My life, through my eyes and words.
I just have to give a shoutout to John Mayer for being the best, he covered Beyonce’s song XO and I love it! It actually made me like her version a bit more. It’s like when Pentatonix does a cover of someone and then I hear the original and I think oh that’s a cool version.
My heart is still mourning Maya Angelou, sweet Maya, I’m sad to think that I won’t get to meet her in person, but heaven will do just fine. She gave the grace and appearance of an aunt that you turn to when you need a strong woman who would give you an encouraging word. And still I rise
"With Maya Angelou’s passing, America has not just lost a talented Renaissance woman and gifted raconteur. It has lost a connection to its recent past that had helped it make sense of its present. At a time when so many Americans seek to travel ‘color blind’, and free from the baggage of the nation’s racial history, here she stood, tall, straight and true: a black woman from the south intimately connected to the transformative people and politics who helped shape much of America’s racial landscape."
Not sure why I’m feeling generous with my life this past week. I typically reserve sharing for well design questions that seek to get to the heart of the matter…AND in this heart of mine right now I feel very sure that big changes are coming. Maybe this is my Hail Mary at an attempt to save what’s familiar, or my twenties are showing.
"Two hours later, Easter left the protection of the right-hand bank an crossed the width of the Negro to the left. There he turned up a tributary that was in every way similar to the countless other tributaries they had passed, and while it was unmarked, it was the exit ramp from the interstate, the one that would eventually take them to the street where Dr. Swenson lived. No other boats followed them though the entrance was wide at the mouth. In a matter of minutes the nameless river narrowed and the green dropped behind them like a curtain and the Negro was list. Marina had thought that the important line that was crossed was between the dock and the boat, the land and the water. She had thought that the line where civilization fell away. But as they glided between two thick walls of breathing vegetation she realized she was in another world entirely, and that she would see civilization drop away again and again before they reached their final destination. All Marina could see was green. The sky, the water, the bark of the trees: everything that wasn’t green became green. All in green my love went riding"
Ann Patchett- State Of Wonder
Here’s Ava DuVernay’s new short titled Say Yes. It beautiful. It’s breathtaking. It’s a portrait of love. But not just romantic love, which is obvious, as the story centers around a marriage proposal. I see cultural love here. I see a love of food, dance, music and art. I see love of shared time spent together and love of shared and divergent styles, aesthetics, and expressions. I see love of friendship. I see love of family. I see love of beauty. I see love of life. I see Black love, which to me is more than heterosexual romantic love, though it includes that too. Black love is nuance. Black love is individuality and cultural collectivity.
So we have to talk about the camera work. Exquisite. We have to talk about the clothing, and shoes (wow, when Kali walks at 5:55, yasss please send me those shoes!) and makeup. We have to talk about how Ava and her team understands that when music (in addition to the visuals, of course) is doing the communicating (as there is no spoken script) the synchrony between the music and the visuals are critical. They get this. It’s…magic. It’s perfect.
The pacing of this short is brilliant. A film under 8 minutes yet it feels like it is perfectly paced and not rushed. This reveals the brilliance of a good director, and that’s Ava. She leads us very slowly yet not too slowly to that pivotal moment of the kiss from 5:58-6:21. You know it’s coming and when it does you can’t help but feel the excitement of their love. Kali Hawk and Lance Gross truly shine here. It also was cool to see glimpses of Issa Rae and Lorraine Toussaint among those at the party.
Alas, there’s also another love that I see here. I see Ava DuVernay’s love for Black people. Her respect. Her kindness. Her connection to her own people. She loves us in a way that truthfully is scarce in mainstream art though it thrives among many Black women who create compelling portraits of Black life in a variety of mediums, mainstream attention or not.
I appreciate that Ava reflects who we actually are. There’s honesty in her work. There’s integrity. There’s still spontaneity and creativity as well. Honesty is not diametrically opposed to creativity.
So please watch, enjoy and share this film with everyone and continue to uplift and support Ava’s brilliant work. Doing so means we’re ultimately uplifting and supporting ourselves. <3
I am in L O V E with Ava DuVernay’s new short! We’ve discussed her last [gorgeous] short several times on BGT, and this new one is just as amazing. Everyone present is serving to die for looks from frame one (Kali Hawk’s manicure is my whole life right now), all the way down to Lance Gross filling out a sweater like he’s in the cast of Best Man Holiday…now that I think about it, it’s a damn shame he wasn’t. The camera work is stunning, and DuVernay again manages to create a completely engaging narrative with minimal dialogue. I can’t get never get enough of projects and artists that set out to depict the innate diversity of Black people and culture. Everything about this piece is luxurious, whimsical, and soft, which are terms that weren’t often used to described the aesthetic of mainstream Black media in previous years, but DuVernay and her contemporaries are seeking to and succeeding in changing that. The short also features cameos from some of our most favorite folks to talk to and talk about, which is always a nice surprise (just peep our archives).
There’s nothing like getting engaged… well getting married. This short is so special and lends the same feelings, beauty and the emotion of true love, and as a lady who is right in the middle of planning my wedding it hits the right spot.
"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it everyday. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us."
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Here and Now