‘I’d Never Seen My Fears as an African-American Man Onscreen’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2018-01-07 23:16Z by Steven

‘I’d Never Seen My Fears as an African-American Man Onscreen’

The Carpetbagger
The New York Times
2017-12-06

Cara Buckley


Jordan Peele said he worried that the themes of white villainy and black victimization of “Get Out” would draw protests.
Credit Andrew White for The New York Times

Jordan Peele, writer-director of “Get Out,” says his own concerns almost prevented it from being made. Now prize givers love it. Will the academy agree?

Get Out,” the box office smash and awards season honey, almost didn’t get made, because its writer and director Jordan Peele figured it couldn’t happen.

The broad strokes of the story line — white girl brings black boyfriend home to meet her family — evoked “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” but with a crucial and sinister twist (spoilers ensue): The boyfriend’s suspicions about the white folks having it in for him become increasingly, and terrifyingly, justified.

Mr. Peele, 38, is known for his subversive comedy sketch show with Keegan-Michael Key, and had never before seen a movie like the one he desperately wanted to make. But he worried that its themes of white villainy and black victimization would keep people away in droves. Also, being biracial, he felt discouraged by the lack of people of color in the industry.

“I didn’t have enough role models telling me this movie could be made,” Mr. Peele said during a chat in mid-November at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan. “But to me, it was the missing piece of the conversation. I’d never seen my fears as an African-American man onscreen in this way.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Jordan Peele Says Tiger Woods Is ‘In The Sunken Place’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-27 02:39Z by Steven

Jordan Peele Says Tiger Woods Is ‘In The Sunken Place’

The Grapevine
The Root
2017-11-25

Angela Helm


Donald Trump greets Tiger Woods after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship as Eric Trump looks on at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa on March 10, 2013, in Doral, Florida. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

My question is – has Tiger Woods ever not been in the sunken place?

This is the man who was so non-black identified that he made up his own race (including giving Caucasian and American Indian equal footing to black and Asian with an African-American father and mother from Thailand.) Then he turned out to be just nasty with his prolific dick slanging in his now defunct marriage to a nanny. And now, the 41-year-old who has a mug shot floating around with a face and hairline that makes him look like a baby boomer, is going to play golf with Donald Trump, the president who loves to smear black athletes…

Read the entire article here.

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But this is the history of race in America. Families can become black, then white, then black again within a few generations.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-06-27 00:09Z by Steven

We have been warned not to get under one another’s skin, to keep our distance. But Jordan Peele’s horror-fantasy—in which we are inside one another’s skin and intimately involved in one another’s suffering—is neither a horror nor a fantasy. It is a fact of our experience. The real fantasy is that we can get out of one another’s way, make a clean cut between black and white, a final cathartic separation between us and them. For the many of us in loving, mixed families, this is the true impossibility. There are people online who seem astounded that Get Out was written and directed by a man with a white wife and a white mother, a man who may soon have—depending on how the unpredictable phenotype lottery goes—a white-appearing child. But this is the history of race in America. Families can become black, then white, then black again within a few generations. And even when Americans are not genetically mixed, they live in a mixed society at the national level if no other. There is no getting out of our intertwined history.

Zadie Smith, “Getting In and Out,” Harper’s Magazine, July 2017. https://harpers.org/archive/2017/07/getting-in-and-out/.

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Getting In and Out

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, United States on 2017-06-26 19:12Z by Steven

Getting In and Out

Harper’s Magazine
July 2017

Zadie Smith

Who owns black pain?

Discussed in this essay:

Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele. Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment, and Monkeypaw Productions, 2017. 104 minutes.

Open Casket, by Dana Schutz. 2017 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. March 17–June 11, 2017.

