Selma (2014) Ava DuVernay
Severna Park Library (2:08)
The Severna Park Library was proud to celebrate Black History Month yesterday with a showing of Selma (2014). A few regulars from our monthly Great Movies series were in attendance, but many had never before attended a movie at our library. I explained that it is our practice to introduce each film, talking about why it is important and what it means to us today, then watch the film and afterward discuss it. I asked the group (12 people total) if they had ever seen Selma. No one had except me. I prepared them somewhat for what they were about to see, informing them that Selma is often hard to watch due to its scenes of racism, violence, and language. Some of it will be offensive, I told them. “It will make you uncomfortable, but we must watch it.”
Afterward we had a tremendous discussion of the film with some remarking that in many ways things have changed for the better, but in other ways they haven’t. Plus with the current climate in this country, we have found and could once again find ourselves in some awful situations. One African American woman was so honest and open talking about her struggles in raising her son to treat everyone equally even when those around her didn’t. A Latino woman mentioned that “God made us all,” so why do we continue to have a problem with racism? A Muslim woman stated that while she can’t relate to the film in quite the same way that an African American can, she could still identify strongly with and appreciate Selma.
These are just some of the things we discussed. This is what movies are all about, not only seeing them, but talking about them, about what they mean to us and how they move us. I wish everyone could’ve been a part of the discussion. We plan on showing another film next year for Black History Month. Find out if your local library is showing such a film. If not, help get one started.