In our fast-paced mid-pandemic world, most of us are so buried in our lives that we do not stop and think about how corrupt and unjust our world is toward minorities. In the 2017 film, “Saturday Church”, the screenwriter expresses the intersectionality in our society through different layers, as a combination of racial discrimination, the black-white opportunity and wealth gap, and LGBTQ rights that directly reflect our world. In short, the author successfully demonstrates intersexuality and how it directly reflects our modern world with its foundation based on a church that reflects real and personal life beyond a church.
First, we need to recognize that inequality and racially motivated injustices in the film are just a reflection of our world and only one type of discrimination Ulysses faces, as seen in the Black Lives Matter movement. For instance, just to consider one incident that occurred during the recent Black Lives Matter protest, a white cop killed a black man during a protest; the officer committed murder just because of the victim’s race. This act was not only murderous but also contrary to the tenth and fourteenth amendments of the U.S constitution. As seen similarly, the producer of “Saturday Church” successfully promotes violence and expresses inequality in our world by putting Ulysses in the West Village of New York City, where discrimination is endemic and already exists towards people of color. As a result, this adds to another layer of racial discrimination in addition to his family not accepting his gender. After the incident, Ulysses ran away from his home, escaping discrimination, which gave his mom no choice but to file a missing person report at the police station. However, she was not taken seriously by the police officer because of her race. These types of racism against people of color were seen in our past, as early as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) which established “separate but equal” has no place, but were resolved with little success as schools started to find new ways of discriminating BIPOC students. Overall, the racial inequality in Saturday Church is only one form of discrimination that corresponds to Ulysses and our world, as seen in, for example, the Black Lives Matter movement.
Apart from the racial discrimination that Ulysses and his family have been through, another layer of discrimination can be seen as interconnected in the black-white wealth gap. In the United States, affordable housing is crucial for wealth building and financial well-being. However, for decades now, exclusionary tactics have been employed by governments and citizens to prevent people of color from building wealth through homeownership and affordable housing. These tactics are only one of the challenges Ulysses’ family has to face. After Ulysses’ father died, his mother worked day and night, barely getting enough money to support the family, never owning a home but living with the aunt. In fact, in real life, the same is true; on average, it will take over 200 years for the average Black family to earn the same amount of wealth as their counterparts. After all, Ulysses’ family has a low income because, if they can barely afford housing, they could not have good financial well-being; lack of proper housing is the primary cause of the black/white gap, The author, again, successfully shows intersectionality by adding the wealth layer of discrimination on top of racial discrimination.
Aside from the systemic inequalities seen as the racial wealth gap, another type of major discrimination Ulysses experiences comes out and overlaps the other inequalities; it is, of course, LGBTQ inequalities. Despite the current efforts of fighting for LGBTQ rights, individuals in the United States are still being fired, abused, and targeted because they are LGBTQ. In fact, New York City has the highest population of LGBTQ people in the U.S, with 4.3% of the entire population of New York identifying themselves as LGBTQ, and so New York has the highest level of gender discrimination. In Saturday Church, fiction portrays reality; Ulysses’ aunt didn’t accept him for who he was, and near the end, he had to run from home because he was feeling so depressed and couldn’t be who he really was in front of his family; he is virtually forced into the hands of the predator. Another example of intersectionality was at the end of the movie when Aunt Rose said that she was worried about Ulysses because he would get discriminated against in society because he is both a black and a gay man. The producer successfully used intersectionality by stating that the hero of the story is discriminated against by not only race but gender as well. Ulysses’ experience is reflected not only in gay men, but women too. For instance, lesbian women would probably get lower wages than heterosexual women, and BIPOC trans women are more likely victims of homicide than white cisgender women or BIPOC cisgender women. Even though many negatives exist regarding LGBTQ rights in our world, also some positives show. In a recent landmark supreme court case, Bostock v Clayton count (2020), the court ruled 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay, lesbian, or transgender employees against discrimination based on sex. Overall, the film clearly shows that Ulysses also experiences LGBTQ discrimination in addition to wealth and racial inequalities and that our world is filled with inequalities.
In conclusion, the writer of ‘Saturday Church” successfully demonstrated intersectionality by creating a character, Ulysses, who had to face many different layers of discrimination in his life. It also accurately reflects the world we live in right now as it is very corrupt and biased. The “church” should not be the only safe haven. The LGBTQ and BIPOC population should not need to go to a “church” to feel accepted. In reflection, what if we are in an ideal world with no corruption or discrimination; will the world still function?