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March 11, 2009


Kiko Jones

Interesting take. I wasn't aware of this flick. Let me ask a non-rhetorical question: do you believe this movie is simply trying to look at a slice of of SF gentrification--in this case, black/white--or does it just plain miss the boat, in leaving the shade of brown out of its focus?

I ask vis-a-vis El Cantante, in which Lavoe's wife's point of view is a valid one, but not the definitive one, as J-Lo suggested in interviews.


I don't think the story is framed as just black and white. The characters are black and I think the director assumes that the audience will understand that the definition of whiteness is the exclusion of all persons of color (regardless of ethnicity). I don't think its absurd to use the black characters as metaphor for "people of color" and a sense of otherness.

Also being "black" & latino or "white" & latino are not mutually exclusive. We have no idea if Micah or Jo are latino - and we have no idea if any of the people discussing gentrification are latino either - not by appearance alone. I say this as a nuyorican who is the color of Sanaa Latham. I could've been Jo in this movie. I am black woman of latino heritage.


Nikki, thanks for the comments. You are right, Black & Latino aren't mutually exclusive, and it's entirely possible either of the leads could be Blacktino.

But POC and Black are not interchangeable, sorry. And both a lot of whites and a lot of Blacks tend to frame it that way -- if we discuss Blacks, we have covered all the non-whites. I actually checked the credits in case some of the folks in that discussion scene were Latino. They weren't (that I could tell).

I saw the movie with a whole slew of Black folks of various shades, national origins, upbringings, some who had lived in SF, some who had not. Most of 'em agreed with me.

I guess as someone who experienced SF gentrification as something which displaced a whole slew of folks, it irked me to see that issue reduced -- like so many issues that affect POC -- to the Black-white dynamic. Thass all.

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