The Brilliance Of Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield

Disclaimer: Spoooooilers!

So, like I always say, I’m going to try and keep this post short today. The fact of the matter is, Judas and the Black Messiah is a great fucking movie, son. All I know is, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield took turns putting on acting clinics in this shit. Real talk, after watching the film, my wife and I debated who’s the real focus of the plot. I mean, it’s hard to look away from Fred Hampton, but William O’Neal‘s story is equally as compelling, man. In any case, I just want to give credit where credit is due, fam. Shaka King did the damn thing with this film, bruh.

Ok, for those who are unaware, Judas and the Black Messiah dropped last week on HBO Max and in select theaters. The film chronicles O’Neal’s troubles with the law and how the FBI, namely Roy Mitchell, use him to infiltrate and destabilize Hampton and the Chicago faction of the Black Panther Party. Thanks to O’Neal’s informant-ass ratting, the Bureau is able to not only lock Hampton up over some bullshit, but eventually plan his execution. All in all, O’Neal leaves a lot of devastation in his wake.

Now, I could go on and on about what I love about the film, but I’ll just leave everyone with three takeaways (two about the film and one about the real story). First, I’m amazed by Kaluuya’s ability to not only embody Hampton’s personality, but also his vocal inflections. Son, it’s absolutely spooky that he can be that accurate. Frankly, it’s always a good time when I forget the actor and become fully-immersed in the character. Second, Stanfield does a fantastic job of leaving me confused. On the real, I can’t reconcile whether O’Neal really believes in the work that he’s doing or if he’s just playing the snitch for survival. All I can say is, Stanfield does an incredible job of making O’Neal seem ambiguous. Regardless, fuck William O’Neal.

Moving on, my third point relates to the actual story. Keeping it a buck, the film just highlights something that I’ve always felt: J. Edgar Hoover fucking won, man. Thanks to COINTELPRO, he was able to destabilize every Black movement in America. From Hampton to Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcolm X to Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver, Hoover was able to successfully destroy all of these movements from the inside. His fear of a “Black messiah” inspired him to decimate any group that strived for Black upliftment. The way I see it, the FBI can try to rebrand all they want, but their story is rooted in the oppression of Black people. That’s just a fucking fact, fam.

In the end, everybody should go watch the movie, bruh. Ultimately, it’s masterfully done and the real tale is incredibly infuriating. By and by, Hampton was right, son. At the end of the day, they can murder a revolutionary, but they can’t murder revolution. Always remembers that. That is all. LC out.

How Economics Got Fred Hampton Killed

So, I won’t lie, son. On the real, I’ve been in a major Fred Hampton frame of mind lately. Now, as anyone could imagine, a lot of that has to do with the Judas and the Black Messiah movie that’s dropping this week. Despite my previous criticism of Daniel Kaluuya, his pedigree as an actor just can’t be questioned. With that being said, I’m positive that he’s going to do Hampton’s legacy justice. In any case, since Hampton’s name is back in the limelight, I’d like us all to really dive into his message. All in all, he was assassinated for one main reason: uniting various groups of disenfranchised people for economic empowerment.

Ok, for those who are unaware, outside of his leadership position in the Black Panther Party, the Rainbow Coalition was his next evolution. With this group, he was able to unite the Panthers, the Young Patriots Organization and the Young Lords for a common goal. Now, while it’s always easy to spot the differences between Black, White and Latino people, Hampton’s mission was to display our commonalities. When it came to institutions like poverty and housing, the affects were felt across a variety of communities. So, coming together to address these disparities was a sign of true revolution.

The truth is, the FBI and the rest of the federal government were well-aware of this, man. J. Edgar Hoover was especially fearful of a “Black messiah” that could galvanize the people. Shit, COINTELPRO was created for the sole purpose of destroying any movement designed to help Black America. Real talk, Black leaders were already considered “dangerous” for espousing beliefs of equality. However, they were ESPECIALLY feared when they turned their attention to economics and coalescing with outside groups.

Look, it’s not a coincidence that Hampton was killed 8 months after founding the Rainbow Coalition. I mean, the FBI had a file on him since 1967, but was murdered 2 years later when he started working with different racial and ethnic groups. Furthermore, it’s not a coincidence that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a month before the Poor People’s Campaign‘s march in Washington. Hell, everyone loves his “I Have A Dream” speech, but neglect to talk about his demand for wealth redistribution, equal housing and land rights. All I know is, when King and Hampton started turning their attention to the greater crimes of capitalism, they were removed from this Earth. The way I see it, none of that was by chance, man.

In this end, this is how it has always played out historically. Ultimately, Tulsa wasn’t destroyed because of Dick Rowland. It was destroyed because White people couldn’t stand the idea of financially-independent Black people. By and by, the evils of this country really rear their heads when the money is being affected. At the end of the day, slavery was about free labor for monetary gain. All I can say is, true liberation in this country comes from financial freedom. All of our heroes knew that and that’s a main cause for why they were murdered. That is all. LC out.

What Did Ron Stallworth Actually Do?

Disclaimer: There are a ton of BlacKkKlansman spoilers in this bitch, son. Please, act accordingly.

So, on Friday, I saw BlacKkKlansman with my wife. Now, as a piece of art, I feel like the film is a return to form for Spike Lee. I mean, I’m a diehard Lee fan, but over recent years, his movies have been hit-or-miss, man. In any case, I feel like he nails it out of the park with this one, fam. With all of that being said, despite thoroughly enjoying the movie, I left the theater with one question in mind, bruh: what did Ron Stallworth actually accomplish?

Ok, for those who have seen the film or don’t mind spoilers, here’s how the story goes: Stallworth joins the Colorado Springs Police Department. Despite being new, he pitches his captain to become an undercover officer. From there, his first assignment is to infiltrate a Black Power rally featuring Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, as the keynote speaker. Next, he cold-calls a local Colorado Ku Klux Klan chapter and pretends to be a White man looking for entry into the group. After an elaborate ruse which includes using his White partner as a stand-in for Stallworth, he’s able to gain the trust of David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK. Finally, Stallworth and his team thwart a bombing attempt by the Klan on the head of Colorado College‘s Black student union, who also happens to be Stallworth’s love interest.

Now, based on the story I just outlined, it would seem like Stallworth accomplishes a lot in this story. However, here’s my problem with all of this, son: the Klan isn’t really damaged in any significant way. Ok, yes, the police are able to stop a bombing, but “The Organization” is never really dismantled, man. Hell, as of today, I can still see Duke on my TV screen, talking a bunch of bullshit about Black people and Jews. So, did Stallworth’s work really achieve anything? Look, his department is most likely to blame, since they end the investigation early. But, the KKK is able to continue business as usual, fam.

Listen, I don’t know enough about Boots Riley‘s criticism of Stallworth to have an opinion. Shit, maybe Stallworth was nothing more than an agent of COINTELPRO. I mean, his undercover work on Ture does give some credence to that theory. But, in regards to the storyline of this movie, I feel like Stallworth and his team risk their lives for minimal return. Then again, like I said before, maybe their work is cut short before they can really make a difference. All in all, we’ll never really know, bruh.

In the end, BlacKkKlansman is still a dope ass movie, son. Ultimately, I suggest that everyone out there gives it a shot. By and by, I’m happy to see the rebirth of Spike Lee, man. Listen, I know he gets shit from people sometimes, but I still feel like he’s an important voice, fam. At the end of the day, we always need people who care, bruh. That is all. LC out.