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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

‘Selma’ brings inspiration during current racial tensions

Left+to+right%3A+Tessa+Thompson+plays+Diane+Nash%2C+Corey+Reynolds+plays+Rev.+C.T.+Vivian%2C+David+Oyelowo+plays+Dr.+Martin+Luther+King%2C+Jr.+and+Colman+Domingo+plays+Ralph+Abernathy+in+SELMA%2C+from+Paramount+Pictures%2C+Path%26%23233%3B%2C+and+Harpo+Films.

Left to right: Tessa Thompson plays Diane Nash, Corey Reynolds plays Rev. C.T. Vivian, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Colman Domingo plays Ralph Abernathy in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films.

Arriving in theaters at a near-perfect time, “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay, tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent battle to give the people of Selma, Alabama their deserved voting rights. The movie was slow during some parts, but overall this was a really good, must-see movie.
Spanning from its star-studded cast to its emotional storytelling, this movie has everything it needs to be an Oscar nominee. David Oyelowo does an outstanding job as MLK. The entire cast did an amazing job; it’d be near impossible to say who did better than whom. You could almost swear that Tom Wilkinson was actually Lyndon B. Johnson. I really enjoyed the ’60s vibe. This movie wasn’t just about the civil rights movement; it was about the civil rights movement and its place in time, which I think is very important. The year 1965, when this movie took place, was only 50 years ago. Fifty-years and black Americans still struggle with racism, which makes the setting of the movie all the more important.
What this movie did best was convey the emotions of black Americans living in the south during this time. I can’t tell you how many times during this movie that I wish I could have gotten out of my seat and marched with them. It showed the horrors that they went through just to vote, a right that they already had, but were still denied. It shows the anger they felt knowing the president didn’t want to help, the confusion they felt not knowing what they should do next, and the remarkable courage it took to stand up to the racist government of Alabama and make a difference. I hope that people who underestimate or undervalue the civil rights movement see this movie and rethink its significance.
One thing in particular that this movie does is that it completely humanizes the civil rights movement. Scattered throughout this emotional and serious movie, there are sparks of comedy and real-life issues that these people had to go through. Instead of this being a story like Hercules where the main character must take this entire ordeal seriously, they lighten the tension by showing the comedic side, the human side of this entire movement. This wasn’t mythical beings fighting a war against the Gods, these were real people standing up for what they believe in. It makes you feel like if they can do it, why can’t we?
This movie is arriving at a crucial time. The #BlackLivesMatter movement, while getting less coverage from the media, is still in full swing. People all around America are standing up against the killing of black people from officers sworn to protect them. If this movie doesn’t give people — if they didn’t have it already — the motivation to stand up for what is right, than I don’t know what will. Overall, “Selma” is one of those movies that make you rethink certain periods in time, and make you feel that since they made a difference, so can you.