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You're tuning in to Lovecraft Country Radio. There's some strong language and spoilers ahead. Buckle up. I realize I started this, OK? They know that the. Whoo! All right. So that happened, that happened, we we saw that we did, we saw it, we liked it. I think we liked it. I liked it.
I liked it. I liked it. Yes, I did. Yes, yes, yes.
I think primarily we just experienced a spiritual and sexual awakening that I know Wellmark mark me for the rest of my life.
I am inclined to agree. I feel we are bonded now.
I true sisters in the Everlong and and just never ending love of this particular sex scene. Yeah, I think that that's true.
We have some shit to unpack. Right. We have three views. Let's get started. This is episode three, Holy Ghost.
All right, welcome to Love Crap Country Radio.
I'm Ashley C Ford, podcast host, writer and war enthusiast.
And I'm Shannon Houston, a writer for the HBO series Love Country and mother of three Free Black Children.
And OK, Shannon, we've got a lot to talk about today.
I know we both love talking about this show, obviously, but we have some friends that love to talk about this show, too.
And I think it's time we bring one of them on. I couldn't agree more, Ashleigh. Later in this episode, we're going to call up writer Daniel José Older. Daniel is a fantasy writer whose writing credits include Star Wars. And this is a really amazing fun fact. Daniel is also responsible for taking down H.P. Lovecraft himself. I can't wait to welcome him on to the show.
Listen, I know the story. I can't wait for you to hear that. I'm so sorry. I can't wait to talk about this with Daniel until then. Let's get into it, Shannon.
OK, so everyone should know this. At this point, I'm not the biggest horror.
Gushy body parts falling out, baby heads on big body monster.
I'm not that girl, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. This episode was jam packed with horror. But actually, I need your help. Help, please.
I loved this episode for so many reasons. It made me deeply emotional in ways that I didn't expect, which is, you know, good for a TV show. But I mean, I.
I really didn't expect. We're going to start with a quick recap in this episode. We've got Leidy purchasing a house in a predominantly white and racist part of town that she soon discovers is haunted.
Yeah, we've got ghost.
Then she goes full detective with Atticus trying to piece together the horrific history of this house. Yes.
So this is really Carletti episode, which means it's also our journey Smolla episode. Oh, yeah. Give her her things, give her her fucking things immediately. Something that we focused on in the writers room was this idea of taking performative character and bringing them into something real. So we always talked about Letty as an activist with good intentions, but somebody who's performative in her nature a lot of the time, and she uses that to her advantage. So we want to talk about taking somebody who's moved through life as a ghost, so to speak, never fully being her authentic self with herself and with others.
And we wanted to put that person in a situation where they had to face themselves and they had to face their literal fucking ghosts. So Leidy is really who's guiding us through a lot of the themes that we're going to talk about today.
Yes, she is. And boy, does she do an amazing job. I think you're absolutely right that it is imperative that we give Journey Smol about her things. She is such an amazing actress and has been one for so long. And I just feel like with this character, I'm really getting to see how good she is in so many different facets. So I love that. I love that this is the latest episode.
You know who else I love?
Who who mouth Dracula and Dracula is all up in this episode.
So I noticed very early on in this story that Dracula was being used through the character of Leidy as well, because that's how we get into one of the major themes of this episode, which was resurrection in Dracula.
It's a very direct horror element, OK? It's a vampire. It is a.
Hundreds year old dead person who drinks the blood of living people to stay alive and is powerful and can fly and in some cases can turn into a bat, in some cases can turn sparkly and make you fall in love with them, just depending on what kind of vampire we're talking about.
My only real concept, like really, when I see Dracula, when I hear Dracula, I'm like, Oh yeah, Buffy Season five, fucking the Dracula episode.
Actually, you got to get into this. It was so good. Dracula was so hot. I felt so many different emotions. I know, you know, there are many Draculas and I know you know, the original and the literary Dracula better than me. So I'm going to let you keep diving in. But I just want to say, shout out to Buffy, season five, Hot Dracula. It was everything.
You know, throughout history, there have been a lot of hot Draculas and we're going to call Leidy a Dracula.
She gets added to that side of the canon. She is absolutely a hot Dracula.
