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Monday
Oct012012

The Black Woman's Guide to Coping With D'Jango Unchained

It hath begun. Many of you started emailing me about D'Jango Unchained over a year ago. I ignored you. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. The marketing push appears to be revving up and you can expect an onslought of psychological warfare to be unleashed with the head spokesheeple Jamie Foxx leading the way. Check out this clip of Jamie Foxx on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show kee kee-ing it up and having a laugh out loud good time talking about Kerry Washington being whipped in the movie. 

On Christmas day no matter what you do, Quentin Tarantino with the financial backing of his wealthy sugar daddies will unleash a gross act of violence against Black people.

 

The question now is how you should consider reacting to this nonsense Quentin Tarantino and his soft-shoed sidekicks - Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L Jackson. 

 

 

  • You Are NOT the Audience - This movie wasn’t written for you. You are not the target audience. Just because someone who looks like you is in a movie does not mean the movie was written FOR you or that you owe the movie your support. This movie is Quentin Tarantino’s wet dream, his fantasy, about the rape ant torture of Black women. It is not meant to appeal to you- you’re just a useful prop. Since you are not the audience, you can ignore every ad, every television segment, every magazine article. They don’t exist.  

  • You and Your Outrage Are Anticipated as a Tool to Market the Movie- While Black women and Black people for that matter are not the target audience for D’Jango Unchained, you and your outrage are needed as part of Tarantino’s marketing plan. I predict heated discussions among the northeastern Black Bougiestocracy. There will be AT LEAST five essays and editorials on The Grio, The Root, Clutch, Ebony Mag and ESSENCE. Heck, Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington might even snag some magazine covers. You are being INTENTIONALLY PROVOKED to anger and outrage - which is why you should offer Tarantino, Foxx, and Washington absolutely none. Shun Kerry Washington. Shun Jaime Foxx and any media giving them attention. The most painful reaction to someone who is attempting to be provocative is boredom not anger.  

  • Continue to remind yourself that the individual successes of Black actors have no impact whatsoever on Black people collectively. Jamie Foxx is already attempting to give D’jango some type of cultural heft and imply it has larger significance other than stroking Tarantino’s ego. It’s a movie. It is a gratuitously violent movie and that’s it. It meant Jamie Foxx got a paycheck. The movie means nothing for the Black community other than continued degradation and marginalization. When you start to see these discussions about the cultural or significance of D’jango Unchained, just have a little laugh inside. No. seriously, practice it with me- your inside shunning laugh.  Black Hollywood is notorious for lying and saying that the success movies they are in will determine the future of Black humanity. And if we don’t go see THEIR movie, another Black movie will never be made again. These people are lying. Don’t be Red Tailed. 

  • Know your history. Black people managed to free themselves just fine without any help from Quentin Tarantino. Instead of listening to Jaime Foxx’s ignorant retelling of the history of slavery, go read or better yet, go visit any number of museums that tell the full story of Black folk’s existence. Go learn about the Black Dispatches during the Civil War, or Black Women who were Civil War Spies and not just run of the mill spies, but counterintelligence masterminds. We didn't need a White bounty hunter to set us free. 

  • Unchain your joy on Christmas Day. That Tarantino is unleashing this violence upon us at Christmas time is no accident. Use the date of the movie’s release to do something else to make your own contribution to the culture- something other than a critique. Maybe choose to make a donation to a Kickstarter campaign or a local program for artists.Get the kids some video editing software and tell them to make a movie that you will show the family on Christmas night.  Have your own family film festival. I made a zombie movie with my my laptop camera two years ago when the lights went out on Christmas Eve. It’s awesome! I’m laughing just thinking about it. 

 

So folks Keep calm and carry on. You’ll survive Django Unchained. This too shall pass. 

Posting Schedule for the Rest of 2012: I'll be moving to a Monday posting schedule for the rest of the year. 

Reader Comments (94)

I saw a trailer for this movie when I went to see "The Dark Knight Rises" and I know I'm not the intended audience for this movie. I have no desire to see it or even mention it, I'd forgotten all about this movie until I saw your post about it on Facebook.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEva

Thank you.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynShoeBabe

When I first came across this film, like many I was disgusted. But then I came across this news piece on Mauritania's horrific present day slavery and it put everything into perspective.

It's asinine at best. My energy it better spent elsewhere than on Tarantino and this garbage.

Especially as they want our outrage, as you say, they are banking on it for their promotion. I'm sure they'll even instigate some of the controversy themselves.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnison

Great post!
Wow y'all bothering Gina and the movie hasn't even come out yet. I am SO GLAD you called this card early so the people can know in advance-
"I predict heated discussions among the northeastern Black Bougiestocracy. There will be AT LEAST five essays and editorials on The Grio, The Root, Clutch, Ebony Mag and ESSENCE. Heck, Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington might even snag some magazine covers."

Those blogs have become a waste of resources, if you notice many of the writers of these post are a part of black Twitter and are not journalist. They basically give their opinions passing it off as truth/journalism. These stories belong on personal blogs

Nothing much can be expected from Hollywood but I would watch the marketing to see if they call out all the Black entertainment big guns like Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner to try to guilt Black people into going to see this movie.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

I did break down and start watching Scandal, but boo to Kerry Washington for participating in this. And she calls herself a feminist, a womanist, is openly involoved in politics - I just can't see how she can justify being involved in this nonsense. Boo!

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonnadara

I called it on this trash movie a long time ago, but hey, I doubt anyone will listen, and everyone will run and make Tarantino richer. Ah well, fools abound, but we all have personal choice, so do you.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

First, dear Blogmother, you are going to have to trademark the word "Bougiestocracy". I can't think of a more succinct term to describe Northeastern prep-school, Ivy-League educated blacks who write for the Root and the Grio.

