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Approaching a new era

March 29, 2018

 

TAMARIA WILLIAMS
Staff Reporter | tmw055@latech.edu

 

WILLIAMS

 

If you have not seen headlines pertaining to how black people in Hollywood have been dominating the entertainment industry and making a huge cultural impact on audiences everywhere, then you may be the only one. It is no secret that cultural excellence is in full force, which makes me wonder: are we embarking on a new black renaissance?

 

I say this for many obvious reasons. One being that the highly anticipated film “Black Panther” has shattered many records within its first month of being in theaters. The king of Wakana continues its reign as the movie recently hit its $1 billion mark at the global box office, making it the fifth-highest grossing film of all time and the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time.

 

This year also marked the first time in history that two black directors hold the top two slots at the box office. Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” debut weekend gave her the number two slot at the box office behind “Black Panther.”

 

With Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” the director won his first Oscar, crowning him as the first African American writer to win in the best original screenplay category at the Academy Awards.

 

Sterling K. Brown became the first African American to win the award for outstanding male actor in a drama series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. In addition, the “This Is Us” actor took home an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, which made him the first black actor to win the award since 1998.

 

And of course, women’s empowerment is in full effect as up -and-coming comedian Tiffany Haddish became the first black female stand-up comic to host Saturday Night Live this past November.

 

I say these now embedded marks in history because I cannot help but to be solemnly proud to see that being black in America has not been lost, but given prominence. I uphold these cultural truths because now when we look at television, we see people that look like us that are writing their own history. I am now more optimistic than ever about what the future holds for black audiences everywhere.

 

Of course, this would not be the first time that we have dawned on a new era, but it would be the first time that people in our generation get to experience one. The Harlem Renaissance gave us artists like Langston Hughes and Billie Holiday that we will all treasure forever. Now we have all the black girl magic we could ever need with Yara Shahidi and Issa Rae. But perhaps, this new era could serve as our generation’s Harlem Renaissance.

 

Tamaria Williams is a junior communication major from Haynesville who serves as a staff reporter for The Tech Talk.

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