On the NFL, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and the Summer Movie as Protest Song

Amid Trump’s national anthem rhetoric, Spike Lee’s latest film and Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ reinforce satire as the preferred genre of the oppressed, writes the NBA Hall-of-Famer and Hollywood Reporter cultural columnist.

 

laves are generally expected to sing as well as to work,” observed ex-slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass. To the slave owners, singing slaves would drown out their own cruelty and oppression, clothe them in a coerced choir of decency. But it wasn’t enough that the slaves had to sing, they had to sing their oppressor’s feel-good songs that are summed up in the Porgy and Bess refrain of “I’ve got plenty of nothin’,” and nothin’s plenty for me.”

Yay, nothin’.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (photo: Getty Images)

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