Second, in my humble opinion, Quentin Tarantino is not Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor, the wicked duo who gave us that monstrosity called The Help. Greed and/or violent retribution are recurring themes in Tarantino's work and I don't think Django is any different. In this film, the white bounty hunter doesn't free the black slave Django because he is benevolent. Instead, he does so because he needs Django to identify the man he must turn in for bounty. Django seeks his own revenge for the horrors perpetrated against his wife. This is more in line with blaxiploitation westerns like Boss Nigger and The Legend of Nigger Charley. And when you think about it, when in the last 10 years have we seen a mainstream movie where the savagery against a black woman has be avenged?

We must learn our history and celebrate the stories of Underground Railroad conductors but we can't view slavery like the black dude in the Ancestry.com commercial. Slavery was and is brutal business. Pretty, petite slaves were whipped and brutalized just like those tall, muscular slaves in the fields and we can't look away from that just because it makes us uncomfortable. We need more slaves stories. Yes, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth need feature films but someone needs to write about black slave catchers and black overseers, too. Their stories are part of the collective just like our heros.

Unrelated point: The Smithsonian Magazine has a fascinating article about the dark side of Thomas Jefferson. Using contemporaneous documents, the author presents insight into Thomas Jefferson as a slaveholder.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Um...you dislike the movie why exactly?

I'm confused. It's a revenge flick set during slavery. A western revenge flick actually. While I wasn't convinced of Tarentino (sp?) pulling off a slavery based film, but I saw the previews and it looks pretty good.

*shrug*

What qualifies as a "good" movie to you?

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I'm confused...

The story is of a slave who is out to avenge the rape, torture and theft of his wife. And that's bad because....

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Quentin Tarantino is the most dangerous type of white man. He gets real chummy with certain black people to the point where they will give him a "ghetto pass" and then overlook how he blatantly exploits them for his own purposes.

He has done this in previous movies, where he is real comfortable using the n word and depicting blacks in various sorts of degradation. This one will be more of the same, and will be excessively raw with gratuitous, over-the-top violence. I will be happy to ignore it at the box office.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

JJ -- If you can't understand why a lot of us are so thoroughly uninterested in seeing the film, it can't be explained to you. Just consider us irretrievably blind to good Hollywood entertainment. Let it go. It is our loss, our sweet, sweet loss... Merry Christmas!!

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterValsadie

@Valsadie <-- Epic Snark! Luv it! A hint of sarcasm with a smidgen of nonchalance.

October 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

monica,
So in essence, you are saying that we savagery against black women on the big screen is cool as long as it is avenged?

You know this is what happens when you settle for anything as long as its has black people.
What part of your real history is Django Unchained portraying to you?.

Its 2012 and white people can\'t seem to abide to think of black people beyond slaves and black women beyond property to be used, abused and discarded at will.

This is another movie about black woman pain porn. Something which she finds herself in because she is black and is a woman.
How many people wanna bet that whipping you like 'Kerry's' character in Django will become a regular 'joke' after the movie.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

This movie is something I won't even be seeing trailers for. This is dehumanizing and obviously released with funding influenced by who our current president happens to be. And on CHRISTMAS? Jesus take the wheel indeed. But...

When I hear crap like "we need more slave stories", I realize why I have distanced myself from a lot of black women who spew that type of nonsense. Why do you need more slave stories? Rap music is giving you black women's "slave" stories on a daily basis. There are ALREADY nothing more than slave stories about black women. What is WRONG with so many black women and girls thinking that by continuously promoting ourselves as a kept people is a good look? That's whay you need others to identify you by? How you see yourself? What type of HURT are you harboring by wanting the collective image to be brutalized women? I am being completely serious. The real question is what happened to Claire Huxtable and MRS. Winslow. Where is HiIlary Banks?

Real Talk. I have YET to meet, in life, a black woman from any type of stable background that advocates that. And I've yet to meet a black woman who brings up "slavery" all the time who has any knowledge of their family history. NO OTHER GROUP of women does this repeatedly and continuously. I mean what are you waiting for, an apology? Like if you constantly talk about rape (and always by a mysterious white man to remove the people in your own life), it will drive back some of the anger and confusion with the gendered violence in the black community of today?

I've said it before, and will say it again. When I see more people familiar with unspun cotton outside of a barber shop screaming "slavery", "massa", "rape", "field negros", I might pay this some attention other than low-level derision. But in refusing to address why so many black women want this "slavery" narrative out as of late to distance their fear and discomfort of the current social breakdown, I'm not going to let some issues that happened 150 years ago to have that much hold on my life.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

I didn't know anything about this film. Thanks for the heads up.

Slavery is a very uncomfortable topic (especially in the U.S.) that no one wants to touch. Personally, anything having to do with rape & torture make me cringe, so I likely won't watch just because of those things. (I sat through Precious and wouldn't recommend that to anyone.) Thanks for keeping us informed.

P.S. Just found a Wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_Unchained

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

"If you can't understand why a lot of us are so thoroughly uninterested in seeing the film, it can't be explained to you"

It was a legitimate question. Your attempt at snark aside. If you don't like gratuitous violence - I get that. But the idea that it is somehow degrading to black women/people has no basis in reality.

Tarentino is a lover of Blaxploitation films, Westerns, B-Movies and Revenge Flicks. Pretty standard theme throughout most of his movies. Black characters aren't any more "degraded" in his movies than any other character.

His last film was a revenge flick set during the Holocaust. This revenge flick is set during slavery. Kill Bill was a Japanese Anime revenge flick come to life. The main black character in that film was a world class assassin like everyone else in the film.

Now if you want to argue that Tarentino similar to David Simon (The Wire) and Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow) gets a pass and accolades to tell "Black" stories due to their being white, that black folk would never be able to tell - I get that.

