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D.E. Eliot

A Time to Killmonger

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Say what you will about the blockbuster film Black Panther, love it or hate it, I could care less, you cannot deny it’s brilliance. And that brilliance begins with the emergence of Erik Killmonger. A young man driven, not just by his hatred of the oppressors of black people, but by the animosity of those that live with peace in the private kingdom of Wakanda. I believe a lot of writers could learn a great deal from a character like Killmonger. Marvel purposely set out for everyone to feel compassion for the bad guy. That was a new twist in itself. Marvel wanted you to understand, to relate, to fear the bad guy’s demise. They gave Erik, what so many others did not have, a soul. How many of us walked out of that movie theater believing ol’ boy had a point? How many Killmongers do you think is out there right now because of the injustice of black people in America? How many black families feel left behind by other black families that found a way out of the ghetto? You see my point? We can relate to his assessment. We understand his compassion for revenge, for validation. So many novels, fantastic novels, lack the character growth of their villains. You never care about why they are trying to take over the world, you just know they need to be stopped, by any means necessary. And usually, if not almost always, the bad guy’s reasons for the hostile takeover is for self gain. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is better than reading a story that involves an antagonist with a heart. An antagonist that is so complex and conflicted with himself you begin to question your own beliefs. Erik Killmonger may not be the greatest bad guy of all times… but he damn sure is the most relatable one.  

 

black-panther-erik-killmonger-best-mcu-villain-1079608-1280x0.thumb.jpeg.546a3b4849e25c6ebc4f94da3988b160.jpeg   

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53 minutes ago, D.E. Eliot said:

Marvel purposely set out for everyone to feel compassion for the bad guy.

 

@D.E. Eliot  Not to be contrary, but I felt sorry for Loki, Thor's  brother who was adopted.  He felt he could never legitimately be worthy of the throne or his adopted father's love.  Loki had so much animosity for his brother that it allowed him to be the perfect villain. Except when he realized his love for his brother.

 

  I do understand your point.  The best antagonist is the photo negative of the protagonist .  This way the antagonist is able to trip up the protagonist because she knows her counterpart's weaknesses.. This causes the protagonist to step up her game and defeat the antagonist because in reality the only true battle is the one we are in with ourselves.  

Awesome observation.  I haven't seen the movie, yet but they pretty much follow the same script.

***  

I forgot to add - that I'm referring to "Loki" in the film not the comics - I don't read the comics.  

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I like Loki a lot but I never felt sorry for him because I never thought he was being mistreated. He was selfish and deceitful. Had he not been such a dumb ass he would've been king because THOR didn't want the crown. But he is an amazing bad guy... can't wait to see him in the Infinity War 

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The character KIllmonger was written with some depth. While this is good, it is not at all unusual. A good villiams is always developed in such a way as to help the reader, or the theater goers ,understand the characters motivation.

 

I liked Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, he was a complete monster but we go to know him -- that and the character was brilliantly portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. I also like the character Khan in Star Trek and many others.  But there are great Black character,  villains or anti-heros that were just as compelling -- pretty much all of the gangster from The Wire would qualify.

 

One thing that puzzles me about the love affair with The Black Panther film is how crazy we we are over this flick. Wakanda is something some white boys at Marvel made up.  Now Black people are talking about this movie uplifting the Black race and it "telling our story."  This reactions just tells me how collectively desperate we are for positive images of ourselves... it really is rather pathetic when you think about it...

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I don't know if I would go that far, although I do see where you are coming from. I felt the same way about Jodi Picoult and her speaking in, what I like to call, "Black Voice" in the novel Small Great Things. It bothered me, not because she wrote about a black woman, but because her novel would not be labeled as urban the way it would've been had I wrote the same exact story. I also don't blame Marvel for capitalizing on black folks. Hell if black folks created Black Panther would black people have supported it? Because you know as well as I do that black folks usually don't start bragging on black things created by black people until white folks try to claim it or Oprah gives it her seal of approval. We are systematically still locked in chains. Think on this... your two favorite characters, ironically are two of my favorites, are villains created by white men. Even the creator of The Wire, David Simon, is white. As a writer, trust and believe, that I do understand why it would bother you. On Facebook when someone would make this same exact point about Black Panther I would comment: "Okay well buy my novel if you are so eager to support black owned things... my novel is written by a black man, published by a company owned by black people, and the story has tons of positive images of black folks throughout. Not one dope dealer or thug or plug or side piece in sight." Hey I give Marvel a thumbs up for including positive images of blacks into their storyline because they really didn't have to do it.  

