Culture Dose | Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric | Judas and The Black Messiah | Tash Sultana

Madison Moore is an assistant professor of gender, sexuality and women’s studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Their research and critical creative practice engages black queer aesthetics, queer worldmaking, contemporary art and visual culture. Their book Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric celebrates style while exploring how and why marginalized groups use fashion and creativity as a response to struggles. Moore’s Fabulous is an engaging and personal account of culture in which they analyze the politics of being fabulous, both through autobiographical stories and conversations with unique creatives of all types.

An exploration of what it means to be fabulous—and why eccentric style, fashion, and creativity are more political than ever

Prince once told us not to hate him ’cause he’s fabulous. But what does it mean to be fabulous? Is fabulous style only about labels, narcissism, and selfies—looking good and feeling gorgeous? Or can acts of fabulousness be political gestures, too? What are the risks of fabulousness? And in what ways is fabulous style a defiant response to the struggles of living while marginalized? Madison Moore answers these questions in a timely and fascinating book that explores how queer, brown, and other marginalized outsiders use ideas, style, and creativity in everyday life. Moving from catwalks and nightclubs to the street, moore dialogues with a range of fabulous and creative powerhouses, including DJ Vjuan Allure, voguing superstar Lasseindra Ninja, fashion designer Patricia Field, performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon, and a wide range of other aesthetic rebels from the worlds of art, fashion, and nightlife. In a riveting synthesis of autobiography, cultural analysis, and ethnography, Moore positions fabulousness as a form of cultural criticism that allows those who perform it to thrive in a world where they are not supposed to exist.

Get Fabulous Here


WATCH: Judas and the Black Messiah on HBO Max and in select theaters

Based in Chicago in the 1960s, this biopic tells the story of the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton, who was chairman of the Black Panther Party. Bill O’Neal, who infiltrates the Black Panther Party per FBI Agent Mitchell and J. Edgar Hoover, finds himself having to make harder and harder decisions as a result of being the man on the inside.

A story probably overlooked in your American history class, Judas and the Black Messiah can be an educational thriller of the Blank Panther Party and the civil rights movement of the ‘60s.

The film has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards. Daniel Kaluuya, who played Fred Hampton, was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor (motion picture), and the song, Fight For You, was nominated for the Best Song (motion picture) award.

Kaluuya has also earned a Best Supporting Actor nod at both the Critics’ Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his portrayal of Hampton, whose true story the director wishes to bring to light with this drama. The cast of the film was nominated for the Best Acting Ensemble at the Critics’ Choice Awards as well.

Watch Here


LISTEN TO: Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana is an Australian “one-person band” whose alternative mix of roots, reggae, and psychedelic rock led the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to go viral on Youtube in 2016. Within 5 days, their live bedroom recording of their hit song ‘Jungle’ had a million views and now 5 years later has more than 94 million.

Sultana, who is gender fluid and uses the pronoun they, has been playing music since they were 3 years old when their grandfather gave them a guitar. What started as a passion turned to busking in Melbourne and now is a successful international touring act.

Their sophomore album Terra Firma came out last month through their own record label, Lonely Lands Records. Sultana describes the album as “Erykah Badu meets Bon Iver, meets John Mayer, meets whatever”.

Listen to it here: Spotify | Apple Music 

IG: @tashsultanaofficial 

–Leah Flannery