You know who is tired of “slave movies”? Snoop Dogg. He even made a video to complain about them.
This recent commentary from the legendary Long Beach, California (LBC) rapper was prompted by the four-night, eight-hour reboot of Roots. The History Channel has recreated the 1977 original series based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel for today’s audience.
On the video, Snoop makes it clear that he won’t be supporting this show for political reasons.
“I don’t understand America. They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But, guess what? We taking the same abuse.”
He also made it clear what types of movies and shows he would like to see in the future.
“When you all going to make a motherf*cking series about the success black folks is having? The only success we have is Roots and 12 Years a Slave and sh*t like that, huh? Fu*k ya’ll. I ain’t watching that sh*t,” he went on. “Fu*k them television shows. Let’s create our own sh*t based on today, how we live, and how we inspire people today.”
A few months ago, I argued here that we should definitely support “slave movies” and productions as long as those films and shows are made by us for us. So, to a certain extent, I understand why Snoop is concerned. In some ways, he is asking for a nuanced and complex view of Blackness in the United States as opposed to a narrow lens which only focuses on the era of slavery. Point received.
However, there are valid reasons to re-educate younger generations regarding the histories of this country which are often excluded from their textbooks and school curricula.
Where Snoop is wrong is that he assumes that Black folks are not represented in film or television anywhere else. This simply isn’t true. Black women have owned Thursday evenings for years now. Chadwick Boseman is about to be Black Panther in the blackest comic book movie ever. Things are definitely shifting away from only focusing on slave narratives but it will take both time and money to see that change extend into the long-term.
I certainly hope no one is listening to Snoop and choosing not to watch the miniseries this time around. Last night’s episode was well-written, beautifully shot, and poignantly real. It is something we all need to see.
Photo credit: YouTube