You know something? There are some movies I just don’t want to watch. It’s mostly movies where I, as a black person, am the target audience. I don’t want some corporation deciding what I should be looking at. I ain’t no target. First of all I don’t want movies shaping my perception of myself as a black man, anymore than it already has –for the worse I might add– nor do I want it shaping my view of history. Definitely not in this modern era of manufactured truth. Hence I do not want to see Selma or Malcolm X or any other Hollywood recreation of black history, especially the most recent and politically charged. I want my own images of black history in my mind, images I have gleaned from study over the years, not Hollywood’s. I don’t want the image of Malcolm X derived from written sources and news clips, replaced by Denzel Washington. I don’t want my black images reshaped by Hollywood. Second, I am just not a fan of black genre TV shows and movies. Tyler Perry and Empire and Blackish and such are not my cup of tea. My movie and TV tastes are theme oriented. Science fiction, horror, comedy, romance, mystery, drama, etc. Sometimes the theme is racial but most of the time its not. I am wary of MSM shaping my ideas about race. In addition, there is nothing particularly thrilling to me in seeing a black person imitate on the silver screen what white people do on the silver screen. Just because a movie character has a black skin does not make him my hero. That’s the baseline from which my outlook at movies, comics and pop culture begins.
There have been some good black themed TV shows and movies. But very few. Especially nowadays. Mainstream media, as for as black people are concerned, can be thought of as a massive cognitive subversion enterprise. It manipulates and controls not only how black Americans see themselves but how the world, especially white people, see blacks. Mostly it’s negative. And even when it’s not overtly degrading the subtext is anchored in and reinforces the fundamentally white supremacist precepts of American culture. The denigration of the black image has been one of the cornerstones of American culture since its foundation.