By Chelyse Prevost
Blog Content Contributor
For the few of those who are unfamiliar, Black Mirror is a British drama-based television series plotting on the dark, yet very vivid downfalls of humanity. The series heavily revolves around overwhelming uses of social media and technology in the present-future tense, paralleling modern day society. Though it’s original season piloted in 2011, and was only then brought to an American audience on Netflix in 2016, the objective in each and every episode is controversial and timeless. With no better timing than Black History Month, I’d like to draw on some of the darker reflections to keep in mind as we continue to land our footing in social equity, justice, and freedom.
What you see is what you believe. One of Black Mirror’s biggest themes in the downfall of humanity is the negligence of awareness. We as people inevitably fall subject to our perspective everyday and in every way. We live in a time where the information we seek is literally at the palm of our hands, but without the care to be aware, that all means nothing. Though mass media has the means to unite societies and cultures, we too often are wrapped up in petty matters and too rarely focused on what should concern us. For example, NFL player Edwin Jackson was fatally killed in a car accident by a drunk driver last Sunday. His death made headlines, but ultimately popular awareness was clouded by Kylie Jenner’s baby, the Super Bowl, and now Trump’s political two cents in that the drunk driver was an undocumented immigrant. Granted, atrocities happen everyday and beyond our individual control, but this is in part due to being desensitized to the issues that don’t necessarily affect us. Hashtags and shares may not end the slave trade in Libya or put an end to police brutality, but awareness above all else is what stirs change.
Character is Everything
Even if you don’t play a big part, you still have a role. This point of our lives is our coming of age as a generation bound with powerful platforms for widespread communication. Our words along with all of our projections onto the world have power, and as we all know, power means responsibility. Some of the most incredibly pivotal characters played in Black Mirror demonstrated courage, integrity, and insubordination alone to fight injustice. Just as much as we need people rallying and rioting in the streets for social movements, we need people just demonstrating good character. The injustices within a sector of society may not have any effect on you or anyone you know in your community. However, it’s our moral responsibility to support the general welfare of society. To be human enough to take others lives and well-being into consideration as we live life everyday is enough to be an active member of social change. Whether it be speaking up for others or thinking twice before acting and speaking insensitively, we all have the means to stand by those who can’t stand for themselves.
The Revolution Will Be Televised
The reason Black Mirror is so groundbreaking as a series is because it’s eerily relatable and reflective of true society to some degree. There’s been countless theories made about certain plots and concepts in episodes that already appear in our social construct. We haven’t come to the degree of having to radically uprise and revolt as a whole, but we must slowly come about a revolution of change. Through increasing the priority of our awareness towards problematic social structures and issues we create social movements that will bring about social change. By taking a step back to consider the circumstances that neglect others of their humanity and using ourselves as a platform to educate we bring about social change. Black History Month is implemented to celebrate the lives and strides of African Americans; not just through racism, but through the adversities in gender, religion, socio-economic injustices we still fight today.
Featured image by Chelyse Prevost.