A Cinematic Journey through the 20th Century
April 12, 2011
Growing up in a small city in Croatia kept me far away from racism issues and people with different skin color were familiar to me only through the TV screen. I cannot say that I was not familiar with the segregation and events that were happening in the US between the African-Americans and Caucasians. However, I never thought about the issue in depth since it was a far away world to me. Maybe the best example illustrating how rare this situation was for a small country like Croatia, is the fact that as kids we used to run to the windows when a black person was crossing the street. It was a very rare event for us. After I graduated from high school I decided to study abroad and the small social circle of my hometown, that was surrounding me by then, started to widen. I started to meet people of different origins, different cultures and different customs. For the first time in my life I realized that the faraway world was not so far away at all. Nevertheless, I arrived in a changed America where the elected president is African-American and where all people seem to have equal rights. Therefore, the image of a segregated North America that I had from my history classes and movies was slowly fading. By watching “King”, for the first time I felt somehow different about African-American people since now I live in the society where I meet and interact with them on a daily basis. Thus, I started putting together bits and pieces from the knowledge I acquired in the past and I tried to imagine myself as if I had a different skin color. In other words, I tried to put myself in the shoes of African-American people.
As I mentioned, the history of Black America was not completely unfamiliar to me. I had heard about Martin Luther King a couple of times during my time in high school and I admired him for what he had achieved. However, I did not know much about...