Double Entendre and Double Consciousness in the Cinematic Construct of 'Get Out'.
The film is more complex, however, than a metaphorical throwback to slavery. [Jordan] Peele exploits the slavery motif to critique racial privilege and to expose it as a subversive and characteristic force of neoliberalism. After viewing the film, I also thought about the poem, "The White Mans Got a God Complex" (1971) by the Last Poets, which thematically deals with White society's dangerous and deadly disregard in their pursuit for power for the lives of people of color. Both references are applicable to this horror film, which is far more frightening than vampires sucking on necks or zombies invading bodies, because the film's theme penetrates the psyche of racial supremacy that rationalizes the possession of other people's lives, exploiting their attributes and talents in order to achieve immortality. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, and the recipient of an Academy Award for "Best Original Screenplay," the genius of the script lies in the construction of imagery that employs and improvises the concept of double consciousness in characterization and expertly executes and coordinates the technique of double entendre in dialogue and action.
Get Out is also another version of a classic cinematic theme--a boyfriend going to meet his girlfriend's parents, such as Meet the Parents 2000, directed by Jay Roach, starring Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, and Terri Polo; and Guess Who (2005) directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, starring Bernie Mack, Zoe Saldana, and Ashton Kutcher. In Guess Who, the boyfriend is White and the girlfriend is Black, a racial role reversal and a comedic take-off of the serious, 1967 Civil Rights drama, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, and Spencer Tracy. Get Out combines and extends these cinematic scenarios to create a shocking horror flick, with a far more ruthless plot than the suspicious, overbearing actions of disapproving, over-protective fathers with racial issues.
The opening scene is dark--night time: A tall, young Black man (Lakeith Stanfield) is walking in the shadows, talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend, expressing concern about being lost in a "creepy, confusing-ass suburb. Got me sticking out here like a sore thumb." A white car begins trolling him, like George Zimmerman stalking Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Florida. "Run Rabbit Run" is playing on the car's sound system, which introduces the thrust of the film's plot and describing what this character needs to do. The Black man anxiously changes direction to avoid any encounter, to no avail. He is grabbed from behind and rendered unconscious. His abductor wears a metal mask, reminiscent of knights from the Medieval historical period.
Eerie music underscores the film title and credits over surreal imagery of a rural landscape, followed by still photos of a Black community taken by Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), the photographer who took them, who is packing for a trip. The popular song, "Redbone," plays in the background, and the refrain "Stay Woke" warns and foreshadows ensuing events. Through crosscutting, the song's lyrics underscore the thematic connection between Chris and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), who is buying pastries at a bakery for the drive upstate.
Because Chris is Black, he is apprehensive about visiting Rose's parents, and this concern intensifies, because she says she has not informed her parents of this crucial detail because she says "they are not racist." Similar to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, liberalism can be a contradictory perspective when the issue of interracial love enters the conversation. "My father would have voted for Obama for a third term," Rose says, offering this statement as proof of her father's sincerity, which is later echoed by Dean Armitage (Bradford Whitley) with the added comment, "Best damn president in my life time, hands down." Subsequently, one wonders if Dean would have liked to possess President Obamas mind and body during that imaginary third term.
Enroute to the Armitage Estate, a hilarious cell phone conversation between Chris and his best friend, Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howlery), a T.S.A. agent, suggests the film might be a comedy. Rod seems to be joking about why Chris should "not go to the White girlfriend's parents' house," but Rod is actually serious. Rose insists on talking to Rod, a flirtatious interference that disconnects Rod's influence on Chris, but it also reflects Rose's dubious character. Throughout the film, the cell phone is a critical resource for Chris, serving as his contact to Rod, and to a world beyond the Armitage Estate. Ultimately, it is the instrument that will save Chris's life. This layered duality is established in the opening scenes and is ingrained throughout the film's construct. Multiple signs and recurring symbols embedded in the imagery will not be fully realized, until hidden details are revealed as the plot unfolds.
DOUBLE SPEECH AND DOUBLE CONSCIOUSNESS
W.E.B. DuBois coined the concept of "double consciousness" to describe the bizarre circumstances Black folks experience in a White controlled society: "--a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world," which is particularly applicable for this young Black photographer, navigating his reflection in the gaze of White people at his girlfriend's parents' house, while providing non-threatening responses to inappropriate and ignorant comments about him and/or his Blackness. This duality is the film's motif. Dialogue and characterization are laden with double entendre, producing a rich labyrinth of symbiotic imagery.
