So I watched “Bamboozled” in my theater class at Morgan State University. I guess I wasn’t really prepared for the emotions the film would evoke in me because I was completely shocked while watching it, every step of the way. It should have occured to me that I might not like it, because it was a Spike Lee “joint” lol. - Not that I hate his movies, but I don’t exactly love them either. A good few Spike Lee movies that I had watched before like: Jungle Fever, School Daze, and Malcom X had made me angry , sad or just left me with alot on my mind at the movie’s end. Those movies sparked thought, pointed out certain aspects of human behavior and in some cases had a very unclear ending, or no ending at all. I guess that’s where my anger came from… I love a good ending, a happy one, But as I realized that’s not always life. Bamboozled, in particular’s main center theme was of blackface.
This act was indeed offensive to African Americans and in the film , an African American television writer, hungry for fame and recognition uses the minstrel show idea , turns it into a “modernized” new millenium version to create a new tv show. The show takes the television world by storm and just like anything that goes up, it comes down. Things come crashing down from people’s ignorance, to denial resulting in if not everyone’s physical but emotional fate and demise.
The Best Part : Watching it taught me so much I did not know, from the origins of blackface to the effects that it had on so many people and indeed how offensive it can be and is to African Americans even now today. Spike Lee’s creative mind is essentially used to teach us and I am grateful that I have had this opportunity to learn.We as African Americans are forced to look at ourselves and how we are bringing ourselves down, from using the “n-word” amongst ourselves or portraying ourselves willingly as “gangstas and hoes” Just like Michael Jackson said, we have to look in the mirror at ourselves and make the change before we can put the blame on anyone else. It starts with us.
The Worst Part: The Reality of it. Actually seeing the characters in blackface, the full-out costumes and “shucking and jiving” was shocking and painful. I also did not like the killings, death. Me being a very emotional person would rather learn hard , tough realities but still have a happy ending. In Bamboozled, that was not the case. People in the movie die because of one misunderstanding or another. No one really had to die, but the fate of a character is usuallly essential in understanding and getting across the full meaning of the story. I cried. Couldn’t stop thinking about the history, A reality that was not so long ago.
As a result or my racing thoughts and “bamboozled” mind, I came across this video, of an Australian group called the “Red Faces” in blackface portraying The Jackson Five as a “tribute” on an Australian show called Hey Hey it’s Saturday . I would not call this a tribute as they are making fun of Michaels skin tone and karate chopping thier crotches. Harry Connick Jr., An American singer and guest judge speaks out…