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The Second Civil War?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:58 AM

last night, after i completely ODed on Democratic National Convention coverage, i was flipping through the channels and stumbled upon HBO's documentary, "The Black List." previously, i'd seen ads about the documentary & made a mental note that i wanted to watch it, but i didn't remember when it came on. last night i broke into the middle of the program and was IMMEDIATELY enthralled in each of the stories. "The Black List" allows the subjects, various prominent black americans, to speak candidly about their life, their experiences and their point of view. i was most taken aback by Colin Powell and Bill T. Jones.

we all have this image of Colin Powell as level-headed, republican soldier, who perhaps does not speak or emphasize his race. i've heard him referred to (wrongly), like many high-achieving Black people, as a sellout or as trying to be white. hearing him speak about race and that fact that he believes that there is a second civil war going on--one in which the educational system is not equal for blacks, and impoverished americans--was eye-opening. i never thought of him in any way connected to civil rights. i respected the fact that he had achieved so much, based on his strong work ethic and drive, but i never really thought that he was anymore connected to the success of other Black folks than anyone else. his story of being passed over for the top spot at his school because he was Black, and his ideas on the inequality of the educational system was refreshing.

the other story that stuck me was that of , Bill T. Jones. he confronted issues of identity, and how we, and others, classify ourselves head on. in the piece he recounted a story that he once said that he was an artist first, and a black man next and received sever criticism from the Black community, many interpreting his words as him disowning his race, as if that could ever be possible. listening to him, a man that pushes the margins of identity through his life and his art made me wonder how important IS the identification of race. i have always toyed with the idea that race does not really exist, that it is a socially constructed idea used to separate and dominate. sure our skin color is different, perhaps that is our ethnicity at work, but underneath it all we are just people. so how important is identifying yourself as Black or white or Asian? and what does it really mean anyway? Bill T. Jones, in all his fierceness, caused me to toy with these thoughts well after midnight.

did anybody else happen to catch the documentary? if so, what were your thoughts. if you happened to miss it, or only caught a portion of it like i did, it is replaying tonight (and throughout September) on HBO.


8 Response to 'The Second Civil War?'

  1. tangobaby Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219784580000#c221285826881840978'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:03:00 PM

    Hi there,

    I just came over here from Soul Aperture and found your very interesting post. I did not see the documentary you mentioned, but wished I had, especially to see the part about Colin Powell.

    He has always struck me as a man of such great integrity and someone infinitely more worthy of holding the position of president. I knew we were in deep trouble as a country when even he couldn't bear to be a part of this administration.


  2. Lovebabz Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219785480000#c919587622489627075'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:18:00 PM

    OOH I missed it! But HBO is known to run things over and over and over!

    I do not like calling Black folks sell outs. We all have our crosses to bear...his was the Bush Administration. For whatever reasons he toted their water. He went along with that "weapons of mass destruction" lie, even when he KNEW better. He helped make the case for an unjust and unfounded war. AND we are all deserving of forgiveness and GRACE.

    I am a huge fan of Bill T Jones. What an American TREASURE! I love anybody who goes their own way!

    Thank you for bringing our attention to something other than the DNC!


  3. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219787460000#c1418352225569392951'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:51:00 PM

    tango: thanks for stopping by! if you have HBO it comes on tonight & throughout September. i was really struck by him, for once. I think he would make a great president as well. i remember they tried to get him to run, and then when he said no, they wanted him to be Bush's vice president. i wonder if he were IN and Dick Cheney were OUT how the war would have played out (if at all).

    lovebabz: girl...i'm caught in the convention hype, but i'm sure the blog world is all over it LOL. this documentary was a breath of fresh air after the 4 hours i spent watching MSNBC (yeah, i'm a junkie lol)


  4. Lovebabz Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219792380000#c6267245230785664876'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4:13:00 PM

    Hey I am junkie too! I am on MSNBC during the day, at primetime CSPAN and TV1 and then back and forth when I want to hear some commentary...LOL! Let's not talk about the bloggers and twitter!

    Hi I am lovebabz and I am a political junkie..that's my 12 steps admission for being a political addict!

    SHIT...LOL! LOL!


  5. tangobaby Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219794720000#c3449611723444935173'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4:52:00 PM

    I'm happy to stop by any friend of Christina's...


    I agree and wished so much that Powell had run for President, but I can respect his decision not to (even though I was very disappointed at the time). I hope he decides to return to public life someday. I think he is sorely missed.

    I know you are over the top with the convention right now, but here are a couple of photos that I think you would enjoy:




  6. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219797660000#c2453845304759890004'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:41:00 PM

    babz: girl...my son wants to watch Curious George, but i'm over here stuck on MSNBC. i haven't switched to the TV1 afterpary because i heart Keith Olbermann (he's been out talking Chris Matthews, whichis hard to do! )lol.

    Tango: LOVELY photos. i haven't always been on the Obama bus, in the beginning i was riding with Hill, but i'm a democrat and you can't help be moved by the man (and his wife! Michelle KILLED it last night). so i am hopeful that our country can make a turn & get back on the right track.


  7. sista gp Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219808400000#c7866222872108892511'> Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:40:00 PM

    Haven't subscribed to HBO yet, even though hubby has been begging me to do it. I don't watch tv that much other than the DNC this week.
    I am thankful that Dish Network has a Live Feed of the convention so I miss commercials and the commentary. I want to make my own conclusions as to the speeches instead of hearing others' views.

    BTW, I tagged you on my site, please drop by when you get a chance.


  8. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2008/08/second-civil-war.html?showComment=1219868880000#c975164224450983324'> Wednesday, August 27, 2008 1:28:00 PM

    i aint even seen a tv