Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Discover Why Insightful Media Expert Raqiyah Mays Feels Harriet Is A Must See Movie!

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See Why Highly Regarded Writer And Journalist Raqiyah Mays Feels Harriet Is An Empowering - "#Must See" Movie 
 Harriet Protecting Relative

By Raqiyah Mays
Saw Harriet last night. In the end, I found myself trying to remember the last time I watched something about slavery that left me feeling proud. Most recently, there was the TV Show "Underground" and now Harriet.

I found this movie empowering. Focused on the story of a woman who early on couldn't read or use a gun, and then literally, by the grace of God, escapes slavery - alone - and gains the courage to return to the South, multiple times, to save her family and hundreds of other slaves. I saw the clear goal of Harriet in showing the resilient strength of our people, especially sistas, and the cunning strategic tactics our ancestors used to survive and escape bondage. I felt relieved seeing this moment in our history documented cinematically for the world to see.

There are historical inaccuracies. Remember: It's Hollywood. "Based on a true story" means that there will be creative license taken. This is not a documentary.

SOME of what is in this film is true. The fiction comes with made-up characters that, according to the social media historians, did not exist. Of course, I can't say this for sure. I'd have to talk to director Kasi Lemmons to be precise.

Harriet Film Review By Raqiyah Mays Continues After Sponsor's Message Below...

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Harriet Film Review By Raqiyah Mays Continues After Video Trailer Below...

But like some characters that might be made up in the film, there is BS floating around the internet about there being a white savior in this movie. This is FALSE (like Facebook's political ads). And it's quite frustrating to read and hear.
(*SPOILER ALERT: Skip the next paragraph if you don't want spoilers)

The antagonist is a white slave owner. To help find Harriet, he hires black trackers - sell-outs - because as history shows, there were Uncle Tom selfish snitches opposed to abolishing slavery.
Again creative license is taken here ( I think) with the creation of these characters - not the mentality. One of these trackers ends up helping Harriet.

And to push back more on the white savior false narrative posts - anyone who actually listens to the film's intentional dialogue will hear this slave owner clearly say why he wants Harriet kept alive. The subtext behind his words is based on the historical accuracy of slaveowners and their response to runaway rebellion-leading slaves - catch them alive, and then publicly humiliate and maim them to invoke fear in other slaves.

For those who saw Birth of a Nation, remember how things ended for Nat Turner? His death was intentionally made public.

For those who saw "12 Years a Slave," remember how they strung up the protagonist for all on the plantation to see and kept him barely alive hanging in a noose for days? It's a psychologically abusive power move they used to control us then and still do now.

In slavery, we were more valuable alive. So please, don't believe the white savior social media crap from a 60 sec scene in the last 10 mins of a 2hr movie. It's BS.

He "saves" her to murder her in front of hundreds. She in turn leaves him alive so he can see the death of hundreds. There's a parallel here. I want more to listen and try to keep up. *END OF SPOILERS

And I don't care that Cynthia Erivo is not African American. I'm tired of the divisions among our people - light-skinned vs. dark-skinned, African vs. African American. Natural hair vs. Weave. European Black vs. American Black. Enough. Please.

To the white supremacists united by race worldwide? Black is black, no matter the shade, no matter the continent. We are all marked for death and better off as slaves if some of these nazis could have their way. I want more of us to stop doing Willie Lynch's work, whether he was real or not.

While Harriet is entertaining, empowering, and beautifully shot, it moves too fast at times and can feel like a made-for-TV movie at moments. These are the weak spots.

Despite them, I still liked the film. This is not a wack movie. And Cynthia Erivo, who I also loved in The Color Purple on Broadway, gives a strong performance as Harriet Tubman. It's not victim-focused.

It's not really even about survival. It's about persistence and faith.

It's about how one woman, who with the help of several other black people (unity that I LOVED seeing on the screen) used cunning, faith, prayer, and instinct to courageously free countless slaves who wanted to be freed (because all of them did not).

I walked out of the theater with my head high, proud, and clear on the message - If we trust ourselves, ignore the fear, and most importantly work together, we as a people can do the impossible. So please, take your kids 12 and older. #Harriet #MustSee

Raqiyah Mays

- Author & Writer
- Executive Producer & Host of the Podcast Real Black News (Named by as one of “10 Black podcasts you should listen to in 2019”)

Click a link to listen on iTunesSoundcloudSpotify, & where podcasts live. #RealBlackNews

To learn more about Raqiyah Mays click here

Video Interview With Cynthia Erivo On Harriet Movie Controversy

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