But this is the same blog that lauded Adele like she was the second coming of Aretha Franklin - and while I like Adele she is another in a long line of examples of white people getting rich off of a black sound, when black r&B and soul artists can't land or keep their record deals. Same as the guys mentioned above - just in film.

Often there is a theme on this blog that there is only one RIGHT way to tell black stories. There is only one RIGHT way to portray black women in media. And that anything that doesn't adhere to this One Way is automatically labeled as degrading/should not be made/bad/propaganda etc.

So when I asked what fundamentally is the objection to a slavery revenge flick where said slave gets to get even for the rape and theft of his wife - I wasn't being flippant - I was serious. Is it simply an objection because it's being made by Tarentino or is it deeper than that? 'Cause I appreciate a good revenge flick - and no one deserves it more than a fictional slave who lost his wife to white sadists.

The question of what is a "good" movie or acceptable portrayal of blackness wasn't me being flippant as well - I was serious - everyone is quick to complain about what you don't like or shouldn't like - what do you like or find acceptable representations of blackness.

You see it or don't see it doesn't matter to me - but being adamant it's degrading to black wpmen/people seems lacking of any real merit other than it involves a black woman, black people, is about slavery and Tarentino is directing it.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

@Monica. Very intelligent analysis.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovingheart

Kudos Gem.I see our resident hater has already got their panties in a bunch but I digress.I won't be seeing it or discussing it with any slave minded fools either.But I have to admit that I thought this was a joke.The thought of a film like this coming out in 2012 seemed like a joke to me.I just didn't believe it.I thought it would go away but I guess.

I really think that sane black women that want better for our daughters will have to give up the pain porn going forward.It's past time to let this foolishness go.I guess when you lead a lack luster life filled with struggle this type of stuff is normal and perfectly acceptable.I live for the day where black women who are living a life of struggle can develop some imagination, where even if their lives aren't easy they can envision something better, and will therefore only choose to see the life that they want on the big screen and not the life that they currently have.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertruth p.

I was explaining how this movie is different from movies like The Help and Precious.

Secondly, black female slaves were brutalized during slavery. That's not fiction. To look away from documented brutal violence that occurred during that time because it is discomforting or because it does not fit your personal narrative is intellectually dishonest and cowardly.

Finally, the purpose looking at different stories of the American slave trade is not to wallow in victimization or exploitation, but to fill in the outline of the African American historical experience. There were slaves who served as spies in the American Revolution and the Civil War. Yes, we need the stories of those who served the Colonists and the Union but what about those slaves who served as spies for the British and the CSA. I'm interested in learning about their motivations. I wonder about the daily lives of black overseers on plantations charged with meting out punishments. I wonder about the black slave who ratted out John Brown. Why would an enslaved person do that? No one has really written about that part of the Black experience.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

So in essence, you are saying that we savagery against black women on the big screen is cool as long as it is avenged?

Each of the five Death Wish movies involve vengeance for the death of women with the deaths in the first three movies including sadistic rape scenes. The protagonists adult daughter is raped in both of the first two movies.

The point of this is that the movie endeavors to use the most brutal act that could be committed against someone (the rape of a woman) in order to enhance the audiences emotional desire to see the protagonist prevail in seeking vengeance. In movies such as "I Spit On Your Grave", "Poor Pretty Eddie"(which involves whites raping a black woman) and recently, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", we see the rape victim recovering to later seek revenge herself. "Rape-Revenge" movies have become a common subgenre of exploitative film that has been studied and even written about in books.

One can actually look at this from a completely opposite direction from how it is looked apon here. The victims in such movies have overwhelmingly been white women and this is because the victimizing of white women elicits the stronger emotions being sought by the movie makers. It's kind of like the greater efforts associated with missing white women as opposed to missing black women.

The only time such rape/revenge movies involve black women is when they are attacked by white men, thus bringing the greater emotions associated with race and racism. Notice that you practically NEVER see such rape/revenge movies involving black women raped by black men. The reason for this is that it doesn't elicit the added emotional response associated with a white female victim nor the added emotional response involving race and racism.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovingheart

I have seen two trailers for this film. First time in late summer I was at a mid-city cinema…waiting for a big time opener to start when the trailer for Django Unchained (DU) came on. I did not illicit any real response even though the theater was full of White folks. The 2nd time around was before the latest Tyler Perry movie. Yes I accompanied a friend to the TP tripe…[holds head in shame]. The theater out in the suburbs was mostly Black folks with a few White folks speckled throughout. The trailer did not bomb totally but I did not get the sense that Black folks were gonna set the world on fire trying to get to it. In the end I will see this film BUT most certainly not on Christmas Day. Yes I am dismayed that Kerry Washington signed on for the role. And I am going to see DU partly so I can know what I am talking about. I did not see Red Tails, The Help or Precious. Have never planned to BUT this film seems so dangerous, the chance for it to go off the rails is so acute that I will see for myself just how bad it is.
I am no Jaime Foxx fan. I have never been impressed with him on any level…and he’s definitely part of the Selective Black Collective. He and his choices often are not Black or White but Green [money] with a hint of Black identity to add social and political cache.
Finally thank you Gina for encouraging all to keep calm. Yes, that’s right DO NOT get worked up over this. Nothing is secret/hidden/on the down low anymore in terms of Black Folks Rhetoric. The moment the usual suspects write their blog postings this will then rush through to mainstream media and it’ll become a Black Folks media ‘issue’. In turn White folks who probably would not have made an effort to see DU will check it out to see what all the fuss is about.
So follow that Internet meme and Keep Calm & Carry On.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChele Belle

I shouldn't said intelligently dishonest and cowardly. My apologies.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I"m with Monica. I don't beleive any time period in history is off limits. I don't believe you sweep history under the rug or hide from things that are discomforting.

