My life, through my eyes and words.
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
"After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face."
W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr., who died on this day in 1968.
Photo: MLK at a press conference (Library of Congress).
Sunset while driving. I couldn’t help myself
Jeremiah 29:11, to those well versed in the Christian faith this verse is familiar. I admit that I learned it later on in my walk, and have chosen to embrace it’s fullness this 2014th year. It reads “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”. This is my year of favor and I walk into it bold, seeking and expecting. Most of all I feel renewed in my spirit and am free to share what is stirring in my heart. Thank God for his truth and my reconciliation unto him.
Dress shopping today was more than an adventure. But it was today that I found a dress and became a bride. So excited to become Mrs. Jones.