In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo, File)

Elvis’s tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fifty years ago Elvis Presley sang a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr: "If I Can Dream." English professor Robert Morrison goes back to that moment and looks at the lyrics written in honour of MLK.
Killmonger, the evil villain of ‘Black Panther,’ has plans of global insurgencies to liberate Black people. (Marvel/Disney)

What Killmonger teaches us about Black history

The lead villain of Black Panther is a complex character who represents years of conflicting debates among African American leaders about how to achieve Black liberation.
Loyalty to the British Empire is taught to these second and third generation Japanese children in an Internment Camp in British Columbia circa 1942. (CP PHOTO/Jack Long National Archives of Canada C-067492)

300 letters of outrage from Japanese Canadians who lost their homes

Recently, 300 protest letters written by Japanese Canadians in the 1940s were reopened. The letters convey a deep sense of loss, injustice and outrage by Japanese Canadians who lost their homes.
Trying to achieve that ‘flawless finish’. Shutterstock

Beauty industry will never embrace flaws

People with visible facial differences, such as acne, are rarely represented in the media and when they are, they are often vilified.
The artists who first sang the legendary Canadian hip hop song “Northern Touch” 20 years ago reunited to perform at the 2018 Juno Awards. From left to right: Checkmate, Red1, Misfit, Kardinal Offishall, Choclair and Thrust. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Juno Awards finally celebrate hip hop

The current global dominance of Canadian music on today's Billboard charts obscures the difficulties many early rap artists faced in garnering local support for this country’s hip hop music.
Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week closed its doors this January partly due to a lack of government funding. Here, the 2015 runway: Abel collection. (PeterJensen/Eco Fashion Week)

Canada must do more for responsible fashion

If the Government of Canada is serious about protecting workers' rights in Canadian global enterprises, it needs to also support local initiatives designed to transform consumer behaviour.
Queer Eye has made some strides. In this new version, the producers have addressed broader issues of gender, race, religion and politics than before. However, the show as before, showcases consumerism as the way to a better life. (Netflix)

‘Queer Eye’ and the myth of the self-made man

The new Queer Eye has viewers hooked on its emotional ride through men's lives, aiming to embrace diversity and counter toxic masculinity. Yet its focus on consumerism threatens its lofty ideals.
Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died. He was 53. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

Remembering Gord Downie through his lyrics

Good songs are like good poetry. Literature professor Robert Morrison reflects on The Tragically Hip's best song, "Ahead by a Century," and explains the politics of hope within the tune.
Previous plans to adapt Blood Meridian had envisioned casting Vincent D'Onofrio as “judge Holden.” (You Tube)

The unfilmable ‘Blood Meridian’

Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy’s famous novel, may be unfilmable – not because of its gruesome violent tale of U.S. imperialism in the Southwest, but because its religious vision is terrifying.
Television continues to be the main source of media consumption for kids. Arthimedes/Shutterstock.com

The importance of diverse characters

It's not just how characters look. How they talk and the role they play have a profound impact on kids, who are quick to categorize characters as 'good' or 'bad' based on superficial qualities.
The Shape of Water offers a clever allegory to Donald’s Trump’s presidency, with Michael Shannon’s character (on the left) representing some of the president’s worst qualities. (Kerry Hayes/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

The Shape of Water: An allegorical critique of Trump

Not everyone can escape to the ocean's depths to avoid the Trump presidency, but we can escape to the movies. 'The Shape of Water' reminds audiences of the humanity of those who are marginalized.
AARON POOLE / AMPAS / HANDOUT

Oscars: Change needs to come from the ground up

Frances McDormand's inspirational Oscars speech could lead to more diversity in the industry. But you can’t be inclusive at the top if minorities can’t gain a foothold in the first place.
The theme at the core of Rowling’s wizarding world speaks directly to a universal human reality: The struggle to come to terms with our mortality. Shutterstock

Harry Potter & its poignant literary theme

We may think of _Harry Potter_ as escapist delight, but J.K. Rowling’s books also contain an extended theme that has more in common with _King Lear_ than most English professors might care to admit.
In ‘Three Wise Girls’ (1932), Cassie (Jean Harlow) has to fend off her handsy boss. Columbia Pictures Corporation

#MeToo on the 1930s silver screen

Scores of Depression-era films depicted a pattern of sexual harassment that sounds all too familiar.

Quote of the Day

Paul, Apostle of Christ is one of an upsurge in Bible-themed movies that romanticize and distort the past and risk present-day harm. Such films are like soda pop: Sweet, easy to swallow, but harmful as a steady diet. Matthew Robert Anderson Affiliate Professor, Theological Studies, Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability, Concordia University

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