I don’t see a big difference…do you?
I know this might not be a popular viewpoint so let me state that this is simply my position. I do not condone, nor can I excuse the actions of Nate Parker when he was a younger man. As a survivor of sexual assault I understand first hand that it leaves scares that one must learn to live with. I can only hope that he has learned how devastating his behavior was, and become an advocate against sexual assault. I must say my concern is that personal issue with Parker threatens to take away from a film that we need to see. Too many of us have supported people that have done very terrible things in the name of being entertained. However, this isn’t just about entertainment but a story that needs to be told.
I personally find the timing of the Nate Parker story interesting. It came and caused some to say I won’t see the film because I refuse to support Parker. I truly believe this was the overall agenda of the media. Think about it… how many films do we have that depict the enslavement periods? We have quite a few, varying in accurately, but how many depict uprising? To many say we should move on from this period because it is in the past. We need to put slavery behind us we are told.
However, no one tells Holocaust survivors and descendants to move on. Yet the bottom line is there is plenty of accepted open dialog on the Holocaust. Germany has had to reckon with that history. Truth be told… the reason we can’t just move on is because America has never reckoned with the enslavement of black people. It has never been dealt with. Yes, we are aware it happened but the ramifications of it have never been dealt with.
Right now we have schools trying to rewrite history in an attempt to erase the evil of Americans past. Instead of facing where we have been as a nation… we are trying to wash it away. That is simply impossible. We need the arts (film, literature, art, music) to tell our story. It’s important that it be told all of the enslaved did not accept their condition lying down. It’s important for the very psyche of American born blacks to know yes we did fight back. The depiction of us in the world is not always accurate. It’s important that other people of color, as well as our African brothers and sisters, know our plight. It needs to be our story told by us.
This film is bigger than Nate Parker, and its need is great. I don’t condone his behavior as a man, yet I appreciate his courage to make such a film. As one who majored in English, and History, I will be going see this film at least twice. I will view it once for myself, and once to write a review. I support the telling of our stories. The voices of our ancestors have been silenced from us for far too long. We need to feel their strength and understand their sacrifice. I’m going see Birth of a Nation, and I hope many of us will be in the theatre to support the telling of our history… by us. Birth of a Nation releases in theaters nationwide October 7, 2016.
Article written by Christian Starr
This is a great scene from the film Hollywood Shuffle. I remember seeing this film as a kid. I think the director Robert Townsend was really ahead of his time. This film is considered a classic by many. This scene perfectly illustrates that Hollywood is not very liberal at all. Hollywood is full of racist stereotypes and always has been. Many in Hollywood like to think of themselves as being liberal minded but they are far from it. The entire industry is ran by racists in my opinion. Even though this film was made way back in 1987 the racist stereotypes persist to this very day. Hollywood has made a fortune by portraying black people as maids,criminals,pimps,drug dealers,slaves,mammies, hustlers and sexual deviants.I’ve also noticed that many times black people die first in their films. We are always killed very early in most films.
This is a pattern I’ve seen over and over again. It just goes to show that we are seen as expendable. In their eyes our lives don’t matter very much and no one will care if we die. These racist stereotypes are nothing but conditioning the mind that black lives do NOT matter at all. The stereotypes are endless and have never stopped.
There is always The pimp. The pimp is there so that people see the black man as abusive and controlling. A horrible stereotype that Hollywood loves to use.
The Slave image never seems to go away. Back in the 1970’s you had the television drama Roots. But there have been countless others. Films like Amistad,Drum,Belle,Beloved,Glory,Mandingo and 12 Years a Slave. The slave stereotype is a constant reminder that blacks are second class citizens. And that blacks are here to work for white people. The fact that Obama is in office means nothing. That’s why slave films are so popular. It reminds the white audience that blacks are inferior. And to remind black people what their position is supposed to be. As if we didn’t already know right?
The Black Criminal is a must in racist Hollywood. Not only are there many black criminals in films but gangster rappers help to reinforce the “scary black man” stereotype. Hollywood has an obsession with black pathology. Anything that has to do with black death,violence or black degradation…..Hollywood is there to promote it! These gangster rappers are being duped. All they care about is getting paid. But there are being used to perpetuate the fallacy that most black men are demonic,sex crazed,blood thirsty criminals. Hopefully one they’ll wake up and see the truth.
The Pickaninny is back again! The Pickaninny was very popular back in the 1920’s and 30’s. You saw this stereotype in cartoons a lot. Buckwheat from the Little Rascals television show was a popular pickaninny character. Usually the character has their hair standing up looking unmanageable in some fashion. Now there is a show called Orange is The New Black with a woman named Crazy Eyes. It glorifies female prison life. That’s her in the pic up above. You thought the pickaninny was gone right? Don’t worry…racist Hollywood has you covered.
The Mammy stereotype is another one that wont go away. This video clip shows how the mammy has always been used. This shows black woman as maids and always their to take care of the white children. She is usually am overweight dark skinned woman. She is always seen as non-threating and there to help whites in any way she can. Oprah Winfrey plays into this stereotype a lot. The mammy works alongside the slave stereotype. They both are there to serve the needs of white people. Even above their own personal needs.
That’s why the film The Help was so popular and got lots of awards. These are not all the racist stereotypes. There are many more. But these are some of the most popular stereotypes. The comedy Hollywood Shuffle was made twenty-eight years ago. It was a great commentary on how blacks are stereotyped and pigeonholed in a racist industry. So I ask you…how much has changed?
Very rarely does a book come with a money-back guarantee. But that is precisely the case when you invest in Slaves with Swag by Daryl T. Hinmon, a riveting read which endeavors to fill in some of the blanks in black history.
For, it is the author’s contention that the generic, grade school education leaves most students with “the very false impression that ALL slaves were submissive, timid, illiterate, severely oppressed and dirt poor.” So, he sets about disabusing us of that conventional wisdom via biographies of some heroes who defied that very demeaning definition of African-Americans forefathers.
In fact, the five gentlemen pictured on the book’s cover were slaves who had been anything but deferential. In total, this informative tome highlights the escapades of over fifty of these so-called “slaves with swag,” in an attempt to illustrate just how widespread resistance to the institution of slavery really was.
For example, Hinman recalls how young Isaac Burgan struck a white man in the back of the head with a poker to save his mother from a whipping at the hands of a sadistic overseer. The text also chronicles a newspaper account of a 1774 revolt by six male and four female runaways who killed their owner in the field before proceeding inside the big house to slay his wife and son. They continued the rampage on a couple of neighboring plantations until the rebellion was crushed and the participants lynched.
A treasure trove of fascinating stories about intrepid souls ignored by history who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Satisfaction guaranteed, too!