You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.
Langston Hughes

Early on, as the opening credits roll, a woodland scene. We’re upstate, viewing the forest from a passing car. Trees upon trees, lovely, dark and deep. There are no people to be seen in this wood—but you get the feeling that somebody’s in there somewhere. Now we switch to a different world. Still photographs, taken in the shadow of public housing: the basketball court, the abandoned lot, the street corner. Here black folk hang out on sun-warmed concrete, laughing, crying, living, surviving. The shots of the woods and those of the city both have their natural audience, people for whom such images are familiar and benign. There are those who think of Fros­tian woods as the pastoral, as America the Beautiful, and others who see summer in the city as, likewise, beautiful and American. One of the marvelous tricks of Jordan Peele’s debut feature, Get Out, is to reverse these constituencies, revealing two separate planets of American fear—separate but not equal. One side can claim a long, distinguished cinematic history: Why should I fear the black man in the city? The second, though not entirely unknown (Deliverance, The Wicker Man), is certainly more obscure: Why should I fear the white man in the woods?…

…We have been warned not to get under one another’s skin, to keep our distance. But Jordan Peele’s horror-fantasy—in which we are inside one another’s skin and intimately involved in one another’s suffering—is neither a horror nor a fantasy. It is a fact of our experience. The real fantasy is that we can get out of one another’s way, make a clean cut between black and white, a final cathartic separation between us and them. For the many of us in loving, mixed families, this is the true impossibility. There are people online who seem astounded that Get Out was written and directed by a man with a white wife and a white mother, a man who may soon have—depending on how the unpredictable phenotype lottery goes—a white-appearing child. But this is the history of race in America. Families can become black, then white, then black again within a few generations. And even when Americans are not genetically mixed, they live in a mixed society at the national level if no other. There is no getting out of our intertwined history…

Read the entire review here.

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‘Get Out’ Is Now The Highest Grossing Film Domestically By A Black Director (But Not For Long)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-13 21:59Z by Steven

‘Get Out’ Is Now The Highest Grossing Film Domestically By A Black Director (But Not For Long)

Shadow And Act: On Film, Television and Web Content of Africa and Its Diaspora
2017-04-11

Sergio Mims


Jordan PeelGet Out

It’s official! Jordan Peele’sGet Out” is now the highest domestic grossing film directed a black filmmaker. With $163.3 million so far domestically ($177 million total worldwide), the film beats the previous highest grossing film by a black director domestically, F. Gary Gray’sStraight Outta Compton”, which grossed $162.8 million, and another $40.4 million overseas at the end of its theatrical run. But “Get Out” is far from done, as it has yet to open in some of the biggest foreign markets, including European territories like France, Spain and Scandinavia, as well as across South America, so it could eventually do very well and match or even top “Compton’s” overseas numbers…

Read the entire article here.

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Black and Proud. Even if Strangers Can’t Tell.

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-02 16:20Z by Steven

Black and Proud. Even if Strangers Can’t Tell.

The New York Times
2017-04-01

Rebecca Carroll, Editor of Special Projects
WNYC, New York, New York


Rachel Levit

My 11-year-old is understated, but not shy. He likes to bake, loves video games, is loyal to his friends and, biased as I may be, is a pretty good-looking kid. He gets mad sometimes, though, that people don’t immediately register him as black. “You’re so lucky,” he said to me a few months ago. “People look at you and know that you are black.”

Being black in America has historically been determined by whether or not you look black to nonblack people. This keeps racism operational. Brown and black skin in this country can invite a broad and freewheeling range of bad behavior — from job discrimination to a child being shot dead in the street. For my son, though, being black in America is about more than his skin color. It’s about power, confidence, culture and belonging.

You inherit race, though. You don’t steal it. We’re reminded of this once again by Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who made national headlines in 2015 for claiming a black identity because she felt like it. She released a memoir last week…

…My son is not the only light-skinned, mixed or biracial person I know who identifies primarily as black. Increasingly, I have observed my adult peers and colleagues who fall into this category not merely identifying as black, but routinely pulling out the receipts to prove their blackness.

Some of this may have to do with what the brilliant Jordan Peele, who is also biracial and black, tapped into for the plot of his genre-redefining box office hit, “Get Out” — that it’s cool to be black right now, that we are trending…

Read the entire article here.

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Jordan Peele Scares America

Posted in Arts, Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-30 23:53Z by Steven

Jordan Peele Scares America

The Ringer
2017-03-09

Sean Fennessey, Editor-in-Chief


(Jaya Nicely)

After the amazing success of his directorial debut, ‘Get Out,’ the ‘Key and Peele’ star sits down for a conversation about how he pulled off his daring horror-satire, the lie of a post-racial society, and what comes next

Get Out broke out. One year ago, if someone had told you that a movie about a black guy visiting the home of his white girlfriend’s parents for a summer weekend — starring an unknown lead and Marnie from Girls — would become the unmitigated Hollywood success story of the young year, you might tell that person to, well, get out. But that is exactly what Jordan Peele, the 38-year-old sketch star best known for Comedy Central’s Key and Peele, has accomplished with his directorial debut.

