English: Morgan Freeman at the Cannes film fes...

English: Morgan Freeman at the Cannes film festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we all know, media images are powerful. As a nation, Americans often glean their knowledge on subjects from the US media. And, it is just not Americans, but the whole world except perhaps in totalitarian nations where citizens’ access to media is limited and controlled by the state.

As Black American citizens we have always been very mindful of the way we have been collectively depicted in the media. As minstrels on the early stage and rapists in early 20th century cinema-D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation-the truth of who we are has been extremely distorted.

It can be easily surmised from these distorted depictions the reason for the poor treatment of Black Americans. It is no small leap from negative opinion and perception to bad treatment and to eventual annihilation. From the high HIV and AIDS rates that plague our community to the high incarceration rates of our youth, this annihilation has already taken place.

Distinguished actor Morgan Freeman portrayed the president of the United States of America in the movie Deep Impact. There have been other portrayals of Black presidents but none were representations to be taken seriously.

As president, Freeman conveyed an elegant poise and demeanor. He exuded intelligence and confidence. He was the perfect alpha male without being arrogant. Ironically, these are the same traits that President Obama embodies.

In fact Freeman also plays another high level government official in a new upcoming movie Olympus Has Fallen. His rendering has garnered rave reviews.

What I love about Morgan is that he has never compromised his art. His body of work is impressive and perhaps under rated.

The image of African Americans in the media has gotten better. Thank GOD!!!!! Now our young people are given better choices of characters to emulate besides prostitutes, pimps and hustlers.

The media is the last bastion of civil rights that we have to contend with in order to make life better for us. We need to not only advocate better representations of us, but take the reins in creating for ourselves more positive images. After all, we have witnessed this power with Freeman. Who knows if the trend of affirming media for us continues, we can perhaps have the first Black female president!!!

Something to ponder…..

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