A Starting Point to Understand Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. (II)

看完这部恐怖电影,我开始意识到美国种族主义的恐怖 | 精选·阅读影音清单(下)


While the protest against police brutality and racial discrimination has been going on for more than a month, the spirit of “Black Lives Matter” is still reverberating in people’s hearts. As in the previous reading list we recommended, this list again focuses on racial issues, and we have chosen for you: four feature films, three documentaries, three TV series, five songs, and four podcasts. Through these stories, images, music, and discussions, we believe that it is easier for you to enter this serious, profound and complex issue and deepen your understanding of racial justice.

Whether it is reality or fiction, rebuke or hope, filmmakers and musicians are trying to depict the plight of communities of color in the United States, dissecting racial discrimination and white supremacy from different angles. The issue of race is not only a collision of skin color, or a conflict of ideas, but also a deep-rooted phenomenon of racism embedded in the political and economic system.

千呼万唤了两三个月的电影院复业到现在都无半点着落,大概每个人的内心都是无比崩溃的。疫情尚未远离,大家在跟着姐姐们“乘风破浪”或随秦昊去“爬山”的时候,别忘了许多人的夏日注定无法无忧无虑。在美国,“抗疫”不容松懈,而抗议的浪潮也仍未停歇。许多南方邦联历史人物的雕像被推倒、经典影片《乱世佳人》在流媒体平台HBO Max下架······对于试图理解系统性种族主义的我们——自我教育应该从何开始,走向何方? 



“I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could”

 1.《逃出绝命镇》(Get Out, 2017)

This is one of the most unique and innovative films about race that has come out in the past few years. It got a lot of attention when it first came out, when many people of color were feeling fear and discomfort after the election of Donald Trump. Get Out uses the horror movie genre to expose some ugly truths about racism and the abuse of Black bodies in America. A young Black man goes to meet the family of his white girlfriend for the first time, and he discovers that they are participating in a terrifying form of modern day slavery. He has to fight for his life to escape. 

Available to stream on Netflix (membership required)

年轻的黑人摄影师Chris第一次去见白人女友Rose的家人,旅途在不安中开启,很快被诡异的气氛笼罩。尽管家里两位黑人“佣人”举止异常,Rose的父母却似乎不以为然。电影最经典的台词之一来自Rose的父亲:“如果奥巴马还能连任,我会给他投第三次票的。”事实证明,给黑人总统候选人投票并不意味着对种族主义免疫,美国绝非一个“后种族社会”。这句电影台词也成为对liberal racism(自由主义式的种族主义)的一剂辛辣讽刺。



 2.《正义的慈悲》(Just Mercy, 2019)

This movie, focused on the issue of racism in the American criminal justice system, is both inspiring and sad. It tells the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a Black lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping innocent people who end up in jail because they can’t afford good lawyers to help them navigate this racist system. The movie focuses on one case, a Black man named Walter McMillian who was sentenced to death by an all white jury for a crime he didn’t commit. Walter McMillian’s case is an example of the racism and injustice deeply embedded in the legal process.

Available to stream for free on https://www.justmercyfilm.com



 3.《誓血五人组》(Da 5 Bloods, 2020)

The latest film by Spike Lee has been released on June 12th! After his BlacKkKlansmanwon the Academy Award, this work once again focused on racial issues in the US. Are you looking forward to it? Unlike the previous work, this film intertwines the discussion of the Vietnam War and racial issues, exploring the trauma caused by the war to Black American soldiers and Vietnamese. When four Black American veterans return to the Vietnamese jungle in search of the remains of their former captain and gold they buried, will they ever be able to return to the blood brothers? One lamenting detail is when the soldiers were sent to the battle of injustice, they learned that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated and that Black people’s rights were still severely suppressed. The film has received polarized reviews regarding its plot arrangement. I wonder if you will like it?

Available to stream for free on Netflix (membership required)




 4.《肤色》(Skin, 2018)

This is a 21-minute Oscar-winning short film which you must watch! It is extremely powerful in addressing the conflict and hatred between different racial communities which should not even exist unless people create it intentionally. A child is like a blank paper, actively receptive to what others teach them. They will only become racist when they are taught to be racist.

Available to stream for free on bilibili and Kanopy (no membership required). Also available for purchase on Amazon and vimeo.




