As a film enthusiast living in Los Angeles in my twenties, going to the movies was not a passive activity. Long before the paranoia set in about checking ticket stubs as if we are checking for hanging chads; going to see certain films was a political statement. We were not just going to the movies; we were supporting a film. It was self-preservation. If Love Jones didn’t make money, how were the rest of us supposed to make our films about regular, non-stereotypical black folks?

Without social media, we did it the old way. We talked to people about the movies we were seeing. We gathered. There was this monthly event that used to go down called Doboy’s Dozens. I remember it being held at Lula Washington’s Dance Theater on Pico Boulevard. We would pack ourselves into this space, young black folks from all over the city, and listen to music and poetry; but the short films were the highlight. I saw dozens, but I only remember two films. One was a short film by Kasi Lemmons called Dr. Hugo that went on to become Eve’s Bayou. The other was a martial arts flick. My memory may be fuzzy, but I’m pretty certain it was Michael Jai White who starred in it. While, I can’t remember all of the films, I do remember the feeling. There was a sense of community. We had to actually leave our apartments, drive and then cram ourselves into a dance studio to see these works. We didn’t have YouTube. I spent a few minutes today looking for any record of Doboy’s. There’s almost no trace that it existed. We weren’t texting, Tweeting, or taking pictures. We were just living the moment. [READ MORE]

On a recent segment of “The View,” host Raven-Symoné stated that she would not hire someone named “Watermelondrea.” Critics immediately blasted her for being a black woman with a unique name who is openly biased against other black people with nontraditional monikers.

But she’s hardly in the minority when it comes to discriminating against people with so-called “ghetto” names. The only difference between Raven-Symoné and those of us without talk shows is that her platform allows her to reach millions of people. The rest of us deride others on a smaller scale, though our words can have major impact. [READ MORE]