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The Movie That Gave Me My Voice

Who knew this would be my favorite movie of 2021?

By Don Anderson IIPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
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Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield in Judas and the Black Messiah

Before I get started on what I'm about to talk about, I want to say that regarding the movie Judas and the Black Messiah, this movie hit me a lot harder than I thought it was going to, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was the jolt I needed in both my craft and with people that practice the same craft like me.

Now, first and foremost, I'm a Black man. I've learned a lot over the years about the Civil Rights Movement and the impact that other Black people have made over the years, but I didn't know anything about the Black Panther Party until high school when my mom told me about them, but I still didn't know a lot about them. My mom did tell me about this movie that she watched with my dad before I was born called Eyes on the Prize. The only reason I remembered that was because I found the VHS tape to it when I was 14, but our VCR had gone entirely out, and I wish I kept it, and my mom told me about Emmett Till as well.

Over the years, I've gotten more pissed off about certain things that weren't going my way, mainly when I act. There were roles that I wanted to play, but I wouldn't be cast. Instead, I was looking at roles that I didn't want to do, or I would look back on parts that I've done that I was never happy about like when I did the play, The K of D, there was a scene where I had to dress as a woman. I didn't want to do it because I wasn't okay with it, but I'd get harassed for it, or when I was in a play in 9th grade, we did a "commercial" where I also had to dress as a woman, but I wasn't okay with that either. I was 14 at that time, so I didn't know any better and could say no to certain things.

Back in 2020, I was quarantining a lot, so I watched a lot of Double Toasted on YouTube and Twitch. Korey Coleman, who hosts the show, has talked about that he would notice in movies and TV shows and other media, they'd show an interracial couple as long as it was between a Black woman and a white guy because it was the "safe option." After hearing that, I would look into it more to see if he was looking into things too much, and he was right. So I did a little more research myself; I remembered some conversations with my mom about how they would emasculate Black men by showing them being gay and acting feminine and such, so I would pay attention to the stuff I watched. I mainly noticed it in commercials from what Korey and my mom said. Like in a car commercial, there was an interracial couple with kids, and of course, it was a Black woman with a white guy. Then, I saw a dating app commercial for either Tinder or Hinge, and I saw a Black man with another man, a Black woman with another woman, a Black woman with a white guy, so after I saw that, I instantly knew what I had to do. I spent the whole summer watching both Double Toasted and VladTV interviews with the comedian Godfrey. I might not agree with everything that Godfrey says, but he does have some good points, especially about Black masculinity, so much so that it even inspired a college project that I've been working on for the past year and a half.

Now, Judas and the Black Messiah comes in when 2021 came in, I saw the movie earlier this year back in February or March, and the movie hit me like it was Mike Tyson in his prime. It's still my favorite film of the year, and the impact it made on me was too significant for me to shrug off. So I talked to some people in the theater department at the college I go to, and they understand why I do the things I do now. I'm expecting peers of mine to go against me on what I'm doing. I'm writing the roles that I would want to play since I'm tired of waiting for the roles to come to me. I even gave myself an out, like if I were to deal with an injunction where I have to play roles that I don't want to play or walk away from theatre, then it was nice knowing theater for as long as I have. This movie gave me more than just my voice; it gave me a hill that I know I can die on proudly.

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About the Creator

Don Anderson II

Movies, memoirs, music lover, graduate of community college, and university

Quiet writer but I'm sure my stories from years ago are still of interest

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