Craigh Barboza teaches film journalism at New York University and writes about race, entertainment and culture.
Following the wave of demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd, many of us have been thinking about the history of race in America, and the ongoing narrative of police violence. We are all looking for resources to help better understand the moment.
Each of the movies below offers a different perspective on how African Americans have contended with white authority over the decades and centuries. They both speak to and echo what is happening now.
The films range from underground classics to big-studio productions, all of which put a human face on timely and difficult social justice issues that have shifted the conversation on racial equality in America in a way that only movies can do.
If you’ve seen the films on this list, you can rewatch them in a new light. And if it’s your first time, you might recognize something that resonates with the hundreds of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests that have erupted worldwide calling for wide-reaching reform.
“Harriet” Credit: Martin Chase Productions
“What you see in the movie are these armed posses that are after black people,” said Donald Bogle, the film historian and author of “Hollywood Black,” via email.
“There’s that sequence on the bridge when Harriet is cornered, after an escape, and she says, ‘I’m going to be free or die’ and jumps into the river. I think we can draw a connection to what’s happening today and a system of pursuers, these violent white men who, in some ways, are sanctioned to murder us.”
“Harriet” Credit: IMDB
Erivo’s breakout performance as Tubman (she was a double-Oscar nominee last year for best actress and original song) is worth the price of streaming alone. After making it to Philadelphia, she joins the Underground Railroad, where she becomes its most famous conductor. We learn about the prophetic visions that helped her lead approximately 70 enslaved people to freedom, as well as Tubman’s command of a black army that freed 150 more in the Combahee River Raid.
“Rosewood” Credit: Warner Bros.
John Singleton’s “Rosewood” tells the true story of how, in 1923, a prosperous black town in Florida was burned to the ground. The fuse was lit by a white woman (played by Catherine Kellner) who falsely claimed that she was raped by a black stranger — a story whipped up to explain the bruises inflicted by her extramarital lover. Throw in some trumped-up talk of a race riot by one of the local officials and it’s not long before a group of Klansmen are swarming the town in search of a mysterious black war veteran (played by Ving Rhames).
The result is a week-long massacre of torture, shootings and lynchings that Singleton shows in grisly ways on a scale that had never been done before in movies depicting slavery or its legacy. Survivors, many of them children, fled through the nearby swamps. The official death toll was eight, although many believe the final number was much higher. “‘Rosewood’ effectively captured the real-life horror of racism,” said the activist and author Dr. Umar Johnson in an email. “The lynchings of thousands of African Americans, from the end of slavery in 1865 until the death of Malcolm X in 1965, shows just how inhumane White America can be.”
“Selma” Credit: Pathe
Real change in society has often been the result of a political alliance between inside and outside forces. In addition to a citizen-based movement it’s necessary to have government operatives or, even better, leaders like Martin Luther King who can stir the people in power to change laws.
As the central figure in “Selma,” King (David Oyelowo) is a virtuoso combination of grace, intelligence, rhetorical power and persistence. In an early scene inside the Oval Office, he implores a reluctant President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) to push through the Voting Rights Act of 1965, intended to dismantle barriers that had been put in place to stop some black citizens from voting. Without it, he explains, African Americans would not have the same legal rights, but would continue to be murdered by white people, who would either be protected by white officials or acquitted by all-white juries. “All white,” King says, “because you can’t serve on a jury unless you’re registered to vote.” Told he’ll have to wait, King organizes a massive voting rights demonstration in the South.
The scenes in Ava DuVernay’s protest drama are played in a stately, but intimate style. The most powerful images are of the scores of activists marching peacefully through the segregated streets of Alabama. “Ava’s film reminds people that no change has ever happened in America without a movement, and struggle, and that it is never easy,” said writer-activist Kevin Powell, whose new book of essays, “When We Free The World,” is out later this month.
Director, writer and producer Ava DuVernay Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
You can feel what it must have been like to be on the front lines — along with would-be voters (Oprah Winfrey, LaKeith Stanfield) and future Congressman John Lewis (Stephan James) — standing up to a horde of state troopers brandishing rifles, electric cattle prods and whips.
“Selma” went on to win an Oscar for best original song (“Glory” by Common and John Legend) and is the rare studio movie directed by an African American woman.