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Maybe you should consider going "that far" @D.E. Eliot, for given what your our positions are very similar. Your point pretty much sums it up:

 

5 hours ago, D.E. Eliot said:

black folks usually don't start bragging on black things created by black people until white folks try to claim it

 

I call this the elusive white co-sign, unless you get it you will not enjoy mass Black appeal and the revenues that go with it.  So Disney made a film with positive Black images, but let's be clear: this had nothing to do with uplifting Black people, it is all about making money.  

 

Unfortunately, I'd have to agree with you that if Black people created Black Panther it would not have enjoyed the same level of support from Black people and the film would not have enjoyed the same level of financial success as a result.  But this is just an interesting a thought experiment because Black people do not make these kinds of films.  This is what makes the whole thing so sad and pathetic.

 


 

D.E. since you mentioned being published by a Black publishing company I wanted learn more about it, so I ran a Google search on the ISBN 978-0692927618, only Amazon's sites come up -- not even the publisher's site is returned in the search results.  I also looked for the book in Ingrams database and could not find it there either.   What is the publishers website address?

 

Also, I encourage you to read this article Point #3 as it related to posting links to Amazon.  

 

 

 

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Write On Publishing has a Tax ID/EIN... it is my company and I'm proud of it. Very Proud of the Fist. People have come at me believing I should change the logo because they are afraid it will scare white readers away. I refuse. I don't call myself a self-publish author because my company, it maybe small, but it is real and it will grow in time. You are only as limited as your limitations. 
My ISBN is not with igramspark because they literally, not figuratively, literally cheated me out of money. Their customer service is the worse and I really don't have that type of training to deal with people that are rude when I'm trying to give them my money. So I'm in the process of hiring a publicist. Any suggestions?

And on Point #3... thank you for that info. I'm down to link your 10 as long as none of my rights to this story is surrendered. Right now my novel is KU for 30 more days so I don't know how that will effect things. But if you wanna setup a call so you can walk me through it I'm down. I'm better with calls to have people walk me through stuff. I'll explain that another time. 

So recap... Write On Publishing is a real company (most black people will say it isn't because of limitations)  
And right now the website for this company is www.deeliot.com which is also a real website. 
Thank you for the warning, the info on Point#3 and let me know if I need to delete any content or the account.  

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OK I did see your website: www.deeliot.com, but when you wrote: "my novel is written by a black man, published by a company owned by black people,"  I went looking for a Black owned publishing company, do you see why I was confused?

 

There is a difference between publishing company and self published author.  I know many self-published authors describe what they do exactly the way you did, but I discourage this because it is confusing and not exactly accurate.  Do you see my point?  

 

Being "self-published," no longer carries the stigma that it once did.  I describe authors like yourself as "Independently published authors" or "indie authors. I like it because it places the emphasis on independence/ and who can disparage that.  

 

Having your own website already puts you ahead of the game!  If an indie author does not have web presence outside of social media, I don't even look at their stuff.  

 

The linking thing is simple, you can join Amazon's affiliate program or link using another book-sellers affiliate code.  The format of the URL is shown below just replace the bold text with your ASIN (for books this is the ISBN10) 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501181823/ref=nosim?tag=aalbccom-20 

 

So for your book, Ruined, the links would be:

 

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692927611/ref=nosim?tag=aalbccom-20 

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077STV527/ref=nosim?tag=aalbccom-20 

 

The other benefit is that these sales are factored into my bestsellers list, simply because I can track them. If you make our bestsellers list this will result in a lot of free promotion.

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12 hours ago, Troy said:

This reactions just tells me how collectively desperate we are for positive images of ourselves... it really is rather pathetic when you think about it...

 

@Troy , I thought I was the only one who felt this way.  I still haven't seen the movie but I get the sense that  black people couldn't relate to the monomyth before this film.  

I could be biased though -and "tight" because I wrote a whole contemporary world within a world that made no references  to the european  culture.  In fact,  the main character ascends from Ethiopia and she speaks about the fact that the country was never colonize. Her antagonist is a powerful obeah priestess that ascends from the gold coast but settled in Jamaica - and their heritage, language and rituals are intact.  

Some of the reviews I got from black women specifically was it wasn't believable because the characters didn't behave like "real black people".  Specifically the "black" people in my book didn't have "colonized" minds.   

