Birth of a Nation, the movie about slave rebellion leader Nat Turner, finally premiered in theaters. The movie was a cinematic masterpiece that encapsulated the era and the rebellion perfectly. The acting was superb, the score was fitting, and the visuals were stunning enough to send shivers down the spine. In short, the movie was everything it was hyped up to be, despite the claims that the movie flopped. Looking deeper into the movie itself, we can learn not only a lot about our ancestors, but a lot about ourselves and our present condition as well. There are numerous parallels between the movie depictions and our world today. Let’s examine.
A pivotal point of note in the movie was the plan the slave masters enacted to calm their slaves down. That plan was using Nat Turner – a negro preacher (one of their own), to go around to slave plantations where an impending uprising was building and preach the word to them to be obedient to their masters. Sound familiar? Look at Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlotte. Who were the coons – oops, I meant the “leaders”- talking to Black America? What were they telling us? ‘Calm down.’ ‘Don’t act out.’ ‘What would Jesus do.’ Instead of having that “leader” go around to each plantation, they now have the television media to beam that message to millions in a matter of seconds.
Remember when Nat Turner’s wife was caught alone and the overseers asked her for her “pass”? She didn’t comply and what happened? What is today’s equivalent of a pass? An identification card! Remember New York’s Stop-and-Frisk laws? Remember Sandra Bland?
In the movie, the overseers were those people deputized by the government and appointed to capture and/or discipline slaves that ran away or got out of line. They were savage and brutal too. (Remember the scene when Nat Turner was traveling and he saw the dead slave with his brains blown out?) What is today’s equivalent of an overseer? The police officers! When people whom the government deem as rebels step out of line, who are those appointed to capture them and discipline them? Are they brutal? Ask Alton Sterling.
Lastly, what happened when the slaves finally figured out that if they united then they could overthrow their oppressors? History is still being written on that modern parallel…
Birth of a Nation was a movie that was bigger than the writer, the actors, or the cinema. Birth of a Nation is the manifestation of the conscious reenactment of our history. #staywoke
Read here why they tried to sabotage this movie.