Black folks, stop doing the work of white supremacists
The Africa versus African American conflict needs to stop
I had zero desire to see “Emancipation.” Although I will forever be Team Will Smith, I understood why he turned down that horrendous film “Django” and was confused when he agreed to play the role of Peter—a slave well-known for the lacerations on his back. But the “Red Table Talk” interview and Will Smith’s interview on “All the Smoke” finally made me give in and watch the movie. It was good. Could I have done without it? Absolutely. But was it better than “Django”? 1,000 times better and not as excruciatingly painful to watch as “12 Years a Slave.”
Still, it’s not like this is the first time I’ve watched films about slavery. My elementary school was Condoleezza Rice’s worst nightmare. I saw “Roots” before I was in eighth grade, read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” in sixth grade and our class took a field trip to see the 1992 film starring Denzel Washington. We were unapologetically black kids—with a biracial Italian girl and a biracial Mexican girl—who loved to talk about black history. Anti-CRT people may have had a stroke just at the sight of us.
The one thing we did not do in any of my classes—teachers or students—was pit ourselves against African people. If anything, we were rolling out the verbal red carpet to meet as many as we could. That was definitely ammunition for my pen pal crew.
So my mind is always a little blown when I run into African-Americans (or what some self-identify as Foundational Black Americans, FBAs) who are both skeptical of the Middle Passage and startlingly hostile about Africans. Reading tweets like this just does the work of white supremacists for them, and black folks end up creating a divide that leaves Tiki torch carriers and white sheet cutters laughing and munching on popcorn. We are going in the absolute wrong direction toward progress.