Martin Luther King said it best in 1967 delivering a speech: “Where do we go from here? First, we must massively assert our dignity and worth. We must stand up amid a system that still oppresses us and develop an unassailable and majestic sense of values. We must no longer be ashamed of being black. (All right) The job of arousing manhood within a people that have been taught for so many centuries that they are nobody is not easy.
Even semantics have conspired to make that which is black seem ugly and degrading. (Yes) In Roget’sThesaurus there are some 120 synonyms for blackness and at least sixty of them are offensive, such words as blot, soot, grim, devil, and foul. And there are some 134 synonyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity, and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. (Yes) The most degenerate member of a family is the “black sheep.” (Yes) Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child sixty ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the white child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority. [applause] The tendency to ignore the Negro’s contribution to American life and strip him of his personhood is as old as the earliest history books and as contemporary as the morning’s newspaper.”
I’ve over the last week read comments from a variety of outlets(Black media) encouraging blacks to go out and see and support “Twelve Years A slave“, another movie about slavery so soon after Jamie Foxx’s movie Django Unchained. It seems that black America has a fascination with reliving slavery, over and over, and reliving movie and images that remind us of our inferiority in this country. Contrasted with Tulsa Oklahoma during the early 1900′s it seems stories that tell a truth about black America post slavery is something blacks fear and do not support and in the original documentary the son of one the men who lost his hotel said that his father lost his will, which reminds me when I hear other blacks say blacks fear success this is what they mean.
There are over 7,300 banks in America(2013) and only 21 of them are black owned(an African-American holds 51% or higher stake), and with further investigation http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/02/african-american-owned-businesses-on-the-rise/ 87% of black owned businesses only net $50,000 annually in receipts.
The more troubling thing is the lack of knowledge about Tulsa from blacks and whites alike. I remember telling my young sibling about it, when she was looking for something to write for a school paper, so she presented it(along with a video I viewed) to her young and non black high school teacher who she said was so shocked to learn about that, as was her class mates. She conceded that she thought that the material was too mature for her class mates, but I told her it wasn’t and its something hopefully they will go home and share with their parents.
http://beforetheydie.org/ Check out “Before they die” a documentary made from the voices of the then survivors as they tried to get justice through congress as many of them died trying in recent years. Perhaps Malcolm D. Lee would make a movie about this or even Tyler Perry, I Suspect if Spike Lee attempted something of this sort blacks wouldn’t support in large numbers because any movie detailing historical greatness is shunned, mocked and plain so out of reach in the thoughts of descendants of slaves.
- Will This Year Cure Hollywood’s ‘Selective Amnesia’ With Black Filmmakers? (thewrap.com)
- 12 Years a Slave: in our ‘post-racial’ age the legacy of slavery lives on | Paul Gilroy (theguardian.com)
- Oprah Winfrey: President Obama is disrespected because he’s black (nydailynews.com)
- The Modern Day Slavery Epidemic (wakingtimes.com)
- Why the black backlash against ’12 Years a Slave’? (thegrio.com)
- “…As Race-Themed Films Soar?!” What The Hell, USA Today?!?! (moestes.com)
- Twelve Years A Slave (michaelflatt.wordpress.com)
- Film about 1898 riots evokes emotional response (wilmingtonfavs.com)
- 12 Years A Slave and What It Says for Black America Today (chocolatecoveredlies.com)
- America’s black movie amnesia: Non-slavery films sell, too, guys (salon.com)