Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Rachel Getting Married Got It Right

I recently watched the lovely ensemble drama Rachel Getting Married and was quite pleased with its depiction of interracial marriage. Interestingly, Rachel Getting Married doesn't make its title subject the focus of the story, instead portraying the troubled mindset of Kim, a young woman freshly out of rehab, and the effect her presence has on her family. Kim has rejoined the family in time for her sister Rachel's wedding, and the movie shows with great realism how her loved ones are unwillingly absorbed into her life. The two interracial couplings, that of Kim's father and stepmother, and Kim's sister and her fiance, aren't mentioned, they just exist, and that is amongst the beautiful aspects of this film.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Whole Picture

Black History Month is upon us again. Even though a 28-day month is far from sufficient to honor the legacy of Blacks' existence in this racially complex country, it is still a good time to focus on the strong history that has been forged here, from the first slave ship to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. It is a good time to respect the bravery of those who fought against such inhumanity, a good time to celebrate the artistic talents of the poets, the singers, the dancers, the painters and the musicians. How does a mulatto fit into this? First of all, although my truths don't fall entirely within this history, I recognize that I am a part of this greatness, and secondly, I consider a more personal angle, that of the stories which my maternal family members passed on to me. Stories which include the melding of Black Caribbean and Black American cultures, the witnessing of historic court cases, discrimination during lunch breaks, and personal ties with great black leaders of the day. I recall vibrant and spiritual moments on Sundays and delectable food such as my aunt's juicy greens and my grandmother's pineapple upside-downcake. Through these tellings and experiences, Black History has always been up close and constant, outside the generic Black History box that comes about every February. I am thankful for this, and I ride a gentle wave of beauty and strength from this knowledge.