5 Films That Don’t Buy into Black Trauma(ish)

Following the murder of George Floyd, I have seen a (re)interest in “Black trauma” films, as conduits for (white) audiences wanting to self-educate — meaning slavery and stories relating to crime

Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon in Crash. Photograph: Everett/Rex Shutterstock
Photo by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash

I have done my best in finding films that draw audiences away from Black trauma, but I admit even in that I think I might have failed in my goal.

Queen of Katwe (2016), Dir. Mira Nair

To me, David Oyelowo is the Sidney Poitier of my generation (those born in the mid-90s), depicting an elevated image of a Black man. Robert Katende had an impact on me and if it was not for David Oyelowo in that role I would not be the man people know me as today.

A Pool of London (1951), Dir. Basil Dearden

Earl Cameron with Susan Shaw in 1951’s ‘Pool of London’ (Universal Pictures)

‘A Pool of London’ is an early example of “social conscience” in British cinema and it could just have been “another crime film” had it not been in such practiced hands.

Claudine (1974), Dir. John Berry

Claudine (20th Century Fox)
When the welfare system really stinks

Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Dir. Robert Townsend

The issues this film addresses will only change if the system takes a radical shift. Will BLM initiate that shift?

Fire in Babylon (2011), Dir. Stevan Riley

Fire in Babylon (New Vdeo Group)

also means — Black love; Black smiles; Black families; Black sports; Black friendships; Black arts; Black innocence… and more. These are our lives and there is humanity in that. We cannot forget.



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Tré Ventour-Griffiths

Public Historian-Sociologist | Writer | Speaks: race, whiteness, Black History, dyspraxia/autism and more | Work: https://treventour.com/contact/ | ND