I’ve been sitting.
Sitting in limbo for a few years now…
About my career goals,
about my children,
about my getting married
sitting contemplating my future!
And in the last year and a half – simultaneous to letting my hair loc and
letting go of my obsession to control how my life should look –
Now – is an interesting time – a time where clarity is our doorway out of limbo
Now let’s be clear…
Sitting in the abyss is torturous –
It’s a forgotten place where the future isn’t certain, your family is a distant memory and your scream for help is unheard.
And many of us – at this time will experience the nothingness associated with limbo
because of the global pandemic of being infected by a virus,
Because black lives still don’t matter
and although we are all globally in tune and interconnected with each other through a channel called the internet.
In reality – for clarity – we are alone.
Sitting in Limbo.
The doorway of light doesn’t always come from the TV – it has a crude way of confusing white perspective with the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible
However, as I sit sat in my limbo of a future I managed to channel some actual truth from a TV set that is usually set to distort.
The BBC offered this frequency – hidden none the less - as their usual BBC promoters stayed silent, frightened to fan the Black Lives Matters shouts and the locked up standing up
To be clear… this channeling was overdue.
Two years after the fact with no type of notice I Tuned into Sitting in Limbo. The current experience of the majority was here. And what I’ve noticed is human rights just is simultaneous with the right of the non-whites - fighting to live.
I can’t breathe – because you’re on my neck metaphorically as well as for real
I can’t breathe because a virus is attacking my capacity.
Sitting in limbo retells the story of Anthony Bryan.
His story (along with many others) exposes the his-story of the hypocritical, bullying. Supreme in infecting others.
Restricting existence to detainment and stressing the psyche to a space where you just sit.
This one-off drama exposes the scandal, the supremacy, the systemic racism of the descendants of the Windrush.
Set to reveal - my TV set took a new channel as it set to unveil the racism in the UK. Which is set usually to mute. As we learn how the Windrush generation is from the windrush ship that set sail from Jamaica in 1948
We also learn how the back-handed treatment of the windrush generation today, 70 years after people from all parts of the Caribbean and their children were invited.
All of us from the diaspora – whether personally or politically – are affected by this discrimination.
That feeling of the abyss comes rushing back… as the virus keeps us in-side in-fear not knowing how to step forward if we or are relatives risk being sent back… to a place that’s not bad but unfamiliar.
Where is home?
Sitting in limbo about my career, children, marriage?
I’m feeling grateful for breath!
I watch actors re-enacting something I know is not a story but a truth. Anthony Bryan a 50 year old BRITISH truth.
A truth that hides itself in lies and imperialism!
A truth that exposes how someone who legally came to this country as a child on his mothers passport could face deportation to Jamaica…. After 50 years!
A truth – the truth – A truth that as uncomfortable as it is… clear!
I wonder if in the deep psyche of supremacy – my life, black lives are here only to serve white survival.
Special #shoutout to Nadine Marshall
I have been heavily inspired by this amazing actress since 2008 - watching her in Random by debbie tucker-green.
I’m drawn to the types of work Nadine is involved in. It reminds me that - my decision matters.
It reminds me that in the dark abyss – the limbo I am forced to sit in because of the many viruses trying to kill me. The light to the door out is clear… is integrity.
Sitting in Limbo on BBC Iplayer
A factual Drama - Written by Anthony Bryan's half-brother, novelist Stephen S. Thompson
Insecure got me insecure…
Probably all that sex
Insecure got me insecure…
Thinking about my ex
Exfriends, exmen… no longer in my life
The complications of ships that have sailed
Insecure got me insecure in – how my relationships have failed!
Insecure got me insecure
Is being single a crime?
Independently depending on inner
Cos people are just bad mind
Granted I may have trust issues
But I’m doing the work… trust
Which is more than I can say for these people
Caught up in mindless lust!
Am I jealous?
Am I judging?
Am I jarring you?
Probably all three if I’m real
But why live without consequences in one hand
And then rush to therapy to get healed?