Should Tony Morrison not have written Beloved Hell Should Toni Morrison just not right 'cause she really doesn't do Happy Black People stories. Should Oprah not have made the film?

I get being upset that Quentin Tarentino is making this film. I don't get being upset that the film is being made. Unless of course you just don't like the genre.

I was going to bring up Death Wish - as well as a host of other films that deal with vengeance, often deal with some harm being brought on a woman - whether she's avenging her own victimization or a loved one is - Beloved at it's core is a revenge tale of a baby coming back form the dead to avenge her murder - The Brave One with Jodie Foster is a revenge flick - but you're right - I'm trying to think of a film where a black woman is seeking vengeance for violence committed against her by a black man/men. I might have to poke around to see if I can find a few.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

@Chele “One can actually look at this from a completely opposite direction from how it is looked apon here.” -→ That is intellectually dishonest and you KNOW that. You KNOW how this is going to play out. Why are you lying to this audience? Since when have black women had the same protections as white women just by EXISTING much less having to be rescued? Did some of ya’ll take a women’s studies course in college and slept in after the first week? The fact that you say “even written about in books” tells me all I need to know otherwise you would have known about FILM SCHOOL and SCREENWRITING WORKSHOPS. You know, that place before the digital age where you went to get your ish together before making a movie.

@ JJ→ Please for the love of all things in Dictionopolis, don’t mix up write/right.

@Monica -→ Most of what I’m about to reply to, I’m not really talking to you. I’m talking to anyone who may have nodded their heads and said to themselves, “well maybe”. YOU ARE WRONG. And I stand by what I said in my earlier post that a lot of this “pathology on display” being what requested(?) by some of the women in this post is due to trying to process what is going on in the black community RIGHT NOW but put a different face on it so as not to examine it too closely. Why ya’ll ain’t arguing about trying to see Reconstruction when black folks were getting it together with a quickness… AFTER BEING ENSLAVED?

Another point. I’m going to put this out on front street because when I said that I see BW championing these “requests” they usually DON’T know their own family histories. “Secondly, black female slaves were brutalized during slavery. That's not fiction. To look away from documented brutal violence that occurred during that time because it is discomforting or because it does not fit your personal narrative is intellectually dishonest and cowardly.” No it isn’t. IT DOES fit my personal narrative. True story brah, one of my grandparents is a result of such an attack and even my great-grandmother who was “brutally raped” MOVED ON and GOT MARRIED. That’s right, she MOVED ON. And GOT her life (the best life that she could get at that time). And this was DECADES AGO. In fact CURRENT Russian ex-sex slaves usually try to MOVE ON. If you were REALLY that concerned, and this didn’t have to do with you possibly not knowing much about your own family background, trying to fill some void, you’d be more concerned with the issues that this site deals with TODAY, with BW and girls who are alive RIGHT NOW who are being harmed in their communities, not trying to dig up some “story” about someone that you don’t even know from 1864. You’re trying to FURTHER the narrative of us only being abused due to YOUR lack of knowledge, not give America a history lesson.

“I wonder about the daily lives of black overseers on plantations charged with meting out punishments.” – Ask JJ how her week has been. She goes out of her way to make sure that most of ya’ll don’t leave the plantation. Her set-up is straight (“allegedly”), so she isn’t all that worried about the rest of BW and girls. She just doesn’t want to look bad. Sounds about the same situation to me. Her kids are clothed, fed and cared for till the end of time apparently. Are YOURS? Do your FUTURE kids got it like that? Do the other women out there taking care of multiple kids “got it” like JJ? (Pat voice) “Survey says… NO”.

And what is this fascination (re-read your posts, it is obvious) with making sure that it is known that even “petite pretty” black women were raped and brutalized? Because you keep “wondering” and not KNOWING yet you want all kinds of “stories” made public (that you apparently don’t know the plot point of anyway).

“….fill in the outline (that you PERSONALLY don’t know)of the African American historical experience.” -→ I’mma help a sister out.

“When I was a Slave” by Norman Yetman. All I had to do was google and BAM, a whole book. So now, here you have some, stories to begin “your journey”.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@ DailyLattes, I co-sign 100%.

@ JJ, if you don't think most of those Blaxpoloitation movies were degrading to both Black women and Black men, then you are truly lost.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

@TruthP:

Your quote is spot on 100% -
" I live for the day where black women who are living a life of struggle can develop some imagination, where even if their lives aren't easy they can envision something better, and will therefore only choose to see the life that they want on the big screen and not the life that they currently have."

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

@ Chele, I should have said Lovingheart, but... that comment could have gone for both of you.
@ AJ--> THANK YOU. Like I said, I have a lot fewer friends now, than I did a few years ago... and I "ain't mad about it".

Is anybody out there who has read this site for more than a minute think that JJ (and similar ilk) is who you would want in your corner if you were attacked, victimized, degraded or shamed? I'd take Anne Romney!!! At least she would see the harm being done to at LEAST my being a woman. My great-grandmother was more than than that, and I refuse to see her as ONLY a pretty black woman who was raped. Can't we use our imaginations for something more?

And for those who DON'T know more than a few generations of their family histories, work from the book I dropped for a general idea if you're searching for cultural knowledge. I'm aware that I'm lucky, and that I DO have concrete knowledge of my family from prior to the civil war. For those who are looking for information, that author IS credible. I'm just not down with the general "slavery" narrative to fill in holes for those who are "wondering". Do we really need a 2012 Kizzy joke to match the 1970's Kunti Kentay? Jewish women were raped, experimented on, starved and burned to death within a time frame where their direct children are still ALIVE and their general reputation at the moment is as good moms. They were targeted for permanent EXTERMINATION. Can we get there?

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@monica. let me make it clearer for you django unchained is a spaghetti western style fictional story Not biographical nor rooted in a 'lets get the truth out. Its a movie. Tarantino style. That's it.