The story of Dracula as we're seeing played out in this episode. And actually it starts last episode, right, that we get into that Dracula thing because that is one lady died.
Yes. And it's easy to forget that, you know, we see her at the top of this episode and that incredible church scene that we'll talk about later. And we know that something is weighing on her and in the room. We had to constantly remind ourselves this is a character who died. Right. She was brought back to life, but she died in an episode, too. When you see her run into the bathroom and she's wracked with grief, that is her literally coming back to life and realizing I was dead and now I'm alive and I don't have any concept of what that means.
And so what what about that experience for Letty reminds you of Dracula?
You know, I think the biggest thing that it reminds me of is that when the undead are reborn as vampires in horror and then as you see Leidy be reborn, there is this craving to consume life. And Leidy has come out of this death ravenous for life.
Yes. And in feeling disconnected from it as a vampire would.
Also performing humanity because she doesn't actually feel connected to it yet, she hasn't found her way back to it yet. The only difference here in my mind between Leidy and a vampire, you know that despite the you know, the blood thing, which I'm using as a metaphor here, is that she can get back.
Yes, there is a way for her to get back. But everybody knows that much like human death, vampires cannot die. It's just the rule. It is an inverse rule once you're on the other side of that thing. And so it's almost like in this episode, she is reaching for what feels impossible because who's ever heard of a vampire becoming a living person again?
Oh, I love that. I love the impossibility of what she's up against. And I feel like that's what's weighing over her. And we've used the word resurrection. She was resurrected and this like kind of completely fucked up way. But she's been resurrected almost into a ghost. Right. Like, she's not made flesh yet. She's not fully human. So she's doing that thing you're talking about. She's reaching she's trying different things to make that connection and kind of like performing at humanity.
And you can sort of see that happening like at the Winthrop house and this, like energy that she has. We're buying a house. This is the house. We're going to change, the neighborhood we're pioneering. Ruby and I are going to be like best big and little sister again or something. And then, of course, we see this incredible sex scene that you and I both really enjoyed. We did.
This is also an example of Leidy's desire to feel something or feel lots of different things. And it's playing out in this episode. How how are we feeling about it? I'm personally feeling quite good about this decision on Leidy's part.
Well, let me tell you, I think Leidy has made a great choice.
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I think this is a fantastic choice. I think sometimes you got to get it on to get down. And I really, really love the way she went about it. I'm not going to lie. I think that was a very powerful moment for her and a powerful moment for Atticus. You know, they have this moment and, you know, like and then there's this blood which does not scare him, you know what I mean?
He is curious, but he is not afraid. He really could have punkt out in that moment. And he didn't act like a punk. And I just felt in that blood like that blood was like the evidence of a broken barrier. Oh, right. It was the aftermath of the push through into life or into connection or into intimacy. Like whatever it was, it was this broken barrier that will not be made over. It will not ever be what it was.
And that's OK.
That's OK. And I because the barrier needed to be broken, it needed to be broken. And I wanted it and it needed to be because she wanted it to be. I agree.
Atticus becomes like thirty eight percent sexier by not making a big deal of the blood. Like that's what I'm looking for. I don't know. Yes. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. I would get to it also. Like first of all the party was just fucking fun. Like we're all stacked houses. I was like I want to party, I want to go to a party. Why am I not at this party? Everybody at this party is hot.
I want to sleep with Letty. I want to sleep with I want to sleep with the band members. I want to sleep with Hyppolite. I like everybody. But yes, this is also an emotional scene. Just before we see Teq in the doorway, we also see one of the ghosts, which I love.
So there's also this connection between Letty and Tex, first time together and Letty being literally haunted in this house. Oh, yeah.
Haunted in the house. Haunted by the fact that performances catch up with you eventually.
You can't perform forever. Like at some point you're going to break you're going to bust out of that, because the truth of the matter is like sending your representative ahead of yourself, you know, which is performing is like sending a hologram that's not a real person. Eventually somebody's going to put their hand through that shit.
Eventually somebody is going to figure out that something in the milk ain't clean.
Eventually somebody is going to see the thinness here. Right.
