I still don't understand how they got away with this
This may get cut off in your email so open it in your browser ‘cos this is a “Very Special Episode” and your homework is to tell me your favorite Real Housewives city.
My connection to this movie is mostly thru my mama and the soundtrack. It’s not that I didn’t dig it but like I just don’t fully understand how they got away with this reimagining that is basically the same as the original. Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Richard Pryor…..maybe that’s how they did.
The Wiz is about a woman — Dorothy — who is basically on a journey to find herself and a bunch of other niggas debow her journey and are like “we wanna find ourselves too!” Her dog runs out of her aunt’s house in a snowstorm and that is what sets our meek babe on her path to self-discovery.
It’s The Wizard of Oz except Black and it starts in Brooklyn.
EYE personally think that Dorothy is laying on her therapist’s couch on acid and having a massive trip but THATSJUSSMOI!
One of the songs in the film is “Home” by Stephanie Mills:
I have so many memories of this song because of my mother. I have listened to her sing this song in church, I’ve watched her dance to it, I’ve watched her perform it in sign language, and I’ve watched her cry joyful tears to it. My love of old films comes from her, we would watch TCM on Saturdays for hours at a time on our floor-set television.
My mama loved that TV so much, that my dad finagled with the wiring and hacked a way to get a TV from the 70s to have cable and later on satellite.
The TV was nearly 30 years old then and it STILL works to this day, but they left it behind when they moved and retired.
I have so many memories of watching things on that television with her and The Wiz was one of them, but I really cared more about the song.
I’ve had A WEEK. It’s been tough and I kind of feel like maybe it came because last week I was doing this thing in my heart where I have been trying to be kinder to myself. Doing it quietly on the inside first until it becomes easier to burst outside of it. There is a disconnect that I’m trying to, well — connect. Giving myself the same things I give others and skipping over the part where I feel guilty for doing so.
I unnecessarily dig through things I’m deserving of as a human to find the reason why I — Shelli — shouldn’t be allowed to have them.
It’s never easy to find, which should be a signal to stop, but I’ve been so trained to keep going ‘cos dammit girl you don’t get the good.
I’ve been quietly doing better and proud of myself, and I know the universe doesn’t work in a way where because I was doing good something bad must happen but that’s how I felt this week.
Anyway, it made me think of the song. If you listen to the lyrics (which I hope you do in the beautiful video that’s to follow)…Dorothy knows herself better now and all she wants to do is let go, and go back and give herself that knowledge — but she can’t. She has to do her best to live in the now while remembering her past (and not punishing herself for it) and that in itself would make younger Dorothy smile.
All I want is to reach back into the past and hug baby Shelli. I wish to tell her that her strength is admirable but that she deserved a life where she didn’t need to be strong. That she deserved to be big and expressive as she was ALL the time, not just when it was comfortable to others. That how she feels about herself on the inside is true and she deserves to say it out loud not just with her voice but with how she moves through this world. Like Dorothy, I wish I could back home to her with “the things that I’m knowing.”
So — a few years ago they did The Wiz Live! Dorothy was played by the IMMENSE talent that is Shanice Williams. It was well done but I cared about a behind-the-scenes video I found of her singing “Home” WITH Stephanie Mills. I cry and feel so much every time I watch it. I used to think that was because I missed my mother, but I realize that it feels like I’m watching myself now speak to Baby Shelli.
“And just maybe I can convince time to slow up, giving me enough time in my life just to grow up…time be my friend — let me start again”
The lyrics go on to feel like I do. Time has never been a particulary good friend to me. I’ve had a rough week, a rough past, and sometimes a rough life but I ALWAYS knew that it wasn’t going to be my whole story, ALWAYS.
I’ve been learning that healing isn’t linear but wouldn’t it be great if it was? I know I can’t go back, but I can be kinder to myself when I want to, and keep doing all I can to be gentle while I rebuild this new home to welcome Baby Shelli into when she pops up.
As always you can find this info on my Letterboxd buuuuutttt still.