The film is set around the march on Bloody Sunday in 1965, and the maneuverings and events leading up to it, including the church bombing that killed four little girls in Birmingham, which was a major turning point in the civil rights movement.
“‘Selma’ is a case study in leadership,” added Powell. “It’s actually a blessing to have a film to point people to as a teaching tool, to root folks in history, so they understand this is not just for us now, but for those not yet born.”
“Boyz N the Hood” (1991)
“Boyz N the Hood” Credit: Columbia Pictures
Gang violence was visible on the nightly news and MTV when this searing drama about the challenges black men face while growing up in South Central Los Angeles arrived in 1991.
“Boyz N the Hood” was by no means the first film to tackle the subject. But it had often been done poorly: for instance, when the story is told from the perspective of the cops — see “Colors.” (Better yet, don’t!) “Boyz N the Hood,” on the other hand, was notable not just for its nuanced, insider’s perspective of black life on the margins, but for who was behind the camera. John Singleton was fresh out of USC film school when he became part of a new generation of black filmmakers in Hollywood to find success with mainstream audiences.
In his semi-autobiographical debut, Singleton used the structure of a coming-of-age tale to show what it’s like to live in a world where a trip to the corner store could end in a homicide by shotgun. The film earned him two Oscar nominations, for writing and directing, and also introduced several future stars, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Regina King and Ice Cube, who had recently launched a solo rap career after parting with the gangsta rap group N.W.A.
“Boyz N the Hood” Credit: IMDB
One of the most contemptible characters in “Boyz N the Hood” is a black police officer (Jessie Lawrence Ferguson) who responds an hour late to a 9-1-1 call by the main character’s father, Furious (Larry Fishburne).
“Homeboy shows up drinking a cup of coffee,” said director Malcolm Lee, whose movies include “Undercover Brother” and the upcoming “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
“He feels he’s better than hood Negroes because he’s in law enforcement, and thinks the world would be better if Furious had killed the intruder,” Lee said via email. “He says, ‘It’d be one less n**ga out on the streets we’d have to worry about.'”
Director and producer John Singleton Credit: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images
Years later Furious’s college-bound son, Tre (Gooding), is driving home at night when he’s stopped by that same officer, who mistakes Tre for a possible gangbanger. Hot-headed and volatile, the cop draws his Smith & Wesson and threatens to blow Tre’s head off. We watch as a single tear trickles down Tre’s face. In his anguish you can sense the trauma many black people experience after encounters with the police.
“Serpico” Credit: Artist’s Entertainment Complex
One of the first films to give us a realistic glimpse into life on the force was “Serpico,” with Al Pacino in the title role, an incorruptible detective with a fondness for wild disguises. The fact-based thriller not only turned Pacino into a star when it was released in 1973, it also depicted an out-of-control big-city police department where dirty, racist cops work over perps and take bribes from gamblers and drug dealers.
“Hey, Frank, you want a piece of this?” asks one cop, who’s assaulting a black suspect. “No, I’m going to fill out the police card,” Serpico replies.
“Serpico” Credit: IMDB
“‘Serpico’ is a really powerful depiction of how hard it is to reform policing,” said Touré, the writer and host of the podcast Touré Show, featuring in-depth interviews with successful black people. “It shows how much the police will fight against those who demand more from them. The real-life Serpico risked his life to expose wrongdoing.”
“Do The Right Thing” (1989)
“Do the Right Thing” Credit: IMDB
He wrote, starred in and directed “Do The Right Thing.” The film, which is set up like a play featuring a collage of different voices, tries to show how unchecked racism and xenophobia can fester within a community because of economic inequality and intense social divisions. We get a parade of confrontational scenes between the multi-ethnic cast, which included Danny Aiello, Giancarlo Esposito, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Rosie Perez in her first role, all doing vivid characterizations.
Director, producer and screenwriter Spike Lee Credit: Jaimi Joy/Getty Images
The premise is simple: a slice-of-life film set on one block on the hottest day of the year. The climax is a neighborhood riot, triggered by the killing of a black man by the NYPD. The images of Brooklynites clashing with police and vandalizing a storefront look like they could’ve been ripped from the current protests. The soundtrack is Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” which plays throughout the film.
