equality

Since May 30th, our global society has been transforming itself into a chaotic wake up call with the issue of police brutality and the continuous evidence of minorities not having the same equity of life as those who fall under white privilege.

I’ve had my share of unlearning the white man’s knowledge of American History, and growth over the years when it comes to American History, and I continue to put aside my own trauma and issues to sit and radically listen to my peers to hear their stories and allow them to provide me facts and evidence of their reality, while I proved my own radical listening, empathy, and understanding.

Right now they are tired. They are tired of talking without anyone listening. The are tired of the questions from those who simply have a hard time comprehending. They are tired of the “All Lives Matter” debacle that goes against the reality of blacks being 3x more likely to be shot and killed by police. They are simply tired.

I have a responsibility of a film maker and a film lover, to take the time to put together my top ten favorite strong black lead films and/or series that provide legitimate educational value for those who want a better understanding of the systematic oppression our fellow Americans have suffered through for the past 400 years, as well as, some of the greatest icons in black history that may or may have not been in your history textbooks growing up.

All I ask from this list is be aware of the fictional aspects of the films and take the time to dig into a deeper research of the events within the topics and figures provided with each film. I am asking, for those willing to listen and learn to do with empathy, while watching these stories, and don’t forget the Kleenex, because you will need them.

  1. Roots (Hulu): An adaptation of the 1977 mini-series, Roots chronicles the history of an African man sold to slavery in America, and his descendants. 

  2. Harriet (Rent/Vudu): The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman‘s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

  3. MalcolmX (Netflix): Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

  4. 13th (Netflix): An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

  5. I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime): Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

  6. Selma (Amazon Prime): A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

  7. The Hate U Give (Rent/Vudu): Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

  8. DETROIT (Hulu): A gripping story of one of the most terrifying moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ’67.

  9. Just Mercy (Rent/Vudu): World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.

  10. When They See Us (Netflix): Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.

    Honorary mentions: Marshall (Netflix), LA92 (Netflix), Teach Us All (Netflix), Ali (Amazon Prime), 12 Years a Slave (Rent)…

Here’s what I can’t comprehend with America today. The America I THOUGHT I served. The America I THOUGHT I was taught:

Y’all didn’t have an uproar when Kaepernick was sitting on the bench during the national anthem, but when a Veteran… Yes! A combat veteran. It was not progressive liberals that first noticed and supported Colin Kaepernick. It was a white cis-born straight man, who legitimately served and fought in our modern wars that sat down and listened to Kaepernick and his reasons for not standing for the National Anthem.

Note: I point out labels since everyone wants to stereotype and define one another all day, every day and keep categorizing and segregating when in reality, nothing in this world is honestly black or white, so seriously America shouldn’t be either…

Anyways…

It was Kaepernick’s stance for inequality, a systematic government that has been built to legalize oppression, especially for people of color, who continue to be brutally murdered by opened racists. Point blank.

Here’s a thought, use the same mentality you have in your belief in God that you would of racism… just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Rather than the Veteran screaming at Kaepernick that he’s a piece of shit and unpatriotic, he instead found compassion and empathy, as well as, stayed humane and asked for a compromise for both worlds by asking Kaepernick to kneel to, at least, honor those who served and sacrificed for this nation rather than sit and be fully disrespectful.

It was then when the conservatives and misinformed got all emotional and went fucking crazy and had an uproar. The fact y’all still choose to be blinded by today’s societal issues and continuous murders of minorities. Even having the knowledge of our history of slavery and genocide, and choose to be blinded by the repeating of yesterday’s mistakes, and the snake-like built of our government today over the decades.

I honestly thought this country was better than that, but I was wrong and have not been able to find peace about it considering everyday I have loved ones who have to live in a war mentality and PTSD like myself, when they should not even have to. They really shouldn’t.

In this day and age, we have a whole generation that are products of their environment that want to break their generational curses that has existed long enough for over 400 years, but you are blinded by the falsified freedoms they have had since the Civil Rights Movement, but we all know that that’s an illusion.

The difference with the continuous mentality between me and white veterans like myself and people of color in general is that we chose the path we followed as soldiers. When I enlisted, even under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” umbrella, I did it to risk my life for ALL the people and their freedoms, selflessly.

These particular individuals didn’t choose their skin color nor the thug image that arrogant individuals refuse to see past due to the devil’s advocate of the entertainment industry that promotes this imagery, and of course with the support of the lack of freedom that was built within the system, especially for African Americans and Native Americans.

When is enough enough? Is another Civil War the answer for those who refuse to speak up or stand for their equals? How did a mass group of people, who’s ancestors were once immigrants themselves, decide they were greater and more superior from those who were original citizens and/or forced upon these lands?

When can we actually accept others’ differences, especially after the fact we had various wars over the 400 years of our existence as a nation for these particular reasons. When is the majority of the white population going to finally see that they are not superior to the rest of humanity?

And if you get done with those recommendations and what to learn more and continue to educate yourself, please check the following link for more resources out: Anti-Racism Resources.