There is a famous quote from spiritual author Stefan Edmunds, “Time is an illusion, timing is an art.”
Nothing could be truer than the HBO series, Lovecraft Country, a mystical visual protest in the wake of America’s social conscious eruption and historically racially contemplative time.
Based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country is a multi-layered period piece that follows Atticus Freeman aka Tic, played by superb actor Jonathan Majors. He reunites with childhood friend Letitia, played by Jurnee Smollett, and his family after a tour during the Korean War (1950-1953).
The show immerses you in a Jim Crow America through the lens of a prosperous redlined Black community in Chicago, Illinois.
Atticus’ uncle George, played by veteran actor Courtney B. Vance, is a symbol of Black self-sufficiency and survival as the publisher of the Negro Travel Guide, also known as The Negro Motorist Green Book. The book was an annual guidebook for American born Afrikans road trippers.
It was originated and first published by mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936-1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legal discrimination was widespread.
Tic is compelled to embark on a road trip across the 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, played by Michael Kenneth Williams.
This begins a trifold struggle: survive the racist terrors of white America, outlast the terrifying monsters seemingly ripped from the Lovecraft paperback, and master the magic revealed to be a birthright of the Freeman’s.
Executive produced by showrunner Misha Green, who created and executive produced the historical drama Underground, along with Jordan Peele, Lovecraft Country dazzles naturally.
Tackling issues within the Black community like LGBTQ shaming, Jezebel-Sapphire dichotomy, interracial love, domineering parenting, and more, the show traverses through a spiritually scientific realm rarely seen for Afrikan characters.
Making The Case For (Black) Magic
At first, many who saw the early episodes of the series, without reading the novel, were confused.
The plotlines between Atticus Freeman, his family, and his friends seemed disjointed. Also, there was a shadowy yet svelte white woman mystically chasing him for some unknown reason.
As the show continued to develop it got weirder introducing monsters a la the Stranger Things variety. Then the overarching patrimony of white supremacy reared its head in the introduction of a white aristocracy that had co-opted magic.
The feeling of an exhaustive search for a secret to immortality that somehow could only be unlocked by a Black body. What isn’t clear until the tenth episode finale is that magic is a birthright of Atticus through the careful curation and strategic planning of his ancestors.
Then the scope expands into a larger picture of Afrikan’s as innate conduits of magic, scientific excellence, and spiritual alignment.
White people in the Jim Crow era are consistently exposed as toxic sycophants that are not aligned spiritually but are in fear of Blackness. They use magic as a way to covert and mine power while subjugating Blackness to force their dominance.
It is a silent admission that the idea of Whiteness in America is a robbery of the natural magic of Black people. Redlining is to ensure their insecurities are in check because proximity to the power of Blackness is frightening.
There are no White saviors in Lovecraft Country, only subscribers to White rage.
Replace the “love” with “witch” and you understand that the premise of the show is an exorcism of America’s sins. It is a hard honest look at the biggest tragedies America inflicted legally upon American-born Afrikans.
From the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma where the Black Wall Street massacre occurred decimating one of the most self-sufficient Afrikan affronts to white supremacy, to the tragic murder of Emmet Till in Mississippi.
America is excoriated systematically through a magnificent journey of time and space where Black women are heroes and Black men are strong. Black children are wonderful and brilliant and America hates them all for it.
Lovecraft Country couldn’t have imagined that the world would be as ready as it is currently for the messages it sends. Energy is palpable and love is the witchcraft molded and displayed for the country to stand back and marvel at.
Afrikan brilliance remaining intact through the tumultuous storms of White negativity. That is the legacy of Lovecraft Country.
That is America.