Good news, everyone! It’s almost 2020, which means that it’s almost an election year, which means we have yet another chance to make our voices heard about the topics we care the most about! That includes taking a real stand against racism; particularly the systematic racism that plagues our country, and has since its inception.
However, part of this fight for equality and rise against the current regime is educating the people who surround you about the racial issues that can slip through the cracks of their consciousness. But trust me, I get that it is a lot of work to educate everyone around you about how f***ed up their opinions are, so I’ve kindly listed some documentaries for you to recommend your loved ones watch in order to begin to understand what the real issues at hand are.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Originally aired on BET in 2017, this 6 part series details Kalief Browder’s experience in the criminal justice system. At 16-years-old, he was arrested for suspicion of stealing a backpack and, unable to make bail, was placed in Riker’s Island where he spent 3 years awaiting trial. 2 of those years were spent in solitary confinement before he was even convicted. The charges were eventually dropped, but the long-lasting psychological impact on Kalief, his family, and the larger Black American community still ripple to this day.
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
After a traffic stop, political activist Sandra Bland was arrested and kept in jail for 3 days. She died while in police custody. This documentary investigates the surroundings of Sandra’s death, her family’s search for justice, and just how much her death impacted the Black Lives Matter movement. Using Sandra Bland’s own words from her social media activist videos, this 2018 film showcases the daily experience of Black Americans, and just how real their fear is.
As white people, we will never fully understand what Black people go through on a daily basis – we have privileges that we cannot even fathom, and they experience things that we can’t understand the extent of even if we see them firsthand. However, these documentaries are the first step to becoming the best allies we can be, and working towards a better, safer, more equal future. So tell your friends! Your family! That friend of a friend of a friend who uses racial slurs when he’s drunk! Tell everyone and anyone – we all need to do better and work harder to create the type of society we want to live in.