November 29, 2021 | 12:44 pm
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The perception of Black Women and beauty

Black women have often been overlooked when it comes to traditional standards of beauty. Director, Jennifer Holness joins Dope Interviews to explore that issue as addressed in her documentary Subjects of Desire.

The film was made to explore the historical narratives that place Black women outside of the dominant standards of beauty and examines the cultural shift in beauty standards towards embracing Black aesthetics. The film deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.

It’s a can’t miss conversation for people of all backgrounds!

The interview transcript can be read below. (Please be advised an auto transcription service is used and the transcript is not 100% accurate and will contain typos and errors.)

Warren Shaw 00:41
What’s good everybody and welcome to another episode of dope interviews brought to you by 19 Media. I’m your host Warren Shaw. And today on this week’s episode, we are diving into the film space. As we’re recording the American black film festival is popping it is live it is going on. And one documentary is making a lot of noise in this festival. And I’m so excited to have a special guest with us here today on dope interviews. We have Jennifer wholeness, the director of subjects of desire, this film, this documentary, it captured my attention captured my wife’s attention as we were watching it, and we’re like, Yo, what a layered layered layered situation. Like that it almost has me speechless. Jennifer is here with us the director, just how are you, Jennifer? Like, congratulations on your success, but just how are you?

Jennifer Holness 01:30
I’m great. Thank you, Warren for inviting me here. And I am so thrilled to hear that both you and your wife saw the film and your thoughts about it. Because you know, like, I really wanted to make a film, that would be a conversation piece within a community. You know, and like, you know, you know, husband, wife, young people, you know, generational, all of that kind of stuff. So this is like, awesome.

Warren Shaw 02:01
So I could read a quick blurb I can read what’s been given to Me in the press release and the whole nine. But I have you, right, you’re here, you’re with us. So in your own words, just what what inspired you about this, you know, what, what was the genesis of this film for you.

Jennifer Holness 02:18
Um, so I have three daughters. And when I, when they were a little bit younger, they’re all teenagers. But when they were a little bit younger teens, early teens, I witnessed something that was a little bit disturbing. It was one of my daughters who went to an all girls school, of which there are only one other black get kid in her grade, I heard her friends talking with her about how they loved her booty and how they love her full lips. And I thought wow, this is like not when I was growing up. Nobody was loving the booty, other than you know, within our community. And, and you know, and the whole lips thing. And so I so then I started to talk to her, you know, so what do you feel about this, and I actually thought I was gonna get like, you know, I’m popping, I’m, you know, all of this kind of stuff. Instead, it was kind of like, it was definitely her, her discomfort with herself with her, you know, with her, her complexion with her body, all of these things. And I was like, I was really sad. It made me sad, because I thought, you know, with all of this sort of like incredible black celebrities that we can now look to to inspire us, you know, you know, Viola Davis, you know, Lupita, Beyonce, Rihanna, like the whole gamut. I thought like, things had changed. And then I realized it really hadn’t. And so then I thought, I needed to look into why my daughter was feeling as negative about herself. I did when I was a girl. You know, I’m saying I’m well past all of that. But when I was a girl, I felt those things and I just wanted to look into that. And then I thought, You know what, I thought I’d seen a lot of dogs about hair. And I’d seen some Doc’s about colorism. And the ones that were really popular were often from black men, who I think didn’t get the story, right. I didn’t, I don’t think they got the story, right, because it kind of blamed black women. You know, it made fun of us. And I just thought I wanted to do better. And I wanted to have a comprehensive look at what all of this was.

Warren Shaw 04:50
Well, it’s almost like your my notes here. Jen goes, Yeah, you know, I mean, we’re gonna touch on some of those topics specifically, but we’re gonna go one step at a time, baby step this thing here a little bit. No, but I mean, I think it’s such an important answer. You know, I mean, a lot of times you get, you get your creative spark by what your personal experiences are right? And it sounds like, you know, you having to relive some of the things that happen to you now see those things come back to fruition, you know, for your own flesh and blood. And it’s like, yeah, let me do something about this. Let me let me try to, you know, sound the alarm here on actually what’s going on. So congratulations to you, you know, for for that and even to your family and your daughters for having the courage to speak to you openly and honestly, about what they were feeling in that moment. I want to ask, just how long did this documentary take to put together and its totality?

