Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Daytime Emmys Honor Mishael Morgan, At Last!

 

Mishael Morgan is all smiles after winning her first Daytime Emmy Award. 

Finally! (In a Ce Ce Peniston voice)

After many, many years of following the Daytime Emmy Awards (and the problematic Primetime Emmys as well), our favorite, love-in-the-afternoon actress, Mishael Morgan has received her well-deserved statuette! About damn time! And she makes huge history as the first Black woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series! 

The commendable Veronica Webb was the second actress to play Mamie Johnson. 

Daytime Emmy winners Shemar Moore (Malcolm) and Kristoff St. John (Neil) with Daytime Emmy nominees Victoria Rowell (Dru) and Tonya Lee Williams (Olivia). Coincidentally, Tonya Lee Williams has Caribbean ancestry being born to Jamaican parents and raised in Toronto, Canada. Mishael Morgan has Trinidadian parents and was also raised in Toronto, Canada. Williams founded the Reelworld Film Festival in Canada in 2001.

As a little girl watching soap operas with my mother, Young and the Restless was ours to behold, a national treasure if you will. I loved especially the beautiful, brown skinned characters— Olivia, the doctor, Mamie, the housekeeper (whom I always thought would return someday), Malcolm, the photographer, and of course, Neil (the late Kristoff St. John), the corporate executive, and Drucilla, the tough-as-nails glamour model. Yet when it came down to the big awards night, almost every year, Black/biracial women rarely won a thing. As a girl invested in these stories, watching such phenomenal actresses take on scandalous affairs, ferocious cat fights, grief/loss, and still not be victorious in their efforts, it showcased the darker side of daytime television, the glaring mistreatment. Although the brilliant Debbi Morgan won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1989, hers was tied with Nancy Lee Grahn who famously blasted Viola Davis’s Primetime Emmys 2015 speech. 

From their humble beginnings, tawdry middle (yes the affair that rocked the screen), their once-a-week screen time....

To the end, Hevon was the best couple in Genoa City. 

Ever since Hilary Curtis burst into the Genoa City, Morgan made that vivacious vixen someone to love, sinking her teeth into that role with incredible heart and depth to match. She delivered so much hope and promise, something not seen since Tony and Grammy winner Renee Elise Goldsberry played a terrific lawyer, the criminally underrated Evangeline Williamson on General Hospital— Daytime Emmy nominated twice for her role too. It was always a dull moment when Morgan’s multifaceted Hilary disappeared for a while. Let’s never forget the heartbreaking death that will forever pierce the memories of the devoted Hevon fan base, a real tearjerker, Hilary passing away in Devon’s arms on July 27, 2018. 

And with Mishael Morgan gone off the canvas, fans were determined to get her back on no matter what— hence the birth of the #Fight4Mishael campaign taking off steam! The process, long and grueling, Morgan’s presence utterly missed on screen, everyone waited and hoped, waited and hoped. 

Amanda (Mishael Morgan) turned out to be Hilary’s long lost twin sister. 

And Devon (Bryton James) comforts Amanda as he had for his beloved wife Hilary. 

Morgan, who suffered a tremendous loss last year, perhaps channeled that into this devastating performance. 

On September 18, 2019, Morgan beautifully returned as the sharp dressed lawyer, Amanda Sinclair and dazzled the screen with and without her screen partner two-time Daytime Emmy winner Bryton James. This showcased Morgan’s incredible potential, this fact that Morgan’s charisma turned on for everyone around her. She tested for several pairings until back into the orbit of familiar territory. Still, Amanda’s backstory slowly but surely unfolded as viewers learned that Hilary was Amanda’s twin sister— and that Ann Turner was not their biological mother. Whew! Like Hilary, Amanda can speak another language fluently. It is unknown if she fears cows yet. 

After two previous nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Morgan scores a win on her third Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress! 


At the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, up against previous winners General Hospital’s Laura Wright and Cynthia Watros, five time nominee Arianne Zucker and three time nominee Marci Miller both from Days of Our Lives, Young and the Restless correctly put Mishael Morgan’s hat in this gritty ring. Yes, her competitors were amazing, but Morgan has been on/off the soap for nine years. In between those nine years, a viewer could never say she was not delivering high quality when given that screen time. Thus, when Morgan’s co-workers Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) and Sean Dominic (Nate Hastings Jr.) announced her name on stage, it was just a precious full circle moment. 

