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Jonita Davis is a writer, film critic, and professor. She’s a member of NABJ, AAFCA, a Rotten Tomatoes critic, and an adjunct professor.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work as creatives. This is especially true for BIPOC creators who have statistically been the target of the virus, the racism, and also the economic fallout from the pandemic. It is an important time, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic lifestyle, we must capture the stories of how BIPOC creatives learned to pivot and thrive under the circumstances, or how they simply survived the isolation and fear of the year-long ordeal. These stories are complicated by the social justice landscape that changed so dramatically during the same period of time.

I encountered Daniel Lawrence Taylor as Nick on the British IMDb TV show Timewasters. The show premiered on June 11 on IMDb TV (check your Amazon Prime channels).

Daniel Lawrence Taylor plays Nick in ‘Timewasters’. He created and wrote the series as well.

It follows a group of friends, Nick, Jason (Kadiff Kirwan), Lauren (Adelayo Adedayo), and Horace (Samson Kayo) as they journey, by way of a pee-soaked elevator, back to the roaring 20s. Nick is the most practical and the “leader” of the group. He’s also the one who is most aware of their situation. However, Taylor doesn’t just play Nick. He created the show and wrote it!

I got a chance to…

‘In the Heights’ set piece at the Drive and Drag event in Chicago.

In the Heights depicts the Latin community of Washington Heights in New York City. I am personally proud that is it releasing at a time when so many people can enjoy this musical look into the culture. Much of this country is still made of spaces where the only brown faces are those of over-tanned farmers. These communities of white people go generations without having Black and Brown people in them to interact.

How do they learn about cultures? From tv and film. That’s why In the Heights is more than appropriate for school districts where there are less…

It is always a pleasure to talk to the people who work, hands-on, with the narrative of a series or film. Oscar-nominated editor Joi McMillon is one of the best in this business. Her work on Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad and Janicza Bravo’s Zola helped two very different narratives center two Black women at a time when Hollywood is having trouble seeing us. (See more in “Army of the Dead and Hollywood Have a Black Woman Problem”) McMillon says that, despite the time period and topical differences, editing the two stories did uncover some important commonalities. …

Hollywood has a diversity problem. It’s not the one the industry attempts to tackle every time a “race” issue crops up. On the surface, the job is getting done. Like marketing teams scrambling to make sure that there are black and brown faces in the background crowds and on the film posters. I’ll admit that an impressive amount of melanin graces screens everywhere in every theater these days.

I am here for it.

Films released in 2021, no matter what the genre may be, have a range of skin tones and even genders. Army of the Dead delivers in this…

When my mother “found Jesus,” she changed in more than just her social habits and attire. Somehow, the church had convinced her that we, her children, were the source of her oppression.

Trey and I were especially proof of her sins as we were born out of “the bonds of marriage” and to two different men. Never mind that my father was the same man who spawned her younger three children. And, it also didn’t matter that she was closest to the two of us because we became the helpers she depended on after the divorce. …

After screening the film The Killing of Two Lovers at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I had a few questions for composer Peter Albrechtsen. In my review of the film (here), I noted how the “sound” of the film seemed as much character as David and Nikki, the troubled couple played by Clayne Crawford and Sepidah Moafi. According to Peter, the sound was “designed” to be noticed. He proceeded to how the “sound” of the film contributed to the story and so much more.

Here’s the interview a year later, edited and abridged for brevity and timeliness.

Why did you…

Executive Order premiered at SXSW 2021, a debut film for director Lazaro Ramos. However, it was not his first time on a set. Ramos has an extensive filmography as an actor in film and the theater. I had a chat with Ramos about his film, his career, and what it means to be a black creator these days.

“This is my first movie as a director. I’m an actor from, since I was 10 years old. And [Executive Order] is my first step behind the cameras. I wanted to make a movie to touch the people.”

Sharing Stories of His Brazil

He talked about his…

It happened in January with Krystina Arielle, host of the Star Wars podcast. At some point, she rubbed someone in the Star Wars fandom the wrong way. To get back at her, they combed Arielle’s Twitter feed for the perfect post. Upon finding it, the person screenshot and reposted a simple misreading of Arielle’s post that should have been easy to clear up. Instead, it opened a Pandora’s box of trolls that were only tamed when the official Star Wars account spoke out against the behavior. Even then, it was a while before the controversy died down.

Arielle was the…

This spring, the news is stuck on immigration reform, minimum wage hikes, and stimulating the economy by depositing cash in the bank accounts of millions of Americans. The goal is to help the working class, immigrants, and people who often find themselves at the mercy of not only poverty. They are often the most preyed upon populations in the banking sector as well. In fact, millions of people will be receiving their stimulus funds in the form of a check. This is where the problems begin, where the banking industry gets their claws in on the biggest legal scheme in…

Jonita Davis

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