The recently released film “Till” centers around the true story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s relentlessness in trying to get justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till. Till was brutally lynched in 1955 while on a visit to Mississippi. The historical tragedy that highlights the brutality of racism and has been retold several times via entertainment projects.
“Till” opened in theaters on Oct. 14.
Community leader King Randall is not in a hurry to see the film, even though it has been critically acclaimed. Nor will he take the students of his recently launched school, The Life Preparatory School for Boys in Albany, Georgia, to see the film.
Randall is a 23-year-old “community shifter,” according to his LinkedIn profile. The Life Preparatory School for Boys is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, whose mission it is to teach boys “the true meaning of manhood and to be protectors and providers for their communities, according to the school’s site. Randall launched the school in May 2022.
“I’m not taking our students to see “TILL”. We have an unhealthy fetish with seeing white people brutalizing, denigrating, and spurring racial trauma upon us. I will only show our students victorious black people in a successful and uplifting limelight,” Randall tweeted on Oct. 24.
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Randall isn’t the only one tired of Hollywood’s “unhealthy” fetish for Black lives. In an article for UK news outlet The Independent, writer Shakeena Johnson wrote that there must be an end to Hollywood’s trauma fetish when it comes to exploring Black people.
“For some time now, black suffering has been a theme in Hollywood, and I’ve noticed that in the seven years since the birth of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, our trauma (specifically at the hands of the police) has gone from a subject matter to an entire genre,” Johnson wrote.
While there have been exceptions, critical acclaim for Black films is usually centered around films that highlight Black suffering or subjugation.
The has been a barrage of films that cover Black suffering, especially slave films. Slave films, say some observers, have a peculiar fetish.
“Most movies about slavery have a fetish for depicting the mortification of black flesh to better expose the suffering and subjugation,” Vulture reported in a review of the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave.” in the film, there are “a number of scenes where slaves are whipped for one infraction or another…Slaves are punished for not picking enough cotton,” Vulture reported. This highlights the fetish for Black flesh, noted the outlet.
Photo: Students at The Life Preparatory School for Boys, https://thexforboys.org/