Kateria Knows

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Kiki Layne

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Kiki Layne is from Cincinnati,Ohio. She attended DePaul University. Her next film is a screen adaptation of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son.
Her first acting role was with Lena Waithe in the pilot for the show The Chi, which was shot in 2015. Speaking to Vanity Fair, says she was always acting growing up and that her favourite movie as a child was, The Lion King. I used to watch it every day and create these extravagant stories with my Barbies and stuffed animals.”
Layne began her career attending a performing-arts school in Cincinnati, where she took the flute, then French horn and the trumpet. She later attended DePaul University in Chicago to study acting. After graduating she moved to LA where she landed her breakout role in the Barry Jenkins movie If Beale Street Could Talk.
Layne is outspoken about the injustices African American people face in the USA and the issue of representation of black people in films. Speaking to Vanity Fair, she says, “The black community faced [injustices] in the early 70s and still face them today, issues of wrongful incarceration and what the justice system looks like for black people growing up in poverty. But at the core of it is a really beautiful love story between Tish and Fonny. I don’t feel like I’ve seen this for young black actors—there’s this tenderness that I just don’t see.” She’s really making a big splash in the industry.

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Melanin by D’Nessa McDaniel

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From the night in her skin to kink of her hair

The sun in her smile to the stars in those eyes

I know that Melanin is beautiful

The beauty that glows through her

blood like magic

Her melanin drips like honey

Can you imagine a voice so sweet you could taste the diabetes

Can you imagine how the tears of this woman will make rivers

You will find the souls of her sons floating in

Dreams of haunting, of prey, of white of guns of nose,

nose is tight like she is tight like a nose

This kind of melanin

This kind of woman

Makes the worst days worth living for

Makes trying to live some of the worst days

But this type of melanin is strong

Even when the pavement of her heart starts to crack under oppression

She will still bleed love, hope, smiles, and laughter

she will bleed the bloodshed of her father’s death

She will ache the pain of the weight her mother carried on her black

Because of this I know that melanin is beautiful

Is pain, is sorrow, is love, is her

She is love

She is what made melanin so damn beautiful.

Poem by D’Nessa McDaniel