Jennifer Holness 05:40
Yeah, um, so what it was. So this was 2017. And I immediately said, I wanted to, I knew what I wanted to do. And here’s the thing I have, I have been in my career, mostly a writer, and a producer, I have produced like six or seven feature docs, and document TV docs, and including Michelle Stephenson. Her latest film, stateless, you know, which just came out last year. But I hadn’t directed a documentary in like, a long time, like a very long time. I worked with my partner said, Sutherland, who’s a director and I produced his stuff. And so I, this is all just to say, when I decided I wanted to make this film, let me tell you, there wasn’t this bandwagon saying, hey, black woman, let me support you. In fact, it was it was kind of like, well, you’re not known as a director, or, you know, like, a lot of white commission editors were like, I don’t think this story is anything. Why are we caring about beauty? We should be concerned about economics is sex success. You know, why do we want to have women objectified? And I’m like, it was I even had one woman say to me, Oh, you’re attractive black woman, you’re more you’re more attractive than me. So this is this is a non issue. I kid you not. I mean, I was so shocked. I was told it was a non issue. And so I had to really battle. This perception that this was not valuable or relevant, because it wasn’t particularly the concerns that I’m assuming that, you know, white women and had, you know, because, you know, let’s, let’s face it, what my documentary points out is that white aesthetics and beauty has been the standard for a very long time, right. And so I think, as the standard, there, there was a sense that this wasn’t a thing. And the harm and the narratives around black women that have done so much damage, continue to do damage, continue to define our scene and our opportunities, like this was completely dismissed as irrelevant. And so I, you know, and so it was about, like, it was a journey, where to be honest, my partner suds was instrumental in me continuing this work and making this documentary, because if it was for those early voices, I would have just, you know, stopped. But, you know, again, I also couldn’t, you know, I just had to make it happen. So it was there was some challenges.

Warren Shaw 08:39
Well, thank you for your perseverance, really. And truly, I mean, you hear stories like that, unfortunately, still way too much where nobody wants to hear that, or that’s not an issue when it comes to telling stories of, you know, black people in general, and even more specifically, black female. So again, it takes a lot of courage to kind of continue on and pushing through and, you know, very, very glad that you did, there are. Listen, there are a lot of topics covered in this in this documentary. So when I’m watching, I’m like, Oh, snap. Oh, damn, oh, this too. Oh, we’re going there. And it was just like, kind of coming racism colorism, hair texture, their perception of black beauty, just in general. How do you decide how much time to kind of devote to all of those topics that are in this?

