If there was a time when we all really need a Black love story, it's now. However... Don't hold your breath. This was confirmed earlier this week when the public learned about personal emails in which Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin made racist jokes about President Obama's favorite movies with the following:
"Would he like to finance some movies," responded Rudin, when Pascal sought his advice on what she should say to the President at a Hollywood fundraiser.
"I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" said Pascal, with Rudin replying "12 YEARS."
"Or the butler. Or think like a man?" continued Pascal, who is a major donor for the Democratic party and President Obama.
"Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart," said Rudin.
These are the movies that Hollywood makes for Black audiences. Most of them lack empowerment, diversity, and authenticity. After President Obama's second term, it seemed like studio executives were determined to remind those of African descent that, to them, we are really nothing more than slaves, butlers, and fodder for laughs. These are the types of Black movies that are acceptable. Our love lives are comedy to them, a game to play as Black women desperately try to get a man by trying to think like one -- the joke is on us.
If we rely on Hollywood's depiction of African American relationships, we are doomed. Our relationships are portrayed as dysfunctional or they are simply nonexistent, as if we are incapable of forming loving unions with each other. It's interesting to see how comfortable some people are maintaining the status quo of this cinematic void. More than that, some argue that there is an anti-Black love agenda that we accept too casually.
We have to be careful because these moving images affect how we feel about love. When we blindly absorb popular media targeted to Black audiences that are created, manufactured, and distributed by non-Black studios, we can easily become the images that we see, consciously or unconsciously-dysfunctional and marginalized, struggling to love each other.
We need loving images to raise our love awareness and to remain loving towards each other. Loving ourselves and each other is especially relevant at critical and historical times like these. It is our family, our social networks, our sharing in caring, and our ability to come together that makes us strong.
That's why you should revisit the Black love classics, check out old-school flicks, and go see Beyond the Lights now before it leaves theaters. We need to know what love is and support films that show us what Black love looks like. Who knows when another Black love story will come along?