Congratulations again Mishael Morgan, a phenomenal performer who has always put out the best work possible. May it not be the last honor put in her hard earning hands. 


Sunday, April 3, 2022

'Down in the Delta' Is The Heirloom Worth Receiving

Down in the Delta film poster.

Down in the Delta is like returning home to a familiar, heartwarming comfort. It must be Alfre Woodward's tenacious ability to play a vulnerable single mother, the sweet graciousness of Mary Alice's matriarchal authority, Loretta Devine's charming Southern hospitality or the hot, hearty bowl of soup that is Al Freeman Jr.'s deep, rustic voice. This talented ensemble wrapped in a tender, thoughtful story is directed by one of the most brilliant minds that ever existed on this earth— the great Dr. Maya Angelou. 

Against the gritty Chicago backdrop, Rosa Lyn Sinclair is helping her daughter, Loretta raise Thomas and Tracy— an autistic little girl prone to screaming fits. The multi generational household is an American reality— not the seemingly unachievable white picket fence dream house, two loving parents, and a pet or two. Loretta is excited about a job opening at a neighborhood grocery store. Although her interview outfit is as presentable as she can make it, the store clerk isn't courteous. Instead of offering to aide Loretta's shortcomings, he lowers Loretta's already dwindling self esteem. Drugs provide a temporary escape, but Rosa Lyn has had enough. She threatens to call children's services and pawns off a family heirloom to buy bus tickets for Loretta, Thomas, and Tracy.

Rosa Lyn (Mary Alice) hopes that the Southern air will inspire new purpose into Loretta (Alfre Woodward) and a rejuvenating environment for Tracy (Kulani Hassen) and Thomas (Mpho Koaho).

When Loretta and her children meet Earl and his wife Annie, Loretta begins to understand the value of patience. Unlike the grocery store clerk in Chicago, down South, Earl gives Loretta the chance to grow into a potential that was heavily denied her. 

Loretta (Alfre Woodard) and Earl (Al Freeman Jr.) don’t always see eye to eye. Yet they slowly bond overtime, trusting each other. 

Tracy (Kulani Hassen) starts to evolve once in the South.
Tracy and Annie are two innocent Black female characters paralleled with mental illness— one a child, the other an elder adult. Both are treated with utmost sensitivity and care.

Loretta (Alfre Woodward) watches Earl (Al Freeman Jr.) bade goodbye to Annie (Esther Rolle).

Down in the Delta's meaningful crux is a sterling silver candelabra named Nathan, tying Loretta's Chicago upbringing with her Southern roots. This devastating symbol for the Sinclair family illustrates the tragic consequences that the stain of slavery has caused. Black bodies were nothing more than bargaining tools often listed alongside the family valuables. 

Earl (Al Freeman Jr.) comforts Loretta (Alfre Woodward).

Down in the Delta explores the Black family dynamic through a filter of humility, compassion, and love.



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Congratulations Aunjanue Ellis On A Stellar Awards Season!

 

Aunjanue Ellis is on fire. 

With the award season over and done, we had only one Black woman constantly in the nomination pool. It was bound to be a hard battle— a tough hurdle when considering the history of Black women’s impossible odds in the industry. A first-time Oscar nominee for the Best Supporting Actress category (now perceived as Black women actresses’ only hope), Aunjanue Ellis’s presence was a beautiful blessing above all things. 

Image from Shondaland.

A Brown University and Tisch School for the Arts alum, the phenomenally talented Ellis has been a dynamite force on both small and big screen for years. Most people will say she was excellent in The Help. Others have watched her in The Book of Negroes, When They See Us, Lovecraft Country, If Beale Street Could Talk, and The Clark Sisters. She got her start in the gritty FOX series New York Undercover in the episode Buster and Claudia (she played Claudia). 

Aunjanue Ellis at the Oscars dressed in a gorgeous tangerine custom Versace gown. 

As an homage to Ellis’s late mother, “Jax Baby” was stitched onto the sleeve. Extremely coincidental that she lost her mother Jacqueline and I lost mine recently— Jacquelyn. Thus, this meaningful act by designers for Ellis touched me too. 

