dexter r jones

6

WHERE HAS THE NIGHT GONE? by Dexter R. Jones

Mystery misunderstood.
She was chased away by the harsh realities of the day.
No one fervently peeked around the corners of the sky awaiting her return.
But she returned.
Too often She heard the hopes and declarations of good Mornings.
But never enough did any ever wish of her a good Night.
Still She remained a Good Knight
To an impossible Black sky.

Model: Lilian Uwanyuze
Photography by: Dexter R. Jones
© All Rights Reserved
IG: sirdexrjones  

10
ABANDON by Dex R. Jones

I waited here for you until I questioned my own presence.
Virtue chips away from patience
like paint from walls
I have become a ghost that haunts this place.
But I have made this story my home
Nary a record ever skip.
Nor a song absent from my heart.
I still smile.
I still know joy.
I find myself tickled by the thought of you.
Laughing when nothing is funny.
Only now, I find solace in dancing on my own
with reckless abandon.

Dancer | Model: Felicia limada
Photography by: Dexter R. Jones
© All Rights Reserved

IG: sirdexrjones

8

Select images of published authors, Jason Reynolds and Jaime Lewis from Dex R. Jones’ contribution to the Dandy Lion group exhibition at Mocada in Brooklyn, 2011.

Photography by Dexter Ryan Jones
© All Rights Reserved

Instagram: sirdexrjones

10

[12.21.2014]

 WHY SLAVE FILMS DON’T MATTER IN AMERICA 

by

Dexter R. Jones


I just finished watching

Fury

starring Brad Pitt and a bunch of other white guys + one Mexcian.  'Twas a great World War II film.  However, being a Black man with eyes wide open, my mind couldn’t help but wander over to thoughts of

12 Years A Slave

.  "What do these two movies have in common?“, you might ask.  Well, not much.  I’m sure this is all old news to a lot of you now but what I was really thinking about was all those people, Black and white alike, who kept saying that they were tired of seeing yet another slave movie.  I just heard Charlamagne Tha God say it again in his interview with Chris Rock recently.   I like watching WWII movies.  I don’t know why but for some reason I do.  One of my favorite movies happens to be

Saving Private Ryan

.  There’s just something about that war.  I don’t spend my good money to go see these films but I do enjoy them.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  Apparently so does the rest of America.  Within the first few seconds of watching

Fury

, I felt the need to point out to myself, and now to others, that in my lifetime, I have seen countless, I repeat COUNTLESS WWII films.  And upon release of these films not once did I ever hear someone complain that they were tired of seeing WWII films.  I do however remember Spike Lee consistently having to explain himself on why he decided to make one of his own in

Miracle at St. Anna

; a major WWII film that finally dared to remind Americans that Black men fought and died in their war too.  They made him explain his criticism of Clint Eastwood for the lack of Black presence in his WWII film,

Flags of our Fathers

.  But shouldn’t white America have to explain themselves at this point?  After all, we still live in a world where they think it’s perfectly acceptable to have ancient Egyptians played by an all white cast in

Exodus

.  This is white supremacy at it’s most comical.  Seems quite silly, doesn’t it?  Well to people like myself and all those who find themselves marching and protesting in the streets as of late, it’s more than just silly.  It’s pretty damn insulting and no one seems to be ashamed.  Heck, I’m ashamed.  I’m ashamed to even be associated with the pro-white propagandists that we share the country with.  I’m ashamed that I actually once considered myself a fan of

Exodus

director, Ridley Scott, who also directed one of my all-time favorite sci-fis in

Alien

.  I feel shame and they feel none.  This is just another indication that white supremacy is working and working well. Now before I go on, I would just like to point out that there really have not been many slave movies.  In my lifetime, I can only think of three:

12 Years A Slave

,

Django

, and

Amistad

.  That’s all.  I’ve looked it up.  All other movies were either Civil War films or simply used slavery as a backdrop for white protagonists, like

Lincoln

for example.   So…..why?  What is Charlamagne Tha God even talking about?  Why do we make very little room for "slave movies” but can never have enough room for white WWII movies?  For that matter, why do we have so much tolerance for our minds to be inundated with any & every kind of film lately?  We can watch a million superhero movies, medieval films with white men on horseback, post-apocalyptic movies, mafia films, and war films in general without a problem.  But we can barely let one more “slave movie” slip by.  Why?  As an artist and media maker it is a subject I have deep interest in.   The answer is simple:  To mainstream America, Black lives just DON’T matter.  It is written all across the silver screen and our television sets.  Apparently no one cares to be reminded of true stories of Black suffering on screen unless it’s by the hands of another Black man.  And though

12 Years A Slave

has had it’s successes, I continue to hear the same complaints about the film’s very existence.  Yet, I did not hear enough outcry about the fact that we have seen way too many movies about African genocide which quite gruesomely show Africans killing other Africans.   I believe the blatant agenda/propaganda serves to remind us not only of how conditioned we are from birth to value the lives of whites as well as their history over Blacks, but also that the conditioning must stop.  That we seem to have very little control over what we see of ourselves in mainstream media and we must take control.  We must exercise our power.  We must use whatever control we do have in a very conscientious way.  For we have millions of stories to tell and are quite rich in history that indeed does go further back than slavery and is independent of white American involvement.  This takes hard and very decisive work.   More importantly we should also be alert to the fact that all things are connected.  The things we see do not just have an affect on the psyche’s of Blacks.  They are coded messages that are subconsciously understood by all.  "Black lives still don’t matter".  This message is believed by far too many; particularly by the authority and unfortunately by ourselves.  And as far as our media is concerned, why should we matter?  So as we now see, it continues to play itself out in very real life & death scenarios throughout the country.  And to argue with a people who are suffering while at the same time struggling just to have their voices heard, that ALL lives matter is so……it’s just dumb.  But White America and White Supremacy is all we know and all we’ve lived.  So many of us will do all we can to defend it. -

sir dex