So as a tribute to the song “Double Burger with Cheese” I want to talk about the Black movies that made me.
“The Last Dragon”
I loved Bruce Lee growing up. He was my childhood idol. I wanted to be just like him. Some of my best memories growing up were watching movies with my uncle. It was the first time I saw a Black lead do martial arts. It sounds crazy but seeing it inspired me. As a kid, I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I knew one day that I would have The Glow.
Seeing Black martial artists such as Taimak and Kareem Abdul Jabar, let me know that Black people could be martial artists too. So today, I tip my hat and my Black belt to the martial artist who inspired me and the movies they did.
“Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored”
Honestly, I don’t remember the whole story of this movie, but one scene from it is burned into my mind. The main character and his grandpa are watching a parade, KKK members are in the parade (this was a thing in the South). And a Klan member stares at his grandfather, looking to intimidate the older gentleman. But his grandpa stands and stares at this man, unbothered. He doesn’t cower or look down. This period in the U.S. was a time in which you very easily could have your house burned down or be lynched for looking at a white person wrong.
I always want to aspire to that kind of boldness in situations.
City of God
I have to start by saving this film may have been the first film I saw about a Black person that wasn’t in North America or somewhere on the continent. Yeah, we don’t get a lot of outside content, it’s true. I remember thinking about the parallels between Brazil with its treatment of Black people and the U.S. It also cemented something that my U.S. textbooks failed to really get me to understand. That most of those enslaved weren’t brought to the U.S., and sadly the experiences in those countries where they weren’t the majority had histories that mirror each other.