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12 Years a Slave-Generations of Oppression

black historyA great film with superb acting. This film showcased dynamic writing skills and impeccable acting from the main character Solomon Northup-Chiwetel Ejiofor to the children actors, from the co-stars to the extras. This film also introduced us to the beautiful Adepero Oduye on the big screen. Everyone in the film put their best foot forward, showing the harsh reality of our history, making this book come alive across the big screen. Importantly so, this story needed to be told, and the observations made during the viewing served a reminder of how the African American race has been mentally poisoned, slowly dieing off.

The initial thoughts prior to viewing this movie rang out with tones of “not another slave movie.” and “here we go again.” During the movie feelings of annoyance, frustration, anger and sadness filled the theatre. Unspoken, the emotions seemed to seep from our pores. We felt each other’s hatred, hurt, depression, oppression and inferiority. Our subconscious mental inferiority causes some of us to rise to the occasion and beat the odds, to become better than expected. Causing others to rebel and perpetuate every stereotype, mostly out of anger and ignorance. The most powerful message came from the smallest roles. The minimal roles showed the mental paralysis of the slaves. Survival by conforming. This mindset is prevalent today, doing what is needed to make it day to day regardless if it is demeaning. Often times we sit and listen to people disrespect our race and culture, abusing our words or even our fashion. In casual settings and even our workplace, racial comments and generalities are made with no correction or confrontation as a rebuttal(enter Richie Incognito stage left). Often times, nothing is said out of fear-losing job, friends, lack of support; Shock/Stun-being put off guard, disbelief; These issues aren’t widely addressed as frequently as they occur because of confrontation. Often times we wonder if it’s worth it to get ourselves upset over something we feel may not make a difference.

In conversing with others about this movie, I realized why these movies are continuously made. The younger generations who may have forgotten the turmoil of our race need a refresher course. They are cognizant of our history as it relates to slavery, but still ignorant to the brainwashing that has led to a possible genocide. They may have never seen Roots, Rosewood, Amistad, The Birth of a Nation, and other movies depicting the hardships our ancestors endured, and need new and graphic visuals of the mistreatment of our people. Schools haven’t ever taught the subject in its truth, so young Black America lack that ever present knowledge of our history. The black history that is taught doesn’t show the greatness of our people. Unless its read in a book or researched through self initiative, the successes of those who came before us are unknown. Many people are unaware of the affluent black community dating back to the 1800’s and earlier. This movie depicted a small part of this, but just enough to spark a curiosity amongst younger blacks with hopes of personal research. We have done well for ourselves for a race that was born out of hatred, greed and contempt. We’ve come a long way for equality but our sense of community and unity is worse off than it has ever been. We now live with the “Everyman for Themselves” mentality with no regard for the race as a whole.

Unsure why, but I feel as if these past few years’ racist actions have been a lot more blatant than previous years. Or is it that I am more aware because of natural maturation. So I challenge myself as well as others to represent themselves in such a way that uplifts our race.

“The ghetto is a place to be from, not a person to become. Not who I am not what I am. Being black doesn’t make me ignorant, being black doesn’t make me a criminal…”-Nana Ochi

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in Our Culture/Our World

 

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Black History/Culture

It is very interesting to me how Black people are the most cultured people, yet cannot identify with any particular traditions dating back in history.  Being resourceful people, we take this opportunity to make the best out of a seemingly negative situation.  We create our own culture, based on our genetic strength in dance, music and other art forms.  If only we could find out where we are truly from.  Ancestery.com can only tell us so much.  It’s amazing how we weren’t even considered “people” being treated inhumane.  The farthest many of us can trace is the 20’s.  What do we contribute to our culture? Music of course-blues, jazz, rag time, R&B, hip hop, and even rock; Food-for the soul, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, greens, mac and cheese, corn bread, grits, biscuits; Dance, and style. From the afro and platforms, to the braids and Jordans, it’s all us.  Is this our culture? Lucky for us, we can create new elements of our culture, and omit those which we don’t identify with.

 

We must leave a legacy for our future people.  Shout out to those educating their children of their culture.  We all should do our part in educating ourselves, to educate our community, to educate our nation.

 

Just a lil of THE TRUTH

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Our Culture/Our World

 

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