It's not about getting these stories out, its a plot twist, a work of fiction in the style of a spaghetti western. Directed by a guy who can't seem to get enough of his blaxploitation fix.

Tarantino' style has always been violent mayhem and the theatre of violence. I don't expect him to make a slave memorial, I don't expect him to make roots part 10, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, or 'Slavery: the middle passage of hell
I expect him to make a tarantino movie, if you are looking at this as a chance to get the truth of brutality against black women to be acknowledged.. then your need for a historic reflection is overshadowing your ability to separate fantasy from fact.

You are looking for that acknowledgement from tarantino?? oh.. ok.

I'll over look your attempt at insulting me because to be honest, I just feel a little sorry that your need for representation has you looking for truth in a fantasy.

Blogmother Comment - Yes it is fiction, but that's not how it is being marketed by Jamie Foxx. Mr. Foxx is implicating that it is culturally and historically significant. Nope it ain't it's just a movie that's lining his pockets. You can't have it both ways and say its just fantasy and then go on every TV and television show and trying to imply or overtly state we have a moral obligation to see something. If it is a fairytale, then let it be a fairytale and stop trying to ground it in reality.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

@Daily Lattes : The movie was in the works in 2007 before Obama was elected. There's no need to make stuff up to buttress your point.

@Lovingheart and others who bring up deathwish... seriously! you have to reach all the way back to genres of movies not being made anymore to justify ur point?.

You fully admit that the movie attempts to use the emotional pull to justify itself, isn't that exactly what Gina said?.

p.s. the protagonist is not Kerry's character, so the emotion is not about her, its about the emotions of the man who is violated because his woman has been abused. You are not being asked to focus on the woman beyond, he owns her.. his property was used. he seeks vengeance.

@jj I've read this site for a long time way before u started commenting, your posts here always seem like you are always trying to offer a rebuttal for the sake of it and you will go to absurd tangents to do so.
I think its patently dishonest and a little ridiculous but we all have our angles I guess.

Having said that I don't agree with the way @truthp seems to constantly attempt to shame you with personal attacks on your life. (I think its really appalling) One can disagree with fact or even ridicule without constant shaming.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

You know, I have serious doubts "Monica" is even a woman. This sounds more like a "Montel" type situation who is using a feminine handle.

And for the silent audience, notice that JJ is consistently arguing against a "right" way to do things. Why would that be? I am never on several black gossip blogs. Guess two of the main ones. Why is that? I get NOTHING from them. And those people who read them and comment ultimately ain't gonna end up doing JACK. But to constantly be on WAOD, in the majority of posts practically that speak against damaging behaviors and trying to force out "alternate" viewpoints, means that JJ is trying to make SURE she knows what this audience is up to. And is determined that you think or consider another way of doing things (against the "right" way usually). So while carrying on about your day, keep in mind that this woman who is so concerned about YOUR opinion and what YOU think is doing so because your ideas and actions are going to have some weight in her lifestyle in the future.

Jessie Jackson was right about at least one thing, you ARE somebody!!!

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@Ab I've been on this blog since the beginning. Check the archives.

So no you haven't been on here longer than me.

Also there was no tangent. And I don't have the time or energy to disagree just to disagree.

"you have to reach all the way back to genres of movies not being made anymore to justify ur point?."

Yes I know that wasn't directed at me BUT Death WIsh is a REVENGE FLICK - of which plenty are still being made. The Brave One (2007) Kill Bill (2003/2005) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (to a certain extent) (2011)

My question was simply the objection tot he film. "Cause the argument of it being degrading to blacks doesn't really hold. It is simply a revenge flick st during slavery. Same as Inglorious Basterds was a revenge flick set during the Holocaust.

As far as Truth P. Well...one of us has to be the adult.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

As always, thanks for the heads up! I like Keri, but I just can't with this one. Something doesn't sit well with me about this, it's like paying someone so that they can beat me in the head...I'm no fan of masochism, so I'll have to pass. I'd definitely patronize a movie that started with our real history that began in Africa, when our ancestors were kings and queens, but I digress.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheri

@DailyLattes

lol I made a bet with myself who was going to comment on my typo of right/write. My money was on Truth P. But I knew someone wouldn't be able to resist.

I don't proofread my comments before I post - I prob should but eh...don't generally take the time to do so.

With that said...

@Ab

"of the man who is violated because his woman has been abused. You are not being asked to focus on the woman beyond, he owns her.. his property was used. he seeks vengeance."

It's his WIFE...not girlfriend...not baby mama..his WIFE...he has every right to want to avenge her rape/torture/theft.

@DailyLattes

Move based on the Holocaust are made all the time. The same man we're talking about with this revenge flick made one based on the Holocaust. The movies made often take diff angles - but they are made.

When has a movie based in slavery EVER been made where the slave gets to exact his revenge on those who wronged him. Not in court but good ol' fashion Hammurabi Laws of an Eye for an Eye - Tooth for a Tooth.

How many Blaxploitation films has anyone seen recently? Anyone? No. Okay. See if you know anything about he genre - MANY of those films had a much deeper message than folk here clearly realize. They weren't all gratuitous violence, T&A and sterotypes of black folk.

The Sppok Who sat by the door (1973)

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

Watermelon Man (1970)

and even The Mack (1973) is a morality tale even in all it's Pimp and H* glory. To name a few, were more than just mindless exploitative films. There were other narratives going on.

I suspect Django Unchained in it's Spaghetti Western/Revenge Flick/Blaxploitation hybrid will do something very similar - be more than just gratuitous violence and T&A.

