Go See Red Tails This Opening Weekend. January 20th 21st or 22nd

Please go see Red Tails this weekend. It’s opening January 20th. So either the 20th, 21st or 22nd is fine. Any time after that and it really won’t matter.

But what is this exactly? A “film recommendation” would be me saying “hey, here’s a cool movie, go check it out.” But that’s not what’s going on here? Well I’m asking you to go see a movie, good or bad, to help with the box office performance. So why is this important exactly? Well, African Americans-black people-do NOT have a great deal of power in the Hollywood film and tv community. And projects that feature black people don’t have an easy time getting made. ESPECIALLY if there isn’t a white person who’s the “real” star of the movie.

Well, George Lucas went on the Daily Show recently and said some stuff that shocked the audience about this situation. The Daily Show audience went deadly silent as he laid all this out. Not only couldn’t HE, a super famous power player in Hollywood, not get this movie made for 23 years-and ended up having to pay for himself. But even after all that, NONE of the studios would distribute it. Even in the wake of Tyler Perry; they still told him that his move cost more to MAKE than a Tyler Perry movie MAKES at the box office. You might want to re-read that. But bottom line; no distribution. That’s how we stand in Hollywood. In 2012. Here’s the clip from the show.



(I’m just sticking all this space in here so the widget over there —> wont block the video)

I myself was a struggling actor from about 1988 to 2003 when I finally had to take a “break” and joined the Navy Reserves for the war. The economics of black people in film and TV is much nastier than you think. Like, you PROBABLY think you see a lot of people on TV and the moves-but in reality, you don’t. What you do mostly see is people from other industries like music, sports and comedy who have been ALLOWED to be in the movies. And that give you the ILLUSION that there are a lot of black people making it. It’s not a lot. Trust me. I was there for 25 years. Those people were already famous. And that is why they’re invited into the film and TV.

 And we’re not even talking about “working actors,” the people playing small roles or supporting cast. If you think about it the number of famous actors (people actually trained to act and who didn’t come from another entertainment field) working today is really only about 25 people; and I’m being generous. Try it yourself-count who you know and see how many you can think of that didn’t come from music like will smith, comedy like Eddie Murphy or sports, like The Rock.


And even stars STILL have to get paired up with a white person. Check out this new Queen Latifa movie. What the hell is she doing with Dolly Parton?! That doesn’t even make any sense. And I love Dolly. It’s about Gospel music, so it was originally probably about black people, but to get the movie MADE they had to put in a white star. In fact,  Eddie Murphy was on Jimmy Kimmel a couple of months ago talking about that comedy he made with Ben Stiller. ORIGINALLY it was gonna be Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Eddie, etc. But with all black stars it couldn’t get made. But put in Stiller and Matthew Broderick and you have a completely forgettable but MADE movie.

So I’m not here telling you to make up some giant signs and go picketing outside some place. All I’m asking is that if you can-go see the movie between Jan 20-22. Opening box weekend is the ONLY language they speak. And Hollywood makes is decisions about FUTURE projects based on BOW (box office weekend). So speak to them. No fire hoses, no arrest, no German Sheppards biting you in the ass-just go see a movie. That’s civil rights activism in 2012. Pretty civil right?

And speaking of pretty…get down George!

Black on Black Crime Obama vs. Rev. Wright

If you watched The Daily Show this week, aside from President Jimmy Carter making a visit, maybe you saw the montage of Reverend Jeremiah Wright “clarifying” his various statements. I cringed and cringed and cringed. As a Black man, to see an adult, ex-military, presumably educated black man go into multiple media venues and express himself with seemingly no regard for the impact it would have was mind blowing . And I’m not even running for President! God almighty, what must life be like for Barack Obama these days? Watching Wright do a Stepin Fetchit routine in particular was so upsetting I had to just turn the volume down. I couldn’t take it. Well of course, Obama came right out there and said what he was supposed to say “I denounce his actions…”

But most (white) Americans are probably scratching their heads and have no idea what happened. Hell, I’m sure even some BLACK people are wondering what the hell would make a man do that. What would make a man, who says he’s the friend of another man, go out in public and cripple him? A Black man. A minister no less. To destroy by association, another Black man-who’s running for President? First time in HISTORY that a Black man might have an actual snowball’s chance in hell of winning . So how could this happen? I’ll tell you. As it happens all three of US are from Chicago. (Barack is an import, but he’s put in 25 years so we’ll call him a Chicagoan). And most people do NOT know what being Black in America is like. And most people REALLY do not know what being Black in Chicago is like. That. Is. A. Unique situation. I kid you not. Keep in mind, I had been out of town for nearly 20 years, and when I got back almost 3 years ago I had to RE-learn what being Black meant around here.

By now I think it’s become part of the lexicon to talk about “Black on Black crime.” It’s one of those platitudes people throw out there whenever yet ANOTHER crime takes place “in the city” and gosh darned, they just wanna make sense of it all! But have you heard about the crabs in a basket analogy ? I’ve heard that when crabs have been captured and they’re all piled in a basket if one tries to claw his way out the other crabs will pull him back down. None of the craps escape. The fishermen don’t even need to put a lid on the basket; the other crabs will do the work for them. Can you see where I’m going with this? And so it is with Black Americans; especially in Chicago. Did you know that the 1st generation children of African immigrants (and even Jamaican immigrants!) tend to do better in education and economic growth then most long standing Black people? Say, isn’t Obama’s dad an African? And aren’t Colin Powell’s folks from Jamaica? Yeah, the Black people in this country have a problem . And that problem is NOT White people; it’s other Black people. Shhhhhhh!! This is kinda secret. I mean it’s the worst kept secret since…well, no this is the worst.

There used to be a rap song in the 80’s where the refrain was “Self destruction, you’re headed for self destruction!” Well that’s us! And Chicago is like a petrie dish for me. It is easily the largest grouping of Black people, unbroken by other races, in America. In other words it’s the biggest Black neighborhood in the world. And because of that, all of our bad habits are MAGNIFIED here. So let’s just say on any given day on this side of town (that’s the South Side y’all) you’re very likely to hear “man them niggers is crazy” at least a dozen times. Oh yeah. It’s a VERY popular expression around here. And the reason for that is…well them niggers IS crazy. What can I say?

Reverend Wright is not only a product of this environment, but he’s a product or our cultural flaw of crab-like behavior. Rather than see another Black man move in an impossibly lofty position he’ll ruin him. He’ll ruin him. NOBODY else has it in them like us; sit down for a moment and reflect on the one step forward, 2 step back hokey-pokey the Black population has been doing for all these years. We are broken on such a deeep level that a guy whould make himslef look like an ASS on the world stage (and it’s going in the history books folks) out of vindictiveness. I’m asking you to consider the SCALE of what he did and then try to imagine some other group of people doing that. Especially given how often we do it. It’s unimaginable for ANY body else except Black people. We knew what it was right away.