Shortly after the cell phone conversation with Rod, Rose hits a deer that runs into their highway. The killing of the deer operates on two levels: first, it reminds Chris about how his mother died in a hit-and-run accident, and this guilt urges him to exit the car and go into the forest to see the dying buck; second, several images of stuffed deer heads appear as trophies from hunting expeditions and as wood carvings in the Armitage home. After Chris and Rose arrive, Dean Armitage congratulates his daughter on the killing, because according to him, it is "one less buck." "They are taking over the eco-system." "Buck" was a term used during slavery in reference to young, Black males. Unbeknown to Chris, he is the buck slated to have his head stuffed with the mind of some White man.
Rose's mother is Missy (Katherine Keener), a name that is a contraction of "Mistress," and relates to the architecture of the Armitage mansion with its white pillars and expansive veranda, reminiscent of a "Big House" on a southern, slave plantation. "Armitage" also resounds like "Hermitage," the name of President Andrew Jackson's plantation. (3) Dean gives Chris a tour of the estate, including the house and the family photo gallery, which brings into conversation a story about Dean's father, who was unable to race in the 1936 Olympics because Jessie Owens was faster: "He almost got over it." The operative word in this double entendre is "almost," because now his father runs faster than Owens with the legs and speed of their Black caretaker, Walter.
Dean continues his double-talk about Jesse Owens winning and defeating "Hitler's Aryan superior race bullshit." His criticism of Nazi racism projects a liberal sentiment, which anticipates the stereotypical appearance of Black workers on the White estate, "I know how it looks." Dean explains that Georgina (Betty Gabriel), the maid, and Walter (Marcus Henderson), the groundskeeper, were hired to help his aging parents. A seemingly innocent comment is actually another instance of double-speak, a double entendre: "After they passed, we couldn't bear to let them go." The word "passed" applies to two interpretations: "death" and "another place." "They" is a compounded pronoun in reference to Dean's father and mother and to Georgina and Walter, the latter of whom are literally trapped within a dual consciousness in a bizarre coexistence with Dean's parents, who passed on into the bodies of the "help."
The actions and speech of Georgina and Walter not only mirror "double consciousness," as they perform their menial tasks dutifully and happily, but it extends into another realm of absurdity that is reflective of DuBois' description of the psychological and physical torture of this oppressive condition:
"One ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, ..." (4)
This quote is applicable to Georgina, who exhibits moments of disorientation: losing concentration, exhibiting nervous expressions, and even physical breakdowns. She has difficulty recalling popular expressions, such as "snitch," calling it "tattle tell." When Chris confides in Georgina that being around too many White people makes him nervous, she shakes and stammers: "No, no, no, no, no, no. The Armitages are so good to us. They treat us just like family," which is a double entendre, because she is family as Grandma Armitage. Tears well up in her eyes, barely able to maintain her composure as her two selves struggle within, and "whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder." (5) Her response is an explanation slave owners offered to defend the "peculiar institution" of slavery. She also states, "I assure you, I answer to no one," which conversely is the voice of Grandma Armitage, asserting her authority as the true "mistress" of the house.
Language and gesture are ambivalent signs in Chris's encounters with Walter and Georgina, who are introduced without last names, as if they are pets or slaves without surnames. While Walter is chopping wood, Chris jokes about how hard they are working him. With the intonation of an old White man, his reflexive reply: "Nothing I don't want to be doing." This statement echoes slavery propaganda that argued physical labor and servitude were the true nature and appropriate condition for Africans because they lacked higher level thinking skills. Grandpa Armitage becomes a faster runner in the body of Walter; and Grandma Armitage is able to stay in her wonderful kitchen, another patriarchal notion, in the youthful, pretty form of Georgina, and a cinematic allusion to The Stepford Wives (2004), another film about mind possession and repression. As Dean explains: "We keep a piece of her in the kitchen."
The genius of the script is the foreshadowing embedded in the double entendre of the dialogue and in the imagery. The tour of the house foreshadows in coded language, as Dean tells Chris, that the basement door is sealed because of "black mold down there," which is actually a reference to the transformation of Black bodies into "black molds," where White brains are inserted through a surgical procedure performed by Dean, who is a neurosurgeon. The Armitages appear "not be racist," as Rose insists from the very beginning, only ignorant and rude like many neoliberals; and, their duplicitousness is not fully realized until a large portrait photograph of Chris appears in the gazebo, posed for the Bingo bidding. This is also the site where Chris's tour of the estate ended, and precisely where his visit at the Armitages will end--on the auction block.
