darryl james

Darryl James

*I just saw Django Unchained.

I had to do it so that I could make an informed opinion.

There were parts to love and hate about this movie.

Parts of the flick were hard to watch, but the hardest part was watching dead-brained knee-grows cheering and laughing at the usage of the N word. They were also cheering and laughing at Sam Jackson’s perfect portrayal of a self-loathing House Nigger, as though HE were the hero.

Even though the piece was a work of fiction, it was steeped in historical truisms. Not HISTORY, but truisms, because none of us should be so unaware that we look to entertainment for a history lesson.

I loved that Django was a Black hero. I loved that the film showed his bravery and his fiercely independent character. Not all slaves were docile and afraid of the slavemasters. Many were looking for and found retribution exacted against whites.

I loved that Django was willing to risk EVERYTHING for the woman he loved. Some Black women love to pretend that Black men in America have historically left Black women to fend for themselves. That was hardly the case—EVER.

I even loved that Sam Jackson’s character showed how psychotically hateful a House Nigger could be. Perhaps it will give some of us a clue as to the root of some people’s hateful behavior today.

For example, stupid knee-grows were upset with Spike Lee for daring to oppose the white man and viscerally attacked him, calling him names, disparaging his entire film career and even calling his manhood into question.

Really? You want to attack Spike Lee for speaking against what he believes is harmful to the Black image? Even if you disagree with his perception of this FILM, you want to diminish him for his position?

How did we get so forgetful that we started pretending that white people could be in American entertainment with no hidden agenda AT ALL?

How did we get so seduced into a fake sense of security that we were blind-sided with the movie’s accompanying “action figures?”

Yes, you can now own your very own slave doll.

Still unwilling to question Tarantino’s intentions?

Then, kill yourself.

The truth is that I don’t really know Quentin Tarantino’s reason for making a Western set in slavery times with a slave as the protagonist.

But I do know that I am assaulted by the N-Word in plentiful supply when viewing his work.

Some say a point was made by employing the word in Django Unchained. I ask what point was made by employing the word in Pulp Fiction.

DJango Unchained left me conflicted, angry and yet, warmed my heart. As a piece of entertainment, it did its job.

But it was a piece of entertainment, and as such, will not become my call to arms against those who deride it, nor will it become any source of historical awareness that was not already on deck.

But it will become my newest reason for examining the relationship between African Americans and American entertainment.

I wish our minds, like the fictional character Django, were unchained.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” He released his first mini-movie, “Crack,” and will soon release his first full-length documentary.  View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at [email protected].