Wednesday, May 21, 2008
There were some terrific responses to the post I wrote the other day regarding Wesley Morris opinion piece on the state of Black Hollywood called "A Black Hole". The comments were are relevant to many posts I have done on this blog, so I will put up a few of them in the upcoming week. Many were very thoughtful and well written. First up is Tambay Obenson's from The Obenson Report:
Your title to this entry says it all... "So what else is new?"
As I've probably mentioned before, I'm simultaneously attracted to and repelled by articles like this. On one hand, when I read Wesley Morris's piece (and the myriad of others like it), I'm encouraged that there are some of us who do demand and expect better; but then I'm also turned off by what feels like a rather "defeatist" attitude that's unfortunately prevalent amongst us.
I've grown weary of talking about what's wrong with black cinema. I feel like we've already granted it much lip service and should be past that, enough to see a shift towards some real action! So, I'm much more interested in hearing plausible solutions.
Maybe we should borrow from Malcolm X, and adopt a "by any means necessary" kind of stance, and build from there.
I think we all should be challenging ourselves here (myself included, of course)! Do we REALLY want change, and if so, what are we doing individually to see the change that we want? Or rather, what are we WILLING to do? Are we being passive, waiting for someone else to lead? Or should we be unwaveringly aggressive, and start blazing new trails?
Tyler Perry doesn't really give a shit about what we think, and frankly, I'm tired of talking about the man! He is what he is, and will continue down whatever path he chooses, regardless of what any of us says or does! As someone said above, he fills a niche, and that's fine. Just because we aren't members of his niche audience doesn't automatically disqualify what he's been able to accomplish! He's in a comfortable position, and I don't see him doing anything to ruin his treasures! The same goes for the rest of the black Hollywood elite - Will Smith, Denzel, Oprah et al! They each have their own personal agendas - agendas that don't necessarily include the rest of us. So, is there really any point in concerning ourselves with what we think they should or shouldn't be doing, since we have absolutely zero control over the choices they each make, and doing so only leads to further frustration? I say no!
As radical as it might sound, maybe what we should be talking about here is some kind of revolution from the ground up. Instead of waiting for them to foster change, those of us who are aware and "mad as hell" should lead the way... and the rest just might actually follow!I obviously don't have all the answers, and I don't expect any one person to generate the ultimate solution, but let's start hearing some real solutions to the problem, especially those that are within the power of the people, whether individually or collectively!