I debated on whether to go see the movie “Detroit." Did I want to have that harsh reality from 1967 in my face on the big screen – in living color?
I’d lived through those times. But I was forty miles away, in campus housing in Ypsilanti at Eastern Michigan University with my husband and six-months-old daughter. I had relatives in Detroit, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and my parents and sister. My brother was in Viet Nam.
My fear and concern were huge, but I’m sure it was muted in comparison to the folks who survived what is now known as the riot, rebellion, or uprising, depending on who’s describing it.
Yes, I would go see the movie, wanted to see the movie. So I could discuss it and write about it. And we did, Judy and I. In Coos Bay, Oregon, at noon on a Wednesday. One other couple ventured into the theater to watch. The four of us had the place to ourselves.
The movie’s portrayal of events in Detroit and in the Algiers Motel was harsh, rattling any sense of security and confidence in justice. As I observed innocent people humiliated, dehumanized, threatened, and beaten, their dreams and lives shattered, anger and sadness re-ignited in my heart and gut.
But, I realized “Detroit” is a film that should not be avoided. This is a work of art that reflects our history as a nation and our on-going struggle with race and policing. It’s a film that shows us, fifty years later, things aren’t much changed. It’s a film that should open thoughtful dialogue.
And then came Charlottesville.
We need to talk. I’m open for discussion, thoughts, questions. None of us has all the answers. But let’s do whatever it takes to facilitate understanding and the advancement of equality, kindness, and peace. A conversation is a beginning.
~ xoA ~