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New films offer different slave narratives

 

Slavery-themed movies have been around for decades and some critics say it’s time to do away with them. But with the whitewashing and erasure of black history, those in favor of these movies say we need to see more of them.

Storylines in these antebellum movies often feature powerless or humbled slaves being whipped into submission. Others show revolts and the fight for freedom. They can be downright depressing, giving only one narrative of the slave experience, and limiting African American to that peculiar institution only.

With more black actors and producers investing in projects, the narratives are changing and little-known stories are now being told. With series like “Birth of a Nation,” the re-imagined “Roots” and “Underground,” often detail complex themes that provided context such as instances of rape, the white supremacist structure and how religion played a role in slavery.

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