Stand in line to see Star Wars? Nah, but this one, I’m in!
a.) I really hope it “went there” (because we’ve seen how things “get edited”) or white saviors appear that never existed
b.) I really hope it’s in more than just 4 theaters in the entire country
c.) Imagine the Hollywood quandary if it makes $500M?
Would studios make more stories on Black uprisings or leave money on the table? Remember, those stories are largely untold because they explain how brutal America’s slave system really was to fellow human beings just a few generations ago. There might be some explaining to do when the country has taught slavery was about evangelism and work for immigrants from Africa to children for 150 years.
Did you know that the lynching was never outlawed? Think about all of the trivial laws, especially over the last 150 years, and ask yourself how that one just slipped by. What about Sundown Town killings? Those committed during The Nadir were at least illegal by law (e.g. Emmett Till and Medgar Evers), even if no one got prosecuted like most police shootings these days.
No, Byron De La Beckwith‘s conviction at the end of his life does not count.
Therefore, remember that you could do whatever you wanted to your property during slavery! As Christians, we have to acknowledge that this type of worldview would have opened to door for every kind of evil (remember Genesis 6:5) that sears the soul of the slave owners and society as a whole.
“Question: “What does it mean to have a seared conscience?”
Answer: The Bible speaks of a seared conscience in 1 Timothy 4:2. The conscience is the God-given moral consciousness within each of us (Romans 2:15). If the conscience is “seared”—literally “cauterized”—then it has been rendered insensitive. Such a conscience does not work properly; it’s as if “spiritual scar tissue” has dulled the sense of right and wrong. Just as the hide of an animal scarred with a branding iron becomes numb to further pain, so the heart of an individual with a seared conscience is desensitized to moral pangs.”
Now, if people fought for freedom, this “attitude of rebellion” could have spread to other plantations. So-called slaves may have even outnumbered their “owners” on a plantation, so the brutality had to extra dehumanizing if you will. This was needed to keep the slaves scared and achieve the ultimate goal, a soul with no self-determination, hope, unwilling to fight, but more than willing to provide free labor.
Bonus points (or butter biscuits) if they would even snitch and oppress each other.
So, I’d bet Hollywood would make the usual chess move.
If successful, Hollywood would make the movie, but someone like Marcus Garvey will be played by John Goodman, “in a riveting story about their desire and journey to spread the bible and democracy back to the savages left in Africa…”.
So there’s a risk even if the film is on-point. But it’s a risk I’m glad we finally get to take.
Roots and 12 Years A Slave have a place, but there’s a reason why we have not seen a movie on the slaves that were willing to get free, die trying and helping others do the same. Because if our bodies are free today, there are still tricks to be used to keep our minds shackled.