Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-11-24 02:56Z by Steven

Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom


Grace Barber-Plentie

Image via Telegraph

The characters and scenarios in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom are like ghosts – they’re long gone, long dead, and yet there is still a resonance and urgency to them that keeps pushing through to our subconscious, never letting us quite forget. Regardless of the merits of her films themselves, Asante is a clever filmmaker, a filmmaker with a plan. At the BFI’s recent Black Star symposium, she told the audience that she deliberately makes period films about old issues in order to show how they reflect on our own contemporary problems with race, gender, love and money. Gone is the period dress of Belle, but there are still hoards of mixed race girls out there trying to find their place in society. And while in 2016 one would hope that an interracial couple could walk down the street holding hands without a second glance, Asante’s true story of the heir to the throne of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and his white wife still makes us think about those of us that must fight for what we want and who we love.

The love worth fighting for, in the case of A United Kingdom, is that of white shopkeeper’s daughter Ruth, in a modest turn by Rosamund Pike and African heir Seretze Khama, played by David Oyelowo; another strong performance to add to his list. Their love, as seen in the opening scenes of the film, is not a fierce, passionate one, but one where each are equal and share love deeply in their own restrained way….

Read the entire review here.

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Killing That “Tragic Mulatto” Bullshit

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive on 2015-11-08 21:59Z by Steven

Killing That “Tragic Mulatto” Bullshit

Ain’t I A Woman Collective

Grace Barber-Plentie

Other than the photos of Lucille Bluth and J-Lo looking pissed off that I’ve carefully saved to use as reaction photos to white people doing, saying, or writing thoughtless stuff, there are about a million unfinished essays, or think pieces – whatever you want to call them – saved on my computer. All of them are about my identity as a black, or to be more specific, mixed race woman. And all of them are negative.

“Why,” I wail and moan in essay after essay, “do I not have a place in the world?”

“Why do I have to sit in-between cultures, in-between two worlds? Who am I? What does it all mean?”

(They’re actually a lot better than that, for example there’s one that, ignoring its negative tone, contains a great paragraph dedicated to Mariah Carey.)

I think there’s a reason I have never finished any of those essays, and I think that it is primarily because I am tired of feeling sorry for myself due to my mixed heritage. It’s time, after almost 21 years on this planet, to kill my tragic mulatto bullshit.”

Read the entire article here.

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