Really short entry today as I’m frantically working on the last couple of entries for my year end list. I don’t think I’ll quite finish up tonight, but I should be able to get the list out sometime tomorrow. That said I did watch two films today, the first was a re-watch of Selma (2014, Dir. Ava Duvernay) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Since it’s only a re-watch I’m not going to go into depth on it, but the film was even better than I remembered. Truly a modern-day classic. I wanted to keep the message from Selma in my mind, so I chose a film from Criterion Channel’s Black Voices collection.
Color Adjustment (1992, Dir. Marlon Riggs)
Lucky me, this documentary on Black representation in television mentions and shows footage Martin Luther King Jr., so this pick was especially on theme. Color Adjustment worked well as both a lesson on television history as well as a Black history lesson. I may not have known many of the early shows that were shown, but they made intuitive sense. I would have assumed that television in the 40s and 50s would have an especially derogatory view on Black people. Two observations from later in the film really stood out to me as something to meditate on. The first is that Archie Bunker being an explicitly racist character was actually a welcome character because it acknowledged that racism was still an issue in society. Second and conversely, that The Cosby show had some damaging properties as it portrayed a version of Black America that didn’t exist anywhere.
Sorry again that today’s entry is so short. I’m just really trying to finish up this year end list.