For those of you who feel frozen, I understand.
A subject with such deep roots and a horrifically long history, it can feel impossible to know where to start. Before change and before action, comes education and thankfully there are plenty of resources, books and articles. But what we often fail to remember is that in addition to facts and numbers we can also educate ourselves on an emotional level, and what is a more powerful tool at delivering this than the medium of film?
The very definition of privilege in this context is not having to face or work through the traumas of racism first hand, and having the option to avoid anything uncomfortable or confrontational. Whilst escapism is a wonderful component and purpose of the arts, this is not time time to sit willingly in ignorance.
We must think about why these films created in the first place? It was certainly not for entertainment and it most certainly would not have been comfortable. Writers, actors and directors have used their talents, resources and knowledge for a purpose, highlighting the most painful of realities and in an attempt to explain to those who will never truly know. It is our duty to keep the conversation going, even it is with as simple of an act as watching one of these films on your Friday movie night, instead of the usual, uplifting 'Rom Com'.
We must think about why these films created in the first place? It was certainly not for entertainment and it most certainly would not have been comfortable.
Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein created and shared a document filled with anti-racism resources, everything from articles, podcasts, videos, film and TV. May I suggest, for those who are overwhelmed with information, to start here.
And for when words become too much or not enough, there will always be the powerful art of film.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1976
I Am Not Your Negro
Dear White People
(TV Series, 2017)
If Beale Street Could Talk