Entertainment

In ZORA. More on Medium.

How authors and artists are making a space for us in science fiction.

Illustration: Dani Pendergast

Whether here on Earth or in a galaxy far, far away, there is a dire need for representation. Thankfully, Black writers and creatives are bringing a new hope for the future of diversity in the vast worlds of science fiction.

Despite a bevy of writers releasing or publicizing science fiction and fantasy that centers on people of color, some of the most-anticipated fantasy realms remain whitewashed. Yet, there is hope. A handful of enlightened publishers and film distributors are catering to a large and growing audience of…


When racialized horror gets too deep, some viewers tune in while others tune out

Amazon’s Them (officially Them: Covenant) is out, and let’s just say Twitter has largely not been here for it. Over the weekend, the series trended heavily. Executive producer Lena Waithe was dragged relentlessly as many erroneously pegged her as the series’ creator and writer. (Let’s be real: Some of the venom directed Waithe’s way is residual from her 2019 film, Queen & Slim.) But Them’s creator and main writer is newcomer Little Marvin. Very few biographical details are available on Marvin, but he is an alumnus of corporate America.

To fuel the horror in Them, Little Marvin turned to California…


This Halloween, get into these real-life magical Black girls on TV and movies

Spooky season is underway, and it’s the perfect time to binge some Halloween classics like The Craft, a creepy 1996 drama about four teenage witches creating chaos with their magical powers. Among these witches was Rachel True, one of the only Black cast members of the now cult classic.

Since The Craft, movies and TV shows about witches and magic have become commonplace, and because of True’s breakout role in the genre, we’re seeing more Black and Brown faces creating magic on our screens.

“[Rachel True] is one of many Black actors in the world of fantasy and science fiction…


From ‘A Different World’ to ‘I May Destroy You,’ we share the on-screen bonds that show the beauty of how our chosen family shapes and holds us

Photo: Natalie Seery/HBO

This feature originally appeared in our weekly newsletter, Keepin’ It 💯. Subscribe here so you don’t miss the next one.

In a year where we’re fervently searching for joy, Netflix’s Strong Black Lead is supplying us with a heavy dose of it in a lineup of classic Black sitcoms set to stream on the platform. Today, Girlfriends will be available on Netflix, and we are hype. We’ll be reunited with Toni Childs, Joan Clayton, Maya Wilkes, and Lynn Searcy, four dynamic women traversing the complexity and fullness of Black sisterhood. The quartet gives us an on-screen bond that illustrates the…


Get wisdom and guidance from women who’ve been where we’re trying to go

Black woman leaning back with earbuds in.
Black woman leaning back with earbuds in.
Photo: Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

As we learn a little more about ourselves each day, it is important that we open our minds to new and fresh perspectives. On our journey through self-development, it’s inevitable that we will meet face-to-face with the most unfamiliar and vulnerable parts of ourselves. Thankfully, in the face of uncertainty, we can seek clarity and learn by listening to the experiences of the many women around us.

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular tool for sharing current events and self-help tips, as well as igniting conversations that go beyond the surface. Although hosted by Black women, this curated list of…


‘Talking Black’ doesn’t make you cool. It makes you racist.

A photo of Awkwafina.
A photo of Awkwafina.
Awkwafina attends the 35th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival — Virtuosos Award held on January 18, 2020 in Santa Barbara, California. Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Images

Cultural appropriation is a racist practice that devalues a culture’s history and language and thus disrespects its origins by claiming something to be your own when it’s not. It’s fairly commonplace, with non-Black people appropriating anything from clothes to hairstyles. But the appropriation and theft of African American Vernacular English, also known as AAVE, particularly by non-Black Asians, is a form of appropriation that isn’t as commonly discussed.

This year, East Asian rapper and actress Nora Lum, known professionally as Awkwafina, gained a lot of criticism for her constant code-switching. When she emerged as a public persona under her stage…


With her new game, Eunique Jones Gibson is bringing joy, laughter, and hope in a time when we need it most

A photo of Eunique Jones Gibson.
A photo of Eunique Jones Gibson.
Eunique Jones Gibson. Photos: Melena DeFlorimonte, M. Shonell Photography, LLC

Do you recognize the acronym for this viral Keke Palmer quote: “STTM”? How about this phrase, commonly heard in church services: “HMNCWYWHBHAROT”?

If you know what these letters stand for, then you’re already on your way to playing #CultureTags, a new family game where players must guess the meaning of an acronym before time runs out. With categories like Songs and Lyrics, Daily Sayings, Church, and Black Twitter, it’s a celebration of all of the moments that make being Black magical.

CultureTags’ creator, Eunique Jones Gibson, is on a mission to honor Blackness in all things. She’s known for her…


From handling her own glam to an uptick in sex toy sales, the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star shares her work-at-home secrets

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss had a lot planned for May 2020. Not only was Mother’s Day weekend supposed to be epic, but Burruss intended to celebrate her daughter’s high school graduation, the RHOA reunion taping was destined to be a hot, wonderful mess, and Xscape was planning a few nostalgia performances.

Enter the pandemic.

Riley’s graduation ceremony is postponed until (hopefully) July, RHOA went virtual with its taping, and Burruss had to do her own hair and makeup for the May 10 show. …


Mindy Kaling’s new Netflix show found a way to tell a story about Indian Americans with compassion

Photos: LARA SOLANKI/NETFLIX

Adolescence was a hairy, painfully cringeworthy, bittersweet time for Brown girls growing up in the United States. And Mindy Kaling (and several other writers, producers, and directors at Netflix) took that moment in time and packaged it into the 10-episode debut season of Never Have I Ever, a series filled with irresistible joy, endearing vulnerability, and the representation so many Indian American girls have never seen.

I (obviously) binged this entire series in less than a day after it premiered, as did most Desi girls in the U.S., …


A roundup of things to occupy your downtime during these days of coronavirus isolation

Erykah Badu. Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Do

Because gyms are shut down to flatten the curve, why not work out in your living room? Do a series of jumping jacks, squat jumps, burpees, push-ups about 20 times for three rounds and you’ll be solid. Add a 30-second plank at the end if you really want a challenge. — Morgan Jerkins, senior editor

Check out

The web for free mini concerts by your fave celebs during this time of #socialdistancing, such as John Legend and Erykah Badu — Vanessa De Luca, editor-in-chief

Follow

Maryam Hasnaa on Instagram. Spiritual teacher and energy worker Maryam Hasnaa’s thought-provoking posts and captions will help you…

ZORA

Bold, yet refined. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store