American Muslim IX: The Mountain

  So, I want to make my first feature length film… Step one, as is always the case, was creating the script.  I caught parts of Clooney on the Actors Studio over the weekend, and I agree with his sentiment that you can take a good script and make a bad film out of it, […]

For Spike…

  It’s funny how ‘timing’ plays out sometimes.  Between Red Tails, the Help, and Sundance, there’s been a lot of public and private conversations already this year about the direction of where black cinema is going.  Everyone has their own opinions, but the truth is none of us can look at the landscape and say, ‘This […]

The 2011 Zeezys

  The Malik Aziz Foundation was created last night with the mission statement of promoting the unifying ideals of the human race through arts and entertainment.  For the first time, the Board of Directors have decided to present awards (‘the Zeezys’) to those who have best embodied the Foundations ideals for the past calendar year. […]

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975

Stokely Carmichael. Assata Shakur. Angela Davis. Bobby Seale. Huey P. Newton.  For my generation, if you grew up around a certain dynamic those are all names you knew and heard about often, without living through the Experience.  “The Black Power Mixtape” is a well-edited documentary that casts an eye on what those times were like […]

American Muslim, Volume V

  A little over a month ago, I was asked what my resolution for this Ramadan would be.  In my heart, I was aware of what I needed to do, but at the time I wasn’t ready to commit to it. Sometimes you go through things in your private life, and your feelings about those […]

Malcolm X: A Life of ReInvention

  It’s the 4th of July weekend, so what’s my gift to you faithful reader?  A book review of the in the news book about Malcolm X!  Say it with me: USA! USA! USA! As someone who was influenced/inspired by Malcolm’s life, I had a keen interest in all the stories/rumors/gossip I heard about what […]

King

  Like most black kids of my generation, I had the idea that Dr. King was ‘somebody’ before I had any real concept of who that ‘somebody’ was.  It was his picture and Jesus on the back of our church fans.  At my grandfather’s house, there were two pictures in the house that weren’t family: […]

Inspirations – Black History Month Edition

  Every Ramadan, I pick up my Qu’ran and read it from cover to cover.  And every February, I pick up my original copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and read that from cover to cover.  As I’ve noted before in this space, it’s the single book that has had the most profound effect […]

The Most Important Film of Black Cinema

While we all have different ‘favorite’ films in black cinema, it is my argument, using the criteria I’ve established (relevance to black culture, the legacy or shelf life of the project after the initial release, the actual craftmanship of the filmmaking, the degree to which the film was noticed/recognized by the mainstream, and the Apollo […]