I am glad this film has opened up the minds.   Now it won't be so difficult to write and sell books that are set outside of the 'hood, or cling to that slave narrative.

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No disrespect but no I don't really see your point, uncle Sam doesn't see it that way either. Write On Publishing has 4 employees that are NOT family members. I'm conected to it, yes, but it is separate of me. We are just starting out. We voted for me to put a book out first because I was the front man. Again I do see your point but I don't accept people's label of me... I label me. I'm a published author... Write On Publishing is a small independent company that will produce books. This is a fact... how other interprets that fact is not my concerned 

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@D.E. Eliot I don't take your not understanding my point as a form of disrespect.  I'm only going by the information you presented here and the information you've shared.

 

Now that you elaborated on the nature of your company, I see now that you are indeed a publishing company.  However, I've been in this industry a long time and you present like an indie author, not a publishing company.  I'll take the time to explain why and I hope you receive it the information as helpful advice.

 

In your "not so perfect" intro you provided a link to Amazon.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, but this is how indie authors open up, not publishing companies. 

 

When you said your book was published by a Black own publishing company I was anxious to learn more, because I actively promote these businesses.  But when I could not find a website or a single book in distribution (outside Amazon), I was confused because this is not characteristic of a publishing company.

 

You said you are locked into selling through Amazon so I can only assume to are using a service like KDP Select when you are locked into 90 exclusive arrangement with Amazon. No publishing company would lock themselves into an exclusive arrangement with a single online bookseller -- even if it is Amazon.

 

I could go on but I think you see my point. Now you might not be concerned about how you are perceived by others, but if you are selling books (indeed any business) you have to be aware of how you are perceived an why you are perceived why you are perceived this way... this is just an aspect of marketing.

 

@Mel Hopkins, I'm sure there is an audience for your character. The main difference between you story and Black Panther is that Black Panther had the full marketing might of The Walt Disney Company behind it... and that is a very big deal.

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Guest Just watching...

...the expressions on my little nephews and nieces was enough to justify shelling out cash for Disney. As an adult, I was more in tune with Killmonger for obvious reasons, he addresses the reality of the black experiences "Here and Now" rather than the fantasy element represented in the Wakanda universe. Huge credit to Mr. Cole and Coogler to bring such depth to the villain that had an entire theater gasp with a single devastating line in the end. My own work deals with most of the themes discussed in this film which really points to the real villain in the story - White Supremacy/domination of black lives around the globe - that has devastated Africans and their descendants and continues to define their experiences in many ways in our own time. 

 

African unity, black unity, be it on the continent or anywhere else around the world has always been the way we have moved forward as a people, and it still remains the only solution in recovering our lost dignity. I'm amazed at how far a blockbuster superhero movie from Disney no less was able to address some of it for mass consumption. 

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Nothing you said was incorrect. And trust and believe I appreciate the feedback. I will admit that I have a soft spot for indie authors and I'm proud to be associated with them but I'm also a proud business owner. And although I worked hard to put out, in my opinion, a well written book some of the little things got missed when it came to the company. Me and my crew are learning as we go. When I saw you on the tea I knew this was a platform I needed to embrace and apparently I was right. I entered KDP only after two months of front selling. It costed me 10k to get my novel out and I made a little over all of that back. We decided, once sells slowed, little left in the budget for extended marketing, we voted 3-1, to try KDP because the other venues didn't provide us with numbers. Once we were out of the red and into the black KDP has allowed me to now focus on getting the book into more people's hands. Yes BIG publishers wouldn't use KDP but small publishing companies have used it because they lack Random House's coin and my company lacks more than them. I'm still trying to grow my following. I created Write On Publishing because I want there to be a place where black authors can come with stories not based on hood, thugs, BMs, slaves, and what it was like to be a slave. I also didn't want to make some white man a crap load of money off of my hard work. Again, your feedback is much appreciated. (Sorry for any typos... I'm at work) 

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54 minutes ago, D.E. Eliot said:

I created Write On Publishing because I want there to be a place where black authors can come with stories not based on hood, thugs, BMs, slaves, and what it was like to be a slave. I also didn't want to make some white man a crap load of money off of my hard work.

