Support Lee Daniels' "The Butler": Truth-Telling To Power

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[Commentary]

I attended the O magazine screening of our friend Lee Daniels' brilliant new film, The Butler, followed by a powerful interview with the lead actors and producer conducted by Gayle King.

Oprah stars in the film, her first in 15 years, and already there is Oscar buzz for her--she gives a performance that will take your breath away. Lee Daniels' masterful work tells our people's story and is one of the most meaningful and moving films I have ever seen.

Not only does it travel into the heart of what Jim Crow was for African Americans--and the mighty struggle it birthed--but it brings to life that which we rarely see on screen: what love and tenderness between a Black man and woman look and feel like. It brings forth memory of who we are and what we are going to reclaim through our healing work.

The challenge with ensuring that historical Black films are made is that White Hollywood maintains that we do not attend movies like this. Of course this is not true, but the perception persists, as even George Lucas noted about his battle to get Red Tails made. So when truth-tellers like Lee go out to finance their movies, the push for support is always a huge one. Lee's lead actors worked without pay; and our beloved Oprah was an investor.

Lee Daniels' The Butler is a gift to our children, community and country. Truth-telling is a pathway to healing the racism that is hurting our people and this nation.

Here is what I am asking because first-weekend box-office numbers are all important: Let's all get out this this weekend, with family and friends, and ensure that The Butler is a box-office hit, and that the industry knows we want films by us and about us.

Please be intentional and spread the word widely among your extended network to take a couple of hours to see The Butler, which stars not only Oprah, but also the magnificent Forest Whitaker and Terrence Howard.

I promise you that the support you give The Butler will be returned to you in understanding and pride--again and again and again.

 

Susan L. Taylor is Founder and CEO of   National Cares Mentoring Movement

 

Editor's Note: The Butler was the top box office film this past weekend 

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