Jennifer Holness 09:29
Or? That’s a great question. I mean, I think here, here’s the thing. I’m a bit of a structuralist, and so which I’m very grateful for, because this was a very comprehensive look at black female beauty. I was actually inspired by Ava DuVernay. I mean, she inspired so many people, but when she did the 13th I thought I am well versed in the prison industrial complex. but the way she put that film together, it gave us a context that I think other films might not have done. And I really appreciated that context. That context pinpointed some of the points of entry. And I said, when I in doing this film, without us peeling back the layers of where some of this came from, it would, in my mind, not lead to substantive conversations, you know, beyond, I really liked that film, or I got dissed by my hair. And I feel the same way. So. So what I’m saying is that I knew off the top, I want to bring a context that we hadn’t seen. And that meant going back to the source. So you go back to slavery, colonization, and then then you go back there, and then what is very clear, print these stereotypes. Yeah, right. And these stereotypes, why those stereotypes were created. And, and to me, it led me into understanding why it’s been important for, you know, uh, you know, the patriarch white system to maintain the stereotypes, and the fact that immediate, they’re so entrenched that, you know, some of us have taken them on as who we are, to an extent that is actually not healthy for us. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that, once I understood that I had to peel back the layers, I then had to really touch on the intersection of those narratives to how we felt about ourselves. Right. So, you know, the Jezza Bell, right, the, you know, the mammy, you know, like, okay, let’s face it, I showed in the film, a series of real memories from historical times, slim women, you know, well kept all this kind of stuff. The narrative of the mammy that has been so beloved, you know, has been sort of like, you know, fat old black woman, nothing wrong with a fat all black women, by the way, okay. But I’m just saying that narrative has been so well loved. Because it, there was a need for it, that need to show that we were just in service. And if we weren’t in service, we were a threat. And then we were sapphires. And so, you know, all of those things, though, were bound up in how we were allowed to present ourselves, you know, I’m saying, and, and so I really wanted to look at how they connected. The next piece, though, I think this was really instrumental for me to figure out how to make the film was, I didn’t want the film to be steeped in history. So when I came across the Miss Black America Pageant, and the Miss America Pageant, and that historic, those two historical events where protests are happening on the same day, across the street from each other, but one was this seminal white female protest, you know, you know, objectification of white women, and the other was black women protesting to be seen as beautiful, and to be valorized for all of her attributes. I just thought this had to be a part of the film. So that brought me into the world of the pageant. And of course, being talking about women and, and beauty. You have to look at things like colorism, you have to look at hair texture, you have to look at appropriation. So I mean, it was organic. I mean, it’s a long answer. I apologize. No, but there was a few things that I had to think about. And, and it actually was organic. And really, I hoped that I would have been able if I’ve been able to put all the pieces together where people got the story, and didn’t feel like I was veering off in too much places. No,

Warren Shaw 14:25
no, not at all. I mean, I think I’m always interested in the process, you know, hence the question like, Hey, how’d it how did we get to where you got to and when you unpack all of those issues, and again, as a black person in America, none of our issues are singular. I mean, there’s layers and layers and layers to kind of everything that we deal with on a regular basis. So I mean, I thank you for that. One of the topics that you’ve just even just touched on it is kind of like those stereotypes of the mammy, the Sapphire the Jezebel, you use some imagery though, right? Use some imagery, use some clips and some films and things that nature and I know I look again at that Okay, well, these are just illustrations, not necessarily character characterizations of like a Meghan good. Like, I think she’s like, you know, there’s an anchorman clip in there like that. So you’re not attacking these people who play these roles in these movies per se, but just kind of like, what is the feedback? Has there been criticism, maybe in that space about some of the imagery imagery that you might have used?

Jennifer Holness 15:22
But you know, so far, no. So far, no, in fact, so far, it’s been incredibly positive. But But here, when you look at that Anchorman clip, I mean, this is making good this woman is completely gorgeous, right? But look, what’s the characterization? Someone wrote that script? Yeah. And they cast the black woman there. And the idea this black with his wild sexual theme, that you know, wanting this, man, first of all, let’s be real here. Okay. But, you know, sorry. But, you know, but that would be the role that they would want to give a beautiful black woman, right. You know, and who’s sexy, you know, and, you know, and but like, there’s no power, there’s no agency, she’s just this wild animal who is, is, is like, enticing this poor innocent white man who can’t help themselves, you know, it’s that rape, you know, it’s, it’s, he couldn’t help himself because, you know, so I just thought it was just such a perfect example of the narratives that you know, over sexualized, animalistic, you know, wild, untamed, you know, and so, and for any black woman, I read a lot of stuff. I didn’t put it in any black woman who dates outside of the race, I can tell you, those are some of the things that people come and try to date some black women. I, you know, I’ve been, you know, trying to put apart black women. So, like, you know, these Natalie here, I mean, you know, look, I mean, you know, you know, Meghan the stallion, I love her, I absolutely love her. I think she’s incredible, and how, how she’s managed to build a career she has, first of all the talent, and that body yada yadi to say, is that, you know, Megan, you know, there is I want to see the different colors of Megan, the stallion, I want. I think that black women in the industry have made it so that we are not able to always express herself in the multiple ways that white women get to express themselves. And that’s what NDI re says, you know, that, you know, it’s not to dog like black women taking their power. But why is it that that is often the the number one way in which we are able to find success, particularly today, or as time goes on, it’s actually becoming more and more entrenched. And I have to say, and this is maybe a little bit controversial. I do think historically, our men have not been cognizant enough about protecting us, and creating a space where we are able to be many things in the entertainment space.

