Black Movie Sabotage at AMC Esquire?

I dropped off my son and his girlfriend, both 17-year-old high school seniors, at the AMC Esquire movie theatre on Clayton Road about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, October 16, 2016.

When they tried to purchase tickets to see the 5 p.m. showing of Kevin Hart's movie "What Now?", they were asked for ID and then told that they needed to be 18 to see any movie starting at or after 5 p.m. 

My son then purchased tickets for "The Girl on a Train" (start time 4:45 p.m.), however, this was not by choice. This couple's choices had been unfairly restricted by using all too familiar tactic. After my son and his girlfriend left the movie, they went to St. Louis Bread Company where I picked them up. When I inquired about the movie, they told me about the situation. 

Those familiar with this site understand how serious I am about protecting my rights; so you can imagine how upset I was when I discovered that my son had been mistreated, especially while spending his money. I felt as if the clock had been set back and my son was forced into a symbolic back of the bus. My 17-year-old son did not have the legal savvy to challenge the person behind the ticket booth, but that will soon be corrected.

I was also upset because movies about and featuring black people are increasing, but situations such as this dilute the box office numbers for those movies. If anyone knows Kevin Hart, please let him know so his team can investigate if there's an effort to divert box office ticket sales to other movies. Years ago movie-goers who asked to purchase tickets to black movies were sold tickets to white movies. They were allowed to use those tickets to see the movie of their choice, but the ticket sales were credited to other movies. In fact, my last post was about another movie featuring black people, "Birth of a Nation".

I visited several pages on AMC's website including "ratings information", but did not find a policy listed that customers have to be 18 or older after 5. Here's what I found: 

"R: Restricted

Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian (age 21 or older)"

"For R-Rated Films: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian (age 21 or older) and 25 years and under must show ID.  And children under the age of 6 are not allowed after 6:00pm."

I will be contacting AMC for their response, but I would like to know if anyone else has had this experienced. Please contact us if you have. We are also asking our white readers to report if they are being asked for IDs when they visit AMC theatres or if white teens have been told 18 or older after 5 p.m. If we discover that this is a systemic form of discrimination, we will organize an information picket outside the theatre on the public right of way. 


I contacted AMC using their website contact page early yesterday morning, Monday, October 17th. By 2 p.m. today, Tuesday, October 18th, I had not received a reply, so I phoned the number listed on the AMC Theatre website 888-440-4262. When I inquired about the 18 after 5 pm policy, the person I spoke with gave conflicting and evasive answers and suggested that I contact the specific theatre location and provided me the phone number (314-781-9017) to the Esquire located at 6706 Clayton Road, Saint Louis, MO 63117.

I spoke with the Esquire's manager who directed me to the Esquire's Web Page. When you scroll down near the bottom of that page, there is a boxed off section "Other Policies". The last link in that section is "Parental Escort Policy (Under 18 after 5)" which states:

"Minors Under 18 Must Be Accompanied by a Guardian Over 21 After 5 p.m. This policy is for the safety and comfort of all guests. Picture ID is required for films starting at 5 p.m. or later."amc-other-policies

However, the Esquire is the only theatre in the St. Louis area that has this policy. Every other theatre instead of having a "Parental Escort Policy" has an "Age Policy for R-Rated Films" which states:

"Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian (age 21 or older). Guests 25 years and under must show ID. We restrict children younger than 6 from attending R-Rated films after 6pm to improve the experience for everyone. To bring your children younger than 6 to R-Rated films, please visit us before 6pm."


For whatever reason, AMC or the managment at the Esquire believes it's okay to deny patrons of the Esquire the same access privileges that are enjoyed at every other St. Louis area theatre. The manager that I spoke with mentioned how their policy was similar to the Galleria Mall's curfew, but that policy only applies to minors 16 and under not 17. 

I purchase AMC movie passes from Sam's Club and insert in greeting card as gifts, but I will end that practice. The next time my son wants to go to a movie theatre, he'll go to one of the St. Louis Cinema locations or 24:1 Cinema. If AMC doesn't believe my son deserves the same access to the theatre closest to our home, they don't deserve our money. I hope those of you reading this feel the same way. If so let AMC know.

Character Assassination of Nate Parker – Birth of a Nation

 60 Minutes recently aired an interview with Nate Parker, the producer, director and star of the movie "Birth of a Nation" about Nat Turner and the slave rebellion he led in 1831 in Southampton County, Virginia where approximately 60 white people were killed and more than 200 slaves and blacks were killed in retaliation.

The interview took an unexpectant turn when the focus shifted from the movie's historical significance to unfounded allegations from Parker's college days. Nate Parker has accumulated 24 movie and tv credits since 2004, but now that he has produced a movie depicting a slave as a hero for killing white slave owners in retaliation for the injustice and oppression they inflicted; Parker has become the victim of character assassination by media outlets who are resurfacing allegations of rape from almost two decades ago.

Parker and Jean Celestin, who co-wrote "Birth of a Nation" were teammates on the Penn State wrestling team in 1999 when a white female student claimed she was intoxicated and therefore could not have given consent when she had sex with them. Both Parker and Celestin claimed the sex was consensual. 

As we mentioned in our post about Bill Cosby, false allegations of rape, especially the alleged rape of white women have historically devasted black communities all across America. 

Ironically, the myth of black men lusting after white women was perpetuated by the 1915 D.W. Griffith film that Nate Parker borrowed the title of his film from. The original 1915 "Birth of a Nation" glorified the Ku Klux Klan and portrayed black men as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women. "I reclaimed the title and re-purposed it as a tool to challenge racism and white supremacy in America," Parker stated. Because of the 1915 film, membership in the Klan, which included doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers and ministers, exploded to about 6 million by the mid-1920s. The CEO of AT&T who recently voiced support for Black Lives Matter mentioned how his friend talked about Southern Baptist church deacons being members of the klan.

