Monthly Archives: November 2013


diaspora-720x360For November—African History Month—I decided to identify and celebrate films of Black People where the Black Image has been  portrayed in 3 dimensions- without the weight of stereotype, humiliation, and debasement smeared all over it.

This is a folder of movies and documentaries that depict lives in the African diaspora—in fiction and non-fiction—that as a black person you can ‘watch safely’. These are stories where you will not ‘die first’. You will not find yourself cringing inside as you watch the screen… Finding movies for this list was not a simple thing. Many of the films sold to us as ‘Black’ are not. They may have black people in them- but their intentions are really aimed at destroying the black community and psyche. Some do so intentionally- others do so by incompetence or carelessness… Storytelling is a ‘Right’- just like the ‘Right to Vote’- but the ‘Right’ to be the honest centre of our own story is a ‘Right’ many systemic forces are still trying to withhold from black peoples world over…

You will notice certain glaring absences on this list. You will not find movies like ‘Biko’ and others that pretend to be about black heroes- but which have white people at the centre of the narrative. You will not see shows like ‘American Gangster’ or ‘Shottas’ which sell black-on-black violence to the community. You will not see racist movies like ‘Last King of Scotland’ (no matter how much we like Forest Whitaker) or ‘Captain Phillips’ which ignore a century of European invasion, genocide,  and colonialism in creating collapsed environments and attempt to blame African personalities for these problems whilst elevating heroic white characters…  You will not see shows like ‘I Am Legend’ (and a lot of Denzel movies) which pretend to be about black heroes but which actually neuter, kill, or castrate those so-called heroes… You will not see movies that glorify delinquent aspects of black culture and attempt to sell those as commonplace aspects of black communal and individual life and behaviour- like ‘Superfly’…
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