The people who help Letty to to see the side of herself, the way that she discovers that she is being performative to a degree. It starts with the ghosts, like they are actually a part of her journey, so these aren't just scary ghosts for the sake of being scary ghosts, we actually they all have a story. They're all people and bodies that have been basically done wrong to a degree. So Letty confronts the real test. Jerome Jackson.
Yes. I mean, is that not is that like the blackest black and black name of Jerome Jackson?
I know him, you know, and I know him, you know. Sure I do. I'm pretty sure I went to middle school.
And you sure did. You and me both, she she confronts him to find out who owned the house before she did. And he lets it slip that it's called the Winthrop House. So now we have all these questions.
We have a lot of questions. Letty's arrested by Lancaster, the cop. He questions her about her knowledge of the Winthrop house. And this is where we find out that the body parts of eight black people were discovered and what she's now using as her darkroom. And we find out about the last owner, Hiram Epstein. That's fucking creepy scientist. So who was fired from the University of Chicago for experimenting on people and that epic scene? She finds this photo of Lancaster with Hyrum, yet believes that he supplied Hyrum with black people who are featured in these missing persons report.
So she's doing her own research to figure out what the hell is going on in this house. Let's take a minute to just talk about creepy scientists and the history of creepy scientist, creepy doctors in America.
Oh, yeah, there's a lot of them. Yeah, creepy doctors, a lot of stuff like that going on. As a matter of fact, right here in New York, we have a statue of a doctor known for using black women's bodies as experiments to iron out any kinks before attempting them on white women. And, you know, that's just in Manhattan. There's a long history of black bodies being used for medical experimentation.
We're talking about the Tuskegee experiments. Henrietta Lacks gynecology as a rule. Yeah, OK.
Very much founded on what happened to black women's bodies.
We're considered disposable in the eyes of science and work for a very long time. I'm not saying that that's still the case. Hopefully it's not. For a very long time it was the case. And Dejour Cooper Owens is a historian who coined the term medical super bodies to describe how black women who were enslaved were looked at. The medical industry is racist as fuck to this day. Yes, we know that. Yeah, we know that. But how do we see it in this episode?
Right. One of the ways that you see it almost immediately is in how these bodies have been disposed, where they would have been disposed, the fact that obviously the families who lost these family members never got any resolution to figure out where their people were or how to bury them or dispose of their remains in their own traditions and in their own ways.
So you have that versus tick trying to kill Christina.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
And being told you have to be smarter than this. You can't just go around killing white women.
Call me when you're ready to leave. What about our family legacy? And really have to be smarter than this. You can't just go around killing women.
And the resignation to that fact, how much is her magic external and how much of it is already inside the person? Oh, you know what I mean? Activated. Yeah, by the shit she's saying here.
And I think what's so like what hurts about that line is, you know, it's true, you know, that eight black people can go missing in a town. And it could have been in the fifties, it could be today, and there wouldn't be much pomp and circumstance about it unless black people made it so.
And then this absolutely, literally evil white woman knows that she cannot be killed. So simply that that for Atticus to even pull his gun out is almost like an act of suicide in and of itself. So Christine is like terrifying and amazing because she's so confident and she's not wrong. And that's part of where her confidence comes from. Like she knows who she is. She knows her place in the society for better or worse. And she will use that to her advantage as much as she needs to.
So that line is like weirdly funny, but also just like, holy shit. That's right. You can't just go around killing the absurdity.
Yes, the absurdity. Yes. So we have Leidy grappling with her physical and spiritual self right now. We have these ghosts that live in her home. You can't help but connect all of that to her relationship with religion. We literally see her in a church and the first scene. I love that scene so much. I love that audio so much.
Hey, Larry, what did you do to make a mark on this world? But mountains, as you climb, it's angels gave you their wings. It's kind have you seen? We wish to have it who was there to catch you when you found? And if they tell you that you saved them, too, you saved me. So I want to talk a little bit about how we see the ways she maneuvers through her religion and spirituality and how that connects to like bigger themes and the show.
Oh, absolutely. Because Leidy I mean, she's resurrecting people who she has only just begun to communicate with, but they ultimately help her in this final act of resistance against Hyrum.
And it is such an amazing moment to have her call on those spirits in her time of need and have them show up so completely and in assisting her find themselves whole again in a certain sense. Yes.
