Blog · New York City

I Just Saw “Birth of a Nation” and Realized We Are Still Fighting to Be Free

Here I am again in the corner of a hallway at KIPP Infinity Charter School in Harlem, tip-tapping away. As I look into the eyes of the children passing by, throwing up the peace sign to me and each other, I get flushed because their innocence is being passed over by forces that threaten us.

Earlier this week I saw Nate Parker’s “Birth of a Nation.”

Let me just start off by saying that I’m not sure of the background story of Nat Turner and his battling of personal demons. But the movie proves to me that a Black woman needs to be reborn, reengaged, reconnected, reestablished, and re-energized with the word of God. This movie touched me in every way—it is a must see!

But it is a different world from my corner of the hallway. This movie was heavy. A few parts were an eyesore to the soul of the spirit. The magnitude of the desire of Black men and women to be free and brethren of Christ is something that no other race can fathom.

What started the Civil War pained the very resources of those who were enslaved, with their enslavers’ wickedness engraved into our ancestors’ backs. They did not know that we would have guardian angels along the way to shine that light along our pavement.

As I watched the movie with a cold stare, chills went down the center of my back as I realized that this is the very revolution some folks here in the United States today want us to engage in.

This movie reminds me of the presidential candidates and our election today. Donald Trump is letting us know that he has no inclination to help us rise above the bondage we already endure, only to take us back before the Civil War when the North wanted to seize control over the economic structure to maintain the status quo.  

But, unlike in 1809, we now have diverse voices to take a stand against injustices like education systems that deny academic fairness to children of color. We stand as an army of freedom fighters not armored with anything but love, patience, and kindness for our fellow man. We won’t allow the powers to pin us over and around anymore.

Trump should sit with me in my corner at KIPP Infinity Charter School and watch my son and his schoolmates march down the hall to class, hailing each other with peace signs. Trump needs an education as much as they do.

What do you think?

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