“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (1971)
“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” Credit: IMDB
Many of the people who have turned out in droves at recent protests have expressed their anger at police violence — some have themselves clashed with baton-swinging police or have been tear-gassed or hit by rubber bullets — and they are ready to take action. That’s the kind of story Melvin Van Peebles set out to tell in “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” a scrappy independent film from 1971 that made a then-impressive $10 million at the box office.
The tough but silent protagonist here is played by Van Peebles, who also served as writer, director, composer and editor. In sharp contrast to previous black stars like Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte (whose characters were often neutered), Sweetback is a sexual dynamo with the ladies. For the first ten minutes, the film feels flamboyantly risque. Then Sweetback becomes radicalized — has a full-on political awakening– after witnessing two white officers brutalizing an innocent black militant. He intervenes, saving the brother, but kills the cops in the process. At that point the film begins to feel like a Molotav cocktail to white authority.
“Van Peebles’ film was groundbreaking for its depiction of Sweetback’s blatant sexuality, which poses a threat to the system,” said film and TV producer Stephanie Allain, a longtime advocate for equity and inclusion in Hollywood, and whose credits include “Dear White People” and last year’s Oscars telecast.
“But his cop killing separates him from society and puts him on the run, probably forever. To me, it’s a statement that black male strength is frightening to ‘the man.’ And it still is.”
Filmmaker and playwright Melvin van Peebles Credit: Francois Durand/Getty Images
“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” was the first movie to reflect the politics of the Black Arts Movement, one tenet of which is for black people to promote empowering images of themselves in the media. And with its funk-soul soundtrack and shots of the black community aiding Sweetback, as he runs for his freedom, the film also seemed to hint at a grassroots revolution in cinema. It was, and it wasn’t.
While Van Peebles did introduce a defiant new hero who triumphed over a brutal white power structure, paving the way for the blaxploitation era of the 1970s (which at its unprecedented peak saw more than 40 black-themed movies produced over a two-year span), few films since have matched its cultural resonance.
“Queen & Slim” (2019)
“Queen & Slim” Credit: Courtesy Universal Pictures
If Sweetback had any offspring they would be “Queen & Slim.” The title characters in this intriguing drama from 2019 start out at an Ohio diner, where they are on an awkward first date. She (Jodie Turner-Smith) is a black defense attorney; he (Daniel Kaluuya) works at Costco. While heading home their car is arbitrarily pulled over by a racist police officer. A scuffle ensues and they shoot and kill him in self-defense. Shell shocked, they flee the scene.
The comparisons to “Bonnie and Clyde” are unavoidable. (“Well, if it isn’t the black Bonnie and Clyde,” says one of the characters.) Like that classic about the real-life, white, Depression-era bank robbers, “Queen & Slim” has outlaws who fall in love while eluding the authorities and become accidental folk heroes, in this case, because of a viral video of the officer’s dashcam footage.
“Queen & Slim” Credit: IMDB
But whereas the thrill-seeking and sex-starved antiheroes in “Bonnie and Clyde” were excited to see their pictures in the paper, Queen and Slim are just the opposite. They are on the lam because of the same police abuse and systemic injustice that have ignited the current protests.
By making a terrifying menace out of what is assumed to be a protective force — the police — the filmmakers have created an audacious, lyrical film that should be required viewing for anyone who wants to understand the grief and rage of the Black Lives Matter generation.
“Queen & Slim” was the work of director Melina Matsoukas, a young woman of color on the rise whose stylistic music videos for Beyoncé have mixed documentary and fantasy elements, and “The Chi” TV series creator and LGBTQ activist Lena Waithe, who called her original script “protest art.”
Director Melina Matsoukas Credit: Rich Fury/WireImage/Getty Images
The filmmakers said the goal with “Queen & Slim” was to realistically portray what it means to be African American today, where you feel the need to regularly contemplate your own mortality, in hopes that you don’t become the next hashtag, while following your own path to happiness. One criticism of the movie, however, is that it might be a little too real, or not optimistic enough anyway.
“‘Queen & Slim’ was very powerful and effectively communicated the psychological and emotional conflicts that exist within the black community toward the police,” Dr. Umar Johnson said. “On another level, I feel that the movie did a disservice to the black liberation struggle by not allowing the two protagonists to escape. It reinforced the idea that we can never successfully revolt against the white police power structure.”
