Barry Jenkins's Moonlight opens with this refrain from the 1973 Boris Gardiner hit “Every Nigger Is a Star,”1 as Juan (played by Academy-Award-winning Mahershala Ali) rolls up in a 1973 Chevrolet Impala Custom coupe. He is immediately met by two other Black men, one a drug-dealing colleague and the other who is searching for a drug fix. The man asking for the drug hook-up turns to Juan and compliments with conviction: “you know you my man, right Juan.” To which Juan replies, “this nigga.” (Every nigga is a star.) And this 1973 refrain and homage is not a coincidence, as 1973 marks a watershed moment where a record breaking four mayors in major cities were Black. And I highlight this moment not to romanticize the nature of politics as some space of administering Black people a “way in” or a way out of anti-Blackness, but rather to...

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