After just two weeks of release, the movie has already earned more than 18 times its reported $4.5 million budget and ignited a new kind of conversation about race, the pitfalls of white liberalism, and what it really means to make a horror movie in 2017. Peele, who also wrote the movie, sat down for a podcast conversation about how he did it and what comes next. This is a condensed and edited version of that conversation…

Listen to the interview (00:38:05) here. Download the interview here.

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As Get Out shows, love isn’t all you need in interracial relationships

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-03-30 21:53Z by Steven

As Get Out shows, love isn’t all you need in interracial relationships

The Guardian
2017-03-27

Iman Amrani


‘In Get Out, Peele successfully challenges the way the parents and their friends pride themselves on not being racist, while also objectifying the young man both physically and sexually.’ Photograph: Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele’s film has provoked discussion of issues about race and relationships that often remain too sensitive or uncomfortable to explore

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 US supreme court decision in the Loving v Virginia case which declared any state law banning interracial marriages as unconstitutional. Jeff Nichols’s recent film, Loving, tells the story of the interracial couple at the heart of the case, which set a precedent for the “freedom to marry”, paving the way also for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Loving isn’t the only recent film featuring an interracial relationship. A United Kingdom is based on the true story of an African prince who arrived in London in 1947 to train as a lawyer, then met and fell in love with a white, British woman. The film tells the tale of love overcoming adversity, but I wonder whether these films are missing something.

I can understand how, at the moment, with the backdrop of rising intolerance in Europe and the United States, it’s tempting to curl up in front of a triumphant story of love conquering all, but I grew up in an interracial household and I know that it’s not as simple as that…

Read the entire article here.

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The Horror of Smug Liberals

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-03-19 15:12Z by Steven

The Horror of Smug Liberals

The New York Times
2017-03-18

Frank Bruni


Ben Wiseman

Oh, those smooth-talking, self-congratulating white liberals. Listen to them moon over Barack Obama. Look at how widely they open their arms to a black visitor. Don’t be duped. They’re wolves in L. L. Bean clothing. There’s danger under the fleece.

That’s a principal theme in the most surprising movie hit of the year so far, “Get Out,” whose box office haul in America crossed the $100 million mark last weekend. Heck, that’s the premise.

The black protagonist heads with his white girlfriend from an apartment in the city to a house in the woods, where he’s gushingly welcomed by her parents. But their retreat is no colorblind Walden, not if you peek into the basement. I won’t say what’s down there. I don’t want to spoil the fun or sully the chill.

Besides, I’m less fascinated by the movie’s horrors than by its reception. The most ardent fans of “Get Out,” many of them millennials, don’t just recommend it. They urge it, framing it as a “woke” tribe’s message to the slumbering masses, a parable of the hypocrisy that white America harbors and the fear with which black Americans move through it…

…But the movie’s African-American writer and director, Jordan Peele, conceived and began developing it well before the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency came into focus. He wasn’t responding to stark examples of racism like that infamous tweet last week in which Representative Steve King, the Iowa Republican, warned against trying to “restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” …

…“Get Out” is being categorized as a horror movie, though Peele prefers the neologism “social thriller,” and it’s more eerie than violent, with superb pacing that critics are rightly praising. It’s also a reminder that the best horror movies are intensely topical, putting a fantastical, grotesque spin on the tensions of their times…

Read the entire article here.

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11 People in Interracial Relationships on the Intense Experience of Watching Get Out

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-16 01:16Z by Steven

11 People in Interracial Relationships on the Intense Experience of Watching Get Out

New York Magazine
2017-03-14

Ana Silman, Culture Writer


Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. Photo: Justin Lubin/Universal Studios

Get OutJordan Peele’s acclaimed horror-comedy about a black man who finds himself in a nightmare while visiting his white girlfriend’s suburban family — is the kind of film that gets under your skin, using horror-film tropes to illuminate the daily terror of being black in a white world. We talked to seven interracial couples of various backgrounds about how watching the film made them reflect on their own relationships, the enduring stress of “meeting the parents,” and whether they’ll be RSVPing for the next family reunion — “TBD,” as one of our interviewees put it…

Read the entire article here.

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