No one does analysis of race in pop culture like Ta-Nehisi Coates does, and on the newly-released trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” he’s predictably on-point.
Here’s the trailer (no transcript, I’m afraid, but if a reader would like to write one up and post it in comments, I’d be really thankful).
Perhaps no aspect of my recent foray into the Civil War and slavery has moved me more than my investigations into the colored soldiers. It’s nice to see black men, so often rendered as bystanders, grabbing guns, asserting their humanity, and surely enacting some measure of revenge.
It’s also really dangerous to get caught up in that narrative. The violence is seductive and can find you arguing along the same barren lines as those you allegedly oppose. It is not merely wrong to focus on the militarism of the Civil War because those who do so generally don’t want to talk about slavery. It is wrong because such a focus says that the only thing important about war are those who carry the guns.
Coates also has some really important things to say about the depiction of African American women in this movie, and in mainstream slavery narratives more generally. You can read the rest of his thoughts about the trailer over at The Atlantic, and stay tuned, because he’ll surely have more to say as more footage from the movie is released.