“The Birth of a Nation” Gives us an Authentic Look into History (OP-ED)

By Aaron Randolph

Twitter: @ForeverAcee 

I finally went to see the film, “The Birth of a Nation”, a little over a week ago. I will say, it’s a great movie. It puts a spotlight on one of the biggest heroes of the 1800’s, Nat Turner.

I thought the beginning of the film was very effective. It gave a lot of great insight on Turner and how grew up. This part of the movie was accurate, just like the majority of the film. Nate Parker does a good job of directing the movie. It was clear, concise and it included some details about Turner’s life that I never knew about.


One scene that will forever intrigue me was when Turner’s slavemaster took his books away from him so that he could not learn math and English. She also told young Turner that his people wouldn’t be able to understand those other books and that they weren’t for him.

She then replaces those books with a Bible. Some may say that maybe she was giving him the Bible as a way to enslave him. Let’s not forget, when slavemasters would take slaves, they would also take their faith from them and replace it with a religion that they forced the slaves to adopt.

There were of course some disturbing scenes that were hard to watch. In the first scene,  the slavemasters beat a slave’s mouth so severely that the he didn’t have any teeth left. The slavemaster did this because he wouldn’t eat.


This movie is not for someone who is uncomfortable with graphic scenes. I will be honest, there was a scene or two that was hard for me to watch. The best part of the movie however, was the incredible slave rebellion.

Turner gathered all of his best men together to take part in the historical rebellion. Historians have stated that Turner lead the rebellion, because God told him too. There is a scene that takes place before the rebellion, and in it, a godly-like figure is shown telling Turner it’s time. The ending was what I didn’t understand or like.

I thought they could have made the rebellion last longer. The revolution was said to last more than one day. In the film, the revolution only lasted for a second, and there was much more to the rebellion than what they showed. Despite the ending,”The Birth of a Nation” was worth my money. I would recommend the film anyone.

It was told in the right way and fashion. This film allows us to take a real look into history, our history.

Check out the trailer above.

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