So, I took Le Kid to see Selma last week. Although I LOVED the film I wasn’t going to take it him; I figured seeing the violent clashes between police and protestors would be too trill for his young eyes. I mean, I could barely stand to watch, and was on the verge of tears for most of the film. Still, after watching Our Friend Martin on MLK day, Le Kid said he wanted to see Selma too because he “wanted to learn about the King.”
I milled it over for a little while, asked other parents for advice, and even tried to talk him out of it. But I finally decided to let him see the film because he was adamant he could handle it and he wanted to know more about Dr. King.
Before we got to the theater, I tried to prepare Le Kid (or scare him out of seeing it?), letting him know that some of the scenes might be upsetting and that if he wanted to leave, it would totally be okay.
I almost changed my mind at the last minute, but we went to a matinee anyway. The opening caught his attention. It’s jarring, loud, and sad, but he made it. I breathed a sigh of relief, but knew more graphic (yet very, very important) things were coming.
When protestors clashed with police Le Kid wanted to know why some white people were so racist back then, he talked about wanting to hulk smash them, and thought the protesters were right to stand up for justice. When the Bloody Sunday scenes came, he didn’t cry (like me), but leaned into side and flinched every time someone got hit.
After the film Le Kid was full of questions (and opinions), so we talked about the bad ol’ days of American history, which included slavery, Jim Crow, and rampant racism. I told him his great-grandma grew up in the South and she had to live through segregation, and he said he’d ask her about it too. Score.
Although I was nervous about taking him to see the film, I’m glad I did. Kids are amazingly smart and resilient and WANT knowledge. I’m glad I was able to expose him to some of America’s troubling history, which opened the door for us to discuss it more.
Most importantly, though, I’m glad I was able to capture some of his thoughts on video, and now we’re sharing it with you.
So take a look at one 9-year-old’s opinion Selma. And if you haven’t seen it, GO!