State of the Nation
STATE OF THE NATION is an African American neo-horror story that follows the day to day experiences of three young friends as they navigate through a society that does not see them, at best, or, at worst; sees them as degenerate bodies deserving extermination. It does not have the tropes that define traditional horror stories. African Americans have a different experience with horror than their Caucasian counterparts. For people of color, horror is an everyday presence. It is not fear of the unknown. It is fear of the known. For African Americans to function in a modern, postracist society, they must submerge this fear of the known, and continue to function with the knowledge that their lives have been in continuous jeopardy for over four hundred years.
The Atlanta Child Murders of the late 70s, early 80s serves as the undefined monster that acts as a micro, macro, and psychic aggressor, functioning in a way that inhibits and prescribes behavior. The murders loom in the background of the story, serving as an albatross that hovers over the lives of three friends coming of age during a moment in American history that in many ways mirrors the present, as police violence perpetuated against black youth continues to generate press.
STATE OF THE NATION highlights the fact that missing black bodies were not an anomaly. It was the media attention of those particular bodies that was the anomaly, as black bodies were being defaced, defiled, and extinguished all over the country during that time. The Atlanta Child Murders were a continuation of neo-lynching, a replication of an age-old American tradition; reminding black youth that they are expendable.
David Jackson Ambrose
April 4, 2018