OK, so I think this is the perfect conversation to have with Daniel José Older, don't you agree, Ashleigh?
I do agree. Let's bring him in.
Yes, he has a gun. Hi, Daniel. I'm very happy to be here. I love the show. I'm excited to talk about it.
Yeah, I know you are. Yes. We're so excited to have you. First, I need to hear the details on this whole, like bringing down H.P. Lovecraft.
Please tell me everything.
So I wrote I wrote an essay about Love Crafter's with my first published essays on BuzzFeed and just about, you know, how racist he was and how messed up he was and and also just grappling with his work and its and its legacy. And I was like, you know, this dude is the statue. He is the face, the literal face of the World Fantasy Award, which is like one of science fiction and fantasy Oscars. You know, like it's really a huge prize to win as a writer.
And that's just so messed up. And people have been talking about how messed up it is for a long time. But I started a petition that said we should put Octavia Butler instead because we should, you know, the category because we should actually be Butler should be everywhere.
And every writer I know has been inspired by her.
I know I owe so much to her like she is so huge in my own career, my own inspiration.
So, you know, obviously that's who should be. And it got a lot of traction and it went international and it really upset a lot of people, which is amazing.
The right people and we love it. Yes. So then that year I was nominated for a World Fantasy Awards.
I actually got to go to the ceremony to watch the very awkwardly announce.
So, you know, as it happens that Paris will be the face of the World award.
And I got a lot of hate mail about it and I'm very happy that it happened. And here we are.
Yes, a man. A man. And I feel like there's a connection between that and also what we're seeing. Let me go through an episode three. Meaning like what? What you take from different religions, spirituality, beliefs like what we talked about earlier is Leidy is using a lot of different tools to figure out what's going on to get these ghosts out of her house, to also, like, grow as a person.
So let's talk a little bit about Leidy and spirituality and like your your understanding and your experience of this episode.
I felt very moved by that scene just in that first of all, the creepy stuff was so creepy. Right. And then we get to this really triumphant moment that, like, we I feel like we felt it coming for the whole episode and then it just explodes outward. And, you know, she really does call on the ancestors to lift her up. And that's just such an explicitly empowering thing unto itself, because the history of the ghost story is always the ghosts of the past coming to kill us.
You know, we're supposed to fear our ancestors and they eat our brains and hide in closets and everything else. But like so many of us, so many people of color, you know, come up in households that in one tradition or another honor our ancestors. You know, like we have an altar up in my house and we hang out with it. When we cook, they get food. When we are confused, we smoke cigars and ask them for help.
And that's what it is, you know what I mean?
So to see that that's always what I've tried to honor in my own work is like really creating a counter narrative to the ghost story where the ancestors literally lift us up. And that's really what we see happening. Like she is fighting fire with fire. But in such a powerful and empowering way, it's tremendous. Yeah.
And there's a reciprocal nature. Right? She is giving something back to the ghosts and they're giving something back to her. I love that.
And right there feels like they're explicitly healed by the work that she does with them. And I feel like that's another thing we don't talk a lot about is that like spirituality, whatever system you practice is a conversation, right? It's not just you being dictated to from on high, which I think is how we see it a lot in particularly in Western traditions. But like we're always in conversations with our spirits, you know, like the creative process is a spiritual conversation.
Like any time that we pray, we're listening and we're speaking and we're giving back and we're taking. And that's always, you know, but it's not transactional necessarily. It's not like just like, oh, you pay something and then you get something like that's a very capitalist model. But conversational is different. Right? Like, she's in conversation with those spirits and it's a conversation about healing. Yes, I love it.
And actually, we were talking before about like the things black people don't touch. And if you grew up Christian, like I grew up Baptist, not in the church anymore. But if you grow up with certain traditions, ghosts and spirits, and it's so like it's so bizarre because it's like there's a million ghosts in the Bible. There's one really important ghost who literally died for us. All right. But it's like we still we don't talk about that.
We don't talk about that. Maybe it's not creepy at all. It's fucking creepy. It's wonderful, but it's creepy. Let's talk a little bit about that, too, like the things that we're afraid of.
