Once I had a dream that I was buried alive. I felt like I was placed in a position, couldn’t move and something covered my nostril, it caused me to gradually lose my breath. As if that wasn’t bad enough, no matter how much I banged on top of the coffin, no one heard me. I was helpless, without a savior. It was one of the most terrifying thing to experience, even in my dream. There were many situations in life where this feeling applies; even today.
I bought my ticket for The Birth of a Nation online, a day before its release. Something I’ve never done before. Frankly, I didn’t want to be left out in the cold if it was sold out. My friend who warned me ahead of time of her inability to stay awake during a movie, didn’t even want to leave her seat to use the bathroom. We were both glued to the screen, there is just something different. Birth of a Nation is not a topical slave movie. This is not a review, so I won’t say anymore. What I will say is, I am happy, feel proud and relieved. The feeling of being trapped and powerless is still the reality for many black people. Just ask Ronald Cotton, Sandra Bland, the Central Park five…. For me that would be like being buried alive. Having no voice because of race or status is a form of slavery. We’re placed in a box filled with stereotypes, unfortunately a lot of us believe these things about ourselves. I cried the next day, not because I was sad but because I was thanking God for giving Nate Parker the will, strength and passion to make this project happen. If it speaks to ten people it would have done what he set out to do.
I’m going to see it again with my daughter.