As a storyteller, I enjoy reading and hearing stories from other authors. Daniel Lieske’s “The Journey Begins” is one of those authors who is both a storyteller and illustrator. Great combination. If you click on the image above you will be transported to an enjoyable journey through his imagination and story development.
This past weekend, I saw Spike Lee’s production of “BLACKkKLANSMAN.” Based on a true story about an African-American police officer who is able to infiltrate the local Colorado KKK with the help of a white Jewish officer. The events took place almost 40 years ago, in a time I well remembered. The film’s ending centers on the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. It ends with footage of the white supremacist, David Duke and statements made by President Trump. The connection is made and I wonder if more of these stories aren’t going to pop up as we move into the next Presidential election. What do you think?
Back in 1961, my elementary school friend, Darryl Yee, was hired into an all Asian cast movie called, “The Flower Drum Song.” The movie centered on the cultural issues between Chinese parents born in China and their children born in the United States. The movie setting was San Francisco. Now, 57 years later, the newest all Asian cast movie, “Crazy Rich Asian,” has also had success on the big screen. The theme is similar with a similar theme of Chinese born in the United States vs those born in China. Traditions and cultural changes. But this is a similar theme for any ethnicity coming from the East, West, or South. The real issues in these stories are based on tradition in how another culture works.
For example, both leading women, in both movies, wear red and have Chinese fans as part of their identification. Is this a stereotype, tradition, or identification of a culture? The real concern in both of these movies focused on whether the next generation had lost their mother tongue and traditions in favor of adopting their new culture fully. In both movies, there is a cannibalizing of both the old and new culture to create a new one. While an older generation will say it has been watered down, the new generation feels it has taken the best from both worlds.
Stories have the power the change peoples thoughts, prejudices and stereotypes. They have the power to raise up a righteous causes or dictators. Stories have influenced our culture, our understanding, and even how we make our decisions. Stories can be as small as a 30 second commercial to a 3-hour blockbuster. Stories are always thought as a form of entertainment, but good stories educate too! What stories have had influence in your life?