No Black experience can summarize what it means to be Black. But one thing is clear, that we all need to educate ourselves on the causes behind this racial discrimination. Start to engage in podcasts, books, and films for understanding the injustice and struggle that black people might have to face when they deal with systematic racism.
Whether it is prejudice or micro-aggressions, witnessing what black people have to go through every day can be harrowing. From fictional films to documented shows and series, Netflix offers an easy entrance into this issue.
Let’s take a quick look at these shows.
1. When They See Us
It is based on the gruesome story of Central Park Five. The drama miniseries will take you through the 1989 rape and assault case of Trisha Meili, a white woman who had gone jogging through Central Park. After a few days of the attack, 5 black teens of Harlem had been falsely accused of the attack. The prosecution went on to project the teens as animalistic and violent teenagers. This is a series that doesn’t just show the effects of systematic racism but also how the US judicial system easily accuses black teens. The emotional trauma rips their innocence away.
2. American Son
American Son is based on a Broadway play that follows Steven Pasquale and Kerry Washington as an estranged couple whose son goes missing. They spend the night in the Miami police department looking for answers. The theme of the story is unconscious bias and police brutality. It shows how the system fails to help the families after a murder.
It is a thought-provoking documentary that records the criminalization of African-Americans after the US prison boom. Ava DuVerny, the filmmaker explores racial inequality history and shows how the prisons are disproportionately crowded with African-Americans.
It shows how the system has been planned to get black people into prison at a younger age, to trap disenfranchised black communities. You get to read it in an essay about racial profiling all the time. The show features academics, activists, and political figures from the top US political parties. 13th is an Emmy winner and gives you a shocking insight into the world of racing and the failings of the judicial system.
4. Da 5 Bloods
The film is a masterpiece by Spike Lee, the legend. It unpacks the whole history of the black American wartime experience. The film tells the story of 4 Black veterans who served in Vietnam. They travel back to the old battleground to locate the remains of the fellow soldier who had been killed in combat. During a skirmish in the war, they discovered a stash of gold that they hid. After several years, each of these veterans damaged in their own way, decide to go for a treasure hunt and rescue mission.
5. LA 92
This sheds light on the 1992 Los Angeles riots. It has glaring similarities between the protest going on in present times and the ones that took place 26 years before. The events were triggered by the acquittal of 4 white police officers beating an unarmed Black, Rodney King, brutally. Los Angeles saw a period of protest, riots, and resistance. The trial took place in a white suburb in front of a white jury and this had a large influence on the outcome. This trial is taken to be one of the most gruesome cases and is fit for the present situation.
6. Trial By Media: 41 Shots
This show displays the story of the gruesome killing of Amadou Diallo, the Guinean immigrant by NYPD officers in 1999. He was an unarmed black man who had been shot 41 times as he tried to enter his own house. Irrespective of all these, the police officers who had been a part of this had been acquitted. This leads to a series of outrage and controversy in New York. The episodes will teach you lessons that resonate in present-day society and the life of Black people.
7. Strong Island
The true-crime documentary of 2017 opens up the doors to a heartbreaking tragedy of a family providing a sobering portrayal of racial injustice. Yance Ford, the filmmaker investigates the murder 1992 of Willian Ford Jr., the young black man and the younger brother of Ford.
Their sad and emotional story showcases the grief and the after-effects of the acquittal of Mark P. Reilly, the 19-year old white chop mechanic who had been declared as not guilty by a jury that consisted of all white men. This is an unforgettable documentary that displays the deep-rooted racism in the United States and the issues that Black people have to face in order to live a normal life.
8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The popular actress Viola Davis plays the lead role in this movie. Denzel Washington was aware of what he was doing as he tapped in the playbook by Fences, August Wilson. In this, he served as the producer. The story is about Chicago’s Jazz era. Davis plays Ma Rainey and the film brings the play to life. The film also features the late Chadwick Boseman.
It is about history, desires, struggles, and the pain in the pursuit of recognition. Denzel Washington portrays what Blues music means to the Black people.
9. The Death And Life Of Marsha P Johnson
Marsha P Johnson was at the heart of NYC’s gay liberation movement who was a black transgender activist. However, in the year 1992, her body was discovered in the Hudson River. The circumstances that led to this are still unclear. According to the NYPD, death is a suicide. However, no formal investigation has been undertaken. The documentary opens up the discussion on police apathy, discrimination, and injustice.
10. Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Kalief Brower, the 16-year old boy, had refused to plead guilty and had endured the brutality of the adolescence unit of the Riker Island and repeated abuse of the corrupt officers of the prison. He had been imprisoned for 3 years awaiting trial and 2 of these years had been in solitary confinement as he had been accused of stealing a kid’s backpack.
However, this case had never been prosecuted. So, ultimately, the charges had been dropped. But after he was released, Browder committed suicide. The document offers an insight into the physical, mental, and sexual abuse the young boy had to go through in the prison.
All these movies will give you an opportunity to sit and experience the dark world outside of your own. As you turn on, you can step into the shoes of someone else for a while.
If you are interested in even more entertainment-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.