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NNN Episode 192 - #EmpireFinale

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Topics: On Nerdtastic News, the teaser trailer for the live action "Attack on Titan" premiered.  The Black Owned Business of the Week features K. Tempest who was the genuis behind “K Tempest Challenge”.  Check out her Patreon to support her work in podcasting and book reviews.  This week is all about that Empire season finale!


NNN Episode 191 - #nonCSWMbooks

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Topics: On Nerdtastic News, talked about cool Buzzfeed list about 23 Struggles Only Book Nerds Will Understand. The Black Owned Business of the Week is Absynia where you can buy beautiful handcrafted jewelry.  This week discussed the “K Tempest Challenge” where people challenge themselves to read authors other than white straight cis male authors for a year.  We share 5 books we recommend to read for the challenge.  For more recommendations, check out the #nonCSWMbooks tag on twitter.

JP Fairfield's Picks

  • Living Large anthology with Rochelle Alers, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, Francis Ray
  • Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History
  • Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
  • Bayou graphic novel by Jeremy Love
  • Half-Resurrection Blues by DJ Older 
  • Minion (Vampire Huntress Legend) by L.A. Banks

Melissa's Picks

  • Big Machine by Victor LaVille
  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones (or Lost in the City or All Aunt Hagar’s Children)
  • Americanah by Chimande Adichie (or That Thing Around Your Neck)
  • Before you Suffocate Your Own  Fool Self by Danielle Evans

DeAna's Picks

  • Kindred by Octavia Bulter
  • The Complete Stories by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Repatriation of Henry Chin by Isaac Ho
  • Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

NNN Episode 190 - #DearMe

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Topics: In Feedback, we get some good recommendations to check out Cecile Emeke's poem 'Fake Deep' and the British series 'Some Girls'.   On Nerdtastic News, Sony announces they are also making an All-Male Ghostbusters which completely undermines the All-Female Ghostbusters project.  Nice one, Sony Pictures. HBO Now is finally stand-alone but only if you use Apple products.  Our very own DeAna was featured on a Buzzfeed article about Geeky Women discussing sexism in geek culture.   Our Black Owned Business of the Week is Flowers from Fatima.  Get cute hair flowers accessories whether clipped, bow, or bobby pinned!  This week, we decided to do our own #DearMe advice to ourselves.  The #DearMe campaign is a Youtube project encouraging women to share advice they would give their younger selves in celebration of International Women's Day.


NNN Episode 189: Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher Review

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Topics: RIP to Leonard Nimoy who pass away at age 83.  We take the time to express how Mr. Nimoy made an impact in our lives.  Next, we congratulate Nilah Magruder for winning the first Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award.  For #BlackComicsMonth, interviews Mikki Kendall who's writing a Swords of Sorrow comic for Dynamite Entertainment.   This week we review the anime movie, Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher.  Lastly, we talk about House of Cards. Spoilers people Spoilers!


NNN Episode 188: TV Squees

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Topics: Discuss the NY Times interview with Ackee and Saltfish creator.  Our Black-Owned Business of the week is Diligent Hands who specializes in handmade wooden purses and accessories!  

This week we talk about the difficulty sharing our experiences as a black woman in regards to critiquing gaming community and mainstream white feminism(tm).  We start off mentioning how late Sony in denouncing GamerGate then Patricia Arquette's tone deaf comment at the Oscars about wage equality asking for gays & POC to "fight for us now".  Speaking of the Oscars, our opinions of Neal Patrick Harris' hosting.  

Next, we recap the lastest episodes of Empire, Sleepy Hollow season finale, Constantine and Gotham.  We say goodbye to Parks & Rec, Glee and Justified while imploring Supernatural & Bones to hang it up and end the series.


NNN Episode 187: #TGIT

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Topics: Netflix rumored to create a show based on Legend of Zelda while Marvel finally get back the rights to use Spiderman in a feature film but it pushes back Black Panther... BOOOOOO!!!  Our Black-Owned Business of the week is Rachel Stewart Jewelry who specializes in hand-made earrings, necklaces, rings, and more!  This week is all about #TGIT!!!  First, we discuss... well JP discusses Grey's Anatomy then we dish about Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.  Get out your wine and popcorn... it's time for TGIT!


NNN Episode 186: Review of Black Feminist Blogger

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Topics: Sad news. Monty Oum, 'RWBY' Creator, dies at 33. RIP.

In Nerdtastic News, follow the awesome twitter event #BlackComicsMonth hosted by @MizCaramelVixen to learn about Black comic book creators and titles plus participate in the huge giveaway contest throughout the month of February.  Find more information at

Please support Inda Lauryn, our awesome guest last week, in her youcaring campaign.  Give what you can and signal boost!  Let's come together as a black geek community and support!

This week we review the webseries, Black Feminist Blogger, created by Aph Ko.  The show follows Latoya's navigation through the competitive landscape of feminist blogging.  Check out the show on Youtube and Facebook page. 

Next, we discussed latest episode of Empire.


NNN Episode 185: Interview With Inda Lauryn

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Topics: In Nerdtastic News, we discussed a new app called Tiny Apps which is a floating multitasking suite. Our Black Owned business this week is Urban Heirlooms, a seller of leather bags and accessories decorated with vintage keys.

This week we welcome our guest host, Inda Lauryn.  You can find her at her site, Corner Store Press.  She has written for various sites & publications such as For Harriet, Black Girl Nerds, and AfroPunk.  Check her out as moderator at the Wiscon 38 panel: We Usually Have To Racebend for this Cast.   As always, we ask our nosey nerdy questions, discuss the X-Men:Apocalypse casting, ABC throwing money at Shonda RhimesFantastic Four Trailer, Sleepy Hollow, and Galavant.


