As I predicted, “12 years a slave” takes it all at the Oscars. And as might be expected, the commentary already calls it some kind of “atonement” for Hollywood which it says has historically ignored slavery. Well, maybe they have ignored slavery, but they have certainly not ignored Afrikan servitude. We have been butlers, maids, slaves, and almost everything else. my question is where is the award for the Afrikan film that talks about victory OVER those things and I mean like freedom fighter films? Exactly. You keep buying the image of yourself as one who was always a slave and you’ll have more than 12 years of bondage. The notion that the Afrikan narrative in the Western Hemisphere has only been about slavery is a LIE. So many stories begging to be told and we just get a word association game where you say “Afrikan history” and the only thing hollywierd can think of to respond is “slavery.” Typical Euroamerican liberal BS. Ya’ll can have it.
If we gone do slavery where are the Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner, Toussaint L’Overture biopics? how about David Walker, Ida B Wells, Martin Delaney, even JOHN BROWN ain’t got the good treatment. How about all these heroes? No, to be heroic as an Afrikan within their perspective is to struggle WITHIN the system of oppression not to fight and die to overcome it. Game recognize game. How about the Maroon communities, Black Wall Street, the Gullah Geechee communities..HELLO? And all these clowns can come up with is 1000 variations on slavery? They better hope I never get the powerball cause I’m gone open up Afrosmackdown studios. Let’s have some sensitive quality works like Christopher Columbus: The Devil Comes to Earth or maybe The Vandals and Visigoths: Who The Real Cannibals, 800 Years of Afrikan Rule in Europe, The Indentured Servants, and see if I win any awards for being inclusive of European history and if the Euroamerican liberals will feel it important to take their own kids to see the more humble elements of their struggle for humanity. I have a feeling this wouldn’t be cute and cuddly no more when we all get REAL.
Based on the real story of a bunch of European cannibals and savages. Oh, and I would not be trying to denigrate their history..I would just be trying to create constructive and progressive social dialogue about the meaning of their oppression.
I come from a line of real slaves and we don’t play with this. This ain’t cute or cool or slick. This is EVIL. Trying to get people to enjoy their oppression and honor it and pay for it and thereby mentally and spiritually embrace Eurocentric historical fiction as their true story. It’s not slavery itself as a subject that is the problem, it is the angle of the films being told from the system. Its always about how the person learns to cope and deal and resist within the context of that system. but a people that will be free don’t tell THAT story. they focus on the stories of those that did not attempt to cope and carve out survival within, but who fought against and if necessary died, in resistance. Paraphrasing Malcolm,…you been bamboozled, hoodwinked, buffaloed, run amuck, led astray and ain’t none of these so-called chicken leaders some of ya’ll following said nothing because the power structure tells them to buy a ticket and take a seat and validate this. But not this one. I’m not for sale and neither were my ancestors and you can’t pimp them now without me calling out such demonic behavior.
To hell, and I mean that literally with the butler, the help, when we were colored, django, roots (the TV not the book), Amistad, monster’s ball, gone with the wind, birth of a nation, precious, and all these other fictionalized images of afrikan people rooted in their oppression by Eurocentrism and white supremacy that are designed little more to make you even MORE IGNORANT about your own true history and more comfortable with being a so-called minority and second class human being, thinking that your lot. As long as a people confuses what was done to them by evil with their actual story and destiny, they will live that history over and over again. After watching other people tell you how you were nothing but a slave, nothing but a butler, nothing but the help, you end up coming out ready to be the prisoner in 2014. If some one in Hollywood asked me to pretend to be a butler in 2014, ya’ll would need to call Hard Copy or one of them other shows and get a bail fund together.
I’d like to do a fantasy film where some real slaves come back and show up at the Oscars and jack all them bogus trophies, and leave a note. “Partial reparations payment. If you REALLY sorry..pay up…”
Get dis. I am not a slave. Neither were my ancestors. They were children of the most high God Almighty who were Enslaved by evil and wicked people. It is evil to continue to try to tell me they were slaves, rather than being enslaved thus shifting the focus from the evil ones who enslaved them to their victim status and their oppression and then tell me THAT is their history. And the idea is that I am supposed to APPLAUD you for that? Negro please! All this so that I can get comfortable in the system that enslaved them? Slavery is not and never will be justifiable. I am not TRYING to justify it or come to terms with it or come to terms with those who come to terms with it. I am trying to DESTROY it. Not just for Afrikans and not just for the past but for all time and all people. And if I am trying to destroy it, my films need to be about people who were trying to destroy it not those who were forced to endure within. And trust me, you won’t see those films from Hollywierd and when they DO come out, watch them hide them Oscars.
