Celebrating Black History Month in 2016

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/?s=black+history

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/31/10871544/birth-of-a-nation-nate-parker-interview

The Birth of a Nation just smashed records at Sundance. We talked to director Nate Parker.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_birth.html

On the evening of March 21, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson attended a special screening at the White House of THE BIRTH OF A NATION, a film directed by D.W. Griffith and based on THE CLANSMAN, a novel written by Wilson’s good friend Thomas Dixon. The film presented a distorted portrait of the South after the Civil War, glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and denigrating blacks. It falsified the period of Reconstruction by presenting blacks as dominating Southern whites (almost all of whom are noble in the film) and sexually forcing themselves upon white women. The Klan was portrayed as the South’s savior from this alleged tyranny. Not only was this portrayal untrue, it was the opposite of what actually happened. During Reconstruction, whites dominated blacks and assaulted black women. The Klan was primarily a white terrorist organization that carried out hundreds of murders.

After seeing the film, an enthusiastic Wilson reportedly remarked: “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” African-American audiences openly wept at the film’s malicious portrayal of blacks, while Northern white audiences cheered. The film swept the nation. Riots broke out in major cities (Boston and Philadelphia, among others), and it was denied release in many other places (Chicago, Ohio, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Minneapolis). Gangs of whites roamed city streets attacking blacks. In Lafayette, Indiana, a white man killed a black teenager after seeing the movie. Thomas Dixon reveled in its triumph. “The real purpose of my film,” he confessed gleefully, “was to revolutionize Northern audiences that would transform every man into a Southern partisan for life.”

As the NAACP fought against the film and tried unsuccessfully to get it banned, the Ku Klux Klan successfully used it to launch a massive recruiting campaign that would bring in millions of members. Griffith later regretted the racial prejudice that his film promoted. He tried to make amends by making INTOLERANCE, a film attacking race prejudice. But INTOLERANCE never approached the success of THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Black History Month in 2016

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been writing a bit about our Indigenous Australians since Australia Day last week and how so much was left out of our history. A speech was made recently which I’ve posted on my blog, which I think you’ll like: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/embracing-indigineous-australians/ I wrote a bit more about it in my weekly coffee share post: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/iced-coffee-please/
    Coincidentally, my son arrived home from school this week and needs to do an assignment on an Aboriginal Australian poet and I realised, much to my embarrassment that I’ve never read a poem by an Indigenous Australian. I have now rectified that but it’s got me thinking about just how much omission’s gone on. xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s