GetOutMovie: Black Women Have Always Had Your BACK!!!!

 

Black Women have always had Black Men’s BACK

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First let me say, I loved the movie “Get Out.”  It was very entertaining, funny, scary, and kept me wanting more after it was over.  I am not going to do a movie review because I just don’t do those things.  What I like to do is take away something or a few things from the movie that tied into my feelings, thoughts, perspective or outrage, if warranted.  So, here it goes. – @AcademicHustler

 

“I can’t let nothing happen to my man…”

There was a scene in the movie in which the interracial couple hit a deer on the way to her parent’s house and the cops show up to explain the process and who to call when these things happen.  The white girl, the black man’s girlfriend was driving the car and so the cop took ID and information, then proceeded to ask for his ID too.  The black guy takes it out because that’s the usual procedure, but his girlfriend stops it and argues the cop down saying, that it’s not protocol and that it’s not right.  The cop decides to let it go and get them on their way.  In the car, the boyfriend says, You know that shit was sexy, right?  She says, “I can’t let nothing happen to my man…”

And at that moment he looked at her and felt that he could truly conquer the world because he had someone “that had his back” and could show WHITE AMERICA that she could control THEIR interactions with him in a positive way.  His father was never in the picture and his mother died when he was young (on the side of the road…like that deer) #politicallyinvisible in this story and in this life.

I don’t mind interracial relationships, that’s not my issue and I don’t spew hate…just facts about America’s History.  My hurt came when the black boyfriend at the end realized that his white girlfriend’s definition of  “having his back” meant taking away his very essence that makes him black, resilient, unapologetic, and feared, so he decided to take his hands from around her neck instead of killing this woman who was clearly the reason why he was fighting for his life.  He loved her that much…this white woman, who decided he was an object to bid on, betray, and hunt to keep her circle of elite patrons immortal.

 

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My Takeaway is this…

Black women have been lost in America History, Black Men’s History…period.  We have been relegated to that “deer on the side of the road” or his “mother on the side of the road, while it’s raining and she dies.”  We weren’t important enough to save because we had to save ourselves.  And black men continue to THINK that we don’t have their back.  But a white woman with privilege and power to change outcomes became black men’s savior, martyr, and his ladder of achievement as he walks up the steps to a white world of privileges.

His girlfriend (the antagonist of #GetOutMovie) was not guilty enough to kill because she was still “elite and special.” Milky skin, bright eyes, and that gift of letting him know that she “had his back.”

Let me explain what having a black man’s back entails in this white patriarchal system.