Ellis has been steadily working for decades in sometimes the smallest of parts. Unfortunately to Hollywood Reporter, she revealed why.  

“I’m going to be transparent and honest and say I don’t get a hundred scripts sent to me. Of what I do get, though, I just want to do things that I would wake up in the morning and be glad to go do for the day. What makes me personally happy. What I feel would make Black women feel seen and feel heard. That can’t be in every role that I play, but those are the projects that I try desperately to be part of and to make happen.”

Black women have it difficult in all filmmaking fields— onscreen and behind-the-scenes, especially brown and dark skinned women often encouraged to portray servitude roles, taking backseats to preferred leading candidates. That means not having the opportunity to showcase the full breadth of their talents, of their potential. And Ellis is a well-trained, gifted actress deserving of so much more. 


Ellis at the National Board of Review ceremony. Photographed by Mike Coppola. 

In The Work You Do, The Person You Are essay, Toni Morrison eloquently writes, “Perhaps he [her father, George Wofford] understood that what I wanted was a solution to the job, not an escape from it. In any case, he put down his cup of coffee and said, ‘Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.’” 

When conceiving that Ellis cannot always choose the roles that do make “Black women feel seen and heard,” at the end of the day, sometimes a part is just a part— just another job. However, in this role of Oracene Price—a role that Ellis advocated and fought for— she found a calling, a welcome mat to demonstrate her acting capability. 

“I looked at the fact that I was playing this woman whom I had so much respect for, and I just felt that this can’t be true. It just felt unbelievable to me.”

Here’s hoping somebody watched Ellis’s performance and said, “I’ve got a story specifically reserved for her and it’s a good, unstereotypical one.” 

Custom Dolce & Gabbana gown at the Critics Choice Awards. Photographed by James Anthony. 

With custom “Jax Baby” on the back. Photographed by James Anthony.  

This was the biggest awards season for Ellis yet. The 2 time Emmy and 8 time NAACP Image Award nominee garnered recognition from the National Board of Review, Black Reel, the Black Film Critics Circle, the African American Film Critics Association, the ACCEC Awards, and the AARP Movies For Grownups as well as several critics awards. While Ellis is triple crown worthy, she deserves notice from our organizations. That’s why the Essence honor was a valid testament to true solidarity, a commendable honor to Ellis’s small yet significant body of work. 

Essence’s 15th Annual Black Women in Hollywood honored Nia Long, Quinta Brunson, Chante Adams, and Aunjanue Ellis. Photographed by Rich Polk for Getty Images. 

Thank you, Aunjanue Ellis for all that you do and will continue to do. You’re an amazing inspiration to so many. Let’s continue giving this brilliant woman her flowers for phenomenally dedicated work in television, film, and theater. We look forward to what comes next. 



Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Yes, ‘Dolapo Is Fine,’ Okay?

 

Dolapo is Fine film poster. 

A film focused on the hairstyles of Black girls/women will never become old. It remains a constant critique in all societies what the Black female equation will do with the top of her head. When Black men make films about it (for example Chris Rock’s comedic documentary Good Hair offers more questions than answers about what is “good hair”), it feels more disingenuous punchline to an unsatisfactory joke at the expense of humiliating Black girls/women than a healing opportunity for the community. 

Dolapo (Doyin Ajiboye) waiting for her big interview. 

Enter the wonderfully executed short film Dolapo is Fine, a familiar story written by Joan Iyiola and Chibundu Onuzo and directed by Ethosheia Hylton. 

Dolapo (Doyin Ajiboye) fluffs up her hair as Imogen (Katie Friedli Walton) waits in the sidelines. 

Dolapo (Doyin Ajiboye) looking at her reflection for a moment. 

Dolapo is a bright, intelligent student at a London based private boarding school. Her classmates are mostly white including her close friend Imogen. The future seems bright for a girl hoping to intern at a bank. Unfortunately, Dolapo’s choice to flaunt her natural hair discourages Daisy, the mentor whose own name is shortened to appease her corporate bosses. Daisy’s straight, long-haired wig represents power and confidence— inspiring Dolapo to mirror the older, experienced woman. 

