Black Tea: The New Civil Right (Rough Cut)| 1hr : 55mins
Director: Kevin J Dotson | Producer: Katy Jordan and Kevin J Dotson
Focus Years: 2014 | Country: United States
BLACK TEA is the story of eight African-Americans, representing a cross-section of conservative Black America, who are aligned with the Tea Party, a movement known to be racist. They describe themselves as the leaders in a â€œnewâ€ civil rights struggle, one that leans politically and socially to the Right. The interviews of this character-driven story unlock a nuanced story of race, democracy, and citizenship in "post-racial" America.
The characters in Black Tea view the Tea Party as a viable platform from which to wage a battle to reclaim American prosperity, rejoin the fight for African-American sovereignty, and reset the countryâ€™s moral balance to one that is Christian, conservative and righteous. They align themselves with the work of such Civil Rights leaders as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, often hearkening back to that â€œheroic periodâ€ in African-American history. And, they question the lack of strong African-American leadership today.
The characters' standpoints do not always align. Their reasons for involvement in the Tea Party range from fiscal conservatism, to mistrust of the GOP, to the failure of social programs. Their opinions on social justice, marriage equality, and whether or not to call themselves â€œAfrican-Americanâ€ or just â€œAmericanâ€ often conflict. But what bring each of the characters together under one roof are their religious values: they are all very Christian and have an evangelical righteousness of social mission. Thus, Black Tea's chapters are named after four Biblical elements:
â€¢ Genesis, where characters discuss their personal journeys and the birth of the Tea Party;
â€¢ Epiphany, where characters define their activism and accusations of Tea Party racism;
â€¢ Exodus, in which characters express their concerns about the social and political issues that face the nation, and their departure points from traditional politics, including that of the GOP;
â€¢ Revelation, in which characters give their visions of a Tea Party America, and offer forecasts for the future of this nation.
This film raises questions about the notion of a â€œpost-racialâ€ America, in an era of the nationâ€™s first Black president, elected 145 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It offers no simple answers, and challenges audiences to consider the Tea Party movement from the perspectives of everyday people who, in the face of criticism and alienation from peers, have dedicated themselves to supporting the movement.
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