A new documentary on the extraordinary life of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks (1913-2005) premieres this week on Peacock. Co-directed by Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton and executive-produced by Soledad O’Brian, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks does much to prove she was more than a symbol.
The Ms. community, family, friends and colleagues recently said goodbye to R. Dianne Bartlow—professor, scholar, feminist writer, Emmy-winning producer and director. She’s left too soon, at the age of 67 after a short battle with lung cancer.
I remember Dianne for her easygoing temperament and her patience. Dianne was humble and down-to-earth, which is why I was surprised to learn of her accomplishments as an award-winning television writer-producer.
Ms. spoke with film producer Nicole London about learning Harriet Tubman’s visions of freedom during the Civil War.
“Her story was really well-documented. And that’s all the more disgraceful about how much we still don’t know about her story.”
The Woman King, a new film starring Viola Davis, reclaims the narrative of the fiercely resistant African “Amazons.”
“My hope is that young African-descended girls and women see themselves in these powerful women. I hope they too will aspire for greatness.”
Renaissance, Beyoncé’s seventh solo album, offers a much different vibe and one that also represents an intergenerational inheritance engulfed in the pleasures of Black dance music vibrating across the various subcultures of Black communities around the world.
Black women—across genders, sexualities and communities—have been the blueprint, and Beyoncé’s Renaissance proves that.
“We felt it our responsibility to depict the war on Black women’s bodies raging in this conservative state,” said Katori Hall, creator of Starz’s P-Valley.
This year’s Met Gala invited A-list celebrities in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, racial divides, rising inflation costs, and the widening gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else.
During this event a leaked draft of the majority opinion from the Supreme Court immediately sent shockwaves, as the public learned that our highest court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to abortion. Suddenly, the extreme wealth on display at the Met Gala seemed to represent all the “gilded” hubris of an historical era that seemed more “golden” than it really was—as we are now thrust back to a dystopian and despairing future we must confront and resist at all costs.
The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Project concludes with the Harriet Tubman Syllabus—an exhaustive list of works about and inspired by Harriet Tubman, which confirms the wide-reaching impact of her legacy more than a hundred years after her passing on March 10, 1913.
Our final conversation in the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Project features Mary N. Elliott, museum specialist and curator of American slavery at the Smithsonian Museum. Elliott helped to research, conceptualize and design the “Slavery and Freedom” inaugural exhibition for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“Who is this woman beyond the iconic? That was really important for us: to humanize the experiences of African Americans and to also show that we’re not monolithic.”
Karen V. Hill is president and CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. in Auburn, N.Y. She has successfully pursued federal legislation to have Harriet Tubman’s homestead become one of the newest units of the National Park Service.
“To me that’s just startling, that this place in Maryland where she had been treated so harshly, she was able to separate the brutality of slavery from how she loved the land.”