my antiracist movie list, or, who wants to join an antiracist movie club?

The final installment of my antiracist book list is published, but that obviously isn’t the end of it. For one, if you’re familiar with this blog at all, you know it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t compile a companion list of antiracist movies. When I’m actually maintaining it, film is the beating heart that makes Roused to Mediocrity go, so let’s talk about movies.

Seriously though, let’s talk about movies. I’m planning to start an antiracist movie club, and I’m inviting you along for the ride. I haven’t worked out details, aside from the core concept of watching a movie once a month, then getting together virtually to have a conversation about it.

In the past, when I wanted to start something like this, the virtual part has always been the rub. It’s a necessity, considering the physical distance between me and most of you, but it just wasn’t something I thought anyone would want to try.

Fast forward to 2020, and Zoom is a regular part of everyday life. So, I vote we give this a shot. For now, just let me know if you’re interested. If you know me, contact me however the hell you want. If not, leave a comment, or email me – scott.e.small@gmail.com – This invitation is open to any and everyone.

I’ve compiled a big list of movies* to give us a pool to choose from as we get RtM’s Antiracist Movie Club up and running. Obviously, we’ll never get to all, or even most of these.

Here’s my list.** Let me know some movies I missed:

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  • Fruitvale Station
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Queen and Slim
  • Blindspotting
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Get Out
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Malcolm X
  • Boyz n the Hood
  • 13th
  • Selma
  • OJ: Made in America
  • Shaft
  • Da 5 Bloods
  • The Hate U Give
  • Just Mercy
  • Whose Streets?
  • Menace II Society
  • Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
  • Let It Fall
  • LA 92
  • Dear White People [film]
  • Good Hair
  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975***

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The movies below will be great additions down the line, but it seems gross if we don’t begin with movies created or co-created by people of color.

  • The Central Park Five
  • Teach Us All
  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
  • Loving
  • Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
  • Attack the Block
  • The Color Purple
  • In the Heat of the Night

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*I’ve only seen 12 of them.

**I’m skipping all white savior nonsense, along with stories designed to make white folks feel good about “how far we’ve come,” by comparing ourselves to cartoonish racist southerners from the antebellum south through to the 60’s. Those films can be part of valuable conversations about racism depicted in film disingenuously, ignoring the systemic role it plays in every facet of American society. I just don’t believe it’s the appropriate place to begin.

***This one is directed by Swedes, but I’m including it here because all of the voices are Black. It’s just that Swedish filmmakers were the ones who came over to document the Black Panther movement. It’s white people pointing the camera, but after that it’s purely Black revolutionaries getting to speak their piece, so I believe it fits in the first category.

Thoughts?