Warren Shaw 18:39
You know, I’ll challenge you only saying that I don’t think it’s controversial, you know, I mean, it’s if you’re not paying attention, like really, if you’re not paying attention, then you’re like, Oh, well, who me? No, bro, you right? And I think that’s that’s very, you know, very, very pointedly said, one of the things you alluded to and touched on a little bit was the agency to be whoever you are authentically. And I think that’s what again, some of the conversation my wife and I were having was like, Well, if I was watching this, and I was making the stallion, what I feel attacked, what I feel because, you know, I mean, I’m sexual in my persona, so to speak, but there’s a very different, at least in my opinion, shy, so I don’t want to put this on anybody. I think there’s a very big difference between sexiness and raunchiness. And like you can cross that line very, very easily. But I’m not saying that anybody’s doing those things, but I think that’s what I got out of it. I was like, Hey, you can be who you are, who you are authentically are and you don’t have to feel attacked by this. But you know, we’re in a very sensitive place in society right now. Let’s call it that. So I think people get feel like hey, are you talking about me? So I mean, kinda like what would you say to that? You know, I mean, cuz you’re saying hey, there’s agency in it, but there’s there’s also limits everything that you do as well too, right.

Jennifer Holness 19:52
What the Yes. You know, my attack is on the system and the structure Yeah, because the system When the structure once Megan to only be this, and here’s the thing, if making just wants to be sexy all the time you go girl. But here’s the thing about me, you know, as a woman that I’m, you know, well past being able to get down on the floor and like, do that thing. So you know, the knees, the knees, I don’t have a nice. Here’s the thing. I think that black women, like all women, but black women in particular, we are a sum of many parts. We bring a lot to the table. We brings compassion, beauty, groundedness, strength, kindness. Why is it then that all these other attributes that we bring to the table is rarely featured, when we are being cast in certain spaces? You know? So I, what I’m saying is, like, because I think women come in so much, you know, each individual will have so much parts to her. Why are we not seeing those other parts? And I suggest the reason we aren’t, is because there’s these boxes, there’s these narratives, and they box us in, and you know, and and it’s dangerous, and it harms our young people in particular. Right, it actually harms us. I had a screening recently at TIFF, Tiff, lightbox, and everybody knows the Toronto International Film Festival, big deal. And it was really incredible. After the film, this wonderful black woman put her hand up and she said, I have a daughter, and she wants to be an anchor person. And you know, she wants to be in front of camera. She’s beautiful. And she has really great hair. And about five years ago, she went natural and their hair was actually down to her back. And it’s natural Nikita and I said to her, and I’ve been saying to her. If you want to be successful in this industry, you can’t have that hair. What are you doing? This is not the hair you need to have. And she said and after I watched her film, I’m going to call my daughter and apologize. Because, you know, if she got it she and she said she understood that they were narratives that she had bought into that told her what a professional, you know, appealing black woman looked like. I’m saying, Now look, I know a lot of sisters that have already embraced the natural and so forth and whatnot, and all that. But generationally, there’s some of us who many of us actually who have tried to put herself into pretzels to fit into you know, spaces for success. Right. This film is telling us I think audiences why those spaces were created.