Molly loves not logic
And issa issa bout time you slowed down, take a rest
But… who am I to be giving advice I’m still conquering being my best
Insecure got me… secure in
Setting stale relationships loose
Freeing me of all bondages
That had me enslaved - a noose
Because sometimes the relationship that matters the most
Is the one patiently waiting in-side
In-visible to everyone accept to you
Silently heard deep invibes
Insecure got me thinking about trauma
And how deeply it goes and gets stuck
the pain of healing by being alone
has us scared, afraid - we give up
Maybe dealing with those daddy issues
And looking at those dated beliefs
Will aid in spotting energy vampires more quickly
Freeing them from the soul - a relief!
Boy friends, friendships can exploit us
And it’s vital that boundaries are known
Not comfort bonding to ‘appear to be’ happy
That’s the representation that is always shown.
Insecure got me in-vestigating
The meaning of security
A safe space for ‘self-care’ Sundays
A feeling of certainty…
In-secure has me asking all three
Because three is the magic number
The god head the trinity.
Insecure is securing my inner choices
Of following my intuition
Whatever is for me is for me
Sharpening my third eye – super-vision
Insecure is low-key planting
A sex and the city narrative
But unlike the fairytale for Becky
Our image, this low-key damages
Insecure - Zoomed in exposes issues
Like the ship Molly and Issa share
It intelligently raises awareness
about silences and mental health scares
But the close-up lens is insecure
Shaky, with its exposure of western culture which is white
My expectation from the ‘awkward black girl
Is an African angle, glued tight
Maybe that is the reason for the title
I accept, not everything is perfectly aligned
But we need to question this programming
On how black and female is defined.
Insecure got me insecure
Focusing in on sex
When the focus should be
On my responsibility
To nourish my being – to protect
got me thinking…
Thinking about my ex
Exfriends, exmen… relation-ships
Who will sail away from me next?
Insecure got me in
secure in I got
Insecure got me in
Secure in… exes forgot
Insecure got me in
Did you play the video above?
It’s to set the mood – so scroll back up,
and read as we play…
Love and Basketball!
It’s an old classic.
One of my favourites!
And I was inspired during this time of reflection to play some basketball and de-code.
Released at the start of a new era, the year 2000, my 16 year old self, fell in love with a movie that represented and influenced my perspective of Black Love….
20 years later – and the unique love language needed for a successful relationship is a common goal… or in this case net.
Everything starts with foundation.
In the foundation of the sport of basketball you need two teams apposing each other.
Typically its 5, but for the sake of this review and for decoding the language aiding in finding love let’s have a One on One analysis.
[#shoutout to Kyla Pratt who plays the younger Monica in Love and Basketball, and also stars in the sitcom linked]
Funnily enough One on One is about the relationship between father and daughter and like the Mother and Son relationship, I think this parental connection works as the foundation and premise of who we meet and how we nurture our romantic relationships.
For many poor/ working class people - finance is the centre – and is definitely the driving force in most Black cinema, but Love and Baskeball goes that bit deep investigating the root... to the tree of LOVE.
Love as an action… as a sport - with activities, rules, discipline and competiton
- gives it a whole new feeling right?
And the root being a channelled knowing, not a queesy, wild feeling...
The root ,
If you're lucky,
is nourished from childhood by your guardians and environment.
Well... that's where digging and decoding becomes essential.
Either way - The Root MUST be nourished!
So in meeting that one how do we know they equate?
Let's try some maths...
Or have we been fed the math equation all wrong!
I met my other half... 1/2+1/2 = 1?
Or, is a solid relationship the work you do on yourself therefore…
Whole and Whole (1+1) = 1 (WHOLE)!
Quincy and Monica meet in... (I mean on the) court and having learnt their own unique creativity and love for basketball,
reflect themselves in their love.
The Language of Love = The Sport of What (Who)we Love
*A sport because it's constructive and games are just for FUN
Quincy thinking Monica is a boy at first is a really important and key moment for me, as it adds to love being reflective to him,
and the wholeness of seeing a person rather than their role or construct... avoiding the usual objectification or surface lust that commonly occurs!