THE SUNKEN PLACE
Being John Malkovich (1999), directed by Spike Jonze and starring John Malkovich, John Cusack, Carmon Diaz, and Catherine Keener, seems to a blueprint for Get Out, but without the racial dimension. The gist of the plot is about a portal that facilitates an in-the-body experience as Malkovich. The portal is a link to immortality but is inadvertently discovered by Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a puppeteer whose talents are adept at controlling Malkovich, and who eventually becomes Malkovich. Like Get Out, Schwartz occupies the mind and controls the host. What's interesting is the cinematic strategy to represent the view of the interloper is similar to The Sunken Place, whereby the host is aware of the presence of another force and is unable to do anything about it. But this mind meld is more like being inserted into an avatar. The designs of those who occupy Malkovich also parallel Get Out, including sexual pleasure, gender identity, and artistic fame. The film is a bizarre comedy, however, and the characters are not portrayed as malevolent, but rather as unfulfilled and desperate to be someone else, or to achieve immortality.
Beyond situations and settings in the film that reflect common encounters that resonate with a Black audience, Peek extends the concept of "double consciousness" into "The Sunken Place." The evil intentions of the Armitages are not suspect until Missy hypnotizes Chris. Missy initially offers her services to cure Chris of his nicotine addiction, which parallels a characteristic of Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) in Meet the Parents, who chews Nicorette to hide this same problem from his girlfriend's father. Rose defends Chris's refusal by saying, "Some people don't want you messing around in their heads." Another double entendre, which is exactly what happens in the basement of the Armitage's home.
Again and again, Rose appears to defend Chris, which endears her to him and projects to the audience the illusion that she is sincere. Protecting him from her parents' aggressive and inappropriate behavior, however, is actually an offensive strategy to settle his uneasiness. This mirrors her defensive actions after the deer accident when the highway patrolman asks Chris for his identification. She challenges the patrolman's authority, implying that this request is racially motivated. Subsequently, Chris says to Rose, "That was hot."
Chris also notices a teddy bear on the nightstand beside their bed, which looks curious and is reminiscent of a scene in Meet the Parents, which is not a toy, but spyware planted by Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro) to observe Greg. This suspicious behavior is funny in Meet the Parents, but in Get Out, it relates to more sinister motives.
Likewise, in order to hypnotize him, Missy tricks Chris into a disingenuous conversation about the death of his mother that disarms and weakens him. She stirs and taps the perimeter of her teacup, another symbol of Southern gentility, and sends him to "The Sunken Place." The view of the real world from The Sunken Place is like a view through a telephoto lens that extends the human eye and frames a scene in the distance. But unlike photography, whereby Chris controls the mechanism of the camera, The Sunken Place is like a space of suspended animation. It is an intensification of "double consciousness," wherein the person is helplessly trapped, experiencing a world from afar, while suffering within. Of course, when Chris awakens, he thinks he has experienced a dream, and only vaguely remembers that he may have been hypnotized, because now, the thought of a cigarette is repulsive.
THE BINGO GAME
The following day, a processional of black limousines arrives for an "annual event" that Grandpa started at the Armitage Estate. Walter greets a stream of wealthy, elderly, and predominantly White guests dressed in black, white, gray and/or red. The imagery in this sequence is suggestive of a funeral, and their insensitive comments about Chris are spoken to and about him, as if he is deceased or absent from the conversation. Laden with innuendos about Black male hyper-sexuality, a White woman queries Rose about Chris: "So handsome. Is it as good as they say," she says, while caressing Chris's bicep. An elderly White man comments: "Fair skin has been in favor for the past couple of hundred years, but the pendulum has swung back. Black is back in fashion." This strange and awkward compliment says more about the speakers aspirations to assume that image than it does about Chris's racial circumstances. As a Black guest in a White house, Chris endures these and other insults, while his double consciousness filters these words and actions as indicative of the condition of White privilege.