On a side note: I still find it very amusing that folk seem to believe I"m some anti-christ to black women simply 'cause I don't agree with how many of you see the world. lol/smh. The inability of hearing differing views without hurling insults never ceases to amaze me.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

You guys are not taking Gina's advice. Take control of making joyful experience in your own life (with the venom some of you spew to total strangers sounds like you need to) and know you own history. Hollywood doesn't get you and doesn't want to get you. No one has seen this movie, so the only the way it can be discussed is the way its being marketed.

Everytime Black art is created its accused of not being realistic because its too perfect or why does it show us as being so depressed. I think sometimes we are too invested in it, thats why guilt marketing and trying to pass fiction as history is used as marketing tools against us. No one was trying to acting like Inglorious Bastards was a real story. There are people who believe a 6 foot man in a dress is just like their grandmother.

Just make sure you are supporting great artists, musicians, writers and movie makers. Sometimes its not all about what you don't like but what you do like.

I Will Follow is coming on cable, I will not mention the network its on though. Steel Magnolias and The Carlina White story are coming on cable this month also.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

p.s. the protagonist is not Kerry's character, so the emotion is not about her, its about the emotions of the man who is violated because his woman has been abused. You are not being asked to focus on the woman beyond, he owns her.. his property was used. he seeks vengeance.

Wow. You can actually apply this to any man who seeks to protect, defend or seek vengeance for his family. "Oh, he is just protecting his property; it's all about him!". It's such the need for victimism that one can only conclude underlying negativity in the actions of that group (black men) whom you can only view as victimizers. In this case, you seem to have difficulty with a black man acting out of love and care for a black woman. If he is not brutalizing her himself, he is either apathetic or acting only to protect his "property". This is not what I have experienced with the black men in my life.

It's funny in that on this very site, a big criticism is the idea that black women are unprotected and on their own. But when, even in fictional imagery, a black man is shown attempting to rescue and avenge his black wife, the black man still can't get any credit.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovingheart

@blogmother
I completely agree it is not historically or culturally relevant. Jamie Foxx can say whatever he wants, Tarantino himself never said that and I doubt he would try. its not his style.

I'm just bemused by people quoting a movie made in 1974 (deathwish) and the obvious inadequacies of this particular plot as a historical cultural reference.

All of the bio's surrounding this film make it clear the movie is not about you, black women. You are simply a plot device used to focus on the main character.

It couldn't be clearer. but closed eyes won't see and blocked ears won't hear.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

" It's such the need for victimism that one can only conclude underlying negativity in the actions of that group (black men) whom you can only view as victimizers. In this case, you seem to have difficulty with a black man acting out of love and care for a black woman. If he is not brutalizing her himself, he is either apathetic or acting only to protect his "property". "

AMEN!

"It's funny in that on this very site, a big criticism is the idea that black women are unprotected and on their own. But when, even in fictional imagery, a black man is shown attempting to rescue and avenge his black wife, the black man still can't get any credit."

And there you have it.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

@DailLattes

What are you talking about? I've been on this blog since the beginning. LOL. I've taken breaks from time to time. But I generally come back 'cause while I rarely agree with Gina I do respect how steadfast and uncompromising she is in her beliefs.

It's not any more complicated than that.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

For anybody who doesn't understand where Daily Lattes and Truth P are coming from, peep this.

I read an article in the New York Times not long ago about Venus and Serena "Against the World". It was the most condescending, contemptuous, arrogant and silkily racist article I have read in a very long time. Not only did it completely diss their father, even mocking his southern accent in the most ignorant and childish way, like a 10 year schoolyard bully, but the entire tone from the author of that article was how "shocked" he was that Venus & Serena, two Black women, were actually "gracious" hosts, and surprised that they were "pretty", and FLOORED by the fact that one of the sisters even spoke French - fluently! And lived in a nice house in France. geeeee whiz, can you believe that the two reigning world and olympic tennis champs - for years - could do all that? @@ eyes-rolling hard.

The point is that media and their Black minions love to continue to push the idea that Black women (and Black people in general) are and have been victimized to the point of not being able to accomplish anything. they want to believe that and act shocked when they find out otherwise. It salves the wounded egos of those in the American audience who can't stand the idea of Black people doing well IN SPITE of all that we went through historically. I mean it REALLY bothers them, to the point that they will continue to only show most destitute, degraded images of Black people - for entertainment. Successful, intelligent, happy Black peopel make them sick! They prefer to stick their heads in the sand and continue the trype about Black people having been enslaved, or brutalized, or victimized - NOT because they are concerned for us - but because it's the only way they can deal with having to see some of the very same people who were so mistreated doing well. Seriously.

A blog like WAOD is about justice, not about a victim-mentality and is concerned about Black women, and thus Black people in general. Hollywood is not.

There is a reason why Boyz-In-Da-Hood, The Help, Django etc KEEP getting made - it's to always keep Black people thinking that we will always be victims. Seriously, like Daily Lattes said about her grandmother, she didn't just give up on life and let the criminal demon who raped her win. She moved on to start a family and bring obviously intelligent Black women into the present day, something I'm sure her attacker would hate to see..

A lot of people would love to see Black women all drop dead from depression or commit suicide, or murder us, or fail in life, and end their "problem" of having to deal with us. At the very least, there is still a desire to patronize us, to paint us as these poor pathetic people who cannot work towards our own better future - nothing is further than the truth, but many Black people now agree with this victimization attitude because of mental programming.

We have to be willing to put out images that focus on our positives and successes, not the most degrading failures for entertainment of the American public. YES, the true story of slavery needs to be told - in all its brutality and not swept under the rug, but not by a disgusting pervert like Tarantino who only cares about lining his pockets and negatively influencing the U.S. populace.

