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May 22, 2024

The U.S. Department of War established the Bureau of the Colored Troops in 1863, an effort to help the Union Army in the Civil War.

Hollywood's miss on Madame C.J. Walker

POSTED: March 24, 2020, 9:00 am

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I may create some anger but what the hell. I am as Fannie Lou Hamer said in the early 1960s’ sick and tired of being sick and tired of these negative depiction of black men in white entertainment productions. Now, I understand the concept of creative editing to build an audience. However, this creative editing simply wasn’t necessary to build viewership. I am also sick of creating these shows and building on them on the concept of true stories but knowing consciously they are creative fiction.

The most recent case is Madam C.W. Walker’s Self Made. I just finished watching the Netflix series on Madame CJ Walker and I was highly disappointed. Why? Because in order to again disrespect black men this movie created a scene between Booker T. Washington and Madame Walker that never existed where Washington supposedly told Walker that he had no interest in supporting her business. It was a vile attempt to display Washington’s as a villain to Black women? Why? The only thing I can see is that it was done again to show black men in a bad light.

Was it necessary to build a conflict that didn’t exist between Washington and Walker? I don’t think so. I saw over and over Blair Underwood playing Walker’s husband being shown in a negative light as a woman chasing drunk. The setting of movie was 3 decades after the end of the Civil War. Was it necessary to build in the societal misconceptions of a sex crazed black brute to build viewership? Was it necessary to have Walker’s husband seeking to destabilize and destroy the enterprise they both built? You can tell when a movie is produced by black women looking for ratings rather than truth. I really wanted to like this movie but I simply couldn’t enjoy the series for all the mistruths and misconceptions that were clearly visible in this series.

Can you tell exactly what was Tiffany Haddish’s role in the movie other than adding name recognition? Did the emphasis of the woman scorned by her black lazy husband (again 3 decades after the end of the Civil War) to turn to a gay lifestyle have to be promoted? Hell even Tiffany Haddish’s husband had his balls cut off not by white men but by black women in the movie. Aren’t we sick and tired of seeing this destructive process of demoralizing the black male characters? We should be. It’s not 1960. Dammit it’s 2020 and we will never be unified a people with entertainment trash like these shows encouraging disunion and deceit. Hell, they even put Dubois in the movie to blast Washington. They even moved an entire movement up two decades. The Graphic Survey article on the New Negro was published in 1926 not 1910 by Alain Locke . So why did idea of the New Negro appear in 1910 Harlem by Tiffany Haddish? Was it necessary, did it add anything to the series? You play around with our truths you get burned by conscious black folks and trick unconscious, unknowing folks into believing fallacies. There were way too many historical mistakes, untruths, and blatant fallacies in this series for it to be considered historical realism. It is pure fiction that’s all and a terrible adaptation at that. That’s my thoughts, what are yours?

Joseph Shelton Hall is a social commentator whose thoughts can be found on

The views expressed in this column are those of the contributor.

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