Yeah. One of the things that I noted in the show was this group of black kids playing with a Ouija board, because I immediately, in my mind was like, oh, this is where they jumped the shark because black kids don't play with Ouija boards, you know what I mean?
And that and then that the Ouija board would then say, George is dead. You know, like that is what was in the Ouija board said.
And it was not only terrifying, it was really hard for me to even fathom that it could happen.
And I just I know that, like. You not only have a personal history, but you have, I think, a really deep knowledge period of like spirituality and like having those conversations with other people about spirituality, because when you come from a background or when you talk to people about your spiritual background and it's not the dominant one in the community, it can be people's reactions can be intense and they can be scared and all of those things.
Where do you think that comes from?
Like, why are we so afraid of the spiritual realm? Why are we so afraid of the idea that we interact with the spiritual realm and that the spiritual realm interacts with us?
Well, I must say, I think some of it in terms of like specifically the ghost story always being a horrible thing, I do think a lot of that has to do with being afraid of the past and like having shame around history, whether that shame over how fucked up your people have been or how fucked up your people got by the people who are being fucked up. There's all different levels of shame that I think history has taught us to feel, and that is personified by the ghost.
Like the ghost is literally history walking with us, you know, in a very real way. And like how we relate to our own history has so much to do with how we understand ghosts. I also think there's a level in Latin America, particularly where like anti blackness plays such a strong role in the way that people perceive different religions. Right.
So there's this common saying that like a lot of folks in Cuba or in Brazil like it, like Cuba is like 100 percent Catholic, but also 100 percent, you know, Santero like boats would be practicing then for religion and also doing stuff on the side. But they won't be admitting it and they'll mark off Catholic on the census or whatever, you know what I mean? But like, they'll go in the Bible as soon as shit gets real and fucked up.
Right. And they'll be doing all that work, you know what I mean? Like, when I was a medic, we would go into people's houses who would swear up and down. They are 100 percent Catholic. Don't mess with that shit at all. They will have their ancestors up. You know, I remember explicitly we came in one time this guy was dead. Literally, his heart had stopped and his ancestor altar was all types of dusty and messed up and left behind.
And like he was one of those dudes that should have come back to life. You know, we were working them up. Nothing was working. We were doing all kinds of medicine here. And I just walked over to the answers to and I would go get your guy.
And then I left the room to make a phone call to call one of the doctors to get some more meds.
I walked in and the dude was alive to to my guy and I said, come over here to take care of you. I'll let you know. I'll take care of you. You take care of me. But, yeah, we had two pregnancies deep in our communities, you know what I mean? And it really causes people to fall off on their spiritual practice, on the strength of thinking that they're like following this one, you know, white God.
And it's messed up guy. That's so interesting, you know, bringing up how race plays a part in that. And Ashley and I have talked about the traditions of the black church and how within those traditions there's like this that a lot of fear is is wrapped up in that. And there's also joy like, you know, again, to go back to that opening scene. What's powerful is like Letty is watching everybody else basically catch the spirit and her head is bowed and this incredible audio is playing over.
We're hearing the voice of precious Ebony, who I love is speaking to us. So there's also this like the voice of a trans black woman telling the story of another trans woman over Leidy witnessing the Holy Ghost occurring in front of her. But she can't quite get to it and she doesn't know how to get to it, partly because she herself is a ghost, you know, or a Dracula or, you know, like all these things are happening.
But what was so cool, what I was excited about in the room was when we decided that our characters needed to seek out magic, too, and magic from black people. Right. Like Leidy is part of Letty's response is, OK, these white people have magic. They're haunting houses. They're showing up in my photographs. Black people got magic, too. You know, she went to the church and she's not quite getting it there. She doesn't go back to that church to get help.
She seeks out this black woman, and that's the woman who gives her the tools. All the tools are necessary. And that's kind of what I got from your story about the altar. Take care of your altar and it will take care of you. But it's like we need all the tools. We need the doctors. We need this person. We need the altar, like everything kind of coming together.
And I love that moment that they're both a little bit like, who do we bring into this? You know, like, oh, yeah, she takes out that goat on the porch. They're like, this is a lot, which is like real, you know what I mean? Like, if someone gets a goat head of like, you're going to have a moment. I really appreciate it because we so often see a lot of these traditions to pick.
