By: Imani J. Jackson
Deciding whether to support or sit out The Birth of a Nation has inspired an internal tug-o-war for many people, myself included.
On one hand, I respect and understand the outrage directed at Nate Parker. Parker wrote, directed and starred in a rebellion story, which includes rape scenes, and hit the big screen about 17 years after a woman accused Parker and Birth co-writer Jean Celestin of sexual assault in college. On the other hand, a jury of Parker’s peers found him not guilty and Celestin’s conviction was later overturned. These results – coupled with a desire not to penalize the brilliant black actresses who helped bring this story to light – urged me from solidarity by omission (through boycotting) and toward supporting a multifaceted cast whose work tells an important story.