Recent writings

Recent writings

s brent plate

  • Images Change Our Views on Race

    Images are not static. They grab our attention, incite desire, alter our relations to others, and tweak our beliefs, as they usher us into new worlds.

    When “Black Panther” was released, Baye McNeil, a former Brooklynite now living in Japan, was thrilled. As he told The Japan Times, he joined“a group of palpably positive brothers and sisters” at a Tokyo theater. Collectively they were transported to the land of Wakanda. As an exile in Japan and a black man in a country with very few people of African descent, he and his friends entered, as he described, “a bountiful realm of invigorating messages and restorative images” that provided him with a sense of connection and belonging.

    [Read the rest at Newsweek]

  • Battling Our Demons, On Screen and Off

    In the midst of one shooting after another of unarmed black men by police officers, one comment keeps sticking in my mind: officer Darren Wilson’s expressed fear of Michael Brown before he shot him six times and killed him. Wilson claimed of Brown, “he looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon.”

    What does it mean to look “like a demon”? How would Wilson know what a demon looks like? Was he implicitly claiming he’s actually seen a demon? Or was Wilson, most likely, projecting an image of a demon from popular media onto the face of a real person? A monstrous, unreal other overlaid on the face of another, real person? And has media so influenced us that we don’t know the real from the fake and we’re ready to pull the trigger regardless?

    [Read the rest at The Revealer]