Matt Willis Blog Post

I attended the showing of “Moonlight” on February 28th. This film describes the tough upbringing of a boy who has always been a little bit different from other people. This program posed numerous questions about modern African-American culture, it makes the viewer wonder, how is this lifestyle still prevalent in modern day? Or why is nobody looking to solve these issues of drug trafficking and poverty in places like this? This film aims to have the viewer understand that living in the ghetto brings many different struggles, and it is something that we need to be more aware of today. The fact that the main character, Chiron, is potentially gay also goes against him because the people in his school and his community in general, are not very accepting of that orientation. I believe a large part of the reason this movie was made was to educate people on the lifestyle of am unprivileged African-American in the United States because in our society we tend to look back on the revolutionary period and around that general era and see all of the enslavement and wrong-doings to the black population and wonder how we could have possibly ever let that happen, yet we have very similar situations going on in our country today.

These themes are important to our knowledge and understanding of African American History because as we know from the past, African Americans had a very tough time finding their equality and freedom when they first arrived in the United States, however even today they still find themselves struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families. This shows how the cycle of their families, although it has changed tremendously for them, can still prove that some of these people are doing whatever it takes to keep their families alive and together, much like what we read about how the enslaved families would beg and plea to stay with their spouses and children when they were on the block. The way in which they go about keeping their families together is much different know, as seen in the film, since they end up resorting to whatever they can do, which most of the time turns out to be the drug game. We saw how drugs affected Chiron through his mother, yet he still was influenced to go into the same business because that is what he knows, and he was not given an opportunity to get out of the game, so he decided to join it.

This cycle of drugs and violence is a gruesome one, due to the fact that it also continues the cycle of broken families. As we can see through the movie, Chiron’s father was not in the picture and his mother was a very big drug user, so he ended up being on his own and with Teresa whenever possible. This continues through his entire life, and when he is grown up and in the drug business, he does not talk to his mother very often and is very distant from those he was close with before he started the business. The situation that many of these people are put into is not their fault, yet they are the ones who have to pay the price of living in poverty because the society we live in does not want to try to find a solution to the issues. This film goes to show everyone that the livelihood of African American people in the United States still has a long way to go before we can confidently call us all equal. The enslavement period in our history is over with, however the ideals of struggle and willingness to do whatever it takes to survive as a family and an individual have carried over to this time period for these people as well, due to the undesirable situations they are put in that cause them to fight for their life.

All in all, this film was very educating on the ideals of the African American lifestyle in the modern day, because although many people try to argue that we are completely equal, it is clear to see that there is a long way to go before we can attain this. We can learn from the past because the history of African Americans can tell us what we did wrong and how similar we are acting right now.

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