I promise you, this movie will leave a lot of Black-hating people gloating in happiness.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

And by the way, my comment was NOT about being a SBW - Strong Black Woman, because that is limiting and bad for your health. I was trying to say how others always want Black people presented in some form of the negative to the world, and ourselves.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

@jj
So what its HIS wife, stop being wilfully obtuse, come on. Yes, its his wife. I know that, you know that. and you also know that the focus of the story is about HIM.

Which part of that do you not get?. It's not about his wife, its about him. My only complaint is I personally just don't want to indulge in Black woman pain porn.

2) @lovingheart. read what you wrote over again and then read what I wrote. Your conclusion is utterly illogical.
Look lets get back to our disagreements without introducing strawmen.
1) I do not need a man to save me. Neither am I looking for one.
2) Unfortunately for you, I kinda dig black men sorry I don't fit into your 'black man hating stereotype'
3) You cannot be that convoluted that you are turning my point on the fact that this film is not about Kerry's character as a point to beat me about manhating lol... thats desperate and ridiculous.

I mean seriously, you think I wouldn't have this complaint about any other director or other movie with this type of plot.
I would, the point stands, It's about the man and his property of which the woman is one. The trailers have not introduced Kerry's character as the love of his life or anything more than his wife. That alone is problematic in cinema in general, without the context of a slave narrative.

Look, make convoluted twists and arguments all you want. But don't even begin to put words in my mouth or add ridiculous strawmen to the debate,

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

AJ - Wow... knowledge dropped in your last 2 comments (especially the first comment of the 2). Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the extra food for thought.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

ab-→ Girl, don’t even. Like it doesn’t take YEARS of producing a project of this magnitude without considering theater-opening dates. I assumed that the audience (here) would understand that negotiating production and a nationwide media blitz and opening day with theaters and the climate would influence when and if a movie showed. Esp. nationwide. Nope, not like the WORLD isn’t watching this election and it was placed at a certain date to bring in more audience numbers no matter the election out-come. A HOLIDAY movie where a black woman is harmed? No way that this would appeal to either political side right? Not like it was supposedly thought to come out in the early fall. Before elections. And who donates? Errrybody can’t get theater access to independents, and blockbusters frequently get moved around depending on the “mood” of when producers will make the most money. Wasn’t I supposed to be watching that new OZ movie this Christmas instead of next summer? Oh wait it was production costs (not low box office of this summer). Was it ALL the fall election? NO. Was the election an influence? I’ll just ask if you remember a weekly influx in the national media about black women before 2008. I don’t. A certain woman who ran for PRESIDENT would have loved this kind of attention in the 70’s.

THANK YOU AJ!!!! For all of those who have not read the archives, some of my ancestors were sharecroppers. Some were “brutally raped”. Some were business owners post Reconstruction. Some are doing well today and some are BARELY living if it wasn’t for family paying emergency bills. And a few ain’t even able to pull that off. And some were free blacks during slavery… so I can TELL when some folks are just “pulling a ticktack out their behinds” in these conversations. And while a lot of my family have not lived a poverty level of existence for all of eternity, I have ACTUALLY picked some cotton. Yeah, that’s right, I got pulled out into some cotton fields at one point to realize HOW important an education was, and what my people went through. On purpose.* Those cotton moments served me well. Has that mentality lasted through my family till the present day? NO. NO. NO. I have stated that multiple times, I’m literally the YOUNGEST of where accountability occurred, and I’ve been out of high school 10 years ago! Many readers never had that. Which is why I am so VERY much against this “alternative” that the present “overseers” keep trying to bring to ya’ll. Where are these women’s with “alternative visions” fathers? Uncles? Grandfathers? Older cousins? Mine told me to FLY from birds like these! Please take the same advice!!! GEM said it correct, for all of the mess that so many BW and girls are hearing, someone, somewhere, is getting a driving lesson from a BM relative, or if not, a family friend.

Raise your hand if you bring up slavery all the time and have actually SEEN a plantation?
Name an ancestor on said plantation? A TOWN where your family was enslaved? Heck, a COUNTY? Ladies (and of all ages here, who knows where this will reach), think higher, live better, and BELIEVE more is possible than what these women are feeding you. Do you want their outlook? For YOUR life?

They bring up obscure 70’s movies to prove their point, everyone else noted Hollywood promoted films in the past 2-15 years that were global blockbusters. GLOBAL. Where is the current economy heading? Which ones will affect YOUR life RIGHT NOW? Don’t pick up that magic eight ball, you already know the answer.

And that derailing tactic (search the term) on the Holocaust to distract from my salient point is a prime (well, poorly executed) version of gas-lighting. Search that as well, then search your common sense. I’m not talking deep intellectual things here. READ those books on slavery, LOOK at what is going on around you on a daily basis, and then say to yourself that those comments still make sense. If you’re confused, you’re on the right path.

@JJ*The only thing spiritual or “anti-Christ” -like in your comments is how you would lead so many BW and girls to the land of the dead. Don’t feel so offended, you’re not that great. There are just so many that are THAT lost.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@jj,
1) I don't need to check the archives... I know when u started commenting. It's cool.

2) I'm beginning to see why you comment the way you do. You introduce a strawman which you think is the natural conclusion to someone else's point and you attempt to debate it (the strawman)
It will do you well to listen, or ask for clarity on someone's point. You often miss the nuance and jump right to your conclusion.

3) If you are not being disagreeable just to be disagreeable then what you are doing is trolling. Having alternative viewpoint is great, it's the best thing. But you introduce them via strawmen & accusation simply so you can change the focus of the point being made to your point. Which is miles away from what is being discussed.

4) Prime example : Deathwish : 70's movie : 'vigilante inspired by revenge flick', Charles Bronson was the protagonist, his wife and his daughter were no more than plot devices used to highlight him and his rage. The movie was not about their rape & murder, it wasn't a historitcal perspective on rape. Rape and murder was there to tug at the heart strings and endear you to charles bronson

Kill Bill No ownership there. yes it was bloody, about vengeance but guess who sought it? BEATRIX That's empowerment.
Girl with dragon tattoo Same thing and I'll throw in Columbiana

The women in these movies are THE PROTAGONISTS their abuse was not a device used to make you understand a male protagonist, they weren't helpless and to be pitied. They were abused, but the authors empowered them.

