The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave has been criticised, by Samuel L. Jackson among others, for dwelling on the past rather than dealing with the present.
But 12 Years a Slave tells us a great deal about the kinds of difficulties and challenges still faced by Black people, and Black communities. Its clear and graphic portrayal of the violence and brutality inflicted on African people during slavery depict ways in which Black people have been mentally and emotionally scarred by the slavery experience, and by colonisation in Africa. This continues to have long-term consequences for us and for our families and communities.
The film may not tell us much that is new, but I suspect there are many people, particularly young people, who are not aware of the history depicted in this film. Click here to read my review of 12 Years a Slave.