Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Birth of a Nation

Really? Why another slave movie? These were my first thoughts as I sat in the screening room at Magno screening in Manhattan to watch "The Birth of A Nation". This story is not one learned about in that one month dedicated black history. Nor would you ever read about it in your America history book. I applaud the cast for their performance in this production. They did a great job of depicting life in that era. The movie evoked a lot of emotion for me. It showed rape, beatings and hangings; things that we would rather forget about. Some scenes truly brought tears to my eyes. While other scenes made me almost angry enough to fight. I also question the silencing and exploitation of women in this movie. Let's also remember women played a huge role in the fight for freedom. The story line unveiled love, oppression, dehumanization, despair, and rebellion.

The Birth of A Nation was written and directed by Nate Parker. Parker was also the Star as the character Nat Turner an enslaved, African American preacher who lead the slave revolution of 1831. I was prompted to read about Nat Turner because I saw this movie. I can not attest to the accuracy of the actual historical events verses those in the movie. We all know nothing is ever 100% accurate. However the movie was well put together.

The Birth of A Nation tells the life story of Nat Turner who as a slave child learned to read. His gift of reading led him to being taught the bible by the slave masters wife. Turner's slave master took him on the road preaching to slaves throughout Virginia to discourage a revolt. During that time Nat witnessed the unjust and inhumane treatment of slaves at other plantations. It saddened and ignited anger in him. Then his wife was brutally attacked. He began to have visions and felt he was called by God to fight. What he did next changed history! I will not spoil the ending for you. I would suggest you go see the movie if you can stand a little violence. Take your children. Have open discussion about how far America has come, where we need to go and the sacrifices made for the freedom of Black America! 

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