The Take

Video Essays & Snapchat Scripts

The "Quirky Black Character" - How Black Creators Challenge Stereotypes

The Quirky Black Character dares to be dorky, imperfect, and most of all, themselves. Their nerdy obsessions and screwball antics are deliberate rejections of the one-dimensional, often offensive Black caricatures that long dominated film and TV. But the history of the Quirky Black Character’s rise is one of having to constantly fend off criticisms of whether or not they’re perceived by audiences as “Black enough.”

Black Swan - A Cautionary Tale about Perfectionism

Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a cautionary tale about toxic perfectionism. In the final moments of the film, Natalie Portman’s Nina thinks she’s destroying her rival ballerina, Mila Kunis’ Lily, but in reality, she’s destroying herself. On stage, we see her at last fully become the black swan, now free from the controlling repression of the “white swan” within herself. So, what are we to make of this ending?