If you know me, my first polemic against anti-Jim Crow / slavery movies started somewhere around the time of the release of the movie “Red Tails“. Apres, came “12 Years A Slave.” 

My remonstrance was that films like those, in addition to already having been made (in the case of Red Tails) and the story line being protracted and unoriginal, the plot to these particular movies only instills in Black Americans that “White American people DO NOT LIKE YOU, think you are unintelligent; you somehow have to break through their condescension, usually by way of the “Great White Hope” who gets his brothers to deign and allow you to prove your self-worth, be given justice – OR NOT! 

Along comes The Birth of a Nation. 1. Written by a Black American Man, 2. Directed by a Black American man, 3. Starring a Black American man, NATE PARKER; the handsome young man whose first claim to fame (as I came to know him) was starring alongside Denzel Washington in “The Great Debaters“. He also had a part alongside Queen Latifah (or maybe I should start calling her Dana Owens now, for she seized to be The Queen Lah long ago) and Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning and Sophi Okonedo in “Secret Life of Bees“. I believe (because I’ll never watch it) he had a part in “Red Tails” as well. 

The Birth of a Nation: Slave / Jim Crow movie? YES! Horrific scenes and characters that every, so-called, great slave movie cannot do without, including the amiable and unctuous slave master? YES! 

Where does the difference come in with The Birth of a Nation? Why am I, the anti-slave / Jim Crow / Kill-A-N*gg* movie machine, touting this film? 

The film is an artfully mastered, bitter sweet build to a climax, which does not include the White American people assuaging their brethren to free themselves of their malignancy. Each step and passing phase causing the main character to amble toward apostasy, is palpable to the viewer; in particular an incident, easily removed from the eyes but immutable from the mind, taken in by the character Nat before his final sermon, at which point tears stream from his eyes as his words are surreptitously spoken past the slave masters and poignantly into the hearts of the slaves. His sermons and prayers then turn from repent, respect, this side’ll be over soon, heaven last always; to clandestine words of, your master will burn in hell, the first shall be last and the last shall be first and the meek shall inherit the earth. Then the INCIDENTS and the culmination of him praying over his grandmother, wrapped in cerement before her interment, pushes him to all out, no turning back, VIRULENCE! 

When Nat Turner surrenders, (in the movie version), he’s not hoodwinked by any legerdemain of a White American promising him mercy, forgiveness and a place in heaven after penitence in the crucible. Nat gives himself mercy and clemency and takes his life into his own hands without fear and with dignity.

When asked, “do you got any last words to say to these folks?” Instead of his staid reply, “I’m ready”, I wish, someway without despoiling the integrity of the period piece and artistry of the film, a slow motion shot could have panned across Nat’s eyes and in came a portion of the intro to Ice Cubes classic debut album, “Amerikkkaz Most Wanted” released in 1990, where the jailers come to get Cube and walk him to the denouement of his death row sentence and they ask, “you got any last words?” If Nat would have mouthed in Ice Cube’s voice, when Cube says, “Yeah, I got some last words …… FUCK ALL YALL!!!!

The disappointing part, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nominations / Awards, better known as The Oscars??? Will they recognize the brilliance of Nate Parker’s transformation of character throughout the movie. Will they see the ineluctable moment in the film which shift his thoughts and the way in which he then went about his ecumenical duties; the build to final climax was nothing short of amazing. 

We all (including The Academy) could recognize The Remnant as a great movie and Leonardo Dicaprio‘s performance in it as brilliant. But will we all (including The Academy) be able to feel the nettlesome emotions emitted by Nate Parker in character as Nat Turner, at a plantation he’s to preach at, as he witnesses a wicked scene of a slave locked in a hovel sitting in feces, being forced fed. Will we all (including The Academy) recognize the protean nuances of venerability in the character leading to the climax. Will we all (including The Academy) be able to feel a Black American man’s pain when he realizes the word of God is being used against him and his people to keep them docile; that an act of God ultimately leads to his flogging. 

I hope that Nate Parker already realizes that with this film, The Birth of a Nation, HE HAS WON, more than any award: NAACP IMAGE AWARD, SAG AWARD or OSCAR, can ever bestow upon him and/or the film. But, If we all (including The Academy) want to even attempt to make moribund the term, “White Privilege”, particularly in Hollywood, The Birth of a Nation will receive nominations and DARE I SAY, NATE PARKER WILL WIN THE OSCAR FOR BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE!

