Monday, November 4, 2013

12 Years A Slave and other Visual Media to Educate Black Youth

A writer writes.

Today I viewed the movie "12 Years a Slave".  It is a story of a free Black Man in the early 1800s who is kidnapped away from his wife and family and sold into slavery.  I went to a more "upper scale" arts theater to view the film.  The crowd was mostly white patrons who looked to be 40 years and older.  Along with me there were approximately 8 black patrons most also over 40.

The film of course paints a graphic picture of the experience of the man and those he was enslaved with.  It was a horrifying existence in the days when slavery was part of this nation's culture.  The film is rated R but it would be a good visual history lesson for the young black generation who really has no idea what happened to their ancestors other than a small blurb in their school's history books.

A visual showing of the PBS series Eyes on the Prize, the mini series Roots, and such movies as Malcolm X, Miracle at St. Anna, etc. would provide our black youth a visual education of their heritage.  The purpose of such viewings would be for educational enlightenment.  It would be further enlightening if other cultures also viewed the films.  I'm sure there are other stories of other cultures that would educate us on how race was a major factor in this country in how people were treated.  We have yet to see a coverage of the most horrific injustice done in this country.  Maybe one day we will see a realistic depiction of the annihilation of the Native American culture in the United States of America.

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