Monday, August 4, 2008
The Express - Stories in Living Color
I have a friend (yep, I did mean to imply one) who keeps me on my toes and has been simultaneously responsible for many a blog post. She's in prayer right now trying to ensure that her non-biological children end up enrolled in some school this week, and don't show up on her doorstep. How does this relate to the upcoming movie, The Express?
I was working on my own made for television movie, starring my children, in a movie just like this. In fact, it was the modern day version - a 2008 write up of what happens when smart, articulate, curious, outspoken African-American children go to a non-diverse school and lose themselves. I'm a fan of Remember the Titans...I think about Denzel in that movie and I get ready to have waterworks when it occurs to me, Disney. The movie is written by Disney. Not that many of the experiences are not portrayed in some accuracy, but its the movie version.
My children, however, are not actors. The things that they internalize are real. So, after a year of racist teachers, name calling in the lunch room, being alone at recess, tears after school, racist comments at camp...we're writing a different story. In my heart, I just thought we'd conquer the cruel world. In my reality, my children are 8, 6 and 4 - and what we have conquered is a belief that all is fair in life, or education.
Today, I guess, I'll start writing my own Pride. Great Debaters. Or some other story about African-American children who have to be twice as good, twice as fast, twice as disciplined, twice as motivated - just to compete. Problem with that script, it's not original at all. It's life. And I'll add The Express to my collection when it comes out, as yet another example of life as it was - and life as it is - because our children still go through it each and every day. This isn't Disney - our stories are true, and our kids are daily "Living in Color" for the world to see.