Warren Shaw 23:12
variables, variables, were chatting, Jennifer wholeness, Director of documentary subjects of desire. Be sure to follow her on social at her name, Jennifer wholeness, and follow that the film at subjects of desire doc, let’s take a quick break and we’ll be right back.

23:28
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Warren Shaw 24:01
What’s good everybody should boy one shot here and when I bet I bet my bookie go to my bookie and they will double your first deposit. use my promo code at my bookie and my promo code is dope. That’s D O P E dope for dope interviews, of course. And you can claim that deposit bonus here today. A lot of people think about my bookie and think it’s only about sports and let me tell you it is not to have profits that you can utilize for movies, politics and even current events. If you have a friend even better, you can use your referral link after you use my promo code of course, and use that referral link to send to your friends and you can receive up to 250% additional bonus dollars from my bookie. That’s my bookie using my promo code DT o p e dope and you claim your deposit bonus here today anywhere at anytime that all the time at my bookie using my promo code. And we’re back with Jennifer wholeness discussing subject of desire There’s many, many layers of documentary, Jennifer, the cast. The cast is though, like it represents intelligence, professionalism. And of course, beauty. Just how did you go about this ensemble kind of group of such great, great female, leading women out here? Just like how did you get everybody together like this?

Jennifer Holness 25:26
Thank you for that, actually. So in some ways, you know, the pageant the Miss America pageant is, is the spine of my film. If and I always intended to be the spine of the film, I hoped it would be the spine of the film. And when I reached out to Miss Miss Black America, folks, they were really kind enough to let me come and film some of the pageant, the 50th anniversary pageant. So already, just going in a space of beautiful black women represented in different looks, heights sizes, and these women who supported them each other already, you know, you’re going to have like, talent galore. Right. Ryan Richardson, for example, who wins the Miss Black America Pageant? Just class, you know, Sariah Nicole, who is this tiny little girl who didn’t wear heels with her incredible fro? And this voice, right? I mean, the voice. I mean, she was, you know, I had no plans on using any of the music from any of the contestants. But when she sang for us, I said to her, I need to have your voice in my films of talent, right? You know, Alex, Alex Jermaine, I have to tell you a little story. She, she’s the second runner up. And she’s in the in the desert. She’s this beautiful young woman and so talented. And I was watching the harder they, the harder they fall, just recently, and I’m looking and there’s the scene on the road. And there’s this gorgeous black woman and she’s sort of like she’s, she’s an extreme in the world. But she’s standing there. And I’m like, That’s Oh, Alex. She’s in it for real. Oh.

Warren Shaw 27:23
So don’t listen. But it’s

Jennifer Holness 27:25
so good. It’s so good. Um, but so you know, and her thing that she wants to be an actor, so I’m just saying talent. So that was it. Then let’s talk about indie Irie. I mean, I really, really want it into Irie in this film. And you know, for I think obvious reasons, black folks, I think you get it. But for me, I remember when video came out. And I remember feeling like she was speaking to me. She was speaking to a lot of women that look like me and, and here was the range of talent. It’s like Lauryn Hill to the range of talent that comes in the black community that you know, can be celebrated. And so I really wanted her in the film. I did not know India. But I knew a guy named lyric bent, who is an you know, a wonderful talented actor who starred in some of my earlier films that I produced in who’s a good friend, and he was in a music video with India. And I called him up and I’m like, Babe, you’re in this music video, India, can you help me? And lyric, lyric bent, stepped up, got India to talk to me, got her people to talk to me, or that I got on the phone. And I’m grateful. And I love this man. And I love India. So that was really terrific. There were some, you know, academically, there were some incredible women that I wanted to talk to. Dr. Cheryl Thompson. She is the one that I she, she’s in the film throughout the film, but I mean, she, she, she tells you that she she talked to me about so many things she talked about. She was the one that talked about how she took this photograph for her TED Talk. And

Warren Shaw 29:17
then they made her Yeah.

