Lovecraft Country has quickly become one of my favorite shows for several reasons. There are so many themes and conversations to explore but I’m particularly fond of how it’s crafting this beautiful love letter to Black women. And shoutout to showrunner Misha Green for showcasing the complexities of what it means to be Black and Woman.
After the episode “I Am”, I cried a deep Viola Davis ugly cry. Hippolyta finds herself on this transformative journey of self-actualization and it was powerful. You don’t have to watch the show or know the character to have context for this post. I cried because to be Black and Woman is too damn hard and that’s something we can all relate to. Many of us will never get to experience Hippolyta’s freedom because of the daily comprises we must face due to race, class, gender, and sexuality.
In Ruby’s episode, “Strange Case”, we (the audience) are challenged through her occupying a white body and living her life uninterrupted in that body. She too experienced a sense of freedom never known to her before. The “I Am” episode expanded on this by asking who could Black women be if we didn’t shrink ourselves to fit comfortably into other people’s narratives of who we should be. Who could we be if we didn’t let other people snuff out our lights because they were afraid to see us shine? I cried for all of the Black women who dreamed more from their existence but someone told them they couldn’t and they believed it and let their desires fester into hate. Hippolyta is brilliant and is rarely given the opportunity to demonstrate her brilliance. She is knocked down at every opportunity to do so. I cried for the Black girls who didn’t even try to name themselves because they didn’t know how. They didn’t see a good representation of Black women being great, despite the hardships of being Black and Woman. I cried for every Black girl who loved and thought their partner saw them only to find suppression and oppression instead. I cried for Breonna and other Black women who will never see justice for crimes committed against their Black bodies. I cried because I understand the anger, the frustration, the hate, the disappointment. It’s too damn hard to be Black and Woman.
In the episode, Hippolyta is transported into a spacecraft and greeted by a celestial being who we find out in the closing credits is called Seraphine, AKA Beyond C’estb(love it). Seraphine demands that Hippolyta name herself. She demands that she be in charge of her own definition of self. It is the key to her freedom. I cried because how can you know who you are if you’re not allowed space and the access to figure it out. All we know is the confinement white supremacy and patriarchy has put us in. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re in prison. We think we have all we need, content on what they allow us to have, and who they allow us to be. With this confinement, what can your identity be rooted in?
I want every Black woman and girl to experience a journey of self-actualization that brings them freedom and unbridle confidence Hippolyta found at the end of this episode. To experience the deep exhale Ruby felt in episode 5 of being able to just be without fear, worry, or judgment. The journey ahead is difficult. There are many roadblocks ahead, but our righteous rage and support in one another will guide us on an inhibited journey to our freedom.
Are you a fan of Lovecraft Country? What did you think of this episode?
“Me, I feel like the stars in the black of space, magnificent, ancient, and already extinguished.” — Josephine Baker to Hippolyta