Racism sucks. White Supremacy and Racism both internal and external cause pain and turn us all into our lesser selves.
More than once, pop culture and forward thinking artists have given us brief and pivotal moments of joy that spat in the face of what makes us less human and limits our ability to offer the world the very best of ourselves.
I want to share my personal list of images and thinking created via pop culture’s power to change and occasionally challenge the status quo. These are moments that make me cry, stand up and cheer and generally feel good and hopeful.
1. In the Heat of the Night. Mr.Poitier slaps the fire out of the racist bigot he is interrogating. This brilliant cinematic moment was beyond brave (the movie was released in 1963)and was a victory for anyone who has ever been challenged regarding their authority, brilliance, and overall decision to create and live their lives without anyone’s input,domination or permission. While I winced the first time I saw this, it made me rethink whether a bitch slap is the best course of action when dealing with a moronic bigot.
2. Mahogany- When Diana Ross leaves the slums and cold of Chicago for her fashionista dreams in Italy and wear fabulous outfits. Nuff said.
3. Obama Twice.
4. Miss Jane Pittman taking a sip from the previously “Whites Only” water fountain. With this one act, it was clear that things had changed and that Ms. Pittman had won by out waiting the forces of evil hell bent on the destruction of all of America’s citizens by allowing legalized Apartheid to continue for far too long.
5. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. While this brilliant warrior is struggling currently, she will return.
6. Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. This wonderful masterpiece exhibited social problems and instead of offering solutions or laying blame asked the basic questions : Now What ? What are we as a society willing to do to create some real world lasting, permanent changes ? Filled with love and its several incarnations, I dare anyone to listen to this opus from beginning to end and not choke up and become emotional.
7. Joss Whedon
8. The final episode of Season Six of Buffy when we discover the only thing that will save us and the world is love and its proper and relentless application between friends who can suffer with and care for us simultaneously.
9. Buffy’s series finale when it is revealed that myths are just myths and that the origin of everything began in Africa. As a series that relied on myths and a particular order, it was very revealing and uplifting to realize that the mythos of the show much like real life is ripe for reinvention and questioning.What do you become when you have skills that are special, lifesaving and unique and an entire group of folks telling you what to do with those skills and relinquishing your humanity is a prerequisite for saving all of humanity ?
10. Roseanne and every battle she won to tell her story her way. Ditto for Bill Cosby.