Documentaries | 纪录片

“It eats Black and Latino people for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

1.《第十三修正案》(13th, 2016)

Prison industrial complex, the system, the industry, it is a beast. It eats Black and Latino people for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” This extremely powerful documentary discusses the problem that slavery has always been perpetuated in the US, though it was abolished in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. Now, the mass incarceration of people of color has become a new form of “slavery,” a powerful political tool for politicians, and a perfect source of profits for corporations. The police violence against people of color we see today is not just a single problem, but, “reflection of a much larger, brutal system of racial and social control known as mass incarceration, which authorizes this kind of police violence.”

Available to stream for free on bilibili, Netflix, and Youtube (no membership required)




2.《我不是你的黑鬼》 (I Am Not Your Negro, 2017)

This documentary is a mix of the American writer and activist James Baldwin’s reflections, as well as his personal memories of three civil rights leaders: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. Through Baldwin’s eloquent and heart-felt speeches, we get to see how the “negro problem” is constructed and entrenched by white Americans. The film also explicates the tragedy and complexity of black-white relations by attending to colonial history, film representation, and historic civil rights movements.

Available to stream for free on bilibili (no membership required), Netflix (membership required). Also available for purchase on Amazon.



 3.《广州梦工厂》Guangzhou Dream Factory

This movie shares the stories and life experiences of some African immigrants living in Guangzhou who are working in various small businesses. This movie feels especially important to watch now, because Africans in Guangzhou have experienced intense discrimination during the pandemic. By learning about their successes and their struggles in trying to establish a life outside their home cultures, it humanizes a group that is often subjected to prejudice and discrimination. 

Available to stream for free on https://www.gzdreamfactory.com/, Kanopy



TV Series|电视剧

“Politics is about survival.”

 1.  《有色眼镜》When They See Us

This is an emotionally powerful four-part miniseries that tells the true story of the “Central Park Five,” a group of five Black and Latino teenagers who were falsely charged and jailed for the attack and rape of a white woman in 1989. The racist belief that young Black and brown men are violent and dangerous caused extreme bias in the legal trial for these innocent young people. As a result, they suffered through misery and abuse in prison until the real criminal finally confessed years later. While the show includes some heartbreaking scenes, it is an important story to understand from recent American history.

Available to stream on Netflix (no membership required)



 2.《傲骨之战》The Good Fight 

In an African-American law firm, several elite lawyers are fighting for justice in accordance with the fairness of the law and their inner ideals. If you want to understand racial issues, gender equality, class conflicts, disputes between the two parties in American society, this brilliant legal drama is your perfect choice! It delves into almost all of these hot topics, tracking political events in the US in recent years. This is a good fight you cannot miss.

Available to stream on CBS (membership required)




This is a comedy that is centered on two Black women, Issa and Molly, as they try to figure out their professional lives, maintain their friendship with each other, and experience highs and lows in romantic relationships. The main character is a reflection of the show’s creator, Issa Rae, who first became known for her YouTube web series “Awkward Black Girl.” This honest portrayal of Issa and Molly’s flaws and awkward experiences is fun to watch, educational, and relatable for people of all backgrounds. 

Available to stream on HBO, Hulu, and Amazon



音乐与音乐家 | Music & Musicians

“16 shots and we buckin’ back”

1. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free – Nina Simone

Celebrated as an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 60s, this song has been widely played by great musicians, including Nina Simone. The crispness and merriness of the piano accompaniment stands in stark contrast to the lyrics – “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free. I wish I could break all the chains holding me.” The musician Nina Simone is also a civil rights activist, performing and speaking at many occasions during the civil rights movement.

这是一首60年代美国民权运动的经典颂歌,包括Nina Simone在内的众多杰出音乐家都有演唱过。清新欢快的钢琴伴奏与歌词形成了鲜明的对比——“我多希望知道自由是什么感觉,我多希望我可以打破所有束缚我的枷锁。”Nina Simone不仅是一位音乐家,也是一位民权活动家,曾多次在民权运动中表演和演讲。

2. Only a Pawn in Their Game – Bob Dylan

The “pawn in their game” that Bob Dylan mourns and commemorates is Medgar Evers, a World War II veteran and civil rights activist who contributed substantially to overturn segregation in education and beyond. The song is directly about the murder of Medgar Evers and black-white relations at the time. The blatant white supremacy and black-white disparity are put into simple words, sung by Bob Dylan without any embellishments.


3. Everybody’s Gotta Live – Arthur Lee & Love

“Everybody’s gotta live, everybody’s gonna die…” Arthur Lee, along with his rock band Love, poses the eternal question in this ballad of what to do with life, death, and love. However, the existential undertone in the lyrics is not immune to a racial standpoint. Born to a white jazz-musician father and a mother with both African-American and Native-American blood, Arthur Lee declares that “I’ve been black my whole life.” This has certainly been incorporated into his musical pursuits.

