JEWELS: Cecile Emeke Is Delivering Realness
Casually strolling through twitter, I stumbled upon a tweet from Mashable sharing a link with the words:
"Finally, a witty web series about the everyday lives of modern black women..."
While I was thinking, 'mmm... I think there has been witty web series about the everyday lives of black women (i.e. Awkward Black Girl),' I did immediately click the link and what I found was awesome shhh*t. What Mashable introduced me to was the hilarious "Ackee & Saltfish" created by Cecile Emeke. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPu-DN58KuM?rel=0] 1. These bantering best friends are british. 2. These bantering best friends are british and west indian. (yas queen) 3. These bantering best friends are british and west indian, talk about lusting after Common, the foundation of their friendship being Lauryn Hill and wanting to be adopted by Solange. Um yessssssssssssss. It's truly a riot. I quickly watched all five webisodes and then ventured off into what else this channel had to offer, which is where I found this amazingness:
Cecile created a series called strolling and later this french version, flâner. Each webisode documents real conversations on various social, political, everyday topics and the first of the series was strikingly super profound and enlightening to me. Friends, Gaëlle and Christelle discuss black french culture, the movie Girlhood, afrofuturism and life in Paris. My first "yassss" moments is where they get into the fact that some Americans cannot really grasp what it is to be french and black while they on the other hand, have an understanding of being black in America and being an American in general. I think this point is so important!
This point these gals get into isn't hard to believe. I feel like some Americans do often forget there is so much more, there are other ways of living outside of our own, other ways that are valid. There's a vibe that the rest of the world revolves around us. And when some of us travel to other countries there is a sense of entitlement and it is expected that our surroundings adapt to us (especially speak English). Most of us have a very surface/cliche idea of what different cultures are about. As Christelle says, to most Americans, Paris is simply croissants and a white dude with the cheese... probably also throw a beret in there and bam you have French culture. I think it's important to explore other cultures but also to do so with humbleness and an open mind. Connect.
Another vivid moment is where Christelle says that something like "Black Lives Matter" would not even happen in Paris. Woah. While I often feel frustration of not enough happening to resolve race issues in America, I remembered Paris and probably many cities around the world may not even have the same opportunity/freedom or room for expression as we do. And I also kind of wonder why that is and what is the history of blacks in Paris/France? How does that story go? As a person who wants to spend more of my life traveling and will also be in Paris in October, *twirls twirls twirls* I really appreciate these ladies sharing some insight into their world and Cecile for creating these works. I'm a huge reveler in hearing the perspectives and points of view of others. I have a never ending need for being as informed as I can be while moving through life and forming my own opinions and beliefs. And I feel like my view is a bit broader.
Check out more of Cecile Emeke's work here and another goodie below.