  • Mary Turner’s husband was lynched and she want to attempted to go to the authorities and tell because it wasn’t right in 1918.  She was about 19/20, eight months pregnant.  She had his back…even in his death.  She was taken by an angry white mob, raped, beaten, strung upside down, with her belly cut open and the baby stomped on the ground. She was burned, shot, and murdered.
  • Ida B. Wells – An African American civil rights activist from Memphis, Tennessee, Wells traveled to Great Britain in 1893 and again in 1894 to gather support for a transatlantic campaign against lynching.  Through her transatlantic antilynching campaign, Wells enticed the American and British public into a vibrant debate on the causes and consequences of American lynching and, through that debate, redefined mob violence as a tool for maintaining white supremacy. – Black Woman Reformer: Ida B. Wells, Lynching, and Transatlantic Activism by Sarah Silkey, 2015
  • Amy Jacques Garvey – The wife of Marcus Garvey wrote, edited, and lead the UNIA while he was imprisoned. “By 1922 Jacques’s youthful narcissistic thinking was a mere memory; already a confident person, she had become emboldened enough to answer the call to become socially responsible to her race. She was no longer a “brown” Jamaican but a black woman committed to the UNIA agenda and willing to sacrifice herself for its success.
  • Seventeen year-old Marie Scott was lynched on March 31, 1914 in Wagoner County, Oklahoma by a white mob of at least a dozen males. Two drunken white men had broken into her house as she was dressing and raped her. Her brother heard her screams for help, kicked down the door, killed one assailant and fled. Unable to find her brother, the mob lynched Marie. After she was arrested, the mob took Marie from jail, threw a rope over her head as she screamed and hung her from a telephone pole.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune – Started the Anti-Lynching Campaigns even when she was threatened by white men and woman and told by black brothers that she “needed to stay in her place.” She worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to provide her with reports, novels, and reading material on the problems facing black Americans.  Leader of FDR’s “Black Cabinet”, VP of NAACP, and transitioned black voters from Republicans to Democrats during The Great Depression.  She was a business owner of a Florida resort, and co-founded The Central Life Insurance Company of Tampa.
  • Audre Lorde – “Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you; we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs on the reasons they are dying.” 
  • Harriet Tubman – “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.”
  • Vicki Garvin – Vicki traveled to Africa in the late 1950s, worked in Nigeria, and
    then went to Ghana, where she worked closely with Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and Shirley Graham DuBois, Alphaeus and Dorothy Hunton, and others on the African Encyclopedia and anti-colonialist efforts. In Ghana she lived with Maya Angelou and
    Alice Windom. When Malcolm X, who Vicki had known in Harlem, visited Africa, Vicki introduced Malcolm to the ambassadors from China, Cuba, and Algeria whom she knew from teaching English at the embassies. Using her French language skills,
    she interpreted for his meeting with the Algerians.
  • Queen Mother Audley Moore – she organized domestic workers in the Bronx labor market and helped Black tenants in their struggles against white landlords. She was arrested repeatedly for her activities, but she would not stop in her activism. In 1931, she participated in the Communist party’s march in Harlem to free the Scottsboro boys.
  • Louise Little (Malcolm X’s mother) – “Louise Little was a brilliant and dynamic woman, not some “crazy” or apolitical figure as she is often portrayed in the scholarship about Malcolm X. She was a committed Garveyite grassroots activist. She spoke multiple languages—English French, Patois. She taught her children the French alphabet. She insisted that her children read newspapers such as the Negro World, the official periodical of the UNIA, and newspapers from Grenada.” – Erik S. McDuffie, On Louise Little, the Mother of Malcolm X, AAIHS

I could list more of black women as examples, even now, but you get my point.  Through slavery, lynchings, convict leasing, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Depression, Mass Incarceration, our men getting shot, strangled, hunted, and killed while in the passenger seat of cars…we were getting shot, lynched, raped, and murdered too.  I don’t know what more our black men want, but we have always had your back.  Even as you kiss the full red lips (filled by botox) on a white woman that can offer you her rendition of “having your back”, we still give YOU another chance as us black women prove to you why you should believe us.

 

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I’d Fight for You…If you wanted me to Win…

We have fought for you, behind you, and with you on many occasions and we continue to show you our privilege…the love for black men that transcends betrayal, lust, and even death.  If you choose to love another race of women, then so be it.  But know that the connection between a black man and women can never be imitated, for we know the risk of loving black men.  It’s their (white women) choice to be with you, and just like any other choice they are able to change their minds and still be considered pure and in demand from their white counterparts.  While black women are told that we are damaged goods once a white man touches us or we are told that “we consistently working for the white man at the detriment of the black man.”

The hands around a black woman’s neck belongs to the black men in our lives (past and present) and we are strangled, beaten, raped, and murdered because the black man has been oppressed and we are their outlet.  But to have his hands around a white woman’s neck and not kill her privilege, knowing that his life was worth 3/5ths of hers and he didn’t snuff her out says to me…that black women’s lives do not compare or is worthy of redemption, trust, and love.

We are not the “Get Out” protagonist’s mother…car crashed, in the rain dying on the side of the road.  Black women have people that love and care for them too.  I hope that includes our black men.  Because we continue to walk through fire and brimstone to match wits, stare down guns, and stand on the lines during a riot, to rescue our black men…at any cost.  We don’t do this to betray you or take away what makes you our beginning and end.  You are America…and Africa…and the blood that stains the ground and these walls that cover us is the reason why we will always have your back.  And that is something that is immortal and can’t be experimented on for others to gain and use for their advantage or whiteness…We Have Your Back!!!

 

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Warsan Shire

 

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