Dr. Chenelle Jones: Django Unchained Doesn’t Deserve All Those Accolades

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by Dr. Chenelle Jones

After taking a moment to digest the movie Django Unchained, I felt compelled to write a few of my thoughts concerning the film and I must say, after hearing all the accolades received from movie critics and the general public, I must say, I was honestly disappointed by what I saw for several reasons.  However, before I list my disappointments, I must give the movie praise for embracing a black hero/ex-slave who takes revenge against the institution of slavery and those who perpetuate it.  The movie takes a light and at times comedic approach to the seriously delicate and sensitive issue of slavery.  It also depicts the brutality of slavery through the barbaric and often gruesome treatment of slaves, yet wittingly balances those horrors in such an amusing way the viewer doesn’t leave the movie theater feeling completely depressed.  However, I still left the movie feeling a little disappointed and this is why:

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the movie, you may not want to read my commentary.

  1. The story line is at best mediocre.  I believe most of the praise from the movie stems from the fact that the hero (Django), an ex-slave, shows up like a knight in shining armor to save his damsel in distress (Broomhilda) from the evil dragon (Cruel Slave Owner Calvin Candie).  Aside from the blood gushing spectacle of violence and gore, the film follows the typical story line of a Disney film while simultaneously promoting ideological fallacies of white supremacy and black inferiority.  For instance, if it weren’t for the initial rescue, purchase, and subsequent tutelage of a white man named Dr. King Shultz, Django would still be enslaved.  This alone supports the diminutive context to which African Americans have been historically relegated.  It upholds erroneous and often discriminatory beliefs that African Americans are helpless and incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile without the help of the dominant racial group.
  1. The use of the “N” word is excessive and at times, unnecessary for the context to which it is spoken.  First “Pulp Fiction” now “Django”.  The “N” word is spoken over 100 times within the span of 3 hours, that’s a bit much.  I’m beginning to feel that Quentin Tarantino has some sort of covert fascination with the “N” word and the only way to satisfy his intrinsic desire with the word, is to put it in his films because of course, he dare not say it himself for risk of public ridicule.  The problem here however, is the excessive use of the word desensitizes the public to its belittling and dehumanizing nature.  We already have a problem within the African American community and contemporary hip hop society of the “N” word being thrown around as a result of contrasting definitions and contradictory meanings—all stemming from slavery.  The last thing we needed was this film to add to the dichotic conundrum of the “N” word.
  1. Kerry Washington’s character Broomhilda was grossly underdeveloped.  Now granted, the movie was about Django, it’s still unfortunate that we never really got a chance to know and understand Broomhilda.  A vast majority of her lines were nothing more than an ear piercing scream.  Like so many other female characters in the movie, Washington’s character was minimized to a role of submission and servitude that lacked any real credence or substance.  This submissive role parallels contemporary stereotypical gender roles that women are best suited for ornamental and not functional roles.  They are often degraded to nothing more than sex objects.  Although the movie graphically depicted the various forms of punishment often experienced by female slaves for running away (branding, beating, etc.), the movie really didn’t address the fact that black women were often subjected to heinous sexual abuse at the hands of their white slave owners.  Nor did it readily address the psychological and physical impact of sexual abuse on women and their families.  Traditionally, the double marginalization of black women has been psychologically crippling and within the context of the movie, it would have been appropriate to shed some light on the issue.
  1. Stephen (played by Samuel Jackson) reminded me of a character in a black minstrel show.  I would summarize his character as the ‘shuck and jiving’ Uncle Tom who is charged with the task of providing some sort of “comedic relief” and entertainment to a predominately white audience.  The satirical approach to this controversial character overshadowed the seriousness of his submissive and subservient role.  The attempted assimilative personality of this character, the denigration of his self-identity, and his subsequent acts of betrayal spoke mounds to the psychological infliction that has historically plagued many African Americans.  All of which resulted from atrocious acts that occurred during slavery.  Furthermore, there was no remorse, epiphany, or penitence of this character at the end of the film which is disheartening.  His impeding death was even reduced to a parody so the audience never really got a chance to balance the good with the bad.
  1. The discussion of submission and the use of phrenology was unimpressive.  Phrenology refers to the study of the shape and protuberances of the skull as a means of understanding mental capacities and character traits.  For some time now it has been discredited, but I must applaud Tarantino for addressing phrenology, because although rarely discussed, it was often used as a means to justify the enslavement of people of African descent.  However, the presentation of phrenology in the film was missing a very important point.  The film focused on the interior of the skull and paired it with traits of submission but when phrenology was initially presented and popularized by Joseph Frances Gall, it focused on the surface of the skull and was more concerned with intelligence.  This struck a chord with me because when I attended the movie, another audience member thought Leonardo DiCaprio’s presentation of phrenology was accurate and if they thought it, I wonder how many others thought the same.

In conclusion, if we want our story told correctly, we should probably be the ones who tell it.  Furthermore, there probably will never be a film that captures the totality of slavery.  With that being said, aside from my disappointments listed above, the movie was interesting to watch.  It took a fresh approach to the traditional slave movie which was very refreshing.

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19 Responses to Dr. Chenelle Jones: Django Unchained Doesn’t Deserve All Those Accolades

  1. Jeanette December 31, 2012 at 1:28 am

    I’m glad that “Django Unchained” is prompting so much discussion and analysis of the American slave trade. It is a fictionalized movie but goes a long way in depicting the violent horrors of slavery and the torture of enslaved Africans. This movie also shows how white slaveowners created their own fake scientific theory that justified the enslavement of Africans in America. And, lastly, the Uncle Tom character so earnestly played by Samuel Jackson was an ingenious touch. The use of the “N” word will surely teach the younger generation why older black people despise this word so much!

    Reply
    • Derrick December 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      The Real Uncle Tom, was not the character that caucasoids have made him to be. HE WAS NOT A HOUSE NEGRO!!! As a matter of Truth, he tricked the slave maker to teach him how to read and write, and he in turn, went and taught the other enslaved people!!! THIS IS THE REAL TRUTH!!!

