Image Nation’s next offering in their SOUL CINEMA AND MUSIC UNDER THE STARS program will take place this evening at Marcus Garvey Park, one of old Harlem’s historic parks. Don’t let the cloud cover fool you. It will not rain. The bittersweet pairing of dance/nostalgia and information about ongoing repression/incarceration will show how Image Nation is the most creative, just the best at the music and movie game.
The evening starts off on a hyper-positive vibe as the 6th iteration of the SOUL TRAIN TRIBUTE unwinds. This program gives thanks and praise to our ancestor Don Cornelius, who had the foresight, the creativity, the business acumen, and the cojones to establish a nationally syndicated showcase for Black music, Black dance, and the WANTU WAZURI – the beautiful people. So comb out that Afro-wig and get ready for your solo on the elongated Soul Train line.
Ava Du Vernay’s award-winning documentary “13th” is the main course of business for the evening. Her infuriating, depressing, no-happy-ending examination of Amerikkka’s prison industry makes clear the direct relationship between incarceration, slavery, and the maintenance of white supremacy.
Emancipation, freedom, equality under law. These three goals have been the elusive destination of a 400 year plus struggle by enslaved Africans and their descendants.
Freedom, and the government documents promising freedom, have been shown to have provided the appearance, but not the reality of liberation. Cases in point – the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
President Lincoln issued the Proclamation after almost two years of war, and after his failed efforts to separate the war question from the slavery question. He was slowly convinced that enslaved Africans were too valuable a commodity to be left under the control of the confederates.
And on that basis, the proclamation was issued. Both clever and duplicitous, Lincoln issued his proclamation so that states supporting the Union could keep their captive Africans. Lincoln “freed” enslaved people in the very areas where he and the federal government had no troops, no control, and no ability to free anyone.
The 13th amendment to the U. S. Constitution, the official slavery-ending document, also had its “fine print” and hidden meanings – even though it’s text is less than 50 words total. After proclaiming that slavery couldn’t exist, the language provides a huge loophole by continuing to permit bondage for persons convicted of crimes.
This begins a continuing system where anything and everything can be an excuse for imprisonment – and a return to slavery.Du Vernay’s sobering film will pull you down from the natural high created by the Soul Train commemoration. We’ll need all of our faculties to respond to Sessions, Trump, and their diabolical plans for our future.
Du Vernay’s sobering film will pull you down from the natural high created by the Soul Train commemoration. We’ll need all of our faculties to respond to Sessions, Trump, and their diabolical plans for our future.We have the ability to do what’s necessary, we lack only the cohesion and conviction.
We have the ability to do what’s necessary, we lack only the cohesion and conviction.
Next week, August 19th, Soul Cinema will present another essential summer experience – Raoul Peck’s I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. The film attempts to complete James Baldwin’s unfinished meditation on the assassination of his three close friends – Medgar, Malcolm, and Martin. Not to be missed information about four of the 20th century’s greatest, martyred freedom fighters. Please bring the children and an old school picnic lunch.