Southside With YouDVD - 2016
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Thought it wasn't a date.
- It wasn't and it isn't.
Thought you said he was just another smooth-talking brother. You're going to an awful lot of trouble for just another smooth-talker.
Hi, Bar. Aren't you supposed to be on your date?
-I've got a few minutes before I need to leave. You're not checking up on me now, are you, too?
Well, maybe I am, but it's a grandmother's God-given right. You have a bad habit of being late. And if you're late to the first date, I can promise you there won't be a second.
-I won't be late. But I appreciate it. How's Gramps?
"How's Gramps?" He's Gramps!
It's not a date, Daddy. He's a summer associate I told y'all about, the one from Harvard Law. I mentioned I worked legal aid and he invited me to a community event at the Gardens.
And tell me again what she looks like.
- Well, she's tall.
Uh-huh. What else?
- What else would you like to know?
Well, where's she from?
Uh-huh. Which part?
- The side that's predominantly black.
Okay, so she's...?
- Yes, Toot. Her skin is of the darker persuasion.
Good. So long as you're happy, Bar.
So, what's this boy's name?
- Barack Obama.
- He's half white. Ugh. His father's from Kenya and his mother's white.
So, why isn't this a date?
- We work together. It's inappropriate.
Well, tell me, then.
-You're asking a lot of questions.
Shouldn't we be getting to the meeting?
- Ah, we have some time. It's not for another few hours.
- I thought we'd swing by the art center. There's an Afro-centric exhibit that's supposed to be...
Wait. What is this?
- "What is this?" I don't know. I mean, taken at face value, that's a pretty existential question, Michelle.
Barack, you seem like a really sweet guy, but how many times do I have to tell you we're not going out together?
- Mm, well, Michelle, thank you for saying that. You seem like a real sweet girl. But I have to correct you. We are in fact out and we are in fact together.
This is not a date.
- It doesn't have to be.
This is not a date.
- That's okay. I'll... I'll go at your pace.
It's hard enough being a woman at a giant corporate law firm. For all the talk of equality that goes around and all those filled quotas, I'm still surrounded by mostly men. So, I gotta work just a little bit
harder to earn everyone's respect. I gotta work a little bit harder to be taken seriously. Now add on that I'm black. All that extra work I put in to compensate for being a woman? Being black erases that and brings me back down to zero. So, now I'm working double-time just to be seen for who I am and what I'm capable of. Now, how's it gonna look to a guy like Thompson if I swoop in and start dating the first cute black guy who walks through the firm's doors? The liberal-minded people will think it's precious and the closed-minded people will think it's pathetic.
That was sweet of you, but I don't like pie.
- No, you're mistaken. This is not a slice of pie. This is a slice of heaven.
- You were born in '60?
'61. Hmm. A white woman and a black man getting married and having a kid back then. They were ahead of their time. You want the God's honest truth about my folks?
Okay. My mother thought Harry Belafonte was the most handsome man on the face of the planet. Yeah, I'd say chocolate was her favorite flavor, too. No, really, I think their attraction was that simple. My father looked like Nat King Cole and my mother looked like Patsy Cline.
But I also think God helps those who help themselves.
- I think I saw that on a bumper sticker somewhere.
That's how you know it's good.
There were white kids at school who would talk to me in class, but if I saw them out on the quad and they were with their other friends, they would walk right past me without so much as a nod. Now, obviously, the firm is not like that, but sometimes when I'm leaving Southside in the morning, headed for the Loop, I feel like I'm leaving Planet Black and landing on Planet White.
You think I'm wasting my life.
- Now, I never used those words.
You didn't have to use those words. You used other ones, and they stung just as much.
And the biggest offense is this is coming from a guy who quit community organizing for Harvard Law only to take a summer position at the same corporate firm he's railing against. Now that is the height of hypocrisy.
I may have gone on to a different life at Harvard, but you know what I realized? I never left the Gardens.
… victories do not come easy and they don't come big. They are few and far between. But you gotta use them like building blocks. You know, one by one, one on top of the other, and little by little, you got yourself a building.
And that's exactly what you need in this case is a building for your community center.
You know, the founders made it that way on purpose. They made it messy... so that no one law, no one government, no one man, could decide the fate of everything and everyone. In very simple terms, we got a heck of a lot of different people with a heck of a lot of different agendas. But I also believe that people, most people, are basically, at their core, good people. ... No matter what we think about someone... we never truly know what it's like to walk in their shoes. But we have to try. You know, whether it's a colleague, a family member, or a particular opponent... well, especially our opponents. Because where their needs align with our needs... is where things get done. Now, that's America. Just a bunch of different states. States of land, states of mind, states of people. And it's up to us, all of us, to keep all those different states... united.
I've never had that with anyone other than my own family. It's nice. Anyway, when we went to visit her family,
they were incredibly gracious to me. Very nice, open-minded people. But I looked around at all the pictures on the walls,
all the white faces, and I knew I couldn't spend any more of my life living as an outsider.
I've noticed how you talk about your father. That's such an angry way to live your life... judging him, living your life against his. You're still fighting him, but he's not here anymore. You said earlier you felt his life was incomplete. Every father's life is incomplete. That's why they have sons... to finish what they started.
Now, we gotta stop thinking the word "no" is the end of the line, Curtis. "No" is just a word. You flip those letters around, you get an entirely different word. "On." That's right. As in carry on.
Why would the deliveryman have thrown the trash can through his employer's window? He must have known his actions would cause the mob to riot. It seemed totally irrational.
- Let me put it to you another way, Avery.
I'm all ears.
- If Mookie hadn't thrown the trash can, maybe the crowd would have turned on Sal and his sons. So, instead of the store being destroyed, they might be dead. And Mookie knew the insurance would cover the damage to the store. He was saving Sal's life.
I never would have considered that perspective, Barack. See, that's why we need a guy like you full-time. Michelle, make sure to treat him real good. We want him sticking around. We'll see you both Monday.
- Good night.
- You know I only said that to make Avery feel better. Mookie threw that trash can because he was fxcking angry.
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