[BLACK-HISTORY-MONTH WEEK] OVERTURE

 

Some may find this surprising, but I am not personally a black person.

 

Matters of civil rights, and black pride, and events like February’s Black History month, are extremely close to my heart, which I fully acknowledge could be baffling to all those people who look me over and see only a stumpy, pale, mostly-Jewish movie maniac. Black people have always been a central part of my life, as friends and as family, but I would not ever pretend to speak for anyone else’s experience. Many black artists are among my role models and heroes, though I hope I’m not overzealous with my identification. I’m as aware as a white boy can be that there are some things I just don’t understand, and which may not even be for me to understand. And while we have had and still do have some contributors of color here at our site — though we would always be very happy to have more, [hint hint] — bottom line, nobody here is trying to speak on behalf of anybody else in some kind of sweeping, overarching way. That said, we do still want to show our appreciation.

 

So when I announce that we’re dedicating the remainder of February to a focus on black cinema here on Daily Grindhouse, it goes under the tongue-in-cheek header of “Black-History-Month Week,” which is meant to note the oft-cited irony of the shortest month on the calendar being deemed Black History Month but also to emphasize that we don’t presume to be an authority on all black movies, actors, and filmmakers. Not hardly. We are coming at this subject as great admirers. A site like Daily Grindhouse cannot exist without mad love for the artistic contributions of black people. And that’s what we’re trying to show.

 

 

Credit for our latest theme-week goes to Vashawn Quinones, who got the ball rolling on getting us all thinking about our favorite black-made and/or black-themed films.

 

For the record, this was my list (some of which I’ve written about in the past):

 

SHAFT,

COFFY,

FOXY BROWN,

FRIDAY FOSTER,

BUCKTOWN,

HIT MAN,

SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM,

SUGAR HILL,

GANJA + HESS,

WATERMELON MAN,

MO’ BETTER BLUES,

CARMEN JONES,

WHICH WAY IS UP?,

RAW,

48 HRS.,

BEVERLY HILLS COP,

THE GOLDEN CHILD,

LIFE,

DO THE RIGHT THING,

THE LAST DRAGON,

PURPLE RAIN,

NEW JACK CITY,

SURVIVING THE GAME,

LEAN ON ME,

CB4,

GOOD HAIR,

I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA,

HOUSE PARTY 3,

FRIDAY,

BAMBOOZLED,

ALI,

LOVE JONES,

BLACK DYNAMITE,

CADILLAC RECORDS,

THE PRINCESS & THE FROG,

NIGHT CATCHES US,

I WILL FOLLOW,

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE,

SELMA,

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE,

and

TOP FIVE.

 

And that was just off the top of my head! There’s a lot of cool stuff to celebrate, so let’s get right to celebrating.

 

 

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Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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