The real SELMA

My father grew up in Selma, Alabama, and my extended family gathered there for Thanksgiving in 2014. There were about 100 of us at Thanksgiving dinner. Our family has very deep roots in Selma and in Gee’s Bend (famous for the quilts in the Smithsonian). My aunts and uncles marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and our family has driven across that bridge a thousand times.

It’s amazing. I have been to Selma dozens of times in my life, and it holds a place in my heart that is mostly centered around homemade food, firecrackers, cousins, gravel roads, trailer parks, poverty, and simplicity. Seeing it as an adult, I see the effects that the bad PR of racism had on the city. Selma is impoverished, lacking jobs, has a high violent crime rate, full of empty storefronts, and still segregated.

I wanted to interview SELMA director Ava DuVernay after hearing her speak at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, but I was unable to interview her, because…well…she’s a Golden Globe nominee and I am not Barbara Walters or Oprah…Alas, here are some photos from my trip of the REAL Selma.

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Empathy and vulnerability

The researchers concluded that “the present work finds that people assume that, relative to whites, blacks feel less pain because they have faced more hardship.” I watched Oprah's Lifeclass Part 2 with Dr. Brene Brown last night. She is a sociologist who studies courage and vulnerability. Brene Brown started gaining national recognition when her TEDTalk based on her book Daring…

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My thoughts on “The Butler”

I went to see the film The Butler last Friday. The movie is about Cecil Gaines and his family. Cecil Gaines worked as a butler at the White House for 30 years, serving every president from Truman to Reagan. Throughout the film we see the country changing, the White House staying the same, and a man trying to figure out…

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My thoughts on the film “Dark Girls”

For the record, I've seen this documentary and attended a luncheon with one of the filmmakers-- D. Channsin Berry--who directed/produced the film with Bill Duke. They're planning to make a follow-up film called The Yellow Brick Road about light-skinned black women. The film was on OWN last night and the social media world was all a-buzz. I didn't re-watch the…

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