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Brother Future 1991

T.J.'s leap into the past changes his future

Ryan Morofsky

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Brother Future 1991

A young man TJ, was selling stolen goods after school when the police saw him, they started chasing him. While he was running he crossed a street and got hit by a car; he then woke up in Charleston, South Carolina on the edge of a plantation in 1822. He was captured by horsemen patrolmen and taken into town be sold off at an auction. At first he did not understand where he was let alone what he was doing there; he then came to the conclusion that it was a dream, but later realized that he wasn’t dreaming. After many attempts to better his situation by escaping and using his wits to get what he wanted he comes to a realization that his efforts will not work. After being whipped by Zeke the slave driver, TJ heads over to Martilla a healer and a palm reader who earlier told him that in order to return to his own time he had to help another, however when she was putting salve on TJ’s wounds he exclaimed that he didn’t need help from anyone, she then proceeded to tell him to put the salve on his own back when he realized he couldn’t do it himself, he then understood that you must work together and help others not just try to gain for yourself. He learned to make friends and to help others, without thinking of putting himself first as he had done so in the beginning of the movie.
Cast and Crew
Phil lewis-TJ
Carl Lumbly-Denmark Vesey
Moses Gunn-Isaac
Frank Converse- Master Cooper
Bernard Addison-Zeke
Akosua Busia-Caroline
Vonetta McGee-Mortilla
Michael Burgess-Josiah

Ryan Morofsky
ES- 150 9:35
Professor Frederic W. Gooding, Jr.
Isaac is a hero to TJ overall because he teaches him how the plantation works and helps him to understand what going on in the world. Isaac is a long time slave that understands the pain that TJ is going through and helps him; he gives him advice on how to make it work, and how to change into a better person. He also stops Zeke from hurting TJ.
Denmark Vesey
is leading the revolt for the slaves. He shows TJ that is does not matter what color the skin is, or who the person is, that they will try to turn you against your own people. That they will do anything that they can to keep you down, it’s a way for them to take the power and control from you. He explains how in order to stay strong you have to stay together no matter how much you dislike another man of your race.
Mortilla shows TJ that he needs others, that he can’t be independent that others need him. She shows him that he needs to help others so he can be helped, that he ought to put others first or above him, because not everyone can do only for themselves. Everyone has to ban together and help each other, if TJ didn’t ban together with Josiah they would have never been able to escape, if he didn’t do his share of the work others would have a harder day, or others would have been hurt.
T.J. doesn’t start out as a hero, he starts out as selfish and independent person, but he later becomes a hero to Josiah, because he starts to realize that he has to help others. He helps Josiah learn to read and write, and helps him get with Caroline. Later on, he helps Josiah and Caroline escape by giving himself up and giving them the time to get away.
Josiah teaches TJ that helping others is better than being by yourself; TJ is a big people person but is too independent to ask for help. He forgives TJ for being the reason he gets whipped, because TJ failed at framing Zeke for taking the book. By the end of the movie Josiah helps him truly realize that depending on friends could save you from anything.
The book that TJ helps Josiah read has a lot of symbolism behind it. Josiah learns to read “to make men equal,” from the book he has taken, then later when TJ goes into the house to talk to Master Cooper he sees that he is looking for the book that Josiah has stolen from him. Master Cooper expresses aloud that it is a very important book to him. This shows irony in Master Cooper’s character because he says the book is important to him when it discusses the equality of all men and he owns a plantation full of slaves. And to add to the irony Master Cooper whips Josiah when he finds out that he had taken the book and punches Zeke in the face when he believes he took it. How could he say that a book about equality is important to him if he whips a slave for taking one book from the library? I believe this is very important because it shows how knowledge is power and how Master Cooper does not want slaves to have an education.
Another form of symbolism is when TJ finds out that Zeke is wearing Master Cooper’s clothes. In some ways it explains why Zeke acts the way he does. He is power hungry, and tries to act as if he has the same power as a white man. This shows why he is a cruel character to the slaves that he believes to be under him when in all actuality he is at the same status as the rest of them. He uses the clothes to show that he is more like the white man to the other slaves, but in reality he is still looked down at by the white men just like the rest of the slaves. Just because he wears the white man’s clothes doesn’t make him a white man. In the movie—while TJ is having a conversation with Josiah—TJ expresses a statement about Zeke stating, “when will he realize that the black won’t rub off.” I believe this is important because it shows that TJ understands that in order to make change all the slaves need to work together and Zeke should know this because has been there long enough.
Historical References
When T.J. and Josiah are talking about everybody having a right to vote for their representatives T.J. says one man one vote. Josiah answers by saying "But Master Cooper gets lots of votes, one for him and lots more for all the slaves he's got." During the time of slavery slave owners got more votes depending on how many slaves they had because that is how the law worked so essentially it was possible to buy votes
One obvious reference is when Master Cooper
gets very angry when he thinks T.J. might be
able to read. When T.J. asks what the title of
the book that he is looking for Master Cooper
instantly becomes angry and is ready to punish
T.J. Also when he finds out that Josiah took the
book from the library he whips him. Making sure
slaves were not educated was important for slave
owners because they needed to remain superior
to their "Property."
Some more difficult references to see are twoness, W.E.B. DuBois ideology and religious connections. The major points in the movie where twoness is seen are the parts with Zeke. He is a slave that has the same status as all the other slaves, but is closer to Master Cooper so he feels more empowered. He would wear the master's clothes and even whip other slaves to try and be white. T.J. realized this and even states "When will he realize the black won't rub off." The W.E.B DuBois ideology is present throughout the movie. When Josiah is learning to read or when Vesey tells T.J. that having an education is very important it is a reference to W.E.B. DuBois. There are religious connections at a few parts in the movie. Before T.J. goes to talk to Isaac he is preaching to a few of the slaves. Another time is when Vesey is talking to the various men the town and T.J. shows up to deliver the message about Josiah. This shows that there are still ways that the African Americans of the time were able to have hope.
There are many different forms of heroism throughout the movie; each character shows their own form of heroism. Some of the different forms of heroism are wisdom, knowledge, and friendship. Wisdom is shown by how several of the characters use their skills to help T.J. move along and grow as a person. Knowledge is power, and it is used in many ways most of which are good throughout the movie, except for the slave owners who use knowledge to take freedom from the slaves. Friendship is a powerful tool, they were able to ban together and help each other.
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