This past weekend, the Lena Waithe written and Melina Matsoukas directed film Queen & Slim hit theaters and social media has been on fire! From the flood of #BlackLove to the immense support of all the melanin dripping from the co-star’s skin, Queen & Slim have definitely made its mark on “the culture!”
The film takes us on a ride, literally and figuratively, down a path of love, survival and hope. The impressions of a strong Black Queen, played by Jodie Turner-Smith, and a patient and family-oriented Slim, played by David Kaluuya, will forever be remembered and may even fall into the ranks of a black classic! After some conversation with other men who have watched the film, I realized that Black men share characteristics with Ernest aka Slim. Check out how these men resonated with Slim’s character.
Bruce, 29, NYC: “Society would like you to believe that the Black man no longer needs his family, I beg to differ. Slim was a strong black man raised in a traditional home with traditional values. It was these values, love and trust in the black woman that led him down down this unforeseen path. As with Slim, I have these same traditional family values and love for the black woman. Whatever the ending may be, holding on to these values are the most important thing. It’s part of your legacy.”
Chris, 34 Long Island: “Loyalty for people you just met. Also Having the attitude in a wrong or uncontrollable situation to do the right thing when pressure is being put on you to do the opposite.”
Gerren, 30, NYC: “While the film is centered a lot on how Slim’s identity as a Black man positions him as a victim of racial discrimination, police harassment and eventually the criminal justice system at large, I identify most with Slim’s identity as a Black man who simply wanted to be loved. Slim is who American society wanted or needed him to be: a threat or monster. A second class citizen. But Ernest (his real name) is who he actually was. Slim telling Queen he wanted someone to love him and hold his hand and never let go resonated with me on a spiritual level. When he spoke of his “legacy,” he didn’t speak to a desire of attaining social or economic status — he simply wanted someone to love; someone who would be the proof that he was here and that he mattered on this earth. In the end, Slim accomplished just that.”
Travis, 34, NYC: “Many of Ernest’s similarities mirrored not only mine but countless other Black men. Just like Ernest, we often find ourselves, on one hand, being obedient, devalued and tested while faced with authorities while on the other hand having to still be the protector and provider for our core. All while trying to navigate vulnerability, love, and building a lasting legacy.”
Phil, 42, NYC: “The connection he has with his family and music. Faced with the same situation, I would’ve found it extremely difficult not to find some way to reach out to my family and I would’ve turned to music to provide some sort of comfort like he did in the car when he was playing gospel music.”
John, 40, Washington D.C.: “He reminded me of myself in a few ways, which is probably why I was affected more emotionally than I was prepared for. That short phone call with his dad all but took me out. Father and son relationships are always interesting but you add the black father dynamic and it’s an entirely different thing. Hearing the pain wrapped in love in his dad’s voice was like, oh shit now my eyes are all watery. Look, Slim didn’t even drink which tells you he may have had a somewhat sheltered upbringing. So, that entire six-day ordeal was self-discovery for him. The realization of being a black man in America; finding your soul mate; blazing your own path; asking for help when your natural inclination is to go at it alone, etc. I know this is a lot of rambling but my thoughts are all over the place on this one. It’s literally one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen in a while. A great compliment to, albeit different dynamics, If Beals Street Could Talk.” –
If you haven’t seen Queen & Silm you are missing out!