That line, “I remember and I recall,” was repeatedly uttered by the young girl who narrated Daughters of the Dust. If you haven’t seen that movie, please take the time to do so. It’s a beautiful movie that recalls a simpler time for Black folk living on the Sea Islands along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. Last year was not such a simple time for those Black folk (and everyone else) living along the Gulf Coast.
Tonite on HBO, Spike Lee’s four-act documentary premieres. The first two acts were shown this evening. The final two acts will be shown tomorrow. I don’t want to comment too much on the series until I’ve had a chance to digest more of it. Last year, I had plenty to say about how the local, state and federal government addressed the conditions in this region before and after the hurricane. I also noted, as did Mr. Lee, that this event and its aftermath was not without precedent. A similar series of events unfolded in 1927.
I believe the first two pieces of the series have done a credible job of setting the stage. I have a few desires for tomorrow’s show. I do believe that this piece must be part of our cultural/national archive on how this event is framed and memorialized for the world. My best wishes go out to the families, friends and individuals who have been impacted by this tragic and avoidable crisis.
As I read mind-numbing numbers about the displaced and homeless in Lebanon (more than half a million), it is painfully apparent that we will fight to the death for our right to kill and hate and to be indifferent. Our civilization appears to be held together by little more than strands of idealism in the hearts of innocents. In so many respects, we’re no different than the generations that preceded us. I am not being apocalyptic here. I do believe, though, that there is a great deal of work to be done amongst ourselves and within ourselves.