If you’re interested in learning about the the first Black deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi and likely an inspiration for The Lone Ranger, then my Bass Reeves Black History Facts profile is for you.
“Beloved” is a 1998 film starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, and Thandie Newton that was adapted from a Toni Morrison novel. Back in the 1970s while working as an editor, Morrison came across a newspaper clipping about an enslaved woman who attempted to escape but was captured. Distressed at being forced to return to bondage, the woman attempted to kill her children to avoid having them return to slavery. That newspaper article inspired Morrison to write “Beloved”.
“Who We Are: A chronicle of Racism in America” is a documentary by Jeffrey Robinson, an attorney and ACLU representative, that discusses the history of racism. And not just individual racism, which is what the focus tends to be placed on, but rather the history of institutional racism. The systemized structure and practice of white supremacy that was created at the founding of the country. I love documentaries (and books) like this where people use facts and logic to break down the ridiculous efforts to reframe history to suit agendas. It’s especially important as pushes are made to eliminate Black history and the reality of American history from school curriculums. To experience Robinson point by point, just completely picking apart and obliterating all this nonsense that you see out here about Black history was incredibly refreshing.
“The Revisioners” by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton tells the story of two Black women dealing with racial tension during different time periods. Josephine’s story jumps back and forth between her enslavement as a child and being a free woman with grown children in the post Civil War years. As an adult, Jospehine married a man with whom she was able to acquire some property and achieve financial independence though it later sparks jealousy in White neighbors who are less fortunate. Ava is a biracial woman raising her son as a single mother in present-day New Orleans. She’s experienced some setbacks and in hopes of improving her financial situation to offer her son a better life, Ava agrees to move in with her White grandmother. While loving at times, her grandmother is a study in microaggressions and has episodes that hint at the prejudiced views she held and could more openly express in her younger years.