Chris's engagement with the ex-professional golfer is another superficial conversation about race. His selective praise, "I know Tiger [Woods] " is a segue to query Chris about his golf skills. This celebration of Blackness might be a complimentary and honest admiration for one of the greatest golfers of all time; however, the speaker is actually appraising Chris in anticipation of the auction block: "How is your swing?" The subversive intention of his conversation is in pursuit of Chris's golfing talents. Chris's polite response is, "I'm not that good."
Conversely, the blind art dealer, Jim Hudson (Stephen Root), appears to be more enlightened than the other White guests. He says to Chris, "They're ignorant ... all of them." He knows Chris Washington by his reputation as a photographer, and conversely, Chris knows Hudson as a gallery owner. Chris marvels at Hudson's ability to run one of the most prestigious galleries in New York despite his disability. Hudson's character could represent intelligence and insight, as his comments and blindness could also be perceived as an inner vision that renders a deeper consciousness.
Hudson's admiration for Chris's talent, however, is the reason Hudson is present at the event. He desires Chris's eyes, so he can regain his sight and acquire "the eye" of an exceptional photographer and talent he never possessed. Unlike the other guests, Hudson is not motivated by the loss of his sexuality or failed skill in sports, which are largely related to physical attributes steeped in racial stereotypes about African Americans. Hudson wants to be a great artist. "Shit ain't fair," an ambiguous double entendre that Chris and Hudson both say and agree. While Chris is commenting on Hudson's condition; Hudson is musing about his intention to usurp his circumstances by taking over Chris's eyes.
SEEING THROUGH THE LENS OF DOUBLE CONSCIOUSNESS
Photography is an essential element in the progression of plot, and in the main character's identity and survival. In the film, the camera is used as an instrument that documents, extends and expands sight, and it also informs thematic context. When Chris resorts to photography, it reveals truth underneath the pretense of the characters, and it provides visual cues related to the conspiracy to enslave him. As a photographer, he intuitively begins to notice irregularities at the Armitage home, especially when he encounters Black people, helping him to understand what is happening to and around him. The camera provides a second sight that penetrates illusions, such as observing Georgina through the camera lens, admiring her reflection in the mirror, revealing a curious wonderment about her image.
After enduring, inappropriate and taxing comments about his Blackness, Chris arms himself with his camera, which is a retreat to his own consciousness, separating him from the intrusion of White people. But then, another Black person comes into his view. Unbeknownst to Chris, he is the Black man abducted in the opening sequence of the film. In order to "stay woke," Chris rushes up to him for confirmation, saying, "It's good to see another brother here," offering a fist bump that is received like a handshake. Instead of a "brother," Chris encounters the behavior and speech of an old White man dressed in young Black skin. A much older White woman disrupts this interaction, and "the brother" introduces himself as "Logan King." Stilted speech patterns and stiff movements don't match his apparent age or any Black cultural indicators, but they do match the irregularities observed in Georgina and Walter. After retreating from this awkward encounter, Chris observes Logan on display for some White people.
Subsequently, Chris is asked by an elderly Japanese man, "How do you find the African American experience in the modern world?" Chris dodges the question by passing it off to Logan, who says it's fine, but more recently he has been confining most of his time to his chores, which again reiterates the menial aspects of Black identity. Chris takes aim with his cell phone camera, and the flash startles "Logan" out of "The Sunken Place." He rushes Chris, shouting: "Get Out!" This double entendre is a warning to Chris and Logan's desire to escape being Logan.
WHITE ROSE AND AMBIGUOUS SYMBOLISM
Almost every aspect of Get Out is laden with dual and ambiguous symbolism. The image of a rose is usually associated as a "red rose," a romantic symbol for love, which appears to be Rose's relationship to Chris. During the dinner scene, a decorative deer head appears above Rose's head, identifying her role in the entrapment of black bucks. Red is also the symbolic color of danger and blood. Rose drives a red car that kills a deer, an incident that reminds Chris of his mother's death in a hit-and-run car accident and foreshadows Georgina's fate.
Rose is White, which inverts into "white Rose," which is her racial identity. A white rose can be symbolically interpreted as innocence or death, depending on the context, which does reflect the dual behavior of Rose Armitage. Her initial actions constantly reassure Chris and the audience of her innocence and that she is not like other White people, including her parents, who she later admits "are so white." She defends Chris against the intrusion of Whiteness, such as the White police officer who asks to see Chris's identification at the scene of the deer accident, which appears to be supportive, even radical. In anticipation of his subsequent abduction, however, documentation by authorities could prove problematic.
