How To Successfully Survive A Jordan Peele Movie

Oh, my dearest ones! I have heard today the remake of ‘Candyman’ will be, is being pushed back till September, I thought I would do something a little lighthearted. You’ll thank me later, I promise. -JBHarris

What's Jordan Peele's new movie? Everything to expect in 2020
He’s brilliant. So very brilliant.

Let me preface by saying this: I am a fan of Jordan Haveworth Peele. I have been since I saw his President Obama sketched on Key & Peele on Comedy Central. I knew that he wrote for the show, but when I actually saw what he did for Get Out? I was a complete fan. Not just a fan, but a complete fan.

Note: The difference between being a fan of someone and a complete fan of someone is this. A fan is someone who likes a person, a thing or a concept and just that thing. A complete fan is someone that likes that thing/person; its cousin; their friends; the pie recipes; hash tags and follow everything associated on social media! I am a complete fan of Jordan Peele. Complete!

In this time of being self-quarantined/sheltering in place, this a perfect time to catch up on all the glorious genius of Jordan Peele and his funhouse of imagination known as Monkey Paw Productions. But, beware! Don’t be caught out there. A Jordan Peele/Peele-affiliated movie an experience. With any great, beautiful or dangerous adventure–you need a team to go with you! So, as I am here to help, let me tell you how to successfully survive a Jordan Peele movie.

1.) Go as a team. Preparing for a Jordan Peele movie/ Peele-affiliated movie requires the Buddy System. Don’t debate me on this. The Culture demands you have the Buddy System. You do not need to see a Jordan Peele/Peele-affiliated movie alone! This is for your own good! You need a group of people (at least 3!) to go with you. These are you EST (Emotional Support Team). A Peele movie/Peele-affiliated movie is ‘liable to have anything in it! You need a team, mane. You need a team.

2.) Emote in the correct parts. When I saw ‘Get Out‘, I was on the couch with my husband. From the onset of the scary music, I was invested. I wanted Chris to be okay, I thought Rose was trying too hard, and I KNEW something was wrong with Georgianna–horribly wrong! But with all that said, because Jordan can be so emotionally investing, it is a good thing to know when you need to be scared, and when you need to look at your EST–making sure you aren’t the only one that sees such a crazy thing happening alone! The laughs are help, trust they do, but you still need the EST.

3.) The Jump Scare. Bruh! I have never been the fan of ‘the jump scare’ because I had older cousins that made sport of doing that to me. And—I still hate them for that! With that said, Peele movies/Peele-affiliated movies have these–but they are so out the frame of where you really expect them (like Pluto in Get Out? Remember him! Bruh!)! Or where you think one will be–there isn’t!

Jordan Peele enjoys messing with your head.

Peele-affliated movies mess with your head.

See Step 1: Get your EST.

4.) The Easter Eggs. One of the reasons I am a complete fan of Jordan Peele, and everything he is involved with is because he makes his audience think (Pin: This is why writers need to be readers first!) and because he makes them think, you have to pay attention to what is said/not said/whispered. You have to watch everything! I am still picking apart Get Out and Us! There are still themes that I saw in these movies–even months later!–that I can see in pop culture and other literature. One of them being this mention of the Sunken Place was described is hinted at in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Don’t believe me? Read it!

5.) The Decompression Comedown. Oh, the dreaded comedown. When my husband and I finished watching Us, I was blown away! He doubled over in his seat, probably to catch is mind as it was blown from the seat in his skull! And what did we do when we got to the car? Talked! We talked about the ending (no spoilers!), we talked about the themes, we talked about Pluto (bruh! There is a dissertation in JUST their interactions), we talked about the scripture referenced (Jeremiah 11:11). We broke it down, talking for a couple hours! These types of movies inspire conversation, thinking, analysis and the compulsion to see the movie again.

The EST helps you unpack your head–because the Peele/Peele-affiliated movie-going experience will definitely be thought-provoking. Or should be! But I’m a nerd with fashion sense. I’m biased. And a complete fan.

I urge you to become one as well.

So, with Candyman being pushed back for release come September 2020, remember what I told you. And stay out the mirror! The year 2020 is not playing with any of us…no one needs to at that dude to anything.

*GET OUT, We Out, Peace Out: Who Did Y’all Think Rachel Meghan Markle Was?

Image result for meghan markle

I don’t know how long this process was in the works, but I in my Katt Williams voice, this is check and checkmate. Prince Harry of Windsor, the Duke of Sussex–with his wife, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, have ‘stepped back’ from their royal duties. Allow me to translate:  “I am leaving as soon as possible.”

Well, played y’all. Well played.

But the thing that I find most amazing is how it was done. Am I mad about this? No, not at all. But I wrote last year, how I was praying for Meghan and Prince Harry.  How I hoped, how I prayed that as formal, as unrelenting as a platform as being a British royal would be, that Prince Harry protect her.