 

Congratulations,  @D.E. Eliot  and much success.   Yes, you're in the right place. Troy has more than 20 years in the business - especially as it relates to black publishers and author and he won't steer you wrong.   Also please consider joining #readingblack if you haven't already.  Check out the articles on Amazon posted there. Many successful medium-large publishers have moved away.    If you choose to stay, then moving forward as a publisher, you are going to negotiate with Amazon on a different level at least-for the sake of those you will publish in the future.  

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20 hours ago, Troy said:

One thing that puzzles me about the love affair with The Black Panther film is how crazy we we are over this flick. Wakanda is something some white boys at Marvel made up

Black people haven't had many positive images in the movies the media or society in The US. People who are celebrated have the same function as the royals. They set a standard or they are a pinnacle to reach.

She would not be proud of Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Judith Jamison, Miles Davis , Benjamin Banneker, NeIL Tyson Degrasse. They are role models when there may not be any mentors present.

 

You may have had role models or maybe you didn't need any. However this movie is needed. So that both Black and White People can  see black people as more than servants. 

 

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@D.E. Eliot, we all make mistakes.  I'm glad you took the feedback as it was intended.

 

There are many options for indie publishers to get books into the hands of readers without using Amazon.  At the end of the month, I'll be giving a workshop for indie authors and publishers at the National Black Writers Conference in NYC, with Paul Coates, founder of Black Classic Press and BCP Digital Printing.  We will help writers with every aspect of producing a book from editing, design, printing, distribution, and marketing.   

 

For example, I provide book printing through AALBC Prints Books and manuscript editing through Edit 1st.  There are many other professionals out there, but we tend to give one big corporation all our business. Amazon's ability to secure the exclusive right to sell an author's book was just brilliant on their part, but hurts authors collectively.  In fact, last year I was considering organizing a boycott of Amazon -- only then did I realize just how dependent so many authors were on Amazon -- their books could not be purchased anywhere else!  That realization gave rise to #readingblack.

 

Yes, @Mel Hopkins is absolutely right.  The #readingblack platform is a place where we can share mistakes so others can avoid them, and good ideas so that they don't have to reinvent the wheel.  I hope you will consider participating. 

 

BTW, if you made $10K in profit selling one book you are doing GREAT.  Maybe you'll share some of your successful strategies at #readingblack. :)

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Yes @Delano I've heard that argument, and again I'm simply reacting to that realization.  The sad and pathetic truth is that in 2018 despite access to great technology, a trillion dollars in buying power, the availability of a great deal of information on our history, and all of our collective intellect, Black people are still so needy of strong powerful images!

 

Yes, I agree we need to see strong positive images of ourselves, but I guess running AALBC.com I get a heavy dose of powerful, brilliant, and successful Black people on a daily basis.  But I know most people have no clue who Imhotep or Mansa Musa -- let alone the great things we've done in the country, beyond MLK, Malcolm X and a handful or others.  We have no clue Black people travelled the globe long before Columbus "discovered" America. 

 

I share these stories almost daily, but social media all but stopped showing my posts instead the share the fictional world made up by some cats at a comic book company 50 years ago.  We have no agency, we do not drive the narrative.  We are seemingly at Disney's mercy for images of strong Black images, huh?

 

Guest just watching thanks for contributing. The thoughts of others are always welcomed.  It remains to be seen how much Black unity this Disney flick generates in the Black community.  I'm not holding my breath.

 

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12 hours ago, Troy said:

The sad and pathetic truth is that in 2018 despite access to great technology, a trillion dollars in buying power, the availability of a great deal of information on our history, and all of our collective intellect, 

 

Exactly @Troy !  Why did a movie have to tell black people, Ethiopia was never colonized?  And that even that is a half truth...  Ethiopian was almost colonized by Britain and briefly occupied by  Italy.   Why is that most American blacks do not know about the Abyssinia Crisis and the wars prior and the wars that followed.  You mean to tell me before black people (the collective)  learn anything someone has to put it in a movie?   
 

And also, not every black person in America was enslaved.  There are many who have  the "wakanda" mindset.   It's true a great majority have ancestors that were enslaved - not everyone shares in Killmonger's make-up.  Even those who do have ancestors who were enslaved in America don't carry that baggage.  

While it may be a reality for some, I find it disheartening that some feel they can identify with the film's character.   

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Hey @Delano if it wasn't you who posted that link, I would have immediately deleted it and banned your account (seriously, I do this regularly).   Can you tell us what one would encounter by clicking the link?

