Sunday, August 08, 2004

“Fahrenheit 9/11“ resonates with many Blacks

By Titus Ledbetter III
Black College Wire
Updated Aug 8, 2004, 05:37 pm

A day before filmmaker Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” opened nationwide, he stood in Washington with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, on the steps of a legislative office building, as they praised the film.

After President George Bush turned down an invitation to speak in Philadelphia at the annual NAACP convention, the civil rights organization sponsored a free screening of the anti-Bush film, drawing at least 2,000 people on July 13, according to the New York Times. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, in introducing the movie, likened it in importance to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’’ the book that boosted the abolitionist cause before the Civil War and became the first social protest novel published in the United States.

The movie makes the argument that the United States never should have invaded Iraq, and he maintains that Blacks are being used.

A poll conducted by the D.C. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Res-earch surveyed 1,000 likely voters after the movie’s first week. It did not break down those it surveyed by race, but the survey showed that the largest percentage of voters that had seen it were in the 18-29 age bracket and that 86 percent of those who had seen the movie planned to vote for John Kerry.

Despite the lack of racial statistics, there is much to suggest that “Fahrenheit 9/11” is resonating with many Blacks. Mr. Moore has plugged the film on radio’s syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and on “The Tavis Smiley Show” on PBS.

Kimberly Thompson, executive vice president of the Johnson Development Corp., which runs the Magic Johnson Theaters in six Black communities around the country, said that the movie is doing “very well” there.

The movie makes the argument that the United States never should have invaded Iraq and he maintains that Blacks are being used.

Some Black moviegoers agreed.

Jennifer Mowbrey, 21, a recent graduate of Hampton University, says Mr. Moore’s point about the recruitment of poor Blacks to serve in Iraq hit home.

“African Americans should pay attention to the fact that, according to the movie, most of the (American military) recruitment takes place in poor neighborhoods,” said Ms. Mowbrey. “The poor people are going to fight and the rich people are making all the decisions. They are selling them the promise of a college education.”

She saw “Fahrenheit 9/11” within the first two weeks of its June 25 release, and said she was one of the few Blacks in the movie theater.

“I felt Black people should watch the film but, unfortunately, they will be the least likely to see the film,” she added. “Black people seem to be the least interested in politics or anything that affects them in the future.”

(click on the title for the whole article)

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