‘Why We Still Love Zora’: Irma McClaurin on PBS Documentary ‘Claiming a Space’ and Zora Neale Hurston’s Legacy

PBS’ American Experience premieres documentary film on pioneering writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space is the first film to explore Hurston’s life and ethnographic work in great detail.

“Anthropology only started looking at the literary styles of novels and non-scholarly writing in the late ’80s. But Zora had already been there and done that,” said Irma McClaurin, Black feminist poet, anthropologist and Hurston expert.

Rest in Power: R. Dianne Bartlow, Emmy-Winning Producer and Director

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.

When Women Were King

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.”

Beyoncé’s Ode to Black Joy: Merging Past and Future in ‘Renaissance’

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.

Our Gilded Progress: ‘Great Gowns,’ Pop Culture and Reproductive Freedoms

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.