      A dumb, bootlickin’ negroid by the name of Sambo, went and SNITCHED on Uncle Tom, and the rest is OURstory. This negroid was jealous, envious and hateful of Uncle Tom, but did he know, Uncle Tom was just using his caucasoid slave maker.

      One night, after the cracker slave maker was told of what Uncle Tom was doing, he had Sambo beat him to death!!! This is when Uncle Sambo took over the house, and became the bytch, pu*nk, fa*ggit, azz house negroid, like a lot of these negroids are today!!!

      STOP DISRESPECTING UNCLE TOM!!! YOU ARE DEALING WITH SAMBO NIQQAS!!!

      Unfortunately, these modern day Sambo niqqas will NEVER OVERstand how mentally fvcked up they are!!! These dumb azz negroids are so so stupid, they will accept ANYTHANG the white boy puts on his movie screen. The same with the movie LINCOLN, by Speilberg, which is another fvcked up lying azz movie.

      WHEN WILL NEGROIDS START READING OURstory for themselves, instead of beLIEving these caucasoid’s his-story/his-LIE all the da*mn time? This is the exact reason, why cacausoids didn’t want us to read THEN, and don’t want us to read NOW!!!

      I DON’T GIVE A DA*MN WHAT THESE god*da*mn NIQQAS SAY ABOUT ME!!!

      Reply
      • Chrystal December 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        I thought I was the only person that uses the word Caucasoid.

        Reply
  2. Teresa Lewis-Clack December 31, 2012 at 1:32 am

    No Hollywood film could capture the pain of what was done to us. Check out the real Django, Dangerfield Newby. He was a real man .

    Reply
  3. scrapluv December 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

    ru serious with all this diatribe?

    Reply
  4. Nixak December 31, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I’ve heard Quenton Tarantino’s ‘Django’ described as a humorous spaghetti-western type tale set in pre-Civil War Ole Dixie-land.
    I’ve seen movies on slavery & I’ve seen spaghetti-westerns, & the best of them [IE: Once Upon in the West, the Good the Bad & the Ugly, etc] were definitely NOT comedic, though they may at-times have had some witty scenes & dialog. IMO Neither slavery nor savage blood-letting generally should been seen as some kind of Damn JOKE! And though I’ve not seen Django [& I'm not sure I will] I’ve seen enough Tarantino films to know how w his curious ‘sense of humor’ – he tends to depict extreme acts violence as ‘humorous’ [& he doesn't have the satirical touch RE serious subjects ala Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr Strangelove'].
    IMO If you want to see a really hilarious spoof western starring a Black guy, see ‘Blazing Saddles’ [w the late Cleavon Little]. Then there’s less rambunctious westerns staring Blacks IE: Buck & the Preacher [w Sidney Poitier & Harry Belafonte'], or ‘Posse’.

    IMO The best movies on slavery tend to have the least amount of white involvement [IE: 'Sankofa' & 'Roots']. Though I’d also recommend Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amistad’- because it presented a little known historical event as a prelude to the Civil War & abolishment of CHATTEL Slavery -&- Yet Spielberg effectively makes 2 white lawyers [especially the washed-up US senator & ex POTUS] the real heroes of his movie. I doubt seriously that ‘Django’ is any-where in these films class. [Roots is also note-worthy because it began by showing that Africans had a rich cultural history before the advent of the slave-trade & white settler colonialism.]

    ON Tarantino’s use of the ‘N’-word. I often feel that political correctness is used to hypocritically limit / shut-down debate. IMO there are times that N-i-GG-e-R can be used to make one’s point, or for the sake of accuracy. But w Tarantino, as this author indicates, IMO he’s just looking for an excuse to say what he’d like to in general conversation, but knows he Dare NOT- SO his films give him the chance to do so using ‘artistic license’ as ‘cover’. IMO some ‘liberal’ white movie-goers likely relish his movies for similar reasons.

    Broom-Hilda: Because Tarantino knows most of his audience would be white [indeed they're likely his main target audience] he, as the author indicates, danced around the subject of white masters’ regular s*xual abuse / r-A-p-e of slave-women & girls. CNN’s recent ‘Black in America’ series also danced around this issue w a rather non-historical explanation of the ‘One Drop Rule’. But then the good Ole USA danced around this issue RE ‘Founding Father’ Thomas Jefferson’s impregnating his slave girl Sally Hemmings, who was his dead wife’s half-sister, at-least 6Xs [starting when she was 14yrs old]- for 2 CENTURIES! The ‘One-Drop Rule’ began because as ‘Ole Massa’ assumed his ‘rite’ of nocturnal visits to slave-women’s / girls’ quarters, the off-spring of these nocturnal ‘s*x-capades’ often became a point of contention between ‘Ole Massa’ & ‘Missy Ann’. The ‘understanding’ that they generally came to was to sell off the living proof of ‘Ole Massa’s’ total s*xual hegemony over slave-women’s / girls bodies. Thus came the rule that any-detectable drop of ‘Nigra’-ancestry meant you were ‘fair-game’ as a slave.

    Tarantino apparently has Jamie Foxx’s ‘Django’ blowing away mainly cartoonish redneck / poor white-trash / KKK / FOX Noise types that ‘liberal’ whites love to put-down / feel intellectually superior to. But not real slave-owners like many/most of the US’ so-called ‘Founding-Fathers’, or more ‘liberal’ minded northerners [see the following].
    Broom-Hilda, Django’s wife, is so named because she speak’s German / Dutch. Well there was a real life ex-slave woman named Sojourner Truth who also actually did speak Dutch / German. And NOT because she was enslaved in Ole Dixie-land either, but rather in New York- which was previously known as New Amsterdam. Thus Sojourner Truth’s 1st slave master was Dutch. Its also an oft forgotten fact that all of the US states were involved in slavery ['Stop talking about down South, If you're south of the Canadian border- You're in the South' - Malcolm X]. In fact one prominent New-England Family was ‘startled’ to find that their ancestors were once the BIGGEST SLAVE-TRADING Family in the US [See- 'Traces of the Trade, A Story from the Deep-North']. Its also a little know fact that- ABE LINCOLN’s In-Laws were likely the BIGGEST SLAVE TRADERS in the State of KY.

