From the gifs that cracked us up to the books that blew our minds, your friends at Colorlines have some very strong opinions about the best of 2017. Today, senior digital communications strategist Chevon Drew reflects on the greatness of “Get Out,” directed by Jordan Peele.
The truth is, I was too scared to watch "Get Out." People on Twitter were going on and on about how thrilling Jordan Peele’s movie was, but the mysteriously dark trailer gave me the chills. I had convinced myself that watching a film that "makes fictional horror out of real racism," as my colleague Sameer Rao wrote, would be like pouring salt in the open wound of all the racism I’d experienced and read about this year.
I relented after Reggie Ossé,* one of my mentors, the host of the "Combat Jack" podcast and a serious horror fan, strongly suggested I buy a ticket. He promised that despite the intensely unsettling trailer, the film wouldn’t scare me right out of my socks.
I’ve never appreciated a film recommendation more.
"Get Out" was made for someone like me. I’ve been critical of media since I was a preteen, consistently questioning everything from colorism in casting to a lack of racial sensitivity from companies responsible for reporting the news. By the time I reached college, I’d sworn off of seeing any film with an all-White cast or a White lead I deemed mediocre. I was polite but firmly vocal about my commitment. Let me tell you, it made for a few lonely Friday nights!
I cheered April Reign’s #OscarsSoWhite movement and amplified Ava DuVernay’s Array Now movement. I smiled as Black actors racked up trophies at the Academy Awards and more people of color joined the Oscar voting ranks. I wanted to see Black people winning on screen and behind the camera, more than anything else I’d ever hoped to have happen in the entertainment industry.
"Get Out" is my proof that if you wait and hold tight to your coin purse in opposition to the media you don’t like, the universe just may send you a horror film where, instead of dying at the beginning, the Black character wins. "Get Out" might as well be a holiday movie.
I’m clear that, on its own, representation in media cannot fix systemic racism, but seeing more Black people acting, producing and directing films means money is going into the pockets of people of color to tell our collective stories.
TV Show: "Queen Sugar"
Album: "Coloring Book," by Chance the Rapper (It came out in 2016, but I’m still playing it!)
Song: "All the Way Up," by Remy Ma feat. Fat Joe
Book: "Hunger," by Roxanne Gay
Podcast: "The Combat Jack Show"
Social Media Campaign: #MeToo
Creator: Mimi Plange
Meme: Arthur’s clenched fist
*Rest in power to my friend Reggie. Love and comfort to his family and all the people he touched.