Rose also defends Chris against her family's rude behavior, including her inebriated brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), who tries to goad Chris into a fighting match at the dinner table. Rose's comments for and against her family convey that her neoliberal parents appall her, and that she "stands by her man." Despite all of Chris's suspicions about everything that has transpired, he still wants Rose to leave with him. Even the discovery of the red box behind the white door filled with amorous photos of Rose with several Black men, which is concrete, photographic evidence that implicates Rose, or at least contradicts her carefully crafted performance. But, Chris does not confront her. Perhaps, because the more urgent matter at this point is for her to find the car keys, so he can, "Get Out."
After Chris is captured, Rose's Whiteness is unambiguously presented. Dressed in a white turtleneck, drinking white milk, munching on Fruit Loops, while trolling the internet for more Black, male victims, Rose's image is cold and her gaze is deadly. Framed photos of her previous victims hang above her bed, like hunting trophies.
COAGULA AND THE MATRIX
Chris is captured and strapped to a brown leather chair in the basement. A deer head is mounted on the wall in front of him, above an antique television set. A video appears, featuring Grandpa Armitage explaining "coagula," and then a second one with Jim Hudson explaining the importance of "our common understanding of the three stages of the process: 1. Hypnotism, 2. Mental Preparation, and 3. Partial Transplantation of the Brain. Chris's brain will still be connected to the nervous system for physiological functions, but when the two brains fuse, a double consciousness is formed, but the White brain is in total control. The brain of the Black host is suspended in The Sunken Place, an inner space without light or gravity, and without free will.
Chris asks: "Why Black people?" Hudson's reply is ironic in lieu of the exploitation and admiration of Black people and reflects answers to the strange questions and statements heard earlier: "Who knows? People want to change--be stronger, faster, cooler. I want your eye. I want those things you see through."
The video sequences are allusions to a scene in The Matrix, when seated in red leather chairs, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) tells Neo (Keanu Reeves) "You are a slave, Neo." Then, Morpheus clicks a remote and they appear inside the television set, while Morpheus explains "The Matrix" to Neo. This cinematic parallel is also a futuristic projection about slavery. Like The Matrix, The Sunken Place is a dream-like state, where human life is used to empower The Machine World. But unlike being plugged into The Matrix, where one endures servitude in a dreamlike state and with the illusion of control, in The Sunken Place, Chris will be a trapped passenger, suffering in servitude to Hudson and observing life from afar.
"I AM THE T.S. MUTHA FUCKIN' A. WE HANDLE SHIT."
T.S A. Rod Williams brings balance to mysterious and terrifying plot developments and provides comic relief with an endearing African American sensibility. While Rod exhibits instincts that counter and anticipate, his best friend is blinded by love; that Rod is a T.S.A. officer supplies a suspicious characteristic that challenges Chris's trusting, sensitive naivete. Their phone conversations are curious and hilarious, which suggests that Rod is not to be taken seriously. His over-zealous instincts suspect an elderly female passenger might be a terrorist. His judgment is reprimanded, which initially suggests to the audience that Rod might not be a reliable witness.
When Rod's comments are juxtaposed with Chris's experiences at the Armitage's estate, however, the audience becomes more aware and begins to connect the dots, especially after Missy hypnotizes Chris. Rod shouts: "They can have you doing anything ... barking like a dog, or flapping around like a pigeon ... turn you into a sex slave," which is exactly what happened to Logan. Chris explains to Rod, "It's as if all the Black people here missed the movement."
At the same time, Rod gains credibility as he supplies real details and analysis, as the plot thickens. Denying the credibility of Dean's clinical expertise as a neurosurgeon, Chris does not accept the explanation that Logan had a seizure. Furthermore, he states: "I know him--not Logan, but the guy who came at me." This recognition of the two persons is confirmed when Rod recognizes Andre in the photo. "That's Dre. Andre Hayworth, who used to hang out with Veronica ... Theresa's sister who works at the movie theatre on 8th."
Rod's response confirms Chris's concern about being hypnotized, and when Rod hears about the older White woman, he yells, "Sex slave!" He tells Chris, "You might be in some kind of Eyes Wide Shut situation," a reference to Stanley Kubrick's erotic film (1999) about sexual adventures.