 

@Mel Hopkins I always assumed all on my ancestors were enslaved.  This is what ever taught to assume, that I had not history beside or beyond slavery. As an adult  I learned on my maternal grandmother's side there is no evidence of any of those folks being enslaved and my maternal grandfather side I find my grand grandparents on the 1850 census, so they obviously were not enslaved then. 

 

I think much of my own slave mentality as introduced early on through our culture.  It was only once I was well into adulthood that I became conscious of the brainwashing and have been trying to shed it ever since. So, I understand why Black people are sensitive if you critique the Black Panther phenomenon...

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16 hours ago, Troy said:

Yes @Delano I've heard that argument, and again I'm simply reacting to that realization.  The sad and pathetic truth is that in 2018 despite access to great technology, a trillion dollars in buying power, the availability of a great deal of information on our history, and all of our collective intellect, Black people are still so needy of strong powerful images!

When have people not just Black people been more  interested in self improvement over entertainment. The society is not geared for anyone except wealthy WASP males. If you want to see what a nation holds dear look at the culture. The Hero is a White man in movies, women are objects to be won or used, and people of color are either invisible, foolish, or lackeys, in a few cases they are the assistant.

 

There are different types of wars: military; economic; ideological and culture. I have listed them in the reverse order of importance. If you win the cultural war we have or will successfully win all the others. Black films don't do well in China. If it does it signal us winning a battle in the cultural war. Then we can start the other wars in the following order ideological economic and militarily won't matter. All of our ills as a nation relate back to culture. If a culture is strong so is the nation. Cuba has a strong culture and they survived standing up to the US, better than the former USSR which is Balkanized

 

Since the cold war, we have wars about culture. So culture is important. If you look at takeovers you need to have control of the mind or hearts of the people, you achieve this by controlling the levers that move the heart and mind;  art, and media. Look at Hitler Mao Castro Yeltsin they control the dialogue and and the media.

 

I understand your frustration but I don't feel it as strongly because; you are in the book industry and at more altruistic than I. However I do feel it is an important fight , and if you want to win it you have to incorporate what is valued in the society.  A good first date is dinner and a movie. Not many people want to have a date in the library. If you want to change how books are seen make writers seem more important. My brother I know the pen is mightier than the sword. Which is why you keep the populace away from books and by extension developing their own thoughts.

31 minutes ago, Troy said:

Hey @Delano if it wasn't you who posted that link, I would have immediately deleted it and banned your account (seriously, I do this regularly).   Can you tell us what one would encounter by clicking the link?

 

I was asleep two hours ago, Thanks Troy.

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Guest Ben T. Mel

@Mel Hopkins Yes, some Africans did skip the auction blocks to establish their own free communities across the Americas but we can all agree that they and their descendants were not able to escape from the ill-effects of racism, white supremacy and the inferiority complex living in a culture that views “Non-Europeans” as being somehow different, be it in America’s or elsewhere.

 

Ethiopians had a claim to be the “Wakanda’s” in history but that too lasted for a short while before scumming to the same all too powerful mutating force of White supremacy that keeps delivering blows to any disorganized community or nation. As for the inferiority complex, the Ethiopians are an interesting example in that they had developed their own culture for centuries that was powerful enough to contest any other it came in contact with, that is until outsider ideologies finally did their work to destroy that development in the last century.  It’s interesting that Black Panther uses Vibranium (Technology Progress) as its main plot point, every Emperor in Ethiopia, from the fifteenth century on was in desperate struggle to develop or acquire military technology to contest the Europeans because they were becoming aware of the widening gap with the outside world - Emperor Tewodros, in particular, was obsessed with it and went as far as locking up “Missionaries” that came to convert an already Christian nation, and put  to work to build him weapons on the African continent.      

 

Black Panther’s was a chance to see African based “Progress” without any outside interference, a chance that no black nation or black person, be it colonized, enslaved or “Free” had never had a chance to experience on this Earth! It was a blast to see that swagger and note that even the technology advances were not used for conquest or aggression, and did not overwhelm the community because African based Progress would have gone a different way - beholden to tradition and nature itself.

 

From Blyden, Garvey, Malcolm X, Stokley to every single black nationalist with the vision of Unity of black people to combat the mutating “White Supremacy” that touches every black life on this Earth, as the ultimate goal for true black freedom is still valid but we are more divided than ever. It’s the reason Killmonger’s plight touches most of us. He cares not just about his own people but black people wherever they happen to exist on this planet going through different forms of pain. You can mentally unburden your past and believe yourself to be free for being a descendant of “Free People” but note that you and your children can be shot dead for just being black. We are all beholden to White Supremacy. The true villain in Black Panther. Hats off to the writers that created an African based view by making Killmonger not a villain but a kind of tragic hero for our own times. 

