A Persistent Divide

https://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2017/mar/09/samuel-l-jackson-black-british-actors-get-out-video

On March 9th 2017 one of this nations finest actors (in my opinion) commented on the amount of Black British actors getting roles in the US. Mr. Jackson’s argument was essentially made due to British actor Daniel Kaluuya’s receiving the top bill for the film Get Out. Now if you read my previous blog entry on Get Out you will know that I thought the film was amazing. Mr. Jackson agrees but argues that Mr. Kaluuya’s “Black experience” is different due to where he is from and therefore the role might have been more raw/real if it was played by an American Black actor. He then went on to say that he was probably assisted by the director Jordan Peele to portray American Blackness correctly. He ended his commentary on discussing how they (British actors) think they are better because they are classically trained. Now, I am not an actor. But as a regular movie goer, I have enjoyed the acting of Mr. Jackson on numerous occasions and again, I think he is one of the finest.

However, I cannot disagree enough with what he is saying and doing on this issue. I think that we as Black people should stop trying to find ways to continue a persistent divide amongst ourselves. Should it matter that Mr. Kaluuya’s Black experience is different because he is from a different country? I don’t know his journey as a Black man but I am certain he has plenty of experience to share. Oh and news flash but, EVERYONE’s Black experience is different from everyone else’s. It doesn’t make it better or worse. Its personal and individual and it shouldn’t have to be put on trial, especially by another Black person.

Mr. Kaluuya responded to Mr. Jackson’s comments by essentially saying that he is too black for Britain and not Black enough for America. I have felt not Black enough for Black America many times and I am from the States. However, I am sure Mr. Kaluuya’s experience is very different than mine, I would love to sit down with him one day and explore those differences instead of trying to knock him down because of where he is from. For me, I will support his work, his struggle and his ability to continue to get back up even in the face of discrimination. Hmm, sound familiar?

*You will find the video of Mr. Jackson’s comments above*

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