Belle: A Lesson In the Timelessness of Racism and Misogyny Against Black Women

This post totally makes me want to go see the movie. I had been considering it but thinking it might be one of those “pat yourself on the back for making a black film to show you’re not racist” type of deals. I hate that term, “black film”. All films should have black people in them (if it makes sense) so what exactly is a “black film”? But I digress. In any case, if you haven’t read this article, I suggest you set aside a little time to do just that.

Oh and random side note (considering the context), I passed my written test and now have a learner’s permit. I can take the road test whenever I’m ready. Woot-Woot. I’m going on a road trip tomorrow, aka later today so I’ll get some good practice in. Wish me luck!

Oh and let me know in the comments whether or not you’d go see Belle. And if you have seen it already, let me know what you think.

Olivia A. Cole

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It’s not often that audiences are exposed to a portrayal of racism that is viewed through the lens of black women. Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race woman in 1700’s England, was the daughter of an admiral and an enslaved African woman. The film Belle, which was released nationwide this weekend, follows Dido’s life in the household of William Murray, her great-uncle, who was the earl of Mansfield and Lord Chief Justice of England. We watch Dido become a lady, educated and accomplished, while still forced to dine separately from her family in the company of strangers due to her lower status as a non-white person. We witness her experiences with romance and her complicated friendship with her white cousin, all during the infamous Zong case.

In the film, Dido becomes acquainted with an aspiring lawyer and abolitionist who advocates against the Zong slavers and, in turn, exposes Dido to…

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