Jrnl Entry No. 3.26.2001

I wish I was white so that I could share in the joys of their world and answer all these dumb ass questions that this Columbian chick, who is the accounts payable clerk, keeps asking me. She is so different thinking than African Americans; well not African Americans, but of different thinking than me, who happens to be African American. Like, “So …., what do you think of the controversy in New York over the Black Artist picture “Yo Mamma’s Last Supper?”, this picture of a naked black woman representing Jesus standing in front of the table at the Last Supper before the 12 disciples. I told her that I didn’t care because for one, I’m not religious and for two I just don’t care about bullshit like that. It’s just a picture, GOD DAMN!

I told her one day that I was going to see it before a meeting that I had with some friends. The next day she asked did I see it and I said “no I didn’t have time.” She said “Good!” I asked her why did she say that. She said that she thought the picture was a bunch of bullshit not art; this coming from her mouth and she claims that she wants to be an artist. Art is free expression of whatever the hell is on your mind. If an artist wanted to paint a picture of Jesus witt his dick in some woman’s ass, while God is fuckin her in her pussy, with Kane and Able’s dicks in both her hands, and Job’s dick comin in her mouth to get back at his wife for all the negativity she spread trying to shatter his faith in God; then so be it. I don’t give a fuck. That picture will probably never be displayed anywhere not even in the privacy of the artist’s own home without some religious fucks trying to burn it down, and these words will probably never be published for the public to read, but so be it.

I did make it that weekend to see the picture and it was no big deal to me. It was a beautiful picture. I wrote in the comment book that the controversy stemmed from the Ebonics title “Yo Momma’s Last Supper.” It stemmed from a woman representing Jesus, and a black woman at that. If the title had been different and it had been a white woman in the picture and white men, there probably wouldn’t have been any controversy.

The next question she asked me was, “So …., what do you think of the Kids in California shooting up the school and killing two of the other kids?” I said, “you don’t want to know what I think!” I was laughing to give it a cool overtone so she wouldn’t try to dig deeper and really make me go there and possibly get myself fired or have no one speaking to me at all in the office. We all don’t speak much anyway but it would be really ugly up in here if I said what I thought about that shooting. I think what Malcolm X thought about the shooting of JFK. “IT’S JUSTICE!” “Chickens Comin’ Home To Roost!” Because when kids in gangs all over America, especially in LA California were doing drive-bys killing each other in worse ways and bigger numbers than the Columbine Shooting and the San Diego Shooting, no one was screaming about gun control and such and such. And no one was saying a damn thing about keep the kids off the streets or nothing to solve the problem of gang violence. They talked about it on CNN sure, but no laws were put into effect about guns and selling guns to kids or gang control laws. But now that little white kids are taking daddy’s gun to school and shooting up the other little suburban white kids for picking on him, now we want to talk about gun control. Now we want to put laws into effect to take action when Johnny says he is gonna kill up the school, but he’s only joking. No such laws were put into effect when gang violence broke out and murder took place, and they knew another murder would take place as retaliation. So what do I think? I don’t give a fuck. Nobody gave a fuck about us when we were and still are killing each other with guns by the hundreds or thousands each year so I don’t give a fuck if a white kid goes to school and kills 2, 3, or 10 other white kids. That’s what all them mutha fuckas get for trying to have those little perfect like communities.

I grew up in public school. I got picked on and even got into a couple of fights that I didn’t start, but I think it’s the best thing for a kid because it represents the adversities of real life in the real world. Look at me, I turned out alright: college graduate, staff accountant for a small private corporation in Brooklyn, a good father, and would be husband if I had a wife, and a product of PUBLIC SCHOOL. If you go around to the little suburbs around my city, they’ll tell you that the school I graduated from, Warren G Harding is the worst school, was and still is and they’d never send their kids there. It wasn’t that bad. I should know because I went there.

The next question that she asked me was, “So …., did you see the Oscars last night?” I didn’t even answer even though I was gonna tell her that, “the Oscar Awards do not respect black actors.” But the gay guy jumped in and they started talking about Julia Roberts winning the award for best actress for Erin Brockovich. Best Picture I think was Gladiator, which was a very good movie. But Hurricane was also a very good movie that didn’t get a look at the Oscars. American Beauty with Kevin Spacey won all the awards one year. Now Kevin Spacey is a very good actor but that movie, even though I haven’t seen it yet, it is a stupid movie. If that movie got Oscars, The Best Man should have gotten Oscars, The Brothers should get Oscars, Samuel L. Jackson should have gotten an Oscar for Shaft or one of the various movies he played in, and maybe not Shaft. Wesley Snipes should have gotten an Oscar for New Jack City if the movie Traffic got Oscars. But plain and simple, the Oscars do not respect black film. If they have some type of hidden agenda like you must be an actor who has appeared in so many movies over a period of so many years before being considered for an Oscar, or the director has to have directed for so many years, I wish they’d let us brothas and sistas know so we will understand why neither Denzel Washington nor Spike Lee got an Oscar for Malcolm X the movie, which Denzel played the part excellently, and Spike also directed it excellently. It got nominated for all its excellence, but no Oscar.

