Musings: Race in reality and the media

Musings: Race in reality and the media

Hello all!

A lot has been happening, and I am sure that just like me, you have thoughts on the issues that surround us, whether you are in the Caribbean, the States, or wherever you are. This post is just what it is titled: just a Dely thinking of a few things. What you read below is an unstructured write out of what I’ve been thinking. If you’re interested, keep reading!

If you have been following the news, Derek Chauvin, the officer guilty of killing George Floyd, has been officially found guilty on all counts. While I am grateful that finally someone is being held accountable for their actions, there is this level of sadness I still feel — George Floyd is still gone. A black man is dead. Yes, his killer will now serve time for this egregious act, but this victory in accountability does not bring his life back. What has happened is what the justice system is expected to do, yet hasn’t done from since its inception. It’s like rejoicing when a father is involved in his kids’ life. These are things we expect because that is their role. Yet, we’ve seen that the justice system has failed black and brown people for centuries. I hope that this turn to what is actually expected from the system will set a new precedence in the justice system, in the police department, and also in our society in general. This is what should always happen when someone breaks the law, especially those who are trained to uphold and safekeep it. Yet, even in the midst of the Chauvin Trial, there have still been incidents of police brutality against unarmed and innocent black people. While we are awaiting the justice of one, we mourn the injustice of others. It is the most sorrowful and frustrating limbo to maneuver. It is exhausting. It is traumatizing. Yet, the revolution must go on. We still fight. We still educate. We still stand up. We still collaborate and organize. We do what we need to to not only survive, but thrive, and help each other.

This leads me to my second thought: the portrayal of the traumas of racism and other black stories in the media. Art is a therapeutic and effective way of expressing life as one knows it. It is a way to educate and entertain through varying genres and mediums. And black people deserve to tell their stories in the way they feel best portrays them. We see films such as Judas and the Black Messiah, or shows like Snowfall, and Lovecraft Country, that capture what was before or the culture we live in today, in fiction and non-fiction. There are also more films recently that portray the issue of police brutality and the miscarriage of justice. Films like When They See Us portray the true stories that have haunted our past, while movies like Two Distant Strangers and Get Out follow a fictional depiction of real-life traumas.

There is magnanimous significance in allowing artists the creative freedom to express themselves. These stories matter and need to be seen by wider audiences, especially those outside the black community to have a worldwide understanding of what is happening. Artists should not be silenced, however disturbing the material may come across, because unfortunately, this is the reality of a lot of people in America. However, last week I watched Two Distant Strangers, a short film of a black man experiencing a Groundhog day of being killed by a cop. While the film deserved all its accolades for masterfully telling a story, it was very hard for me to watch. It spoke to what we all feel: a staggering hopelessness that continuously repeats itself, seemingly to no end. It portrayed the feeling of helplessness: no matter how the situation is addressed, black lives are still being taken, or placed in jeopardy.

I wish that there could be some balance to the stories Hollywood allows to be aired. It seems that the only black stories that are allowed are those that follow the traumatic experiences of our people, or those that are heavily stereotypical. When will we have stories that are fantastic, magical and explore different avenues other than the ones we’ve seen time and time again? I loved the movie Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey for this very reason. For the first time in a long time (if not ever), we see the jolliest of movies with an unambiguously black and brown cast save for one or two people, and it was such a fun, family movie. I wish there were more black shows with similar premises to Bridgerton or Game of Thrones, or the same vibe like the old black sitcoms with a modern twist. Are there shows like this already? Yes, sure. There’s Insecure, Black-ish, Grown-ish, etc. Do I believe there are enough? Nope. I think that we need more black stories glorifying the beautiful and joyful, and even mundane aspects of our lives, just as much as we have the chance to tell our sad stories. I think we need more black fantasy and whimsical stories, more black animation, more black movies and series with the storyline that is totally out of this world and make believe, like sci-fi films or fantasy. I’m not saying they have to follow the same rubric of storytelling or share similar story points. What I am saying is that our stories cannot be confined and boxed into highly specific categories when that is not all we experience, or even want to see. After being grateful that you arrived home safely and alive, enduring microaggressions and racism all day, the last thing you want to do is watch a show that reminds you of that. Sometimes, you want to watch something that brings you joy, intrigue, or excitement, with people who look and speak like you.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

These have been two of the many thoughts I have been having amidst all that has been going on, and felt impressed to randomly share. I promise you, the other thoughts aren’t as somber! Nevertheless, these are important topics that need to be talked about. What do you think? Whether you agree, disagree or feel ambivalent about it, feel free to express that down in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you guys think. As always, this is a safe space, so absolutely no disrespect will be tolerated. Like, comment and subscribe to be alerted for future posts.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you on my next post, Raving My Faves: April!

Love, Delz

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