That may be what the film says, but then, new scripts are being written every day.
New method of investment: Copy trading, or copy trading as it was originally called
These are busy days for those who have a certain level of savings in the economy. Because already sharp movements occur in the Turkish lira because of their very high rates of investment to translate the uncertainties in Turkey in recent times with a certain amount of savings. This enables people to turn to different investment methods.
If you are looking for a dynamic investment method and still do not know where to start, we will have a profitable suggestion for you. A type of investment, originally called “Forex copy trading”, and another name that can be translated as copy investment in Turkish is social investment. It can be a good entry-level choice for those who do not know exactly how and how to invest in investment vehicles.
The basic logic of copy trading is to imitate the investments of successful investors in the exchange you want to enter. It’s that simple. Anyway, the name of this investment concept is therefore determined as copy investment.
According to one of the studies conducted in recent years, this type of investment is increasingly taking up a place in the market. The copy investment market will reach an amount of € 70 billion by the end of 2025, according to researches.
To start copy trading, the first thing to do is to choose a reliable and profitable investment platform. At this point, the next step in choosing a reliable investment platform is Forex Copy Trading
that is, to be able to follow reliable investors for copy investment. Therefore, the choice of platform is very important at this point.
A Close Look at Copy Investment
In short, it is important that copy investment or social investment platforms allow experienced investors to copy their investments directly. Here, when you find such an investment exchange, the investment made in this way is also called “auto investment” because you invest your own account directly into the account of the experienced investor.
You can invest in the form of copy investment in the BIST 100, crypto money exchanges and even foreign exchanges. It is a method that can be followed even for foreign currency deposits. However, it will require serious research at the stage of determining the investors you will follow in the first place.
How Exactly to Invest in Copy?
In fact, there are two popular ways to do this.
Following the Investors’ Strategies One to One
Whichever exchange you are investing in, you can learn the investments made by the really experienced names of that stock exchange with a good research and make these investments one by one.
Simple System: The investment you will make in this way will be a very simple and easy-to-use investment type. This is the reason why it is called auto investment as a type of investment that you can directly imitate the investments of expert investors in the field.
Flexibility: You can follow this type of investment from any digital device. It is a very flexible method as you will do the same no matter where you are, as soon as you hear about the direct investment of the person you follow, as there is no subject to think about.
Choosing a strategy is very easy: All you have to do is find the best in the field with the right research. Once you find it, it will be very easy to determine your strategy.
Transaction Fees: Most successful traders will charge you a certain fee to return their investments. These fee claims create an additional cost. However, you can manage your funds with the confidence that there will be no additional fees or expenses for the investment.
Let others follow your investment. For this, create an investment strategy.
Here you will be the one followed. Of course, this has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Your strategies will directly affect the market: Since you will be the person who will determine the strategy, whatever strategy you follow, the strategy you will follow will be a strategy that will affect the market completely.
You will also get the reward for your labor outside of profits: In this way, you will have to spend all your work on this work. However, you will get more than your followers for your efforts.
You will set the rules of the game: However, doing these operations will require both very serious experience and serious work.
Of course, it would be useful for you to carefully investigate whether there is a method to follow completely. However, it is possible to say that you can carry out such transactions with peace of mind with detailed analysis on the leading quality investment and stock exchange platforms such as AMarkets.
Ethereum Price Smashed $2000, $3000 Incoming At Lightning Speed!
Ethereum Price (ETH) May Hit $10,000 This Cycle!
The Ethereum price that is known to maintain a stable price movement, finally broke the previous ATH to form a new one. It took more than a months time to regain its lost position above $2000, yet sustained successfully.
The price took more time than expected to break the $2000 barrier, yet $3000 may be approaching at rocket speed. As predicted by founder of Gokhstein Media, David Gokhstein, the next stop for the ETH price is around $3,900.
With the continued bullish trend and intensified rally, the price is expected to surge to the highest levels. According to an analyst and Crypto Youtuber, Young and Investing, the Ethereum price may hit $10,000 within the current bull run.
Is Altcoin-Season On the Cards?
Many altcoins normally pop-up with the surge in the price of the second dominant crypto Ethereum. Currently, ETH price is trading around its new all time high around $2152 and expected to fly high. Therefore, many small cap altcoins are expected to rise from ashes and pump more than 50x or even 100x also.
