Black People : 'Selma' Ignores the Radical Grassroots Politics of the Civil Rights Movement

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by RAPTOR, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "Hollywood loves the great man narrative, but the civil rights movement was never about top-down leadership "

    By Jesse McCarthy
    (exerpt)
    In it’s rush to enshrine and reconfirm the charismatic male leadership of the movement, this film fails
    to honor the great female fountainheads of that movement, Septima Clark and Ella Baker, and women
    like Fannie Lou Hamer in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, whose work on voter-
    registration and literacy, through the Citizenship Schools, were the true incubators of activism and
    irrigators of the Civil Rights movement. At a time when men still unthinkingly expected the women to
    take notes as the men talked politics at meetings, Baker, the outspoken guiding spirit of SNCC, proved
    an indispensable leader, instrumental at every level in the success of Freedom Summer.

    What it comes down to is that Selma expresses at every turn the political perspective of the black
    middle class, which prefers to perceive the civil rights struggle through the lens of individual dignity
    and negotiation, as opposed to collective urgency and direct action. There is nothing inherently wrong
    with this, both currents were, and indeed remain, important drivers of change. But it explains the
    film’s contemptuous handling of any whiff of radical politics. The groundbreaking work of SNCC, for
    example, is dismissed as hot-headed petulance. An utterly bizarre performance by Nigel Thatch of
    Malcolm X presents him simultaneously as rakish and emasculated, a potential threat to a good
    woman, without any trace of a threat to white supremacy; while the film redacts Stokely Carmichael
    from the record entirely. Lowndes County, Alabama comes up several times, but those who don’t
    know their movement history will not know he was there, or recognize it as the birthplace of the Black
    Panther party.

    Read more: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120685/selma-lessons-ava-duvernays-film
     
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  2. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wonder if these types of "films" are better suited for a TV-series along the lines of a Roots.

    I mean if folks can get saturated in Scandal, imagine the contrasting nature that can be shown in a series based on and accurately depicting the civil rights struggle from the 1890s to the 1970s.


    Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/163/537/case.html

    • to

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html

    • to

    The modern civil rights movement of SNCC, NAACP, Black Panther Party for Defense, African Peoples Socialist Party, and the "I'm Black and I'm Proud" era of the 1960s and 70s


    The series could be stretched out for as long as the material and historical data would allow.
    Would this ever happen? Yes... but it would have to be marginalized without heavy-handedness on either side of the polarizing content.

    Haven't seen the "film", but I am sure with the advancements in cinematography that the captivating moments are more expressed and sensationalized for dramatic effect and entertainment, than for being an informative presentation of nothing more than many already have come to know or recognize.

    Selma, I am betting, is centered around Martin Luther King Jr, and the lead up to his assassination.

    Is the accurate?

    If so, remakes of Martin Luther King Jr. films are just as abundant as remakes of Superman movies.

    After posting this above comment, I had to validate this claim, as it didn't feel right for some reason...

    Though it felt somewhat accurate at the time, to my surprise, this (Selma) is the only made for theaters film (theatrical) that has been created based on Martin Luther King Jr.

    Unless I am mistaken, the only other recognizable representation was by Paul Winfield in a TV mini series

    Malcolm X hit the big screens before Martin??

    Selma is the first "theatrical" MLK film to make it to the movie theaters?
    Can someone verify this?

    I have tried to find any other theatrical film, and surprisingly cannot.

    On a strange note, it is documented that the civil rights movement ended in 1968


    From 1955-1968?

    Is there actual merit to this or is the based on the death of King, thus ending the civil rights movement?

    Or was this in part because 7 days after King's assassination, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed on April 11, 1968?

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-82/pdf/STATUTE-82-Pg73.pdf

    The compartmentalizing of it is interesting as there is no real separation of the movement

    This link below alludes to the 1968-2008 civil rights movement
    http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/freedom/1917beyond/essays/crm2008.htm

    1896-1954 (era of segregation?)
    1954-1968 (era of Martin Luther King Jr.?)
    1968-2008 (post MLK or era of post segregation, "black" politics, and "black" education?)
    2008-present (era of Obama?)

