A letter to Nate Parker
By OKEEBA JUBALO
I am sure at this point in time you are living within a deadly hurricane of other people’s words and opinions about who you are. Honestly it is fair to say that our view of who you are may not reflect the reality of your now inner-workings on a spiritual or maturity level. You are now learning that a Black Man will always be guilty first and whatever other title we hope for may come after that.
You and many of us know the details of your court proceedings from that rape case and even the terrible way that you and your partner in crime handled that young lady afterwards. The harassment that followed is a true reflection of who you were and what you stood for as a Black Male. I use the term ’Black Male’ simply because to be a ‘Black Man’ means that you earned that title through accountability and dependability to our people, your family and our cause. Regardless of what you may have achieved so far, in my honest view you have not reached the status of being called a Black Man as of yet.
There were so many times within your personal story that accountability to our people would have saved you from the mistakes and blunders from your youth. It appeared that the qualities that forge Black Males into Black Men never showed up in your life. I do not know you and you do not know me, but we know each other. I have seen your type over and other again from my childhood on up to my development as a Black Man.
Your story and how you handled yourself is one of a Black Male who was thoroughly brainwashed by the white man and his trappings. It is a classic story, but not original by any stretch of our imagination. You represent the athletic Black buck that saw himself as being special to the white man. You were talented enough to get a college scholarship for your athletic abilities, but unfortunately for you and so many others like you…your inner-workings were not as impressive. That is a common problem for the white man’s young athlete Black buck-- overdeveloped in the athletic world and underdeveloped in the real Black world. All of the things thrown before you slanted your vision and maybe you saw yourself as someone else besides a Black Male. Like the stupidity that created O.J. Simpson to believe that he was bigger than being Black.
After reading the story about how you hunted that young white girl who was basically still a child, that really helped me with seeing your story in a brighter light. Sadly, had you not been such an Uncle Tom you would have been able to avoid that thirst trap and you would not be where you are now. I can take it a step further and say that had you raped a Black girl you would have gotten a pass from America’s media machine. That story of you being a young Black athlete who raped a Black girl would have been swept under the rug…maybe…more than likely.
Who knows…maybe that Black girl would have had a brother, father, cousin or uncle who would have bashed your skull in before even entertaining the idea of taking you through the white man’s court system. Even if that didn’t happen, America’s media machine would have demonized your Black victim to the point where she would have been painted as a fast whore around campus who deserved what she got. As a creative person I am sure you can imagine how that story would have been turned around a million times to help the white man capitalize on the movie you created, with your partner in crime.
Now let’s talk about your movie, The Birth Of A Nation. I salute you for taking on the challenge of bringing that story to life. It is and was a very brave thing to do, but as we know what appears to be brave and honorable in the white man’s Hollywood is never really that. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that have nothing to do with being brave or having any honor. Personally I think that Black America should still support the film if it ever sees the light of day, regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about YOU as a person…a Black Male.
The challenging part of this is that the white man showed you the money and you took it. From my understandings, you are not the owner of your work. The white man now owns your work and can use it as a tax write-off if he chooses to. The white man is very cunning and it appears that you have been drinking his Kool-Aid for too long. In the event that you haven’t thought about this angle I will break it down right quick.
On one side of this story is the white man’s ongoing agenda to always suppress the truth about who he is and who we are in this American Dream. The truth is never invited to the white man’s party…ever. So you created a story that was not funded by the white man and could not be controlled by the white man. The challenge may have been one of figuring out how to monetize your work and get it out to the masses. It takes money to make money and without the white man’s necessary pipelines your film would never make it to the mainstream theaters. I know-- it is a pain in the ass to think about having to shuffle your film around the Chitlin’ Circuit for years. Maybe you wanted to make that BIG play now, so you took the bait.
Had you gone the Chitlin’ Circuit route you could have owned every step of the process and been able to monetize every move. You had the product, you just needed to have the hustle to make your own money. Once again this is where being a Black Male and an Uncle Tom failed you. A Black Man would have pulled himself together and been able to see the trappings of the white man that was being laid out for you.
The white man is very cunning. By going the route that you went he was able to take your film from you, re-ruin your name, shut you down in Hollywood and make an example out of you for all of the other creative Blacks who had a foot in his the door. That is a great deal to stomach. Who knows, maybe you were smarter than the white man. Maybe your plan was to create the film to show what you are able to do, then push it off for a fast buck and then do what you really want to do with your career. That would be a smart way of pimping a pimp. Problem is, by you being the typical Black Male you actually did more damage to your brand than creating possibilities for your brand.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are a number of lucrative plays you could have made around your film. You could have broken it down into a web series and charged $1.99 per episode. Let’s say you had ten episodes, and a million people bought all ten. You would have made twenty million on that film while still owning the rights. Then you could have rolled that money into creating a Broadway production and pulled in even more money. Your play would have stayed on Broadway for a while, you could have taken it on the road and then make even more money. Those are just a few examples of how you could have dodged this white hurricane that you pulled yourself and your family into.
The more I read about you the more I realize that art did not imitate life in your creating such an important film about Nat Turner. You had to be really ‘acting’ to pull from such a place depth, passion and conviction for our people…considering who you seem to be in real life. My issue is with you and how you did not handle your Black manhood correctly. You had a chance that most Black artist would die for, just for you to kill yourself at the end of it.