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Live Vicariously Through Nola's Polyamorous Sex Life In the New Netflix Series 'She's Gotta Have It'

Human Interest

This Thanksgiving, our mouths will be watering for more than our grandmother's renowned sweet potato pie.

Netflix is gifting us early with quite the treat in the form of a remake of the 1986 Spike Lee joint She's Gotta Have It. The film not only gained prevalence for the fact that it was Spike's first, but also for its daring subject matter – a woman who unapologetically wants what she wants and has no trouble asking for it, i.e. one with a voracious sexual appetite.


The film's protagonist Nola Darling was that woman and even if you didn't agree with her choices, you admired her for her courage. Now, In 2017, we get to follow Nola through her sexual conquests with her various suitors for 10 episodes.

The millennial black creative is a self-described “sex positive, polyamorous pansexual" and each of the three guys (and the woman) on her dating roster bring something different the table as it relates to the unique value they bring to her love life both inside and outside the bedroom.

The star of the show bringing both color and new life into the updated Nola Darling is Baltimore-bred actress DeWanda Wise. Wise portrays the now fully realized Nola that is a woman who has an appetite for life, love, men, and women, who is ambitious, and insatiable, knows what she wants and doesn't know all at the same damn time. But what she knows she absolutely does not want is monogamy. It is a stark difference from Wise's reality because she's actually married to her husband and former Underground co-star Alano Miller.

Wise articulated her boundaries in a Cassius exclusive:

“We were very, very specific about what was and was not permitted. While viewers will only see the freedom of it, there's a lot you don't see. For example, you will never see any of my co-stars touching or fondling my boobs. There's no frontal on the show. [My husband and I] were super specific about our love and marriage, and keeping what's special and intimate, special and intimate. What turns me on, only Alano knows that."

The suitors on her roster include funny guy Mars who makes her laugh about any and everything, the model Greer who offers spontaneity and constant change, and Jamie – who offers her grown man sexy with the ability to take care of her in a way that exemplifies having it together. For fans of the movie and the show who watch and desire a sex life similar to Ms. Nola Darling's, Wise described to Cassius an easy solution:

“Find a partner who shares your sexual appetite. I have friends who are crazy voyeuristic, but they're compatible. They have the same vision and needs. For Alano [my husband] and myself, we have the same need to be in person, so we make our time together a priority. I think step one is be on the same sexual page. Step two is keep exploring. There are workshops and classes. There's so much you can do to explore what you like."

Black female sexuality is becoming increasingly more seen in the media thanks to shows like Insecure where Issa and Molly express themselves sexually and even Being Mary Jane. She's Gotta Have It not only paved the way for more stories about sexually liberated women of color but will hopefully join the ranks alongside some of those shows known for their women-centric stories that show women as complex sexual beings.

The actress recently told LA Times:

"We really don't see expressions of our sexuality. We sit at the sidelines of stories. So, I'm just thrilled to play people who I recognize as fully human. To say, 'We are here. We are full.' And in Nola's case, 'Yeah, we are sexually liberated.'"

Watch the full trailer for She's Gotta Have It below and be sure to tune in when it drops November 23 on Netflix.

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A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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