The accuser admitted she and Parker had previously engaged in consensual sex and Nate Parker was exonerated by a nearly all-white (11 white and one black woman) jury at trial. Celestin was found guilty and appealed, prosecutors later dropped the case. The evidence must have been overwhelmingly in Parker's favor for a nearly all-white jury to acquit a black athlete accused of raping a white woman. The town where the alleged rape occurred, was 83.2 percent white and 3.8 percent Black. The town where the trial took place — Bellefonte Courthouse, Pennsylvania — was 96.3 percent white and 1.5 percent Black. Do you really believe a mostly all-white jury would have let a guilty black rapist off?

Former Penn State classmates also believe Nate Parker was falsely accused. They provided copies of relevant court documents that support their belief in Parker's innocence. The documents are located at factchecktoday .

How many black men and boys (Emmett Till) have been destroyed by false allegations concerning white women? After a nearly all-white jury, determined Nate Parker was not guilty of rape, it was irresponsible for Anderson Cooper to imply Parker was guilty by asking if he was sorry. Sorry for what? Being falsely accused of rape! 

Initially, there was Oscar buzz about "Birth of a Nation," but it died down after the Hollywood Reporter quoted members of the Academy who admitted that the controversy had made them less likely to vote for the film – or even watch it. I plan to watch it and I encourage everyone else to see this film as well.

We have been brainwashed by propaganda disguised as history. We celebrate slaveholding founding fathers as liberators, an independence day that was never intended to include us and we even have a holiday for one of history's worst proponents of slavery, Christopher Columbus.

Evidently, mass incarceration of Black men is not enough, even after we've been exonerated in a court of law, we can still be targeted and destroyed by simply bringing up false allegations. Nate Parker was on the path of becoming a great producer, director, and actor, possibly achieving a financial success on par with Tyler Perry. Isn't it strange that when Parker was making films produced by white men, rape allegations didn't surface then? 

Personally, I want to see more films like "Birth of a Nation" produced. However, those attacking Parker, if successful, will point to low attendance to prevent future films such as this from being produced in the future. They will say Black people aren't interested in films about their history. These films employ black actors and actresses and tell our story from our point of view.

History has often recorded the successes and achievements a black people are attacked and destroyed because of fear, jealousy, and hate. When we speak out about injustice and oppression in this country, there is a narrative that we are somehow unpatriotic. For example, when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, the attempted character assassination against him was that he was disrespecting the military and the flag. There is no greater respect a person can display for the concept of freedom and justice than to stand up against those oppressing others. We must stop letting others determine who our heroes are and who we should or shouldn't support!

What Others Have Said

Dr. Umar Johnson

Dr. Boyce Watkins


AT&T’s CEO Forcefully Supported Black Lives Matter

In July, I wrote about boycotting companies that don't actively speak out against injustice and oppression perpetrated against the Black community. The CEO of AT&T has provided one of the best examples of how a company can voice support and concern about major issues that affect us.

Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, was the keynote speaker at an AT&T ERG conference. Stephenson shared a personal story about one of his closest friends, who happens to be a black physician who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stephenson revealed an epiphany he had when confronted by statements his friend made. He used that experience to illustrate how his view on diversity, inclusion, and Black Lives Matter was recently influenced. Because of this speech, Stephenson has become one of the most outspoken corporate leaders concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Stephenson admitted he had always been "confused" by the racial views of his friend, But when he saw a video of him addressing a mostly white church congregation about being refused service at restaurants, being called "boy" and even fearing being stopped by police in his own neighborhood, Stephenson finally understood where those views came from. Stephenson stated, "Our "Tolerance is for cowards" … "Being tolerant requires nothing from you but to be quiet and not make waves." … "communities are being destroyed by racial tension and we're too polite to talk about it."

"If two very close friends of different races don't talk openly about this issue, that's tearing our communities apart, how do we expect to find common ground and solutions for what's a really serious, serious problem?" he asked. Stephenson ended his speech with the statement, "If this is a dialogue that's to begin at AT&T, I feel like it probably ought to start with me," he received a standing ovation. Watch the speech for yourself below.

Employee Resource Groups – or ERGs, are groups within AT&T that provide like-minded employees a way to connect over a shared background and experience. The 12 ERGs include Community NETwork — The African American Telecommunications Professionals of AT&T, HACEMOS — The Hispanic/Latino Employee Association of AT&T, LEAGUE at AT&T — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Employees of AT&T and other groups.

$5 or $10 High Speed Internet

I switched my home Internet provider from Charter to AT&T two days ago. For those receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits, AT&T offers high-speed Internet for only $5 or 10 per month, depending on the speed available in your area. For additional information, see Access from AT&T

Don't get me wrong, AT&T still has problems. In fact, I ran into some minor irritation caused by AT&T during the shipping and installation and I'm sure like with many companies, I'll have issues moving forward. However, Stephen's epiphany seems genuine and as CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world, he can have a real effect on institutionalized racism, at least within his own organization. We must support the people and institutions that support us, otherwise, why should we expect them to do it. You can expect Randall Stephenson to be criticized for his public support of Black Lives Matters. Some will comment that he is a CEO and his responsibility is to the stockholders and he shouldn't be talking about BLM. Now as an AT&T customer, my voice will carry more weight if the stockholders of AT&T respond too negatively. Remember how our support of WNBA players and calls to boycott caused the league to reverse fines against players speaking out?

Maybe now, other CEOs will be prompted to reexamine their own support or lack of support of this issue. There may be some who want to speak out but have remained silent, fearing the repercussions and may now find the courage to speak. One person can make a tremendous difference. After Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem, other athletes all over the country followed his example and joined his protest, creating a movement.