It's why I think a friendship is a sacred Starting Point. Outside of sexual desire - we need to realise (particularly in heterosexual relationships) that we play on the same team.
He’s watching… not your hair but your attitude.
Monica dribbles through the film
learning how to control her emotions in the game… (I mean sport).
However, Travelling through the conventions of girlhood to womanhood is more difficult and I thoroughly enjoyed this depiction – especially as a cisgendered, heterosexual woman.
Qunicy’s ability to see pass Monica’s hair and genuinely be interested and concerned about her skill and discipline demonstrated true sapiosexual vibes, seldom characterised when depicting black masculinity - and I live for that!
For me, there’s no better turn on than someone that has the ability to find me attractive on different levels and in different realms.
It's a sign of true intelligence!
I'm down with that... are you?
And don’t you just love a film that causes you to question your life, like…
How effectively do I channel my passion?
And... how much does my lack of discipline and issue with competition -
interfere and potentially cost me my my career…
or my crush?
When your game is cancelled will the love continue to play?
Having defined my terms for Games and Sport let’s get into the pain of the unknown.
It’s that moment (analogy) when you’re dribbling that basketball...
You have a clear view of the net -
out of nowhere!
a member from the apposing team (in this case another girl)
What do you do?
There’s only a few eggs… (I mean seconds) left…
What do you do?
COMPETITION is rife!
And if, like me, your foundation has sheltered and blindsighted you from clearly seeing the net -
the man of your dreams
and shooting for what you want
to be your best self...
You stay down
the sport of basketball teaches us to pick ourselves
If we are to live,
we are to continue to push the boundaries
whilst not losing but knowing our value!
in Basketball it's Value Over Replacement Players – VORP
To love the fruit, which is to love yourself, means to love and learn about the root…
It's a happily ever after, fairytale ending for Monica and Quincy - but is that reality?
And how long are we required to wait?
Monica – played by Sanaa Lathan and Quincy played by Omar Epps,
actually dated at the time of filming, but broke up so... not always, and not for them. But I think their true feelings for one another transcended the camera making the film epic.
And maybe that...
happily ever after
cannot yet be answered, as both of their stories continue.
Our reflection is forever changing...
and if that means so is our idea of love
or having a different person to love...
is this such a bad thing?
Kind of... sort of, have to be
your own LOVE...
I think an old, deep injury (usually from our childhood) that hasn’t healed properly affects our shot of love.
We need to recover from traumatic behaviours that affect our precision
or negative association with competition... usually from our guard-ians
What's this point-guard saying?!
You can watch Love and Basketball on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play.
Written and Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
A fave of all time
I sincerely hope that you all are well and staying strong both mentally and physically at this time!
It’s madness what’s going on… it feels like we are living inside an episode of Black Mirror... or even Black Lightning!
Every morning I wake up thinking it was “All a dream…”
As I stay in all day listening to music, reading and drawing!
For me this time is reminiscent of the ninties...
Maybe it’s the time in my life that I spent most alone.
In my room…
listening to Biggie!
Full circle - Self Isolation actually started around a year ago for me, as I decided to take the Freelance route.
Here are some tips that have aided me through mental hardship and frustration.
Cue Dru-Hill: All Alone
1) Create your own daily routine. Yes... you create for you! This can include cleaning, exercise and meditation each morning.
2) Tap into the universal powers! Follow step one and pay attention to the clues that arise. It will confirm that everything is how it is suppose to be :)
3) Let go of control - and accept that the divine plan is the right plan.
4) Be creative.
Writing has been my escape – and I strongly encourage all of you reading this to find some creative outlet to tap into every day, it really helps!
So with that being said… let’s go!
With BLACK LIGHTNING having an African American family with super powers as the central focus - the title, like Black Panther is obvious.
The 'Lightning' part hitting our collective awareness of the power of actual lightning - and so, I found the title very fitting... although admittingly lacking imagination.
But it did what it said on the tin and I liked that.
