Black Lives Matter

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In 2013 in Sanford, Florida, vigilante George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin. As a result, the struggle against police violence flared up under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and turned into one of the biggest grassroots movements in the United States. This film interviewed co-founder Patrisse Cullors about the various forms of violence against black citizens, and why resistance is essential.

Length: 48 minutes

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.


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Starting a Movement (03:27)

Activist and theater artist Patrisse Cullors rehearses a play giving black Seattle residents a voice. After George Zimmerman's acquittal for murdering Trayvon Martin, she founded BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013. Her hashtag #BlackLivesMatter went viral.

Activism through Art (04:37)

Cullors is developing a theater piece to challenge the narrative that black people cannot tell their stories; KT was tried as an adult at 15 with an all-white jury. Cullors wants to build community, inspire humanity, and call audiences to action.

Michael Brown and Ferguson (03:00)

Marcel Baugh shares his experience with police brutality and racial profiling. Darren Wilson testifies he was scared for his life, although he had the gun. His non-indictment sparks global protests; the movement blossoms.

Police Response to Ferguson Protests (02:15)

The black community holds a vigil in response to Brown's death, which was repressed. Cullors explains law enforcement armament under the 1033 Program. She believes using military force causes, rather than de-escalates, violence.

Ignoring the Root Cause of Black Outrage (03:43)

Jah-vi Cotten-Cohia shares being harassed by police while on felony probation. Cullors discusses how steadily degrading social conditions are sidelined in favor of media sensationalism; Brown's family was forced to watch him die from behind yellow tape.

Police Harassment (03:15)

Hodan Hassan recalls being humiliated by a TSA agent. Seattle law enforcement takes a more insidious approach to racial profiling. She does not feel completely safe in her community.

Exposing Injustice through Social Media (02:19)

Since Ferguson, the black community has been able to document and share police brutality incidents to a wider audience. On Facebook livestream, Philando Castile's girlfriend films a police officer shooting him.

Amplifying Experiences of Injustice (02:55)

Cullors expresses rage and grief through art. She wants black people's stories to start a broader conversation about addressing poverty and violence prevention, rather than placing more resources into law enforcement.

Endangered Black Men (03:11)

View footage of officers placing Eric Garner in a chokehold; he says he cannot breathe. Baugh says he is considered a threat in Seattle, due to racial profiling—despite progressive ideals of equality. He fears a police confrontation.

Challenging White Liberal Supremacy (03:35)

BLM activist Marissa Jenae Johnson interrupts a Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle to send a message to the Democratic Party about starting a conversation around law enforcement violence. Cullors says racism exists in predominantly white populations everywhere.

All Black Lives Matter (03:47)

Cullors coaches participants in singing "Young, Gifted and Black." She discusses how queer black women have developed a decentralized movement for everyone—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or social status.

#BlackLivesMatter Day (02:04)

High school students and their families attend an assembly to inspire grassroots activism. Cullors discusses why the movement must include the entire black community.

Social Movement Infighting (02:33)

The old civil rights movement is bound by patriarchy; black women did most of the work. Some people criticize Cullors as "co-opting" the Ferguson Movement for queer people.

Collective Resistance (03:06)

View footage of demonstrations in European cities. Cullors reflects on the importance of a decentralized movement. Participants arrive for opening night of her theater piece; Cotten-Cohia is anxious to share his story.

Rebuilding the Black Community (02:03)

Cullors hopes to develop black leadership through her theater works. She is inspired by love for her people, and rage toward the state and white supremacy.

Credits: Black Lives Matter (00:34)

Credits: Black Lives Matter

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