Daisy (Joan Iyiola— also the film’s co-screenwriter) advices Dolapo to remake herself to fit a more professional demeanor specifically her hair and name aka her whole identity. 

The glaring fact that Daisy blasts Dolapo’s hair as the reason she would not do well in the professional realm is a sad consequence of globalized mental conditioning. It is always Black girls and women choosing to wear their hair out from which it grows naturally facing ugly blowback. A fellow Black woman Daisy— who looks at Dolapo’s Afro in undisguised hatred— tells Dolapo that her white friends think it’s cute speaks volumes. 

Dolapo preparing her hair for Wigageddon. 

According to Imogen, her curls are a struggle too. Yet the struggle is not as viciously inherent as Dolapo.  When the Black Girl Magic natural hair resurgence began years ago, it was co-opted by girls and women with Imogen’s specific curl pattern, putting them well ahead in the forefront of the 4C types who were simply celebrating the kinky, coarse, thick hair that is not as prevalent and preferred as white and biracial women’s. In magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman are talking about embracing their natural curls, but Black women have to hide behind wigs and lace fronts and remain silent about hair struggles to predominately white interviewers. 

Dolapo tries to put on a good front, but not only is the wig an itchy menace, she has nightmares about whose hair it could possibly be. 

Dolapo takes a stance towards the ever curious Imogen whose hands dangerously reach out to touch Dolapo’s hair as though she’s at a petting zoo. 

Dolapo buys a wig and protects her Afro underneath it. During a video call with her parents, they are pleased by Dolapo’s transformation, believing she looks like a model/beauty queen. This further demonstrates the devastating hold straight hair has on Black girls and women— that this still means beautiful, acceptable in every part of the world. When Dolapo goes to school sporting her new look, walking with an elevated air, everyone stares at her in a stupor, as though she’s someone they’ve never seen before. Dolly is what she prefers to be called, a slick shortening of her name (which originally is not too short) that sounds hip. However, the first successful cloning of the sheep Dolly comes to mind. Dolapo wants to emulate not only Daisy, but the many Black girls/women who have conformed to the European standards of beauty over their own nature. 

Dolapo is fine just the way she is. 

Winner of the HBO Short Film Award and other honors and an impressive roster of being selected in various film festivals, Dolapo Is Fine is a well-deserving watch with a refreshing cast led by Doyin Ajiboye’s incredible performance. In fifteen riveting minutes, anyone can understand Dolapo’s identity dilemma and root for her to win against an unsettling injustice made by colonialism. 


Friday, March 25, 2022

‘Double Happiness,’ Always A Treat to Revisit

 

Double Happiness film poster. 

Although I have yet to watch Sandra Oh’s latest film release— the horror Umma helmed by Iris K. Shim— in honor of Women’s History Month, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit another Asian director, Mina Shum, whom Oh has worked with several times in Canada. The humorous classic Double Happiness brings all kinds of joy to behold. 

Jade (Sandra Oh) jokingly reflects that the difference between her family and The Brady Bunch is that hers have subtitles. DP: Peter Wunstorf. 

Sandra Oh stars as aspiring actress Jade Li in a family of Chinese immigrant parents. Her younger sister Pearl looks up to her. They share a bedroom despite Jade being twenty-two-years old. The girls also have an older brother Winston, but his memory is locked up in a secret box beneath the bed. Apparently, he has been disowned (mostly by their stern, family values protective father) and this symbolism will remain in affect throughout due to Jade’s rebellious spirit. Much like her absent brother, Jade has the desire to break tradition. 

Jade (Sandra Oh) and Pearl’s (Frances You) relationship is an adorable illustration of sisterhood. They protect each other, dance, eat, and everything in between. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto, Jade is the product of her surroundings, primarily the television and wanting to be on it. Jade is naturally gifted at mimicking everything that she sees and hears— Southern accents and all. Yet in two very specific instances, Jade is confronted by an uncomfortable reality of living in an awkward duality. She must decide between portraying the terribly offensive stereotypical accent or truly understanding what being outside of China has done to her. Jade may be able to speak the Cantonese her parent have taught her, but when it comes to reading the very language itself, it makes her question herself as a Chinese woman. The questions raised to her are valid, deeply personal and will affect her throughout the film. What does being of Chinese descent illustrate to the next generation being raised in a place far removed and situated in another culture? 