Although not a comic or a part of my 90's nostalgia ... Black Lightning, at this time of quarantine, fitted into lightly political, action filled TV.
That is in no way reality TV but in some respects seems like reality...
I mean... superheroes and 90's nostalgia aside -
Did you know that in reality our bodies (not only house our true enlightened essence but) also is electric?
This article on forbes.com breaks down the science!
What if we could actually enhance this electric body by what we eat, what we watch, who we encounter - to fully optimise our internal powers?
The premise of Black Lightning is about members of society who have super powers - either through a vaccine they were given as a child or a drug... appropriately titled 'Green Light'.
To summarise - the government, put ingredients together as part of a human experiment, which they then try to control.
Similar scenario to today... or am I losing control?
Black Lightning (the name of the main character as well as titled) is able to manipulate electricity… as long as there’s a source.
And fights all evil - by zapping anyone that tries to attack him, his family and/ or community.
This really got me thinking - and granted, my lack of vitamin D (from staying in my yaaad!) gave maybe too much room for thought - but I wondered... Is there something in this for us that we can learn from?
If we are electricity - what is our source?
My antennae’s - up!
As I watched on, I learned that to over power Black Lightning (the character (and arguably the whole family/ community)) you needed to shut off/ or down... the source.
The over powering of the powerful!
And so the war begins.
In each episode Black Lightning and Co. are under attack by some other being, usually assigned by the government (as how dare one man have and know electricity). He and his daughters arm themselves in their suits of protection as they battle and win!
Are we also under attack?
And is the weapon radiation or... lack of vitamin D?
As I binge watch season 1 and 2 and am fastly finishing season 3... time isn't behaving like it usually does.
I wake up.
And am in another episode of Black Lightning.
Is my obsession actually me just being lethargic?
Not radiation at all.. but lethargy.
Or maybe... its my lack of meeting(s) with the sun!
Is my sudden lack to do anything - but watch Black Lightning - a sign of another weapon??
A more current pandemic???
I'm not sure what it is -
I just know...
I need a suit.
A suit of protection!
"And if you don't know now you know..."
Black Lightning - ✮✮✮✮✮
Catch Black Lightning and all its seasons now on Netflix
Can I tell you a story?
Well… not really a story but my (re)view of this film I went to see.
Queen and Slim - have you heard about it?
I watched at Brixton’s Ritzy
A Love Story!
A LOVE STORY that follows the journey of two people, classified as Black.
Who went on a date,
as a matter of fact…
that was their only crime, to have the audacity to meet
but I guess, who decides who the criminal is, is determined by a class of elite
The drama begins on their way home
When the ‘powers that be’ saw they weren’t abiding alone.
But very much together – Black on Black unite!
I imagine this union caused anger, pain, disruption, jealousy and spite?
For it truly vexed the officer – maybe it was the connection of love?
Was it the elite that infected his psyche making him feel he was above?
Very quickly the narrative spun in a weird turn of fate –
Our heroes challenged the officer, his rage and this hate.
Without spoiling the film - that's all that I'll say
but the weird turn of events caused me to stay!
As I watched on the screen, my heart turned hard as steel.
As the story in front of me was the reality FOR REAL!
I got frustrated and angry, and frankly wanted to leave
But this story of love had caused me to seize.
I stuck to my seat, as terror changed into hope.
The romantic inside of me wished they would elope...
And live happily ever after - and that would be the end
But romance is for Romans... and I am African!
A Love Story!
But not conventional in theme.
About a man looking for love, and finds his reflection in a Queen
Enthralled by this narrative that was different from the rest
I stuck to my seat, to see... if Queen and Slim would pass my test.
Because watching black cinema in honesty I have found...
Is to show black oppression and self-loathing - for the consumer?
For the pound!
Once upon a time in Brixton, next to Windrush Square
Classified blacks took up space -
Protesting their freedom
But now, in the present, the classification has changed
And the white skinned uniform of gentrification is in Europe,
Is in Europe we remain?
