Review: The Birth Of A Nation


Hauntingly beautiful.  The words that echoed from my spirit as I watched the strange fruit hanging from the trees in Nate Parker’s passion film, The Birth of A Nation.  As I sat in theater 2 of the Hollywood Theaters, not in Hollywood, but in Washington, Pennsylvania, the only woman and person of color among a total of 5 moviegoers, I could feel nothing but overwhelming pride.  I knew beforehand that this film was going to be violent and perhaps at times gory, which in fact it was.  The Birth of A Nation boldly replicates its name from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racially charged yet cinematic masterpiece.  Both films portray violence against women, radical racism, and the psychological effects of America’s greatest sin, slavery.

As an upcoming actor, writer, producer and director myself, I felt the film served justice to not only the black man in a redemption of his masculinity but echoed an eerie truth in violence against the black woman particularly as it relates to the division of the black family.  Aja Naomi King portrays Cherry, a battered slave with an unwritten scarlet letter of abuse by men, not only white ones.  When we first meet Cherry, she is on an auctioning block paraded in front of a slew of white slave owners, including Sam Turner.  Parker does a remarkable job at demonstrating the sexual perversion often accompanied at those auctions.  From men groping their privates to the auctioneers claims that this “wench” would be worth every penny, Parker does not go astray from the wicked truths embellished during this period of American history.  Nat in essence, became Cherry’s savior by suggesting to his childhood friend, now owner, that he should in fact purchase Cherry as a gift to his sister.  This manipulation tactic was key in order for survival.  It was the least he was able to do in protecting Cherry from a life of rape, yet as we see in the film he wasn’t able to fully protect her, the black man never was.

Parker never claimed that everything portrayed in the film was 100% historically correct so I will not fault him in it and neither should anyone else.  Hollywood is based on the premise of storytelling, that’s the very core of it all.  The film serves as an important stepping stone in propelling diversity in Hollywood.  Received by a standing ovation at Sundance and immediate Academy buzz amongst the controversial #OscarsSoWhite debacle and a record breaking $17.5 million distribution purchase by Fox Searchlight, The Birth of A Nation was everything I expected it to be.  A revolution in cinematography and artistic venture the film captured beauty for ashes.  Plenty of reviews have been written about the film and each have embodied their personal opinions as is their Constitutional right.  However, as a woman of color and an actor myself, I find it disheartening to read some to the feedback that even other people of color have bestowed upon The Birth Of A Nation.  Many have used Parker’s personal life as a catalyst in discrediting this masterful film, to them I say “Shame on you”.   With so many people of color being victimized in police brutality these days, it is a wonder that anyone would speak negatively about such an artistic accomplishment.  No one is ever an expert especially when it comes to a debut, but at very minimum we should support and encourage the continued development of the storyteller.  People of color come from a history of brokenness and it is no wonder that to this day we are unable to support each other in note-worthy projects.

I have never, nor will I ever condone violence, particularly those grievances against women.  However, what I will not do is speak negatively against someone who has had the burden of being a black man in America.  I’ll never know what it is like to be a black man, but I certainly know what it is to be a black woman in America.  Modern day racism exists and the more society turns its nose up to that, the more fallen citizens there will be.  I’m proud of Nate Parker for not only bringing to fruition a project that needed to be told, but for creating work for people of color.  Work.  It is my hope that more meaningful work will continue to appear thus giving actors like myself an opportunity to completely and honestly embrace our craft.  What most fail to realize is that as an artist it is impossible for us to flourish unless we give back to society.  Giving back equates to demonstrating our craft.  Opportunity enables that to happen.  So, yes, perhaps The Birth of A Nation did not receive a stamp of approval from everyone in Hollywood but as an undiscovered actor, it gets an unprecedented 5 stars.  The time for change is now.




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I almost forgot about the all time foolery on this week’s episode of Scandal!

Part 2 of my review on this week’s episode of Scandal…..Huck did what?

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Anji Ray talks about the foolery on this week’s episode of Scandal….Guess who’s coming to dinner?

I couldn’t wait till this episode was done to get my review done! This week my favorite person to hate was poppa Pope. He is a hot mess! See what I have to say about the shenanigans that was going on tonight. Fierceness is an understatement.

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An Anji Ray Review: Catfish Season 2, Episode 14 “Keyonnah & Bow Wow”–Girl, Bye!


They say, “God only watches over fools and babies.”  Well, chile’ HUNTY, God must have Michael and the rest of the angels keeping watch over Keyonnah.  Yall, I wasn’t going to give this episode much attention, but given the fact that mention of it has seeped onto MOST if not all my social media sites, I’ll dedicate a thought or three.

