Awareness & Insecurity: Jewish Identity in BlacKkKlansman

Behind the brazen, stylised statement of its title, Spike Lee’s new joint BlacKkKlansman has got a piercing agenda that rises far above a straightforward condemnation of colourism. Immediately assuring audiences that the film they are about to see is “based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit”, Lee’s latest takes on the Blaxploitation genre and white supremacism in 1970s America. But what’s really at play is a bigger, by no means incognito statement about the very real, very loud anger that shapes our political and personal identities today. And somehow, even the silent unreligious Jews sewn into America’s history get their own vocal retribution.

The fairly clear-cut premise sees Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a rookie cadet in the Colorado Springs Police Department, going from basement archives to undercover assignments quickly enough. For his biggest trick, he makes his way as not only the first African American officer at Colorado Springs, but the first and only Black man to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

Read the full feature on the Quietus

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