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Lena Waithe On The New Golden Age Of Black Cinema

Black Women in Entertainment

Lena Waithe On The New Golden Age Of Black Cinema

From Black Panther to Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle In Time, cinema’s Harlem renaissance is upon us.

The 2017 Emmy Awards was a night of firsts. Atlanta‘s Donald Glover became the first black man to win Best Comedy Director. Sterling K Brown bagged Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in This Is Us – the first black actor in 19 years to do so.

Ava DuVernay picked up four Emmys for 13th, her documentary about the disproportionate number of black Americans incarcerated in the US.

And Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her memorable ‘Thanksgiving’ episode of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None. In her speech, which moved audience members to tears, she thanked ‘everybody out there who showed so much love for this episode. Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.’

A few weeks before Lena’s Emmy win, we spoke to her about ‘Thanksgiving’, which she wrote and starred in. Largely based on her own life, it’s both a coming-of-age and a coming-out story. It’s full of hilarity (her character, Denise, dates someone whose social media handle is NipplesAndToes23) and heartbreak (her mother’s response to her sexuality is both…

 

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Chrysalis

I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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