Let me preface this by saying, I have incredible future in-laws/BF Family etc. They are nothing like the people in Get Out. #HeyYall 🙂
Ok, let’s dig in…
I went to see Get Out this weekend with the rest of the world. It was a great movie that left my heart racing in suspense and my sides aching in laughter. While this is just a film, I could not help but think about some of the baseline truths within it. First, The movie addresses a deep seeded fear many people have about not just meeting the parents but meeting your white (or other) boyfriend’s family. This fear is isolating because it’s hard to explain that just because their parents voted for Obama does not mean they are cool with their “pride and joy” bringing home a black girl. You can be “woke”(I am starting to hate this term) until it shows up at your front door beaming ear to ear with an afro and a southern accent. Yes, you are dating the man and not their family but do you really want to knowingly get yourself into a lifelong battle with overt racism? Nah. Nope. I do not want to have kids who cannot go to grams house because they are black. Bottom line, it’s hard and the parent’s reaction can kill whatever dreams either of you has of marriage and babies. We have to talk more openly about this.
Second, I had never considered just how dehumanizing it is being poked, prodded and patronized with comments about the latest black phenom truly is. You hear about it, even experience a comment or two but watching it unfold on screen made my skin crawl. Standing on the outside looking in on that scene really opened my eyes and changed my thinking. That person doing this is not always just a jerk or insensitive, it’s deeper…to them I am 3/5th a person...in 2017. For black women, it manifests in the unsolicited hair touching but I empathize with black men on this one a little more. Not because their issues are more important but because the over-sexualization of black men is wrapped up in so much machismo, I am not sure its ever really discussed honestly.
Third, conversations need to be had, not just with your boyfriend but your friends as well. Having made all kinds of friends, I have often heard a non-black person say “will I be the only [insert race] there”. But when I show up to a bar in Buckhead (a preppy, mostly white bar scene) no one ever wonders about how I feel being the only black person even though from history, I have far more to worry about. I know we like to think we live in 2008 Obama’s America but we do not. We are not off the hook, we still have to talk about race, look out for each other and LISTEN to someone when they say they are “uncomfortable”.
All in all, great film! There are 53 million serious thought pieces on it that uncover all kinds of clues and discussions, I hope to not be one of them. I just wanted to share what I took away from the film.
Until next time,