Just as like straight up demon worship on so many shows tracing all the way back, not for nothing to love crap like Lovecraft showed folks doing diasporic religions in the woods and like sacrificing children and doing all kinds of horrible shit acting like this, you know what it is and it's not. But that's the common understanding. So I love that this episode was really like this bullshit that he was laying out. We're going to show you what it really is about and we're going to use it against him.
You know, it's like how do we use it to heal? How do we use it as a tool of resistance and survival? And there's examples of that. And I think of those as counternarrative, as much like, you know, the show is a counternarrative to Lovecraft's racist mythology. Right. Like, I think we do the same thing with religion.
Sometimes when we look at Santería, like it's the history of that tradition is folks using Catholicism to mask their practice so that they could survive. And that, you know, is what made it into what it became, which is a syncretic and very complex, you know, combination of lots of things that's rooted in an African tradition. And then it changed again in so many different ways when it came to the states. Right. Right. And so there's a creativity to that, you know, in the way that the religion itself and the decision itself changed and became fluid in all that.
And that's, you know, what brought us to that moment where someone's showing up at the door with a goat and doing, you know, this traditional practice and konono. Yeah. And corn on the ancestors and doing all this different work. You know, that's that's survival. Right?
You know, I just think it's like like with anything like with our like with literature, you know, it's like how do we use it to heal? How do we use it as a tool of resistance and survival? Yes.
And I love that when we talk about survival, like you keep using the word resistance, which is so fucking important for this show. So I want you to just talk a little bit more specifically about how you personally see spirituality as being a form of resistance.
One thing like that really drew me into the country is something I carried my blood.
And, you know, I've just always felt deeply the moment that I was really like became a part of the community was being and have been bay, you know, a ceremony and seeing black and brown people respecting each other so deeply and like being in community with each other.
And as a brown person, that really blew my mind. And, you know, because there's so much like I've been talking about anti blackness in our communities in ways that we distance ourselves and try to get closer to whiteness, you know. So for me, I was like, holy shit, you know, this is a place where we commune with Spirit together and a place that's rooted in God, you know, and in different forms of just worship and healing.
There is like, you know, human shit in that. And there are ways that even in that sacred space, antiblack and this is still an active, you know, and like sacred things are kept from the folks that, you know, need to have the most, you know.
So that's I think it's very much connected to this conversation about like loving forms of literature, like Lovecraft and also being able to critique it. You know, like saying for folks in the church saying for folks in the synagogue, like, how do we honor ourselves and our traditions and also critique them when they're fucked up?
Yeah, that's that's a religious practice. That's about balance. You know, how do we honor the writing that we love and also say this was fucked up, you know, and we're going to take from it and and like, you know, just like Lenny does with different religions and different traditions, she's going to take what she needs to survive, not even disrespectfully, but just say like we need this right now. We need to call on ancestors.
We also need God. We also need all of these pieces. And what we come up with is something brand new and something absolutely beautiful and forged from our resistance and our need to survive and hopefully from love.
Yes. Daniel, how do the people that this has been fantastic. Thank you so much. Oh, my God.
Thank you all for having me. I'm very happy to have been here. Can't wait to talk to you more about the show you and.
I have a lot to say as we love it. We love to see it. Thank you, Daniel. Bye. All right, it was a ton of fun to get to talk with my guys, so much is so smart, such a good friend.
But we want to get back to Leidy, who's not only dealing with resurrections of the undead, but herself. She is the resurrection of the undead.
But we also have this art of reconnecting with her spiritual beliefs in different ways, somehow managing to feel connected to this larger conversation about resistance and about, you know, sort of.
I guess the right way to say it is sticking up for yourself, right? Right, absolutely. I mean, so let me get this big house and a very white part of town. And, you know, we have that title card at the beginning of the episode that says a group of 10 black folks who moved into a white neighborhood in 1955 and three went missing a week later. Pioneering is dangerous. I think we talked about this on the last episode, like we are abolishing the phrase we are not our ancestors.
