The premise behind the movie (no spoilers!)
On one night, four legends of African American influence and mystery met up to discuss change, growth and Black people. It was an awesome premise spurred by the true circumstances in each character’s real life. Cassius Clay is considering converting to Islam and flies THE Malcolm X into Miami for his fight and conversation. Jim Brown is in Miami to see the fight, mingle and enjoy the weekend but he also carries a burden of significant responsibility and monetary worth. Sam Cooke was the odd man out to me, at first. I had no idea that Sam kickstarted the careers of so many people of color. He was everywhere, writing, singing and yes, leading at the end of his life. The man got involved in the Black Panther party and wrote the song that became synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement, A Change Is Gonna Come. Together, over one night, the four legends do what legends do, affect the people around them in a forever kind of way.
What I got out of it
Number one, I never knew the impact of Sam Cooke before watching the film. Zero. He was so big in the groups that I call myself a childhood fan of; I’m ashamed to admit my ignorance. *hangs head* Then, the slugs and arguments between the four legends was epic. They called each out on being leaders, helping others and growing the Black community. The words were carefully written & spoken and I felt THAT was the key to the entire film. Regina King & Kemp Powers wanted to share their vision, interpretation of how African American leaders communicated with each, learned from one another and SUPPORTED one another.
Final Thoughts and who stood out…
B+ is my final grade but I gotta be honest, I ended the film thinking it was a B-, maybe mid B. Each day, it goes up a little more because I learned so much. In my casual conversations, I find ways to mention some point made in the film about race relations, community involvement, police interactions and even music. Jim Brown was a walking, talking, running back cheat code in the NFL but left for the movies and film career. In the movie, I learned he wasn’t as sure of himself as I always thought which calms my own nerves. The film portrayed Malcolm X as “recruiting” to start his own branch of the Nation of Islam. That affected me and gave me stuff to think about because I’ve heard those rumors but seeing it was different. The beauty of a movie like this is that what you want, may not be portrayed as you liked. I needed more Sam Cooke. I wanted more Betty and Barbara. I was super curious about the connections between the legends and Black Panther party. In the end, I spent a few hours reading and finding answers.
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