2015 Road Trip Photos #41: Black History on Montgomery Streets

Rosa Parks Stop.

A marker for the most life-changing bus stop in America.

Like our stroll around Birmingham on the morning of Day Two, we spent the morning of Day Six walking up and down the much wider, more gleaming, less shaded streets of Montgomery, Alabama. I’m terrible about remembering to check maps for scale and was unprepared for the fact that the state capital’s city blocks were two or three times larger than those of Birmingham’s comparatively claustrophobic downtown. Our walk was consequently longer and more draining, but no less dotted by indelible moments in state and national history.

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The 87th Oscars Nominations: Initial Random Thoughts and Lists

Selma!

The long march from Selma to the Dolby Theatre was stopped cold in its tracks by a fabulous year in white cinema.

The Academy Award nominations are in! But you already knew that. Like 99% of America, you likely haven’t seen too many of the nominees yet. The complete list is available in myriad locations (here’s the example I’ve been using for reference), so I don’t see a point in wasting time or space copying, pasting, and reformatting all that off someone else’s site. The nice thing about running my own site is I have no high-pressure word-count quotas to meet.

I’ve seen and written about three of the nominees so far — Birdman, Boyhood, and Selma — all of which I super-liked, all of which I wish could win all the prizes, one of which was dealt a far crappier hand than the other two by the elderly white voting majority of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Perhaps Selma‘s most egregious error was in failing to better balance the dual celebrations of black and white nobility like The Help did. Who can say.

The following lists and other thoughts popped into my head throughout the day while I mulled over this year’s honorees:

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“Selma”: For Your Voting Consideration

Selma!

Show of hands: who wants to read what another middle-class white guy thinks about Selma?

So much glowing praise has been written by countless others that I’m not sure my voice needs to count as anything other than a vote for “Yes, you should go see it now,” and this is apropos because voting was one of the key issues at stake in the famous historical event it covers. And what a simple pleasure it is to side with the professional viewing majority who’ve given it a landslide 99% rating on the Tomatometer, nicked slightly by thumbs-down from two white critics over 60.

It took forty-six years for Hollywood to produce the very first theatrical film about the great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Its predecessors are a few documentaries; an infamous X-rated film that shouldn’t count; two TV-movies, including the Peabody Award-winning Boycott, which sounds very interesting to me right now; and an Emmy-nominated animated time-travel adventure. Thanks to director Ava DuVernay (who previously appeared in last year’s Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself), the MLK film bibliography looks a lot stronger now.

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