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Books are just one way to relate our culture, it may not even be the best way.  Art, poetry, film, song, and the spoken word are other ways of defining and relating what is important a culture.

 

I enjoyed Black Panther film for the entertainment that it was, but I refuse to allow my culture to defined by a film created solely to enrich Disney and that was made up by some young white boys for a comic book.

 

Is the made up world of Wakanda how we communicate Black cultural values today?  Has it really come to this? 

 

There have been other films with powerful Black people and evil white folks -- the entire Blaxploitation era was full of them.  Why is Black Panther regarded as so highly?  Is it because it was so profitable.  Is it because it was such a great film?  

 

I suspect it was because were were told to embrace it.  Now I only use social media to post links to my website, but I could not avoid all the hype surround this film.  Lerone Bennett's passing went completely unnoticed (assuming anyone knows who he is).  I shared information about his transition but Facebook did not show it to anyone.  I posted something mentioning Black Panther and that got engagement not as much as my posted used to get and hardly anyone click the link to visit the site but you see my point.

 

The hype surrounding Black Panther was carefully crafted and we all fell in line.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Troy said:

 

@Troy Oh no!  I was just looking him up and Moneta Sleet Jr.  just a few weeks ago!  What a huge loss to the black community.  He was a great mind,  researcher and historian! 

1 hour ago, Guest Ben T. Mel said:

but we can all agree that they and their descendants were not able to escape from the ill-effects of racism, white supremacy and the inferiority complex living in a culture that views “Non-Europeans” as being somehow different, be it in America’s or elsewhere.


No, Guest Ben T. Mel,

 

I cannot agree to this as it is written.  First one must choose to feel inferior.   if this did not occur in my own family - I would not assume this to be true for any other black family; enslaved or not.  So, no I'm going to throw this whole sentence away, so that I may read the rest of what you've written with an open mind. 

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1 hour ago, Guest Ben T. Mel said:

You can mentally unburden your past and believe yourself to be free for being a descendant of “Free People” but note that you and your children can be shot dead for just being black. We are all beholden to White Supremacy.

 

Wow, this part right here is quite sad... no, we are not all beholden to white supremacy. Women like me cower to no one.  Still, the fact that so many of Black Americans have their minds shackled is heartbreaking enough. Who has time to think about anyone else when those we give birth to perish due to their own ignorance. 

4 hours ago, Troy said:

I think much of my own slave mentality as introduced early on through our culture. 

 

@Troy , I agree a lot  of it comes from culture.  From public school, media and culture it was hard not hear about slavery but for a lot of us, we were far removed.  For example, I grew up in East Flatbush were West Indian pride was strong ; you'd be hard pressed to hear a Jamaican, Bajan or Trinidadian mom or dad talk about slavery.  It was all about education - - I think a lot of cultural differences within the black community have to do with the expectation of our parents.  

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One of the things that comes to my mind after perusing this discussion, is to compare the "The Cosby Show"of the 80's with "Black Panther".  The aim of this TV production under the helm of a black man, was to portray an affluent middle-class African American family headed up by professional parents and filled with characters molded to  fill the need of blacks yearning for a positive show about people who looked like them.  It wasn't long, however, before critics complained that the average black person couldn't relate to this show. I don't anticipate that "Black Panther" will experience a lot of such complaints, however.   Black folks want to "keep it real", but not too real. "Black Panther" is  pure fantasy and, best of all, it takes place in AFRICA! Black moviegoers can leave theaters after watching this picture and feel fully entertained. But are they really inspired to do anything other than lash out at white people who can't understand what all the hype is about. The movie is a phenomenon for the silliest of reasons. When it comes to fictionalize comic book heroes, blacks want to be able to beam "Me, too".    

 

"The Birth of a Nation", a recent film directed and written by a brother, told the story of Nat Turner, an authentic Black American hero. It scored good reviews but was a flop, stigmatized by past charges brought against its black director in regard to the suicide of a white woman, and by the criticism of black women who resented how they were marginalized in the movie.   

 

I've never found observing people who look like me to be a big turn-on.  

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@Mel Hopkins, I actually understand and agree with Guest Ben T. Mel comments.  Of course I understand and agree with yours too.  It is that elephant thing.  You and Cynque were raised very differently than I was so your world views are different.  I became an educated adult so my world view has changed.

