COLORLINES: ‘BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’ AND BLACK LAND

Beasts of the Southern Wild was recently released to theaters in America on July 15, 2012. I plan to see this movie in the coming week, as I have been awaiting its release for quite a while.

In the meantime, here is an article on the film (in addition to other posted links) and how the separation of Black Americans from their land is a rarely addressed issue in this nation’s mistreatment of its Black citizens. How once upon a time Black citizens were very close to and a part of the land, and not just during slavery. As the author states:  “Urbanization has been black Americans’ most recent trend, but it is not our historical norm. Thinking of ourselves exclusively as city dwellers helps us forget one of the greatest crimes committed against us: the systematic separation of black folks from their land“.

This urbanization had its origins during the Great Migration when thousands of Blacks left the American South and journeyed to the great urban metropolises of the North:  New, York, NY; Chicago, IL; Gary, IN, Detroit, MI, to name just a few.

But, the author of the article also points out that in their desire for freedom, enslaves wanted their place in the Sun:  “There they were free from the clutches of their oppressors and free to form communities of their own. If you think of the people of the Bathtub as having formed that kind of maroon culture, then you see that  — appearances notwithstanding—Hushpuppy is nobody’s little pickaninny. She’s the heroine of the film, an itty bitty warrior girl fighting to maintain her way of life. That hair isn’t a sign of neglect, but a mighty display of her power.”

Many Blacks, enslaved and recently freed, wanted a world they could call their own, where they could call the shots, and be at no man–or woman’s— mercy.

Whether that land was out in the West, in the North, in the East, or if that land rested in a community known as the Bathtub. The history of forcibly taking Black citizens from their land is as old as this country. It seeks to disinherit and dispossess Black citizens from their right to own the ground they stand on.

In the play A Raisin in the Sun, as Lena Younger stated to her her son Walter Lee Younger:  “It make a mighty big difference to a man when he walks around on floors that belong to him.”

And it is not just the owning of land but having a space that you can go home to for peace, refuge, and yes dignity, against the outside world. Something that you can proudly proclaim of:  “I worked this place, this land, with my own hands. That tree I planted and nurtured. That garden I planted and tilled with these hands and grew food to feed my family and myself. That area, damaged by wind, rain, flood, and blistering sun, I repaired, and made new again.”

In little Hushpuppy there resides the resilience and indomitable will to shout that she is a part of this world, and she will not be waved, crushed nor erased away by the dismissive hands and minds of a world that wishes to render her invisible.

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An Unexpected, Enduring Lesson From ‘Beasts of the  Southern Wild’

New Orleans-based writer Jarvis DeBerry argues that the film helps illustrate one of America’s greatest crimes: the systematic separation of black folks from their land.

How Students of Color Fit Into Higher Ed’s Shifting Ecostystem [Infographic]

More and more people are seeking degrees, but the devil is in the details. Black enrollment in for-profit schools has shot up 218 percent. Hatty Lee illustrates who goes where.

We Are More Than Workers and Consumers in the Food System

Yvonne Yen Liu interviews a former warehouse worker and a slow food advocate to discuss how healthy food and fair jobs can restore humanity to the food system.

Does Joe Arpaio Racially Profile? A Federal Court Will Decide  Immigrant rights groups say they’ve long known the answer.

Minnesota Voter ID Amendment Draws Youth Activists Minnesota’s voter ID is creating a new generation of activists fighting for social justice. Miracle Randle is one of them.

Why Our Vision of America’s Future Must Count People of Color’s Needs It would be best to build an agenda for the country based on who and what we want to be, rather than on who and what we fear.

Sheriff Arpaio Tells George Lopez to Call Him a ‘Fat Motherf**ker’ to His FaceWhat Joe Arpaio is demanding after George Lopez goes off on the Sheriff.

What’s in Your Wallet? Predatory Lending, ApparentlyCapitol One Bank has deceptively sold needless add-on products to credit card holders who are unemployed or have poor credit, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Judge Terminates Detained Mom’s Rights, Allows Missouri Couple to AdoptA juvenile court judge terminated a Guatemalan woman’s rights to her 5-year-son because they believe she abandoned her child when she was imprisoned after a 2007 immigration sting.

Young Asian Fan Recreates Beyoncé’s ‘Countdown’ Shot for Shot Ton is a big fan of Beyonce and to prove it, he made this absolutely incredible video, recreating Bey’s “Countdown” video.

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