Powerfully articulated, brother! And I, too, have found myself in this crippling mindset. I have had to find ways to calm myself and breath because if I didn't, I would go mad at comments like, "you know more whites are shot than blacks." Ya think? There's 194 million white people in this country and 33 million black people. If the numbers REALLY added up, blacks would not be shot at 30 TIMES the rate of the number of white people, but folks don't care to do the REAL math when it comes to those numbers. These are the kinds of responses that just last week had me wanting to curl up into a ball and never leave my house again. If I didn't have a peace that passes all understanding, I'm sure I would never see the light of day again.
I fully understand your fears, Br. Easley. I will not deny that the reasons for them are real because they are. I was reading an article by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the other day. His Father and grandfather were both law enforcement officers---cops, and he took a balanced approach to this points out stats that show that more whites have been shot by cops than blacks. In any case, this is a very complex problem that I will not try to analyze in this space, but I will say that the solution lies in a concerted effort to address and resolve some very serious social issues. Interestingly, Martin Luther King, Jr. provided us with the formula for doing it, and though we celebrate his birthday with "parties and parades," as my friend Harry Belafonte referred to them, we don't seem to know anything about what Dr. King was trying to teach us. However, when we apply those lessons, I think the problems will be solved.
Awesome awesome awesome read Charles!
@Warren Sally We are definitely on the same page. My mom insisted we watch Roots and it was hard to process for a very long time but I appreciated the cultural awakening it had on folks. I too am ready for some affirming stories like the journey to being the first Black President. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
@evelyn I am glad you enjoyed the production and I hope it does reach a younger audience. I guess for me I will check it out when I see more diverse topics explored. Thank you for sharing your experience.
@Kizzy 2016 You obviously do not follow my work and did not get the intent of the article. I want more balance in the narratives that are being explored about black culture. The current narrow filter is intentional to keep only certain themes expressed. Thank you for reading.
I agree that slave narratives are produced to do exactly what your saying. I've asked several of my friends and co-workers if they have or will watch roots and they're response was "No". I remembered my grandmother telling us to watch the original Roots and I had some hard feelings towards the other side for a while. We have so much rich history that could be told, but are not because we are continued to be portrayed as pimps, thugs, and drug dealers. Let there be a "ROOTS" about how an African American have become the President of the United States!!
Just watched Roots. Well worth the watch. Beautifully done and the story is brought up to date; more historically accurate. The timing of this production is great for this generation. We have to keep telling our story.
Okay, Uncle Tom. Yes, let's erase our history. Unbelievable.
@Cole Butler Your points that it has serious impact on the soul and psyche are so valid. I would encourage you as a student of film and a cultural critic to watch the original Roots as well for an appropriate frame of reference. Thank you for your insightful thoughts and insight.
@Evelyn You are so welcome and thank you for sharing your views. Let me know what you think about the Urban Nerd series....smile.
@Sue Johnson I believe we are of the same mind set on the impact such narratives have on women and minorities. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic.
@Tameka You raise some very valid points that they can help to educate folks but when the narratives that explore a particular culture are so narrow that education can sometimes be flawed. And there are some great independent projects done but they do not have the marketing budgets to get mainstream distribution so there impact is minimal. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic!
@Tiffene Love Screenwriter I agree that yes the same resources and money could have been used to produced something new and exciting but I also know the powers that be have an agenda to keep the same narratives going. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic.
@Tre McGriff I see your point and I grew up and experienced the first Roots and saw the incredible and immediate impact it had on folks black and white. I still want more balance and also understand that the decision to bank roll such narratives comes with an agenda that is psychological in its intent. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
@Daisean Mills I think you might have more current and affirming stories that you would want to explore....smile Thank you for reading and sharing your perspective as a filmmaker.
I agree that there should be more historical artworks for people of color that dont show us in inferior roles. I feel that, it's something we are too used to seeing. We are never shown in a good light with fewer character flaws and unfortunately we are obsessed with being flawed due to the slavery mentality that has been engrained in our subconscious. I did start watching the show because I never watched the oringinal, Roots. It's apparent that the show is destined to showcase the breaking of Kunta Kinte's legacy for generations. The world at large, can most definitely use a less graphic narrative for people of color. To see women being taken for the pleasure of anyone who could care less about our virtue is a difficult thing to witness even in a fictional television platform. However, I think it has information athat our youngest generation needs to witness so that they understand that they are more than meets the eye. As a youngster, watching things like this made me angry but its also quickened my souk conscious to understand thay I have mkre depth than meets the eye. Its totally about how you percieve it.
Charles I will check out your work. @emienewright thanks for the list of movies. I'll seek those out as well. Loving my black history now that I didn't get growing up.
I am tired of the constant reboots of originals from years past. If it wasn't broke, then why fix it thought. Besides, you are so correct Mr. E, it maintains the mentality of an already bias film and television viewer to see the African-American as one under. It also attempts to keep women of any color even further down the line of equality. Have no desire to see the "new" ROOTS. I saw the original and cried. Same with 12YEARS A SLAVE.
First things first. The original version was better, however, the West African accents and casting of Africans are on target in this re-telling ( no shade, Will Smith: "Tell de troot.")
I get why the slave narrative is (seemingly) prevalent. It is a profitable, proven formula. Fortunately, the formula also benefits us in that it fills the void that lazy parents and schools create when they fail to thoroughly educate students in US History. They re-telling is necessary and timely in an era when, despite the messaging that BLack Lives Matter, many brothas are not their brothers keepers as evidenced by daily crime reports and films like Chiraq. History, including slave and civil rights narratives, reminds us to 'remember' our selves. That's a positive in my book and I much prefer such narratives to Empire, the shock value of productions like How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal, and the shallow predictability of Tyler Perry and barber/beauty shop comedies (for lack of a better term).
That said, there is room for new narratives and no one's stopping us from creating them. Documentaries are the next, great, accessible frontier for anyone with a camera and a story to tell. I will support well planned, quality productions about us and pray Spike Lee and Ava Duvernay keep them coming.
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