Jade (Sandra Oh) and Lisa (Claudette Carracedo) share hopes for the future. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

When Jade’s best friend Lisa asks what her dream is, Jade softly responds that she wants to win the Academy Award for a big part. This is such a sad, bittersweet statement in a twenty-eight year old film where limited stride has been made in an institution that favors white actresses above all others. Last year, Youn Yuh-Jung won Best Supporting Actress for her role as the grandmother in Minari and the previous win in that category was Sayonara’s Miyoshi Umeki in 1957– sixty-four years prior. Truly great Asian actresses from Michelle Yeoh to Maggie Leung and Ziyi Zhang and more have been glaringly overlooked. Thus, Jade’s future hopes are not only incredibly impossible odds— they are proof of the blatant unfairness and racism in Hollywood film awards. Jade is already struggling to find casting directors that appreciate her multifaceted techniques. With the doors continuing to close on her, how could Jade even begin to break out of achieving one slice of her desire? 

Even though her parents not completely invested in Jade’s career choice, Mom (Alannah Ong) doesn’t mind if she takes a more respectable journalism gig. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

Meanwhile, Jade’s parents and friends continue setting her up with different Asian men in hopes of marrying her off. This dated customary setup doesn’t suit the current landscape. Jade has far too many unconventional ideas, is too focused on independence than subjecting herself to fitting in with the old ways. In Toronto, she feels encouraged to follow another path that does not include the ideal mate, but a preferred partner of her own choosing. 

The sisters must hide their photo with Winston... 

Under the bed. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

A very important factor into Jade’s story is Winston continuously being brought up. People would ask how their son is doing. The mother makes up stories, but the father speaks nothing of him. Winston’s blacklisting from the family— his disownment— is primarily the father’s doing. Jade’s sheer independence starts bothering her father, especially the acting and the “talking back.” Jade is supposed to be respectful, demure, obedient, and quiet. Whenever her father becomes angry or disappointed in her, Jade brings him red bean buns and tea as a forgiveness branch. She also becomes mother hen-ly— massaging his back and combing his hair, seeming more wifely than daughterly. Beneath trying to appease her father, Jade aches to be her true authentic self without his constant backlash.  

Jade imagines herself a Southern belle. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

Unfortunately, casting agents see one opportunity for women like Jade. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

So while the older generation continues speaking in their native Cantonese tongue, Jade, Lisa, and Pearl exemplify the turning tide. They understand the language and respond back in English. 

When Dad introduces his daughters to Uncle Hong, they must recite a greeting in perfect Cantonese. 

Uncle Hong (Donald Fong) making dumplings from scratch with his sister-in-law. 

Double Happiness also shows a huge relationship between food and community. Jade’s family and their friends gather around the table—a constant sturdy structure— eating hefty portions with their chopsticks, having conversations, or making homemade dumplings. It almost has that family restaurant quality, seeing that the mother prepares everything because it is expected of her as the daughters set the table. 

In the standard white dress and classic pearls once more, Jade realizes that the life of her traditional parents is not the life for her. DP: Peter Wunstorf.

A solid prize winner at the Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival,  writer/director Mina Shum’s charming, delightful screenplay is chalk-full of humor, wisdom, and defiance. In a role fresh after the candid biopic The Diary of Evelyn Lau, an utterly brilliant Sandra Oh breathes life into the free-spirited Jade. Oh was deserving of her awards— the Genie Award for Best Actress (the former Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) and a special mention from the Torino International Festival of Young Cinema. 

Red bean buns will not always have sway for Jade’s dad (Stephan Chang). DP: Peter Wunstorf.

Currently streaming on Prime Video, Double Happiness will have anyone laughing, resonating with a woman’s modern-day independence, and coming back stronger in the face of abject rejection/racism. 



Thursday, March 24, 2022

‘Solace’ Courageously Examines A Quiet Black Girl’s Eating Disorder


Solace film poster.

Tchaiko Omawale’s candid feature-length debut Solace strikes home hard. It focuses on Sole, a seventeen-year-old Black girl, who uses food and art as a coping mechanism after her father’s death. Instead of staying in New York City with a teacher who truly cares about her well-being, Sole is sent to live with her judgmental maternal grandmother Irene in Los Angeles. 

