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I Tried It: A Night at the Opera I Tried It: A Night at the Opera

If I had to guess about my first real introduction to opera, it was back in the Napster days. I was in high school, and like many other kids who knew how to use the internet at that time, I was frequently solicited with musical requests once my parents got wind that there was a tool that could let you download all…

Jenifer Lewis Is the Mother of Black Hollywood and She Has the Receipts to Back It Up Jenifer Lewis Is the Mother of Black Hollywood and She Has the Receipts to Back It Up

It seems as if you can hear her laugh from miles away. Her smile is so bright it lights up the darkest theater, cabaret, movie or television screen. Jenifer Lewis—of Black-ish; Broadway’s Eubie!; the films Beaches, Poetic Justice and What’s Love Got to Do With It, among scores of others—is fearless. That’s a good…

I Tried It: I’m Not Mad at the ‘Come Meet a Black Person’ Event Organizer and You Shouldn’t Be Either I Tried It: I’m Not Mad at the ‘Come Meet a Black Person’ Event Organizer and You Shouldn’t Be Either

When I told my mother I was going to the “Come Meet a Black Person” event in Lawrenceville, Ga., she readily told me, “Pickeny gal, a mind dem a nah sum ku klux klan sin ting yah nuh.” This is Jamaican patois for “It’s a trap!” My friends also warned me that it was a trap.

Denzel Washington’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. Isn’t Exactly What You’re Expecting, but What You Might Need to See Denzel Washington’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. Isn’t Exactly What You’re Expecting, but What You Might Need to See

I walked into Roman J. Israel, Esq. with an open mind. I knew that director Dan Gilroy’s previous film Nightcrawler was dark and gritty. I also knew that Denzel Washington, before his most recent appearance in Fences, had taken a leap into the world of dark and gritty with his award-winning performance in Training Day…

Mudbound Is Another Exhausting Tale of Inequality and Racism in America, but at Least It Was Executed Properly Mudbound Is Another Exhausting Tale of Inequality and Racism in America, but at Least It Was Executed Properly

When there’s historical blackness in film, it’s usually displayed through slavery or Jim Crow. There’s never really any in between. But there is a very palpable significance in remembering, reliving and recognizing black history and respecting how far we’ve come (even though 2017 mirrors the past more times than…

These 7 Young Futurists Are Already Changing the World These 7 Young Futurists Are Already Changing the World

At The Root, we love to celebrate young people who are excelling beyond belief. Year after year, our list of Young Futurists reminds us that age really ain’t nothin’ but a number. That group of 15- to 22-year-olds always impresses us with their tenacity, passion and ability to turn big dreams into reality. Here, we…

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ ... but Do We? ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ ... but Do We?

I remember the first time I saw She’s Gotta Have It, Spike Lee’s groundbreaking, critically acclaimed and very first “joint,” which premiered in 1986. When it debuted on HBO a year later, I was 12, a latchkey kid, and the parental controls that would lock me out of my parents’ premium channels after school had…

Tracing Your Roots: Do I Have Gullah
Roots? Tracing Your Roots: Do I Have Gullah Roots?

A reader wonders if her family originates from a unique coastal Southern community that has retained many West African traditions.

The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Not All Mailbags The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Not All Mailbags

Today’s Clapback Mailbag is dedicated to last week’s mailbag. I know this sounds like some Inception-level shit where we make references to a mailbag inside a mailbag about the mailbag, so I will include some new stuff, too.

Tech’s Whiteness Is the Problem. Are We the Solution? Tech’s Whiteness Is the Problem. Are We the Solution?

Last week, Twitter said it was “pausing” to reconsider the process by which it bestows the blue check mark denoting accounts that had been “verified,” and on Wednesday the company announced that it was yanking the designation from some users who occupy the neo-Nazi or nationalist bucket of grassroots white activism.…

I’m Tired of Hearing About White Men’s Penises I’m Tired of Hearing About White Men’s Penises

A Los Angeles woman accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of sexual misconduct while the two were on a USO tour to entertain American troops nearly 11 years ago. The woman, Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio news anchor and occasional Fox News contributor, says that she kept quiet about the incident for so long because…

Justice League Is Trash and a Desperate Money Grab, but You’re Still Going to See It Justice League Is Trash and a Desperate Money Grab, but You’re Still Going to See It

The universe was giving me every sign that Justice League was going to be trash. I asked four friends, who usually love going to the movies, to go to the Justice League screening and the collective answers were “I’ve got Bible study,” “I’m mentoring” and “I’m sleeping,” until finally someone said, “I guess, since the…

Wakanda Forever: On the Importance of Black Panther Wakanda Forever: On the Importance of Black Panther

The time has finally come. After waiting 20-odd years (read: my entire life), we are finally on the eve of Black Panther’s arrival. And by “eve,” I mean that finally, Black Panther will be the very next Marvel film to grace our eyeballs.

Tell Them We Are Rising Brings the 1st Documentary on Our Nation’s HBCUs to PBS Tell Them We Are Rising Brings the 1st Documentary on Our Nation’s HBCUs to PBS

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who brought the story of a revolution to the screen with The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution, has once again encapsulated an enormous piece of black history with the first documentary that focuses on the history of our nation’s HBCUs.

The Real Anti-Blackness of Comedy  The Real Anti-Blackness of Comedy 

Tiffany Haddish has had quite a year. From her breakout role in the film Girls Trip to landing her own comedy special on Netflix, Haddish has become quite the household name. Recently she had the opportunity to be the first black comedienne to host Saturday Night Live in the show’s 42-year run. While much of the…

Every Argument Against Commonsense Gun Control Broken Down to Its Idiotic Nonsense Every Argument Against Commonsense Gun Control Broken Down to Its Idiotic Nonsense

Baby killing is bad. It is difficult for Americans to come to a consensus on almost anything. Some people think Kevin Hart is funny. There are people out there who believe Beyoncé is fair to middling in the looks department. The Root employs a full-blown Nazi. (She isn’t a white supremacist or anything, but she did…

‘Sometimes I Just Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore’: On Black Children and Suicide ‘Sometimes I Just Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore’: On Black Children and Suicide

A scarred brown palm flew in the air. A squeaky preteen voice followed: “Can you tell me how to cope with suicidal thoughts? Because sometimes I just don’t wanna be here anymore.”

A Guide to Fantasy and Science Fiction Made for Black People, by Black People A Guide to Fantasy and Science Fiction Made for Black People, by Black People

Last week, Marvel unveiled a line of Black Panther character posters that snatched the souls out of every living melanated human being. Black Panther (1966) was the first black superhero in mainstream American comics, later followed by characters such as Luke Cage (1972) and Black Lightning (1977).

Tenn. Teacher Suspended After Video Posted to Social Media Shows Hijab Being Removed From Student’s Head Tenn. Teacher Suspended After Video Posted to Social Media Shows Hijab Being Removed From Student’s Head

Another day, another video leaked of ridiculous behavior in a school. This time, video circulating across the internet shows a student’s hijab being pulled off her head even as she tries to hide her face and readjust it.

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