150 Years After Emancipation Proclamation Films Bring Slavery To Forefront

django-unchainedBy Warin Henry

It is fitting that the Emancipation Proclamation turns 150-years-old this week, during a time in which slavery is receiving more media attention than at any time in the last 30 years.

Just in the last few weeks alone, “Django Unchained” was released, “Lincoln” has been in the theaters, as well and BET showed the mini-series “Roots” in the days leading up to Christmas.

The subject of slavery has historically been what I referred to as America’s “Black Box.” Everyone knows it’s there, but few are willing to acknowledge its presence, and even fewer are willing to open the box and dig into its varied contents.

When “Roots” debuted in 1977, it was groundbreaking on so many levels. “Roots” tells the story of Alex Haley’s family from first being kidnapped in Africa, to the trials and tribulations of slavery, and ultimately, freedom. Never before had the American public dealt with the depths of slavery told through the eyes of people of color on such a public platform before. BET was honoring the 35th anniversary of “Roots” and I was glad they showed it because many in my generation (those under 30) may not have had the opportunity to see it before.

Though I have yet to see “Django Unchained,” just based off of friends reviews and others on Twitter, the grand majority of people seemed to have enjoyed it. It is not often that a movie encompassing slavery would be described as entertaining and enjoyable, but “Django” seems to have accomplished just that for a number of people. Meanwhile, as good of a job as Daniel Day-Lewis does of portraying Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln,” many are dissatisfied at the absence of Fredrick Douglass anywhere in the movie.

It is good that there are films dealing with slavery, if only on the periphery. It is important that we not forget that slavery, as an institution, is older than this nation itself. One of the best ways to educate people is to inform them. However, before people can be informed, they must first be made aware. These movies are doing just that.

Warin Henry is a thinker, poet, blogger, and an aspiring film producer. He currently blogs about film and media in regards to people of color at filmswag.blogspot.com. He resides in New Jersey

9 Responses to 150 Years After Emancipation Proclamation Films Bring Slavery To Forefront

  1. It’s amazing how a white boy can make a film about our forced enslavement, while making it into a comedy. It’s also, amazing how these modern day new age slaves can go around, and claim, this movie is okay and accurate.

    Far from the Truth. You have these educated slaves and fools, who claim this movie is worthy of watching, but fail to see, how these movies still degrade Black people. How come these white boys or negroid movie directors, show OURstory in a POSITIVE way instead of ALWAYS depicting OURstory as nothing but slavery?

    I’m getting sick of watching this slave azz shyt becaue OURstory did not begin with slavery…we were ENSLAVED by a group of murderous, gun toting, head scalping caucasoids!!!

    But, BEFORE we became ENSLAVED, WHERE IS OURstory ABOUT US BEING KINGS, QUEENS, GODS, GODDESSES, PHAROHS, PRINCE, AND PRINCESSES, INVENTORS AND CONTRIBUTORS, WHO ONCE RULED THE WORLD? Where is this OURstory? We invented EVERYTHANG the white boy touch, but they (romans, greeks, euro-anglos) stole OURstory and claimed it for themselves. ELECTRICITY was introduced by Black Afrikans!!! How do you think they built the inside of the Pyramids, if they didn’t have light? Fragments were found inside the Pyramids, which prove they had electricity during that time period.

    These yankees re-wrote OURstory, and these dumb educated slaves, and so-called Boule’ negroids beLIEve what these demons show about our past. This is the brainwashing that goes on, on a daily basis. Our children are dumb down with this racist educational system because these domonic female caucasoid teachers are hired to TRAIN our children to THEIR lifestyle and his-story/his-LIE!!!

    OURstory DID NOT BEGIN WITH SLAVERY!!!

    WE WERE HEROES/SHEROES AND INVENTORS, WHO FREED OUR ‘OWN’ PEOPLE!!!

    • positivity speaks with common sense

      Black on black crime and the affirmative action negro is at its worse when affirmative action negroes/AKA black millionaires, seek to blame their lack of equal social opportunity on poor black negroes, and use their position power to destroy their own people. The ex-ghetto negro who benefited from good social policy now looks down on the blacks who didn’t make it out. They see everything in themselves in these people and money cant stamp it out. Whenever they aren’t invited to a white’s party, or get a job, they blame it on their blackness instead of their low thinking, immorale drug addicted ways, and sorry personal habits. Then they look at the poor negro and hates, because they see their incompetence and niigertude wide open.
      The house negro has power now and they are using it to genocide their own race. That is what is going on today.
      Rich, Black, Flunking
      Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
      By Susan Goldsmith
      Published: May 21, 2003
      The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, standardized test scores, and enrollment in advanced-placement courses. On average, black students earned a 1.9 GPA while their white counterparts held down an average of 3.45. Other indicators were equally dismal. It made no sense.

    • Bro. Derrick, you’re right again. Peace.

    • Bravo, we’ll said and well written.

  2. positivity speaks with common sense

    What happens when an animal or people or anything is expected to disappear or made extinct???

    The white man records it

    THINK IF YOU HAVE A d**n BRAIN TO DO SO.

    When Bush started that statute of MLK on the Whitehouse mall, I knew extinction for black people would follow. In the next 4 years so few negroes will be on the street, that it will be something to celebrate to find one.

  3. Black people should stop giving their money (millions$$) to these White movie makers, and their Black cheerleaders who help them by telling us to go see such movies. Why give this White man (Django) and White woman (The Help) your money so he/she can show you as being a bad azz slave/Civil Rights Negro?

    Stop giving them your money, and stop listening to Negroes who tell you to do so.

    Support Black film makers, eventually we will have the breakout Black film makers we desire.

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