It’s unfortunate how much history repeats itself, and even more unfortunate of the fact that no matter how much progress is seemed to be have made, it’s washed away by the negative actions that have been carried from generation to generation. It’s as if Black people has always had to fight for something. They fought for freedom, they fought for equality, they fought for basic human rights, and currently fighting against injustice done unto them. It’s a constant struggle that seems to see no end because of those in power who wish not to do anything to see fit that it doesn’t end. 50 years ago in the troubled state of Alabama, a young Dr. Martin Luther King set out to fight for the people to gain a right that should have been already deemed to them. Unfortunately because of the loyalty to the Confederacy, Black people were still denied the vote. For them not to vote meant that they could not control their own lives nor be a voice to affect change in the stature of politics. He set out with a dream. All didn’t accept the dream, so he turned it into action. And as I sit here today, these five decades later, there’s still something for Black people to fight for. The purpose of this movie was to highlight one particular act amongst many that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for. It’s not like other biopics that go from start to finish about an individual’s life, yet it comes towards the end of Dr. King’s, and it doesn’t just surround himself, yet other characters that a lot of people (including myself) would not have known about prior to this movie.
As we look at what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and where ever else there have been examples of police brutality against unarmed Black men, it raises the question of just who’s lives matter. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘I Can’t Breathe’ sayings have been plastered over the new age of media, and that’s the internet where it’s the most powerful. It’s as if the brickwork laid down by Dr. King’s initial vision had been eroded to minerals and dust because of just how far we’ve come, but yet have so much further to go. Selma, Alabama was a moment in which issued a significant shift in not only Black History, but also American history. It was one of the truly most unified movements to come about in their mostly hostile history, and what we’re experiencing today is none other than a reflection of those events.
David Oyelowo has been involved in a few movies where Black history is depicted: The Butler, Lincoln, and Red Tails for examples. It was interesting to see just how Dr. King was to be portrayed. Would it be him viewed as a seemingly patron Saint of Black people, or would it be another side of him that drew uncertainty, doubt and skepticism? The answer is that both sides of the coin were revealed, and himself along with Carmen Ajogo (playing Coretta Scott King) took upon that challenging rift in their relationship that had been known to people throughout the years. Stephan James, who plays John Lewis, is a native of Toronto who happened to be at the screening I attended. As important as the movie is to educating young black people everywhere, it also is welcoming to knowing that someone from my own neck of the woods, plays a character that had a role into shaping said history into what it is today. As a Canadian, we’re more out of touch with Black history than Americans, obviously because of geographic location, but also because a lot of people in Canada don’t have a lot of knowledge anyways, and the majority of West Indian heritage clouds that knowledge from ever coming to fruition, so I hope that those who are willing to learn more, not only about this event, but the people involved with it, watch this movie and proceed to educate themselves so that more progress can come about.
It’s not a feel good movie, but it’s yet another look into the unfortunate history that America has to accept and can learn from, in years to come about. Politics play a major role into just how things are put in place, and the representation from local, state, and federal positions of power were brought to light in this film. It’s angering, knowing that allowing something so simple as the right to Black voting wasn’t a priority to put forward. Change isn’t something that a lot of people like to embrace, but sympathy, compassion, and utter common sense has been and continues to be insufferable to bear when it comes to the higher ups and people who control what gets done. When things need to be enforced, the people cause a commotion, and when all of the eyes of the public are watching, it puts pressure on to act hastily to just give the people what they want. Now, does everyone get what they want? Absolutely not, and no matter how many censors can block messages that want to get out, it’ll find its way. This movie is important into telling the people of today that they can learn from what Dr. King’s intentions were, and although he wasn’t perfect, he was the perfect person to have a voice to shake the bones of establishment to enforce something significant to happen.
I did enjoy this movie. Usually biopics are hit and miss, and it starts with directing and bleeds down into casting, then overall execution of performance, and keeping the story relevant. There were a lot of new faces and seasoned veterans sprinkled in this movie, but no one deterred the other from having a key role into shaping the movie’s outcome, which is why it flowed well and was an engaging experience overall. Get out to see it, and tell other people to do the same. It’s very necessary to know this story. But, for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX