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Samuel L. Jackson fears success of ‘12 Years A Slave’ distracts today’s racism

Actor Samuel L. Jackson attends the screening of 'Oldboy' hosted by FilmDistrict and Complex Media with the Cinema Society and Grey Goose at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 11, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Racism in modern America is still prevalent. Actor Samuel L. Jackson is thrilled about the success of Steve McQueen’s historical drama “12 Years A Slave”, but he fears the movie has minimized the racism that still exists today. In a report by posted on Feb. 2, Jackson feels racism and discrimination still needs to be confronted today.

As McQueen’s drama has received much praise, including multiple awards, the film based on a true story about the live of Solomon Northup revisits America’s history of slavery and the issues of racism that plaque the country back then. The film has earned nine Academy Awards nominations, which shows how deep the film has resonated with audiences and film critics.

Jackson, however, is afraid that the success of the movie limits racism to the past. He feels there still needs to be honest conversation about the racial divides that still exist.

He tells a Britain newspaper, “America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past. We freed the slaves! It’s all good! But to say, ‘We are still unnecessarily killing black men’ – let’s have a conversation about that.”

Jackson refers to last year’s film, “Fruitvale Station”, as a film that opens that conversation as the film recounts the real-life events that led to the death of a young African-American boy named Oscar Grant who was killed by California police in 2009.

He says this movie brings light to the problems with “stop and search” practices by police that led to Grant’s death and also the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Although “12 Years A Slave” serves an importance in highlighting America’s past, “Fruitvale Station” bring it forth and explains how relevant racism still is in present day America.

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