Monday, January 07, 2008

More on the Movie

Mama Ava wonders if I watched The Great Debaters thinking about how my ancestors could have been involved in race relations in the 1930s ... it is a good and valid question, and the answer is sort of.

Honestly, my forefathers came from other countries quite recently and stayed pretty much completely in Minnesota, so I while I don't know their feelings about people of other races, I am pretty confident they didn't participate in anything like was shown in the movie.

Not to say that they wouldn't have, had they been there. I believe you can't know what anyone would do in any given situation. There was a book written a few years ago by the sister of someone I know here in Minnesota. While the immediate family I know of was "all Minnesotan", there is one branch of the family that are true southerners, living for several generations in Mississippi. And there were some members of that branch who were quite prominant in the klan there. Apparently the Minnesota branch wasn't aware of the extent of the involvement until the research was done for this book, and it brought on some heated discussions and caused some splits in family relations. And it certainly doesn't mean that there is "bad blood" in that family, or change my opinion of the family members here. It just is what it is, I guess.

So maybe I project too much on the African-American boys I saw at the movie. Maybe they did sit there and watch and have the same feelings as I did, of horror that those things happened, but also didn't internalize it any more than I did. We can all sit now and say how wrong it was. And not have it be anything more -- nor anything less -- than that.

No comments: