F. Haywood Glenn
Artistic Vision vs. Political Correctness
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
The removal of a movie because it makes some people uncomfortable, may satisfy a few, but will only serve to smooth a few ruffled feathers. Removing the 1939 movie, Gone With The Wind will not accomplish anything. The move was adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s novel, which is fiction. The story took place in time when African Americans were slaves and was written from the author’s perspective. The way the slaves were depicted came from the author’s, and in the case of the film, its director’s imaginations. Historical accuracy is expected in historical fiction but so is creative license because it is a work of fiction and not a documentary.
I’m not sure I understand why some African Americans are offended by seeing our race portrayed as slaves. We were slaves. Not acknowledging that fact, does not erase the history. Yes, we have a history that goes far beyond slavery, most of which we don’t know and may never know. The nearly 300 years of active slavery in this country, the Jim Crow era, and the Civil Rights struggle has had a direct effect on who we are today. Living through and surviving bondage and subjugation has brought us to this particular time in history. Maya Angelo said, “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again.”
One of my favorite movies is The Untouchables, staring Kevin Costner. It tells the story of prohibition in Chicago and had all the major players from that historic time. Al Capone, Frank Nitti, and others were prominently featured. However, the movie depicted Nitti as an enforcer when historically, he was more like an accountant, keeping track of the all the funds for the organization. Nitti killed himself in 1944 and was not killed by being thrown off a roof by Eliot Ness. These facts did not diminish the movie because if was entertainment not a documentary on the Chicago mob.
Writing is an art form. Authors paint pictures with words and all fiction is based on some facts. Creative license allows the artist to express the stories they tell as they appear in their imagination.
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