By Polo Munoz, Publisher/Managing Editor
The world continues to watch and experience beautiful work by black artists; defiant and thoughtful, painful and spiritual, violent and authentic, reassuring and disturbing, and many in the audiences are excited, confused and scared. For black folks, who continue to be targeted by the racism and bigotry of the powerful, these stories are an acknowledgement that what they feel is real, and now they are being elevated so that we all see the truth that has been covered up for so long. For folks that continue to deny the daily atrocities that people of color face, a film like Judas and the Black Messiah, are a deep condemnation and a mirror to events that have been lurking for long and are now ready to be seen to the larger community. There is nowhere to hide from the truth, even when powerful and influential folks, in some cases, law makers, such as Wisconsin senator, Ron Johnson, who feel this is a moment to be who they have always been, blindsided by their own fears of losing power as an individual and their created supremacy of white folks.
The authentic storytelling about the lives the black community has been forced to live, feels like a gut punch to those that do not want to believe what has been done to attempt to destroy the families, communities, dreams and their agency, and now as we see, feel and experience their survival and their prowess for some of us, it fills us with joy, wonder and compassion, and fills some with fear and hatred.
There sis no in-between because this suffering has always been designed for subjugation. Judas and the Black Messiah, as in the tradition of Mario Van Peebles’ “Panther,” is unapologetic and tells this story in manner that electrifies us and shocks us in the tragedy of the events. These are not imagined horror films, these are the lives of folks who experienced these horrific events just because they are black.