1.  Keyonnah, for lack of better words, is a bit special.  Nev and Max KNEW from the moment they opened up that email, that Ms. Keyonnah was either challenged, delusional, or a very balanced combination.  Personally, I think she is lying about receiving $10k from a stranger who is claiming to be Bow Wow.  She knew she wasn’t communicating with no dang gone Bow Wow.  Point. Blank. Period.  And she wasn’t.  Come to find out, the Facebook Page that claimed to belong to Bow Wow, the one she had initially “Liked”, supernaturally disappeared. This doesn’t sound good.  CLEARLY!

2.  Fast Forward.  Max and Nev are in a hotel room, sorting out the details if this is really Bow Wow or not.  ITS NOTTTTTTTTTTT!  Yall are too grown to be playing up for the cameras like this.  Too grown.  Nev and Max head to the KeKe’s house to say they “came up” with a few things.  They got in touch with someone at MTV’s studio and asked if that person knew Bow Wow’s assistant.  They did.  So, why didn’t they just reach DIRECTLY out to Bow Wow.  Yall see where I’m going with this?  I’m skipping over all the details because this episode is stupid.

3.  Last point.  KeKe finds out that the MAN she was planning the rest of her life with after 4 months, was indeed NOT BOW WOW, but a GIRL named Dee Pimpin’.  Who has managed to have fooled tons of mentally challenged rachets into believing that SHE was really a HE.  Even down to the bedroom antics.  Something about lamb.  And of course you know the rest.  KeKe is super embarrassed and can’t believe that the person she was planning a lifetime with was not Bow Wow, but she kinda of guessed it wouldn’t be, but she would have never guessed it wasn’t even a man!  Poor Keke.  Poor lil Keke.  Dee Pimpin'(who claims to be a rapper, but once Nev “googled” the name, no search results were found) insists that she would do anything for KeKe and her baby if given the chance. sHE’s sorry.  Girl, bye!  The Real Bow Wow on the other hand feels extremely flattered and seems to have missed the whole point.  See for yourself here Bow Wow’s Response to Catfish .  Missed the episode?  That’s okay, catch up by clicking here Catfish: “Keyonna & ‘Bow Wow’ “, Season 2 Episode 14

What do you guys think?  Fake or Real?

Till next time loves.  Muah!

Anji Ray

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‘Scandal’ Recap: Fitz & Olivia’s Affair Leaker Revealed On Season Premiere

Great rundown!

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An Anji Ray Review: Scandal, Season 3/Episode 1 ….”Its Handled”—Whew, chile!

Check out my review on the explosive season 3 premiere of Scandal! My favorite quote for the night hands down goes to Olivia’s daddy…..”…and let’s just be clear, I am the Hell & High Water”. Lawd Jesus! Did yall watch? Thoughts?

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the Unwritten Rules: An Explosive New Webseries Focusing on Corporate Truths

Ahhhhh! I just love when I come across a good web-series and I think I just may have come across my newest YouTube fix. “the Unwritten Rules” is a phenomenal series which focuses on the hidden truths of what it really means to be “The Only One” in a corporate American office setting.

Creator Kim Williams, a humble and witty writer brings a fresh perspective on race relations within the work place by leaving no stone unturned. Already in Season two, with 3 more episodes to go, the series has explored cultural truths, blind ignorance and idiosyncrasies that most of us in corporate America have experienced. Enough of me babbling, check out the latest episode “We’re Not THAT Close”. Let me know what you think and don’t forget to subscribe!

Starring Aasha Davis, David Lowe, Sara Finley, Balbinka Korzeniowska, Kayla Ibarra, Kayla Ibarra, Ebenezer Quaye, Ebenezer Quaye, Lyn Ross, Gabrielle Christian, Imari Düren, Tyra Richards & Christina Mendoza Lopez.

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Some days are worse than others

Some days are worse than others.  Most of the time, I just try to stay focused, positive and prayerful.  But there are days like today, October 1st, that bring me to a very real reality and sometimes I’m uncertain of what the future holds.  Being an artist is one of the most challenging things to master, but then if you weren’t an artist….what would you be?  Artists are born artists, they’re not made.

Some days are worse than others

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I have REBUKED the oil demons!!! Milk of Magnesia….the Holy Grail for oily face!

This is part 3 of 3…..enjoy!

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The Cure To An Oily Face! Milk of Magnesia!

This is part 2 of 3……

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