“Nothing but a circus, with clowns and all…”

“It ceased to be angry, it ceased to be hot, it ceased to be uncompromising. Why, it even ceased to be a march. It became a picnic, a circus. Nothing but a circus, with clowns and all. . .”

“…they told those Negroes what time to hit town, where to stop, what signs to carry, what song to sing, what speech they could make, and what speech they couldn’t make, and then told them to get out of town by sundown….”

-Malcolm X


Zinn uses these quotes to show how different Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideologies were. King thought the march was still a success, or at least a step in the right direction, even when he had to follow rules set by white people. Which Malcolm X completely shuts down, saying that this was just another example of black submission to white government. Malcolm believed a fight like this had to be fought hard and with passion, and emotion, and most importantly, without submission. Without passion, and anger, the march was a joke, completely pointless. Malcolm believed King completely gave up the fight by obliging by the rules of the people responsible for segregation. Zinn’s use of direct quotes helps him paint the picture of the different characters of both men. King, was very calm and patient; while Malcolm X was very angry, opinionated, and passionate.

Stephen: Monsieur Candie’s Wife?

Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), seemingly not a slave, is the slave that the audience comes to meet three quarters of the way into ‘Django Unchained’. The specific moment where we’re introduced to Stephen, he doesn’t seem to be a slave, he talks back, even picks little fights with Calvin Candie as if they were a married couple. Stephen often disagrees with Calvin’s wishes or requests which just makes him seem like his wife, he always has a nit picky remark to say back but ultimately abides by his wishes. His demeanor with Calvin would get most other slaves whipped or beaten, however Stephen is a special case. The institution of slavery is depicted as a harsh, animalistic, degrading means of crop production and or house work, but Stephen seems to just be the black Calvin, basically making sure all the other slaves are doing what they need to be doing while he somewhat kicks back with the white folk.

Stephen is a special kind of slave. Stephen has been with Monsieur Candie(he prefers Monsieur Candie) since he was a young man. Stephen is extremely loyal to Calvin Candie. When Stephen notices Django’s intent of rescuing Broomhilda, he informs Calvin that he is being played. We are taught, in past history classes, to believe that all blacks, free or not, would be on each other’s side, however, Stephen chooses to shed light on Django and Dr. Schultz plan to buy Broomhilda’s freedom. It’s actually kind of a funny concept that Stephen, instead of Calvin or any of the other white people, picked up on the “offer to buy the whole barn as opposed to just the horse” concept Dr. Schultz and Django were implicating. This moment depicts Stephen’s loyalty and also makes a statement of the different levels of the institution of slavery. Also the fact that Stephen feels so comfortable as to pour himself a glass of wine or liquor in Calvin’s study shows he is no ordinary slave.