Dr. King – Selma – Victor Benoit – Social Change – Happy Birthday

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be 86 years old today, had he not been assassinated in April 4,1968. Dr. Kings life has been examined and studied extensively by academics, scholars, politicians and social activists around the world. The world speaks highly of Dr. King and his accomplishments. Today we celebrate his birth and his work on a nationally recognized holiday.

As I write this blog, my mother calls me and informs me that my uncle Victor Benoit has just been appointed as minister of Social Affairs and Labor in Haiti’s political cabinet. I am so very proud of him. He has worked hard for the Haitian people all of his life and this appointment is well deserved. This news immediately causes me to draw parallels.

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There is a certain type of boldness and audacity that would allow someone to believe that the work that they do can affect change. Everyone does not have this type of courage; however when one does have this type of courage they can change the world.

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I just watched Selma recently and what I appreciate most about the film is the human perspective that was given. From the time I was a child up until my adult years Dr. King always had this iconic persona that almost made him seem infallible. The director of the film Ava DuVernay showed Dr. King as a human being, someone who had faults and fears and doubts. Take a moment and think about what it took to challenge the status quo in the sixties. His life and the lives of others who were associated with him in any way were always in danger, but they stayed the course. The issue at hand at that time and even now is our FREEDOM. The ability to be who we are without any apologies.

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Socially we are at a tipping point in the world. Uprisings worldwide have challenged political norms and changed lives. The United States is currently in the midst of this kind of change. Let us channel the spirit of Dr. King and others who had the courage to fight and bring about the necessary shift in our reality.

Congratulations Uncle Victor!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King and Thank You! 

-Precise

How do you feel about Dr. King and our world today. Let me know in the comments.

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Django Unchained – Spike Takes A Stand

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People who have known me for quite some time know I am a huge fan of Spike Lee. Most of my favorite movies are Spike Lee joints. In my opinion Spike Lee does amazing work when it comes to filmmaking. He also does an amazing job at telling the story of African Americans from all different facets of life. So when I was watching an interview he did with Vibe earlier this week the interviewer asked Spike if he would speak on the new Quentin Tarantino movie Django Unchained his response resonated with me.

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He said: “I can’t speak on it …I’m not gonna see it. I’m not seeing it. All I’m gonna say is it would be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that movie. I can’t disrespect my ancestors. Now that’s me. I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself.”

I respect Spike as a filmmaker. I appreciate his candor. He rarely ever holds his tongue. I understood his response. I understand the seriousness of recognizing our ancestors and honoring them. His response almost compelled me to take a similar position. However I was intrigued and wanted to see how Quentin Tarantino would approach this story of a slave getting revenge.Image

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review. If you are expecting some super political extra emotional movie about the African Holocaust/Slavery, this is definitely not the movie for you. Quentin stays true to form. He delivers the story of Django in the form of a spaghetti western. What’s most interesting about this film are the moments when the audience is left to decide if they should laugh or be offended. Leonardo De’Caprio and Samuel Jackson play their parts to perfection.

ImageI appreciate the way Jamie Foxx approached the character. There is a sense of dignity that he manages to maintain in the midst of this film that makes it quite believable. I couldn’t stop looking at Kerry Washington without thinking about Olivia Pope…HA!.. Sorry…I wonder how she is gonna help Huck out of this latest jam…….ANYWAY…Overall it was a very good film but the depth of my experience was realized after the movie was over.

As I walk out of the theater there is this feeling of…”What did I just watch?” Another thing that I noticed was the eye contact I was getting from other black men as if they had felt the same way that I did. I could tell who just saw Django by the look they had on their faces.

The story of The African Holocaust/Slavery in ImageAmerica has NEVER truly been dealt with. I know why Spike Lee feels the way that he does. Ultimately this is a movie. The last person I would expect to tell the story of The African Holocaust/Slavery properly would be Quentin Tarantino. With that being said I look forward to Spike Lee providing us with something that will speak to the hearts of the world, evoke change and restore the sense of dignity we have lost in our community. It is up to us to tell our stories.

We were free before freedom was given to us.

Oh Yeah…I give “Django Unchained” 4 stars out of 5. 🙂

Precise

I want to know what you think? Did you see the movie? Are you going to see it? Leave a comment below.

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