What I Watched
Real Housewives of Potomac
I am on Season Five and if you remember last week I had a ranking and here is the new one:
Robyn - My even-keeled queen
Gizelle - My messy but accountability-taking Virgo
Monique - “I grew up in the hood and I’m proud”
Ashley - City Girl up one baby
Karen - best of the worst
Wendy — Degrees don’t make you better than everybody
Candiace - She is nasty, mean, and vile and her attitude makes me furious. Not because she has one but because she refuses to take accountability for anything and it is SHOCKING that she isn’t a Libra. Like — GIRL.
Extraordinary — I really REALLY like this show and it’s slated for a season 2 already!
The Last Of Us
I AM EXTRA INVESTED AFTER THIS EPISODE FEATURING YOUNG GAY BEAUTIFUL BABY QUEERS!!! I AM CRYING AND A MESS AND WOULD TEAR APART WHOEVER FOR ELLIE. I LOVE THEM!!THESE ADORABLE LOVELY SWEET DARLING BABY QUEERS WHOMST EYE WOULD WIPE OUT EVERY MUSHROOM FACED JERK IN THE WORLD FOR JUST SO THEY COULD HAVE ONE MORE DAY TOGETHERbella ramsey as ellie looking at storm reid as riley in this the last of us scene is what really sent me over the edge https://t.co/p0jQrZSNDrNora Dominick @noradominick
What I Re-Watched
Welcome to Flatch
What I Listened To
Black Truck by Mereba is quite possibly the most I have ever felt seen in a song. As soon as it starts I feel like crying. It feels like me speaking to younger me, and I have thought of her a lot this week.
What I Read
Digital media is a bit rough right now but there are still some incredible pieces constantly coming out at publications big and small and this week was a really good one with a lot of journalists, writers, and bloggers showing their asses off & getting big dream come true wins.
The NEW Black Film Canon is out! According to the Letterboxd list someone made, I’ve seen 37 out of the 75 films. Some I love (Cooley High, Atlantics, Car Wash, and Hollywood Shuffle), Some I don’t (The Watermelon Woman), and others have been sitting on my watchlist for a minute (Almas Rainbow)
I’ve been excited for the movie We Have A Ghost and TUDUM did a bit of a breakdown
Nic is writing recaps of The Last of Us over on Autostraddle.
The Shadow and Act interview with the crew behind The Blackening which includes CHICAGO WRITER BABE DEWAYNE PERKINS! Also LOVE that there was a bidding war for this very Black film and I can’t wait to fucking see it!
I hope this is the start of Black writers going back to the early aughts and not trying to write for audiences that they hope understand the film but instead writing for the ones they know will.
Black films for Black audiences is not a bad thing because the Black dollar is strong and now it’s those millenials who were kids then who have their own bank to spend on and view what they want. AND it’s those same folks who are writers, critics, journalists and more who WANT to write about and spread the word on these films.
Also, Also — I know the writing is stronger than it was then. Depending on witty slapstick style comedy versus depending on jokes that aren’t funny but just nasty about the girls and the gays.
Sydney’s interview with SZA over on Alt Press!!no words can describe how grateful i am that ilana gave me this opportunity, a moment i've waited 10 years to see happen 😭💞so stoked for our latest issue of @AltPress ! our first spring cover is @sza written by the great @sydegee !!! https://t.co/YoJDyhYL8e https://t.co/uvH0K98Upvilana kaplan @lanikaps
Zaya was granted a legal name change and transition! I’m going to cry!!
This piece on Black girls on reality dating shows made me think of Yewande on Love Island who also talked about all the shit she went through after the show and also wrote a book!
Kaitlyn Greenidge wrote a piece on the photo that has Toni Morrison and Alice Walker in it from their writers group they were in during the 70s
A scene I can’t stop thinking about
Eddie Kendricks is my only famous relative but lol this scene always makes me wish it was David Ruffin
Some pictures I took
A Tweet I Loved
I CONSISTENTLY feel this way and it’s so nice to have it voiced by other folks. like, this shit cool as fuck
Maple Sausage Links = yummy
I like the smell of dry cleaning
Okay bye —
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