Word Of Mouth: BlacKkKlansman
How do I talk about BlacKkKlansman without writing a super long post about the movie, Spike Lee and modern day racism? I don't know. I will try to keep things short. Keyword: try. But it's 9 pm and I just drank some coffee. So let's do this thing. If you don't care about me and my thoughts, boo you! Kidding!...Kind of. Writing about BlacKkKlansman starts at the first paragraph after the photo. Scroll if you must.
So here's the truth. We need films about black american experiences, past and present. Films are part of pop culture. And pop culture is a marker of what society thinks is important. We need films about racism, slavery, the civil rights movement and police brutality because it reminds of us of racism's profound impact on the black experience today. At a time when black people are still being murdered for being black, we can't forget this. We need these films...sometimes, they're just hard for me to watch.
Films about racism and injustice towards black people tend to be heavy, which is appropriate considering the subject matter. However, as a black woman in this savagely racist social climate, the films I described above aren't just heavy, they're triggering. Therefore, I always end up watching films about racial injustice wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy after they're released. Why? Because I have to get mentally prepared.
My warm up before watching 12 Years A Slave: Tissues? Check. Comfort Food? Check. Prepare to see flesh whipped and torn? Check. A plan to do something fun tomorrow to bring positive energy back into my life? Check. I loved 12 Years A Slave, but it gutted me. It's intense, raw, emotional and graphic. Not exactly a date night movie. But BlacKkKlansman might be.
BlacKkKlansman is a film about a black officer trying to take down the KKK. It's about the fight for racial equality in the 1970's. It's also quite funny. These ingredients normally don't mix well in a movie. However, Spike Lee perfected the recipe. A cup of flour, a cup of almond milk (bc I'm almost vegan), a cup of racism, a cup of antisemitism, a sprinkle of corrupt cops, a dash of perfectly coifed afros and a huge heaping of humor. Bake at 350 for 2 hrs and 15 mins. Voila! You got BlacKkKlansman.
As Colorado Springs' first black officer, Ron Stallworth gains access into the KKK by pretending to be white on the phone. His white partner, Flip, pretends to be Ron and meets with the KKK in person, further gaining their trust and fully infiltrating "the organization" (the quotation marks will make sense after you watch the film). A plan this crazy doesn't seem real, but it's based off a true story.
BlacKkKlansman doesn't shy away from the realities of being a black cop in the 70's, near a growing chapter of the KKK. We watch Ron fight through the racist BS he receives from the KKK and his fellow officers. We watch him fight to protect black students from a violent attack. However, we also see Ron crack jokes with his coworkers and giggle with Flip during meetings. Even though this KKK case consumes almost all of his time and energy, we still see Ron's humor. It's inspiring.
Racism has always existed in this country, but the past couple years have seen a resurgence of hate that I honestly didn't think our generation would witness. As you go about your lives and have to deal with racist BS from your community or the government, just remember to make room for some laughs now and then.
So go and watch BlacKkKlansman. It's compelling, moving, provocative and entertaining as hell. But those last ten minutes....Those'll gut you.