If watching Barack Obama become president was the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream, watching Jamie Foxx as Django was the realization of Malcolm’s dream (at least early in his life.) Django was raw, unapologetic, cinematic, and a beautiful love story. It may be a remade title but the story and how it was told was completely original. The epic movie envisioned by Quientin Tarantino may have gave blacks the mental reparations that many have so searched for in various different forms. When I say reparations I mean that blacks can see this movie and see their history become a hero and not just a hero for hero’s sake, but a hero for nothing less than LOVE!
My wife and I saw Django not knowing what to expect and left from watching Django not knowing what to do or expect next. I feel as if the declare of my wife “I have never seen anything like that” was echoed through the hearts and minds of every person watching the film with us. I mean we have never seen anything like that in such dramatic form, “A SLAVE” becoming “A HERO!?”
You may say in your eagerness to protest that Amistad was a film of epic proportions and a slave was a hero, but Amistad ended with a free man headed home only to be reminded that he was black and expendable even if by his own village. When Django ended there was no hate for slavery, no hate for white people, no fear of being black in the world, there was nothing but pride for a hero who gained the love of his life. What that means is that Django was not a slave, so we were not slaves, we don’t have to look back at history and feel sadness, we can look back at history and say “I’m proud to be a hero for my ancestors!” My wife spoke about the statements Spike Lee said about the movie and how he was offended even before seeing the movie, he said the movie offended his ancestors.
In another breath she spoke about a former business associate who was upset at “black folk” who always feel entitled to something. Django, for me anyway, spoke to both Spike and the associate’s concerns, the movie showed a man going through hell (or “hell fire” as described in the film) just for love and the right to love. So to Spike this story gives our ancestors a hero who choose to be what GOD created him to be, a husband, an inspiration, and a hero. To the associate and those like her, black folks are entitled they are entitled to everything this country promises but are often slaves to their mental images of being a slave and powerless so they do nothing.
Big Boi from the group Outkast has a line in the song “Meanings” that says “Now or never, lets stick together and overcome. But they don’t feel like marchin, cuz they shoes is overrun…” that simply means that he feels black folks have come so far that now they just want to rest. The lyric from Big Boi sums up the mental slave image many black folk carry with them that says “I am entitled to have it all because I’ve been through so much!” Django is the visual image of that statement, and it’s stated in a very violent but dramatic fashion. The character played by Jamie Foxx felt entitled to what he wanted and also learned to not be a slave in any shape or form. He felt entitled to love and to live with his love, which are two things slaves were deprived of. They were not allowed to desire or choose to be with another person. However, Django fights hard for his entitlement. He’s willing to die for the love and marriage he feels entitled to have.
After you view Django you should feel pride no matter what your race. You should be proud that someone was allowed the freedom to make the film, proud that you can witness a man go from his lowest to his greatest for love, proud to be a hero that can live the life you choose without restraint. If you ask the question like my wife of “what should I do now” I would suggest that you be your own hero and free yourself from anything holding you back from your entitlements. That doesn’t mean to be violent but it means to be you and to be proud of it!
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