 

When I was a little kid, for example, I remember how excited and surprised I was to see the little Black boy in the book a Snowy Day.  I had no idea a Jewish guy wrote the book -- I would not have even known what a Jew was.  All I knew was that I was happy to see a little boy like me in a book.  I learned to read on the lily white Dick and Jane books.  Today I know that White supremacy was responsible for me not seeing Black images in books and TV.  

 

Now if you did not grow up the way I did the impact of white supremacy would be less (thought I'd still argue present).  Similarly, I later discovered the great contribution of Black people and how white supremacy made it necessary for our history to be hidden.  As a result I've been able to throw off the shackles of white supremacy... to a certain extent.

 

Today, for me, the vistages of white supremacy have to do with access to networks, opportunities, and capital; which are limited as a direct result of racism.  Among my peers I was one a few who went to college.  Many of those that went were the first in out families to so.  In many communities this is still the case in 2018!!  People are more likely to have a family member in Jail than in college.  The lack of access to quality education of a direct result of racism and the way we practice capitalism.

 

I understand many successful Black are entirely unaware of communities in which these conditions exist, so it is hard for them to understand how anyone could still be adversely impacted by white supremacy.  

 

Cynique, Nat Turner's story did not get the same reaction from Black folks because white folks did not generate the same level of hype -- perhaps because a Black man would have stood to make too much money.  We simply do not have the market might to make a "big" film.  I just looked up the box office for Nate's film and see that it took in less than $16M.

 

BIll Cosby show was so very important because it was both entertaining and there was a deliberate goal uplift Black people. Today this show has been pulled from syndication because of Cosby's personal life... or because another Black man stood to wield too much power.

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@Troy TV1, a cable channel, airs the Cosby Show every day, along with reruns  of many other black series from past decades such as the the Redd Foxx show, the Jeffersons, Good Times, What's Happening, Living Color. TV1 is also the home of the popular "Unsung" series.  i don't know whether this channel is black-owned or not.

 

My world view is a strictly personal one.  I'm sure many of my school mates and home town members might have felt like you.  I did live in a suburb of Chicago, so your situation probably existed there, too.  But when it came to movies, the story line was what captivated me.  The skin color of the people was just incidental to me. i was, however, sensitive enough to be turned off  by the subservient or clownish roles individual black actors were relegated to back then. 

 

I'd be naive to not acknowledge the Institutionalized white racism that permeates America, and I have always said it is the task of aspiring black individuals to find a way to navigate through this system.  

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Sorry it appears my information was stale, while Cosby's show had been pulled by all the network many have brought it back: https://mic.com/articles/180325/networks-dropped-the-cosby-show-amid-assault-accusations-now-two-networks-have-brought-it-back

 

I stand corrected.

 

It will be interesting to see what they do when he is convicted, which seems pretty likely if they open the floodgates and let all the past victims provide evidence of Cosby predatory behavior.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Troy said:

Cynique, Nat Turner's story did not get the same reaction from Black folks because white folks did not generate the same level of hype -- perhaps because a Black man would have stood to make too much money.  We simply do not have the market might to make a "big" film.  I just looked up the box office for Nate's film and see that it took in less than $16M.

@Troy   Hidden Figures worldwide box office was $236 million 

 

Maybe  Nate should have played up the woman co-warrior angle to the historic battle...  These young women aren't interested in the man rescues woman's honor trope.  

All my three daughters have seen black panther as did my women cousins and they were all impressed by how the women were portrayed in the film.  This means to me this is how they see themselves.  Possibly the way Nate views women came out in his filmmaking and simply turned off many young black women and women of color. 

23 hours ago, Troy said:

We simply do not have the market might to make a "big" film. 

 

Also @Troy  don't discount Byron Allen who made a $20 million dollar bid for birth of the nation - he lost to fox searchlight who only paid 17.5 million 

Edited by Mel Hopkins
add link to Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios
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On ‎3‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 7:33 PM, D.E. Eliot said:

It costed me 10k to get my novel out and I made a little over all of that back.


@D.E. Eliot did you mean an estimate of the novel's cost? Or did it cost $10k to publish your novel?  If the latter, why did it cost $10K

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And don't forget Anakin Skywalker.  His backstory made you appreciate who he became.  Never a Star Wars fan but his character development was extra special...

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