The thing that most Black women are not afforded full privilege of! I remember how I got up and watched the wedding, and how gorgeous she looked, how happy Prince Harry looked–and yet, all of me that is Black and mother, remained coiled. All I could think is, “Don’t let them get her, Harry. Don’t let them get her.”

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'RESPECT Rogue Poledancer @LeratoMannya Prince Harry understands the importance of removing his wife from a toxic situation even when that situation is his family.'

From the press imagining this feud between her and the Duchess of Windsor (Kate Middleton), like they are Fergie and Diana reincarnated, to Prince Harry having to rise up on people that were coming for her, and the coup de gras? Some idiot on Twitter calling Baby Archie a ‘monkey’.

What I need y’all to know is, as woman, as a mother, as a person who occupies that intersection as one whom is Black? It is a miracle that Meghan didn’t burn something down! It is a testament of her grace, and the morality instilled in her that she didn’t become the stereotype of what the world thinks Black women can only be. The glorious thing:  my prayer was answered. Prince Harry protected his wife–with all power he could muster.

It was glorious!

But what I think is so amazing is how shook the world seems to be by their decision! Some men won’t defend their wives and girlfriends to the people at their jobs or crazy family members! So, the world is shook that he didn’t want his wife–HIS WIFE–to be exposed to the same toxicity which contributed to his own mother’s unhappiness? Be for real, y’all. Be for real.

Meghan couldn’t do anything right. She shouldn’t have had a wedding ‘so Black’. She should have worn more make up. She shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. Meghan shouldn’t have looked like she did right after having a baby! From what she wore, her baby bump, even what they named their baby! Dear Lord! How much was she supposed to take?

Herein lies the problem:  the world expects Black women to just take that type of abuse because that’s just what we do. Black women are seen as tragically loving mammies whom desire only to serve others. To die in pain with smiles on our faces–like Georgina in GET OUT. But the brilliant Zora Neale Hurston said this, “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it.” As I continue to live and learn, this quote manifests its truth on a daily basis.

In inhabiting this Black woman body, in encountering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune while inhabiting it,  I have come to three conclusions.

1.) White supremacy tells those that follow it that Black people, Black women, are props. We are to be confronted, controlled, and herded to the pasture of a master narrative.

2.) It scares some white folk when Black women don’t just smile and nod.

3.) In asserting any power over self as a Black woman, you have to be willing to go against what folk want  you to do.

The world wanted Meghan to take her Blackness, or half-Blackness with her–and leave Prince Harry; restore him pristine to be made lily white again. The world that hated Meghan–and perhaps hates her more now–wanted her gone, to reclaim Prince Harry. How dare they–how dare she–become, remain sentient, poised and leave where she was not respected?

How dare she refute all tricks and traps to be controlled by and in a world which only wanted to curse her to her face; devour her behind her back?

How dare Prince Harry do what was mentioned in the movie Belle:  ‘wed the exotic’?

And how dare they plot to leave a platform which is quickly becoming archaic? Add to the fact they see mixed in with the people whom disliked his mother on the best days, and served her avarice as ice on the the worst ones!

I am proud of Meghan.

I am proud of Harry.

I am relieved for Archie.

The joke around the internet is on their tour of North America and Canada, they visited her mother. In being in that space, where there was love being served they couldn’t go back to where there was none. I like to believe that is so. I like to believe that in speaking to her mother, as all Black girls do when life is heavy and dark, she was able to just be Rachel again. Not the world famous/infamous Meghan Markle.

Maybe she was able to emote. She could cry. She could be listened to–and she could plan. I mean the Windsors have a sorted history anyway! Exhibit A:  King Edward whom abdicated for Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American; not to mention he was anti-Semite and Nazi sympathizer! Never forget, Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, married the woman he cheated on Harry’s mother for!

Meghan decided to leave a place where they both were unhappy, to make their way in the world together. Isn’t that what any parent wants for their children? The thing is, no one expected Harry to follow her. No one thought this Black girl from California–with the Black Mama with the nose ring and locks–would be able to pull a Prince from the gilded cage of money and privilege! But, she did. They did. And why not?

Image result for meghan markle prince harry

It is glorious to see her still retain all of who she is. I think Princess Diana would have liked Meghan. And I think, she would have told her to leave as well. Remember my dear ones, love is action and power. When harnessed together, it is a force of tremendous good. Besides, the world needs to see Black women own their own space, being intolerant of mistreatment. And if need be an necessary, get all your stuff, and leave towards something greater. The age of the Happy Mammie is over.

 

*Special thanks to Hannah Drake of Write Some Shit who reminded me to weigh in. Love you, Ma’am. 

[Images from top:  instyle.com; author’s Facebook timeline; PageSix.com]