Posted by: Mothers Against Teen Violence | April 14, 2009

American Violet

Have you seen the movie American Violet yet? If so, what did you think about it?



  1. I went to see American Violet. This movie is highly entertaining, the acting is superb, and the story is told very well. I think that everyone should see this movie.

    However, listening to Michelle Martin’s interview of Alfre Woodard on NPR, I was left wondering: How is it possible to interview and actor about an issue-oriented film and not mention the issue?

    The issue in American Violet is not African American’s “ongoing distrust of the criminal justice system” (as though African Americans are the ones with the problem). Nor is the movie about the “stereotype of the black woman going off…” And Tulia, Texas and the fake drug scandal in Dallas, Texas should dispel any notion that this film is about an isolated incident. In those cases and in this movie the issue is: a Criminal Justice System that is not just; a system that, in far too many cases, targets not only “the powerless”, but one that intentionally targets (as Michelle so carefully avoided saying) African Americans and Hispanics. How else could one explain that despite the fact that whites and blacks share precisely the same rate of illegal drug usage, 75% of those incarcerated for drug-related offenses are black??

    When Michelle asked, “There are so many other issues that you could be involved in; why does this particular issue move you so much? The question that came to my mind was: Why wouldn’t an African American–or anyone else who claims to care about justice, civil liberties, or the wanton destruction of innocent people’s lives–be moved by this issue?

    Alfre Woodard is a first-rate, award winning actress who is not only attractive, and talented, but also grounded. To her credit, she managed extremely relevant and insightful comments despite the nearly irrelevant questions.

    Go to for theaters and times in your city.

    Here’s the link to the interview. Copy and paste in your browser.

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