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Two years in a row, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has been popular on Twitter and other social media channels. When forever young Stacey Dash spouted:
We need to decide whether we’re going to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like [Black Entertainment Television] and the BET Awards, and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black.
I didn’t hold it against her. Opinions are like as- elbows. Everyone has one. I did appreciate the response from the other forever young Gabrielle Union.
It’s like… why there’s a need for the Country Music Awards and the [American Latino Media Arts] Awards. If you don’t see yourself reflected in mainstream awards, you tend to create your own.
Ms. Union has a point. Sometimes when there isn’t enough room at the table, you need to make your own.
That’s my goal for this month. I want to celebrate what Blacks have accomplished and achieved in literature that became film.
Intrigued because of the never ending barrage of political advertisements and my dislike of the two front runners (do we want President Rock or President Hard Place?), I felt a tugging inside myself. Given the year the movie was made, I’m sure the “Dinner Scene” was intentionally inflammatory. Imagine gathering your most militant family members, sprinkling a dash of Hotep to taste, and mixing in equal parts radical liberal and staunch conservative for a heated conversation of how THEY think of US.
Trick Baby is the 1972 film based on the 1967 novel by Iceberg Slim. Slim also wrote the autobiographical Pimp: The Story of My Life. A friend said that this book was a bible to the young “cats” (his words, not mine) in the neighborhood.
My father used to clown Trick Baby because of the inaccurate mapping of Philly streets. In one chase scene, the protagonist begins on Washington Avenue, goes up an alley, and ends with a left hand turn onto 52nd Street. No one runs that quickly. Google Maps fail aside, the movie was a campy company for a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.
Iceberg Slim was a pimp until he decided he was too old for that life. Encouraged to write his life story, Pimp became a novel that spoke to the generation. Slim went on to write
Iceberg Slim, also known as Robert Beck, was born in Chicago in 1918. At 18 he became a pimp, giving up the life at 42 because he didn’t want to take his chances trying to keep up with the younger pimps, whom he felt were too young and ruthless. Encouraged to write his life story, he wrotehis autobiographical classic, Pimp: The Story of My Life. He inspired Ice Cube and Ice T, the latter producing a documentary about Slim. He died in 1992.
Join me this month as I explore other books to film.