Keeping Up with the Jonzee still at the right spot.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Soul Brotha #1

Last night, I watched it. The most anticipated movie as of late. American Gangsta. And I was actually more interested in the commentary of the people I watched it with then the actually movie itself. Don't get me wrong. I did watch the movie. I enjoyed the 70's movement of the caracters with the Mid 90's thrill of gangster flicks like my personal favorite, Goodfellas. But more than likely I am going to have to watch it again --and pay more attention.

I watched the film in a sneek preview.(See one of the greatest things about NYC is knowing somebody, who knows somebody in the film business.) Much more intimate than the first showing of a flick at a regular theatre. And what you overhear could makes its own drama. And for overanalytic me, a documentary.

The cats watching the film with me clearly had lived their lives looking up to dudes like Mr. Lucas. They named off the different characters--the high rollers and what "market" they functioned/ruled. They alluded to minor yet similarly comparable experiences in the streets around their way.

I never idolized gangstas growing up. I mean my father, Grandfather, and Uncles and various and a sundry older male cousins talked about them but in the context of how much more accomplised and successful they could have been if they had the opportunity--if Vietnam and the riots of the 60's didn't come on the near exaspiration of hope for the souls and success of black folks post slavery. To them, the life of gangsta was built two dyametrically opposed tenents--the hope of financial freedom and respect, and the idea that their lives will be short and dangerous.

To these cats, I am as foriegn as a young woman speaking to them in Farsi. I grew up in the suburbs. I always knew I would go to college. I always knew I would have a career. And I am a little too overanalytical for my own good. When we talk, I feel like I am speaking a foriegn language. And I wonder how so many young black men I know look at me just the same.

And once again, I look at integration compared to segregation and wonder how we got so far from the dream.


  • At 1:03 PM, Blogger Ebonne said…

    I wasnt really interested in the story either... I mean I loved the sopranos and I love the wire... but it seems as if the gangster movie thing is starting to be cliche just like hoochies in rap videos...

    I basically only went to see it because part of the movie was shot on my street and I wanted to see what my neighborhood looks like on the big


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