Here we are, 60 days after the release of Jordan Peele’s “social thriller” that ignited a discussion of interracial relationships and the black experience in America. The film made with only a $4M budget as “An Effort To Master Fear” attracted millions of viewers that led to $184M in sales. Yes, that’s $180M profit for a movie created by a black man to debunk the myth of Post-Racial America. Interesting right? Unlike other films created to fulfill a similar purpose, this time there were no boycotts against the film and the creator didn’t have to beg people to support the film. Although the movie trailers didn’t give full insight to the plot of the story, the movie was highly anticipated by blacks and whites alike. So what made Get Out so special and highly desired? Writer and movie critic, Brent Staples, stated “The film is a disquisition on the continuing impact of slavery in American life. Among other things, it argues that present-day race relations are heavily determined by the myths that were created to justify enslavement — particularly the notion that black people were never fully human.” This statement can be justified by many scenes in the movie that syndicate the dehumanizing of blacks. For the sake of our readers that have yet to see the movie, I won’t go into details.
What I will do is address a very simple question asked by a colleague of mine, “How did you feel after watching Get Out?” For starters, I absolutely love Get Out and everything it represents. After watching it, I felt empowered. I also felt angry. That anger transformed into small prejudices, for example, seeing a black man with a white woman would instantly make me think or say “he’s in the sunken place”. A statement that I’ve heard much too often living where interracial couples are very common. Now don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no issue with anyone that chooses to be in an interracial relationship. Who you decide to settle down with is your personal choice. What I won’t do is ignore the fact that many black men feel that landing a white woman is the ultimate win. This idea is heavily represented in the movie and its one that I just can’t agree with. Black women, our number one supporter have been and will always be our number one supporter. That’s just facts!
When viewing Get Out, you will notice how the main character, a black man, is highly sought out. But it’s not for who he is, but for what he could be. From his physical abilities and attributes to his creative mind and eye. This is a direct correlation to how black people are used in America. How our talents are taken advantage of. How our creativity drives this country socially with little return or praise. But mainly how we help whites achieve their ultimate dreams and desires. We work hard and give our all just to land a job with the white man who profits big time. To receive a title that isn’t typically worn by a black person is a huge achievement for us. But who’s really benefiting from our God-given talents? 60 days after Get Out, I am more motivated than ever to collect all of the fruits of my labor. Get Out really opened my eyes to this covert mentality amongst many others. Particularly one that is so traumatizing that it actually struck fear in me.
The number of missing blacks in America is terrifying. Around 75,000 missing black women and girls with similar numbers for black men and boys. What’s worse is the lack of effort to locate these missing persons. Also, the lack of reporting done to notify the public of these missing persons. Even recently, the number of missing girls in D.C. has caught national attention, just to be downplayed and deemed as lies and exaggerations. Get Out shows the concept of blacks being abducted and sold. Very similar to slave auctions. Not saying that all of the missing blacks are subject to this, but the underlying message is a very prevalent one. We must heighten our awareness and pay close attention to our people because we are missing in massive numbers.
“Get Out speaks in several voices on several themes. It subverts the horror genre itself — which has the well-documented habit of killing off black characters first. It comments on the re-emergence of white supremacy at the highest levels of American politics. It lampoons the easy listening racism that so often lies behind the liberal smile in the “postracial” United States. And it probes the systematic devaluation of black life that killed people like Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.” – Brent Staples, The New York Times
If you have not seen Get Out, I encourage you to do so. Pay attention to everything that is being said. Pay attention to all nonverbal, paraverbal, and haptic messages throughout the movie. Think about the current black experience in America and how the movie relates. And also think about your current situations that align with the underlying messages of this movie. Get Out was a game changer, and for the better. Jordan Peele has confirmed that Get Out is only the first of many Social Thrillers he plans to release and I will be there at the release date to support every single one of them. Stay woke.