S. Denise Johnson Enterprises

Composing Ourselves. Composing Our World.

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Episode 3: Juneteenth and an Antebellum Sermon

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 2:15 PM

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Episode 2: Incidents and Sally Hemings Room at Monticello

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 2:15 PM

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Episode 1: Independence and Black Double Consciousness

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM

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Straight Outta Compton: Straight Into Destiny

Posted on August 22, 2015 at 9:40 PM

Straight Outta Compton: Straight Into Destiny

 

Stephanie Denise Johnson




 

I saw Straight Outta Compton. As always, when I make an effort to spend my money to go to a theater and see a movie, I left inspired. I think their story was well portrayed; it highlighted much of the ups and downs of their stardom. It has been pointed out that the film did not address appropriately the rampant misogynistic tendencies of the music and entertainment industry as a whole, nor the outright objectification and abuse of women. Yes, there are whores out in the world, male and female (let me be clear), and even they deserve respect, love, and motivation to make better decisions.


Let me not forget the backlash from those who oppose the validity of this portion of a genre of music that was not even defined as music or art at one point: yes, it is art.


Let me not forget the backlash from old school hip hop heads who only acknowledge the stereotypical black conscious/teacher rap as the true hip hop: yes, gangsta rap is your child that grew up to do a little something different and express itself in its own way.


What I especially liked about the film was its portrayal of each artist using his gift of creativity to express his reality, or his perception of it, in such a way that it could not be ignored by various demographics. From this example, it can be concluded that we must first accept the harshness of our reality, if it is indeed harsh, and express our grief, our grievances, our woes, our anger about it in a way that is passionately accurate and attuned to “the vibe” that enraptures it.


I left thinking about my purpose, my destiny. Have I done enough? Am I doing what I should? I developed an appreciation for Ice Cube as a writer, not just a gangsta rap pioneer. I didn’t know him much as a rapper back then anyway, but as an actor; Boyz in the Hood did that. But now, I see him differently, as a writer. During this group’s rise to fame, I must admit, I paid more attention to the little guy, who apparently wasn’t even a rapper to begin with, Eazy E. And with regard to Eazy, the film allowed me to mourn him, just as I mourned Michael Jackson, thinking: if only someone of real power could have reached them to help them. I wept for them both.


In our individual and collective journeys of life and our endeavors to be free beings, living out our ideals of happiness, we encounter harsh realities, and they are, of course, extremely undesirable. Can we tell these stories in any other way? Should we? Should we express our disgust over those harsh realities in any other way? Should we? No. To do so, would be self censorship and a watered-down regurgitation of weak complaints for the corporate suggestion box.

 

S. Denise Johnson Enterprises ©2015

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Always in loving memory of a great man of God and brother:



Royal Coils

Posted on December 14, 2014 at 11:55 PM

I was pleased to attend the Royal Coils Natural Hair and Beauty Expo hosted by Natural Trendsetters in Tamarac, FL.

This year's theme: "Hair Story".




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