Classic Black Cinema: The Education of Sonny Carson (1974)

 “You don’t give us any justice, then there ain’t going to be no peace. We’re going to use whatever means necessary to make sure that everyone is disrupted in their normal life.

SOnny Carson,  The New York Times in 1987

Vainglorious. It was once said that if one does not know where he has been. He will never be able to see where he is going. For that reason we must always remember to explore and consider the art and stories of those who came before us.

Sonny Carson lived his life as a blue print for all of those who were sure to follow him in the bowels of America. He was even gifted enough to articulate his struggles into a popular biography that would be made into a film. All within his lifetime. He was also father to Professor X, one of the co founders of the popular 90’s rap group X-Clan. Sonny Carson to say the least, was a real one. Known heavy in the streets with the youth and equally as heavy with the business men and lawmakers in suits.

Wu Tang brought me here. Rather, I never would have known much about Sonny Carson had it not been for the Wu Tang Clan. I can say that much for a lot of things. When they said that Wu Tang was for the children. I was the child and Wu Tang was for me.

Being able to visualize the things that I heard in the music from the Wu introduced my mind to a whole new chamber. Presumably the 36th Chamber.

The samples within the music provided a soul filled backdrop to the old school, crime ridden, gang infested streets of New York. The music wasn’t the only thing that peaked my attention. The samples from various Kung Fu flicks and old 70’s movies also had me wanting to inquire more as well.

Which brings us to this film, The Education of Sonny Carson which the Wu sampled on several songs.

This film, which was produced in 1974 was a monumental film of the times detailing the struggles of Black life in the city. The film explores challenges facing the African American population during their struggle to obtain civil rights, and sheds light on both political and social issues of the time such as poverty, drug abuse, and police discrimination and brutality. A fitting film to watch n today’s political climate as we still are facing the same issues as they were back then.

Always remember to do your due diligence on our everyday Black superheroes.

Rest In Peace SONNY ABUBADIKA CARSON 1936 – 2002.

Sit back and watch his beginnings.



Author: Armstrong Ransome

I break bread, ribs and hundred dollar bills.

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