Roots: Why I Didn't Watch

There are probably countless slave movies out there that have been made and regardless to the content or story line, it’s all the same to me.  It’s the story of oppressed people who were enslaved, beaten, abused, disregarded, terrorized, held back, threatened, minimized, separated from their families, experimented on, raped……..the list goes on and on.  Considering that slaves weren’t even considered people, I’m sure some of the other things that were done to them aren’t even spoken of because unless you are an extreme white supremist  or person who detests people of color, even you would flinch at the thought of what those things were.  For these reasons and quite a few others, I chose not to watch the remake of Roots. I watched the first one enough times to satisfy even the hungriest history craving soul.  Don’t get me wrong, I think that the millennials really should have paid attention because at times they are so far removed in their minds from the history of Blacks in this country that they behave as though slavery didn’t end just 151 years ago. 

One of the main reasons I didn’t watch it was because we have so many great stories to tell besides the recap we feel so necessary to rehash when it comes to this story in particular.  We have done so much in this country and come farther than ANY other race has.  Think about it.  We have invented most of the things we use!  What would you put your food in, where would your light in the house come from, how would you open a door, how would you cool your house in the summer, how would you cut your grass……….most importantly, how in the world would you have your life at your fingertips!?!?!  (http://www.famous-black-inventors.net/black-inventors-list.html0)

Slavery is deeply rooted in society.  If you don’t agree with anything else, you can at least agree on the fact that it is still embedded into the Black community today.  Let’s just talk about the prison system. More of our young Black men are incarcerated today than should be for some very petty offenses.  They are in jail for more years than their white counterparts and they are not given the proper tools necessary to reform and become productive members of society afterwards.  Let’s just take marijuana for example.  We have young men in jail for 10 years upward on drug charges but the same drug that they are locked up for is the same drug that white people are capitalizing on because it is now being legalized all over the country.  What do you do when you get out of jail for selling drugs but can’t get a permit to sell it legally because you have a felony on your record?  Good question.

Let’s talk about our educational system.  We have schools in under privileged neighborhoods where there are predominately people of color and they don’t have the proper amount of teachers, books or supplies.  Without the proper resources, how do they exploit the opportunity they have to get ahead using the public school educational system that should be equally and fairly accessible to EVERY child in this country?  Isn’t that what our country became known for?  Or the fact that there are still schools and neighborhoods in the south that are segregated (Alabama and Mississippi).  In 2016 they are still fighting to integrate our students!  At what point can we start highlighting that and not the fuel that ignited the fire blazing around the problems that we currently are facing as a whole?

I want them to shine light on just how much of an impact slavery has had and why it’s important for us to do things like uplift and reinforce the significance of who we are as a people.  Highlight how great we are, continue to promote Black Pride, and continue to feed our children with their culture.  Make sure our kids know more than just the Malcolm Xs and Martin Luther Kings.  And let’s be honest, some of them don’t even know who they are!  Nonetheless, these are the types of documentaries and movies I want to see.  I want cultural nourishment for my soul so that I have more than the visuals of chains and abuse.  Some of our great grandparent’s parents were slaves.  Put that into perspective.  We are not that far removed that we should forget but we don’t need to wallow and dwell in that place. 

151 years is really a blip on the radar of time but even with that being said, we’ve accomplished an enormous amount of things…………that’s what we need to highlight.  It’s time to move forward completely because if we are slaves now, it’s because we are making the choice not to be something other than that.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are systemic things in place that cater to continuing to hold us down, but that’s when we need to start rebuilding from within.  I say this all the time.  Putting out slave movies isn’t promoting that for us.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from watching or taking in the history depicted, but I do want you to be mindful of where it takes you mentally and emotionally when you indulge.  Ask yourself.............What are you gaining?

Until Next Time Lovies!

Miss B

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