Hollywood will keep churning out the African American films so long as they are about slavery, the Civil Rights movement, Jim Crow, the Black Codes, or anything having to do with those subjects. If you are a Black filmmaker and/or screenwriter, you will have a better chance of getting your work seen by the mainstream if you tailor it to include the topics mentioned above.
Like the Jewish Holocaust Machine, the Black Slavery Machine just keeps going and going and going…but I never dreamed they would actually create another Roots. Wasn’t the first mini-series good enough? Did it not tell Alex Haley’s story well? We were just reminded of our horrible start in this country with the film 12 Years A Slave, which was rather a remake of the mid 80s movie Solomon Northup’s Odyssey. Why do we have to keep hearing about slavery and not about the social ills that are hurting the modern African American community?
LeVar Burton (a co-exec producer of the new Roots) played Kunta Kinte like no other. I was a child when Roots was first aired, and children just don’t pay movies like that much attention. I was far more concerned with dolls, riding my bike, eating candy, and watching cartoons than I was Roots, though the older generations certainly enjoyed it – if seeing how your ancestors were treated at the hands of hateful Whites can be called ‘enjoyment’.
When I watch these movies, I often feel that the White actors aren’t truly acting when they depict the roles of these slave owners, overseers, bounty hunters, etc. I tend to believe that they relish the sound of the word ‘nigger’ as it rolls off their tongues, and are showing their ‘true colors’ such as they did in the tiresome film Django Unchained. I got so tired of hearing the N word that I almost turned the film off in the middle of it, but I made myself watch it till the end. My mother watched it 3 times in a row. Not sure what she found so entertaining about it. Tarantino films in general leave me bored.
Back to Roots…
We most assuredly did not need another one of these. How could they have improved upon the story of Alex Haley? I have never read Roots: The Saga of an American Family and I am a voracious reader. I have read 12 Years a Slave and some other books that touch upon the African American experience in this land of ours, and I will admit that such books give me just more reasons to dislike and be wary of White people, not just in the US but everywhere else. Hell, Whites in other lands aren’t much different to be honest, they simply have different accents and names!
About the new Roots, LeVar Burton stated: “I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity.”
My opinion is that we don’t need more slave narratives. Whites already feel that we use it enough as an excuse – mainly because they don’t wish to be reminded of their own ugly roles in the trade, and especially the Jews should not want to hear it over and over, since they benefited from slavery more so than the Nazis benefited from Jewish property during that nasty era. How about doing a film on Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Gabriel’s Conspiracy, Sojourner Truth, the Haitian Slave Rebellion (this one would make a great blockbuster) or even the slaughter of the Native Americans?