Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Jodie Turner-Smith & Daniel Kaluuya on Queen & Slim, Self Identity & Social Media Criticism

I know black love personally. I was raised, in part, by two black people who were in madly in love. My maternal grandparents, Islyn and Ben, were soulmates. When I graduated from university, my grandma flew in to attend the ceremony while my grandpa stayed back home. My aunty, who my grandma was staying with, accidentally read an email grandma had left open on my aunty’s laptop. “I long to hear your voice,” my grandpa wrote to his wife. “Hearing your voice is like hearing it for the first time.” When my grandpa died, my grandma followed soon after. 

I tell that story so you understand how excited I was seeing a promotional picture of Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya. Starring in Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas’ new film Queen & Slim, Turner-Smith and Kaluuya posing as their characters is hauntingly similar to this picture my grandparents must have taken in the late seventies. When Queen says, “Can I be your legacy?” and Slim replies, “You already are.”, I’ve seen love that bone deep and earth-shattering up close.