“Lovecraft Country” reveals the horrors of racism

Salem Nega

Contributing Writer


It’s halfway through the semester, and it’s been a rough couple weeks for everyone. Since we’re likely hitting the wall due to exhaustion, stress and lockdown regulations, starting an addictive series to get your mind off schoolwork and to relax might be an appealing idea. If so, “Lovecraft Country” is going to be right up your alley. 

“Lovecraft Country” is a ten-episode show on HBO whose genre ranges from horror and fantasy to drama and historical fiction. Set in the 1950s Jim Crow era  United States, the series is made up of a killer cast including Emmy award winning actor Courtney B. Vance, Michael K. Morris (who is known for his role as Omar Little in the HBO hit “The Wire”), Jurnee Smollett and newcomer Johnathan Majors. The show aired on HBO Max as an original series by the creator of “Underground” and “Heroes,” Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele, whose critically acclaimed movies “Get Out” and “Us” have made him a household name due to their thematic vision of blending race relations into classic horror.

Based on the book of the same name by Mark Ruff, the series follows main characters Atticus Black, a veteran returning from the Korean War, and his childhood best friend Leitha Dandridge as they embark on a mission to find Atticus’s missing father and  unlock some long-hidden family secrets that date back to the infamously detrimental Jim Crow era. Throughout this journey, viewers will see these characters transform from fledging to well-developed and complex with intriguing backstories. Interestingly, those backstories visibly define the different ways Black and Dandridge choose to engage with a world filled with ghosts and demons, white supremacy and Black identity, contemporary life and historical fiction. Suffice to say, the writers took a lot of creative liberty when writing this masterpiece, so whatever your interests are, this show has likely got it.

This, of course, barely scratches the surface of what this show truly offers, since spoiler alerts must be avoided at all costs. However, it is not an overstatement to assert that each episode carries a very distinct and unique nature of film and shines a special light on the differing perspectives that are often present when determining who would be the antagonist and the protagonist.

Despite the show going at a very smooth, relaxed pace since its season premiere this past summer, it should be noted that the series aired at a time in American history filled with police brutality, racism and other ongoing injustices faced by Black people in America. So, the series does a great job of keeping you on your toes while solemnly reflecting on how moments in the past, as well as their effects, can still be similarly situated in our contemporary world.

Again, if you’re looking for a way to take your mind off the collective stress that has been felt across campus the last two weeks, then a brief transportation into a different world with adventure, action and drama is definitely the right choice of action. Overall, “Lovecraft Country” does an incredible job of entertaining us with an intersection of different genres while demonstrating the horrors of racism in the 1950s and relating it to everything that is currently happening in the United States.

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