This Week in Black Twitter: 'Hidden Fences,' the movie that never was; Obama's emotional farewell

"Hidden Fences" was mentioned a few times during the Golden Globes. Too bad it doesn't exist.

Welcome back to This Week in Black Twitter, your weekly digest of the happenings on Black Twitter and the cultural conversations on the web. Topics span the gamut — pop culture, politics, sports, lifestyles and everything in between.

This week: Users take the #HiddenFences blunder as an opportunity to create new movie titles, and President Barack Obama gives an emotional farewell.

1. During this year's Golden Globes, one movie in particular was the talk of the town. Too bad it doesn't exist.

"Hidden Figures" and "Fences," two films centered around African-American characters, were conflated into one title "Hidden Fences" in a reoccurring error at the awards show.

"Hidden Figures" is a true story of three African-American women working at NASA and their contributions to some of the first space missions. Meanwhile, "Fences" is based on a play directed by August Wilson and revolves around a working-class family in the 1950s.

They are two very different movies. Yet somehow, the blunder happened not once but twice, with "Today” show's Jenna Bush Hager and actor Michael Keaton, who have since apologized. 

While some argue the slip could happen to anyone, others contend it's disrespectful toward black cinema.

As Refinery 29's Sesali Bowen writes: "But for all of its comedic gold, the funny commentary around 'Hidden Fences' is actually one example of Black Twitter digitally immortalizing the practice of laughing to keep from crying. Make no mistake about it, there is really nothing funny about the fact that two very different Black films are so easily reduced to unidentifiable versions of the same thing. This kind of microaggression is an erasure."

Users even began blending other movie titles with predominately African-American leads.

But no matter what you call it, "Hidden Figures" still topped the charts last weekend.

 

2. President Barack Obama returned to his hometown of Chicago to deliver his farewell speech Tuesday night. He spoke about the nonexistence of a post-racial America, his accomplishments with health care and the economy, and his hopes for the future.

"Our youth, our drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention means that the future should be ours. But that potential will only be realized if our democracy works. Only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now," he told a crowd of supporters, via The New York Times.

Between Malia Obama tearing up and Obama's sentiments to his wife, Michelle Obama, there weren't many dry eyes in the house  at least not on Twitter.

There were lots of crying gifs.

But not everyone felt that way.

 

mpryce@baltsun.com

twitter.com/megpryce

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