The Story Behind + Reviews
+ Reviews are aimed at fostering a love for critical analysis and creating a space for accountability. Leisure is the spice of life. Media in the form of literature, film, stage, and other art forms are particularly important tools for Black people in America because they give a space for thorough thought, scholarship, and unrepentant commentary on life in this country.
By: + Team
These art forms can also be used to negatively depict Black people and ‘others’.
+ Positively Black will review a wide range of books and publications for the site including non-fiction like The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala, and fantasy & science fiction like The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. There is a book geek on the team so you are in the right place if you love to read. If you are not a big reader, and you’re interested in reading more this year, then even better, we got you. There may also be a Bridgerton review or other Netflix review here or there.
+++++ means it is timely, appropriate, engaging, and we loved everything about it.
There are a total of five pluses in a + Review based on the quality of the creation, and half pluses are deducted based on the Trope Test.
Tropes to watch for are Mammy, Sapphire, Jezebel, tragic mulatta, Uncle Tom, Black brute, welfare queen, angry black woman, magical negro, etc. This will include other considerations (like the acknowledgement that there are indeed Black and/or Brown people.)
The whole thing could sound dreary if mindless consumption is your thing but the goal is to think through what we consume because anti-Blackness is vigilant and virulent. And all good stories make the consumer ask questions, that is what makes them kind of beautiful.
+ Reviews is really about rethinking stories.
Why do we love them, what do we love about them, and what are they trying to say about us? Who is telling the story? And why? What are they actually saying about us? And how does it translate to our everyday lives? + Reviews is for you if you are interested in the answers to any of those questions. They will also cover key takeways and other interesting notes and quotes. Anything goes.