Queen and Slim is (W)Rapped in humour,
the aroma of the ninties is skilfully interwoven in -
The poetic language works as spells, conjuring resilient messaging!
If you missed it, then you missed it – and it missed you because...
the layers at work were to delude you and send you to a realm of fuzz.
Like our ancestors told us –
death does not exist!
So never forget who you are or fear to resist!
As I researched further what was beautiful to find -
Was that our Black Love Heroes…
Wait! This really BLEW my MIND!
They are both actually British, which is an amazing fact
Because we all know Blacks in This Britain seldom get a chance to act... let alone Love!
A must watch!
But beware - Queen and Slim will trigger feelings of nostalgia, laughter, pain, injustice, love, lust, oppression, faith and freedom.
Starring - Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith
Directed by Melina Matsoukas
Written by Lena Waith
Brilliant and timely - 5 stars all round!
Whilst watching the trailers in the cinema on my last visit… I secretly reveled when the trailer of Cats crawled across my screen ;)
This, (along with Bugsy Malone and Oliver Twist) was one of the many productions we performed at my multi-‘classed’ Primary school. I’d never heard of it… but I remember having to learn the music for the song Memory and playing it on my clarinet in front of my family in a school assembly.
As I played my clarinet in front of the audience, positioned at the front of the stage - on front of the other children playing Cats, I secretly wished I were a Cat. And so the desire to act was birthed.
So here I was, 25 years later… watcing dancing on the streets of London, hearing the frequency of Memories… and again – wishing I was a CAT!
As you are probably aware, this production has come under major scrutiny especially regarding the CGI… the Computer Generated Image.
I laugh because, although I agree and also had major problems with the CGI, I have to admit my eyes will never adjust to a Computer Generated Image.
It is definitely something you have to be programmed to accept, and as programming usually is most effective during infancy it would be interesting to read a generation Z’s perspective on CGI.
See my TOP BOY review about the differences in generation Y and Z.
For a movie of this caliber the CGI was dreadful! It felt like it had been rushed with a lack of consistency in the conversion of human to cat and obvious mismatches in proportions. For example, Judi Dench's hand looked human in one shot and there was a Kitchen scene where the Cats (and even the mice) looked too small in comparison to the furniture.
However, I really enjoyed Francesca Hayward who plays Victoria the White Cat and Jennifer Hudson who plays Grizabella the Glamour Cat’s performances. The physicality of all of the Cats excited me - I loved the dances and the subtlety of 'cat like' gestures - but these two were my favourite. They both clearly researched and observed slight details and movements associated with the feline species - and whilst the CGI was a mess (alongside broad rather than detailed performances by some) Francesca and Jennifer were a saving grace and rescued the film.
From beginning to end Cats was jam packed with Ancient Egypt symbolism, with bars and place names being relative. It even included our very own Trafalgar Square Lion - that has a very sphinx quality of its own!
I’ve been reading books on Kemet (the original name for Egypt) recently, and so this really stood out to me. And as the cats in Cats danced on the streets of London I got thinking (it doesn’t take much) about how the Black (African) presence fits into the square that is namely England.
As the thought arrived so did Jason Derulo, as the Curious cat. I found this performance challenging as it drew on obvious stereotypes, was too similar to Idris’ Macavity Mysterious cat and I kept on thinking about the many Black British singers/ dancers I knew who would have just done a better job!
Why not give them the role, rather than this usual comfortability gap that is happening both in the UK and America?
Here's one suggestion.
Taking me full circle in memory, I went to school with Varren. He played the drums and I played the saxophone. And although Varren has had an amazing career with groups like Fun*dmental and as a song writer I don't understand WHY BLACK BRITISH TALENT ISN'T PROMOTED MORE??????
Cats didn't have to have Computer Generated Images to win me over, as the nostalgia alone means I will always hold the production highly. However, it missed the opportunity of uniting a fractured society made up of different races, cultures, sizes and ages that are home bred!
Although the Cats colour weren't locked into the race of the actor (which I was happy about) - the progressive conversation of colour blind casting meant that inherent racial prejudices associated with the colours Black and White were overlooked.