    Speaking of Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ which is getting much Oscar Buzz fore best: picture, director, actor. cast, etc… But the real question is How in the age of Obama can ‘liberal’ Holly-weird icon Spielberg make an epic about the Civil-war era & the fight to end slavery, & FAIL to Show any significant Black Freedom-fighters of that era [IE: NO: Fredrick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Delany, Robert Smalls, etc]?!?

    Reply
    • Chrystal December 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      You bring up the movie Lincoln…I wonder did Dr. Jones have the same diatribe about that movie? There certain lots of tibits that could have been put in that film about slavery that was not. Folk don’t know Lincoln had the idea to deport slaves to central america if not back to Africa. At the beginning of the war he did not see America as a biracial society. That movie never made clear Lincoln’s ever changing view of slavery from the start of the war to the finish.

      If Dr. Jones wants a movie about solely about slavery then I would suggest she makes one to her liking. Depending on Hollywood to do it for us and criticize it is silly. Django was not about slavery but a man that wanted to find his wife.

      Reply
      • Nixak January 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

        I further discuss my issues about what QT has said about his ‘Django’ & what Spielberg has done w & said to defend his version of ‘Lincoln’ below [PS: I've read that Spielberg decided to go w his final script after it actually wrote Fredrick Douglass' character out of it!].

        Reply
    • Nixak December 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      I forgot to mention ‘Woman Called Moses’ [w Cicely Tyson] about Harriett Tubman & the ‘Under-ground Railroad’. And here’s a historical story that needs to be told by a / some Black director(s) [ala Spike Lee, John Singleton, Hughes Bro, Bill Duke, etc]- RE the Seminoles of Florida an Afro / Native American alliance that took on ‘legendary’ Slave ownin / Injun Killin Andrew Jackson- who was the very 1st Democrat POTUS [FYI: the Democrats have an over 125yr legacy as THEE 'Good Ole Boy' / Dixie-crat party].

      Reply
    • ELLE January 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
  5. d-rhyme December 31, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Not impressed with the Dr. Your advanced degree only shows you have been taught more lies than most. You n word freaks tell me finally after re- checking Webster which word , black or nigger is worse? Then look up mulatto and hen give me your adult not childish opinion. These homosexuals are using the debate to remove free speach. You can fool some some of the time. Stay the hell out of African business. You are a white sell out promoting white gay behavior. Snake you are.

    Reply
  6. Really? December 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t agree with anything this “Doctor” has to say about this film. While I cringed every time I heard the ‘N’egative word (because I don’t use it; I don’t allow people around me to use it; people I know are aware of the fact that the ‘N’egative word is disrespectful to my people; and I don’t like hearing it, even in jest); the fact of the matter is that word was used lke the word “water” back in those days and “these” days, we as Black people use it as a term of endearment (which I will NEVER understand that).
    The story itself actually is a slight remake of the older spaghetti western “Django” and the character who played the first Django was the guest in Dicaprio’s home when Jamie Foxx came to the Candie plantation.
    What I don’t understand is why Black people would get upset over that word. You call each other that (I say “you” because I do NOT call my brothers and sisters that word; even when I’m kidding around. The word is disprespectful and would leave a bad taste in my mouth if I used it). But why would we get all bent out of shape when it’s said on screen. I hear it from the mouths of young people when I walk down the street. We can’t have it both ways. That word is part of history.
    I thought it was a love story in a sense. I enjoy Tarrantino’s work because he is certainly thought provoking. Just because he is a white guy, don’t make his work obsolete. He puts it out there and he certainly has a lot of us talking about it.
    But one thing the good Doctor touched on that has me thinking she has no idea about our own history. Samuel L. Jackson’s role was played to the hilt! That man is an amazing actor and he put it IN YOUR FACE about the “house” ‘N****r”. Does the doctor think there were no black people like that during those times? Are you SERIOUS? Unfortunately, we still have those around today; Black people who would sell their soul to the devil (literally and figuratively) to please the white man. COME ON!
    And she doesn’t mention the fact that one of the Hudelin brothers produced this film.
    But the nonsense about a race war as a result of this movie??? That has been going on since I’ve been alive. As long as there is hatred; there will be racial tension.
    We need to teach our children to respect each other; and maybe we won’t get so bent out of shape by someone calling us on it.

    Reply
  7. Kevin December 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    As I appreciate your analysis, I respectively disagree with your overall assessment of Quintin’s uncanny ability to orchestrate story telling into a featured film. The like below is of a typical assessment but preferences the assessment with the history of the DJango story. In my opinion, this assessment takes a look at the cinematic perspective which I believe is the only way to critic Quintin’s portrayal of the DJango character. What truly needs your assessment is the current day minstrel show, reality TV, which perpetuates the systematic degradation of American-Am men and women through truly ignorant images. Consequently, perpetuating the theory of phrenology though these images for the exchange of temporary fame and unimpactful monetary gains! See this link for the latest example, http://www.examiner.com/article/oxygen-new-show-all-my-babies-mamas-loosely-similar-to-sister-wives

    DJango review: http://ietherevolution.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/my-django-review-spaghetti-masters-tools-and-inspiration-all-in-one-spoiler-alert/

    Reply
    • Nixak January 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      IMO so-called ‘Liberal’ Hollyweird icons IE: {San}Quenton Tarantino ['Django'], Steven Spielberg ['Lincoln'], Kathry Bigelow ['0-Dark-30']- show hypocrisy & double talk when they’ve been called to task about their movies.

      Bigelow sold her movie, which hypes ‘extreme interrogation techniques [=TORTURE] as essential for hunting down the ‘Phantom Menace’ Bin Laden ‘Legend’, as based on real factual events. But when she was called to task for the hype that torture was/is a reliable way to ‘extract’ sound intel has been TOTALLY Debunked & is Completely FALSE- She then used the ‘artistic license’ excuse. Hey Ms Bigelow You can NOT have it both ways, either your movie is a realistic portrayal of true events- OR IT AIN’T- PERIOD.