I think blacks should ban the Oscars since they make it obvious that our stories and actors are ban from their selection process. Sure they give us one every ten or so years, and one or two of our movies get nominated every five years or so. But the movies that do win, when compared to black films of the same caliber, it is a mystery why we don’t get recognized. I’m not saying the movies that do get recognized are garbage because they are not. Erin Brokovich was a very good movie as well as Gladiator, as well as the special effects in The Matrix. But Malcolm X, The Best Man, Menace II Society, Hurricane, Men of Honor, etc were good movies as well for which, not a single Oscar, was won for none of them. This is why I tell people that I don’t go see movies if they are not about the black experience, with a black main character or story line. I saw Gladiator at the $1.50 show. I saw Erin Brokovich on video after having sex with a white girl.

America doesn’t support our film and television shows so we shouldn’t support theirs neither. How come every time a black show comes on NBC or ABC or CBS, it gets cancelled within six months to a year? It is because Americans aren’t watching the shows giving them ratings; therefore, they get shipped to UPN or WB where they are satisfied with the ratings of mostly blacks watching the show.

My cousin had the nerve to ask me do I watch Will and Grace? I layed my speech on him. Shit, ask Will and Grace do they watch The Steve Harvey Show or The Hughley’s, etc.? I don’t even watch T.V. and the statement up above is one reason. The other reason is that I love the black experience and the way of life as it relates to me. Will and Grace do not relate to me. Alley McBeal does not relate to me. But Jerry Seinfield, even though I didn’t watch the show as it appeared in regular episodes, I watched and still do watch the reruns; it related to everybody, a great show for anyone. It was about nothing, like being at a stop-light picking your nose while the girl that you’re dating and trying to have sex with pulls up beside you. And because she sees you committing this act which she thinks is disgusting, you now have no chance with her. Everyone can relate to that situation even if it’s not the same set of circumstances.

Now black shows may not relate to white people, and that is cool. So I say support your own and what relates to you. NBC should understand this when they put a black show on the air, that every show is not gonna have the effect of The Cosby Show. The Cosby Show didn’t represent even half of black American lives at the time it was showing and it still doesn’t represent half of our lives as I am writing this. It had high ratings because blacks watched it for the simple fact that it was about the only black show on television at the time. And white people watched it because it was a good majority of their lives being represented on the screen. They related to it. We show their shows love and their movies, but we get no love back in return, so I say fuck em, let’s stop. I’ve stopped. Now just imagine if everyone thought like me to not go see Hannibal the first week out or period, in the theatres, to just wait for the video, and if we supported our movies the first weekend out and weekends after that, and we stopped watching their T.V. shows and just watched our own like most of them do. Maybe we could even up the stakes a little in ratings of television shows and No. 1 movies at the theatres. Imagine if we would have stopped watching MTV waiting and searching for Michael Jackson and Thriller to come on which was about the only black artist they showed a video for back in the 80s. We would be a force to be dealt with. But if we keep on supporting and watching them and waiting for them to show us some love, nothing will change and we will never get any love. I guess it’s like the saying, “if you are looking for a woman, stop searching, and she will find you, and ya’ll will live happily ever after.

Jrnl Entry No. 4.21.2004

I’ve incorporate my production company named for my mother, grandfather and grandmother, Leanne, Michael & Ella Productions Inc.” I received the incorporation papers in the mail; I filed for federal and state S Corporation status; I’ve read into what state taxes have to be paid, as well as taxes to be paid once I hire employees and my payroll reaches more than $300 per quarter. I’ve started working on my business plan, which I’m stopped dead in my tracks because I need market research and facts as to the 
buying habits of the Hip Hop community. Official market research studies, which can be purchased from Market Research.Com for $200.00 to $5000.00, money which I don’t have. I figure I’ll go the library and look up some in Billboard magazine and they should give me some sales information and future predictions concerning Hip Hop music, which I need for my business plan.

So the main project that will be sphere headed by my company are a Documentary which I have completely written, and need to get a director to film and edit and help me get financing based upon realistic cost projections. I have also planned my album, which it looks like I am going to have to write myself. I have ten good songs that I would like to record, and I’m going to include five instrumentals. Once I get it recorded, which shouldn’t be a problem, I need financing to market and promote the album.