The flack of being Black, and the negative associations with bad luck and black magic meant I was happy that Mr Mistoffelees - the black cat was good. Shade?
Equally - the White is Right and innocent image well, that remained... kind of. No shade? Just make up to whiten the actress. I'm not sure I would have responded well to them deciding to 'black up' a Black Mr Mistoffelees - and thought the shading of a brown cat especially for Jennifer Hujdson worked well. However, this... did not work well for me!
A bit late I know… but I strategically allocated specific time to binge watch this season so I could accurately evaluate my thoughts.
I’ve watched all previous seasons and have been following Ashley Walters since So Solid and Bullet Boy, and in the last few years have really started to appreciate Kane Robinson.
Check out my review of Hoodies All Summer by Kano
I remember sneaking into the cinema as a teenager to watch Bullet Boy, and came out of it thinking -
"I can be a movie star even though I'm not American"
Forget about the bullets - this was inspiration for me. So as an Actress born and raised in ‘urban’ London I’m torn.
So lets start with the problem.
Having done some research here are the creators of this seasons Top Boy.
Director – Yann Demange
Writer – Ronan Bennett
Funder – Drake
Although all may be able to relate in their own way like I do to the narrative, none are living that reality now! At least not in this country, in that (black) shell, born in Generation Z!
I think it is so important to know whose vision you are about to dive into. And question what the intention and agenda is in same said vision.
Is this just a way for them to programme us into Black on Black violence?
Struggling? Think about the conversation we are having at the moment about women writers, the lack thereof, and how men (and some women!!!!), write two dimensional, oversexed women characters all the time. And how harmful this is for young girls to see representation in this way as it may lead to them being... well... oversexed and two dimensional.
And trust me – even an advertisement is someone’s vision.
At this time, in this world, it is imperative when watching Theatre/ Tv/ Film/ Advertisements that you put on your analytical hat and cross examine why, say… a little dark skinned, pop belly girl with flies around her head is the face of a charity advert that is shown in the daytime, in England, regularly…
Does that not feeds into your pysche subconsciously of how you go onto treat Black females (both positvely* and negatively)?
You don't know?! Well… then... you should probably sell the tel-lie-vision.
*positively - because you may think you are doing something positively but actually you are actioned by thinking this person is in need... of you!
Understand that I’m not slating charities, but overstand that the law does protect certain types of children, whilst other (usually non-white) childrens face is shown noncognitively!
To drive home my point there’s a reason that starts really early, as to why we associate this...
With being low paid, impoverished and unattractive!
So the debate is this -
This season of Top Boy did a really good job at exploring deeper issues surrounding why ones circumstances leads to a life of selling drugs. I appreciated this because, in my experience there is a reason for dysfunction outside of the fact that you are Black and male. However, it also took into account what it is to be Black and Male!
Another interesting angle and theme that I thoroughly enjoyed in this season of Top Boy was watching Lisa Dwan’s performance of Lizzy.
Lizzy's journey is wide as she experiences being dragged down to the streets from the high throne of privilege. The duality of being White but a Woman was explored and executed very well.
I recently found out I’m a part of Generation Y also known as a Millennial being born after 1980. Growing up in the 90’s there really was no representation of the Black experience in London, England, and like I have mentioned before, I am appreciative of the Garage/ Grime scene and what that offers worldwide culturally to my existence!
Having to look to Jamaica and/ or African Americans for identity when being third generation British, I think, is one of the fundamental roots to why my community struggle to survive here – Social Invisibility methinks.. have a read and let me know your thoughts!
Funnily enough it is evident that this season of Top Boy is heavily influenced by both Jamaica and African American culture, and Yann Demange, Ronan Bennett and Drake do a fantastic job at weaving this into the London narrative, and achieve it seamlessly.
Is this because they watch our lives objectively?
I don’t know - but I am thankful it isn't done tactlessly and the narrative isn’t just Black and White.
Having addressed issues with race in ‘The Turks” and “The Irish” and of course the privilege that comes with being non-black, this season of Top Boy develops a new social construct!