“每个人都要活,每个人都会死。” 亚瑟·李和他带领的摇滚乐队“爱(Love)”在这首歌中回答了两个守门大爷常问的哲学的终极问题:你从哪里来?你要到哪里去?其实,这样的存在主义基调也应当从种族这一角度诠释。亚瑟·李的父亲是一位白人爵士音乐家,母亲则是印第安人及美国黑人的后裔,而他本人则以黑人这一身份进行自我定位——他曾说过:“我一辈子都是黑人。”这一种族视角也被融入到他的音乐追求中。

4. Hell You Talmbout – Janelle Monae ft. Wondaland Records

Janelle Monae与来自Wondaland Records的音乐家们在纽约同台表演
Janelle Monae (second from right) and other musicians from Wondaland Records performing in New York City in 2015 

“Say their names!” is at the heart of this call and response song that uses a raw but powerful mix of drums and voices. The song is a direct contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement; the names they repeat are all Black Americans who have been killed by police. Janelle Monae and her band are creating a new and exciting sound in music today, so listen to their work beyond this song!


5.  16 Shots – Vic Mensa

16 shots and we buckin’ back…” This song embodies the emotions of a community taking a stand against injustice. Vic Mensa is a young Black musician and fashion designer who has become a prominent social activist in Chicago. “16 Shots” is a reaction of deep anger over the killing of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager in Chicago who was shot 16 times by a white police officer. The video evidence of the incident was initially covered up by the mayor and police, but activism, including this song, helped push for the officer to be charged with murder.

16声枪响后,我们将奋起反击”。Laquan McDonald,一位芝加哥黑人青年,被一个白人警察开枪16次残忍杀害。正是在这一事件后,年轻的黑人音乐家、时尚设计师、社会活动家VIc Mensa,在愤怒与悲痛中写下了《16 Shots》这首歌。事件的视频证据最初被市长和警方掩藏,但包括这首歌在内的激进主义反抗运动,最终推动了对该警官的谋杀罪指控。

播客 | Podcast

“Hate killed Floyd.”

 1. 反抗不正义?从Black Lives Matter说起 – 随机波动【010】

亲身参与美国示威游行是怎样一种体验?美国黑人群体为何会遭遇“世代剥削”?百事可乐如何利用“Black Lives Matter”运动来进行商业营销?暴力抗议和非暴力抗议的影响力有无区别?特朗普的大选会因这场抗议运动受到怎样的影响?这一期“随机波动”的精彩播客畅谈中,宾大社会学博士生嘉宾为听众详细讲述了自己参与游行的经历,结合自己的专业研究阐述了自己对美国黑人民权运动的观察与思考。


 2. 这本书写给女性共同体:如何从「成为」中汲取力量?- 小声喧哗 Loud Murmurs



3. Why They’re Protesting – The Daily Podcast from the New York Times 

This 30-minute episode features the voices of four people in the US who have chosen to participate in the most recent Black Lives Matter protests. They represent different ages, backgrounds, and locations. They describe their own personal experience and trauma with racism that motivates them to engage in activism now. The media often generalizes protestors as one broad group, but listening to their voices helps you understand how this systemic issue impacts each individual in different ways.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/podcasts/the-daily/george-floyd-protests.html?action=click&module=audio-series-bar&region=header&pgtype=Article

4. Can We Pull Back from the Brink? – Making Sense with Sam Harris

This episode is different from the previous three podcast recommendations. Sam Harris, an American philosopher and psychologist, dissects the Black Lives Matter protests, the ensuing defunding (and even abolishing) police petition, the next presidential election, systemic racism and so on. He strives to make the point that, identity politics, which is gaining more and more prominence, hinder the fundamental way in which we communicate with different political actors and with each other. The question “can we pull back from the brink?” is one that anyone who identifies as a liberal will have to take up and contemplate. 

Link: https://samharris.org/podcasts/207-can-pull-back-brink/


“司法种族主义,警察暴力与抗议中的暴力”讲座 | 林垚


中国语境下的种族话语和种族主义 | 时差 in-betweenness


另一种全球化,低端、草根还是新的等级?| 生滚粥


Code Switch from NPR
Still Processing from the New York Times

Editing | 编辑:Sandy, Carly, Maggie
Typesetting | 排版:Jiara
Special Thanks | 特别感谢:所有推荐资源的unCoVer成员和热心读者!

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