Killbill & GWDT are miles apart from deathwish its crazy that you would mention them in the same breath.

The closest thing to Deathwish in modern terms is Usual suspects and that makes no bones about the incidental nature of Kaiser Soze's wife and family as his property.

See, this is why you are getting the responses you get. You miss nuance and are so focused on being right, that you find yourself constantly trolling just so you can make a point so loosely connected to the topic that your responses are clearly simply about YOU. not the topic.. just you.

If you don't understand that people on a blog which is about empowering women would find a movie which disempowers women, offensive, then you are being wilfully obtuse or just incredibly naive. (and I just don't see you as naive)

And if you can't understand the offensiveness on a race and gender intersectionality point, then it would be advisable for you to start thinking about that or at least think a bit deeper.

I think you make really great points sometimes, but they are usually just not in the context of what is being discussed at all.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

"Having said that I don't agree with the way @truthp seems to constantly attempt to shame you with personal attacks on your life. (I think its really appalling) One can disagree with fact or even ridicule without constant shaming"

@ab First, I don't care if you agree with anything I say here.You made it known on the last post you didn't appreciate something I said about that person and yet you see what you got here.I am NEVER kind to crabs in a barrel. I meant EVERY word of what I said in that last post and I mean it now.
The difference between me and the resident crab in a barrel is whatever condition my life is in I want other black women and girls to have better.If I had any hardships due to my own personal choices I'd try my hardest to steer other black women and girls AWAY from making those choices.If that person is offended what I said was meant to do just that.

But I do agree with you @ I've read this site for a long time way before u started commenting, your posts here always seem like you are always trying to offer a rebuttal for the sake of it and you will go to absurd tangents to do so.I think its patently dishonest and a little ridiculous but we all have our angles I guess.

Except @ Angles.More like motives.

@JJ yes and someone has to be a very small crab in a very small barrel.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertruth p.

If you don't understand that people on a blog which is about empowering women would find a movie which disempowers women, offensive, then you are being wilfully obtuse or just incredibly naive. (and I just don't see you as naive)

Interesting. So should men/black men be offended by the movie "Foxy Brown", since she was avenging the death of her boyfriend? Should men be offended by the upcoming movie "Sweetwater"?:

http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/january-jones-and-ed-harris-star-in-sweetwater/

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovingheart

"YES, the true story of slavery needs to be told - in all its brutality and not swept under the rug, but not by a disgusting pervert like Tarantino who only cares about lining his pockets and negatively influencing the U.S. populace."

@AJ, well said and I totally agree. This is I decided not to put money in Tarantino's pockets. Either buy a ticket for Les Miserable movie and "accidentally" enter Django Unchained, or make use of Hustle Man who "free enterprises" movies at the beauty shop. I will save my dollars for Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave since it is based upon actual history.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonella

@truthp Keep doing what you do, its cool.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterab

@AB

Clearly you don't know when I started commenting. But it's cool.

No - what you miss is that I"m clear on the different iterations of the Revenge Flick (I mentioned The Brave One and GIrl With the Dragon Tattoo). I don't find it dis-empowering for a man to avenge the death of his loved one. I didn't bring Death Wish into the equation - LovingHeart did AND she also made concessions for the different types of ways those films play out - whether women are saving themselves or someone else is doing the saving.

A common theme on this blog is how black men have abandoned black women. How they don't protect black women. Yet:

" It's such the need for victimism that one can only conclude underlying negativity in the actions of that group (black men) whom you can only view as victimizers. In this case, you seem to have difficulty with a black man acting out of love and care for a black woman. If he is not brutalizing her himself, he is either apathetic or acting only to protect his "property". This is not what I have experienced with the black men in my life."

And that was spot on. To simply reduce the Jamie Foxx's character as looking at his WIFE as no more than his property is foolish, short-sighted and telling. To avenge the loss of someone you love is NOT just an exercise in saving one's property - and if you beleive that then I'm not the one who is being willfully obtuse.

In Kill Bill Beatrix's moves were as much about avenging the loss of her daughter as it was her own beat down. SO her desperately wanting to get back at those who made her lose her kid (the reason she left to begin with) is simply her avenging the loss of her property - if I were to take your stance on things.

Your argument also doesn't hold weight in the context of Django Unchained - this is a Slave drama - not only are blacks property but women of all races - they were considered property as well - though obviously black women are at the bottom of this totem pole. SO the black male character gets to act as a MAN and avenge the loss of his wife in the same way a White man would have been able to do at the time.

So yes there is an intersectionality of race and gender, just not in the way you mean.

I don't view Kerry Washington's character as being dis-empowered - you're right her character isn't the focal point, but she is the driving force behind Django's decision to help the bounty hunter and there is nothing wrong with that. You may not need to be saved by a man (strawman argument much) but I think the Kerry Washington character would be very pleased to know her HUSBAND moved hell and earth to get her back and make those pay for what was done to her.

I also regularly enjoy Revenge Flicks where women take back there own lives - Kill Bill is favorite of mine - Colombiana was poorly executed. I'm all for the empowerment of women, yet I'm not so blinded by the idea that I see a man avenging the loss of his wife as merely being pissed his property was stolen. Nor do I automatically assume a movie with that structure is bad or disempowering to women.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

There are some commenters on here who should be the ones writing for the Root and the Grio, et al. You make far more sense and are far better and more interesting writers than the stuff being churned out by the Black bougietocracy. Excellent critical analysis. Thank you.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra77

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