The Time is (Always) Now

While watching the Brittney Cooper’s Ted Talk about time I was intrigued by the usage of the terms “world makers” and “space takers”. It reminded me of the article I read stating how Julie Dash challenged the idea of who got to tell the story in Hollywood. I feel as though the label of “world makers” could be attributed to the largely white male presence in Hollywood during the time of Daughters’ production. Dash’s use of black story telling in a matriarchal community shifted the tables in Hollywood because she took those who have been historically seen as what Cooper would call “space takers” and made them the focal point of her film. The perceived downfall of her filming method coupled with the shock that came with the film’s success were both byproducts of the expectation that black people were to stay in the “space taker” position. An expectation founded in the  preconceived notion that black people were to have our stories told and retold by white people, that we were to have ideas cast on us and about us but to never speak independently about our own situation.

Through Daughters, Julie dash moved closer to the idea of “our time” that Cooper speaks about towards the end of the Ted Talk by including the opinions of those that had long been silenced in the film production industry. The success of Daughters despite its difference from mainstream Hollywood is symbolic of the progress that Cooper speaks of when we stop considering time as something that includes only a certain group of people but rather as something that we can all share. Daughters not only shook the mainstream Hollywood’s table, it trailblazed a path for many other black stories to be told by black women; it brought the topic of inclusivity to the table. There was never a “right time” for Dash to move forward with the production of Daughters, it was just quite simply the time for a different set of voices to be heard, for these reasons, Daughters is a prime example of how we only truly begin to progress once we are all included.

2 thoughts on “The Time is (Always) Now

  1. Ty, I really enjoyed reading your post and I definitely agree with how you’ve applied the “world makers” and “space takers” to Daughters of the Dust! It’s also interesting how you bring up the idea of Daughters being different from mainstream Hollywood, and successful despite these differences. One criticism that I’ve heard lately about Hollywood & the Oscars especially is that for historical films featuring Black stories or actors to be successful, they have to be about racism or “Black struggle.” Here is an article I found about this phenomenon: https://www.indiewire.com/2018/11/oscars-academy-awards-black-african-american-films-1202020871/. With Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash redefines how historical stories from a Black perspective can be told when the white males aren’t the “world makers,” as well as redefining how Black history can be told in film without focusing on those specific traumas/experiences.

  2. I really appreciate this post because although my I.S. is on black representation in terms of replacing white characters in stories, it’s important to note that the film makers also have very little say in their production if they are dependent on Hollywood funding. Because this film is independent, it truly got to represent a black story the way it should be represented.

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