tribute to Tyler Perry and his successful efforts to hire black actresses. Taj Rani highlights Moms Mabley who paved the way for other female comedians. Mack Bates tells us about hip-hop actors who have that appeal. Brandon Towns talks about making a movie, while Ife Olatunji gives us tips on how to distribute independent films more widely. Aramid Tinubu brings us good news from the American Black Film Festival in Miami. Jason Delane Lee and Yvonne Huff Lee explore identity, race and adoption in their short film. Danielle Scruggs refers us to a newsletter about black female directors. And Dr Eric Pierson talks about the enrichment of taking students to film festivals.
And just as Juneteenth is also filled with celebrations through picnics and family reunions, our Juneteenth Black Writers Week 2022 will give you reviews of movies to watch in theaters, such as Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” and series you can watch on your own. television screen, such as ‘The Bear’ and ‘Money Heist: Korea’. Tamron Hall’s book As The Wicked Watched: The First Jordan Manning Novel goes to its paperback edition and we’ll take a look at it.
We also have essential writing from Robert Daniels, who will be interviewing Peter Strickland; Niani Scott, who uses the i . will discussimportance of family relationships and family affairs in black movies† Brandon Wilson, who writes about youunderrated Black Gen X movies; Jewel Ifeguni, who analyzes Black Representation in youth drama series; Andre Hammel, writing an essay onn the Black expat experience; Peyton Robinson, who will judge the new horror film “The Black Phone”; Shelli Nicole, who will be reviewing TV’s “The Bear”; David Moses, who will also write a TV review for “Loot”; Reginald Ponder, who will judge the small film version “Money Heist Korea”; Sherin Nicole, who d . discussesdesired book to movie adaptations; and reviews of new movie releases written by Jordan Sears and Craig Lindsey.
This is only a fraction of what awaits you. So come by every day this week.
And a happy Juneteenth to you.