Sole (Hope Olaide Wilson) in her new bedroom in Los Angeles. 

Solace resonates with a personal history that still carries through my daily life. Sole reminds me of many weekends spent in my bedroom not eating in hopes of maintaining an extremely underweight frame. This mindset was a mixture of admiring the frail girls on the WB network and the hope to not have the same body types as my maternal side of the family. Still, I binged on snacks primarily candy like a high junky craving munchies whilst dreaming of flattened breasts and flattened stomach. Several scenes have Sole’s fingers blindly reaching inside snack bags and robotically stuffing chips, crackers, etc. into her mouth, eating and eating out of pain, out of boredom no matter the hour. Despite this constant snacking, Sole is obsessed with her figure and the figure of her thinner neighbor, Jasmine. 

Sole has trouble seeing eye to eye with Irene (Lynn Whitfield). 

Irene wants Sole to go out more— especially with the local church girls— although Irene herself is not the typical Christian values woman. 

As Sole often scrummages the cabinets for midnight cravings, the rough tension escalates between her and Irene. A headstrong, determined Sole anxiously yearns to return home and false church lady Irene desperately wants to build a relationship with her granddaughter. Sole sees right through Irene’s phoniness right down to the strange relationship between Irene and her special friend, Pastor Clay. It also doesn’t help that Irene makes negative comments on Sole’s eerie eating habits and labels her “fat.” 

Guedado (Luke Rampersad) and Jasmine (Chelsea Tavares) are two broken spirits that draw Sole into their world of drugs, alcohol, clubbing culture, and kissing experimentation. 

Jasmine falls asleep in Sole’s arms. 

Positioned between Sole’s story is an abstracted nude Black woman wrapped in clear plastic, trying to break free from the barrier. This avant-garde break may metaphorically imply the mental trappings that overwhelm the physical self so much that it interferes in the way of daily existence. This body cries out in despair, in agony. Most importantly, she is fighting to escape alone. 

“If you’re silent about your pain, they will say you enjoyed it,” Zora Neale Hurston said in How It Feels To Be Colored Me, a quote that highlighted my personal struggles, that extends towards Sole’s quiet pain. 

Meanwhile, Sole prefers becoming intimately close with her neighbors Jasmine and Guedado instead of Irene’s church friends’ daughters (which includes Martha played by Pariah’s Sahra Melllesse aka Alike’s accepting younger sister, Sharonda). Sole needs their help for winning an art project that would fund her return to New York. Eventually, however, the trio are an inseparable triangle with a curious Sole attracted to both Jasmine and Guedado— both affecting her in different ways. Yet between the jarring opposite magnets pulling the lost, vulnerable Sole in deeper and deeper, her eating disorder overwhelms any possible high or munchy craving. 

At the same time, the chain smoking Irene—pissed at her granddaughter for choosing the eccentric neighbors over her own family— is getting in good with her friend Pastor Davis. The film does not stray away from the notion of older people having sex, lingering on every curve of hypocritical Irene’s body and every indented line of Clay’s. Whilst in the throes of passion, Irene giggles, hoping Sole doesn’t hear them. 

The trio successfully shoot in front of Pastor Clay’s church— that is until he comes down and threatens to call the cops. 

Winner of the Best Ensemble Cast Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Narrative Feature Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival, Solace deserves more praise and attention for responding to the quiet underbelly of Black girls suffering from constant body criticism. Ours is much different than that of others. 

When Sole reaches a startling breaking point, Irene is there to pick up the shattered pieces. 

Solace made me feel seen and understood. This powerful film addressed an inner battle to make a resolution to my past body issues. Black girls and women much like Sole have to be encouraged to break through this glaring cycle of hatred, of not valuing what is before us. Although societal standards still vouch for European ideals, Omawale’s important film instructs Black women to embrace the distinctive shape of their bodies, to accept their appearances in all its facets. Haven’t we been punished enough already in this world? 

Furthermore, Solace is an experimental expression that not only discusses the Black female body, it blends together grief in a coming of age narrative, sexuality/sexual politics, and art form.