Report of our EXpedition

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where is the progressive thought in Black films

I was just thinking how narrow the variety of thought is withing African American films. Al I tend to see are gangsta films, religious dramas, degrading comedies, or films that simply focus on racism. Where are the films that delve into multi-dimensions? Or the films that deal with the subconscious mind. I want to see films that explore African mythology and ancient mysticism. What about magic and immortality and their conflicts with humanity? Why can't I see a film dealing the spiritual thoughts, ideas, and conflicts of African Americans that go beyond just Christianity? To see stories from the African American perspective of how technology is either hindering or helping society. And what about the futuristic and mythic ideas that come out of Caribbean and African American folklore? Is the Black film making community so closed minded that science fiction and horror are beyond the realm of thinking? Or are Black filmmakers hindered by Hollywood in their efforts to express a wide ranging ideology.

I almost tend to believe the latter. After reading books from African American authors such as Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, Samuel Delany, Walter Mosley and others, I know that there are a plethora of speculative ideas within the African American community. To know that the father of African American intellectual and civil rights thought, W.E.B. DuBois, wrote a science fiction short story entitled "The Comet" in 1920. Or to read Caribbean folklore about a Soucouyant, a type of vampire, in "Greedy Choke Puppy" by Nalo Hopkinson. Octavia Butler wrote of a world, after we destroyed it, where aliens became the only hope for us to find our humanity. Immortality became a question of humanity and superiority in Tananarive Due's series from "My Soul To Keep". And you also have to question whether the "Blue Light" is for our benefit, by Walter Mosley.

I wonder how these stories have been hiding from the silver screen. When "Avatar", the "Star Wars" saga, "Star Trek", "Clash of the Titans", "Excalibur", "Harry Potter", "Lord of The Rings" and so many more stories have made their way to the theater. Why can't we see the mythologies, magic, and sci-fi thought of African Americans, brought to the movies for all to enjoy and wonder. I want to be like a kid first watching "Star Wars", and brought into a new realm of imagination. I want others to be intrigued, amazed, enlightened, and entertained, by ideas and worlds created by those of the African Diaspora.

My partner and I at Exodus Publishing, LTD. are slowly adding our contributions. And I'll be happy to see others produce much more.