When Michael B. Jordan said, “I don’t want to live. I want to die like my ancestors did when they jumped off boats into the Atlantic (then pulled the sword out of his chest before falling),” it had a profound effect on me.
Michael Johnson, the prolific American sprinter from the 90’s, saw pictures at a university of the conditions of the slave ships from the 1650’s to the 1750’s. Slaves were literally stacked on one another, defecating and urinating everywhere because there weren’t any bathrooms, and why would there be any on a slave ship? Some of these slaves took their own lives by jumping overboard, drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Those slaves, who didn’t jump overboard, suffered from the worst crimes in humanity.
There was a scene in Django Unchained where African slaves were involved in Mandingo Fighting, a term that you can see in…….those types of movies.
Anyways, this type of fighting was vicious. For a slave to survive the fight, he would have to kill another slave to continue moving on. Well, one of them ran away into the wilderness before being found by dogs – vicious dogs and a handful of them. Jamie Foxx, known as Django in the movie, told the slave owner that he didn’t care about the “nigga” and they could kill him. They, the slave owners, let go of the dogs, charging at the African slave before ripping him to pieces.
In saying that, all of these events have been shoved under-the-rug and now with Black Panther sending it’s own shockwaves across the planet, what can it really provide for people of ALL COLORS around the world?
If we can go back to the cast, Michael B. Jordan is African American. Chad, too, is African American. The women come from all walks of life (England, one born in Mexico and another born in the most remote town in Iowa – IOWA!).
Before I watched this movie, I saw herds of Thai people flocking into the theatre. I said to myself, “ummmm, well this is very interesting. The racial hatred I’ve received five years being here in Thailand has been forgettable, so why are these people coming in to watch what it would essentially be (according to Bangkok Post), a BLACK MOVIE?
The slang of Michael, to the perfected African accents of the others, I saw Thai people looking at each other like, “huh? This doesn’t make any sense? Americans have black people?”
Ummmm….yes, they do.
It wasn’t even just that, it was the fact that there were insidious comments made within the movie. Of course the typical anglo-American saying, “third-world country” over-and-over, to the sister saying, “omg! Don’t scare me, colonizer!” (which made me – the only one in the theatre – laugh my ass off). This director, who did a breathtaking job, put all these comments in there to show everyone…..the truth. What we’ve been through and what’s still happening.
China has denied more than 10 “black” movies over the past 8 years. They said, “it’s not because we’re racist, but we don’t want to see “black” movies in China bomb.” Just recently, people were marching down the street in Guangdong ranting, “we need to solve the BLACK problem here!” referring to African migrants who apparently bring drugs into their country (made me laugh while typing).
Nonetheless, this movie is soon to debut in China and in a few days in Japan. Could it possibly trump the mindsets of people which are controlled heinously by the west? I’m talking about the media. The Chinese, Japanese and Korean are so swayed by the western media to a point that it’s sickening. You have Japanese actors painting their face black trying to depict Eddie Murphy, and schools across South Korea putting Africans on the front covers of children’s books, showing them eating bananas.
So what could this movie possibly do? Tell the truth.
But are they, on the other end, willing to listen? It remains.
Over the last week or so, my students have come to class saying, “I like Black Panther – black man handsome!” My jaw dropped. Sure, that’s a stereotypical comment, but a very positive stereotypical comment (lol). On T.V. in this country, you get your weekly newsflash of the African being caught pedalling drugs in Pattaya, influencing and suggesting that all colored people are black and to stay away from them. Just the past few months, I had a job prospective contact me saying, “could I see your picture?” indicating they want to see if I was color or not (was much worse 4 years ago). So, now with a story of what we’ve been through, and colored people all over the world coming together, can we finally put to rest an image that was created by the media?
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