Race Matters: Let’s Go To the Movies Part II

There has been a lot of chatter about race, racism, and racial reconciliation over the past few weeks. In our media driven and social connections, it is so easy to follow the latest trends and then forget why we were initially outraged in the first place. We forget that God is outraged too, and we forget that people lives are being impacted by racial injustices. We forget that when humans die, they often have loved ones who remain. These loved ones are not following the latest trends. They are not forgetting; they are still mourning, crying, losing sleep, and possibility waking up in cold sweats. We should not forget them. As Christians, we should not forget to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.

Today’s post is Part II of last’s Friday original feature of movies which draw us closer to racial reconciliation. Racial Reconciliation expert, Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil believes that to truly become reconciled people, “We need to feel what we don’t experience.” Movies have a way of making us feel by intimating connecting us to the life experiences of another.

Part I featured highlights, some commentary, and video trailers from the movies: Crash, 12 Years a Slave, The Help, Schindler’s List, Hotel Rwanda and 42.

Today, I feature six more movies that you will actually need to rent or purchase through your favorite movie viewing mechanism. In no particular order, here are movies that I recommend to better understand racial and ethnic issues. These movies can be a great starting point for having important dialogs with friends:

  1. THE BUTLER

Why watch it: This is a movie that is inspired by (not based on) the service of butler, Eugene Allen, who served under eight presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. While it is a fictional story, it is honest in the presentation of the experiences of Black people over a period of time as America was drastically changing. More than being yet another movie about “The Help,” I feel this movie does a great job of presenting the challenges and two faces of minorities who oftentimes live in a white culture that is automatically assumed “American.” The movie also does an excellent job of confronting generational conflicts, specifically how two generations of Black people saw the issue of racism but decided that the solution and strategic course for confronting that evil was distinctly different. This all begs the question, “How will we address the issue of racism today?”

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Coffee Talk: A Child Shall Lead Them

Kirk Franklin jammin' in his Hammer Pants

Kirk Franklin jammin’ in his Hammer Pants

This past May, I had the opportunity to check an item off my bucket list. For her birthday, I took my daughter to see Kirk Franklin in concert. Hands down, Kirk Franklin is one my favorite gospel artists, and he is actually in competition with Michael Jackson to become my daughter’s favorite artist as well. We attended the amusement park with friends, hung out all day, played in the water, and then waited for the concert to start. The concert also featured Tamela Mann (another one of my favorites) and Lecrae (whom I heard for the first time). We were jamming, singin, lifting our hands, and having a great time!

Before Kirk Franklin took the stage, one of the event sponsors, Compassion International had a gentleman give his testimony and a video about the work they do to share the gospel and provide basic needs to children living in extreme poverty. I sat there, said a few “Amens,” and shook my head up and down as the gentleman spoke. Then the moment of decision came. The speaker asked if anyone who is willing to sponsor a child would raise their hand so a representative can bring them a sponsor passage. Before I blinked my eyes, my daughter’s hand was up in the air.

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