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Horrified: Joy, Memory & The Body In Black Horror

An illustration featuring a bearded zombie-like figure rising out of water holding onto a Black woman who looks scared. Behind them is a sign that says "Danger: Quicksand Keep Away!" On the left of the image are the words: "History! Body memory! Joy! Catharsis! Vampires! It's...Black Horror on Embodied!" And in the front and center of the image is the word "Horrified."
Charnel Hunter

For most of guest host Omisade Burney-Scott's life, she was a reluctant viewer of horror films — squinting through her fingers long enough to get to the closing credits. In recent years, that trepidation has turned into thrill as she's watched the Black horror genre evolve. She talks with a filmmaker, director and horror scholar about how they see their own experiences reflected in the Black horror renaissance.

Meet the guests:

  • Lana Garland, writer, director, producer and curator of the Hayti Heritage Film Festival, reminisces about the Black horror films that left their mark on her and how the genre has evolved
  • Dr. Kinitra Brooks, Leslie Endowed Chair in literary studies at Michigan State University, shares her own Black horror memories and examines key ingredients in the genre
  • Bree Newsome Bass, artist, organizer and filmmaker, talks about the evolution of the genre both on and off camera

Read the transcriptReview the podcast

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Omisade Burney-Scott (she / her) is a Black southern 7th-generation native North Carolinian feminist, social justice advocate and creative with decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, philanthropy and social justice.