'The Most Important Black Film of the Year 2000'
"Bring It On" and what it means to black culture
The year 2000 was a great year for film, but more importantly, black cinema. You had classics like Remember The Titans, cult favs like Next Friday and Love And Basketball, not to mention The Wayans Brothers breaking records with their greatest film "Scary Movie." Every movie I said is timeless, but none will be as culturally relevant to black culture as the teen cheerleader movie "Bring It On," yea you read that right, BRING IT ON!
One washed day; I was on Netflix and in a column of movie suggestions "Bring It On" popped up because I recently watch the movie "The Color Purple". Naturally, I thought why that would be in there, to the naked eye there's no clear correlation between the two films, but the weirdo in me just had to do a little investigating.
To come clean, Bring It On was 1 of my favorite movies as a kid. I mainly watched it cause I was a fan of the biggest black girl group at the time, not Destiny's Kid or infant or whatever but the girl group Blaque. Remember the songs 808 and Bring it All To Me. (RIP Natina Reed) I didn't care that it was a movie about cheerleading, I just thought it was a fresh and funny movie, there lies the problem. As a kid, central themes of propaganda never initially set in with children, they just want to see cool shit. You think a child give a shit about the social comparisons of Professor X and Magneto from the Xmen to MLK and Malcolm X? Fuck No! They just want to see Wolverine tear niggas a new 1.
There lies "Bring It On", a movie about a white cheerleading captain named Torrance (shit that's a white ass name) that finds out all of her squad's routines were ripped off from an inner city cheerleading squad from Compton at the hands of Torrance's predecessor aptly named "Big Red." The theme seems simple enough for a child but as an adult who's heavily invested urban culture of today as well as the past, I can't help but think of the countless times in the past black culture has been undervalued. Whitewashing, appropriation or sheer culture vulturing (I think that's a term) has dated back to numerous inventions by black people that in which white people took credit. The countless rock and roll songs that got ripped off by the Beach Boys and other white acts. All the way to present day, ask a black kid to do the Harlem Shake, then ask a white kid to do the same and tell me the results you get. Black people are the proprietors of style and everything that is cool. My favorite line of the movie easily came from Isis, Captain of the "East Compton Clovers" when she asked Torrence "Burr, it's cold in here, there must be some Toros in the atmosphere, you thought a white girl came up with that shit?" The East Compton Clovers was always the better squad but due to the school's low finances has never been able to compete nationally. Same goes for urban culture. There's plenty of talented and bright young minds with high ceilings, but not everyone has visible resources or connections to excel in life. As an adult, I found the correlation between the film and real life struggles of black culture somewhat brilliant.
Not only does Bring It On tackle a social issue that's plagued our country for decades but it makes light of it in a very tasteful way. As an adult, I was very impressed wit the way they portrayed black people with nothing and still coming out on top. Isis could've easily taken the money Torrence offered her so the latter's squad could travel to compete but she proudly declined to show that she needed to be strong for not only herself but the rest of her team. They eventually took a donation from an Oprah knockoff so they can travel and compete, then proceeded to BUST THEM WHITE BITCHES ASS! But at the end, both parties had mutual respect for one another. That's the beauty of black culture in general. Black people are born into situations where the odds are always stacked against them yet we still find ways to be innovative and come out on top. If that's not relevant to black culture than I'm just gone off that Flocka, PEACE.