Saturday, January 28, 2023
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Will Smith stars in Antoine Fuqua’s shallow slave drama Emancipation

Lovia Gyarkye: "Hollywood has an insatiable appetite for tragic Black characters. These films visualize, often gruesomely, the terror and violence inflicted upon Black people before, during and after the height of chattel slavery.

There has been a recent shift toward depicting triumphs and rebellions, but for the most part these films portray brutality. They are touted as history lessons and used as bargaining chips for empathy. The fanfare surrounding them can feel cheap and callous; it may seem easier for a skeptical viewer to not engage at all."

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