I’ve never been ashamed to call myself a millennial, despite the public’s constant bashing of Generation Y. According to the world we’re entitled, money-hungry dreamers with no sense of work ethic. I find that hard to swallow because I’ve been working since I could get working papers. Anyhoo…I digress. It wasn’t until MTV released the results of a survey where they polled millennials between ages 14 and 24, that I felt embarrassed by my millennial existence. The study found that 88% of millennials oppose affirmative action because they “believe that favoring one race over another is unfair” and “90% believe that everyone should be treated the same regardless of race.” There “was no statistical difference by race for” these responses.
They also found that 70% (74% of whites and 65% of minorities) of millennials surveyed believe “it’s never fair to give preferential treatment to one race over another, regardless of historical inequalities.” 48% of whites believe that “discrimination against white people has become as big a problem as discrimination against racial minority groups.”
WHAT and WHAT?!
I can’t be the only person born between the ’80s and 2000s who knows history and has heard about figures like Emmett Till, or more recently, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis or the countless amount of Black people discriminated against, even killed because of their race. Clearly MTV’s study pool has to be suburban kids who have no clue about the real world…at least I hope for the sake of history and civilization that they were.
In utter disbelief, I thought of my upbringing. Throughout my childhood, my parents had a lot to say about racism. And when I say a lot, I mean…ALOT. It was understood, in my house, that being Black is an experience only Blacks can understand. As I grew up and faced the world and the workplace, that motto became more real than ever. To be frank, racism still exists even if MTV’s millennials don’t think so. I feel saddened that they haven’t been taught about the depths of Black oppression because that means we’ve failed to keep our history alive.
But don’t worry my millennial peers, racism has been documented in film, TV, books and etched into the minds of civil right beacons who will never forget.
Since film is an effective teacher, I’ve chosen 20 movies about race, that my parents had me watch, that helped open my eyes to the harsh realities of African-American life.
They’re horrid tales, but films that should be seen nonetheless. So the next time you hear someone say “no more slave movies,” remind them that our history may not be reaching the youth and so maybe the films that explore racism in history are actually beneficial.
Here are 20 films post-racial millennials need to see ASAP (in no particular order):