Stomped Out

This week in Barak Obama’s home territory of Illinois, the owner of a mid-west theatre chain, Kerasotes Theatres, took measures to ban a controversial new film on Black culture, for fears that it might ignite gang violence. I’m sure you’re all wondering which outrageous Black film merits such extreme action, perhaps a new Spike Lee joint, or a sequel to Rosewood or Mississippi Burning.. none of the above. The “controversial film” is a new Sony Pictures flick called Stomp the Yard.s This is a film about a young brother at a historically black university who joins a fraternity and gets involved in the social scene through step shows; it’s a positive movie about brotherhood, relationships and the value of education. Apparently, because of an outbreak of violence during a screening of Black Christmas (irony noted) Kerasotes quotes,

“I was fearful the movie (`Stomp the Yard’) could become the occasion for more gang violence, because I felt certain it would draw that audience,” (read more here).

And in case you were wondering, that audience is referring to you. And me. And most of the other proponents of gang violence who look just like us. I’m just curious as to why Kerasotes didn’t add Will Smith’s new movie, Pursuit of Happiness to his list of inflammatory films, which attract that audience. Pressure from Sony Pictures and the Springfield branch of the NAACP forced Kerasotes end the ridiculous ban yesterday, however the incident still raises some interesting questions about Black image. Are we so threatening, so menacing, that a positive film about Black college students strikes fear in people’s hearts? Perhaps it is the actual image of Black men and women thriving in a university setting which is so threatening. If that’s the case, they’d be terrified of Blackademics. But seriously, how does a ban like this almost slip under the radar?

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Published on January 13, 2007 at 11:05 pm. 16 Comments.
Filed under black image,film,racism.