Parker: An Afrofuturist Reflection

Much has been written about the 1979 blockbuster sci-fi horror film Alien, and I have found that this criticism focuses heavily on themes of gender and sexuality.  These critiques highlight Ripley and the alien creature, and most are quite insightful. However, upon revisiting the film, I’ve found that when the viewer focuses on Parker, an iconic black character in science fiction, the movie also resonates strongly with important Afrofuturist themes. Continue reading “Parker: An Afrofuturist Reflection”

Blogging 101.2 – The Rise of Afrofuturism!

Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Perhaps this was a long incubation period, but I know I had hit a wall, and wasn’t sure where to go with the blog.The title bothered me, because I wasn’t really debating anything: this is more of a reflective space where I can play with ideas and indulge my intellectual curiosity.  Enter the new title: BlackGround Voices! Hopefully, you enjoy following along as I continue on this journey.

This is a brief post just to let everyone know that with the new title, the focus will get sharper.  It’s still me, they’re still my ideas, and I still plan to discuss all types of media: film, tv, comics, games, music, and pop culture.  Now, however, my thoughts will be focused through the lens of Afrofuturism! Continue reading “Blogging 101.2 – The Rise of Afrofuturism!”

Ghost Dog, Chocolate Chips, & Me

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is an eclectic and brooding piece of cinema, starring Forrest Whitaker, which chronicles the trials of a mafia hit man. (See a short clip here)  I had heard of the film but never watched it, and if it hadn’t been for a magnificent (dare I say “killer”) chocolate chip cookie, I would have missed out on the experience.

I was in San Diego, on vacation, sampling the local cuisine.  I steered our rental car up a steep and winding hill into the thriving hipster neighborhood of Hillcrest, and my wife pointed out a bustling little strip mall.  We ate Mexican seafood and drank craft sodas.  The world ambled by while I smacked my lips on a divine Baja style taco. Continue reading “Ghost Dog, Chocolate Chips, & Me”

‘black-ish Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

Last Wednesday night, my wife came charging downstairs and demanded to know “what all that noise was”!  It was me, rolling around, pounding the floor, and laughing hysterically at a recent episode of ABC’s hit TV show, ‘black-ish. Through tears of hilarity, I squinted at the remote to find the replay button.

“You gotta watch this,” I implored between guffaws.  She frowned and went back upstairs.

“No worries, babe, ” I called after her. “I DVR’d it!”  I don’t think she heard me.

Well, I love her to death, but it’s her loss.  That was one of the funniest, realest, most refreshing takes on “the struggle” that I’ve seen in a while. Continue reading “‘black-ish Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is”

Blogging 101: A Personal Awakening

I just realized something: blogs change. They grow, adapt, expand, become more focused, and sometimes drift off course.  It’s such a pleasant and liberating experience, one that I’ve been anticipating for a long time.

Now that I’m in the game, I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog. I definitely love it.  And thank you so much to everyone for all your support so far.  I hope you will bear with me while I clarify a few ideas and let the blog expand and grow as I do.  I’ll be tweaking things here and there along the way, and will do my best to keep you posted on all these new insights that are flooding through my being. Continue reading “Blogging 101: A Personal Awakening”

Want to Feel Like the Ultimate Bad Ass?!? Then Play EVOLVE!!

If you want to experience what it’s like to be the ultimate monster-hunting bad ass, then you’ve got to play as Parnell in Turtle Rock Studios’ asymmetrical shooter, EVOLVE.

EVOLVE is a truly innovative sci-fi action video game set on a futuristic planet called Shear.  Earthlings have settled here to mine the planet for its valuable minerals.  Unfortunately, Shear is plagued by giant monsters that wreak havok all over this fragile human outpost.  In response, the settlers of Shear have commissioned a group of intergalactic mercenaries to hunt and destroy the monsters.  You can play as the monster or as one of the hunters.  Enter Parnell and his supercharged arsenal of kick-ass monster-crushing weaponry. Continue reading “Want to Feel Like the Ultimate Bad Ass?!? Then Play EVOLVE!!”

Where Have All the Child Soldiers Gone?

Video games consistently get a bad rap for violence and inappropriate content, but how often are they recognized for sending positive messages?  In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, creator Hideo Kojima stirs our souls by dramatizing the plight of child soldiers in Africa, and urging us to do something about it. Continue reading “Where Have All the Child Soldiers Gone?”

Fargo Season 2 and the Violent Eloquence of Mike Milligan

Mike Milligan

A strangely pensive yet strikingly verbose Bokeem Woodbine brings a slick 70’s blaxploitation vibe to the sophomore season of Fargo on FX.  Set in 1979, Noah Hawley‘s tightly connected plot explores the end of an era in surprising ways.  Perhaps the most surprising of these is Woodbine’s portrayal of Mike Milligan, an articulate gangster who wields a thesaurus to deadly effect. Continue reading “Fargo Season 2 and the Violent Eloquence of Mike Milligan”

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