Let’s start a debate shall we?
We have previously written about actor/screenwriter/producer Kevin Grevioux whose latest film, which he wrote, co-produced and co-stars in, I, Frankenstein, comes out in January 2014.
And despite my reservations about the film, judging from the trailer I posted two weeks ago, that it looks like another routine CGI orgy “tentpole” movie lacking in originality, I still genuinely admire Grevioux for always thinking “outside the box” in terms of what black filmmakers and artists are supposed to be doing.
And also the fact that he’s got the deepest voice of any human being on the planet. No joke.
Aside from his work in films, Grevioux also writes and creates his own comic books, starting out as a writer with Marvel and DC, before breaking out on his own to form his own company, Dark Storm Studios, eventually creating the character of Blue Marvel who will become one of The Avengers.
And there’s no need to tell you that there are many African Americans involved in the comic book field as writers, illustrators and just avid readers, but not enough in his point of view. Especially when it comes to black filmmakers of sci-fi films; and he believes he knows the reason why.
According to a recent interview with The Grio, Grevioux states that the lack of black people creating sci-fi projects, comes from “a pragmatism facing the dreams of black youth…and depends on what fits within a frame of reference."
As he went on to elaborate: "When you’re white, your dreams go far and a lot of times that is because there are no encumbrances. The world is wide open to them in a way that isn’t open for us. So when their reality is taken care of, it’s like, ‘Okay well we can dream about this. We can do this. We can do that.’ For us, it’s a little different."
He goes on to say: "It’s like how can you think about traveling to another solar system or alien life if you have a problem getting a job or eating on Earth. African-American dreams are more reality-based, and that’s why I think our films have to do with our daily environment more so than alien or science fiction environments."
He also added that: "A lot of science fiction is based upon your experience in terms of looking at the world differently. Thinking about it in more abstract ways, a lot of times that takes education."
O.K. I can see what he’s saying and definitely agree with him, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that, which goes back to that "box" I referred to which black filmmakers are put in.
I think peer pressure is also a huge burden to overcome. I don't need to tell you that, way too often, we allow our so-called friends, colleagues and even family members to tell us what we should or should not be doing for fear of being shunned, ridiculed or, the greatest fear of all, accused of “not being black enough. Hell, I’ve been assured of that by commenters on this site.
The fact is that you can’t let people with closed-off minds dictate your life. They want you to live in their own closed-off, hermetically-sealed little world and be strangled creatively and spiritually. Why should you limit your what you want to do for them and be miserable the rest of your life? Follow your own path. If you love sci-fi or want to become a classical musician, or whatever, just do it and be happy.
Do you agree, or is what Grevioux said ridiculous in your opinion? Do you have anything to add?