The double entendre of Rod Williams' dialogue reiterates the subtle and nuanced "double consciousness" that pervades this film, especially the scene in the police station. Unable to reach Chris by phone, Rod decides to engage the police. He identifies himself as a T.S.A. officer and presents his credentials to affirm his credibility. He explains to a Black policewoman his concern about the disappearance of Chris and his suspicion that Chris has been hypnotized and is a sex slave, referencing Andre's bizarre circumstances as evidence of a pattern. The female officer pretends to take Rod's report seriously; however, after she returns with two more Black officers, who listen intensely to Rod's story about sex slavery, they all burst into laughter. The policewoman turns and says to her colleagues: "Don't you ever say I haven't done anything for you."
The joke is at Rod's expense, but her last comment, "The White girls will get you every time," reiterates Rod's previous warnings to Chris. The underlying horror of this statement is historical. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, even a rumor of a romantic liaison or sexual encounter with a White woman could result in the lynching of a Black male.
"CONSIDER THE SITUATION HANDLED"
Chris outsmarts his captors by stuffing his ears with fabric that resembles cotton from the chair. No longer susceptible to Missy's hypnosis technique, he knocks Jeremy out with a pool ball and uses the mounted deer head on the wall as a weapon, gorging Dean in the gut with it. This compounded symbolism provides revenge for the deer and facilitates Chris's escape.
Like a fugitive slave, or Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx) in Quentin Tarintino's Django Unchained, Chris eventually kills the whole family--Jeremy, Dean, and Missy, and coincidentally burns down the Big House, when Dean falls into a candle that sets the surgical room on fire. Because Chris can't let her die by the side of the road, like his mother, he mistakenly tries to save Georgina (Grandma) after she runs into Jeremy's white car during Chris's escape. When Grandma (Georgina) regains consciousness, she attacks Chris, causing the car crash. Rose shoots at Chris with a shotgun, and Grandpa (Walter) runs him down, like Jessie Owens sprinting in an Olympic race.
But the cell phone camera saves Chris. He startles Walter out of The Sunken Place with the flash. Walter stops choking Chris, gets up, turns around, reaches for the gun, and tells Rose, "Let me do it." The timbre of Walter's voice changes, because he is now "Woke." But, White Rose does not notice the shift in his intonation, and she gives him the shotgun. Walter shoots her in the gut. Red blood discolors her white turtleneck, and she collapses. Then, Walter shoots himself in the head, killing Grandpa and ending his misery in The Sunken Place.
Get Out is a fascinating film that recalls the memory of slavery, while projecting contemporary ignorance and racism that persist in American culture and society under the guise of neoliberalism. The contemporary horror of Donald Trump's "God Complex" is symbolic of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson, hanging in the oval office. When Trump fired Omarosa, and her tenure on the White House staff ended, people joked that she was in charge of The Sunken Place, where people of color are expected to assume roles that enhance the vision of White privilege. Unlike Colin Kaepernick protesting police brutality, or LeBron James, who is told to "shut up and dribble," "Black is back in fashion" as long as it acquiesces, compliant to tyranny as dictated by the current presidential administration. Appropriate Blacks think and act like White people, residing in The Sunken Place, where "double consciousness" dictates race relations in the White world and double talk dominates conversations about race. Black people are threatened and forbidden to "stay woke," speaking truth to power.
"I told you not to go there," Rod says, upon arriving in the final scene with lights flashing and sirens singing in the darkness. Rod is Chris's Harriet Tubman, rescuing him after his Nat Turner rebellion that probably would have ended with imprisonment or death. But Jordan Peele wanted to have a happy ending, the ultimate double entendre, securing the homeland from domestic terrorism: "I am T.S. mother-fucking A. We handle shit. Consider the situation handled." As Rod and Chris drive away, I hear Harriet Tubman's echo: "We Out."
(1) The Last Poets, This Is Madness, 1971, audio album.
(2) W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks. (New York: The Modern Library, 1996) p. 5. Originally published by Blue Heron, New York, 1953.
(3) President Andrew Jackson, a Southern slave owner, was responsible for the removal of Cherokee Native Americans from the Southern United States to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears that resulted in the death of thousands. It should also be noted that after the United States purchased Florida from Spain, Jackson lost a war waged on the Seminole Nation in an attempt to retrieve fugitive slaves, who were members of the Seminole Nation and to remove these Native Americans to a reservation in the Southwest.
Caption: Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington in Get Out.
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|Author:||Boyd, Melba Joyce|
|Publication:||Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2018|
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