We are not using that. And I say that because I'm like the very act of buying a home in this neighborhood and staking out claim to a space that has said that you're not welcome there is fucking revolutionary and it is obviously a form of resistance. She's the first black person in this neighborhood and that is not a small thing. We could have done an episode just about that without the ghosts and it would have been wild. Oh, yeah. But that in and of itself is such such a moment.
And the fact that also bloody plans to use the house to organize for her community, she's not entirely successful in the beginning because, again, she's not quite going about it the right way. I love that line where Ruby reminds her later, like you moved all your friends into the house, you moved the artists and the writers in. That's not the community necessarily. Those are your friends and. Right. You have to think a little bit bigger.
And the reason that that's really important and we talked about this a lot on the show, and I think it's important today because in a world with social media, I do think there is not always room to grow, especially as an activist and the fact that I believe in console culture, per say. But I just like the idea of Leidy being a flawed activist, somebody who was doing one thing before and is now trying to make the adjustment, OK, I'm going to buy this big house and it's going to be for the community.
Wait, my sister pointed out something really true, which is like this isn't activism purely like I wanted this house and I wanted to hang out with all of my friends. How can I make that adjustment? And over the course of the episode, she makes that adjustment. I just feel like that's important for all of us in this particular time during an uprising that's going to be ongoing, give yourself permission to grow as an activist in the way that that lady is doing.
There's this small moment that I just have to bring up because this also speaks to resistance.
And as we know, the family is not telling the truth, the entire truth to Hyppolite about what happened to George. And she's starting to feel it. And it comes up in this episode. But there's this fucking great line where she says to Montreaux, I know you Intec took care of that man. I don't need to know the details. And I just want to take a moment to say, like that is also our show.
We are just casually throwing it out there that Hippolyta knows for a fact they killed the sheriff who killed her husband.
I just want to acknowledge that history of our people, like if you think that we didn't bust back, sometimes we did. There's, again, resistance on so many different levels. I am here for all of it. And I want to thank Hyppolite for delivering that line so perfectly. And then we have this concept of people over property, which is ongoing in this country.
Oh, for sure. There's this real tension in this country now and not just now, but for some time now where black death is often justified if it's considered a threat to white property.
We've seen that be defended by the state over and over again. We've seen men be acquitted after killing black children because they claim they thought the black child was stealing something or robbing someone.
And that is ultimately considered a reasonable reason to end into life.
And that has been true for a long time.
This is a capitalist country and people's property are how they maintain or develop their wealth. And because money is considered life. Turns out it's a life or a life, but money being considered a life is only true to some people and that's how we get where we are, to be perfectly honest.
They put up a sign after Leidy moves into this house.
And I've got to say really quickly, Leidy, moving into this house brought up some really uncomfortable feelings for me because I love old Gothic looking houses.
I mean, go figure. Right, right.
I love that shit.
And there have been so many times when I've seen houses like that, when I've thought about buying houses like that and I look at the neighborhood and the demographics of it and decide that. And specifically have said many times when I made the decision, I'm not a pioneer.
And that's what I've said every time. I'm not going there because I'm not a pioneer.
Yeah, I love that you're saying that, too, because we also talked in the writers room about like that question. There's the other side of it, which is why integrate? Why pioneer? I think the line in the episode, if it's not in the episode, we did talk about it, but Ruby was like, you could have bought a big ass house on the south side.
Yeah, that's a valid question to why do this? Why go in there and put yourself at risk? And I think the answer is because we fucking belong here, because we fucking belong anywhere we want, because. Right. We're Americans. Whether that feels true all the time or not, we can live wherever the fuck we want. So fuck you.
And it's clear that the community does not agree. Yeah.
They make it very clear almost immediately that sign that Gates puts out that get that gets put out that says we are a white community, undesirables must go. That was why. Oh, yeah. To me, we are a white community. Undesirables must go. Like, first of all, we can't even be named.
Second of all, that sign was mad, professional looking.
Who made that sign like did they just had those around in case black people moved in or did somebody go down to the sign shop and was like, I mean, that wasn't a hand painted sign was? No, I like I made just watching it in the show.
I remember just being like, wow. Like I in my mind, I'm like, I don't care how much it costs. Somebody had to spend money on having this sign made and they probably had multiple signs made that say this.
