ASK JADE : Black Cinema

"Now, some will argue that Black History should include all black people, but like many things that were created in the United States, Black History Month is a creation of black people in America."
Black Cinema, Black History Month, Entertainment News
Richard Pryor and Diana Ross. Lady Sings the Blues. U.S. theatrical poster

Dear Jade,

I follow you on Facebook. I noticed that you are planning to celebrate Black History Month by watching different movies, films or documentaries. I saw you call your choices “Black Cinema”. I thought it was a good idea and I started listing some black movies that I wanted to watch…like “White Chicks” and “Monster’s Ball”. My roommate says that these aren’t “Black Cinema”. I don’t see why they aren’t. I mean…didn’t Halle Berry win an Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball”? And Keenen Wayans wrote “White Chicks” for his brothers. Why are these not good selections as Black Cinema?

~ Trying To Understand

 

Dear Trying To Understand,

Your roommate is right. Those would not fall into the “Black Cinema” category. At least, not in my consideration. “Black Cinema” to me are the stories about being African-American. Movies or films that star black actors are not necessarily about the black experience. And not all “Black Cinema” has to be directed by black directors….as long as they tell of the black experience.

A good example of “Black Cinema” directed by a non-black director is “The Color Purple”. Steven Spielberg brought Alice Walker’s book to life. Whoopi Goldberg deserved an Oscar for her performance but it is believed her win for “Ghost” was a makeup Oscar.

And of course, any documentary or biopic about artists and musicians that changed the landscape of entertainment definitely are “Black Cinema”. These are films and programs that teach us and our youth of the contributions of African-Americans. Now, some will argue that Black History should include all black people, but like many things that were created in the United States, Black History Month is a creation of black people in America. It wouldn’t make sense in Africa or South America. Jazz, Hip Hop, Blaxploitation films, etc….all came from black people in America. It was their suffering and pain that went into creating these art forms.

So, I hope that answers why for you.

~ Jade

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Ask Jade

Jade Elektra came out as a gay man and started performing in 1985. A seasoned Female Impersonator, Recording Artist, Actress, Out HIV+ Activist (positive since 1989) and a DJ. Ask whatever you'd like! DISCLAIMER: All opinions and advice in this column are only represented by Jade Elektra and are no way an endorsement by KINKSTER MAG.
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