“Jungle Fever” is a 1991 Spike Lee joint about a Black architect who has an affair with his White secretary. Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) are respectively from Harlem and Bensonhurst. Set during the period following the murder of Yusef Hawkins, the film not only charts the course of their entanglement but also the reactions of their friends and family.
A discussion of “Claudine”, a 1974 film starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones as Claudine and Rupert (aka Roop), two people living imperfect lives who meet and begin dating.
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin is a 1953 novel that is based on Baldwin’s life but is not an autobiography. Instead, the story follows a day in the life of John Grimes, a 14-year-old boy growing up in Harlem. The book explores John’s life in the present which includes his relationship with his family and church. But the pasts of the three adults in John’s life, how they intertwined and made them the people they are in the present, are also explored.
If you’re interested in learning about the historian who amassed a collection of 10,000 artifacts related to Black history and culture housed at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, then my Arturo Schomburg Black History Short is for you.
New Jack City is a 1991 Mario Van Peebles film about a Harlem drug kingpin and the local police force that is intent on bringing him down. Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) along with his right-hand man Gee Money (Allen Payne) and their Cash Money Brothers crew rise in the drug underworld as they expand into selling crack cocaine. The new drug brings large profits but also distrust among the once-solid crew as the neighborhood deteriorates due to violence and increased drug addiction which draws the attention of Scotty Appleton (Ice-T), an undercover police officer.