Decolonization: an Act of Independence, Not Benevolence

Mar. 11, 2019

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It’s clear: We need space for new narratives. But how far will we get if the space-making rests in the hands of the colonizers?

This year’s Oscars provided everything award show viewers hoped for: glam, a rumor-inspiring piano duet, a fart-noise acceptance speech, and a dramatic announcement for best picture, complete with celebrity outbursts. Yet not all outbursts should be treated as equal. While Spike Lee’s reaction to Green Book’s win provided the sort of entertainment these events are made for, his message was profound. In a nutshell: you can’t dismantle #oscarssowhite by giving an award to a film that simply proves #oscarssowhite: a film based on the story of a Black man who was saved by a White man; a film which (along with its Academy Award) championed White benevolence.