Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Man on Fire

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Man on Fire

Article excerpt

On June 23, 2014, the Rev. Charles Moore drove from his home in Allen, Texas to a shopping center parking lot in his home town of Grand Saline, Texas, where he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. He died as a result of the fire. The Rev. Moore did leave a note on the windshield of his car in which he said among other things that the people of Grand Saline should repent for their racism.

Man on Fire is the story of how the people of Grand Saline responded to the selfimmolation of Charles Moore. Many people agreed with Charles Moore-Grand Saline was a racist community where blacks were unwelcome, indeed, sometimes killed and sometimes just beaten and told to stay out of town. Some citizens claimed that while Grand Saline had a long history of racism, it was no longer a racist community. It was now a community where everyone was welcome-well, at least, where every good person was welcome. Many of these people wanted to "move on." They didn't want to talk about the past. They wanted to ignore the history of the town. Obviously this was not the way that Charles Moore thought you could deal with the town's long history of racism. …

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