Wednesday, November 06, 2013

“Hey, What’s with all of the movies about slavery?”

Last night, I went to the movies to see the period flick “12 Years A Slave.” This movie is being reported as a true story based on the autobiographical book of the same name which was written by Solomon Northup in 1853. The book is based on Solomon Northrup’s actual account of what he went through as a free black man living in the north that was kidnapped by white hunters and re-sold back into slavery to white “slavers” who ran “slave farms” in the south. Before this movie, I went to see “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler.” This movie has a black slave farm theme in it as well. There was another movie released this year with a slavery theme to it, but with a comedic twist called “Django Unchained.” Needless to say, I did not waste my time or my money going to see that crap. I agreed with Spike Lee when he stated his reasoning for not supporting this particular film which was, “There was nothing funny about slavery.”

I am not writing to give a play by play account of what I saw in the two movies that featured slavery themes that I did go to see at the theaters. I am writing to take a critical and analytical look at why “Hollyweird” has all of a sudden taken an interest in putting these movies out there. I will say this about the movie “12 Years a Slave” in that it is not a movie about slavery. It is a movie about one free man’s experience on a slave farm. You see. Solomon was a free Negro living a middle class life with his family in Washington DC without a care in the world about what was going on with Blacks in the south or anywhere else for that matter. His world was rocked simply because he naively trusted these two white men who flattered him with compliments and convinced him to leave his home in DC to go off with them to work in a circus type set-up to play his violin for some extra money. They paid him very well. He even went so far as to drink and have dinner with these two shady white men after work one evening. This is when they poisoned his wine. When he woke up, which appeared to be days later, he awoke to ragged clothes and locks and chains in a dark enclosed dungeon in the middle of nowhere.

The movie is graphic and very reminiscent of how most Blacks act today in society. The movie reminds you of what Blacks today do to survive under white rule today. The plantation scenes are very telling. All I can say is Black people are in dead last today because we refuse to read the history of our TRUE relationship with the white man. By the way, to all you African Americans out there, they enslaved Africans. It is the African who was colonized and made into the Nigger. The word Nigger was used so much, I thought there were rappers in the building. The word baboon was even used in one of the scenes in the movie. On the plantation is where the African was force fed the myths about Christianity and a so called Jesus Christ. It was on the plantation where the African had drummed into his psyche that the White race is superior. The enslaved Africans were also conditioned to believe that as long you obeyed your master, you shall live long and when you die you shall receive a reward in paradise and get the chance to sit next to some lord and savior. In the movie, after a whole week of picking cotton, chopping sugar cane, and getting ass whippings, the plantation owner had church on the lawn with his family and with all of the kidnapped Africans where he read from the Bible about obeying your master and working hard.

I mentioned that it was Africans who were kidnapped and brought to the plantations because many of us today seem to believe that we are descendants of a country called Black. WE are descendants of enslaved Africans from Africa. Of course, over the years to help forget this harsh reality, we call ourselves Negros, African-Americans or Blacks. Again, the white man did not go to a country nor a continent called Black and kidnap Africans. They went to Africa, a people with a culture, an identity. On the plantation, the enslaved Africans were not often referred to as Africans. They were often referred to as “my property” boy, gal, wench, Nigger and the Blacks! In the movie, “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler,” the first 15 minutes of the movie showed a female mulatto slave farm worker (the butler’s mother) get raped violently and her husband (the butler’s father) get shot in the head at point blank range by the son of the plantation (slave farm) owner and killed for attempting to stand up to him for he had just done to his wife. Again, this act was further conditioning the Blacks to never stand up to a white man.

I know I went there anyway with a little play by play action, but I guess I could not help myself. One would think that this sudden barrage of slavery themed movies this year would be laced with good intentions. One would even think that “Whorelywood” has taken an interest in making sure that Blacks today really learn some valuable American History in an effort to show how Blacks have come such a long way despite or in the midst of such adversity. Yeah right! Keep dreaming. The strategy of any prison today or any plantation back them was not to give the key to your freedom. You have to break out own by force your or create your own key to get away. Many Black people felt some type of justice after they left the movie theaters after having watched the movie “Django Unchained.” Many Blacks left the movie theaters feeling upset with the Black Panthers when they left the movie theaters after having watched “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler.” Blacks left the movie theater I was in last night in tears and feeling grateful to a White man who mailed a letter for Soloman, which led to his rescue from the slave farm.

However, I left the movie theater feeling the same way as always. These movies are created to gauge where we are in our desire to escape white rule and thinking like slaves and become the proud Africans we once were. These movies are created and widely distributed to allow us to do what Facebook, online blogs, Twitter, etc. allows us to do, which is to be angry in silence. History has taught us all that revolutionary fighting is not done at home behind a computer screen or sitting with your date at the movies. It is fought in the streets. After three slavery themed movies this year, it is safe to say that Blacks in America are safe in their fear and ignorance. The white man is still safe in his supremacy. Still, I would advise parents to take their children see “12 Years A Slave” and “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler,” There is something in these movies that just might spark something in the youth that has totally been missed on the old folks like me. For it will be the youth who shall spark the necessary revolution that will bring about the much prayed about equality and independence that the adult Blacks in this generation have failed to acquire.


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