Jennifer Holness 29:20
Right. And I just thought though, and she she’s written a book, beauty in a box about black hair. And her knowledge, her historical knowledge is was so extensive. And so you know, so that was just like, so, you know, I think for me, I looked to people who I felt would really resonate more so than celebrity although I did try to get Ms. Lupita to narrate the film for me, and it didn’t happen. I love Lupita So I’m hoping that if not this one, the next one. But you know, so that I think that’s probably the only person who I didn’t get that I really wanted to get for the film. I have Rachel dollars all in the film, which is controversial to some

Warren Shaw 30:21
really good to Rachel here in a quick second. So, you know, quick second, I wanted to touch on this one thing, though, as well, too, because we touched on it like kind of like way back in the beginning, the male voice is kind of muted in your documentary. And that’s obviously on purpose. And, you know, we don’t need any mansplaining or anything like that to kind of take place in in this situation. But again, you know, that was by design. I know, there are some quotes and you know, Malcolm X’s, you know, the most disrespected person in America is the black woman, I think those things resonate. But that can’t just kind of going back to your earlier point, and that it was like, he didn’t feel like the guys were doing it doing a justice. So that’s why they had no part in your, like, you had your chance, stand off to the side, let me do this thing. Is that Is that correct?

Jennifer Holness 31:09
It’s like I said, I, I’ve been married to a black man for many, many years. Why adore? And I’m so I like black men a lot. But you know, when I started making this film, I didn’t know immediately that I would not have any black men in the film speaking except Malcolm X. Right? That was not my original intention. And I started, you know, researching and going online, and some of the things that black women were writing about black women, that black men were writing about black women terrified me. I didn’t know because look, I mean, I’m not on social checking, do doubt and all this kind of stuff. So it was it was it was gross, it was painful. It was hurtful. And Alex said it, you know, in the film, she says, you know, she’s not really seen other communities of men say I don’t date, you know, I don’t date Hispanic men. I don’t date white women. I mean, you actually find that once in a while now, actually. So we just find me some some some white brothers are like not, but because I started to hear that, but nobody was really alarming. And here’s why Malcolm X is in the film, not just because he’s Malcolm X and the legacy in which he’s left us. The power of his voice and his, his words and his deeds, just because all of that. But that clip was taken from him giving a lecture to a woman’s group, because Malcolm believed that the that black beauty that it was in, in fact, something that we black men had to step up for, he thought that it was social was a part of the social justice movement. It was political for him. Right? So it wasn’t just some random speech that he was giving. Right? He believed in a separate black pageant that honored black women. Right? So when I found that out, I was like, this is this is why Malcolm gets to speak in this film. And plus, I mean, he’s frickin brilliant. And then, and then I and, you know, I wanted the absence of black males. To have someone asked me why were there no black men speaking in the film? And we’re, and you’re the first person to ask me that question. I wanted black men to ask you that, you know, I’m saying, and because I like I love my brothers. Right. And I, and I’m, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m disappointed sometimes. You know, I was thinking about, I mean, recently, we’re talking about a shanty, and how a shanty had like, an entire album, that was hers. And then JLo, who we all love, came into the picture, and then JLo got to re record a bunch of her songs, and was then, you know, launched but those songs, yeah, that’s some dog anything. And that was done by like,

Warren Shaw 34:23
wow. You know, it’s frustrating, you know, there’s a lot of things that we do to our own people and know that, you know, we we shouldn’t be proud of, and then it’s kind of like you said, kind of done in the dark. And you know, can can be explained away for purposes of business or whatever the hell but I think the tide needs to be turning. I don’t know that it is, but it should be. Man, I think your documentary, especially in the way that is done because it’s one of the things I picked up on for sure. And I didn’t feel any type of way about it. You know, because again, I think like I like you say, we have our chance we we as males, we get had a lot of opportunity to do whatever a lot of times, whatever we want to do, and we don’t need to be injected into every single thing, like, you know, sit back and shut up and learn something. And that’s basically kind of how I felt about this about this documentary specifically. Um, I know we’re running short on time here running over spins like so. So amazing. Just wanted to get one or two more quick ones in here, you know, with you as well to kind of like touching back on, on Rachel. And then obviously, there was like this, the things that kind of caught me the imagery as well, to the IG models, people go out here like this, which is the true appropriation. I mean, of, of the culture and the skin color and the whole mind. And I love what Dr. Thompson had said also about Rachel’s, like, Hey, I have a problem with her. But acknowledge where the hell you came from, you know, and that regard as well, too. Was Rachel kind of easy to work with. And, you know, I mean, was she just very willing to talk? Or did you have to kind of coax her a little bit.