    Not sure

    But controlling the "Civil Rights Movement" has seemed to be always an issue, and the ability to manipulate or stifle information and actual change (COINTELPRO) doesn't steer clear of the TV screen and Theater entrances.


    But just imagine a TV series (not even a mini-series, as that belittles the idea of how long it will last) with this timeline and content.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_African-American_Civil_Rights_Movement


    Question is, who is willing and interested in telling these stories?
    Waiting to complain is often the easiest way to recognize our inability to gather power, or our ineffectiveness at utilizing it.

    The abundance of "slave movies" over the past years is not unintended, as it keeps the idea fresh.
    Recall when Rosewood came out, and the feeling of leaving the theater daring a Caucasian-esque person to say something out the side of their mouth. That movie (Rosewood) was Django Unchained with more grit, but left me confused as to what to do with the emotional build up from it.

    Waiting for things to change while not being an agent of that change or knowing how to, can leave the proudest person a bit apathetic after a while.

    What is our Civil Rights Movement (2014-present)?
     
  3. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    we have to find a group of black producers who are not messed up.......
     
  4. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Better comments from truly knowledgeable people on such subjects are also needed and wanted via these forums too!

    FYI
     
  5. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    One and all just have to do their own homework, regardless of the mediums of choice, etc.

    FYI
     
  6. CosmicMessenger

    CosmicMessenger Banned MEMBER

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    When I saw that Oprah was in the movie, I figured that it was garbage.

    Thanks for the warning.

    Peace!
     
  7. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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  8. Aluku

    Aluku Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    One thing to keep in mind is that this is a movie. Not a documentary.

    Me personally would have liked to see some of LBJ's racist quotes...

    Maybe someone will one day do a TRUE documentary without a political agenda. Just let the facts speak for themselves without the usual editorialized, watered down, facts.
     
  9. KPITRL

    KPITRL Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I saw the movie a few days ago. It was okay seeing an up to date movie on the life of Dr. King, but it wasn't quite all that. When I walked out the theater, I still had this gut feeling that there was some kind of hidden agenda under the guise of sharing black history that took place during that time. I heard the film was suppose to be about the last 3 years of Dr. Kings life, but instead it seemed to focus more on what happened 3 years before his life ended. I hoped it would focus a little more on the riots after his assassination, since Ferguson and NYC sparked a new movement, which did result in rioting. However the film did just what I expected, which was to help take the focus off or water down any new strategies that we may come up with as a result of todays uprisings.

    One big thing we all should have noticed was how this film clearly showed Dr. King to be an adulterer, and how it disturbed his marriage. With the bringing down of Cosby and so many other black male public figures lately, this seems suspect. This movies shows he practically confessed when asked. So they went from Cosby, which was bad enough, up to Dr. King, and nobody even noticed it. Why does the movie give King a guilty verdict, when we know Cointelpro was in operation? There were a few other things that quite didn't add up, but I'm not going to go into it.

    When I saw the movie trailer of the church bombing, I was expecting to see some played out scenes of other things that happened in the 60's, since they put so much work into that tragic scene. However, that scene came at the beginning of the movie, and most of the other major events where just spoken of in the movie, but not played out, with the exception of the murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson. So I guess to cover everything, you will need part two and three, like the King movie starring Paul Winfield. But I still think they could have shown more of other events in this 2 hour movie. In order to cover more, I think the movie should have been a 3 hour movie, or at least 2 hours and 45 minutes. Nonetheless, I still feel they got across only what they wanted to get across, trying to leave us back somewhere in the 60's, as far as coming up with a strategy is concerned. And they used Selma, and they only wanted us to focus on peaceful marching, and be proud of getting busted up.

    I also noticed in this movie how they tried to show how white people sacrificed, and they definitely played out those scenes, but I won't say no more. I'll let you see the movie, which most probably did by now if they really wanted to see it bad. Not to take away from those white people who lost their lives, but it appears they want us to focus on those few, and not see 50 years later how so many of them are trying to make Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman millions after they're racist system let them walk for chasing down and murdering our young brothers. Not to mention the others.
     
  10. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :bowdown:
     
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