The war between Generation Y and Generation Z!
Overall, I was hooked! I did have to take breaks because I just found the experience too intense and a bit too relatable. It is tragic that parts of London (often natives) experience this lifestyle... and we do need more diverse content about Black lives on our screens to balance the scale. However, like most rap songs of my generation state subliminally, this (Top Boy) was (and is) more than just a N*88@ story.
I've taken a star off because the level of acting is inconsistent. While the standard is super high the focus shifts for those who aren't yet of that standard.
Directing – Yann Demange
I loved how this was directed and shot. But I question whether the Director could spot inauthenticity like I could (as he is not from London... or Jamaica).
Writer - Ronan Bennett
As white as he is - his association with this life came across as very real probably because of his upbringing and passed (read the link above)!
But loses a star because his Whiteness is still exploiting and privileged.
Watch now on Netflix. They’re offering a month free subscription so get on it.
Hey All! So as requested here is my first ever VLOG - as requested!
Please comment below and let me know what you think and if you want more Vlogs... the Blogs will always be a part of Sharla Reviews, just because writing is my therapy :)
Now, I haven’t been to the cinema on my own for years (in fact I’m not sure I ever have!), but I honestly felt like this film was a perfect film to see alone! Not just because of the concentration level needed to fully absorb a movie that centralizes the Black Female experience… but also the educational element the movie had, and that being inline with my current shadow work. [See my US the movie review for more on shadow work].
Little has the usual humour and one line blinders expected from Regina Hall and Issa Rae, and I loved how - despite being by myself and sitting in a row of my own - with millennials behind me and the aged in front – my eighties baby guttural laugh felt no way letting loose. I let loose several laughs in fact, and it was somewhere in the middle of these that I realized I was grown. Not grown in the egotistical, status driven, external pretense of what a conventional adult presents. But grown in terms of truly being comfortable and loving on self, and ultimately free of inhibitions and judgment.
Like I said – it felt like there was a pull internally to go and watch this film in particular, on my own, at a time in my life where I am doing a lot of self/ soul/ spirit finding. And so it came as no coincidence that Little the movie highlighted similar themes of;
What is it to be an adult?
What aggression and intimidation in leadership really says about you
And embracing you inner child!
We follow Jordan Sanders (played by Regina Hall) a successful career woman who owns her own tech company. Although successful Jordan disregards everyone around her – including her employees, neighbours and even her lover - which stems from her being bullies and disregarded at school as a child. And although Jordan lives a life of luxury – with a fast car, walk in wardrobe and outfits that match her high income – she lives her life alone but full of clutter.
Haven’t we all been there?
Some of us are even still there.
Living a life where material items, low frequency acquaintances and money are our friends and keeps us company.
Is it because we are running away from being alone?
And where many of us (females in particular) strive for independence and not ‘needing a man’ Are we on the run from ourselves?
Crowding our time and space with work, shopping, social media, food, fake friends, booty-calls, TV, gossip, drugs…
In my head it looks like this – CLUTTER!
Here’s an interesting, helpful article to start the process of having a relationship with you -
The Spirituality of BEING Single that can help to de-clutter!
So back to Little - It isn’t until Jordan magically changes into a child and faces old demons that she can have a chance of becoming a better adult.
Another small pause please
My nephew is giving me life at the moment! His smile alone reignites my root chakra to unconditional love. He’s a year and a half, and when I hold him he looks at me. Like, really looks into my eyes and sees me. He also loves playing with my locs [8 month loc’d] and is intrigued by the colourful beads I sometimes wear in my hair.
He pays close attention to the beads by watching, holding (and trying to eat) them… he plays for minutes, completely in awe and fascinated by them.
I watch him play.
I pay close attention to his attention.
He, at one and a half years old is teaching me at thirty-five.
Can we imagine – a world outside of classism and superiority where you learn from the young?
Is the true ‘us’ - when we were young?