      When Spielberg was called to task RE his ‘epic’ movie’s, “Lincoln”, failure to portray NOT EVEN ONE Significant Black Abolitionist / Freedom-Fighter / Union Soldier of the Civil War era’s fight to end slavery, He said that his movie focused on the political Maneuvering RE that issue- As if the Civil War & Abolitionist movement were NOT part of that political equation.

      So now QT comes w ‘Django’ On one hand he hypes it as a statement about the brutality of slavery which has been largely forgotten in so-called ‘post-racial’ USA. -BUT- Then when called to task about how his film seems to turn much of slavery’s brutality into some kind of JOKE, He then says his movie is really just a spaghetti-western / black-xplotation film w slavery as its back drop- NOT a serious statement RE slavery. SO which is it QT? An important statement RE slavery’s brutality or just a spaghetti-western / black-xplotation film???

      Reply
      • Nixak January 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

        @ CouterPunch there’s a rave review of ‘Django’ by Michael Donnelly. In fact he says ‘It’s the most important film so far on American Slavery…’ even surpassing ‘Roots’ [I Seriously DOUBT IT. IMO The best movies I've seen on slavery are in order of my recommendation: 'Sankofa', 'Roots', 'A Woman Called Moses', 'Amistad]‘. Yet he Calls his review of ‘Django’- ‘Tarantino’s American Love Story’ which implies that at its core it really ain’t a movie about slavery [also @ CounterPunch see Cecil Brown's 'Django' review called 'Hollywood's N-i-GG-e-R Joke'].

        But whether or not you agree w Donnelly’s rave ‘Django’ review- he made this curious accusation RE Spike Lee’s declaration that he refuses to see it because Spike feels it shows disrespect to his / our ancestors: }’I can only conclude that Spike is either a woeful, jealous film critic or a RACIST. The only “disrespect” here is Lee attacking another Director’s work without even seeing it.’{
        That Donnelly feels he can so loosely label Spike a RACIST RE QT’s film sorta p*ssed me off! ‘Django’ is {San}Quenton’s 3rd [that I can recall] film featuring a largely/mainly Black cast, the other 2 were ‘Pulp Fiction’ & ‘Jackie Brown’ [Samuel Jackson's featured prominently in all 3]. In all 3 films QT has ‘liberally’ used N-i-GG-e-R in their dialogues -AND- He Himself Literally used it in a cameo in ‘Pulp Fiction’ w that infamously ‘funny’ ‘Dead N-i-GG-e-R Storage’ scene. Yet Donnelly excuses QT’s ‘liberal’ use of the N-word in ‘Django’ while labeling Spike a RACIST for refusing to see it- HUMM…
        So Mr Donnelly how many Spike Lee movies has he repeatedly & incessantly referred to white people as honky, red-neck, cracker, etc??? If QT did 3 prominent movies where the dialogue incessantly referred to LGBT folks as F*ggots or even Homos -or- constantly referred to Jews by some derogatory name(s), I seriously doubt that Donnelly would be so apt to make excuses for QT while calling a prominent Jewish &/or LGBT critic a hater for calling him out on it!!!
        Heck Mel Gibson caught flack from LGBT critics for his classic epic ‘Brave-Heart’ when he didn’t even use the word ‘f-A-g’ or homo at-all in his movie! And those LGBT critics did NOT get called ‘haters’ – It Was Gibson who got labeled ‘Homo-Phobic’ & later even ‘Anti-Semitic’- for his ‘Passion of the Christ’!
        MY Point- Beware of whites who so loosely play the ‘Racist-Card’ in reference to Blacks- no matter if they call themselves conservatives or so-called ‘Liberals’!

        Reply
  8. Silk January 2, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Several issues with Dr. Jones’ assessment, I will only address two: First, the nature of the movie was not to be an accurate portrayal of history in exacting detail. Secondly, the character development was made sufficient through the storyline. Broom Hilda’s character, in my estimation, was a strong woman whom years of abuse in slavery couldn’t take her understanding of herself as a woman in full who refused to be defined by her enslavement or abuse. As far as the help or assistance of a White man, it is only when we recognize that it takes all of us working together to overcome the evil systems and structures that dehumanize. Without this collective effort of all Americans, we wouldn’t have elected, nor reelected the first Black Man as President of these still becoming United States of America!!!

    Reply
    • Nixak January 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      If you want to see strong Black woman characters in movies about the [chattel] slavery era see: ‘Sankofa’, ‘Roots’ & ‘A Woman Called Moses [about Harriet Tubman]‘- which all had women in Main or Key roles.

      Apparently QT misrepresented ‘Django’ as a film about slavery, when it actually is a spaghetti-western / blaxploitation film w ‘Ole Dixie-Land’ & Slavery as its back-drop.
      He also apparently hyped Jamie Foxx as its star [for Black Audiences] when its the white German dude who: Frees Django & gives him license to kill ‘targeted’ white guys. It’s also the German Dude who confronts the main villain [DiCaprio's Candie], who enslaves & abuses ‘Django’s wife- which is why Django even goes to Candie-land; both intellectually & then ultimately exacts ‘justice’ on [takes out] Candie, while ‘Django’ just gets to knock off the 2nd Fiddle Uncle-Tom House-Negro! So then how is Jamie Foxx the real star QT???

