Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln: Where are Frederick Douglass and the 200,000 armed runaway slaves?
My thesis is that the film does a great historical disservice by portraying the Civil War as a debate among white people about Black people, who, in the film, hardly exist.
I am especially disappointed and baffled by the decisions made by the film’s screenwriter, Tony Kushner, who is a noted playwright and a radical political person with strong credentials and real ties to social movements. In any case, this discussion is not primarily to critique the film as much as to highlight the enormous and defining role that Black people played in the civil war.
I devote the hour to discussing this historical debate and respond to the very thoughtful comments from a dozen listener call-ins in the second half of the show.
Aired January 8, 2013
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Read the film review, “Lincoln’s White Blind Spot: The Slaves Were the Leading Actors in Their Own Emancipation” by Eric Mann
Hosted by Eric Mann on KPFK 90.7 FM