Many analysts believe the Altcoin Season of 2021 is on the way and is expected to be the greatest season ever. According to a popular analyst, XRPcryptowolf, the season will reach its peak during the summer.
Moreover, the coins which are believed to be dead or not performing are also expected to rise. One of the analysts, MC also has given a brief idea on which all coins might pump in the current AltSeason.
Collectively, the breakout of Ethereum price has led to initialization of the most awaited AltSeason of 2021. The ETH price rally is expected to intensify in the coming days, that might smash $10,000 soon.
Lark Davis Addresses 3 Most Common Criticisms Tagged With Cardano
Popular New Zealand-based crypto analyst Lark Davis pointed out the three criticisms faced by the Cardano project.
Cardano Is Overvalued
He says that Cardano’s biggest use case right now is staking. The current price of Cardano is based on speculation rather than real demand for the token based on usefulness and need among developers and users.
Right now, the basic economics that will drive future demand are simply not there. Also there’s nothing wrong or unusual about this. This is a fairly normal occurrence. We see that a lot with various assets, where the price of an asset can rise far higher than its value should be based on where it is now simply because of strong support from the market and it’s future predictions.
Even if cardano’s price is overvalued right now does not really mean that it will plunge or go down in the near future. Davis says that in such situations the opposite is likely to happen. The higher the market cap, the more serious an investment it is in the eyes of many investors, which makes the market cap go even higher and become even more serious.
Nothing Is Built on Cardano
According to Lark Davis this statement is not technically true as he feels that few things are built on cardano but it lacks an ecosystem. He also states that it’s an incredibly dishonest critique of Cardano in his opinion because it is hard to have an ecosystem when there’s no smart contract functionality.
“Smart contracts are coming. The testnet is due in late April. Smart contracts are then scheduled to come on the mainnet around August… I think we’ll have at least a few dozen applications by Q1 of next year.“
Cardano Is Too Slow in Its Development
Davis says it’s fair to hope Cardano’s speed of development to pick up pace, especially considering the moderately fast rise of other projects with robust and successful ecosystems such as Elrond (EGLD) and Avalanche (AVAX).
Luckily cardano has a growing community and enthusiastic users who are willing to support the smart contracts from the day one of it’s launch. With such an optimistic community if cardano promises to deliver an ecosystem that mints people money, then it’s obvious for users and developers to eventually join this massive ADA community.
“I personally think that Cardano will prove the haters wrong this year, and that they will deliver a powerful and interesting blockchain that will become a big part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem…“
CHZ Price | Chiliz Price Surged 650% in March, What’s Next for the Coin?
The pseudonymous head of Coin Bureau who goes by the name guy, predicts that this coin has the potential to attract many users into the crypto space.
Chiliz price has skyrocketed last month by 650% in value, making it a very important month for the cryptocurrency. In the last week, however, a pattern reversal occurred, with CHZ being overwhelmingly denominated by sellers. Things are shifting, though, as CHZ price rises once more.
Chiliz is a cryptocurrency that can be used on sports and entertainment sites. Chiliz can be used like any other digital currency, but it is most commonly used on Socios.com, a website where investors and fans can use CHZ to receive exclusive rewards from their favourite teams. Special behind-the-scenes access and voting rights are among the perks.
It is worth noting that CHZ has established partnerships with top football clubs spread across the world, including FC Barcelona, AC Milan, and Juventus.
Guy says that,
“Have you been searching for that killer app that has the potential to open the floodgates and bring hundreds and millions of people into crypto? That elusive unicorn would likely be valued at a pretty penny, which means if you got into it at the right time, you could post some truly insane gains. What if that project combined NFTs, sports, and crypto? That’s the type of rocket fuel that could send it to the stratosphere… That would be Chiliz.”
I really like Chiliz as a project, the concept, and how they’re seemingly paving the way for unique digital sports memorabilia with NFTs in real-time. I also really love the idea of attaching tangible team-related perks to NFTs. That way, they have tangible real-world value and this should drive future demand.”
As of the time of publication, Chiliz price was $0.511948, with a 24-hour trading volume of $930,154,829. CHZ price also went up 1.5% over the last 24 hours. Besides, it has a circulating supply of 5.3 billion CHZ coins and a max supply of 8.89 billion.
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