      But then there’s this from the ‘Daily Beast article ‘Django Selling slave Action Figures’ [@ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/06/django-unchained-selling-slaves-as-action-figures.html ]
      } The audacious release of the dolls could be perceived as adding insult to injury, especially considering Tarantino’s lack of regard for the legacy of Alex Haley’s epic 1977 mini-series Roots, which is American pop culture’s most prized depiction of slavery.
      “When you look at Roots, nothing about it rings true in the storytelling, and none of the performances ring true for me either,” Tarantino told The Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels. “I didn’t see it when it first came on, but when I did I couldn’t get over how oversimplified they made everything about that time. It didn’t move me because it claimed to be something it wasn’t” [WHAT! This guy has got a Whole LOTTA of F-ING Nerve!].
      Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr., who starred in Roots, dismissed Tarantino’s critique, he was just “stirring stuff up” and making a “mockery” out of racism.
      Gossett revealed that after seeing ‘Django Unchained’ at a Malibu movie theater last weekend, he walked out within the first 20 minutes. “Django is a very small speck on the horizon to what we should be giving energy to,” Gossett said… {

      I can name at-least 3 gut-wrenching scenes from ‘Roots’ off the top of my head, that I’m sure has more meaning RE Slavery & its devastation of African civilization / culture & the Black Family- than anything in QT’s ‘Django’. They are: 1} When the slavers caught Kunta Kinte & put those chains on him, -2} When that ‘Nigger-Breaker’ whipped Kunta to make him stop saying Kunta & answer to Toby, & -3} When they sold Kizzy away from Kunta & Belle & ‘Ole Massa’ turned his back on Kunta as Kunta begged him not to send Kizzy away [& 'Massa's daughter 'conveniently' dissed Kizzy too].
      The arrogance of this Guy! He Disses ‘Roots’ as NOT authentic while pimping ‘Django’ dolls- It’s enough to tell {San}Quentin to his FACE- N-i-GG-a PLEEZE!!!

      PS: 2 Other gut-wrenching scenes RE the infamous middle-passage, were from ‘Amistad’ -1} When that dying slave-mother lifted her new-born baby up from that dark filthy ship’s-hold that she was chained to the bottom of, & -2} When they tied 20 weak / sickly slaves to that sack of stones & dumped them over-board- Like GARBAGE- While They Were Still ALIVE!
      Those 5 scenes seemed ALL TOO REAL TO ME QT!

      Reply
  9. Khalidx January 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Peanut from her blog black not dipped in white choclate says it best.

    There were so many stereotypes in the movie from the Jezebel to the mammy too the mandingo…to the brute…to the Uncle Tom. It was just insulting on so many levels and again even with a movie that has slavery as the CENTER PIECE of the plot…we still learn little to nothing about slavery from a historical perspective. It amazes me how time and time again movies that are supposed to be about slavery…really aren’t.

    1. Rape of enslaved Black women (nothing more than porn and pussy parties if we go by Django). We don’t really get the emotional side of the rape that the women endured. We are only shown how angry it makes Django to see his wife abused because well..she’s his wife…we don’t really get the emotional side of what it would have been like for the women who were actually being abused.

    I felt like women throughout the film overall were nothing more than mindless props…

    2. It oversimplified slavery itself…they made it seem like it was just “that easy,” for an enslaved African-American to just kill all the white enslavers and get away from the plantation…it was just that simple and easy really?…

    3. The “fancy girls,” or I guess they were supposed to be creole fancy girls because they were speaking French…they were props too. They made it seem as if every fancy girl was happy and content to be used as an object of sexual gratification for white men. It’s true that sometimes consensual relationship developed between fancy girls and the men they were involved with…but often times fancy girls were sold against their will into sexual slavery…particularly in the Delta region of the south and were abused sexually constantly…but Django just made it seem like they were living it up…dressed in nice clothes, drinking fine wine as if they weren’t SLAVES still…I didn’t get that.

    4. The house slaves…the house slaves were portrayed as double agents or Uncle Toms all throughout the film and it’s true that there were some slaves who were traitors and who sided with the white slave owners (whether under duress or of their own free will) but this movie made it seem like most house slaves thought that they were better than the other slaves and sided with master and from what I’ve read that does NOT seem to be true. Often times house slaves would overhear when a sale was going to take place or would relay information they overheard from the slave master to the slaves in field or in the quarters so that they could alert their family and friends ahead of time what was to take place. Some house slaves outright rebelled against the slave owners. So I think it’s just divisive to portray Black people who were house slaves in such a perfidious and myopic manner.

    5. Female slave hands are all ugly and ignorant…well at least that’s the impression that I got from Django when he said (in reference to his wife Broomhilda) “oh she ain’t no field hand…she pretty and she talk well…” So basically here we go again with the field vs. the house crap…so now women who worked in the fields were ugly and ignorant…??? Really???…like there were no ugly house slaves?… what I took from Django’s reference to the beauty of Broomhilda and her status as a house slave was that the female house slaves were somehow better than the field workers…hmmmm…

    6. Why was the KKK portrayed in this movie when it wasn’t founded until AFTER slavery in 1865?

    7. Finally, someone please explain to me why in the hell does the character Django have to “earn his freedom,” from the white bounty hunter who so gallantly rescues him from the horrors of slavery…only to make him a slave to himself? Well yes, Dr. Schultz promises Django freedom, but only after Django pulls a magical negro and helps the Doctor with his bounty hunting tasks…huh? Why should Django have to earn his freedom…IF Doctor was so against slavery, he should know that we’re all born free and entitled to freedom…

    Final Thoughts:

    I could go on…the whole movie was just a joke to me though…there were far too many laughs for a movie that is supposed to be portraying such a serious topic.

    I would say don’t go into Django Unchained expecting any historical accuracy…there isn’t much and it would benefit everyone to read up on Slavery on their own because you won’t get much from the movie itself.

    A Personal Note:

    A few good things did come out of my watching this movie

    1. I got to spend some time with my family

    2. I was reminded of why it’s important to study African-American history on my own…so that I can challenge misrepresentations when they show up in films.

    Nicole Galicia Django Unchained

    3. I got to see beautiful, dark brown skinned Black women on film for once. The sad thing is it takes a movie about slavery to show dark-skinned Black women. As if the only time Black women can actually look Black is when we’re in a subordinate position to everyone else…but what can I say? The portrayal of Black women left much to be desired, but at least they actually were Black and beautiful looking…which is more than I can say for a lot of other movies. *cough cough, Red Tails*

    Danièle Watts- Django Unchained

    No the movie wasn’t horrible from an action standpoint…and like I said earlier it gives you that sugar rush that you may want…but does it really leave you feeling satisfied?..

