I sound like a broken record sometimes, constantly declaring how quickly the month has passed but October really did fly by.
October has been fabulous. While there hasn’t been anything out of the ordinary occur, I’ve had lots of happy days, created some memories and, most of all, felt good. It’s also the month I finally kicked off this blog!
Looking back at the last few weeks, I’ve compiled a short list of things I have loved.
Ella Mai – Ella Mai
Critics and fans everywhere have stated that Ella Mai’s eponymous debut album has revived R&B, something Ella has herself declared ridiculous, as you can see from her tweet.
r&b was never dead. thanks for coming to my ted talk.
— Ella Mai (@ellamai) October 15, 2018
Whether R&B was dead or not is up for debate, but this album has definitely got me reminiscing for some early 00s RnB but also feels contemporary and new. My favourites are the seductive Whatchamacallit, stunning bonus track Naked and obviously Boo’d Up, originally from Mai’s debut EP, which continues to be a bop. I’m so ready to see this artist continue to shine.
Black Hollywood: ‘They’ve Gotta Have Us’
On my cousin’s recommendation, I started watching this BBC2 documentary on iPlayer. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a must watch for any film fan or lover of culture. The series explores black actors and how they are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve in Hollywood.
The first episode looks at the legends of film history, at a time when Hollywood made as difficult for black people in the film industry. Think of legends like Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll.
In the second, which explores films from the 80s/90s/00s that had started to provide black actors better roles than Thug 2 and prisoner, we see that black film is not a genre. The third, which I have yet to see, looks at Hollywood now and where it’s going, including black filmmakers and actors being recognised for awards.
Films that I love like Get Out, Boyz in the Hood, Black Panther and Do The Right Thing get mentioned, along with ones I’ve been never heard of that are now on my watch list. The documentary shows snippets from iconic films edited together with interviews from famous filmmakers and actors like Laurence Fishburne, Whoopi Goldberg, John Boyega, Ernest Dickerson, Diahann Carroll.
It’s an eye-opening three part series, which stresses the hurdles black actors have faced and continue to face. I could not recommend it enough. Catch it on iPlayer.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and other lies
Don’t let the title put you off, this is not a book that defines feminist or gives you steps on how to be the best feminist. It’s a collection of essays written by incredible people, that explore feminism. There’s a poem about the female wank, a section on good comebacks for when people tell you that feminism is destroying society, an interview with someone’s mum and even a new chapter from Bridget Jones’ diary about feminism in 2018.
There are a bunch of authors I recognise as famous actresses, singers and more, along with new names I have only just discovered but have become an instant fan of through their honest depiction of what feminism is to them.
It’s not a book about what is right and wrong with feminism and it’s not telling you what to think. It’s showcasing a few viewpoints and letting you decide what feminism is for you.
I’m three quarters of the way through it and at the stage where I want to finish it quickly, but don’t want it to end.
The whole A Star Is Born soundtrack
This is not a review of how amazing Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star Is Born is, because I’m sure you’ve seen it or heard about it. If it’s not Ella Mai’s album on my Spotify recently played, it’s the soundtrack to this film.
My favourite tunes are:
- Why Did You Do That?
- I’ll Never Love Again (the film version!)
- Hair Body Face
- Look What I Found
- Diggin My Grave
I can see a nomination or two for this soundtrack at next year’s Oscar’s.
Let me know what you’ve been loving this month too.