Davis, Bridgett M.
Davis, Bridgett M.
Born in Detroit, MI; married; children: one son. Education: Graduated from Spelman College, 1982; Columbia University, M.S.
Writer and professor. City University of New York, Baruch College, New York, NY, associate professor of English. Actress and director of film Naked Acts, 1996.
Brooklyn Arts Council award, New York, NY; Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Thomas J. Watson Foundation.
(And director) Naked Acts, MTI Home Video, 1996. Shifting through Neutral, Amistad (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to books, including In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers, edited by Kevin Powell and Ras Baraka, Writers and Readers (New York, NY), 1992; The Black Women's Health Book: Speaking for Ourselves, edited by Evelyn C. White, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1994; Skin Deep, Spirit Strong: The Black Female Body in American Culture, edited by Kimberly Gisele Wallace-Sanders, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Detroit Free Press, Venue, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York News-day, Chicago Tribune, Independent, Columbia Journalism Review, Black Film Review, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, and the Wall Street Journal.
Bridgett M. Davis is an associate professor of English at Baruch College of the City University of New York. In 1991 she took a screenwriting course out of curiosity and has found herself involved in film and screenwriting ever since. In 1996 she directed and acted in Naked Acts, a film about an African-American actress who refuses to appear nude in a film her ex-boyfriend is directing. Throughout the film, Cecily, the protagonist, deals with her own insecurities and her dislike of her own legendary blaxploitation-star-mother's nude scenes in films. Ed Hulse reviewed the film in Video Business. Although he found some faults with characters' personalities, Hulse felt that this "chick flick" would be successful with "angry females who resent what they see as evil Hollywood treatment of women."
In 2004 Davis wrote her first novel, Shifting through Neutral. Taking place in 1960s and 1970s Detroit, the story introduces Rae, a girl who sleeps downstairs with her disabled father in the basement of their middle-class house. Her mother's ex-boyfriend and true love comes back into her life and forces Rae to choose sides and find out who she really is.
Reviews were mostly positive for Davis's debut novel. A critic writing in Publishers Weekly gave Shifting through Neutral "two thumbs up," and continued, "Davis doesn't miss a beat in this moving study of dysfunctional families and the power of transcendent love." Writing in Booklist, Gillian Engberg said the "riveting family drama filled with sharply drawn individuals … reads like [a] memoir." Jennifer Jackson, writing on the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site, felt that Davis "combines a beautiful, haunting prose with fully developed characters who are … three-dimensional, coming to life off pages of evocative imagery and very little exposition." Jackson concluded by saying that Davis's book "exposes part of what it really means to be human, to love, and be loved by an imperfect family."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Shifting through Neutral, p. 1423.
Essence, July, 2004, Shay Youngblood, author interview, p. 130.
Publishers Weekly, April 19, 2004, review of Shifting through Neutral, p. 39.
Video Business, March 6, 2000, Ed Hulse, review of Naked Acts, p. 22.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (June 24, 2006), Jennifer Martin-Romme, review of Shifting through Neutral.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (June 24, 2006), Jennifer Jackson, review of Shifting through Neutral.
Indie Wire,http://www.indiewire.com/ (September 28, 1998), Maya Churi, author interview.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (June 24, 2006), author profile.
Shifting through Neutral Web site,http://www.shiftingthroughneutral.com (June 24, 2006).