    Other Articles:

    My Issue with Django Unchained

    Tarantino’s Candy

    Women in Lincoln and Django Unchained

    OTHER POV:

    Why I Liked Django Unchained
    This entry was posted on December 29, 2012. 3 Comments
    Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
    Dec24

    Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be an African-American celebrating Christmas back in the 19th century…before the civil war? Today, many of us can enjoy gathering together with family, roasting turkey, opening gifts and above all we can enjoy the freedom to celebrate our holidays.

    When I was 7 years old, my parents gave me the book Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in Quarters…for a Christmas present.

    I’ve had the book for years, but I am just now reading it as an adult.

    The book is written by Patricia McKissack and Frederick McKissack, with illustrations by John Thompson. It is a book about life in the antebellum south at Christmas time.

    The story takes place in Virginia in 1859.

    Here is what I learned.

    In the Big House, Christmas was just a time for jubilation, in the slave quarters…Christmas was a rare time where Black people could eat a full meal and not feel the pains of hunger. It was also a time when African-Americans could possibly see family members who had been sold off to other plantations. Christmas was called “The Big Times,” by Black people in the quarters because it meant big things for both Blacks and Whites.

    Preparing for Christmas:

    Most of the preparation for Christmas was done by the Black slaves. They “white washed,” the whole house and cleaned everything and they prepared the food, over the watchful eye of the plantation mistress. One of the first tasks of the enslaved African-Americans on the plantation was to bring in the Christmas tree for the white women to decorate .

    The Christmas tree originated in the Southern regions of the United States. German immigrants brought the tenenbaum to the South and it spread across the United States and then the world. Some families in the South viewed the German immigrants as being in the same category as the abolitionist of the North.

    The Black women who worked in the house prepared much of the food that the white family and their extended family would eat.

    One task that the white people had was to disseminate invitations by hand to other white families for the New Year’s Eve Ball. Another “Task,” that white men had was to write passes for slaves to visit family on Christmas Day.

    What kinds of foods did the white family eat for Christmas Dinner?

    Ham, steaks, roast turkey, dressing, gravy, vegetables, bread pudding fruit, desserts and coffee

    What Kinds of Foods did Those in the slave Quarters eat for Christmas Dinner?

    Roast chicken, squirrel, pickled pig feet, poke salad, collard greens, eggs, ham hocks, ash cakes, persimmon wine

    While the white family got to eat good, hearty meals regularly, Christmas was the only time during the year that Black families who were enslaved really had a chance to eat a full meal and not feel hunger.

    Although the white families generally received the “best cut,” of the meat and the Black families in the quarters got the leftovers, the Black mothers and women in the slave quarters were able to create gourmet meals from what little they had and sometimes the white families would come and visit the slave quarters and they would eat some of the Chitlins or ash cakes that the Black family prepared…in addition to eating their own meals.

    According to McKissack , the purpose of these visits to the slave cabins on Christmas was to keep a “watchful eye,” on the Black people on the plantation. There was a lingering fear among the white people that the slaves would rebel like Nat Turner or like the Africans aboard the ship Creole.

    What Kind of Gifts Did White People Get?

    Most of the gifts were given to children, they would get things like white dolls, horns, wagons, blocks, Jacob’s Ladder, pocketknife and drums. Their stocking were filled with toys and candies.

    What Kind of Gifts Did Enslaved Black People Get?

    Fortunate Black families got to see their family members who were granted passes to come and visit family that was sold to other plantations. Some family members who weren’t granted passes to see their family on other plantation sent messages with other enslaved Blacks who were granted passes. Christmas was a time for messages to be relayed back and forth from plantation to plantation.

    Those field hands got time in the quarters to relax for a change. The crops were planted and waiting to take root over the winter, so they got some time off.

    Also because of the time off that Christmas gave to field hands, it wasn’t unusual for a wedding to occur over Christmas. The best dresses were dyed for the bride.

    Unfortunately, the house servants had to keep working through Christmas most of the time.

    The adults didn’t generally receive presents on Christmas, but children sometimes got handmade toys…like straw dolls, handmade whistles, a gee-haw stick, a hand made blanket.

    Sometimes the white family gave presents to the Black family on plantation like a handkerchief, while the Black family had to reciprocate, usually by giving a handmade basket full of eggs or something of the like. If the Black family were invited into the house for Christmas…they were expected to show up, if they didn’t the slave master “kept mental note,” of who didn’t show up and sometimes that person would be penalized later.

    People came from afar to visit the white families, sometimes they brought their slaves with them. One slave in the story came from New Orleans. Each region in the south had their own culture, so sometimes slaves from the deep south and upper south exchanged their regional cultures at Christmas time.

    What Kinds of Things Did White Men Talk about at Christmas:

    They talked about the fear of slave revolt, they talked about the possibility of secession from the North, they talked about how kind they were to their slaves at Christmas time and how “happy” their slaves were.

    What Kind of Things Did Black People Talk about at Christmas:

    They talked about the possibility emancipation, they talked about abolitionist, they talked about who was able to safely make it North to freedom. Christmas brought hope that soon the Black family would be celebrating Christmas, not as slaves, but as free people.

    At The End of the Day:

    Black Families sorrowfully say goodbye to the family members that they may not see again until the following Christmas, if at all…You never knew who would be sold when…

    The White family retires to bed, feeling satisfied. The Black family goes to bed, dreaming of freedom and singing songs. The white family thinks that the songs the Black people sing are songs of jubilation, but they really are signals and messages used to communicate about the prospects of freedom.

    After Christmas:

    The field hands dispose of the Christmas tree and house is prepared for New Year’s Ball.

    The White families go to a New Year’s Eve Ball.

    The Black families enjoy the last days of “The Big Times,” before life goes back to normal.

    After New Years:

    After the holidays are over, the white folks read a list of all the Black people who would be sold off! Families are torn apart again, maybe only to be reunited at next Christmas…if the slave master permits it.

