True Power

True Power

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hollywood reacts with acting


DECEMBER 13, 2009 I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO STUMBLE UPON THE HISTORY CHANNEL.
I had forgotten that there was a program I wanted to see when it originally aired "The People Speak." I am so happy that I did not miss this program.
A number of Hollywood stars turned out to put on a dramatic reading of letters from prominent figures in the history of America. Clearing up many misconceptions about the Constitution and what it would be like to return to the time of our forefathers when there were slaves, women could not vote or possess property, the rich were rich and in power and the poor were poor without any hope for betterment, Indians were murdered, and prosperity and justice was only for the elite wealthy white man in power.

It would not be a nice existence to go back to the time of our forefathers. Every group imaginable had to wrest from the closed fists of those in charge their basic right to exist. The program showed the continuous tyranny of the rich and elite throughout American History.
Here are the names and several pictures (below)of some actors that did dramatic readings or sung a song: Matt Damon, Benjamin Bob Dylan, Marrissa Tormei, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Springstein.

There are those who claim President Obama and others won the election on the back of "White Guilt," White people feeling guilty for the wrongs they committed against minorities in the past. This show could be accused of playing to that same theory of white guilt, but it isn't playing to a fictitious slogan-White Guilt- it is just an accurate account of the action of a group in the majority against minorities.

Despite apprehensions that the information might endanger his freedom, Douglass published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written By Himself. The year was 1845. Three years later, after a speaking tour of England, Ireland, and Scotland, Douglass published the first issue of the North Star, a four-page weekly, out of Rochester, New York.

There was a powerful reading from Sojourner Truth that every African American girl should hear.
In 1843, she took the name Sojourner Truth, believing this to be on the instructions of the Holy Spirit and became a traveling preacher (the meaning of her new name). In the late 1840s she connected with the abolitionist movement, becoming a popular speaker. In 1850, she also began speaking on woman suffrage. Her most famous speech, Ain't I a Woman?, was given in 1851 at a women's rights convention in Ohio.
AIN'T I A WOMAN?
by Sojourner Truth

"Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say."

In contemporary times another great stepped into the spot-light:
MUHAMMAD ALI
"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years."
As quoted in Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties (1999) by Mike Marqusee; also quoted in the International Socialist Review Issue 33 (January–February 2004)

This is one DVD I plan to purchase to have in my family collection of great African American History and as a teaching and ministry tool for self esteem, ethnic pride, and the need for education. Once again, Hollywood stepped up to the plate.






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