Little concludes by Jordan – as an adult acknowledging and recognising her bullying, oppressive behavior. Having to go through becoming a child again - and as a child, standing up to bully’s at her old school, and forming friendships with those that actually care rather than those that are popular. Jordan learns to break free from falling victim of others opinions and societal/ peer pressures that ultimately stop you from being you.
Heard of Chloe X Halle?
Be Yourself is their song which is on the Little soundtrack, and hit a chord with me as it played at the end of the film.
Did you know that Marsai Martin - who plays the younger Jordan, serves as an executive producer on the film Little, and at 14 years old is the youngest person to ever hold the title on a Hollywood production.
A great watch,,, By Yourself :)
As always let’s start with this! I hate horror; I seldom watch films that explore sadistic, occult and psychological madness – through fear of it infiltrating my mind (My past life as a born again Christian influences this!). But compelled, probably by my love of Get Out and how accurate I felt its ‘hidden’ messages were, I went.
I didn’t really consider the title though… not until around twenty minutes into the film when my legs were up to my chin, my inner cheeks were between my teeth and I was reminding myself “It’s just a film”.
Twenty minutes in – I caught the fact that this horrific tale was centered on Us. Us as in - Black people. And how growing up with people that didn’t look like me in horror films – provided an escapism that I didn’t know existed until watching this film.
Now don’t get me wrong – we all can definitely empathise with the pain and suffering of all people regardless of race, but because of the starvation of black people and black families in film - I felt too conscious of the fact that this wasn’t just about the human experience but specifically about Us…
Here’s a theory -
Michael Jackson and Thriller
The film plays accolade to Michael Jackson and Thriller and opens with a little girl wearing an MJ Thriller top in the first scene.
As a huge MJ fan, I remember my mum telling me the story of rushing home to watch the
Premiere of Thriller in 1983 (7 months pregnant with me J) on channel 4.
Nostalgia and reminder-
It made sense to represent and #shoutout Thriller – as it being the first full length music video EVER worked as another unconscious reminder that this also was the first horror movie starring Us EVER and added to my terror.
With black music heavily influenced by MJ and it being a very heavy backdrop in the film, it was strategic in setting the tone and the vibe of a monstrous tale of the underworld rising!
A strong theme of Us – the movie, dealt with shadow work - something I’ve been interested in for a few years now.
The film comments in many ways on Us – a people, being our own worst enemy internally and how that leads to external violence. A battle with self, an evil self is the main premise of the film.
Note: I specifically use the word Evil rather than Dark. As a deep toned person – I am tired with my skin colour being connected to what is evil or negative. Just say they are evil and/ or negative rather than use an unconsciously oppressive word.
My interest in shadow work started a few years ago –when I decided to take my Ancestry DNA test. I wont go into too much details but I will say that finding out about your ancestral religion, discovering new family members and confronting (not always positive) information about your parents can challenge the sense of identity a lot of Us – a people, subscribe to. Furthermore it can be the root cause of rage, anger, bitterness, anxiety and loneliness to name but a few.
And here comes the shadow work. A course that only you can subscribe to when you are ready; an action you must defeat in order to not be killed; a road that requires complete faith to navigate the right direction and a life that will in the end reflect whether you’ve passed or not by the union you and your shadow make.
See my Atlanta review about my view on whom we choose as partners and how surface this can sometimes be.
In Us – the movie, I found it interesting that Lupita Nyong’os character chose a light hearted, funny man to have her children with. I especially think about procreation because it reveals the ideals of how we want our children to be. Which often exposes what we didn’t get or how beautiful we think we are. We detrimentally make surface, appearance driven, choices based on whom we fancy externally and neglect value systems and health – inner qualities. I think this neglect leaves room for that monster that lives beneath the surface to rise and ultimately not just kill Us – as individuals… but all of Us.
It loses a star because the MJ theme and huge topic of shadowing are things you need to know before watching and was a major part of the story
I caught on quite early about the big reveal at the end – and I think it was an acting choice that I didn’t agree with
He is such a visionary and I hope that one day I can make such high quality bold art involving Us.