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Eisa Nefertari Ulen

Eisa Nefertari Ulen is the author of Crystelle Mourning (Atria) and a professor of African and diaspora literature at New York's Hunter College. A Pulitzer Center grantee, she is the recipient of awards from the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the National Association of Black Journalists.

More from Eisa Nefertari Ulen

Critic’s Notebook: The Compellingly Packaged Cowardice of ‘Civil War’

Despite its sheen of boldness, Alex Garland’s film cowers in fear from the divisions that surely inspired the movie in the first place, missing an opportunity to say something important.

Critic’s Notebook: For Gen Z Kids, ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Shooting Stars’ Offer Much-Needed Multiracial Joy

A trio of recent releases has allowed viewers — most crucially, Black children — to escape into realms where Black people soar, score and sing under the sea.

Critic’s Notebook: Behind Will Smith’s Slap, Black Pain and Enough Blame to Go Around

The foolishness and violence of the Oscar winner’s act — and of Chris Rock’s cruel joke — were undeniable, but the broader context and roots of such behavior merit reflection.

Critic’s Notebook: How ‘One Night in Miami,’ ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and More Give Audiences “An Opportunity to Witness Black Excellence”

A film critic, academic and novelist notes the acute joy and pain of viewing awards contenders that explore African American genius, including 'Judas and the Black Messiah' and 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday.' 

Critic’s Notebook: In ‘Black Panther,’ Chadwick Boseman Created a Fresh Model of Black Manhood

The star’s vulnerable, tender portrayal was so inspiring in part because of its departure from many of the qualities usually associated with strong Black screen heroes.

Critic’s Notebook: John Singleton Changed How Black America Looked at Itself

John Singleton’s 'Boyz N the Hood' was a cinematic gamechanger, revealing the horror, beauty and humanity of L.A.’s South Central to an unsuspecting America.

Critic’s Notebook: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Is an Important Invitation to Feel Black Pain

In 2018, African-American filmmakers like Spike Lee, George Tillman Jr. and especially Barry Jenkins brought viewers deep inside the dehumanization of black and brown bodies.