I suppose after I watched my ten thousandth movie…
Or maybe read my ten thousandth book…
Or possibly after I wrote my ten thousandth paragraph, my experience with art as entertainment became more like a parent watching their child around strangers.
I have been questioning exactly what I define as art. I have been questioning exactly what it is that others are defining as art.
I have not been thoroughly impressed by what serves as US Black entertainment in quite some time. The last “Black” movie that I watched more than once of my own accord was Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” and I was not too in love with that.
A part of my study and my conceptualization of Black Media Trust is the misuse of US Blacks’s insecurity of lack of cohesive and static enough identity. I am not obligated as a US Black to support any other human simply because they are also Black. Just because someone discusses an inequality that greatly impacts US Blacks via their art does not mean I have to agree with their art if I do not. There is no US Black “hive mind” that allows us to share appreciation of the same cultural artifacts. There is no collective US Black financial institution that represents the economic visions of every living and recently lived US Black person.
I have psychological health needs. I have the need to preserve my lived perceptions and synthesis of such perceptions that form my internal “Me”. If presentations of US Blacks, or representations of US Blacks, that do not reflect my lived perceptions of reality, I have the eternal human right to not want to be associated with those renderings. Furthermore, if the appearance of US Blacks or Afrikans portraying US Blacks on screen does not add to my financial or social capital in a significantly tangible way, I do not wish to be obligated to support. I will not be obligated to support, or identify with such creations.
I am not a sucker of that order. Putting a dark skinned human in Star Wars’s movies does not motivate me in any way. If the film is a millennial branding overkill with a predictable plot and a made for network television feel, no amount of negroes sprinkled in its cast will alter its horrid script. Spike Lee’s vividly chromatic and well cast –except Nick Cannon, of course– musical will not bring back any lost US Blacks or even raise consciousness to the point of a Chicago gang-land ceasefire. In fact, its tasteless appropriation of Greek tragedy set to a “School Daze” template will only upset the wound already gushing with blood.
I appreciate art and media mostly when it gives me hard truths, concrete displays of actual conditions, that I possibly cannot obtain for my Self and those that depend on my interpretations. I consider my Self to be a human for Life’s sake. I also consider my Self to be Black for Solar energy’s sake. Historical conditions and territorial proximity force me to be a United States’s citizen. These are all dynamics I had absolutely no say so or control over at the time of my birth. Since my birth, there have been no effective national or international gathering of individuals with my same blood writs establishing a democratic body to represent us. There has never been a successful and collectively establish US Black Congress. I do not pay taxes to any state bound by racial obligation to protect me in times of war or feed me in times of starvation.
Creating art with my likenesses does not obligate me to want to give my money, time, or otherwise support with suspension of my critical faculties either.