Jennifer Holness 35:54
You know, she, she was easy to talk to, I found her easy to talk to, actually, I found her vulnerable, and I found her in a hurt place. I think that I don’t agree with how she went about things. But I, in understate talking with her and she was generous with me, to be honest, you know, it, you know, I would have loved to hate it, or, but I did. I think that, you know, she loves blackness, you know, black culture, you know, blackness, and she spent 10 years living as a black woman on like, she didn’t slip out of it to go to like, you know, to the south. She you know, she she did that. And like, again, do not agree. And it’s like Dr. Thompson said, you know, own up to it from the get go, because, you know, we don’t get the privilege of slipping in and out or being or choosing. And let’s face it, as a black woman, and this is something I did say there, and she never really addressed it as a black woman, quote, unquote, she got to be a light skinned black woman, which is very value arised in our community. Right. So, you know, so there’s major, major problems, but I, I found her story, I found her genuinely expressing her comfort, and her sense of self, yes. In a black community.

Warren Shaw 37:55
Listen, I mean, we could do a whole nother episode and show on that and that of itself, because I think there are some parallels. And I don’t want to overstep per se, but you know, how people feel like, I was born to be this was, you know, I, I feel I am this or that or where the case may be. And I think that’s where she kind of maybe identifies that this is, how she feels her experience should be. And you know, you can relate that to LGBTQ initiatives and things of that nature as well to kind of in that space, but we don’t have time to go down that path as a whole conversation. Really is, before I let you get out of here, Jennifer, just like just, what are you working on next? Well, we got,

Jennifer Holness 38:44
yes, I am working on a new documentary called no harm. And I mean, I think this is a popular topic right now. But it’s about the medical terrorism that have been enacted on black women. And they are, the stories are too numerous to count. But I’m trying to find a way to tell the story that has context and will impact and because I do think that this whole beauty thing, the the it strips you from your power and lack of protection. And that lack of protection makes it easy for you to die in the streets and in official places like hospitals, and no one notice for decades upon decades. So I do want to I think that it’s thematically it resonates with me because of making this other film. So that’s something that I’m really excited about and passionate about. And you know, and and also I’m working up here in Canada A lot of people don’t know this, but a lot of the first American a lot of the early Canadians of which it was a quite a substantial community were African Americans. And and everybody thinks Canada is like, Oh, the cross the Underground Railroad and like, rah rah, they’re safe, and they’re happy. And so I aim to dispel that myth, and to actually show an entire history of black people that has been erased in Canada, and why it was erased and some of the real stories of black folks here in Canada so that’s some of the thing I’m working on is called BLK origin story. So those are two things that I’m working on that I’m very excited about.

Warren Shaw 40:44
You know why you’re amazing. You’re not worried about making friends, you’re gonna ruffle the feathers of these feathers are gonna get ruffled. You’re gonna lie on the truth and you don’t care. And I think on a pod unapologetically. That is that you’re gonna listen, I can’t wait to see you know, both of those projects and how they come out. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you so much for joining us. Shout out to my guest, Jennifer harness, hold this general wholeness here, the director of subjects of desire, like making all the ways in American black Film Festival and kind of everywhere right now she’s in Toronto, she’s everywhere. Like check it out. It’s amazing. I’m your host Warren SHAW Thank you so much for joining me this has been another dope interview we’ll catch you next time

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