As I sit here watching the remake of Roots, I am also scrolling through various social media sites and I cannot fathom how people can continue to say they are boycotting this movie or writing it off as “another slave film.” When I heard that the remake of Roots would be airing this Memorial Day, I watched the original movie. I wanted to be able to compare the two appropriately.
I particularly want to touch on the video that Snoop Dogg put on social media about how he was not watching Roots and why don’t our people tell other stories. I was amused by the video because Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion, or whatever the hell he is calling himself, is the quintessential pot calling the kettle black. How DARE Snoop, who has been in the public eye for almost 3 decades, question how other influential people portray black people? What has Snoop done to portray our people in a positive light? How many stories of African Kings and Queens has Snoop told? How many stereotypes has Snoop perpetuated through his music and movies? Two words to answer these questions… Soul Plane! That is all! He has made millions rapping about weed, liquor and naked bitches while raising a passel full of children who need to get a sense of their history from places other than upper crust suburban private school teachers who don’t give a damn if his children know their true history. Now Snoop isn’t the only celebrity that feels this way but his video has the most attention today. Watching that video made me think about that scene in Poetic Justice when Lucky told Chicago to stop trying to down a nigga when he wasn’t doing shit productive. Niggas always trying to criticize somebody else’s work when their own shit is raggedy.
While Roots is absolutely another slave film and touches on sensitive subjects, I cannot imagine never having seen this movie. Any American with a drop of African blood needs to see this movie and understand the story. The pride in Kunta Kinte, the undying support of Belle, the motherly love in Kizzy and the determination in Chicken George. These characters are who they are because of their history and because of the importance of passing down that history through their stories.
If you cannot articulate to your children where they came from and the power in their blood, how will they ever understand the idea that they are Kings and Queens? I only wish more of our families had passed on the personal family histories so that we could share with each other the greatness of our people.
If you are a black man or woman and you don’t think this film needs attention then you are an ignorant fool who is living with blinders on. The importance of the remake is to try to get the attention of the younger generation because they are the ones that we are constantly losing because they have NO self esteem. People are saying that slave movies like Roots are made to keep that slave mentality ingrained in black folks but if all you are receiving is the negativity then what do you expect. If you cannot see the Phoenix rising from the ashes is Roots then perhaps you should see the original and read the book. Instead of looking for a film, book, article, video or celebrity to enlighten your children and nurture their self esteem, why not take the opportunity to watch difficult movies and read difficult books with them in order to teach them how to think, formulate opinions and gain a greater understanding of the people from which they came?
Don’t leave it up to society to teach our people about their history, good and bad. Understand that reality is reality, from the Pharaohs in Egypt to Barack Hussein Obama. You can’t fully enjoy the fruit of the tree without appreciating the strength of the ROOTS!