Wednesday Round-Up: A New Movie in “Black & White,” Mixed Race Riots and Questlove on Trayvon Martin

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

It’s Wednesday and I have three meltingpot items to share in this week’s round-up. So, let’s get to it.

1) Kevin Costner and Olivia Spencer are getting ready to start filming on a new movie called Black and White. The film is about a custody battle between the grandparents – Costner and Spencer – of a biracial child. You can read about the stellar cast and the production in New Orleans here. I will definitely be watching the movie when it comes out, obviously, but I hope it doesn’t fall into stereotypes and generalizations. The set-up already makes me a little bit skeptical – Costner plays the father of the deceased White daughter and Spencer’s Black son was a drug addict. Battle ensues. You see where this could obviously end up, right? I actually like both principal actors very much and have much respect for the writer and director. I’m remaining optimistic and for now am just happy to see someone in Hollywood tackling the kind of complex issues that real people face on a daily basis. What do you all think?

2) Here’s a nice little piece from the New York Times about the history of Black and Irish mixing in antebellum America. The big takeaway from the story is that free Blacks and Irish were pretty much in the same lot of lower class status, so they often married and had families together producing a lot of Mixie children. And many people did not like this mixing business. To most of us Meltingpot readers, this is not news. Nor is it startling that, wait for it, 30 percent of White Americans have African blood coursing through their veins (I would guess it’s even higher than 30 percent, but that’s just me). But still, it’s nice to see the story in Black and White. Ha! Pun intended.

questlove3) And finally. The roots drummer, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, broke my heart with this essay titled, “Trayvon Martin and I ain’t Shit” in response to Trayvon Martin’s killer being exonerated for his crimes. Questlove basically bares his soul and shares what it’s like to be perceived as a threat for one’s whole life. It’s a really beautiful essay albeit painful and tragic. To read more about Thompson’s life, check out his new memoir, Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove.

That is all, dear readers. Do you have any tasty meltingpot links for me this week? I’m listening.


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