I’m So Over Black Trauma in Movies and Books.

Yes, I said what I said and I’ll say it again because I mean it. I -AM- S0 OVER-BLACK TRAUMA. I really am. In EVERYTHING. In our movies, our music, our books, the news, hell even in my own damn life Now let me stop you all, you too-woke people before you jump down my throat. I understand some of it is our history; I understand it needs to be told, documented, and preserved by us and for us. But trauma is not all that we are, and surviving trauma is not all we are capable of. We are so much more than that. Seriously, when you look at the Black Academy Award winners, what type of movies did they play in? Greenbook (Jim Crow) Moonlight (Child Abuse and Sexual Identity) Monsters Ball (Poverty/Criminal Justice System) Judas and the Black Messiah (Criminal Justice/Racism) 12 Years a Slave (Really?) The Help (Again Really?”) . Is there such a thing as too much trauma? Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’ve OD on black trauma. You think ?

But it’s not just the movies, it’s books too. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Monday’s not Coming by Tiffany Jackson, The Hate You Give, Ghost Boys, The Color Purple, and Life After Death by Sister Souljah. Are all amazing stories about black trauma.

Now before you call me a hypocrite and say how the stories I write involve black trauma. Yes, they do, but the trauma is not the base of the story. Overcoming the trauma isn’t the climax of the story and is not what the story is written around. Yes, there is black trauma in my books because I write mysteries in which most of the characters are black. For example, the Greenbook storyline was based around Jim Crow laws. 12 Years a Slave, the storyline was about the unfairness of slavery. The theme in the book The Hate You Give revolved around racism in the criminal justice system and straddling the line of success and hood life These stores use trauma as the storyline, not simply as character development.

These types of movies and books fall could literally fall into their own category. Are they mysterious? No. Are they horror in the genre sense? No. Are they Humor or Comedy or Thrillers? No. They are simply black trauma. Movies like Boys N the Hood, Baby Boy, Menace II Society, Beloved, books like The Color Purple. Now compare those movies, to movies like Hidden Figures, Remember the Titians, White Smoke, The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes. These types of books deal with complicated social issues, but in a way that doesn’t fall into the troupe of focusing solely on the trauma.

I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who feels like this, but I feel like there is a lack of diversity when it comes to the type of entertainment we have. I want more black horror, black thrillers, and way more black science-fiction. I want to watch movies where there’s a black group who pulls off complex art heist, all black construction crew that ends up saving the word, or maybe a black girl who finds outs she’s an African Princess and is running from a group of extremist trying to kidnap her. All I know is that I need something…..something more.


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