Loud Mouth Reading List: Week of Jan 21st
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn
It makes sense Kanye West named his newborn daughter after the midwestern city that has given us so many young, gifted, and Black women writers, from storytellers like Lena Waithe and Sam Bailey to poets like Jamila Woods, Noname and Eve Ewing. At the helm of these Chicago-born #LoudMouths is Lorraine Hansberry whose journey as an artivist is chronicled in Tracy Heather Strain's latest documentary, Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart. This interview highlights Strain's interests and motivating decisions in creating the film, but I most appreciate that Strain also shares forthcoming projects by Black women that are exploring the brilliance that was Lorraine and the love of life to which she was committed.
Paradise Lost: The Florida Project and the New Proletarian Cinema of 2017 tell of the persistence and loss of dreams
The Florida Project was the last movie I paid to see in theaters and it was worth every dime. I loved Tangerine and had high hopes for Sean Baker's latest picture, thus didn't mind spending my coin on a film with a predominately white cast, which is typically against my ministry. In her latest essay, Kailo Philo puts both of these films in conversation with recent films Moonlight and Good Time to explore the function of a dream in our current economic landscape. I appreciate Philo's holding of these cinematic choices to zoom in on stories of the working-class as a place we might look and return to in the future when reflecting on what now feels like a political nightmare.
Transition: My surgeries were a bridge across realities, a spirit customizing its vessel to reflect its nature
I've been following the Emezi siblings since Tumblr was poppin, and now they're my Instagram faves and have a stunning profile in the February Issue of Vogue. Awaeke Emezi is also debuting her latest novel, Freshwater, in Febraury and its been on many must-read lists of 2018, but this week she gave us a very personal, very touching piece of nonfiction where she explores her relationship with gender dysphoria and Nigerian spirituality.
I have a love-hate relationship with MTA. Yes, the world's largest public transportations system is trash with the constant delays and grossly violent police harassment and the putrid odor and the cat-sized rats. But it is on these trains that the great Tale of Two Cities plays out and you can both smile and shake your head at what you've just witnessed on your way to work. Photographer, Andre D. Wagner's capture this tension mercifully in his latest series Here for the Ride, and it is in this essay that art critic Jessica Lynne profoundly questions what language an image can create when the lens is in the hands of someone that is aware of the trace.
When Cardi B is pussy-poppin on the charts she makes sure to do so in style. The young rapper is intentional about the designers she's decked out in and does not hesitate to shout-out and tag the artist on her IG posts - one of them being visual artist Iris “Barbee” Bonner. Barbee's work is vibrant and unapologetic much like the women and/or femmes who don them - Amber Rose, Blac Chyna, and Alicia Keys included. This profile, by art and culture writer, Jamara Whitfield, reads as a celebration of sex-positive feminism that is being embraced by our latest pop icons and adds Bonner to a list of creators championing the movement.