Lena Waithe & The Beauty of The Chi
As an African American female artist of all sorts, I found great pleasure in seeing my city on a premium network. It made me smile to be able to vocalize all of the different landmarks that pinpointed where each scene was so effortlessly shot. I find myself looking so forward to watching The Chi, cuddled up in my bed in Atlanta, because it truly takes me back home from the time it comes on until it ends. From one black voice to another, Lena Waithe, I thank you for all that you have visually made possible. I thank you for your continued authenticity and lack of fear toward being a maven for the city with the highest death rates as of late. I thank you for understanding the pertinence of putting our city and all of it’s uncompromising and truthful glory on the screen so that everyone can see that we are talented just like New York and LA. We absolutely are not born with guns in our hands, but with the power of the largest weapon in our spirits, if people just take the time to not prejudge us when they hear where we are from.
Lena Waithe you are so wonderful in the steps that you have left for those of us coming behind you. Being black, gay, and female makes you a triple threat in the eyes of so many. But as you said, “Being proud to be gay, black and female makes you a revolutionary.” I couldn’t agree more and I look so forward to everything that you will do after this. Lena Waithe is from the south side of Chicago. One of the most dangerous areas in the entire city if you ask channel 5. She spoke with the New York Times and gave them the real on what actually happens here. It was absolutely beautiful to read what she had to say on the city that bred her on the eve of the March For Our Lives walk that brought out hundreds of thousands expanding on the fact that we are trying to make things right. At home first, but then around the world. So thank you as well Ms.Emma Gonzalez. She has been doing her thing and now stands tall as the first African American woman to win an Emmy for comedy series writing. According to the NY Times her favorites were “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World”. Ms. Waithe was a TV writing and producing major at Columbia College Chicago. My dream school, that I let slip through my fingers because I decided that it was too much financially. A mistake I feel like I made long ago. I was excited that she spoke about being hired in 2009 as Ava Duvernay’s assistant on her directorial debut. It made it feel good to know that two black female staples in the industry had to put the work in first. Ava Duvernay was 32 when she picked up a camera. Inspiration lives and dreams just get old, they don’t die. In her Emmy speech she said something so profound when addressing the LGBTQIA community it shook me. “The things that makes us different — those are our superpowers”.
In college, I always felt like if I could only be like other people that decided to major in Nursing or Economics, or even Real Estate. I’d be secured in my position post grad and I wouldn’t have to worry about the hard work that comes after this. But I was not. My love for art, music, literature and the foundation of dreams set me apart from so many people that it made me lose friends that I felt like didn’t see the vision. But my discernment and will to continue were my superpowers. I know that now. I took the time to watch the Thanksgiving episode of ‘Master of None’, a Netflix series featuring Ms. Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari. In the show they go through a series of different Thanksgiving dinners. Most with Lena Waithe and her Indian friend Dev, played by Ansari, becoming closer as the years continued and her confiding in him with the exclamation of her recognizing she was gay all along. Her mother, played by legend Angela Bassett, is not so forth coming of her coming out. Lena, who plays a character named Denise follows up to her mothers reaction with “At least she didn’t disown me.” In explanation to Dev that being gay in the black community makes your parents feel like they failed you and they obviously went wrong somewhere in the process of your upbringing. It was touching because as vague as the term “gay” is, it’s been ruffling feathers for centuries. Women like Alice Walker felt like she had to hide who she was and what she loved because of these same things. I like that Lena Waithe is here and what she brings to African American media. She is a gracious red rose in a field full of yellow tulips. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Y’all know I love Issa, but Lena maybe giving her a run for her money in my heart.
Stay tuned and catch “The Chi” on Showtime.
The Storie Will Be Televised