    Shortly after “The Big Times,” are over…life goes back to normal for the slaves. They go back to scant meals, long work hours, not seeing their families that were sold afar…back to whippings and everything bad.

    That was how things went for a while until slavery was legally removed.

    Now, Today:

    When I have the freedom to see my family whenever I want and eat full, hearty meals on a regular basis…I won’t take these things for granted because there was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to do that. It also makes me think of those who don’t have food and family available for Christmas.

    I imagine that if I’m ever blessed to have my own children, I’ll gather them around and read this story to them too.
    This entry was posted on December 24, 2012. 10 Comments
    Discussion: Why Does Society Assign Value Based off of Racial Sex Ideals?
    Dec23

    What do these pictures make you think of? Do they make you feel like Black women are objectified? Do they make you feel sexier if you’re a Black woman?

    When I am browsing around on the internet , I inevitably come across the polls, forums and discussions about “who is hot and who is not?” There are even certain websites that develop “hottest women,” by ethnicity lists, which is silly because we all know that beauty comes in all races…so why should these lists even matter?

    When I can look at the lists or browse the various discussions on the internet that disregard Black women from the hot lists, I am left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel that beauty is so subjective and diverse that these lists are just superficial and dumb…on the other hand, I know that we live in a sexist and superficial culture that assigns value to women based on their physical appearance and sex appeal.

    I know that depending on how “hot,” a woman is perceived to be, she’ll be given certain privileges over other women. In this society “hotness,” is correlated with race. There is a racial hierarchy that is set up to benefit certain groups above others. This is called erotic capital and I discussed this in another post about Siobhan Brooks.

    When we have a hierarchy that awards erotic capital points to women who conform to a Eurocentric type of beauty, while disregarding Black women…how does that affect the perceived value of Black women?

    Do these images even matter? What can we do to change the way society values women?

    This entry was posted on December 23, 2012 and tagged beyonce, black women, hot, sexy. 8 Comments
    Obama Needs to Cry for ALL The Children Around the World: Response to Abagond
    Dec18

    children are children wherever you go

    This a short response to Abagond’s post Obama Cries for White Children . His post is in reference to the tragic Connecticut Newtown Elementary School shooting.

    Abagond writes,

    “President Obama appeared on television and gave a brief statement. For the first time since his grandmother died four years ago, he teared up in public…Yet he has not publicly teared up over the 97 (or more) children he has killed with his drones and cruise missiles – equal to almost five Newtowns. Killings which the United Nations calls “indiscriminate” and which his own computers call“bug splat”…He uses drones to send Hellfire missiles at houses, schools, restaurants and bakeries. He sends them when you are with your grandmother. He sends them during Ramadan. He sends them during funerals…Obama does not even publicly name the children he has killed. Apparently because their lives do not matter to him. Apparently because they are not beautiful…Apparently because they are not well-to-do White Americans.”

    My first reaction to Abagond’s post was not shock or anger because I can understand where he is coming from. My heart was and still is broken for the children who were killed on Friday at the Newtown Elementary school. Those children were beautiful, they were unique, defenseless, tiny, little humans who have left this world too soon. It hurts my heart and I mourn for them, their families and loved ones….

    With that being said,

    My initial reaction to this particular tragedy was sadness confounded by anger. I am angry because this country has a problem with gun control and some people are so stuck on their “right to bear arms,” that they don’t value the right to life. I FEEL that the government teaches us that it’s okay to use weapons to harm those whom we don’t value…it teaches us that it’s okay to be violent to those who are vulnerable and can’t defend themselves. I was angry that Obama didn’t touch on this issue in his address to the country and I was angry that politicians danced around these questions when asked by reporters what role gun control and violence played in this incident and countless other incidents.

    I’m not saying no guns should be allowed at all, but do we really need for AK47′s and assault rifles to be made available to the masses… and would it hurt to have stricter screening process to obtain a firearm? No, it wouldn’t…but this is not the main point of my post…gun control is just a side note.

    In his post Abagond made reference to the fact that children who are murdered everyday around the world in other countries…do not get Obama’s tears. In fact they don’t even get names, they don’t get acknowledged and going by the media…they don’t even exist because we never hear about them….are the lives of the countless children who are killed not only in other countries (by OUR government’s missiles mind you) but the ones who are killed in everyday America less valuable than the lives of the children who were killed in the Newtown tragedy…??

    In the midst of the all the media coverage of the tragedy in Newtown, one comment stood out to me. It was a comment made by a middle-aged gentlemen and he said that “things like this don’t happen here.”

    When I heard that comment, I was left thinking to myself…so if this happened somewhere else…like say in the US ghetto or in the Middle East somewhere…would it be less tragic…would it matter less?.. Should it matter less?

    Of course the answer is no, it wouldn’t be less tragic and no it would not matter less…well that is what the answer should be anyway.

    No child’s life is less valuable than another. The little girl that was gunned down in the street of Chicago is no less valuable than the little children that are killed by American missiles in the Middle East and their lives are not less valuable than the children who were killed in Newtown. All of these killings are senseless. All of these children were unique, precious, beautiful, little humans. They had things that they loved to do, they meant something to someone and it’s a precious, unique life that has left this world too soon.

    It hurts my heart to see people look at the tragedy of Newtown and not connect that tragedy to the bigger picture. Why can’t we open our eyes and see things not as separate groups, but as people for once…I don’t want people to say “this kind of thing doesn’t happen here,” I want people to say “this shouldn’t happen anywhere.” People do not understand that when you don’t value the lives of the children of any one group, you don’t value the lives of children everywhere. All of the pain and suffering that the parents and families are going through now is the same pain and sorrow that the parents around the world feel when their children are killed by senseless violence. That’s the same sorrow that the mother whose child dies at the hand of gang violence in the inner city feels. If you look into each other and connect as people, there’s something very overwhelming about the connection that sorrow has to our humanity.