D. Washington didn’t get an award for portraying Malcolm X, cause see Malcolm wasn’t gone be nobody’s slave, or butler or help not before Mecca or after it either. How about Sankofa? Nope, no trophy. Rosewood, no that was independent Afrikans who were not trying to assimilate. The Academy didn’t find an Oscar for that, but you can be any kind of slave or domestic you want and they put your name on the trophy. Good boy..good girl…We are so ignorant of our own history that we confuse historical fiction with history or even worse the reality of slavery as the whole of our historical narrative when in effect the enslavement experience was only a small part of who we have been in history.
The only thing I get from watching a slave film is MAD. I will never be ENTERTAINED by watching oppression of any kind, particularly that of my own people. And there is something seriously mentally deranged and spiritually flawed in any people that could watch their oppression in movie after movie, TV show after TV show, listen to it in song after song, and actually BE entertained. That is psychopathy and post traumatic stress disorder, a condition that needs treatment, not something worthy of awards for artistic merit.
“Sankofa” while not flawless, is at least an attempt to put slavery in an Afrikan context. My own point is not that we don’t talk about enslavement, but that we don’t talk about enslavement Eurocentrically as if the struggle of our people was about integration and assimilation and these things rather than humanity and liberation. Films and culture should be as much about where you want to go as where you have been. If you sit around watching yourself be butlers and maids and slaves, where are you going? Or where do others intend for you to go?
The problem we have is that we have failed to build the institutions that will teach our people their own history and so in hunger for knowledge they consume whatever is put on the screen, on record, on TV, that reflects them, whether it is good for them or not or truthful in a desperate desire to see something that says they are of value and validated in the world.
For me it’s less about which story is more important than the story that is repeatedly chosen to be told and the nature and purpose of that choice. I tend to gravitate towards the story NOT told because usually there is an ideological reason within the system of oppression as to WHY it is not. There is that saying “as long as the hunter tells the story the lion is not going to come out well”. My question here is why lions keep going to hunter stories and honoring them, when they are going to get at least conceptually killed in the end, and what is the effect on a generation of lions who are socialized to watch the hunter’s version of events? Malcolm said you would end up rooting for the killers. Take slasher films, you start rooting for Freddy Kreuger despite the fact that he was a child killer and a homicidal maniac. You learn to be entertained by his savagery. Given that template, what is the effect of the mind on the oppressed by having the oppressors perennially show them films that place them as the oppressed and as victims of a history he or she controls?
It scares me how blind Afrikan people have become to reality as long as they are being recognized by Eurocentric civilization. Here is the point. If I was not an Afrikan and I wanted to win an Oscar, I could play any number of roles and could point to people like me who had won one in all of those different roles. However, if you make a list of Afrikans who win the Oscar, and eliminate those that were either slaves, domestics, or in some dynamic of oppression that cast them as victimizer or victim (like Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball” or Denzil Washington in “Training Day”), your list reduces to what? That is not accidental and no matter how much folks try to excuse that, it is something that has to be subject to critique.
Another way of looking at this. If you banned Hollywood from making any film that case Afrikans in a socially negative light or in a system of oppression like slavery or any oppressed dynamic like domestic violence, what would be the odds I would see any major Hollywood film produced on the African experience in my lifetime? Yet in mainstream society films like Terms of Endearment, Kramer Versus Kramer, and so on exist. Where are the films of Afrikans being okay with each other or co-existing with others as something besides an inferior? And if that’s too hard to wrap one’s head around, how about films about Afrikans that present them just doing things for themselves without reference to mainstream society? So the issue remains why is it that mainstream Hollywood is ignorant of any other narrative about Afrikan life in the US or globally? And secondly, why do Afrikan people like to consume images of their own oppression, almost to the exclusion of anything else?