So I have been reading the many blogs that reported that Birth of a Nation flopped. I have been paying more attention to the comments. For those who have seen it have said nothing but great things about the film. For those who hadn’t there are several factors that could have contributed to it.
A lot of the south is literally under water. I think the story of Nat Turner is important but I highly doubt it was the focus point over the thousands of people who didn’t have water or electricity. These types of situations don’t make it easy when studio executives are playing the numbers game. I honestly belief that a large majority of people had they not been in this crisis would have gladly support it. However we have to put priorities in place. We need to restore basic human needs right now and the film which is still in theateres can gain more momentum as time goes on.
Nate Parker Scandal
He was acquitted of rape from the more than highlighted rape case in 1999. However we know how this goes, a lot of folks still believe that he and his co-writer Jean Celestin are guilty. When the media and community belief in your guilt it won’t matter if he was acquitted or not, people will not change their perspectives. I would love to paint this situation as a done deal but it clearly is not. How do some separate their own personal issues with rape and the rape culture from this? It’s not easy. I had close friends who struggled with this and some supported the film and other refused. The one thing is that if we educate ourselves in all history than Nat Turner’s legacy will never die down regardless of the Nate Parker’s bruised reputation. Let’s be clear its bruised. Media scrutiny along with fact checks, biased opinions has kept this situation still going strong. Many rape victims themselves even came together to boycott the film and you know how boycotts work, all you need is a number of people to come together and that seals the deal. I am not anti Birth of a Nation. Let me be clear but I also know that can clearly see how scandals make or break things all the time.
Snatching Black Cards
I have read some of the most vile comments to date about how black folks don’t support black films and black businesses. I think the argument can be made to support that but let’s be real. Whether as a black woman I support one film or not that will not take away from the real life blackness I face everyday I open my eyes. How are we snatching black cards from folks just because they did or didn’t support the film or any other film? Should we support black films? Absolutely. I think what we need to push African-American history in schools other than the month of February. Make African American history just as important as any other history lesson that’s the real push. However every time movies flop it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an important film. To me the buzz that was generated from the Sundance film festival and the fact of what the writers was able to do speaks volumes. We may have a long way to go but creating more divide in our community isn’t the way either. I have had friends post on their social media that if I as a Black woman or man since it was a post don’t support it than I am no friend of theirs. Wait? What? I looked at it and laughed. There is more to our history than one film. How about all of the other ones? What is making the buzz around this movie to the point where friendships need to end? This is sad. More now than ever is the movie timely, I get that. I understand what it means now to see people organize to make a stand and to convey a message. This divide needs to stop.
Listen the minute I can I will go and watch this movie. I really want to see the film and see what the hype is about. I wish people were bumping it more for the story of Nat than they are of Nate. Most of the people who have seen it start off telling others to go see and it but separate Nate from it. The fact that you mentioned his name let’s me further know that you understand that you can’t deny Nate’s influence in why people are even reconsidering screening the film in the first place.
Nat Turner is a phenomenal black man who decided not to allow White people to suppress him. He took a stand and decided to organize to get others to see the value in themselves. He led a revolt that is responsible in the deaths of 55-65 White men. Along the way he freed slaves too. Can you imagine the guts it took to do that? That is the mark of a man who not only stands for something but definitely had love for others. He put his life on the line to help others. That takes bravery, tenacity, and love. That is the story of Nat Turner and if you want to see the film and get the visualization for what it looked like to see a Black man take a stand in times when he could have just did as we was told, than support the film.