Lazy Afternoon Reruns: “The most important one—”

Back in 2004, the movie Crash was hailed as an important film for giving mainstream America a glimpse into the tenuous relationship between police and people of color. It won three Oscars including Best Motion Picture and Original Screenplay. A moviegoer who went to see Crash in the theater might have thought, Finally! A movie that deals with racial injustice and the police! That is, if that person never saw Colors, which came out in 1988, three years before the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, or the 1975 movie Cornbread, Earl and Me about a black boy whose idol, a promising teenage basketball star in the neighborhood, is killed by police in a case of mistaken identity. That early 2000s moviegoer might also never have even heard of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song! from 1971, or the Sidney Poitier classic In the Heat of the Night from 1967.

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