Watch 'Birth of a Nation' Star Aunjanue Ellis Go Off on a Black Feminist

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22:  Actress Aunjanue Ellis attends "The Book of Negroes" sceening at Dunbar High School on January 22, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Kris Connor/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Watch 'Birth of a Nation' Star Aunjanue Ellis Go Off on a Black Feminist

Do you agree?

Published October 21, 2016

The controversial film has had plenty of detractors, but add actress Aunjanue Ellis to the short list of people offering a full-throated defense of The Birth of a Nation

The actress, who plays Nate Parker's mother in the scandal-torn film about Nat Turner, appeared on Roland Martin's show to promote the film and told a Black feminist to take several seats at the same time.

"What I want you to understand is, you know who I'm asking for. I'm asking for those people in Mississippi who have never heard about Nat Turner," the actress said to the other panelist, who made it clear she's not here for the film following Parker's rape controversy.

"But we have real freedom fighters who are alive right now!" the feminist, named Amber, responded. 

"But they don't know, they don't know." Ellis continued. "I admire the heck out of you, but you are coming from a place of privilege and you don't even realize it. You have information, you have information. And not only that, you have the fire and presence of mind to want it. And that makes you different."

When the woman argued that people should work to protest the injustices that happen today, not just during slavery, Ellis responded, "But you are not in Mississippi, sis. You are not in Mississippi or in Alabama." She added, "What about those folks who just want to come and see a movie?"

Watch the exchange below.

Do you agree?

See what Nate Parker has to say about the backlash against his feature directorial debut, above.

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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