18 Shows + Movies to Help Educate You On Racial Injustice

“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” – unknown 

Hi friends + Happy Friday!

Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and now, 11 more. 

11 more names we need to keep saying + honoring. 

11 more names to remind us that things MUST change. 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! 

I’d love to say that since my last post, we’ve seen huge changes around the world on issues relating to racism and police brutality. I understand that this isn’t an overnight fix, but PEOPLE, people of color keep on dying. So until that stops, we can’t stay silent. Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 11 more men and women have been murdered at the hands of police officers. Here are 3 of their stories: 

Sean Monterrosa -> Police responded to a looting call at a Walgreens and found 22 year old Sean running to what they assumed was a getaway car. Seeing the arrival of the police, Sean stopped, got on his knees + put his hands above the waist. Officers thought Sean had a gun, but it was actually a hammer. Sean, who appeared to be surrendering was shot dead. 

Rayshard Brooks -> Police shot + killed 27 year old Rayshard (at a Wendy’s drive thru) after he failed a sobriety test, resisted arrest + stole an officer’s Taser. Rayshard was shot in the back twice while running away from officers.  

Erik Salgado -> California Highway Patrol officers fired a barrage of gunfire at Eric and his pregnant girlfriend as they sat in a suspected stolen vehicle. Erik died during the altercation and his pregnant girlfriend (who was shot twice) is reported to be in stable condition. It may also be worth noting that this occurred on a residential street where anyone could have been caught in the line of fire. 

In only a few of these instances, the police involved in these murders have been fired + have in fact been charged for their crimes. Many have yet to be brought to justice and it’s actually sickening. In the days + weeks following George Floyd’s murder, we’ve seen with our own eyes (thanks to these crimes being recorded) how quick police are to go straight to the use of their firearms. There appears to be NO de-escalation. I understand that police brutality is just a small part of what we’re talking about when it comes to racism. Never the less, it is such a critical one to solve! 

Whether you’ve been watching the news or spending time on Instagram, you’ll likely have heard conversations relating to defunding the police. What are your thoughts on that? 

Last week I shared some really great books to read to help educate yourselves on the issues of racism, racial injustices, white privilege, etc. I understand that not everyone loves to read as much as I do so I thought I’d put together a list of shows + movies you can watch instead! 

So without further ado, here are some really great shows, movies + documentaries you can watch! p.s. I’ve included a link to the trailer for each show so if you’re interested, simply click the title! 

1) When They See Us 

In 1989 a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York’s Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime. The quintet, labeled the Central Park Five, maintained its innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated. This limited series spans a quarter of a century, from when the teens are first questioned about the incident in the spring of 1989, going through their exoneration in 2002 and ultimately the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. The cast is full of Emmy nominees and winners, including Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, and Blair Underwood. Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay co-wrote and directed the four episodes. 

2) TIME: The Kalief Browder Story 

The criminal justice system tragically failed 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years in Rikers Island jail awaiting trial — two of those years in solitary confinement — after being arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. The case was never prosecuted, the charges were ultimately dropped, and Browder committed suicide after his release. His story and the challenges it poses to a basic understanding of American liberties are central to this six-part documentary. It’s a comprehensive review of the case, using first-person accounts, archival footage, and cinematic re-creations of key scenes from Browder’s life. Exclusive interviews with a wide range of people connected to the story, from politicians to close friends and family members to social reformers, are also featured. 

3) 13TH

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. 

4) American Son 

An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son. 

5) 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets 

 Filmmaker Marc Silver uses the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis to examine Florida’s `Stand Your Ground’ self-defense law. 

6) Selma 

 Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

7) The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson 

 Filmmakers re-examine the 1992 death of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River. Originally ruled a suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered. 

8) Just Mercy 

After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian’s life. 

9) The Hate U Give 

Starr Carter, an African-American teenager, faces pressure from various communities and tries to stand up for what is right after she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by the police. 

10) Seven Seconds 

When 15-year-old black cyclist Brenton Butler dies in a hit-and-run accident — with a white police officer behind the wheel of the vehicle — Jersey City explodes with racial tension. This crime drama explores the aftermath of the accident, which includes an attempted cover-up by the police department and a volatile trial. Assistant prosecutor KJ wants to prosecute the hit-and-run as a hate crime, in addition to a negligent homicide. The longer the case drags on without a resolution, the more tense the situation becomes. Emmy winner Regina King stars as Brenton’s churchgoing mother, Latrice 

11) Dispatches from Cleveland 

Residents of Cleveland express their love for their hometown by working together to bring about real change in one of the most racially divided cities in America that has long been shaken by police misconduct, social discrimination and poverty. 

12) Loving 

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are arrested and thrown out of their home state of Virginia. Determined to go back to their roots, they approach the Supreme Court 

13) Fruitvale Station

Though he once spent time in San Quentin, 22-year-old black man Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is now trying hard to live a clean life and support his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) and young daughter (Ariana Neal). Flashbacks reveal the last day in Oscar’s life, in which he accompanied his family and friends to San Francisco to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and, on the way back home, became swept up in an altercation with police that ended in tragedy. Based on a true story. 

14) Teach Us All 

It’s been decades since Brown v. Board of Education, yet American schools remain largely segregated. Some leaders are working to change that. 

15) Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap 

Cory Booker and others discuss how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap

16) Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 

Filmmaker John Ridley examines a decade of tensions, civil unrest and events in Los Angeles that culminated in citywide violence following the Rodney King verdict on April 29, 1992 

17) Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea 

In this documentary, Chelsea Handler explores how white privilege impacts American culture — and the ways it’s benefited her own life and career.  

18) Dear White People

Based on the acclaimed film of the same name, this Netflix-original series follows a group of students of color at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League college. The students are faced with a landscape of cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism and slippery politics. Through an absurdist lens, the series uses irony, self-deprecation, brutal honesty and humor to highlight issues that still plague today’s”post-racial” society. Creator Justin Simien serves as an executive producer. 

And there you have it friends. I hope you’ll add a few of these titles to your list of shows to watch! If there are any others that you’d recommend, definitely let me know!  

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Thanks so much for stopping by & until next time, 

    xo 

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