Why Everyone Should See The Birth of a Nation
Actor Nate Parker’s movie, The Birth of a Nation is about Nat Turner and company’s 1831 slave revolt. Although Mr. Parker's movie has been perceived as a national bashing about White people, it's not an assault to anyone. The Birth of a Nation is a movie about leadership, good versus evil, and why it is extremely important for individuals to speak up. In fact, the following three reasons are why this movie is worth seeing:
Education is Important to Leadership: During the time of the slave revolt, Nat Turner was considered an educated person (he was a slave that could read). Moreover, he spread positive words of influence to his followers and was not afraid to take a risk. He listened to what some individuals may call the voice of GOD, Jesus, Jovah, Allah, gut feeling, spirit, or intuition to guide his path. In today’s world scholars call it emotional intelligence. With this in mind, Nat Turner demonstrated how leaders of today should behave. To simply put it, a leader must be educated, able to influence, and willing to take risks.
See the Good in People: If you read the autobiography of Frederick Douglass you know his slave master Mrs. Auld got into trouble by her husband for teaching Frederick how to read. However, Nat Turner’s situation was different, his slave master encouraged him to read. In fact, in those times that was such a risk but she did what she felt was right. Although she did not let him read all of her books, she did give him the bible which is considered “the best book of all-time” (Kanye voice). She gave him the bible because she thought that the wisdom in it is so impactful that it would always keep him motivated and hopeful during hard times.
Don't Hesitate to Speak Up: Nat Turner’s slave master Sam is a great example of why a person should always speak up. For instance, there are numerous scenes in the movie where Turner’s slave master was silent about the mistreatment of slaves. In fact, he was so silent he allowed a friend to rape a woman just for profit. Because Sam allowed such mistreatment, his silence was the impetus behind him becoming an alcoholic. He used alcohol as a coping mechanism to bury his true feelings. In fact, Sam’s behavior is comparable to how police officers remain silent against bad policing, and Black people do not speak up on Black on Black crime.
In short, The Birth of Nation is a good movie for understanding the importance of leadership, compromise, and education. It exemplifies, how a leader can make history by learning, paying attention, and being open to others. More importantly, it addresses the reason why individuals need to speak up because if they don't they are only killing themselves slowly. In other words, this movie teaches us that whether good or bad, silence is consent.