This movie was a propaganda piece in order to perpetuate the agendas of feminism and White Supremacy. This should not be surprising since a Black female is the director and Oprah Winfrey played a major role bringing the film to light.
In addition to this it highlights all the things that was wrong with the Civil Rights Movement and contemporary expressions of it. I am going to highlight some notable aspects of the film.
In the offset one of the failures of the Civil Rights Movement is displayed as exemplified in in a scene where Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference meets with the Black “students” or The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In the meeting you see the different philosophical approaches of Black Empowerment or social activism displayed. King in the film outlines the varying approaches to this matter as thus.
King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference wanted to raise white consciousness especially those in power through getting media attention. This media attention was gained through:
While The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee focused on Black consciousness.
This has been one of the failings of the Civil Rights Movement and it is exemplified in the thinking of many Black people at present. They expend much of their time and energy attempting to make the dominant society like them or change their minds in the area of racial prejudice, economics and general oppressive behavior towards Blacks. This is an exercise in futility for the society that has held dominance for so long as demonstrated time and again that they prefer things as they are and they refuse to relinquish any of their wealth and resources in order to behave as human beings. What Black people need to focus on is becoming conscious of their worth and work diligently towards empowering themselves and creating a realm of existence away from those that seek to harm them and wipe them from existence.
Ironically in the film the MLK character addressed the genuine answer to the whole matter in the jail scene with Ralph Abernathy. Martin tells Abernathy that he was “tired”, Abernathy responds “Eyes on the prize partner.” King replies:
Yeah but what is the prize friend? We fight to have a seat at whatever table we want, that does not help a Black man to be able to eat at the lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough to buy the burger. What’s worse yet he can’t…can’t even read the menu because there was no Negro school where he was from. What is that? Is that equality?
King had an idea what was the key to ending the almost infinite struggle of Blacks within a White Supremacist ruled world (later interviews with King demonstrate this to be the case). That key being economics but King could not emphasize that aspect because his benefactors did not want this because they was too busy implementing this on behalf of their own people. Blacks was the prime target in executing their plan to so Black people had to remain focus on something that was the equivalent of smoke or vapor.
Also the film made Martin Luther King look weak and dependent on women throughout. It’s one thing to show someone’s weakness that’s part and parcel with being human and it’s another to have someone behave in the fashion that King did in the movie. Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch) also looks weak and emasculated in light of his non-attachment to the NOI (Nation of Islam). There is a scene where he goes to Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo) in a debased state in order to practically beg her to let MLK accept his help. This leads to a scene where Coretta goes to visit Martin and attempts to convince Martin to accept Malcolm X’s help and Martin borderline goes into a jealous rage only calmed by the logical words of Coretta.
The aforementioned scene is one of many that is a clear display of feminist propaganda and criticism of the Black Civil Rights Movement throughout the movie. You will notice that in key moments you will see the character of Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey) demonstrating brave acts that the Black men seem incapable of doing. The scene on the courthouse steps had the Black males looking weak and spineless while Annie Lee Cooper stood up and fought back against her oppressor.
There is also a scene where Coretta Scott King desires to be more “in the trenches” like the males. This was the one of the chief arguments that agents such as Gloria Steinem later employed to convince Dorothy Pitman Hughes to adopt Black Feminism which pitted Black females against their male counterparts in place of the enemy White Supremacy. Naturally they have to highlight King’s supposed infidelity while highlighting how strong Coretta is while being stuck at home while threats over the phone and fear of death was present (Read: more feminist propaganda).
Ultimately this film should make you angry, not angry at the actions of the White people during that time but you should feel anger towards Martin Luther King Jr. and the proto-Civil Rights Movement. They had the White House in the palm of their hands, they could have changed the fate of Black people so easily but they wasted the opportunity on something King himself questioned. Instead of making the US government do something about the economic inequality that has plagued America ever since African slaves was violently brought to this country they chose to acquire something that was intangible and ever changing and defined by the dominant society.
Whatever you do please do not support this movie.