And it's strange, I think sometimes to realize how deep somebody can get into an action or a thought process and and do something incredibly cruel like that.
And that's like as you were describing the sign, I'm like, yeah, that's true. Of all the energy you put into that sign. And you could have just sat there and ate your fucking food. Same thing for all the other white people, you know, showing up the the bricks placed over the horns to blast noise into the home. That is a real thing that used to happen. And Atticus mentions it's a tool used. It's a form of torture.
Right. We are going to torture you with noise. We are going to torture you with excessive heat. He knows a little bit about this. We'll find out more on that later. But you have all of these things happening, all the things that you expect to happen in an episode about a woman moving into a white neighborhood. But as I always say, I'm also very proud of the fact that in every episode, I think there's always a moment where we highlight black joy and black joy.
Right. As resistance, as also just like we're fucking partying and we're having sex in bathrooms because that's what you do at a party. Sometimes I have. So we love the party. It was it was so amazing. And just seeing all those beautiful people dancing and eating and, you know, there's a turn at the end. But what's so great about this fucking incredible scene with Letty and the baseball bat, that, too, I don't know about you.
I felt joy there. Shirley Caesar's playing in the background, the soundtrack to her busting the windows out of the car. I felt amazing. Oh, it sparked joy for me.
And can I just say that one of the things that sparked joy for me in that moment was that when she grabbed that bat, Atticus and these men grabbed their guns and they went out there and they just stood and waited as she busted these windows.
And they didn't put those guns down. Yeah. And they didn't do or say anything to anybody until the cops showed the Oregon.
Within the organization of it in that moment, but also I can't remember the last time I've seen in a film men gather to protect a black woman that I cannot think of the last time or moment I've seen a scene where a black woman was protected in the midst of her reasonable rage.
I can't think of anything.
So that absolutely blew me away.
That's a community. That's a community. And what you know, what Daniel was saying earlier about like you're supposed to draw on different communities and have communities and sometimes you all come together. And I do think that that's a lesson that Leidy is learning, like, what is my community? Who are they? I think she's really starting to understand, like, I'm not in this alone. The the more real I am, the more I can build with this community.
So I love that scene, too. And just fucking community. And somebody write that essay about why Ashley can't remember a scene where a black woman in a moment of rage is supported by a group of black men. And where is that scene and why aren't we seeing that? And what do we need to rectify?
We'll leave you guys with some references and recommendations. Just coming off of episode three, The Holy Ghost. We have kind of Montecristo, Dracula 13 Ghosts, The Exorcist, Beloved. Let's talk a little bit about Shirley Caesar and some gospel that people need to get into, actually.
I love Shirley Caesar and Dorinda Clark. Yeah, the fucking iconic Clark Sisters movie on Lifetime. You're not ready, but you need to watch it because you need to understand what's going on around here.
We got a dope New York Times article, Gods, Monsters and H.P. Lovecraft Uncanny Legacy, the My House series featuring Precious Ebony and many more iconic trans and queer dancers, which this show actually introduced me to precious Ebony.
And that is that has been a lovely, lovely rabbit hole to fall down.
Finally, you know, go check out one hundred years of Weird Fear by Daniel Jose, older and a little extra. Finally, he has an amazing wired series called Shadow Escaper that deals with elements of spirituality as resistance for young people in New York City. And it's really, really great. We love it.
So that is our show for this week. Thank you so much for listening. This show is hosted by us.
I'm Shannon Houston and I'm actually C for this podcast was produced by HBO in conjunction with Pineapple Street Studios are executive producers are Weiss Berman, Max Linsky and Barry Finckel. Again, Arrogation is our managing producer. The episodes lead producer is just Jupiter and our associate producers are Alexis Moore and Natalie Brenin.
Our editors are Maggie Sprong, Cayzer and Josh Gwinn.
Noriko Okabe is our engineer original music by composer Amanda Jones.
If you like the show and you have a minute, you can review and write this podcast via Apple podcast Spotify or anywhere else you might get your podcast. It really helps people find the show. You can also stream the podcast on HBO and HBO. Max will be back next week for Episode four, which premieres on HBO and streams on HBO Max on September 6th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. CNN.