Bridgerton showed up as a suggestion on Netflix when I was browsing one evening. I saw that it was a period piece based on 19th-century Britain, which marginally sparked my interest (to be fair, I did like Pride and Prejudice after all). But when I noticed the picture of the tall Black man peering over the shoulder of the dainty snow White woman standing beside him in a garden of sorts, I was immediately repelled (despite the obvious attractiveness of the former). I was sure that I already knew what this show was all about.
I knew that this had to be yet another show about interracial love “surviving the odds” and triumphing against the maelstrom of hate and racism. The Black man would undoubtedly face some kind of violence and prejudice in trying to have the White woman as his own — maybe he’d be threatened, maybe he’d be lynched, or otherwise wounded. His Blackness would be an affront to the delicate White purity of the treasured White woman — a type of purity that demanded the protection of the White male members of her family and community. It would seem that anytime a Black and a White person are in a movie together that the plot will revolve around race, in very much the same way that the fatness of a fat character will most certainly play a role (more so than the actual actor). When White is default and thin is in, any deviation is the fixation.
While this fixation can often prove educational, I am exhausted. I just don’t have the emotional bandwidth anymore.
I am unfortunately tired of seeing Black pain and Black suffering and Black trauma on the screen. I am still low-key traumatized since watching Twelve Years a Slave a few years back and to this day every now and again, my mind runs on Patsey. I own Roots — the book — and have watched Roots — the movie, but I have not been able to bring myself to rewatch Roots after all these…