In a 4th of July VoxUnion flashback* Drs. Frank Wilderson and Todd Burroughs joined us again for another powerful installment of an ongoing discussion. This time, in the context of Wilderson’s latest book Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonism, we continued along previously developed themes of liberation struggles, the power of mythology and the role media play in protecting a “structure, [which] he argues, is based on three essential subject positions: that of the White (the ‘settler,’ ‘master,’ and ‘human’), the Red (the ‘savage’ and ‘half-human’), and the Black (the ‘slave’ and ‘non-human’).”
*Originally posted July 5, 2010
In his discussion of popular films such as Monster’s Ball and Antwone Fisher Wilderson helps us understand the political function, which has real material impact, of cinema in protecting the sanctity of an “Anti-Blackness,” which according to Jared Sexton, “is carefully distinguished here from White supremacy, is not only an ideology and an institutional practice; it is also a structure of feeling with pervasive effects.”
See also our discussion with Dr. Sundiata Cha-Jua where the rarely discussed issue of the complete text of the U.S. National Anthem occurred:
“… And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave…”