No, it wasn’t suicide
the freedom in her chest
the genuine in her throat
and the explosion of awareness
she didn’t try to hide
packing a strap
never hesitating to open fire
leaving trails of Earthquakes lingering at your side
pen to paper
creating a new world of gun smoke
and fienes who didn’t mind dropping the dime
even if sudden truth made em choke
you see she killed ignorance with her words
and cracking open minds
that refused to otherwise
she ate books with the speed of speech
and digested their integrity for breakfast each morning
but she wasn’t a good girl
a good woman
for she would spit tsunamis later that night
a raging storm
were her words when she blessed the mic
a collection of seas
to wash away the broken
and a ringing silence afterwards
like screaming death was her audience
jaws scattering somewhere across the floor
like red carpets
and eyes found a home in her face
it was clear
she’d destroyed the room
and left bodies in a state of ruin
for they all sat unmoved
feared her voice like blank pages
and empty books
silence dragging their minds to ponder
a new birth place for their thoughts
and no this wasn’t suicide
for she killed ignorance with her words
and the detectives concluded that yes
it was murder she wrote
You were pulled over because your taillight is out, your license is suspended, and you were speeding.
The reason you’re in the condition that you’re in is not because of the white man and its not just because your black. We are in these conditions as a people largely because of our own lack of accountability for our actions.
A nine year old boy is murdered on the south side of Chicago because of his father’s dealings. Where are the marches at Jesse Jackson? Where is the protest Al Sharpton? Where’s the movement against black people killing black people?
John Singleton said that he will never put another movie out like Rosewood again because black people don’t support it. Rosewood for those who don’t already know is a movie based on a true story, a dramatization of the 1923 horrific lynch mob attack on an African American community.
The Tragedy of Rosewood
In an article written in The Baltimore Sun, Stephen Hunter lists some reasons why the movie Rosewood did not excel calling it “a fundamentally immature, undisciplined work.” He goes on to say “Singleton probably over-romanticizes Rosewood.” Another major criticism was the cowboy theme, something we also see in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained but if you understand history you would know that blacks were the first cow-boys. The term comes from the plantation where black boys were in charge of tending to the cattle. They were quite literally “cow boys”. So not only do I disagree with Hunter, but critics are missing a key element that contributed to why the movie did not do well.
The conversation always comes back to the Rosewood-Booty Call debate. Rosewood came out a week before Booty-Call and almost destroyed Singleton’s career. Booty-Call on the other hand did extremely well, putting leverage to Jamie Foxx’s career.
The truth is that the black community must start taking responsibility for its actions. You are not pulled over just because your black, sometimes its because your illegal. If you know the system is biased, why would you behave recklessly? Even the bible says to give unto Caesar what is Caesars. So if I know its against the law to speed why would I risk getting caught? Likewise, a lack of black identity in film is not just because Hollywood does not want to see conscious movies about black people, but black people don’t even wanna see conscious movies about black people! As strangers in a foreign land we have been taught to hate ourselves and we tend to operate accordingly. If I hate myself I’m going to hate everything about myself. Yes, some of you hate yourselves but you can’t even take responsibility for that simple truth. Your afraid of your own people and you think dark skin a big nose, thick lips and kinky hair is the ugliest thing in the world.
Part of Rosewood’s failure is the fact that many blacks would much rather watch Tyler Perry’s, Medea Goes to Jail. You go to bed wearing a wig and you wake up with a wig. You go to bed with make-up on and you wake up with it on both literally and figuratively speaking. You put on elaborate personas because you hate who you are.
When you hate yourself but you don’t know that you hate yourself, this is a dangerous position to be in because a lack of love turns you into a monster. The stories of Jason and Michael Myers are not horror stories about supernatural beings. They were stories of children who were teased and abused and have consequently learned to hate themselves and it turned them into monsters. Michael Jackson is a real life example of childhood abuse turned horrific. This man was talented and has made great music but he also turned himself into a monster because he hated himself. He hated himself so much that he changed his physical appearance. That’s because when you hate your inside you hate everything outside and millions of dollars ain’t gonna solve it. Money can’t solve hatred only love can. The only way you can conquer self-hate is love, starting with self-love but to love yourself you have to first know yourself and knowing yourself begins with admitting your faults. Take some responsibility for the part you play in how you are treated. It doesn’t exempt anyone for their wrong but it helps you to move forward in yours.
When you know yourself only then can you love yourself and only then can you be yourself.
“This week marks the anniversary of the Rosewood massacre. Hundreds of black people were murdered and lynched and run off their own land and homes. We must never forget the domestic terrorism survived by our people. In 1997 I released a movie on the incident. It wasn’t one of my more successful pictures box office wise but I think it one of the best I’ve done. The same weekend it was released Booty Call came out. I think more black folks were comfortable watching Booty Call that weekend than Rosewood… Which is a shame…. I feel the more we embrace our history the better we can defend against being oppressed in our present. Just my thoughts this morning.”
– John Singleton
“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door; he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” – Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro