One day in fall 2002, I opened my newspaper to read that the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were upset over some dialogue in the new hit movie Barbershop. The nation's most prominent civil rights activists had threatened to call for a boycott of the ensemble comedy unless the filmmakers agreed to issue a public apology and delete the offending material from future DVD versions. I looked up from the paper and chuckled to myself. Perhaps there was something that could better recommend a film to me than Jackson and Sharpton not wanting me to see it, but nothing came to mind immediately. Not then and not now. I grabbed a jacket, headed to the theater, and caught the next showing. I laughed from beginning to end and left the multiplex with a renewed appreciation of the diminishing relevance of a civil rights old guard personified by the likes of Jackson and Sharpton.
- From False Black Power? by Jason L. Riley