Our February celebration of Black History Month (BHM) was a brilliant success. We were able to cover some of the most prominent African-American actors and filmmakers who have contributed mightily to horror, cult, & blaxploitaiton/exploitation cinema as well as touch on some retrospectives and topics that (we felt) seemed to be missing from our bigger, flashier horror outlets on the web.
See below for our full February 2018 lineup:
- Duane Jones, Night of the Living Dead, and African-Americanism in the Cinematic Heartland
- Black Zombie: Hollywood and the 80’s Voodoo Revival
- Blacula: A Cool, Sophisticated and Scary Cat
- Tony Todd: Candyman and Beyond
- Angela Bassett: The Timeless Queen of Prowess on The Big Screen
- Eddie Murphy: A Great
- Richard Roundtree: Still Shafted
- The Sounds of Horror in Black Music Part I: Screaming Out the Blues
- The Astonishingly Strong Message of Jordan Peele’s Get Out
- A Visceral Icon: The Legend That Is Rudy Ray Moore
- The Sounds of Horror in Black Music Part II: The Hip Hop Years
Regrettably, I had a handful of subjects that I desperately wanted to cover such as Pam Grier, Melvin Pebbles, Marlene Clark, the 1974 Blaxploitation film Sugar Hill, and Jamaa Fanaka and his Penitentiary trilogy, et al. But given the short month as well as our writer’s regular writing tasks throughout the month, we fell a little short on time and words. Since these subjects aren’t necessarily exclusive to the month of February, I figure we will give them some devoted proper coverage during our normal everyday writing endeavors.
Throughout the month I was inundated with a bombardment of questions, as well as vitriol, regarding why we chose to cover black actors, filmmakers, and subjects during a month “belonging” to Women in Horror (WiH).
I don’t think I’ve ever been challenged in the way that I was on such liberating, celebratory topics that we’ve covered for BHM. But I wanted to clear the air for those that I was not able to respond to as well as those of you who were not in the know.
As we are all aware, February has traditionally been the month we celebrate Black History. A time where we give praise to our greatest African-American contributors for not only their revered contributions to their respected fields but for their voices that helped bring civil rights and liberties to all and the bravery ensconced into a besieged history littered with hate, prejudice, and petulant thinking. And (sorry for getting political) the overwhelming deprecation that surrounds us today in the year 2018 is demarcated from the new regime that “We the people…” somehow elected into office.
Yes, it is true that hateful bigotry and racial injustices have been around long before this current regime has taken over the White House. Yes, it is true that the violence and riots that litter our nation in response to openly outward hateful decrees have been heavily weighted towards one area of people. What people fail to understand is despite those who are opposed to the segregation of people, the separation of border lines, and the mass incarceration of our brothers and sisters of color…we all still have a voice.
And, we here at The Dead Walk (TDW), wanted to use our voices for the greater good of the filmic arts. Especially where the contributions of black actors and filmmakers are largely ignored and cliché at best within the horror genre.
Nearly 10 years ago, I had this very idea for the first incarnation of this website. And despite our attempts to make it work, we fell flat. Now with our country in racial turmoil and actual blood running through the streets, we felt it was very important to remind everyone that our favorite genres are non-exclusive and include some great works made by black actors and filmmakers, some of which have failed to find an audience or a voice.
Hold on because I can already hear some of you clamoring! The same can be said regarding the strife women have been facing in the workplace.
The recent allegations of sexual misconduct and depravity throughout not only Hollywoodland but countless business and charitable corporations has left the world stuck in another disarray. The #MeToo movement has opened up the public eye to an institution of debauchery under power of authority. Men, women, and children alike have suffered at the maliciously inveterate acts perpetuate by top officials in power.
Despite the national turmoil of both subjects, one thing seemed undeniable to me when it came to the world of horror, cult, and exploitation cinema…women are fluently and prestigiously represented in these genres more than any other peer (and absolutely more so than the African-American counterpart).
When you think of the genre and women cohesively…you think Scream Queens who stood the test of time such as Barbara Steele & Jamie Lee Curtis, The Final Girl who goes through the film in absolute turmoil yet survives even the toughest of male characters such as Marilyn Burns & Sigourney Weaver, unabashed and politically incorrect sex symbols such as the ravishing Elvira Mistress Of The Dark & Linnea Quigley…horror is in love with the role women play in the genre and the fans are as well!
This is not to say that we place an importance or priority on BHM over WiH. On the contrary, we feel both subjects should be celebrated to the fullest and wish we could have contributed to both equally. The decision to go with Black History Month was all mine as Editor-In-Chief here at TDW. And when perusing our neighboring horror outlets on the web, I saw a plethora of content concentrating on our fabulous WiH who continue to be well represented and a staple in the genre.
In closing, we hope that what we brought for February’s celebration of Black History Month was engaging and insightful to you our readers. We are always looking to break the mold and you will consistently see us going into a different direction when we have the opportunity to. We look to bring you content that is not only engaging and original but also splattered in the stuff you crave.
We hope that you stay awhile. Thank you for letting us write for you.