It is becoming quite clear to me that an accounting job is nowhere in my immediate future. I’m living 
off of table scraps right now as far as money goes. I’m constantly thinking about this company that I want to start and be successful. I read Donald Trump’s new book “How to Get Rich,” which really had nothing to do with telling you anything about getting rich. I’m glad I didn’t purchase it. I read it in two days at the Barnes and Nobles book store on Broadway. The book did kind of tell you to have passion about any business that you are running especially if it’s your own. Along with that passion, know every 
little detail possible about that business. You have to work hard because no one is going to work harder than you to make you rich. The book was sort of inspiring but really had no good details concerning gaining and keeping wealth.

So as it is now, I spend approximately 3 to 4 hours a day reading something to broaden my business knowledge or writing my business plan. That time to me is really not enough, but I’m stagnated because I don’t have any real money to really start doing anything as far as business goes. I mean without money, what can I really do beside plan and write down ideas. I need money to make them tangible, but all in all, I’m excited about Leanne, Michael & Ella Productions Inc. and working to make it into a major label, or at least getting it to be a major force in the music industry to be recognized.

I’ve thought about acting and modeling but getting into those professions will probably be as hard as getting into Hip Hop, which I haven’t been able to get into Hip Hop, which is why I’m seriously starting 
my own company. Here I am –, I have nothing but dreams. I need to get more serious about taking the GMAT test starting MBA courses in the fall. As far as I see, that is the only real step that I can take to secure me an aiiight future. Yeah, I know they say work hard at your passion and it will come to pass. While I have faith in my passion, my dream will slowly materialize, and too slow for my life. If I was — or younger and in my current situation, I’d be fine, probably run with it. But I’m — living with and off of my girlfriend and that is not cool.

I saw Denzel Washington yesterday in the Village on Broadway and Prince. I recognized him trying to be very incognito. I just calmly walked in front of him and the two men who were lazily body guarding him in an effort to keep his presence incognito; I extended my hand out to him, he looked at me and he extended his hand back and we shook.  I’m not a star struck individual. At age –, I know that celebrities are real people just like I am who happen to be a bit more fortunate than myself, to be living there dreams. I only make it a point to speak to those celebrities that I admire their work and their career. Like I seen Eric Sermon of EPMD walking past me in Joe’s Pub night club and I shook his hand. I’ve seen Dana Dane twice on different occasions, and because of his legendary status (one of the, probably the 1st solo MC to have gold album sales), I have to extend my hand out to him every time I see him.

I don’t know if I’m cut out for this relationship that I am involved in. It’s a cute little arrangement I have here. The perfect little light skinned attractive woman whom everybody likes. She has the perfect little 
light skinned daughter that everybody like. Her daughter and my daughter get along really well. I’ve even known her daughter since she was like 2 and a half, the only other man in her mother’s life besides her father. I feel an obligation to be in this for the long run. I used to feel love about the situation, but that love was damaged by a too close for comfort friendship she had or has with another man. In addition to that, she does not trust me. I feel like every time I tell her something as far as me going somewhere without her that she feels I am lying and going somewhere else. I don’t like the feeling of not being trusted. She also tries to do things that I do like if I stay out all day and all night without calling, she’ll do the same thing the next day or in the near future. I don’t call her because it seems 
like she private investigates what I tell her. If I don’t tell her anything, there is nothing to investigate. Denzel said on The View this morning that his marriage works and has worked for 20 years due to trust and patience. I do not think neither of us has trust nor patience. I know I don’t have patience for anything that is making me unhappy, and as I’ve done before, I’ll leave it alone quickly and start something else.

So I’m — and having this conversation with myself. I thought I was a gentle man, and that I would be in a successful loving relationship and happy. But it is not that way for me. But compared to most people, I think my relationship woes are light. I guess I’m looking for perfection and that is not possible. I kind 
of think I might end up alone, well not alone no time soon, but just in old age alone, not married for 20, 30 years and dying with someone as my long loved wife. My future is not bright right now. I have high hopes though. I did have a job interview last Friday with a British company called Financial Times. It seems like a cool company that I could grow with; I want to work for them. It was a British woman who got me hired at the Advertising agency two years ago. Maybe Brits are the only people who are not subjecting me to discrimination that I believe other companies and employment agencies are subjecting me to. I’ve been jobless for a year now. Many agencies have called me but no job has resulted. I thought I’d never feel the effects of being a black man, but now, sad to say, I believe I am right now in New York City.