Emily and I took ourselves off to the cinema today to watch a romance. At the multiplex the theatre showing the chick flick wasn’t accessible because the lift had broken, so the wheelchair accessible options reduced our choice of movie, from the offerings we chose The Butler.
The film is historical fiction about Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents during his 34 year tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affecting this man’s life, family, and American society. The final credits commenced with a dedication to all those involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
Emily and I set off home with our heads full of debate, how abhorrent to us today to witness, even in a film, colour discrimination, to know that our forefathers thought colourism was normal, that this prejudice was accepted until recently, within my lifetime. I remember Martin Luther King being assassinated in 1968, I was six and had no idea about the wider implications of the event but I remember the gravity of the news and my mother’s tears.