Go See Selma

There has been massive buzz and effusive praise for Selma, yet we all know the dangers of too much effusive buzz. You can ride high on that wave but the silver screen reality often leads to massive let down. Nevertheless, if I were any less full of praise for Selma, I would be lying. Ava DuVernay has created an inspirational masterpiece.

Selma covers the trying times of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches. That were led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film benefits from keeping the focal point to a moment in time rather being a biopic centered on MLK. Although Martin Luther King Jr. is the core, things doesn’t stop with him. The story zooms out past the notoriously patriarchal retellings of the Civil Rights Movement to include the women who were there.  

Special attention is paid to Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey), Diane Nash (Tessa Thompson), Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo -- her second time as Mrs. Scott King!) and Amelia Boynton (Lorraine Toussaint). Selma shows how women were some of the first to act, working behind the scenes and walking on the front lines, risking their lives in effort to gain the right to vote. While the film makes it clear women had just equally important and dangerous roles, they don’t get nearly the time they should. Selma just barely passes the Bechdel test. I would have really appreciated one more scene of women talking amongst themselves.  

Although each character is based on a real person, far too often the passage of time flattens out their dynamic humanity; they become sainted and sanitized. This is particularly true of Dr. Martin Luther King. Whiteness has taken Dr. King’s legacy and turned it into their “personal puppet that says “I have a dream” when you pull the string.” Concerning the recent unrest in the U.S., some have suggested that the modern protests be more like days of old. That black people need a sensible, peaceable leader like Dr. King; completely ignoring the fact that he was assassinated by the government anyway.

Luckily, Paul Webb’s script clears strips away that revisionist history. We get to see Dr. King and Coretta as completely human people who struggle with their personal faults, as well as the dangers and sacrifices they had to face. David Oyelowo is a revelation as Dr. Martin Luther King. His speeches feel fresh and engaging. You can see why Dr. King was an enthralling leader, but also how the burden of leadership wore on him and his family.

Selma takes you to backstage of the Civil Rights Movement. We are witness to fraught and frustrating meetings between Dr. King and Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson). We’re also witness to how those in the movement reacted to knowing they were being bugged and watched. We see disagreements about which way the movement should go and how civil disobedience works as strategy. We find out how the march --which was a plan B -- even came to fruition.  We see why SNCC and the SCLC did not always get along. That even though the goal of freedom is shared, the path to achieve isn’t as agreed upon as revisionist historians might have you believe.

Not only is Selma meticulously directed and wonderfully well acted, it is gorgeously lit with strict adherence to the period. Each beautiful image slide across your eyes in rich tones, with lighting specifically calibrated for African-American skin tones.

I wanted to cheer at the end of every speech. Witnessing the violence in scenes of the march made my blood boil, but Selma isn’t a film about pain and crying. I know many have reservations about seeing another film where black people suffer, but Selma is more than that. Selma is a film about bravery, fighting for what is right, and following through. I’ve never seen so much of the audience remain seated through the credits, transfixed by what transpired.

If past is prelude and considering our current political climate surrounding civil rights, Selma feels prescient.

I was lucky enough to experience Selma before the current controversy about LBJ’s portrayal took hold in popular discourse. This burden placed upon the historical drama (not documentary) began when Joseph A. Califano Jr. (President Lyndon Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs from 1965 to 1969) inked a review for the Washington Post that included this sentence:

“In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted — and he didn’t use the FBI to disparage him.”

LBJ was supportive of the CRM, however, The March on Selma was not LBJ’s idea. Although in the movie LBJ does not march with Dr. King and tries to dissuade him from demonstrating, he isn’t a villain in any sense. The film portrays LBJ as admittedly begrudging but ultimately relenting, in agreement with MLK, and getting the VRA passed. LBJ is on the right side of history and justice, yet folks are still very upset.

Another controversy surrounding the movie is the Oscar snub. Nicole Sperling writing for Entertainment Weekly quotes a member of the notoriously majority white, senior citizen, majority male academy who says, “It’s almost like because she is African-American, we should have made her one of the nominees,” says one member. “I think that’s racist. Look at what we did last year with 12 Years.”

(Infogram courtesy of Lee and Low)

Ladies and gentlefolk, what we have here is a case of the privileged being absolutely unable to deal with the fact they are not always heros. They haven’t always been The Help we need and often been on the wrong side of justice and history. Even when the very deserving 12 Years A Slave wins awards, it’s not something Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o accomplished, it’s about what the academy members did. It says, “Your work would have been nothing without us. Aren’t we so kind to do this for you?”

The truth is Selma is actually excellent in every sense. Selma is about those who did the footwork. Those who spent their time and their bodies to achieve what is promised to every American by the Constitution. Selma is about how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.

Go see Selma.


NNN Episode 184: "Selma" Review

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Topics: Read feedback about our Episode 183: Mid-Season Premieres show where a listener realize we kept calling Magnitude from Community, Pop Pop and another listener joins DeAna in her hatred of Anthony Mackie.

In Nerdtastic News, NBC eyes "The Wiz" as it's next live musical and Anika Noni Rose options the "Bone Street Rumba' series by Daniel Jose Older for film/tv.  Our Black Owned business this week is Amelda's Butter who provides bath and body products such as body butter and sugar scrubs.  

We review Selma this week plus discuss the Oscar snub and Anthony Mackie's comments concerning Selma Oscar Snub.  Thoughtout show, DeAna feels smugged that her dislike of Anthony Mackie has been, once again, proven right.