    Sorrow is cross cultural and universal…it’s a testament to our needs as human beings. We all want a safe world for our children to grow up in, we all want to preserve our children and their innocence because it’s a reminder of the innocence that should be humanity. When we birth children and bring them into the world, we relish their innocence because we crave the simplicity…we crave the blissful ignorance. It’s just so astounding to me that when a child is born, the baby doesn’t know of all the evils of the world, they don’t come out hating people or wanting to kill people…they come out with a fresh, clean and new spirit…which is something that people yearn for as we get older. Something that maybe we’re continuously searching for….

    Children everywhere are so valuable.

    So, it pains my heart to see children ANYWHERE in the world being cast aside, murdered and made into nameless targets on someone’s radar…when we kill that innocence, we kill ourselves off. There is no color line, there is no political line to be drawn when it comes to valuing a child’s life…and that is why it hurts me…and that is why we need to weep for all the children.

    Maybe if we weep together enough, we’ll learn to comfort each other and if we can comfort each other, we’ll understand the sorrow that we share and if we understand the sorrow, we’ll see each other’s humanity…we’ll see ourselves in each other and if we can see ourselves in each other, then maybe we’ll stop the senseless violence…and we’ll stop allowing children everywhere to be victims of people who don’t value their humanity…which is the same as not valuing all of humanity. No more US missiles striking cities and towns and killing children, no more Newtowns, no more gang shootings that destroy children in their midst…none of that.

    Those are my thoughts…I wish things were different.
    This entry was posted on December 18, 2012. 20 Comments
    “The War On Drugs Is Genocide.”
    Dec12

    Black people were brought to this country for labor. The history of slavery is no secret, but after slavery, what happened? Reconstruction, the Black Nadir, Jim Crow and post-civil rights movement. All throughout these eras there have been ways that African-Americans have been denied their rights. In slavery, we were denied our right to freedom, in the Reconstruction and Black Nadir we were forced into a system of peonage, which was virtually slavery only modified, in Jim Crow we were denied our civil rights…today mass incarceration of African-Americans and other people of color is the new injustice. Blacks disproportionately make up the prison population.

    Why? After the civil rights movement when housing discrimination became imminent, Black neighborhoods were red-lined and denied the right to mortgage and property value declined. When jobs were removed from these areas, the poverty created a culture of desperation. When the CIA introduced drugs into the Black community, a downward spiral occurred. That is when the war on drugs started and that is where things are today.

    The war on drugs was said to have began in the Nixon administration, it was meant to put an end to the “culture of drugs,” that was destroying America, but instead it further disenfranchised millions of Black Americans, Brown Americans and poor whites, but disproportionately affected Black Americans. The systematic denial of jobs, proper housing and adequate schools coupled with the “sudden appearance,” of drugs in the Black community created a vulnerable environment into which some young Black Americans were sucked in.

    However,

    Notes:

    - Government denies rights of Blacks in slavery, black nadir, Jim Crow, the present

    - throughout 19th century, opium, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs were readily available to high class whites. They were used in medicine and common household products, if a person became addicted they weren’t treated as criminal, but seen as victims of a health-related issue.

    - An influx of immigrants from China and Central/South American as well as an influx of Blacks moving North during the great migration prompted officials to create drug laws that penalized drug users as criminals, instead of victims of health-related issues. These laws were designed to keep POC out of factory and other blue collar jobs.

    - poverty created when black neighborhoods red-lined after the great migration, jobs removed from black areas

    - drugs introduced into the black community, only source of income, many succumb to temptation

    - even though blacks only make up small portion of drug users in US, they are arrested at the highest rates and incarcerated for drugs

    - drugs laws like crack vs. cocaine disparity, minimum sentencing unfairly target Blacks, especially poor Blacks, while they excuse wealthy whites by cutting them slack

    - police are just pawns in the system, they earn money off of arrests they make so they can feed their families. This fuels distrust and disdain for police within black community

    - companies and corporations have a vested interest in maintaining the prison industrial complex and keeping blacks, POC and poor whites in prison so they can get their products made for free

    - those incarcerated lose their rights, including right to vote, right to live in certain neighborhoods, increasingly difficult to become employed after being incarcerated.

    - When these people unable to find jobs, homes or vote, they succumb to a life of crime, end up back in prison and the cycle begins again

    - Jobs being sent overseas causes poor whites to lose Blue collar jobs, they become new target of war on drugs

    - the increase in incarceration creates culture of violence, spreads diseases, breaks up families, creates cycle of poverty and ultimately culture of violence leads to death of young Black males…

    Does this seem like genocide to you?
    This entry was posted on December 12, 2012. 5 Comments
    Another Promising Young Black Man Gunned Down in Florida
    Dec7

    Trayvon Martin has taught the world nothing.

    Jordan Davis, a 17 year old Black male and some of his friends (also Black males) were sitting in his car playing “loud music,” when Michael Dunn, a 45 year old white male pulled up beside him. Dunn asked the young men to turn down the music, an altercation ensued and Dunn ended up shooting Davis multiple times.

    Dunn claimed that Davis had a shotgun aimed at him and he only shot in self defense. However, police have yet to locate the shotgun that was allegedly pointed at Dunn by Davis. Davis later died on his way to the hospital.

    The media has already looked into Jordan Davis’ background and determined that “he wasn’t part of a gang,” and had “A good upbringing…” because you know if he’s Black…he must have been up to no good with is gang of homies and therefore deserved being shot 8 times…right…*Sarcasm*

    Apparently Trayvon Martin has taught Florida nothing.

    Florida with it’s STAND YOUR GROUND law is quickly becoming the new Mississippi.

    There was no hoodie involved in this incident, so that can’t be what’s to blame this time…so what next?

    Michael Dunn has been arrested, so that’s a step in the right direction…but honestly Florida…COME ONE now!

    My heart goes out to his family and loved ones, to lose a child right around the Holidays…that’s truly sad.

    source
    This entry was posted on December 7, 2012. Leave a comment
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  10. lala January 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Im really annoyed by these celebs and critics criticizing this movie because a white guy did it. So what. If you want to tell it from a black persons pov then hire spike lee to write and direct it. Also as for the n word its slavery what do you think they called us, sir? Maam? A useless commentary with nothing intelligent to say.

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